project is working with school and district partners to build a professional learning system in Washington State that supports career- and college-ready efforts with a focus on implementing Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Thirty-three (33) districts will participate in the project; eighteen (18) districts were identified in 2014 and fifteen (15) additional districts will be identified in 2015. See the Participating Districts map in the sidebar to the right.
- Partner districts will gain increased administrator and teacher leader capacity so every educator can meet professional expectations and every student can meet career- and college-ready learning standards.
- Washington State will grow its infrastructure to support statewide professional learning and establish key components of a sustainable comprehensive professional learning system.
- 75,000 students will show growth as a result of increased opportunities to engage in high-quality English language arts, math, and science instruction aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. (See WA-TPL Outcomes in the sidebar to the right.)
About the grant
WA-TPL is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (U.S. Programs Grant Number OPP1089743). The grant period is November 2013 through October 2016. OSPI has teamed up with Learning Forward Washington, the nine Educational Service Districts, and other education partners to implement this project. Grants to participating districts range from $10,000 to $15,000 per year, depending on the district’s role.
Participating districts have enhanced opportunities to actively collaborate with other districts experiencing similar problems of practice as they transition to the new state learning standards. They work to form deeper connections between their central office and schools for increased broad system impact. Districts improve their learning about Professional Learning via cross collaboration and planning support. Partners receive materials, technical assistance, statewide and regional support, and a district level WA-TPL Coach to help with transitions and to provide guidance. (See Project Announcement in the sidebar to the right.)
Who is eligible
All Washington school districts are eligible to apply for this grant. Partner districts will be selected through a competitive application process. OSPI will select 33 districts. The WA-TPL project is designed to have at least one Lab District with 2-3 Critical Friend Districts in each of the nine ESD regions.
Lab districts and Critical Friend districts
Lab districts receive targeted support from OSPI, Learning Forward Washington, and their ESD based on learning plans developed and revisited throughout the project period. (See Key Terms and Definitions in the sidebar to the right.) Lab districts will undertake extensive self and external analyses that will lead to revisions to its policies, practices, and supports for professional learning. They will serve as models for other districts. Lab districts starting in 2015 receive $7,500 in 2015; continuing Lab districts will receive $15,000 in years two and three.
Critical Friend districts will take part in virtual and in-person professional learning opportunities and workgroup meetings with Lab districts. (See Key Terms and Definitions in the sidebar to the right.) Critical Friend districts serve as important collaborators, critics, and contributors to Lab districts. Critical Friend districts starting in 2015 receive $5,000 in 2015; continuing Critical Friend districts will receive $10,000 in years two and three.
A WA-TPL Coach is assigned to work regionally with each of the Lab district core teams and ESD partners. The WA-TPL Coach is an education professional with an understanding of the Standards for Professional Learning (Learning Forward 2011) (See Standards for Professional Learning in the sidebar to the right.), the components of a comprehensive professional learning system, and experience and expertise in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating district professional learning systems. In collaboration with WA-TPL evaluators, the WA-TPL Coach serves as project consultant to analyze data and guide the planning and implementation of district professional learning systems.
FAQs from the 2014 Competitive Grant Process