As mentioned in the department’s inaugural December 2021 newsletter for teachers, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction will be soliciting proposals from North Dakota teachers that encourage innovation in our classrooms. Over the next two and a half years of the ESSER funding period, the department will fund one innovative proposal each quarter submitted by a North Dakota teacher. Teachers currently employed by public LEAs are eligible to receive funding.

Application Guidance - Teacher Innovation Grant

Teacher Innovation Grant Application Guidance


The Teacher Innovation Grant supports innovative and creative teaching and learning projects for North Dakota licensed teachers working in North Dakota public schools. The intent of the grant is to support proactive teaching approaches that integrate new instructional strategies and methods in the classroom. These projects are new to the teachers and students involved and will transform learning in specific and viable ways. We are interested in projects that enhance curriculum and/or community at the school, grade, or department in which they are implemented.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

North Dakota licensed teachers who work in North Dakota public schools may apply for these grants. Prior recipients of the grant are not eligible to reapply. Individual teachers or collaborative teams including two or more teachers may apply. If a team applies, an individual must be identified as the primary contact. Guidance counselors may apply for a grant if the project will benefit students in the classroom.


The department has reserved up to $10,000 per quarter to be awarded to one or more applicants.

Key Application Guidelines

  • All applications must include assurance of school administration approval.
  • Grant applications may include some professional development and training.
  • Grants may not be used to fund food items or videos unless they are an integral part of the innovative program.
  • All expenditures will be managed through the district.
  • The project must be completed and have all expenditures recorded by June 30, 2024.
  • A final reflection on the project and documentation of all expenditures is required.
  • Information about the grant projects and recipients will be published on the grant webpage.

Deadline to Apply

Apply by April 26, 2023.

Review of Applications

A team will review all applications using the attached rubric to guide the evaluation process.

Application and Evaluation Timeline

Responses to application items must be clear and concise and address all topics on the submission form. Information on whom the program will benefit, why the project is valuable to students, how it will be implemented, what is particularly innovative, and when the project will be completed.


  • Submission: Applications are due by April 26, 2023, via the electronic application.
  • Review: Proposals are presented to the Teacher Innovation Grant Review Committee.
  • Announcement: Awards are announced on May 3, 2023.
  • Funding: Grant funds are available May 3, 2023.
  • Expenditures: Funds expended by June 30, 2024.
  • Final Reflection: Use the approved form and submit it by June 30, 2024.


Grant Criteria

  • Demonstrate a strong justification.
  • Include evidence of innovative teaching.
  • Ability to be replicated, shared, or adopted beyond the initial setting.
  • Include evidence of research-based or scientifically based that supports the project (as applicable).
  • Contain a thoughtful and reasonable budget.
  • Alignment with school and district goals.
  • Principal or district administrator approval.

Allowable Costs

  • Materials or supplies directly related to the development or implementation of the proposal.
  • Registration or admission fees for professional development.
  • Resources to support the implementation of a new course.
  • Substitute teacher costs for teachers to attend professional development.
  • Travel fees, including bus rental charges for students.

Non-Allowable Costs

  • Routine classroom supplies purchased each year.
  • Food and beverages (unless directly tied to the innovative program).
  • Chromebooks, iPads, or laptop computers (not directly tied to the innovative program).

Review and Approval

A team of reviewers will evaluate each application using the attached rubric. Applicants who are not granted funding are encouraged to seek feedback from peers and to resubmit applications in the following quarter. Prior recipients of the grant are not eligible to reapply.

Reimbursement Process

Purchases and expenditures will be made using the district process for purchasing materials and program implementation. The district will submit these expenditures on WebGrants for reimbursement. Documentation of expenditures (ledger, receipts, etc.) will be required. All expenditures must be submitted by June 30, 2024.

Final Reflection

The final reflection will allow recipients to share photos and the outcome of the project. The content within these reflections may be used by the state to inspire new projects and promote collaboration.

Application and Scoring Rubric - Teacher Innovation Grant
Quarterly Schedule - Teacher Innovation Grant

Quarterly Teacher Innovation Grant Award Schedule

 Quarter  Application Window  Applications Due  Grantees Announced
 Round 5: January - February 2023  January 11 - 25, 2023  January 25, 2023  February 1, 2023
 Round 6: April - May 2023  April 12 - 26, 2023  April 26, 2023  May 3, 2023
 Round 7: July - September 2023  July 7 - 26, 2023  July 26, 2023  August 3, 2023
 Round 8: October - December 2023  Oct 18 - Nov 1, 2023  November 1, 2023  November 8, 2023
 Round 9: January - February 2024  January 17 - 31, 2024  January 31, 2024  February 7, 2024
 Round 10: April - May 2024  April 17 - May 1, 2024  May 1, 2024  May 8, 2024
Teacher Innovation Grant Award Recipients

Teacher Innovation Grant Award Recipients

RoundSchool/DistrictTeacherScope of Grant
Round 1Starkweather Public SchoolsJodi ErickstadSnowshoeing education and exercise program for all students and their families at the school district.
Round 2Bismarck Public Schools Century High SchoolGina PhillipsCreate a community garden for students to learn the importance of community and social development and healthy lifestyles.
Round 2Medina Public SchoolsApril FothPurchase the Interactive Health Technologies Spirit System for her school and use it to teach students about their physical and social-emotional health.
Round 2Montpelier Public SchoolsEllen Anderson Start a STEM class where students can use SkyOp to learn about new technology in agriculture and obtain drone certification.
Round 3West Fargo Public Schools Heritage Middle SchoolCallie NavarathneExpand Makerspace opportunities for students and teachers.
Round 4Bismarck Public Schools   Legacy High SchoolMichael Jacobson3D printers for CTE students to learn about and build assistive technology for exceptional learners.
Round 5Kulm Public SchoolsAmy JohnsonUpgrade and expand its SMARTlab.
Round 6Sawyer Public SchoolsRyan StockieDrone Racing Esports
Round 7Hettinger Public SchoolsBrooke SchneiderA schoolwide Botanical Initiative that will involve each K-12 student in a standard-aligned growing project, along with a rain garden and hydroponics system.
Round 8

Wyndmere Public Schools



Beach Public Schools

Kelly Koboutek



Jessie Schmeling

Set up a student-run shirt shop to teach elementary students the importance of business and community involvement.

Bridge the "old" with the "new" and team up with the local museum and allow students to build their own exhibits, encouraging students to research and engage with topics of all areas.