Improving K-12 education for students on the autism spectrum in Montgomery County, MD

xMinds Educator Grants

Our mission at Partnership for Extraordinary Minds (xMinds) is to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of the autistic students in Montgomery County. To advance this mission, xMinds offers grants to help motivated MCPS educators pursue research-based trainings and purchase curricula and curricular materials that will enable them to better support their students on the autism spectrum.

Individual grants in the range of $50 to $500 will be awarded on a rolling basis by the xMinds Board of Directors, who will select the recipients from the applications received. The Board will, in its sole discretion, determine which applications to grant, considering the Board’s assessment of both the quality of the training or materials requested and the applicant’s potential to make use of them to advance the mission of xMinds.

We encourage applications from special and general educators, para-educators, administrators, and related service providers employed by MCPS.  Apply Online for an xMinds Educator Grant.

2020 Grant Winners

In February 2020, xMinds awarded two MCPS educators grants to attend the NESTCON2020 conference in New York City. NestCon is a bi-annual conference to share lessons learned in the highly-successful New York City Public School system’s Autism inclusion program called “ASD Nest.” MCPS instructional specialist Dr. Susan Mason and MCPS special education teacher Claire Lanham joined xMinds Executive Director, Sue Keisler, and xMinds Advisory Board member, Monica Martinez, at the conference. We heard from educators, researchers, administrators, and autistic self-advocates who were involved with the Nest Program. We were also excited when we learned that New York University, who provides professional development and support to the Nest program, will launch a new program in September to support schools that want to start their own ASD Nest programs.


2019 Grant Winners

Sligo Creek Elementary School hired two new teachers for their Asperger Program for the 2019-2020 school year. Thanks to an xMinds Educator grant, Marguerite Fitch and Liana Rouse, were able to attend Unstuck and On Target training at the Ivymount School before the start of the school year. Unstuck and On Target is a foundational intervention for the MCPS Asperger program.


 In October 2019, xMinds partnered with the Center for Communication and Learning to fund MCPS educators to attend the 6th Annual Innovators in Education Conference. Thanks to xMinds, the staff of the Brook Grove Elementary School Learning Center were able to attend the conference as a team to learn cutting age strategies for their Learning Center teaching students.  


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