Wave IV Grants: Breakthrough School Models for College Readiness
Do you have a vision for a form of secondary education that dramatically improves student outcomes through personalized, blended, mastery-based learning enabled by technology? If so, now is the time to act.
Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) for two types of grants - Launch Grants and Planning Grants - from developers of new, whole-school, breakthrough schools at the secondary level (students within grades 6-12).
NGLC’s $12 million Wave IV builds on the 20 new, personalized, blended secondary school models we helped to catalyze through Wave IIIa in 2012. With this new wave of investment, NGLC aims to further catalyze and accelerate the development of the blended learning model in secondary education. Our goal is to enrich the educational landscape with both a larger number and a more diverse portfolio of players innovating with blended learning approaches. NGLC aspires to find entrepreneurs and innovative organizations and agencies that share this urgency and recognize the potential of technology-enabled breakthrough school models to catalyze broad, transformative change across public K-12 education in the United States.
NGLC will award 20 launch grants of $150,000 guaranteed plus up to $300,000 available in 1:1 matching funds and will award 30 planning grants of $100,000 each.
Breakthrough Schools Launch Grants
20 launch grants will be awarded to support new, whole-school learning models that will open in the fall of 2013 or in the fall of 2014. Our ultimate goal is to build a robust pipeline of new breakthrough schools that serve secondary school students (within grades 6-12). Such schools must employ the seven design principles for personalized learning described in our RFP, and must be committed to achieving breakthrough results for all students.
Breakthrough Schools Planning Grants
30 Breakthrough School Planning grants will be awarded to schools (districts, charter management organizations, aspiring charter entrepreneurs, non-profit and for-profit school developers, state education agencies and other institutions, agencies, or entities) that are planning on opening a new, whole-school learning model in the fall of 2014 or the fall of 2015. The goal of the planning grant program is to support school developers earlier in the development process and to encourage non-traditional institutions to consider opening new, breakthrough schools.
For a more detailed listing of criteria for each grant, please see the RFP document.
Definition of a “Breakthrough School”
NGLC considers a “Breakthrough School” to be a new, whole-school model that incorporates all of the following design principles:
- Student-Centered: designed to meet the diverse learning needs of each student every day
- High Expectations: committed to ensuring that every student will meet clearly defined, rigorous standards that will prepare them for success in college and career
- Self-Pacing & Mastery-Based Credit: enables students to move at their own optimal pace and receive credit when they can demonstrate mastery of the material
- Blended Instruction: optimizes teacher and technology-delivered instruction in group and individual work
- Student Ownership: empowers students with skills, information, and tools they need to manage their own learning
- Financial Sustainability: sustainable on public per-pupil revenue within four years
- Scalable: designed to serve many more students if it demonstrates impact
Applications will be accepted in two cycles throughout 2013:
April 22, 2013
Cycle 1 School Openings
Launch Fall 2013
Planning* Fall 2014
December 2, 2013
Cycle 2 School Openings
Launch Fall 2014
Planning Fall 2015
*Planning grantees from Cycle 1 will be able (and are encouraged) to apply for a launch grant in Cycle 2.
Breakthrough School Developers
NGLC seeks breakthrough school developers from a range of organizations including:
- school districts
- charter management organizations (CMOs)
- aspiring charter entrepreneurs
- non-profit and for-profit school developers
- state education agencies
Applying on Behalf of Existing Schools
Our experience with the Wave IIIa breakthrough models and other research suggests that new school startups provide the optimum conditions in which to implement innovative school designs. However, we do believe that existing schools can undergo this transformation process with the right conditions and capacity in place. There are two specific mechanisms by which a school developer could apply on behalf of an existing school:
- Complete Redesign School: Districts or Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) may elect to redesign existing high-performing schools that demonstrate evidence of strong capacity and, at a minimum, proficiency rates that meet or exceed state averages (while meeting this RFP’s student population requirements, below). Complete Redesign schools must propose a comprehensive reinvention of their academic, organizational, and financial models and must demonstrate sufficient operating latitude and support from the LEA/SEA/Charter Authorizing Authority.
- Restart School: School districts that seek to address an officially-designated failing school (under federal School Improvement Grant guidelines) through the SIG “Restart” option and are working with an outside operator to launch a Breakthrough School.
***Grant Eligibility Clarification:
- K-8 and K-12 schools are eligible to apply, given that they will serve, when fully built out, students in three consecutive grade levels within grades 6-12 as specified in the Wave IV RFP.
- Please note that preference will be given to schools that serve the targeted grades within a four-year window. However, K-8 and K-12 schools are eligible to apply even if they will not serve the targeted grade levels by year 4 (i.e., if they are adding grade levels beginning with first grade).
- These applicants must specifically address their proposed secondary model in the application.
- All the other requirements still apply. For example, applicants must demonstrate that their model is financially sustainable and scalable; that they are committed to serving at least three grade bands in the 6-12 range at maturity; and, that at least 40% of the students served are eligible for the Free and Reduced Lunch program.
Applicants for a launch grant are expected to submit the following:
- A 5-7 page narrative summarizing the proposal
- A narrated PowerPoint presentation (no more than 10 slides) describing the school’s academic model in detail
- A financial model/narrative using a short template provided online
Applicants for a planning grant are expected to submit the following:
A five (5) page concept paper outlining the proposal's:
- Academic model
- Boldness and impact
- Resume(s) of the key applicant(s)
NGLC Target Populations
When fully launched, schools must serve at least three grades, or their non-age based leveling equivalent within the traditional 6–12 grade range.
- Eligible Schools: K–8, K-12, 6-8, 6-12, 9-12, etc.
- Ineligible Schools: K-5, 4-7, 8-9
At least 40% of students must be eligible for the Free and Reduced Lunch program.
Helpful NGLC Resources
Such resources include: profiles of Wave IIIa grantees, NGLC’s white paper on a framework for blending learning, videos of next generation learning in action, and a set of blogs designed to help prospective applicants prepare and submit competitive proposals. See the links in the box at the top righthand side of this page.
NGLC hosted interactive program officer chats via web. These chats offered prospective applicants the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about NGLC and the proposal process.
Informational Grant Webinars with NGLC Program Officer:
All-grants discussion: Thursday March 14 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET (UTC-4) Watch the Archived Webinar
School Launch Grants Discussion: Tuesday April 2 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET (UTC-4) Watch the Archived Webinar
School Planning Grants Discussion:Tuesday April 2 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET (UTC-4) Watch the Archived Webinar