Innovations in Education Grants support innovative and creative teaching and learning projects in the Arlington Public Schools. Successful projects will be new to the teachers and students involved and will transform learning in specific and visible ways. We are particularly interested in supporting “pilot” efforts that can be adopted later by a wider audience, as well as “enrichment” projects that enhance curriculum and/or community at the classroom, school, grade, department, or district level.

Download the application now!



Deadline for Application

Applications must be postmarked no later than November 15 (for fall grant review cycle) and April 15 (for spring grant review cycle).

Who Can Apply

Arlington teachers, administrators, parents, or community members. Non-school-based applicants must partner with the Arlington Public Schools. Please consult with your AEF school representative before submitting a grant application.

Key Guidelines

  • The project must be completed within 18 months from the date of grant approval.
  • A final report on the project and documentation of all expenses are required. Download and complete the report and email it to grants@aefma.org.
  • Grant recipients should be prepared to help AEF publicize their grants, for instance by attending AEF events or submitting press materials.
  • Any proposals for technology must be approved by the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction of the Arlington Public Schools.
  • Grant applications may include professional development and teacher training, but AEF grants will not fund standard classroom supplies, equipment, or videos.

Get more guidance with the Innovations Grants Guide for Teachers.

How to Apply

  • Get guidance: Download the Innovations Grants Guide for Teachers.
  • Download the Innovations Grant application.
  • Submit your application to grants@aefma.org
  • Please copy your school representative. Reminder: your school rep is a great resource for developing a successful application. Please reach out early for their assistance, if needed!

Dawn Moses Memorial Innovation Grants

Each year, the Innovations in Education grant that best represents the needs and interests of students and teachers is given the Dawn Moses Memorial Innovation Grant award.
Learn more

Past Innovations in Education Grants


  • Read Around the World Challenge: All Ottoson students can participate in a community challenge to read one book from each continent during the school year. (2019)
  • Diversify and Innovate Stratton Library, culturally diverse books and related exploration stations will expand student learning for all Stratton students (2018)
  • Storytelling Residency and Curriculum, a storytelling residency at Thompson school will explore genres and forms of storytelling to teach public speaking, specific curricular content, and the art of storytelling (2018)
  • Professional Collaboration Swivl for Student Discussion and Perspective Taking, videos of student literature circles at Gibbs School will guide the teaching of discussion techniques that incorporate various perspectives (2018)
  • One Book, One School, all Brackett students will learn and connect as a community through the shared experience of reading the same book (2018)
  • Discovering Our Voices with Literature Circles:  Gibbs School literature circles encourage self-directed learning, collaboration, responsibility, and respectful discussion (2018).
  • Building a Multicultural Library:  The High School Millbrook Program library is supplemented with texts that reflect students’ demographics and identities (2018).
  • Story Box Library:  Visually-impaired students use touchable objects that illustrate story concepts and enhance student understanding (2017). Read more.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

  • Live Animal Library: APS’ Science Department will maintain a Live Animal Library, making animals available for all teachers to check out for use in their classrooms to support specific areas of study. (2020)
  • PCR Biotech Equipment: Arlington High School AP and tenth grade biology students will conduct experiments with miniPCR DNA Discovery Systems to learn about polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the most widely used method in biotechnology. (2019)
  • Mobile and Flexible Digital Investigating, mobile digital probes will allow high school science students to conduct experiments and capture data outside of the classroom (2018)
  • STEAM for Second Grade, Dallin students will explore engineering and design concepts with hands-on building sets (2018)
  • Fun & Games with Math:  Gibbs School classroom math games supplement traditional academic learning (2018).
  • KerbalEdu:  Hands-on learning for High School astronomy students teach orbital mechanics by designing, building and flying virtual rockets (2017).
  • 3D Printing for All:  A 3D printer for the High School Makerspace allows students to explore the link between digital design and the creation of objects (2017).
  • Math Anytime:  Video math tutorials directly aligned to the curriculum support sixth graders at the Gibbs School as they learn new concepts (2017).
  • The Colors of STEM:  A rotating exhibit at Brackett fosters diversity awareness about prominent American people of color in the fields of STEM (2017). Read more
  • Thermal Imaging Project: Thermal imaging adapters allow eighth grade science students at Ottoson Middle School to visualize heat as well as observe the flow of thermal energy (2016). Read more
  • Programmable Wearable Computers: Ottoson Middle School Digital Media & Literacy students build, design and code CodeBugs, connecting computer science with communication (2016).

World Languages

  • Latin Independent Reading for Proficiency: A classroom library of accessible novellas written in Latin reach beyond traditional instructional methods and develop fluent reading and speaking at Ottoson Middle School.(2019)
  • Virtual Reality in Foreign Language Classrooms:  High School Spanish students are immersed in language and culture when they watch 360 degree videos tied to the curriculum (2017).

Social Emotional Learning

  • AHS Peer Helper Program: The Arlington High School counseling department will create a peer-to-peer support program, including the training of students. (2020)
  • Therapy Dog Training and Certification: Arlington High School will welcome a trained therapy dog to the guidance department and school community. (2019)
  • Sensory Toolkit: An assortment of therapy tools designed to support sensory self-regulation will be available for any student to borrow during school community events at Stratton. (2019)
  • Social Emotional Library: The AHS media center space will be reimagined to include areas for quiet independent work, collaborative work, and social learning through games and puzzles. This concept will help inform the layout for the media center in a new Arlington High School. (2019)
  • Wellness Workshops for Educators and Social Workers: At Gibbs School, workshops for educators and social workers will enhance well-being, social-emotional skills, mindfulness, and help build a positive and supportive school climate. (2019)
  • Building Culturally Responsive Skills for Engaging All Students, teachers, administrators and staff district-wide will receive professional development about the complex issues raised by race and racism and their impact on student engagement and achievement (2018)
  • AHS Wellness Day 2018 and 2019, an annual all-day event focused on mental health and self-care for high school students and staff (2018)
  • Integrating Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy: High School Summit program staff are trained to use dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT) to teach students how to cope with daily stressors (2018).
  • ChillVille: High School REACH program students maximize their readiness to learn in a sensory room that provides a supportive and relaxing environment (2017).
  • Engaging the Whole Student:  Ready, Set, Calm! One Ottoson Middle School sixth grade cluster learns mindfulness practices through yoga techniques and training (2016).
  • POSE (Preschoolers Organizing Selves Everyday):  Menotomy pre-schoolers learn mindfulness skills that promote school readiness and self-regulation (2017).
  • Mindfulness-Based Practices: Thompson School teachers receive training on mindfulness-based practices as a self-regulation tool for students (2016).

Intervention & MTSS

  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Project: Gibbs staff will develop a multi-tiered system for identifying students who require various supportive interventions to maximize their school readiness, engagement, and academic potential. (2020)

The Arts

  • This is who we are – Movable Art:  Students at Ottoson will use the theme “This is who we are” to create art which explores issues of identity and community, and will be exhibited in the cafeteria. (2020)
  • Orff Instrumentarium: Stratton music classes will use orff instruments, such as metallophones and glockenspiels, to teach pitch, harmony, tonality and to encourage improvisation and composition. (2019)
  • Hands-on, Nurturing Experience in Middle School General Music, flexible seating will allow Ottoson students to actively engage in music lessons (2018)
  • Teaching Artistic Behavior:  This Pierce after-school art program inspires confidence through small group exploration, cultivation and expression of ideas (2017).
  • Unity Public Art Project: High school students engage in an interactive public art project expressing community and diversity by exploring labels used to describe ourselves and others (2017). Learn more.
  • Ukulele Hero:  Bishop 4th graders learn the ukulele, bridging a gap in music education between 3rd grade recorder instruction and 5th grade drum instruction (2017).
  • 360 Camera Pilot Program:  The High School visual arts curriculum is enhanced by “Vuze,” a 360 camera that opens up entirely new film making options (2017).

Community & Teamwork

  • AHS Journalism Club: The Journalism Club at AHS expands its print edition capabilities, offering students extended learning opportunities. The Harvard-Crimson journalism conference provides instruction in the essential skills of professional journalism to club members. (2019)
  • Rainbow Alliance: a Brackett after-school club helps 4th and 5th grade students gain a better understanding for the LGBTQ+ community (2017).
  • Breakout EDU: Bishop and Hardy fourth grade students experience critical thinking and complex problem-solving games that encouraged student teamwork (2016).


  • Beautiful Brain — AP Psychology Conference at MIT:  High School AP Psychology students participate in a full-day conference, expanding upon students’ knowledge about biological psychology and human behavior (2018).


  • Changing Perspectives on our National Stories of Origin: Newly developed curriculum and resources support teaching all facets of our national holidays and highlight diversity within America’s story of origin. (2019)
  • Cold War Pinball:  Some ninth-grade history students create a Pinbox3000 pinball game, bringing Cold War history to life in an engaging way. (2017)

Special Education

  • Independent Learning Through Google Read and Write: High School special education students independently engage with texts in a deeper and more targeted way through this pilot (2017).

Physical Education, Health & Fitness

  • Warrior Fitness: In PE class, Dallin students will face new, engaging challenges that promote individual performance and teach lifetime fitness. (2019)
  • Individualized Fitness: Hardy students will use pedometers and blink wristbands in PE classes to track their individual fitness activity and learn strategies to stay active in their daily lives. (2019)
  • Self-Defense Elective in Physical Education and Wellness: A self-defense elective at AHS will boost student self-esteem through hands-on training in self defense, practical safety skills, and conflict resolution skills. (2019)
  • Heart Rate Monitors:  9th grade physical education students gain a more concrete and personal experience learning about heart rates, training zones, and cardiovascular fitness (2017).
  • Traverse Rock Wall: The Brackett School physical education curriculum is enhanced with a new, challenging yet non-competitive sport for all students (2016).

Have Questions?

Our school representatives are eager to help you through the application process. Please let them know of your interest, and they will be in touch!