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2 Letter of Intent (LOI)
Response ID:40 Data
1. Introduction 1. Introduction
As an initial screening option, districts may individually
or collaboratively submit letters of intent (LOIs). This will allow grant
applicants the opportunity to first submit project proposals for feedback and
possible revision, prior to writing their full proposals. Submitting an LOI
is strongly recommended; districts may apply for P1 funds without
submitting a letter of intent. All applicants who submit an LOI will receive
feedback regarding overall fit with the direction of the Investment Fund as
well as potential areas of weakness in the proposed project.
Letters of Intent to apply must be completed and submitted no later than
5PM on March 21, 2014. Feedback will be offered by March 27 th, 2013.
Feedback will be provided to all individuals listed as contacts on the LOIs.
LOIs will be posted on the RTT website.
To access a PDF version of this Letter of Intent form, please click the
following link: RTTLOI.pdf
2. RTT Project 1 RFP Letter of Intent to Apply 2. RTT Project 1 RFP Letter of Intent to Apply
1. Please select the district(s) that are submitting this letter of intent.
Seattle Public Schools
2. Please list any involved partners.
There are four organizations that are partners and close collaborators in the Seattle Teacher Residency (STR).
• Seattle Public Schools (SPS)
• University of Washington College of Education (UW)
• The Seattle Education Association (SEA)
• The Alliance for Education
3. Please use the table below to fill out contact information for your district(s) including full names
of contact person/people, title(s), email(s), telephone number(s), and name of lead applicant(s).
Name District Title Email
Grants Director, SPS email@example.com
CEO, Alliance for
3. Summary of Proposal 3. Summary of Proposal
4. The application will be for a:
Continuing Project of a Round 1 Project ending in 2014
5. Summary of Proposal 5. Summary of Proposal
5. Please describe any changes or course corrections made from Round 1
The first year of implementation of the STR has informed many changes. Here is a summary of two in
particular: the introduction of Studio Days and improvements in the STR resident admissions and selection
process. (This answer is limited to a summary of changes made in this year's program; a description of our
2014-15 enhancement and expansion plans is included in our answer to number 9, below.)
STR determined early in the school year that the program needed to intensify its focus on: (1) the language
needs of English Language Learners (ELL); and (2) coaching in Math instruction. Responding to the need, the
STR Math Methods instructor and ELL Instructor (faculty members at the UW College of Education) co-created a
model called Studio Days and launched it this winter. Studio Days integrate EL instructional strategies and
considerations into rigorous math instruction.
Residents have already learned and rehearsed general differentiated instructional practices for ELL students,
as well as appropriate practices for high quality math instruction. The ELL/Math Studio Days are designed to
allow Residents to integrate these two areas, so that they can more effectively support ELL student learning in
actual practice with the Seattle students in their classrooms. ELL/Math Studio Days also facilitate connections
with non-mentor teachers in the schools where the Studio Day is taking place.
WHAT A STUDIO DAY LOOKS LIKE
At a Studio Day, a team of Residents who teach the same grade level spends a structured day planning and
then delivering math instruction with an ELL focus. Each day focuses on instruction for one grade level span
(e.g. K/1, 4/5).
During the first part of the day, the group works with the UW/STR Math and ELL instructors developing a math
lesson with ELL instructional strategies, consistent with the strengths and needs of ELL students. A Resident
then delivers the lesson in their classroom, paying special attention to ELL students. The UW/STR instructors
are in the classroom supervising and providing guidance, support and intervention where needed. The mentor-
teacher, other Residents and some of the other teachers in that school observe. After the lesson is presented
to the entire class, students are directed to break into small learning groups where other Residents reinforce
The lesson is video-recorded and the other Residents take manual or audio notes to further document what
students are saying and doing. This provides important data to reflect on during debriefing.
After the lesson, the group returns to a meeting place to debrief and make revisions. A plan is made for re-
teaching the revised lesson to a new group of students in a different classroom (and perhaps another partner
school) in the afternoon. This re-teaching is again followed by debriefing where the group discusses how
effectively the revisions made to the lesson supported the learning of ELL students in the classroom.
The Studio Days provide STR/UW instructors the ability to more closely monitor and support Resident learning
while Residents practice teaching Math to ELL students. Real-time coaching provides opportunities for
correction during instruction. Substantial debriefing allows for modifications to instruction prior to re-teaching
the task in another classroom. Residents are able to discuss unexpected linguistic challenges with evidence
from their observations and develop more effective ways to structure timing and participation. Through
ELL/Math Studio Days:
• Residents develop assessment skills to inform instructional decisions;
• Observers see the impact of lesson changes on learning by ELL students;
• Peers engage in collegial conversations around instruction and student learning; and
• The program leverages its impact on the rest of the school by providing learning opportunities for Mentor
and non-Mentor teachers alike.
STR plans to expand Studio Days to more classrooms and more RTTT high-needs schools next year.
REFINEMENT OF THE ADMISSIONS AND SELECTION PROCESS
The Resident admissions process is conducted in close coordination with the UW College of Education (since
Residents receive a Masters in Teaching degree upon program successful completion). STR formed a
Selection Team comprised of representatives of the project’s four partners. The team assesses several things
about each applicant including: prior academic record; references documented on a structured reference form;
leadership and collaboration skills; experience with children in poverty-impacted communities; passion for
teaching; and commitment to the STR mission.
The heart of the Resident admissions process is "Selection Day," an all-day set of on-site interviews and
exercises to which qualified applicants are invited. Selection Day provides opportunities for candidates to
demonstrate their experience, skillsets, analytical and interpersonal skills, and motivations. The day is intended
to simulate the rigor of the STR program as well as the teaching profession; it enables Selection Team
members to determine which candidates are best capable of handling pressure and juggling diverse tasks in a
typical day of teaching.
During the highly structured experience, candidates are expected to:
• Give a teaching demonstration;
• Engage in discussion with peers after receiving feedback about their teaching;
• Analyze student writing;
• Demonstrate cultural competence;
• Analyze and critique a teaching video; and
• Draft a letter to parents to introduce themselves.
Last spring, 47 candidates were invited to Selection Day (out of 58 total applicants). At the end of the rigorous
day, the selection team reached consensus on accepting 25 candidates to launch the program. Cohort One
Residents began work last August.
Selection Day was an invigorating, positive, high-energy experience. We are pleased that the vast majority of
Residents are performing very well in the program this year. Moreover, the program is impacting not only the
classrooms where Residents are working with their mentor-teachers, but the rest of the schools in which they
are working and even the system beyond.
As we prepare for Cohort Two Selection Day scheduled for April 11th, we are closely reviewing the process
and implementing changes based on lessons learned. While most of the Residents we accepted are
performing well, a few are struggling. So we are correlating Residents’ performance during the year with their
performance on Selection Day last spring. For example, some of the struggling Residents are those who were
not initially accepted and were placed on our waitlist, or they are ones who struggled in particular tasks on
Selection Day. Areas of particular stress for some include:
• Ability to handle pressure - some Residents were quite nervous on Selection Day, did not complete tasks, felt
ill, or claimed they weren't their best selves. In the program, some of these same individuals have time
management issues, a high number of absences, difficulty completing coursework assignments, and
experience unusual anxiety during observations.
• Ability to process feedback – the Residents who seem to resist feedback are often those who did not
engage much with others about the feedback they received from the mock teaching exercise on Selection Day.
• Weak content knowledge (especially math) – the math video task has proven to be an effective mechanism
for predicting struggles teaching math content.
Accordingly, we are making several enhancements to the recruitment and selection process for Cohort Two
• Refining the rubrics used to evaluate applicants on the 7 different tasks related to the competencies deemed
necessary for success in the program; this includes adjusting the weight of each rubric based on what is
needed to be successful in this rigorous program;
• Further analyzing and clarifying for ourselves the link between the exercises and the attributes we believe
will contribute to a Resident’s success;
• Improving orientation of Selection Team members so they have appropriate time to prepare, sufficient
understanding about the process and adequate information about each task we ask them to assess;
• Encouraging team members to document impressions and anecdotes (in addition to numerical scoring)
because their observations “give life” to the candidates and provide valuable insights that numbers alone
• Facilitating an information/Q&A panel of current residents and mentors and providing more opportunities for
candidates to meet and mingle with current Residents and staff (based on feedback from last year’s
• Rolling out a digital tool that facilitates scoring and analysis of candidates’ performance across tasks.
PLEASE SEE NUMBER 9 for a description of program expansion and enhancements planned for 2014-15.
6. Summary of Proposal 6. Summary of Proposal
6. Will the project continue with the same high-needs school(s) involved in
Round 1? If not, please list the high-needs schools involved in the text boxes
below. (For reference, click the following link to see the list of high-needs
schools: RTT High Need Schools List)
1 : Concord ES (5 Residents in 2014-15)
2 : Northgate (6 week summer program)
3 : Studio Days at Emerson and other high-need schools
7. Summary of Proposal 7. Summary of Proposal
Which student group's academic achievement is your district's highest
priority for support and impact?
7. Check all groups that are relevant.
English Language Learners (ELL)
8. Check all grade levels that are relevant.
10. Summary of Proposal 10. Summary of Proposal
9. Please describe any changes to the Round 1 project concerning the goal
areas for students and the theory of action that articulates how the project
activities will impact outcomes.
(Please click here to access RTT Goal Areas and Performance Measures:
A. PROGRAM EXPANSION
There will be 3 areas of program expansion in 2014-15:
1. INCREASING COHORT SIZE
Cohort Two will grow from 25 to 35 total Residents. The 10 additional Residents will be in a new Special
Education track that STR is developing in response to a particularly urgent need at SPS. Analysis of data shows
the greatest need to be for elementary special education generalist teachers. While there may be needs in
secondary, building an elementary special ed cohort will allow STR to feed qualified teachers into the current
structure and further develop the existing program. A hiring review will take place this year to determine
whether a secondary cohort will be added to 2015-16.
2. IMPACTING MORE SCHOOLS
This year, there are 25 Residents working at 5 Title I schools. Two of these are deemed RTTT high-need
schools; 8 Residents are working at these schools (Hawthorne and Madrona).
In 2014-15, the program will place Residents in at least 7 Title I schools, and at least 3 of them will be on RTTT
high-need schools: Hawthorne and Madrona from this year, and an additional one (Concord ES is under
consideration). We expect to place between 12 and 15 Residents in three RTTT high-need schools in 2014-15.
3. EXPANDING IMPACT AT A SYSTEM LEVEL
STR will continue to leverage its impact beyond the Residents’ classrooms to other classrooms and the
broader system. Examples:
• The mock teaching exercise used in STR Selection Day is being adopted by the district and incorporated into
its own hiring process for all teachers.
• Principals from STR schools will participate in a professional learning community (with other, non-STR school
principals) to lend and leverage effective professional practices that support the district’s own mentor
• STR will bring ELL/Math Studio Days (described above) to additional classrooms in STR schools and will invite
career ladder teachers and principals from other high-need schools to participate. The learning that occurs
from these days will inform practice and structures at other high-need schools where STR Residents are not
placed at this time. In two of the schools where Studio Days are planned next year (Concord and Emerson), the
model addresses areas that are part of their staff development goals.
B. NEW GOALS
During development of the full RTTT Round 2 proposal prior to April 18th, the project partners will consider
selecting new goal areas from the document referenced in the URL. The ones under consideration are:
• (A)(4)(b): Achievement Gaps in Reading
• (A)(4)(b): Achievement Gaps in Math
The theory of action of the Seattle Teacher Residency is that a rigorous, district-specific, classroom-based
graduate school training program that embeds the work of teacher preparation directly into practice at high-
need schools, and which focuses specifically on the needs of ELL, low income, SPED and students of color will
improve academic achievement of these students and narrow the opportunity gap. The STR curriculum
committee, comprised of university and district educators, has done innovative work developing the course
sequence for Residents. The curriculum integrates theory and practice with particular attention to issues of
inequity. It reflects Common Core standards, SPS’ new teacher evaluation framework, and Washington state
competencies for teacher education. Coursework and tasks are embedded in the context of working with
Admission into the program is conditioned on Residents making a 6-year commitment to high-need SPS
schools: one year of residency followed by five years of teaching. (Employment is subject to successful
completion of the residency, vacancies at high need schools consistent with the candidates’ qualifications, the
collective bargaining agreement with SEA, and SPS hiring policies and discretion.) The significant commitments
that Residents make provide a high probability that their teaching will have measurable and extended impacts
on the high-need schools where they will be hired.
The theory of action is further reinforced by 3 quarters of Math Methods coursework taught in the context of
elementary classrooms; specific ELL coursework; and the introduction of ELL/Math Studio Days.
The ELL strand in the Seattle Teacher Residency aims to prepare Residents to teach and advocate for the
culturally and linguistically diverse students that are and will be in their classrooms. Throughout three quarters,
this strand builds the Residents’ working knowledge of how EL students learn language and content, the social
and political contexts within which this learning and schooling takes place, and instructional approaches,
methods, and strategies to support the teaching and learning of EL students integrated with other content
areas so as to provide an equitable education on par of that with their native English speaking peers.
The UW/STR ELL instructor not only teaches courses but also participates in both math and literacy methods
courses to help Residents make connections to the language demands of English language learners within the
content areas. In addition, the EL instructor co-plans and co-facilitates ELL/Math Studio Days in close
collaboration with the Math instructor. The coursework includes:
Summer Quarter: “EDTEP 511C School and Society,” which explores the multiple, interrelated factors that shape
or influence the work of teachers, the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse students in urban
schools and classrooms, and the Residents’ roles and identities as public school teachers. Instructionally, the
Residents begin to prepare for instruction of ELL students through a focus on second language acquisition,
language proficiency levels (LPLs), scaffolding instruction for both content and language learning, and
developing ELL students’ academic language.
Fall Quarter: In the course, “EDTEP 544 – Differentiated Instruction for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
Students,” Residents revisit and focus on principles of second language acquisition and development with an
emphasis on academic language and scaffolding content and language instruction. In addition, the Residents
learn, lesson plan, and rehearse instructional strategies to facilitate the meaningful participation and learning
of ELL students in mainstream classrooms across content areas. The Residents examine what it means to
differentiate instruction for ELL students and provide different ways to provide them with rigorous learning
opportunities while meeting content and language needs through readings, class activities, analyzing video of
their own teaching and teaching rehearsals.
Winter and Spring Quarters: Residents have coursework that integrates math methods with differentiated
instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students.
The Math Methods objective is that Residents develop a deep mathematical knowledge and become proficient
with a set of powerful instructional and assessment strategies. The intent is to equip them with a strong
foundation for teaching mathematics in the elementary grades with a social justice orientation. Residents begin
developing a view that ambitious mathematics teaching includes developing skilled ways of drawing out and
responding to each student so that they learn the skills and view themselves as competent mathematicians.
The premise is that ambitious teachers are committed to children, embrace mathematics as an important tool
through which to understand the world, and seek opportunities to grow continually. For STR purposes, enacting
social justice in teaching mathematics involves collectively examining how attitudes, teaching moves, and
choice of materials serve to empower students to use math tools to understand the world around them.
The ideas that shape the design of course activities include:
• Leveraging Children’s Thinking: Coursework centers on classroom practices that support and develop
children’s thinking. Course activities push Residents to design instruction that is responsive to the diverse
needs and interests of students and that keeps students’ ways of thinking central in their mindsets.
• Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching [MKT]: Teachers need understanding of and procedural fluency with
the math they teach. But they also need mathematical knowledge for teaching. They need to know, for
example, how students learn particular ideas over time, what strategies students typically use, what students
find challenging and why, and what contexts and tools support students’ learning and communication.
Therefore, coursework focuses on developing mathematical knowledge for teaching with respect to the
addition and subtraction (and, to a lesser extent, multiplication) of whole numbers.
• Learning through practice: Good teachers develop their practice deliberately by engaging with colleagues in
carefully structured, authentic teaching activities. These include the planning, rehearsal, and enactment of
instructional activities and the analysis of student work. Through discussions of their own performances and
those of others using records of practice in various forms, Residents also engage in analyzing practice.
11. Summary of Proposal 11. Summary of Proposal
10. Please describe how your strategies are culturally responsive if different
from your Round 1 Application.
STR aims to incorporate teaching practices that respond to the cultural differences of children at SPS. One
strategy is through the CLD strand described above. Residents are taught to draw upon their knowledge of
students’ cultural and linguistic needs in order to plan for instruction.
Residents take coursework throughout the year that is part of a Family/Community strand where they explore
multiple, interrelated factors that shape or influence their work as teachers, the experiences of students in
urban schools and classrooms, and their role and identity as public school teachers. These factors are
discussed within different, often conflicting, political, historical, and social contexts concerning the education of
racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students, and the role of schooling itself. In particular, Residents
explore these 2 questions:
• What does working toward equity look like for my particular students in my particular classroom?
• What does working toward equity look like in my building?
Please see last year’s proposal for additional description of STR’s strategies related to cultural
12. Summary of Proposal 12. Summary of Proposal
11. How has the education association been involved in the planning of your
The Seattle Education Association (SEA) is one of the project’s four core partners. As such, SEA’s president
participates actively in the STR governing body (aka, Steering Committee). Meetings are held monthly.
Agendas include policy, planning, implementation, communications and resource development and allocation. In
addition, SEA members are part of several STR teams responsible for designing and implementing STR. This
includes the Design Team, Advisory Council, and instructional teams. A number of SEA Members are also
instructors within the program. Feedback from teacher-mentors (who are SEA members) continually informs
program implementation and the plans for the program’s second year (which are referenced in this LOI and
13. Summary of Proposal 13. Summary of Proposal
12. Please describe your estimated budget in the text box below.
The program will expand in 2014-15 in these ways:
• Cohort Two will be comprised of 35 residents, 10 more than Cohort One (the additional slots will comprise a
new SPED track);
• Residents will be placed at two more schools (increasing the number of Resident-placement schools from 5
to 7, all of which are low income, Title I schools); and
• At least one of the two additional Title I schools will be an RTTT high-need school (for a total of 3, which is
42% of all STR training sites).
Our grant request will be limited to supporting a portion of program costs at the three RTTT high-need schools
where Residents will be placed: Hawthorne ES; Madrona K8; and Concord ES (85% of the students at this
proposed new site are FRL eligible). As we plan to place nearly double the number of Residents in RTTT high-
need schools (15 in 2014-15 vs. 8 in 2013-14), our request will be higher than the current grant of $225,455
(though the request will be far short of twice the amount of the 2013-14 grant). The figures below are pending
completion of the 2014-15 STR budget which is currently being developed:
• Total STR 2014-15 Budget (35 Residents serving 7 Title I Schools): $1,446,728
• Amount Attributable to Serving 3 RTTT High-Need Schools (3/7 schools = 42%): $679,962
• Anticipated request for Funds for RTTT High-Need Schools in 2014-15: $350,000
While this is higher than our current Round 1 allocation of $225,455, the cost per Resident and cost per student
will be less.
We are still developing the 2014-15 program budget; however we expect the distribution of costs per line item
to be relatively consistent with this year’s distribution.
14. Review Submission 14. Review Submission
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15. Thank You! 15. Thank You!
Thank you for filling out the Letter of Intent for Race to the Top Project 1 Round 2!
Response ID: 40 Response ID: 40
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