Guidelines for Success

ACE is eager to support your ideas and help you successfully obtain funding. Adherence to the guidelines below will increase the likelihood that your grant application will be approved.

Before You Begin Your Application:

  • Review the characteristics of successful grant applications.
  • Review what the ACE Teaching Innovation Fund supports.
  • Review what the ACE Teaching Innovation Fund doesn’t support.
  • Seek approval for your idea from your principal.
  • Understand the ACE grant review process and timeline.

What does ACE’s Teaching Innovation Fund support?

ACE-funded programs should enhance, but not duplicate, the standard public school curriculum. We look for creative ideas that fall outside the ordinary school budget and promise to augment the curriculum or further the district goals in a meaningful way.

Characteristics of Successful Grant Applications

Successful applications include the following:

  • A clearly explained, well-developed plan of action, including a detailed budget. Please see below for further guidelines on submitting a budget.
  • Approval from your principal for this grant application.
  • A clearly explained, meaningful connection to the curriculum and to the district’s priorities. Please see the Evaluation Criteria for Andover Public Schools’ four priorities.
  • The extent to which each proposal is innovative, enriching, collaborative, impactful, and/or sustainable, as appropriate for the specific request. Please see the Evaluation Criteria for examples of how ACE uses these terms.

Examples of what ACE’s Teaching Innovation Fund supports

  • Projects that focus on traditional academic subjects, visual and performing arts, engineering and technology, social/emotional learning, and more
  • Programs for enrichment, interdisciplinary study, emerging technologies, and the promotion of multicultural and community learning experiences
  • Programs that enhance the existing curriculum through visits from outside speakers, performers, or artists
  • New program design and planning, including support for technical assistance or consulting services
  • Projects that demonstrate partnerships between and among teachers, schools, and disciplines Adaptations of existing programs for another grade level
  • Replication of a successful program at a different school
  • Books or equipment as a new addition to the curriculum or an innovative enhancement to existing programming
  • Professional development for new programs or innovative teaching methods

What doesn’t ACE’s Teaching Innovation Fund support?

ACE’s Teaching Innovation Fund does not fund any costs associated with the following:

  • Basic school needs
  • Books, technology, or equipment that replaces outdated materials for existing programs
  • Expansion of the quantity of existing technology in the absence of a new innovative use or need
  • Transportation for students or staff (performer or expert travel fees, as well as travel expenses for professional development, will be considered)
  • Food for grant participants unless integral to the grant implementation
  • Substitute teachers
  • Previously approved projects at the same school
  • Ongoing funding for existing programs

Note: If you are not sure whether your project meets the ACE grant requirements, please contact before filling out an application.

Budget Requirements

All grant applications must include an uploaded budget with an itemized list of each expense associated with the grant request. Please see the budget template in the application form.

In addition to supporting costs associated with successful grant requests, upon successful completion of the proposed activities ACE is pleased to offer funds ($250 for individual teachers and $500 to teams of teachers) to allow recipients to further develop their initiatives over time.

If you are receiving additional financial support for your project from other groups, such as the PTOs, the Andover Cultural Council, or another granting organization, please share that information in the budget section of your proposal. ACE encourages collaborative efforts.

Grant Review Process

The ACE Teaching Innovation Fund Committee includes ACE board members, Andover teachers, principals, and administrators, PTO and School Committee representatives, and community members.

The committee meets two times to discuss the grant applications. Between meetings, they may seek additional information from applicants. Grant applicants may also be invited to discuss their applications with the grant committee in person. The grant committee members discuss and deliberate the merits of each application with regard to the ACE mission and grant evaluation criteria before making funding recommendations to the full ACE Board of Directors. The committees may choose to offer partial funding at their discretion.

Grant Award Process

ACE will provide the grantee with a prepaid Visa card for the full amount of the grant which will be managed and monitored by ACE and the Andover Public Schools administration. Please retain any receipts, which must be made available to ACE if so requested.

You will receive a grant award email from ACE describing the follow-ups required as part of your grant award. The Grant Reflection Form must be submitted within 30 days of the completion of your grant project. ACE will also hold a grantee reception in the spring recognizing the grantees for the year, and we ask that you make every effort to attend so that we can facilitate the sharing of your terrific work with others district-wide.

ACE encourages grant recipients to publicize their grants in their schools and in our community, as appropriate. Please consider promoting your project or event in your school bulletin, your school website(s), and/or the local newspaper or cable station.

You have one year to complete your grant project. Should you need an extension, please contact us by emailing

Grant recipients are required to use their funds in the manner that was outlined in the grant application. If you wish to request that funds be reallocated, please email us at


ACE will consider grant requests of up to $3,500.

Application Deadline

Please submit your application by October 31, 2022.

Next Steps

Thank you for reviewing our Guidelines for Success.


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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