About SchoolsFirst FCU

“I love that SchoolsFirst FCU caters to me as a teacher. I feel secure knowing I have my money with the Credit Union.”

- Jennifer Q.  
Member Since 2002

About SchoolsFirst FCU
Education Foundation Eligibility
Education Foundation Eligibility
The Education Foundation for Orange County Schools was developed by the Orange County Department of Education and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union to support core education programs in Orange County schools. 
Who May Apply
This program is open to all teachers in Orange County public and private schools, kindergarten through community college. Grant applications may be submitted by individual teachers, or by school teams of up to three teachers. 
How to Apply
To apply, submit your online application between October 1, 2017 and October 31, 2017.  Only online applications will be accepted. 
Make sure your principal or site administrator and district superintendent is aware of your grant application and approves your program before you submit your application. 
Each application must target one category. Additional applications by the same teacher or team may be written for different categories (maximum of two applications per teacher or team). 

Categories Include:
  1. Language Arts (Reading/Writing/Phonics)
  2. Science/Mathematics
  3. Foreign Language
  4. Social Studies (Geography/History/Economics)
Visual arts, performing arts, and sports programs are not eligible for the Education Foundation Grant at this time. 
Grant Criteria
The Education Foundation’s Grant Committee evaluates and scores each application without knowledge of the applicant or school. 
Decisions are based on the following criteria:
  • Well-defined, realistic, measurable objectives
  • Clearly stated implementation plan
  • Instruction methods that are both essential and innovative
  • Expanded and/or interdisciplinary experiences in any subject area
  • Number of students who will be impacted
  • Long-term applicability of program/project
  • Ability of program/project to be repeated in subsequent years
  • Clearly stated evaluation plan that is directly related to objectives, and that visibly measures improved student performance
  • Complete, detailed, and correctly totaled budgetary items
  • Adherence to all grant application requirements
Grant funds must be used for materials or equipment that are directly related and essential to the project. Technology, such as computers, digital cameras, or software programs may be purchased with grant funds as long as this technology is vital to and is used in the project.1 Grants for technology that will be used to simply supplement other classroom equipment are not eligible.2
Receiving a Grant
A maximum of two grants may be funded per teacher, including the combination of a teacher who authors an individual grant and also participants in a team grant. 
The Education Foundation offers two funding levels:
  1. $1,000  One teacher per application - no school teams
  2. $5,000  One teacher or school team (maximum of three teachers) per application
Funds are distributed to the primary applicant through a check made payable to the district, specifying the teacher to whom the funds are to be distributed. All grants are presented tax-free and are paid in full, regardless of the amount.3
Grant funds must be used for the purpose stated in the grant application and implemented during the school year. For example, if you receive your grant in December 2017, the program or project must be implemented during the 2017-2018 school year. Grant recipients are not required to submit purchase receipts. 



Materials/equipment for both individual and team grants will remain with the specific program/project for which the grant application was submitted. If a teacher receives a grant for a specific program and leaves the school, the program remains at the school. If a teacher receives a grant for a specific program for a specific grade and the teacher transfers to a different grade, the program stays with the grade. 

1All technology equipment will be used as designated in the application and at the end of the life cycle, the Education Foundation leaves it up to the district administration as to what will happen with the technology.

2Grant funds may not be used for substitute pay, stipends, teacher salaries, field trips, after school programs or professional development courses. However, expenses associated with training courses to learn how to implement a program or use a piece of equipment may be eligible. Before a grant is awarded for technology, the teacher must ensure it is compatible with the district network.

3Consult a tax advisor for additional information.

Report Card •  Report Card
Annual Report •  Annual Report
Careers •  Careers