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DCPS Announces New $10 Million Proving What is Possible Grant to Schools

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DCPS Announces New $10 Million Proving What is Possible Grant to Schools

All schools will be able to apply for the program

District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson today announced a new $10 million grant program to dramatically improve student outcomes across the district.  Beginning today, all schools will be able to apply for the program, called Proving What’s Possible (PWP).

“In order to achieve the ambitious goals we’ve outlined for our schools, we need to do more,” said Henderson. “Innovation and continuous improvement are essential to growth in any industry, and education is no different. Our students deserve nothing less than our very best.”

All DCPS schools are eligible to apply for either of the two types of PWP grants. Major Grants ($250,000–$400,000) are designed for schools with the largest population of students in need of academic improvement or a group of students who need to make the largest academic gains. Targeted Grants ($50,000–$100,000) are designed for schools that want to focus on supporting a targeted intervention for a subgroup within a school.

Schools are encouraged to propose research-based approaches that have a track record of success in urban schools.  They are also encouraged to focus their applications on how time, talent and technology can help them to make dramatic academic gains, such as extending the school day, utilizing technology in innovative ways, and rethinking how they ensure that their highest caliber staff are reaching as many students as possible.  Each proposal must also include a detailed fiscal application  that includes the overall budget and a spending plan.  

The funding for this grant comes from funds previously spent on centrally mandated pilots and programs. With this new fund, schools will have the opportunity to spend the money where they think it will have the greatest impact.

Schools will have until May 18 to apply for this grant. Schools received a FAQ document to help support their applications. In addition, Central Office staff will be available to provide technical assistance until May 17.  Awards will be announced on June 1 and the funds will be made available on July 1.

“We believe in the power of school-based innovation. Principals are always telling me that if they only had more money or more time, they could get closer to their goals, and now we’re coming through to help them deliver,” John Davis, Chief of Schools at DCPS. “This year, we’re facing increased administrative costs across the district, but we were able to identify this money and target it to  innovative and measurable solutions in the area that ultimately matters the most: our students’ success.”

Proving What’s Possible Application & FAQ
Proving What's Possible Budget and Spending Plan
Download DCPS' five-year strategic plan, A Capital Commitment.

Contact: Melissa Salmanowitz | 202-535-1096