The Boston-based Barr Foundation seeks to provide funding and technical assistance to help up to twenty communities in New England build locally driven portraits of their high school graduates.
A portrait of a graduate articulates the community's collective vision of what all high school students will know and be able to do. In order for all students to reach their potential, high schools must be intentionally designed to hold students to high expectations. Through the development and use of a portrait of a graduate, high schools can embrace a robust definition of student success that ensures students are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge we all need to be successful in college, career, and the community.
Over a twelve-month period (January-December 2020), grantees will each facilitate a local working team to lead the planning and research effort, deeply engage a range of stakeholders, participate in a cohort learning community, work with national experts, and visit at least one national example to inform and inspire their vision development.
Applicants are invited to submit proposals for $50,000 to $250,000, depending on the number and size of schools and organizations collaborating in the portrait development process.
To be eligible for a grant, the community must work with at least one high school (any public governance structure); include a minimum of a hundred high school students (total across participating high schools); include a high school population that is at least 50 percent high-needs students (composite rate of at least 50 percent across all high schools included); and serve students in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
In addition, the lead applicant must be a local education agency (LEA) or a 501(c)(3) based in the community, and be one of the core facilitators on the working team.
At the conclusion of the grant period, grantees must be able to articulate and document a vision of what all of their graduates will know and be able to do by the time they earn their diploma (the portrait of a graduate), and have created an action plan for how they will use their portrait to drive changes in policy and practice to prepare all graduates to thrive in whatever post-secondary option they choose. Grantees also will demonstrate that their portrait and action plan have been endorsed by the internal and external community.
The foundation will host a webinar for prospective applicants on July 16 at 11:00 a.m. ET. (Registration required.) Proposals are due August 30, with awards to be announced in early December.
See the Barr Foundation website for a complete program description, a description of desired activities during the grant period, eligibility criteria, and application instructions.