All students deserve seamless educational experiences that build their literacy skills and prepare them for life beyond the classroom. Across the country, diverse innovators are working alongside educators and communities to develop tools, content, and models that achieve this goal and reimagine learning. To get there, we invest in early stage, equity-centered innovators that partner with schools and have the potential to support the academic and social emotional growth of millions of students across our country.
Through the Learning Solutions funding opportunity, NewSchools is investing up to $2.5 million in whole-school solutions that positively impact students of color and low-income students. We are looking for early-stage, equity-centered entrepreneurs who will partner with schools to implement innovative models or programs that can improve teaching and learning.
Applications were due Aug 27, 2021 at 11:59 pm PT. We are no longer accepting applications for this funding round.
What We Offer
Funded organizations will receive support in four key areas:
- Funding: A one-year grant of $150,000 to $350,000, available to both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
- Management assistance:
- Coaching / 1:1 supports: Access to relevant, timely, and customized support from our team and external experts.
- Communities of practice: Opportunities to build relationships with and learn from other Learning Solutions innovators.
- R&D support: Additional capital to support customized efficacy research studies that better inform how to reach and meet the needs of students of color and low-income students, etc.
What We’re Looking For
We seek early-stage, whole-school solutions that meet the following criteria. See our FAQs below for more details.
- Align with NewSchools’ overarching investment criteria
- Offer a comprehensive model that reimagines the full student experience, with a focus on equity, academic growth, and social-emotional development
- Engage in deep partnership with schools to support successful implementation, with the intention of building a school’s capacity over time to sustain the model themselves
- Ensure a coherent and positive experience for educators and students by providing partner schools with a bundle of instructional and operational resources, with aligned training and ongoing support
- Leverage the power of the network by facilitating sharing among schools and seeking their input to improve the model
For this opportunity, we are looking to support new and existing organizations that are in the first five years of partnering with schools to implement a whole-school learning solution that aligns with the criteria above. We are open to supporting a very early-stage solution so long as there is a credible plan to implement it in at least two partner schools in the 2022-23 school year. We will want to see a proof of concept, a full-time person dedicated to managing it, and an initial business model. We encourage you to review the FAQs below and to reach out to our team to discuss your eligibility.
We respect each person’s unique identity and equitably consider applicants from all backgrounds. Given our strategic focus, we’re especially interested in connecting with innovators whose personal experiences are aligned with our target student populations. This includes but is not limited to Black and Latino leaders, leaders who have experienced poverty, were or are English Language Learners, and leaders with disabilities.
Timeline and Key Dates
We will invite a small group of applicants to interview with us and submit additional information by late September. We will finalize investment decisions by late November.
- Application opens: Aug 4, 2021
- Application closes: Aug 27, 2021
- Notification of application status: late September
- Submission of additional information: early October
- Phone interviews and reference calls: late September – mid October
- Notification of final funding decision: late November
If your solution is literacy-focused but not a whole-school model, we are still interested in your idea. Submit your idea here, and in 2022 we will have additional funding opportunities in this area. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our team for clarification.