Thank you for taking the time to nominate an applicant for the CityBridge-NewSchools Education Innovation Fellowship. A letter incorporating candid and specific responses to the questions below will aid the selection committee in choosing the 2016 cohort of Fellows. When you are ready to submit your nomination, please proceed to the Recommenders Application web form.
The active engagement of Fellows’ school leadership is critical to the long-term impact of the program. A written nomination from each applicant’s school leader must accompany the application. The nomination should assess the potential impact of the teacher’s participation in the Fellowship. Our goal is to ensure principal support for the applicant’s participation and to assess the school’s capacity to leverage a Fellow to change classroom practice. Because the Education Innovation Fellowship represents a significant commitment on the part of the Fellow, the Principal Nomination Letter serves a dual purpose. In addition to supporting your teacher’s application, the letter also demonstrates your commitment to the applicant’s participation in all components of the program should he or she be selected. The deadline for submission of this letter is Wednesday, November 11, before midnight.
Fellowship staff will prioritize involving school leaders in meaningful ways while maintaining a strong cohort experience for the Fellows. Principal participation includes the following components:
- Three program days: School leaders will be strongly encouraged to attend three pre-specified program days (afternoons only) across the year. Other school staff may also be included, provided that the Fellowship staff, the school leader, and the Fellow agree to it.
- Spring and summer pilots: School leaders are expected to encourage the pilots Fellows design and run during the spring of 2016, and to collaborate regularly on their development. School leaders also are encouraged to host Fellow-run personalized learning pilot programs in summer 2016.
- Collaboration: All Fellows will be expected to communicate regularly with their principals on their progress in the program and to collaborate in identifying opportunities for personalized learning implementation in fall 2016. School leaders will be asked to meet periodically with their Fellows and Fellowship staff during the year.
- Financial support: Each participating school will receive a $1,000 unrestricted grant to cover any costs associated with having a Fellow in the program (for example, paying substitute teachers).
The Fellowship Commitment
Submission of the Principal Nomination Letter signifies a commitment to the following:
- Fellow participation in program days: Fellows will miss one full day of school per month for Fellowship sessions—with the exception of February, when the cohort will travel to California and the Fellows will be out of their schools for five days (February 22-26). Please note that this week includes a DCPS parent/teacher conference day on February 22. We have planned travel during this time because it will allow Fellows to visit some of most innovative next-generation schools in the country and will maximize their time on the West Coast. By nominating an applicant, you agree to release him or her to attend all program days and trips. Your school will receive an unrestricted $1,000 grant to cover expenses related to releasing your Fellow, including the cost for substitute teachers.
- Principal participation in program days: We ask that school leaders attend the afternoon sessions (typically from 12:00-5:30 p.m.) on the following three program days: January 25, June 6, and October 17, 2016. Your nomination represents a good faith commitment to attend these three sessions or to send a senior leader from your school in your place.
- Supporting classroom innovation: Pilot projects are a major component of the Fellowship experience. Across the year, Fellows will explore innovative instructional practices and technologies in their classrooms. Your nomination represents a commitment to support the applicant’s exploration of new ideas through these pilots and to communicate with the applicant about his or her progress on a regular basis.
- Spring and summer pilots: As part of the program, Fellows are required to develop and run blended learning pilot programs during spring or summer 2016. Many Fellows choose to run these programs at their home schools. While hosting a summer pilot at your school is not a requirement of the Fellowship, your nomination acknowledges that the applicant’s participation in this component of the program will not interfere with your school’s existing summer plans. If a Fellow chooses to run a summer pilot at another school, they will have the option to teach in DCPS summer school or team up with another Fellow at that Fellow’s home school.
Guidelines for Writing Your Nomination Letter
Please consider the following questions as you write your nomination letter:
- How long and in what professional capacity have you known the applicant? (Please be sure to name the applicant for whom you are submitting a recommendation.)
- What are the applicant’s major strengths? Please describe an occasion when these strengths were demonstrated.
- What are the applicant’s major weaknesses? Please describe an occasion when these weaknesses were demonstrated.
- What is the applicant’s commitment to—and track record in—driving student achievement?
- What is the applicant’s capacity to lead change at your school?
- What is the applicant’s commitment to using technology to personalize instruction?
- What has the applicant done that you consider creative?
- What do you expect the applicant to be doing in 15 years?
At the end of your letter, please answer the following three questions. A simple statement in the affirmative or negative is sufficient, unless you wish to elaborate.
- Do you agree to release the applicant for all program days?
- Will you attend three afternoon sessions (January 25, June 6, and October 17, 2016)?
If these dates present a conflict with your existing schedule, please let us know.
- In two to three sentences, please describe the current technology infrastructure at your school.
The title of your document should be: APPLICANT-LASTNAME-FIRSTINITIAL-Principal-Nomination-Letter (Example: SMITH-J-Principal-Nomination-Letter.docx)
Instructions for Submission
In order for the applicant to be considered for the Fellowship, you must submit your recommendation letter as a Word document through the Education Innovation Fellowship Recommenders Application web form before midnight on Wednesday, November 11.
Use the Recommenders Application web form to submit your information: name, email address, affiliation, and the applicant’s name. You will also upload your nomination letter through this form.
If you have any problems with this submission process, please email Andrew Pratt, manager of the Education Innovation Fellowship: firstname.lastname@example.org.