Parents Reaching Out Grants

Project Guidelines

2016-2017 Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants for School Councils

A school council can submit only one proposal for the 2016-2017 PRO Grant cycle.

The maximum amount provided for a school council proposal will be $1,000.

All proposals must be approved through a motion of the school council.

Special consideration will be given to eligible projects from school councils that:

  1. did not receive funding for 2015-16,
  2. promote increased access to and awareness of math strategies and resources for parents to support their children's learning at home and at school, or
  3. support engagement of parents in fostering safe, inclusive and accepting schools.

Projects must comply with the regulations, by-laws, policies and guidelines of their district school board and school council. The school principal can provide information in this area.

School councils may develop proposals:

  1. individually,
  2. with another school council(s) in the same district school board (e.g. Family of Schools) or co-terminus district school board, or
  3. with other groups in the school or in the community.

When working in partnership with other school councils, each school council is eligible for the maximum amount of $1,000. Each school council is responsible for submitting its own application, including the project budget. If approved, the school council is also responsible for the successful completion of the project and the submission of a final report to the Ministry and its district school board.

Project Focus

Projects must focus on informing or engaging parents in support of improved student achievement and well-being. The grants are intended to support projects that help identify and remove barriers to parent engagement that may prevent some parents from fully participating in their children's learning.

Projects may fall under the following categories:

  1. Communication – may include translation of documents into multiple/other languages, providing parents with information related to curriculum or other school-based initiatives.
  2. Geography – reaching parents living in a larger or remote geographic area.
  3. Parents New to the System – parents who have a child in school for the first time, have recently moved into the area, or have recently arrived as newcomers to Ontario.
  4. Overcoming Local Barriers – identifying local barriers to parent engagement and finding local solutions to support more parents get involved (e.g., socio-economic, childcare, transportation, and language, etc.).
  5. Other types of barriers.

What project costs or activities are NOT eligible?

  • Activities that have already taken place
  • Payment to staff including salaries, honoraria, gifts
  • Cost of police background check for parent volunteers
  • Purchase of goods and services for which the Ministry provides funding, such as textbooks, library books, manipulatives, school furniture, computers, cameras, projectors, student transportation, etc.
  • Student focused activities including fees for speakers or activities for students and purchase of supplies for home use – (e.g., markers, paper, glue, scissors, software, prizes, student agendas, calendars, arts and crafts supplies, scrapbooks)
  • Capital items such as televisions, sports equipment, shelving
  • Portable/handheld devices such as tablets or laptops, unless devices are to be used as part of a parent lending library and the cost does not exceed 50% of the approved grant
  • Computer software, online subscriptions, voice messaging systems, website maintenance, or software applications
  • Entertainment activities such as barbecues, fun fairs, volunteer teas, dinners, movies nights, dances, concerts, and performances
  • Art mural projects, field trips
  • School signs, announcement boards/screens
  • Landscaping, creation or equipping of outdoor classrooms
  • Refreshments exceeding 15% of the approved funding
  • Advertising and promotion exceeding 5% of the approved funding
  • Prizes or incentives to parents and/or students
  • Lessons for parents – (e.g., French, English as a Second Language, computer, CPR)
  • Fundraising events

Applying for a Grant

The application is to be completed and submitted online.

Information can be saved to allow work on the application at different times.

Upon submission, a copy of the completed application for the school council will be sent by the system to the school council chair and the school principal.

Please ensure that your submission is consistent with all of your district school board's strategies and policies. The submission of an application is a legal declaration that both the school council chair and the school principal have authorized the submission of the application.

Please keep your registration email address active for at least one year for future notifications.

If your proposal is approved, your school council is responsible for carrying out the project as outlined in your application.

Final Decision

The grants will be awarded through a provincial review process. There is no appeal process. Applicants will be notified by email about the results of their application.

Funding and Final Reporting

Project funds must be spent by June 30, 2017. Any funds not spent by June 30, 2017 must be returned to the district school board.

The report back form is to be completed online by accessing on or before July 15, 2017. School councils are encouraged to submit their report back form as soon as their project is complete. When the report back form has been completed, a copy will be sent by the system to the school principal. School councils must submit a copy of the report back along with all relevant receipts to their district school board.

For more information, please contact your local regional office of the Ministry of Education.