Washington Schools Foundation

curricular projects rfp

Curricular Projects Request for Proposals

 I. CRITERIA

 A. Usefulness to the School in Serving Institutional Priorities and Meeting Demonstrated Needs

Curricular projects appropriate for grant support differ in scale from those funded by faculty development grants and from curricular preparation expected as a normal aspect of teaching responsibilities. They permit new intensive forms of work rather than supporting “routine” preparation. They are distinctive in breadth and scope, nature of the project, and potential impact on the school. They clearly support the school’s mission and current institutional priorities.

 B. Clarity of Proposal

 Clarity of proposal is explicitly defining each of the following:

  1. Purpose and focus
  2. Approach to the subject
  3. Structure (daily, weekly) for project work
  4. Anticipated outcomes
  5. Plan for implementing the project in a form appropriate to its purposes and nature

 II. CRITERIA FOR FACULTY PARTICIPANTS

  1. Expertise, experience, and/or interest in area of project work.
  2. Commitment to return to school district in the year following the project and to report of and implement project work in ways appropriate to its nature.
  3. Ability/willingness to be in town and at school for consultation as needed throughout the three-week project period.
  4. Ability/willingness to devote full time to the project during the four-week period.

Proposal Guidelines for Three-Week Curricular Projects

The following guidelines are intended to be helpful to an individual faculty member or group of faculty who want guidance in framing a curricular proposal; they are not intended to dictate a particular form. Projects can take a variety of forms; what makes sense for a proposal will vary with the nature of the project. Proposals will vary in length and organization. What is important is that proposals include information needed to explain the focus and structure of the project.

 I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  1. Please address any of the following which pertain to the proposed project:
  2. Importance of project work in relation to department, school, and/or district priorities
  3. Importance of project work in relation to previous Washington School Foundation grants
  4. Importance of project work in relation to national developments or new research in a particular field

 II. PURPOSE AND FOCUS

  1. Essential objectives:   e.g. exploratory research leading to recommendations for practice/pilot projects; development of specific curricular materials for implementation at a grade level or in a discipline; extension of previous grant work to include additional components or to carry work from pilot stage to full implementation.
  2. Scope:  What makes the project appropriate to four weeks of full-time work? What can and can’t be accomplished within this time frame? Will the work be complete or will this be one stage of a longer-term project?
  3. Components of project work:  What elements will be included and how these support essential objectives: reading and research; consultation with “experts,” experimentation, writing, active learning experiences for faculty, etc.
  4. Range of participants:  Rationale for range of participants included, in there are notable omissions, how group will compensate through pre-project involvement of other faculty, use of faculty as consultants during project period, etc. If any part-time participants are included, explain how their roles will be defined and how/why part-time participation is viable from the project group’s perspective.

 III. STRUCTURE FOR PROJECT WORK

  1. Pre-project activities:  Preliminary work needed prior to project period (consultation with colleagues, collection of student work, visits to other schools, identification or source materials, consultants, etc.)
  2. Weekly:  Overview of anticipated “stages” of project work during the summer period
  3. Daily:  Overview of anticipated way daily schedule will be organized.
  4. Configuration:  Components of work to be done by whole group, sub-groups, individuals

 IV. ANTICIPATED PRODUCTS

  1. Documents which define philosophy, pedagogy
  2. Curricular plans:  Specific lessons plans, methods of assessment, sample activities, etc.)
  3. Recommendations to faculty and/or administration
  4. Resource materials:  Bibliographies, resource people, etc.
  5. Outlines of sample units, pilot projects, new courses, or units of courses
  6. Materials for students:  (research guides, performance pieces, exemplars and models, frameworks, etc.)

V. PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION

This section should address what the group anticipates will be needed to implement the project. Needs might include:

  1. Time: For ongoing meetings of project group, meetings with colleagues (to report on work and support implementation).
  2. Scheduling:  Adaptations in schedule needed to accommodate implementation of project work with students (new structures, time blocks for courses, teaming of faculty, etc.
  3. Financial:  Anticipated costs of implementing project work
  4. Assessment:  Plan for assessing the outcomes of project work

Faculty Development Projects Request for Proposals

 The Washington Schools Foundation established this category of grants to provide support for individual professional development of faculty. Projects may focus on aspects of pedagogy or practice or may be related to a particular discipline. There may be anticipated or unanticipated benefits to program but the focus is on professional growth through individual work or collaboration with colleagues.

 PURPOSE

The purpose of these grants is to encourage faculty exploration and growth in modes suited to particular interests and career stages. The intent is to be flexible, to support varied approaches to professional growth, not all of which can be anticipated in advance. However, proposals suitable for support meet the following criteria:

 Be related to one’s professional responsibilities rather than being avocational in nature.

  1. Be significant in its potential for professional growth.
  2. Involve a product or outcome, suitable to the nature of the project, which in some way feeds back into and benefits the school.

 CRITERA

  1. Expertise, experience, and/or demonstrated interest in area of project work.
  2. Ability/willingness to devote full time to the project during the four-week grant period unless the nature of the project requires a different timeline.
  3. Ability/willingness to be in town and at school for consultation as needed during the project period unless the nature o f the project requires residence elsewhere.
  4. Commitment to return to school district the year following the project and to present the product or outcome of the project in ways appropriate to its nature.

 RESTRICTIONS

  1. In scope and formal definition of purposes, the project must be clearly different from the “routine” preparation and reading in one’s field expected of all faculty. Project must be of a nature to require four week of full-time work.
  2. The grant will be in the form of a salary. Other expenses which may be incurred (e.g. payment to a mentor, fees for course work or workshops, living or travel expenses) will be the responsibility of the recipient.
  3. This is not a program to support tourist travel. However, the project can support residency abroad for a specific professional purpose.
  4. This is not a program to support course work, unless it is connected to a more broadly conceived professional development project.

 EXAMPLES

  • Creative work by an individual faculty artist or writer in exploring a new aspect of his/her craft or delving more deeply into an artistic medium. Such a project could also involve several faculty members collaborating in a workshop model.
  • A group of faculty working collaboratively to foster their growth as teachers through such means as portfolios, teaching for one another, study and reflection.
  • Intensive individual research or immersion in an area of interest. Such a project might draw upon community or university resources e.g. a science teacher working in a research lab; a performer working with an acting troupe.
  • Cross-cultural study by an individual or group through work in a community service project or school abroad.
  • Research to explore interdisciplinary connections, new ways of linking fields.

Proposal Guidelines for Faculty Development

The following guidelines are intended to be helpful to an individual faculty member or group of faculty who want guidance in framing a Faulty Development Proposal; they are not intended to dictate a particular form. Projects can take a variety of forms; what makes sense for a proposal will vary with the nature of the project. What is important is that proposals include information needed to explain the focus and structure of the project.

 I. Framework:  Significance of Project Work

Please address any of the following that are pertinent to the proposed project:

  1. Background of your interest: Why it matters to you; how it arose; any previous work related to this interest.
  2. Relationship of your interest to your professional responsibilities
  3. Relationship of your interest to your career stage and current professional goals: How does the project “fit” the current stage of your career, how would it advance your current professional goals for yourself
  4. Relationship, if any, of your interest to new developments in your field, new scholarship, or research in either a subject area or pedagogy.

II. Specific Purpose and Focus

  1. Essential objectives:  e.g. for individual projects: to write, create, do research to expand your own expertise or deepen your own knowledge; for group projects: to support your own development as a teacher, writer, artist, etc, through workshop collaboration with others.
  2. Scope:  What makes the project appropriate to three weeks of full-time work? What can and can’t be accomplished within this time frame? Will the work be complete or will this be one stage of a longer-term project?
  3. Components of Project Work: What elements will be included and how will these support essential objectives? Components might include: work in a lab, studio, or research facility; reading and research; work with a mentor/consultation with “experts,” or course work; writing, creating works of art or performance pieces, etc.

 III. Structure for Project Work

  1. Pre-project activities; preliminary work needed prior to project period:  Identification and confirmation of mentors/consultants for project work; visits to venues for project work; identification of research sources or other resources needed for project work.
  2. Time structure for project: Will the normal three-week structure work for this project? If not, what are you proposing and how will this structure support project goals?
  3. Stages of work; overview of anticipated stages of project work: Weekly within the normal three-week schedule or in relation to a different schedule if needed for your project.
  4. Costs: Expectation is that the school will cover costs for books and materials, but that the recipient(s) will be responsible for ancillary costs. For example, for a mentor, course work or workshops, travel and living expenses, etc. Please indicate any unusual expenses you anticipate and any questions you have about division of expenses between yourself and the school district.

IV. Product or Outcome

Criteria for Faculty Development grants include a requirement that the project involve an outcome or project which in some way feeds back into and benefits the school. The expectation has purposely been stated broadly to allow for as much latitude as possible in relation to particular projects, but his section should focus on the significance of the project to the local community.

  1. Anticipated Outcome or Product: Please describe fully the nature of the outcome or product and its potential benefit to the community. Examples of possible products include:  writings (collection of essays) journal article, section of a book; an art exhibit, a piece of music or a performance, presentation or demonstration of research findings.
  2. Special Cases: If your product will be a piece of writing for publication (journal article or segment of a book) a finished project, rather than assurance of publication, is what is expected. In this instance, it is important to identify outlets other than for publication for sharing your research and writing with community audiences and audiences beyond the community. In cases where the product is not such a document itself (e.g. research without a completed product), a journal, or reflective piece on the process would be expected. Such a piece would provide a way to share the nature of your work and its professional impact with students and colleagues.
  3. Support Needed: In addition to summer funding, do you anticipate needing resources from the school (time, money, space) during the school year to bring your outcome or product to fruition?

V.  Writing Projects:

The following is an effort to address special issues regarding projects that involve professional writing (articles or books):

  1. Prior Work/Stage of Project: The proposal should make clear what work (if any) you have already done and where the project stands now. An outline of the proposal manuscript, together with any segment or drafts which have already been written, should accompany the proposal.
  2. Visibility of the Project:  It is the responsibility of the faculty member proposing the project to investigate its viability in relation to what has already been published in the field (e.g. how will this create something new rather than duplicating what already exists?)
  3. Scope:  You are urged to think realistically about what can be accomplished in four weeks. Unless extensive prior work has been done, an article or segment of a book is more realistic than a completed book.
  4. Publication Issue:  The school’s expectation is that the four weeks will be spent working on a product and development a finished manuscript, not pursuing publication.
  5. Rights:  If a manuscript is published, you as author will control the rights. We retain the rights to use the material internally and require formal acknowledgement of Washington School Foundation support in the published work.
  6. Copyright Issue:  It is the responsibility of the faculty member proposing the project to address copyright issues that may apply to distribution of the manuscript.