Teaching Innovation Fund
Evaluation Criteria

Guiding Principle

ACE evaluates grant applications on a number of factors. ACE’s guiding principle is to support initiatives that are aligned with (I) Andover Public Schools’ priorities and (II) ACE’s mission. Included below are some of the ways in which the evaluation factors related to this principle might be defined.

I. Andover Public Schools Theory of Action

ACE encourages proposals which align with at least one of Andover Public Schools’ four priorities, as articulated in the Andover Public Schools’ Theory of Action:

When we collaborate to:

  • Create safe, caring, and culturally responsive classrooms and schools, and partner with families and the community to support students’ academic growth and their social, physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Ensure that every student engages in a rigorous curriculum that is implemented consistently within and across schools;
  • Provide inclusive instruction that engages every student in authentic learning experiences, demonstrates the power of effective effort and fosters inquiry, creativity, and positive risk taking;
  • Monitor student progress diagnostically and plan instruction after thorough and thoughtful data analysis to ensure each student reaches proficiency;

Then all students will:

  • Demonstrate academic growth in foundational content and skills;
  • Communicate effectively, think critically, problem solve creatively, work collaboratively, and evaluate objectively;
  • Be self-directed and persevering agents of their own learning; and
  • Demonstrate cultural awareness, an appreciation of self, empathy toward others, a sense of responsibility, and commitment to civic engagement . . .

So that all students are prepared to:

  • Be lifelong learners able to pursue their personal and professional goals
  • Face adversity, ambiguity with intellectual skill, open-mindedness, adaptability, courage, confidence;
  • Make informed, just and ethical decisions; and
  • Be connected and compassionate citizens who contribute to a diverse and global society.

II. ACE Specific Criteria

ACE encourages proposals that are aligned with ACE’s mission to support innovative enhancements to the curriculum. We seek proposals that can be described as one or more of the following: innovative, enriching, collaborative, impactful, and/or sustainable.

Grants that are INNOVATIVE might…

  • Introduce something new
  • Approach a task or subject creatively
  • Feature new, advanced, or original methods
  • Offer a new curriculum tie-in or way to bring/deliver curriculum
  • Offer a modification/improvement to the learning environment to increase/improve learning
  • Offer a new way to meet the needs of learners
  • Encourage students to think and learn in a new way

Grants that are ENRICHING might…

  • Offer students a meaningful take-away
  • Offer new/deeper perspectives, experiences, and/or connections
  • Offer a real world connection
  • Add value
  • Inspire
  • Resonate with students

Grants that are IMPACTFUL might…

  • Affect a large number of students (“breadth of impact”)
  • Affect students deeply (“depth of impact”)
  • Affect students in a lasting way (“longevity of impact”)
  • Affect the wider community, including students, parents/community members, teachers, and/or administrators

Grants that are SUSTAINABLE might…

  • Be able to be continued or maintained over a period of time
  • Include plans for upkeep and availability for use in the future (as with equipment)
  • Be reasonably expected to be supported financially or continued after the grant period ends (as with a project or program)
  • Include lessons that will be reinforced in other ways (as with a presentation that is then discussed in the classroom)
  • Include opportunities to share lessons learned with colleagues and/or students (as with professional development)

Grants that are COLLABORATIVE might…

  • Demonstrate a partnership between/among teachers, specialists, classes, departments, disciplines, and/or schools
  • Bring together people who have different perspectives/approaches to a subject


The Teaching Innovation Fund Committee will begin by evaluating each grant application according to the following rubric. A total of 5 points can be awarded in each category bringing the total number of possible points to 25. The Committee uses this score as a guideline when determining which grant applications to accept.

Application is Complete

  • Well-developed plan
  • Explanation of alignment to criteria
  • Detailed budget

Alignment with APS Theory of Action

  • Caring, and culturally responsive classrooms
  • Rigorous curriculum
  • Inclusive instruction
  • Monitor student progress

Alignment with ACE Criteria

  • Innovative
  • Enriching
  • Collaborative
  • Impactful
  • Sustainable

Potential for impact – Quantify impact/value if possible

  • Breadth (reaches many students)
  • Anticipated impact on student experience

Especially promising initiative

  • Scalability
  • Other “X-Factor”


Share your feedback by contacting ace.tifgrant@gmail.com.


ACE will consider grant requests of up to


The 2024 Grant Application will be available in early January.
All applications will be due by
February 29, 2024.

Next Steps

Click here to see the
Grant Process.

Inspire Our Students to Succeed

ACE is a Field of Interest Fund of the Essex County Community Foundation (MA), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (Tax ID 04-3407816.) Donations to ACE are tax-deductible.

Contact Us



Andover Coalition for Education
P.O. Box 1521
Andover, MA 01810