News + Ideas

Launching NewSchools Catapult: Invent 2016!

think-big3In July 2015 we launched NewSchools Catapult, a program to invest in and support education entrepreneurs launching new schools with innovative instructional models. We recently announced NewSchools Catapult 2015, a cohort of 14 trailblazing district and charter schools that are reimagining PREK-12 education by personalizing learning and giving students greater agency over their experience.

Innovation takes many forms. Our cohort includes schools implementing instructional designs like co-teaching, dynamic grouping, blended learning, high-dosage tutoring and competency-based progression to meet students where they are and ensure they continue to advance. While all serve a significant number of high-needs students, a subset is pursuing a diverse-by-design model that attempts to mirror the range of socio-economic diversity in the communities they serve. And still others are leading in their efforts to measure and support important dimensions of student success such as social-emotional learning and advanced cognitive skills.

We are eager to accelerate this momentum, so today we are thrilled to announce the release of NewSchools Catapult 2016, a program designed exclusively for teams that are planning to launch new, innovative schools in fall 2017. In keeping with our mission and core values, we are seeking schools with plans to transform public education for all children, but especially those in underserved communities. We support public schools managed by early-stage charter networks or district-operated schools with sufficient autonomy and support to realize their vision.

 NewSchools Catapult 2016 is separated into two distinct phases:

  • Phase 1: Invent: A 10-month program designed to support school teams during the year leading up to the launch of their new schools. Teams selected for this phase will receive financial support averaging $150,000, targeted management assistance and a cohort experience with others at a similar stage of development. Teams who participate in Invent will work on developing an application for Phase 2 Launch support.
  • Phase 2: Launch: A 2 ½ year program designed to support school teams during the months right before their school opens, through their second year of operation. In addition to receiving ongoing assistance and a cohort experience, teams selected for this phase will receive financial support. Our investments average $400,000 and vary based on factors such as the number of students served and local funding conditions.

Our NewSchools Catapult site has all of the information you need, from our investment criteria to the application itself. Our initial application asks for a limited among of information, which we will use to gauge whether your model is aligned with Catapult before asking you to submit more detailed information. The deadline to submit the first part of the application is January 11, 2016. However, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible, since we will review applications and notify selected teams on a rolling basis. If the initial application is well-aligned to our Catapult program, we will ask you to submit additional information.

 If you have aspirations to launch a new school in 2017 that aligns with the vision and investment criteria we have shared, please consider applying. And please help us spread the word by sharing with others!

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