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Below are answers to questions about the initiative's first RFP process that were submitted to Barr during the information session and via email.

Webinar Materials:

Where can I find the slides from RFP Virtual Information Session?
You can access the slides here and the recording here.

Is there a way to see the RFP Virtual Information Session’s participation list? Will we have an opportunity to see who else is on the webinar so we may collaborate?
To protect participants’ privacy, we do not publish the names of those who participated in the Virtual Information Session.

Target student population:

For the purposes of this RFP, students who are off track to graduate are defined as high school-aged/eligible students who are:

  • Enrolled in high school but off track to graduation requirements (defined as 1.5 years or more behind expected progress towards graduation);
  • Rising grade nine students who are entering high school 1.5 years or more behind expected progress; and/or
  • Disconnected or not enrolled in high school and have not yet earned a high school diploma.

What is the definition of “youth” for purposes of this RFP?
High school eligibility is defined differently across the region. The New England states have different age restrictions, and two states don't have a state-defined maximum age of enrollment - so it is established locally.

Regarding "off-track" students, can this include "at risk," even if the individuals are not presently behind and are still enrolled (not dropped out)?
Students off-track for graduation includes those behind, yet still enrolled, as well as those who have disengaged or dropped out of school. Students on track for graduation are not the target of this funding opportunity.

What are the metrics used to determine 1.5 years behind expected progress?
Metrics vary across the region and may include expected academic proficiency for age or grade, and/or expected credit accumulation for age, grade, or number of years in high school.

In what ways do you see incoming 9th graders included in the holistic program model?
Rising grade nine students who are entering high school 1.5 years or more behind expected progress, as measured in your local context, are included in the target student population under this initiative.

Does the program or school model have to solely focus on students off-track for graduation or can it serve a high number of these students in its population?
This initiative is targeting school and program models that are designed to focus exclusively on students who are off track to graduation upon entry into the school/program.

Is there a maximum age limit for students enrolled in these programs?
Students must be high school eligible and eligible to be awarded a high school diploma as defined by your local context.

If a program has been successful with getting underserved students to graduate, but those students are not off track to graduate, is this a potential fit?
No, this opportunity seeks to support schools and programs intentionally designed to serve students who are off-track to graduation.

Would it be beneficial to have a multifaceted (e.g., ELL/at-risk/dropout) approach or should we focus on the traditional "at-risk" student?
As part of the proposal, applicants should define their intended student population in their target community or region. We expect that characteristics of target students may vary among the grantee cohort, however all target students should be aligned with our general definition of a student off-track for high school graduation.

Geographic Location:

Where do schools and programs need to be located to be eligible?
Schools and programs need to be located in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.

While this is a regional initiative, is there a priority location? Are you looking to make a specific geographic distribution of awards?
We do not give priority by location in New England, nor do we aim to make a specific geographic distribution of grants.

Single Schools vs. Networks:

For the first cohort of funding, we are expecting to fund up to eight applications - each representing only one school or program. Therefore, the cohort will include up to eight distinct schools/programs that are all focused on planning for a high-quality education for students who are off track to high school graduation.

Are you looking for multiple sites/schools/programs? Or is one site a possibility?
Each application should represent a single site (i.e., only one school or program).

Can a group of schools and programs apply together?
A group of schools or programs may apply jointly if they are interested in collaborating for a single new, improved, or expanded site.

Are you funding intermediaries - networks of school?
School networks are eligible applicants, however the application should focus on a vision for a single site for the new, improved, or expanded work.

We are considering a proposal for a program that will cover three public districts. Is this something that we can pursue under this grant?
Yes, a group of districts may apply jointly if they are interested in collaborating for a single new, improved, or expanded site.

Would the funding allow an entire district to support multiple schools?
No, the funding is intended to support a single site (one school/program) that is intentionally designed for students who are off track for graduation.

Will grants be awarded to a single entity, e.g. a specific high school, or can a cohort of 1-3 schools apply?
The funding is to supporting a single site (one school/program), however multiple partners (e.g., districts, CBOs) may partner together in support of a single site.

High school vs. other grade configurations:

Is this RFP specifically targeted to high schools?
Yes, the RFP is designed to support high schools serving the student population defined in the RFP and above, and culminating in a high school diploma. Funding is not available to support the following:

  • Middle schools- Single or partial grade levels in high school
  • Single or clustered courses/subjects in high school
  • One year or partial year programs

New vs. Existing Schools:

Is this grant for school redesign or just new school design?
This funding opportunity is designed to support the creation of new schools, the redesign of existing schools to enhance student outcomes, and/or the expansion of existing schools.

Is this primarily focused on making traditional schools better at serving students who are off-track, or about starting new alternative schools?
This funding opportunity is designed to support the creation of schools of choice for students who are off-track for high school graduation. Comprehensive high school redesign is not aligned with this opportunity.


What is meant by option of choice?
Schools and programs funded under this initiative must be schools in which students actively choose to enroll. Students are not placed or enrolled without choice as a consequence of suspension or behavioral incident, or as a result of being designated as belonging to a particular student subgroup.

What if a program has a mix of students placed in it and some of choice?
All successful applicants will be full choice options for all students.

School vs. program:

How do you define program?
For the purposes of this RFP, in addition to “schools,” we use the term “programs” to refer to entities that may be situated within a district, but that function like a school in all aspects – i.e., they offer students integrated, full-time academic and social supports in holistic, integrated learning environments, which are tailored specifically to address students’ comprehensive needs toward achieving college and career success. Even if such entities are part of a larger system that designates them as a “program,” with a governance structure that is distinct from that of an individual school, we still encourage them to reply. We offered this distinction to acknowledge that across our region, some entities function like schools, but are technically designated as programs.

Can programs who work with youth off track to graduate apply or is it only for schools?
This RFP is not intended to identify or fund stand-alone interventions or initiatives that target only a single, or small group of issues or elements of student life (e.g. attendance, socio-emotional learning, tutoring, algebra intervention) – including those that take place within or in partnership with traditional high schools.

Would a program that spans existing high schools and includes integrated partnerships between those schools and other community organizations (including colleges, museums, etc.) qualify for this RFP?
Eligible programs must constitute the primary, full-time learning experience for the target population and be capable of issuing a high school diploma. Programs that engage the target student population through provision of discrete support services, enrichment activities, or on a part-time basis are not eligible.

Does the program have to be a whole-school model? Or would a classroom model providing daily differentiated learning and personalized learning environments in key gateway subjects (9th-10th grade Algebra & English/Language Arts, required for all students), be a fit for this RFP?
Programs must be whole-school models.

Can you give an example of a "targeted discrete intervention" that this grant would not fund?
This opportunity is meant to support the development of whole school designs, not individual school elements or services provided by CBOs, city or social service agencies, or other partners. Examples of targeted discrete interventions that, on a stand-alone basis, are ineligible for this opportunity include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Attendance outreach
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Academic support and remediation
  • Counseling
  • Test preparation
  • After school or summer enrichment
  • College and career guidance
  • Post-secondary or career transition support

Can a program be integrated within a school? Such as a 'school within a school'?
There is not a requirement that the school/program be physically located in a separate building. In order to optimize the impact of the initiative, a school or program should serve a minimum of 100 students at scale.

Does program have to operate out of a separate school building? That is, could it operate in a section of an existing school?
There are no requirements that the program operate in a separate school building, however the program should operate its own model. For example, the program should have its own budget, leadership, design features, and policies.

Does the program have to be a traditional four-year program or can it serve as an alternate program that students can opt into during high school?
The school/program should offer a complete high school education, meaning that students could attend the school/program for all of high school. Such a school/program could also accept students during the course of their high school education (e.g., a student could choose to transfer to the school/program in grade 10).

If the number of students we serve is less than 100 students, would you still recommend we submit a proposal?

A school or program must serve a minimum of 100 students "at scale." Therefore, a school or program may be eligible for the RFP if it intends to expand and has the capacity to serve at least 100 students.

Types of high schools:

Under this initiative, schools will be encouraged to develop designs that respond to the needs and interests of the students they serve and leverage the assets of the local community. These designs may be inclusive of career and technical themes, incorporate multiple instructional modalities, including digital learning, and work-based learning or internships. Designs may also include plans for extended learning opportunities during the school year and during the summer. Successful applicants will propose public school and program models that embrace a Positive Youth Development approach and intentionally and explicitly aspire to include the following essential elements:

  • Teaching and learning systems that enable personalized learning
  • Prioritization of student agency and engagement
  • Strategic partnerships that increase student access to supports and expand opportunities for anytime-anywhere learning in ways that are aligned to student competency development
  • Strong student linkages to post-secondary institutions and career opportunities

Can private secondary schools apply if they meet the other criteria?
No, private schools are not eligible for funding under this initiative.

Do you also include charter public schools?
Yes, charter public schools are eligible to apply.

Can school currently in turnaround mode apply?
There are no restrictions on the types of public schools included in the initiative.


Will preference be given to applicants based on the number of students served by the school or program?
In order to optimize the impact of the initiative, a school or program should serve a minimum of 100 students at scale. Enrolled students may come from one or more communities or districts.

Does this RFP favor/prefer/require a regional approach for expansion?
This opportunity does not require expansion throughout New England.

Diploma vs. other credentials:

Are you willing to consider grantees that offer programs leading to diploma equivalents such as the GED or the HiSET?
This opportunity is designed to support schools and programs that culminate in a high school diploma at a minimum. Programs that culminate in a GED, HiSET, or other credential are not eligible.

In order to be eligible your agency must be able to issue a diploma?
Yes, all applicants must include partnership with an entity that can issue a public high school diploma.

Springpoint, design process, grantee supports:

What specific supports will be provided to grantees in the planning year?
Barr has partnered with Springpoint to support grantees, both in the planning year and during the implementation phase. Springpoint is a national organization that supports innovative school model design and implementation. Grantees will receive a combination of customized supports and network- wide learning experiences. Individual coaching will be focused on capacity building, design process guidance, and design artifact review. Springpoint will also facilitate a learning community for grantees, allowing them to share questions, work products, and emerging learnings. Grantees will have the opportunities to attend learning tours to schools to observe and learn from innovative practices and participate in network convenings. These activities will be supported by a set of customized resources and tools.

Are Springpoint staff familiar with the populations the programs/schools in this initiative intend to serve? Who are the people who will be doing the coaching?
Springpoint’s coaching team has decades of experience in the secondary education space, including first-hand experience designing and leading alternative education models and innovative high schools that use time, people, and resources in creative ways. The organization brings expertise in the design and implementation of student-centered school models, technology systems, leadership coaching, and professional development across different contexts. They also bring school-based experience in positive youth development, data-driven decision making, personalization, and competency-based education.

How would Springpoint work with existing schools seeking to improve or expand?
Springpoint’s approach stresses that the work of school design is required in every phase of a school's development - from the initial design process that launches the school, to the ongoing improvement and refinement of the school's model, to all efforts to support expansion and growth. In every phase, great design grows from a commitment to understanding young people and building design elements specifically for them.

For grantees seeking to grow or improve their programs or schools, Springpoint will provide supports around identifying, developing, and implementing model improvements, executing effective school expansion, and adapting their models to better meet the needs of students. This process can also be helpful in rethinking resource allocation, recruitment, and professional development. We expect Springpoint to help teams ground these decisions in data and conversations with students and other stakeholders.

How much time should we anticipate a grant lead needing to have available to coordinate the three phases if we were to be awarded a planning grant?
In the planning year, we expect school leaders and/or designers to attend three multi-day convenings and school learning tours. Design leads and relevant team members will also participate in several in-person, on-site coaching and training sessions with the Springpoint team. We expect that school leaders and/or designers and their teams will have the capacity to produce thoughtful, high-quality design artifacts that are necessary to develop and grow effective school models.

Are students included in the overall development of these programs and models? If so, how?
Yes. We strongly recommend that design teams include students from existing schools and/or prospective school students in their planning work, along with families and/or members of the community. In school models that are truly designed for the students they serve, students can be key members on design teams who contribute feedback, ideas, and unique insights.

If Springpoint is a consultant in the planning phase are they also a consultant in the implementation stage?
Yes, we anticipate that Springpoint will support grantees both in the planning phase and the implementation phase.

What about an applicant that already has a partnership with a nonprofit or an entity like Springpoint?
Springpoint created an adaptable school model design and implementation process along with a set of tools and experiences to support partners in the design process. These resources, tools, and experiences are highly customizable. Springpoint’s supports will plug in and customize supports to bolster the efforts of existing work and partner offerings.

What if the planning year and the authentic planning that comes from that significantly changes the trajectory of our proposal, once we have learned from Springpoint what we can do?
Barr Foundation does not expect that planning grant proposals outline the actual design of a school model or growth plan. Rather, proposals should focus on the need for student-centered school models grounded in youth development theory, applicants’ capacity to do this work, and demonstrate an understanding of the local context and community. We expect designs for new schools or program improvements to result from the planning year process.

Does Springpoint's support extend to the district as well? That is, in developing an innovative school/program, will Springpoint provide capacity building within the district to support the new schools?
Springpoint supports will be provided to the grantee directly. During this collaboration, Springpoint will work with grantees to determine which of the grantee’s partners should participate in specific model design and capacity building activities and when.

To what extent are people of similar backgrounds to the students that these programs intend to serve empowered in the planning and development process?
Students should be at the center of the design of new/improved/expanded school or program options. As such, we recommend that design teams include students from existing schools, prospective school students, or alumni in their planning work, along with families and/or members of the community. In school models that are truly designed for the students they serve, students can be key members on design teams who contribute feedback, ideas, and unique insights.

How do we incorporate Springpoint’s consultation into the workplan? Springpoint supports will be integrated into team design timelines and processes as needed. We expect that in the planning year, grantees will attend three multi day convenings, two of which will involve school study tours. In addition, grantees will participate in quarterly coaching sessions with Springpoint staff as well as regular coaching calls as necessary. Springpoint will also review design artifacts produced by your working group and provide feedback for iteration.


This funding opportunity is grounded in Positive Youth Development theory (more information about Positive Youth Development theory can be found on Spingpoint’s curated resources page for this initiative.) Community-based organizations (CBOs) play a crucial role in school and program models intentionally designed within a Positive Youth Development framework. Research demonstrates that integrated community-based support services for youth increase the likelihood of school success. This is largely because they provide students with developmental opportunities and social support services that are essential to young people’s overall well-being. CBO partnerships do not represent the entirety of a schools’ youth development focus; they function to extend the Positive Youth Development culture, and to marshal critical resources and expertise to bolster their effectiveness in responding to students’ cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs.

CBOs and other types of organizations can be key partners to increase student access to anytime-anywhere learning opportunities aligned to students’ interests and goals. Through strategic partnerships with CBOs, universities, community colleges and employers, formal learning does not need to be constrained by the walls of a school building; this results in more flexible, authentic, engaging academic experiences for students.

Are CBOs expected to partner with a school(s) for this grant application?
CBOs that are not able to issue a high school diploma must apply in partnership with a public diploma-granting entity.

Are you accepting applications that include multiple organizations as lead/co-applicants?
Yes, multiple partner collaborations are acceptable. One lead applicant must be identified as the potential grantee.

To what extent should a non-profit intermediary already be working with the LEA?
Existing and new partnerships are acceptable. Applicants must be able to present evidence of partnership or intended partnership, such as a Memorandum of Understanding, Letter of Intent, or Letter of Support, as part of the application.

In school/non-profit collaborations, do you prefer that the school apply for direct funding or for the non-profit to apply and provide services to the school?
This funding opportunity is not intended to support the programmatic or operating costs of direct services by non-profits to schools.

What type of partnerships are encouraged - could it be local businesses, non-profits or must it be a related education organization? Can a university school of education partner with an LEA? Are city agencies eligible?
A variety of partner types may be part of a collaboration. Partnerships that advance Positive Youth Development in school design as described in the RFP, above, and in resources curated on Springpoint’s initiative resource page, are encouraged. This includes partnerships that advance a vision for student access to anytime-anywhere learning opportunities aligned to students’ interests and goals.

Can school apply alone without going through its LEA? Can a public school be the lead applicant with a community partner?
The lead applicant must be able to receive grant funding. There are no requirements that a LEA must be involved, however an application from a school may be stronger if there is demonstrated support from the LEA.

Can an intermediary that plans to work with a school district submit for a planning grant without securing a district partnership beforehand?
In order to fully answer the proposal narrative questions, a location for the proposed school/program must be determined prior to submitting the application. For example, question 1.b. in the proposal narrative asks for the location and local context for the planned work.

Would letters of support be enough to show the connection between the nonprofit and the districts they will be partnering with?
Yes, a Memorandum of Understanding, Letter of Intent, or Letter of Support, are all options to provide evidence of partnership or intended partnership.

To submit a proposal for the planning phase non-profits need to be partnered and co-submitting with a high school diploma granting institution?
Yes, applicants must include partnership with an entity that can issue a public high school diploma.

Brokering partnerships:

For organizations that have targeted programs that can support a school or holistic program, what are the opportunities to connect to schools and to potentially form partnerships? Would you be able/willing to facilitate partnering opportunities?
We believe that strategic partnerships that increase student access to supports and expand opportunities for learning is an essential school design element of any public school and program model. During the competitive RFP application process, however, we do not facilitate partnership opportunities, nor publicize those who have expressed interest in the RFP for confidentiality and privacy reasons. Aside from this initiative’s work, and as an extension of the Foundation’s commitment to learning in partnership with others, from time to time we will sponsor opportunities for stakeholders across our region to explore new ideas together. We encourage you to subscribe to Barr’s education mailing list and/or check our website for future opportunities.

Is there any way to access or review a list of organizations that have expressed interest in the RFP via responses to the RFI or participation in this conference? To protect participants’ privacy, we do not publish the names of those who participated in the Virtual Information Session or names respondents to the RFI.

The grant process:

Were the RFI submissions screened in any way in order that we know if our submissions have merit before we get too far into the process?
The RFI submissions were used to inform the development of Barr’s RFP. We do not intend to screen RFI submissions for the purposes of providing direct feedback to applicants.

Will there be a specific grant application sent out? What is the process for submitting proposals?
Completed RFP applications should be submitted via two means:

  1. An online application form AND
  2. Email to, in PDF format.

The RFP indicates Springpoint will provide supports to applicants during proposal development - does this mean consultation is available to applicants while writing proposals?
Please elaborate more on the process to involve Springpoint in this phase.

Optional office hours will occur on January 12, January 27, and February 6, 2017 for prospective applicants to discuss proposal content or eligibility via phone call. Please register here to receive an appointment time and conference line number. Calls will be 10-15 minutes each.

While you're creating a community of learners among the initial grantees, are you also setting them up to have to compete with each other to be invited to apply for the second phase?
We expect to fund up to eight planning proposals for the first cohort. We will assess the progress of each planning grant individually to inform invitations for implementation grants. The cohort members are not in competition with each other for implementation support.

Is there a match requirement?
There is no match requirement for the planning and implementation grant.

Can we get more details on the conference call office hours? How long? what's involved? are they required?
Optional office hours will occur on January 12, January 27, and February 6, 2017 for prospective applicants to discuss proposal content or eligibility via phone call. Please register here to receive an appointment time and conference line number. Calls will be 10-15 minutes each.

Does the RFP require baseline data on current dropout status of districts and schools?
As part of the RFP application, we are interested in learning about your planning process to date and how data has been used to inform the planning. We do not require reporting of specific data metrics.

If we are selected for the initial $150,000, do we need to formally apply for the next phase (implementation) or do you alert who should proceed with that next step? How many implementation grants will be awarded?
We expect to fund up to eight planning proposals for the first cohort. We will assess the progress of each planning grant individually to inform invitations for two-year implementation grants. Because the planning phase progress will be reviewed individually, we have not established a set number of implementation awards.

Is there a possibility of an extension to 4 year implementation (the length of their high school stay)?
Barr will invite a select group of planning awardees to apply for a two-year implementation grant of up to $750,000. Those who are selected for the implementation grant are expected to complete their proposed work within two years.

Is the lead applicant also the fiscal agent?
Yes, the lead applicant must be the fiscal agent for the planning grant.

Is the required diversity data form intended to be for the broader district population, the population of the program/school they're specifically asking for funding for, or for the project staff?

The diversity form should reflect the current status of the lead applicant organization.

I understand the Foundation plans to award grants in three cohorts of eight recipients each (over three years). Will there be only one round of applications (due February 15, 2017) or do schools have the option to apply to be in Cohort 2 (or 3) next year?

We expect to have three rounds of applications for three different cohorts. Therefore, eligible applicants can apply for future rounds. The exact dates for the next RFP have not yet been finalized.

Is it okay for a non-diploma granting organization to be the lead applicant?

The lead applicant does not have to be diploma granting, as long as the proposed school or program model leads to a diploma and there is at least one diploma-granting partner involved.


What should the planning and implementation money be used for? What can it not be used for?
Planning year funds may be used for a variety of activities to support the planning year, examples of planning year expenses include staff time for participation in planning/design meetings, facilitator(s) for the planning/design team, travel for optional school visits (i.e., additional visits not organized by Springpoint), and consultants to inform components of the model design. Costs associated with the travel to the learning tours and convenings organized by Springpoint will be covered by Springpoint.

The planning year funds may not be used for ongoing operating costs of any school or program, nor can the funds be used on facilities-related expenses.

Should costs associated with the learning tours (transportation, etc) be included in our proposal budgets?
During the planning year, Springpoint will provide a number of supports related to strategic planning, capacity building, and creation of mastery-based systems, and customized tool/resource development. Planning grant awardees will also have opportunities to participate in learning tours, design coaching sessions, model audits, data analysis and sharing, and other customized technical assistance. These supports and opportunities will be of no cost to the awardees. Therefore, planning grant applicants should not include these supports and opportunities in their proposal budgets.

What's Barr Foundation's expectations regarding public sector funding commitments? After the implementation grant, is the understanding that the district will then fund the initiative?
Through the robust planning/design year, the expectation is that a school/program model will be designed that can be sustained over the long-term on existing public sector funding streams. The two-year implementation grant is intended to support sites with start-up costs related to the launch of new/improved/expanded designs.

Barr has partnered with Springpoint to support grantees, in both the planning year and during the implementation phase. Do we need to account for the supports from Springpoint when creating the budget?
No, the supports from Springpoint will be funded directly by Barr. Applicants should not include these funds in their planning grant budget.

Would a new position to expand an existing program within a school be considered “ongoing operating costs” or would this be a potentially allowable expense?
A new position is an allowable expense under the condition that the applicant is seeking to (1) open a new school/program, (2) improve an existing school/program, or (2) grow schools/programs. Successful applicants will be focused on a school or program that leads to a public high school diploma, is an option of choice for the participating students, and that intentionally serves high school students off track to graduate.

What restrictions and allowances does the planning grant give for unexpected circumstances and learning from the planning year?
Grantees may submit a request to the Foundation for an amendment to the planning grant as warranted by the planning process.

What are the parameters during the "planning stage" as far as using funds to pilot initiatives that would like to be fully implemented in the second part of the grant? This would be specific to the expansion of programming at an existing school.
There are no restrictions on the funding of pilots during the planning year.

Are indirect costs allowed? Is there a limit on organizational overhead (apart from the costs explicitly prohibited in the RFP)?
Yes, indirect costs are allowed and the limit is 15%.

Is the assumption that we should be raising planning funds from other sources regardless of whether our planning year budget will exceed $150,000?

The budget template includes space for other contributions, should your planning phase need support beyond the $150,000 grant. There is no expectation that additional funds will be needed or raised from other sources for the planning year.

Expected Outcomes:

What metrics/outcomes will you be looking for?
For the planning/design phase, the overarching expected outcome is a robust implementation plan from each of the grantees. Applicants must describe their outputs and outcomes for the planning year as part of the application process (see section C of the proposal requirements).

Do you care only that off-track students graduate from high school as a result of the school/program? Or are you looking for schools/programs that have evidence of positive outcomes beyond high school (i.e., college admittance and success)?
As a result of participation in the initiative, the expectation is that grant-funded schools/programs will provide students a rigorous and holistic educational experience that ensures that students graduate from high school fully prepared to pursue their goals, including participation in postsecondary education without the need for remediation.

Are you explicitly prioritizing readiness for college (as contrasted with work) as an outcome?
Graduates of the grant-funded sites should prepare students for both college and career readiness, ensuring that all graduates have a range of options that they may pursue after graschool vduation based on their individual interests and goals.

Is one of the desired outcomes of this initiative college attendance?
Given the importance of a postsecondary education for securing a livable wage career path, we hope that more students will pursue postsecondary education as a result of being more fully prepared during high school.

At the conclusion of this experience, should the students be ready to graduate?
The schools/programs supported by this initiative should prepare all students for high school graduation and provide students a public high school diploma aligned to college and career readiness.


Do you see a role for higher education (e.g. faculty with secondary education research agendas)?
Depending on the local needs and context, an institution of higher education may be a partner on an application. The research and evaluation efforts for the overall initiative will be developed by Barr over the coming months.

Will the students have to meet the graduation requirements of the state or will there be autonomies for how the students meet competencies?
Each New England state has different high school graduation requirements. Grantee sites in this initiative must ensure they are fully preparing students to meet their state and local requirements.

Will students have to pass the state's high-stakes tests to graduate?
Each New England state’s high school graduation requirements, including state assessments, will continue to be required for grantee sites.

Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is evident throughout your examples and framework, do you have a specific CRT framework that you aspire to?
We have not identified a specific framework at this time.

Are you planning on having an evaluation of this initiative?
Yes, the initiative will include an external evaluator. All grantees under this initiative will be required to participate in evaluation activities as designated by the foundation.

Does the program model need to include an evaluation, or will the entire initiative be evaluated?
Grantees should consider metrics to track their internal process and progress, but grantees are not expected to hire an external evaluator. Barr will be identifying an external evaluator for the overall initiative.

What will program/school accountability look like? Will the Foundation oversee the progress?
The Foundation will track grantee progress in order to support the success of the initiative. Informal and formal accountability means will be used in order to support continuous improvement for individual grantee sites, as well as the initiative as a whole.

If you have an additional question, please submit it to