Investing in Recovery to Level the Playing Field

During year 2 of COVID-19, the Berkeley Public Schools Fund is seeking to fund projects that support students’ mental health and level the playing field for those furthest from opportunity. In order to bring positive change to as many students as possible, the Strategic Impact program prioritizes projects that are multi-site or district-wide.

Classroom Grants

Classroom Grants will be back with some modifications in ’21-22:

  • Educators of all types should apply in teams (grade-level, content-area, afterschool site, etc.), rather than individually.
  • Proposals should be designed to support students emotional health and/or level the playing field for those furthest from opportunity. 

Applications will be due in late September. Check back here soon for more details.

Questions? Contact 



Teacher Summer Fellowships

2020 Summer Fellowships Application period has now closed.

About Schools Fund Summer Fellowships

Inspired by the accomplishments of Berkeley High graduate and award-winning Bay Area journalist Belva Davis, and with the support of the Herb Singer Fund, the Schools Fund created a summer fellowship program in 2012 to encourage BUSD teachers to aspire to the highest levels of professionalism and creativity in their field. These grants serve to broaden teacher personal and professional experiences with professional development opportunities beyond those that normal budgets and time may allow. The Fellowship may cover course fees, transportation and living expenses, professional materials, and project documentation costs. 2018 Summer Fellows and their projects are listed here, and 2017 Summer Fellows and their projects are listed here.

fellowshipbwSummer Fellow applicants must have completed three years of teaching in BUSD. Summer Fellows who do not return to BUSD in the fall after their fellowship will be required to return the grant money awarded. Typical grant amounts for individual Summer Fellowships do not exceed $2500.

2019 Fellows: If you have not completed your Follow-Up form, please do so as soon as possible. If you have already completed your Follow-Up, please let us know how your fellowship influenced your classroom this year by filling out your Year Later Follow-Up form by end of the school year.

Strategic Impact Grants, 2021-22

As the Berkeley Public Schools Fund deepens its equity focus, we want to ensure that our grant dollars flow to the students furthest from opportunity and to the programs and projects that best meet their needs.

Priority Funding Areas

For the ‘21-22 school year, the Schools Fund identified the following priority funding areas:

  1. Emotional Health & Wellness
  2. Digital Equity
  3. Positive Racial Identity Development
  4. Equitable Family Engagement
  5. Focused Academic Support & Intervention

Note: Priority Area 1 is designed to support all students across demographic categories, given the considerable need for support after this pandemic year. Priority Areas 2-5, however, are designed for more focused students groups furthest from opportunity.

Evaluation Criteria 

Proposals will be evaluated first based on their alignment to the aforementioned Priority Areas. Then, we will prioritize grants that:

  • Have designed equity explicitly into the project at multiple levels
  • Are designed to maximize positive systems change (not just at one school)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to growth through project evaluation

What does the Schools Fund mean by equity-explicit, systems change, and project/program evaluation? Learn more by reading this Strategic Impact Grant Overview Document.

Before you apply, please see this Example Budget, and review these important Budget Considerations.

Engaged Stance

The Schools Fund is committed to playing a more engaged role with Strategic Impact Grantees in ‘21-22.

  • Applicants will have the option to attend open office hours with Schools Fund staff before submitting proposals. Office hours schedule coming soon!
  • Grantees will be able to access Schools Fund support to refine project goals or design evaluation activities, as needed.
  • Applicants should expect to engage in “Learning Conversations” with the Schools Fund: the first conversation occurs after submitting the proposal and the second, if funded, at the mid-project point.

Application Timeline for ’21-22

Round 1:
Spring 2021

  • Applications due Sun, May 16
  • Applicants notified by Fri, June 18

Round 2:
Fall 2021

  • Applications due Sun, Oct 24
  • Applicants notified by Fri, Nov 19


For Current Grantees Only

Once a grant has been approved, payments can be requested by completing a Strategic Impact Grant Check Request form.

Current grantees should complete a Follow-Up Report by the end of the school year or contact the Schools Fund to make other arrangements.