The RDP program will celebrate and support impactful blended and online learning practices during COVID-19 with grants of up to $25,000
Future of School (FoS), an education intermediary organization mobilizing change in American K-12 education, has announced the creation of the Resilient Districts Prize (RDP), designed to reward innovative practices in blended and online learning that have made a positive impact during COVID-19. The RDP program will award up to 20 total grants across three categories, worth $10,000 – $25,000 apiece, and the funds can be used for technology, professional development, training or other expenses related to online and blended learning. The application process is open from June 1-30, 2021.
“COVID-19 has taken a personal and professional toll on educators nationwide, has created new challenges that most schools never expected to face, and has introduced difficulties for students that cross the social, emotional and academic realms. Yet, despite these realities, we’ve clearly seen that an entrepreneurial spirit remains alive and well in our schools, with educators of all roles stepping up their embrace of innovation to deliver the type and quality of education all students deserve,” said Amy Valentine, CEO and Education Evangelist for Future of School. “After the year we’ve all experienced together, Future of School couldn’t be prouder to introduce the Resilient Districts Prize, a grant-making opportunity to celebrate and sustain educators’ innovative efforts. We invite educators of all roles from all school environments to apply for these grants, and we look forward to learning from these high-impact success stories.”
There are separate award categories for innovation at the district, school and individual educator levels. The RDP award information follows:
- Certified educators at various levels are invited to apply, including educators and administrators from all accredited schools—public, private, charter, magnet, online, networks of schools and school consortiums.
- Applicants will be asked to share the story of how they or an educator in their district have innovated their instructional delivery and/or educational environments to support students.
- The award amounts available are $25,000 for a district or network of schools, $15,000 for a single school, and $10,000 for a single educator. Applicants will indicate which level of award they are seeking.
- Multiple awards will be given in each category and up to 20 total prizes will be granted.
- Applications are due by June 30 and funds will be disbursed by August 30.
Honoring the resilient spirit of educators who embrace innovation to create high-quality educational opportunity, access and outcomes for all students is part of Future of School’s objective to broadcast, document and forecast the evolution of K-12 education in America. Since 2016, FoS (formerly known as the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning, FBOL) has provided grants that empower educators to transform their classrooms to tech-ready, effective blended and online learning environments. Now, through the RDP, the organization has a new opportunity to recognize and support educators at all levels, along with schools, districts and networks, whose resilience and innovation have shown through despite―or perhaps because of―the unique constraints of the past year.
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is a strategic partner in the Resilient Districts Prize. With its unmatched insights into the challenges district leaders have faced during the pandemic, and the ways in which leaders are not only overcoming these challenges but thriving in their support of educators and students, AASA will be an invaluable part of the effort to make districts aware of this unique opportunity and ensure they can celebrate and sustain innovative programs.
“As school district leaders prepare a vision of operation for a post-COVID environment, they know that drifting to past practices is not an option,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “If we are to deliver learner-centered, equity-focused education to all learners, we must experience a paradigm shift in the positions of leading, teaching and learning. We are pleased to partner with Future of School, an organization that embraces the growing need to capitalize on outside-the-box instructional practices and champions the benefits of online and blended learning.”
After the RDP process concludes, best practices and strategies will be compiled into an action guide and made available to educators nationwide. The guide will serve to both inspire and inform, demonstrating what’s possible in the face of unique challenges and providing the knowledge for additional districts to pursue similar solutions.
Interested teachers, school and district leaders, and other educators can sign up now to be notified when the application process opens. To learn more and sign up, visit www.futureof.school/rdp.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.