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Innovative Schools Application

Funding Opportunity – Apply to Create a New School!


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We are looking for educators who are designing new, innovative public schools launching this fall. Through this annual funding opportunity, we help early-stage charter organizations launch their first and/or second school in a new network, and support new district schools with the autonomy to develop and implement innovative instructional designs. While the models we support vary to meet the needs of students and families in their communities, all the schools in our portfolio are committed to three design principles: an expanded definition of student success, equity and innovation. In addition, these teams aspire to expand their impact by growing their schools or influencing the field in some other way. We are accepting submissions through Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 5pm PST. Please email any questions about the application or process to invent@newschools.org What We Offer Our goal is to accelerate a team’s progress towards designing and opening an innovative school by providing assistance in three key areas:

  1. Financial support: We provide funding to support a team’s first three years of operating a new school. Grants typically range between $200,000 to $600,000.

  2. Community of Practice: Teams participate in an active community of practice to build relationships with and learn from peer organizations from across the country.

  3. Management assistance: We provide teams with relevant, timely and differentiated support. This includes access to experts in the field, coaching, and resources to meet teams where they are.

Who We’re Looking For To be considered for an investment, applicants must:

  • Plan to open a new, innovative public school in fall 2021, including:

  • New district schools

  • The first or second school of an emerging public charter school network

  • A new school with a different model in an existing network

  • Enroll students within the PK-12 grade span on a full-time basis

  • Be eligible to receive public funding

Highly Encouraged to Apply: This year, we are particularly interested in the following:

  • School districts: Twenty percent of the schools we funded last year were autonomous district schools. We believe that school districts can create new learning environments that lead to academic and social-emotional success for all students, especially low-income students and students of color. We seek to increase the number of district schools in our portfolio.

  • Latino leaders: Currently, only eight percent of our school founders identify as Latino, yet 26% of public students do. We need to tap into the entrepreneurial energy within the Latino community to fund relevant and effective school designs that meet the needs of all students.

  • New models that emphasize multiple pathways: We are particularly interested in new models that guide students through the transition from high school to employment and continued learning. We are committed to supporting schools that share this vision.

Timeline: Apply by March 31, 2021. We will invite a small group of applicants in late April to interview with us during the first half of May. We will finalize our decisions and inform selected teams by the end of June.

Key Dates

  • Application opens: March 4

  • We are providing office hours on March 16 at 11am PST (register here) or on March 17 at 1pm PST (register here).

  • Application closes: March 31 at 5pm PST

  • Notification of application status: on or before April 30

  • Interviews with the NewSchools team: May 10 – May 14

  • Additional guidance will be given to the selected applicants on how to prepare for this stage

  • Notification of final funding decision: by end of June

Apply Now

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