California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE)

Community Engagement Initiative Request for Applications

Peer Leading and Learning Network

Printable version of the RFA

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS), the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), and Families In Schools (FIS) invite any interested school district in California to submit an application to serve in the Community Engagement Initiative’s inaugural Peer Leading and Learning Network.

This inaugural Network will lead the Initiative’s efforts to build statewide capacity for authentic community engagement, with a focus on improving outcomes for all students, particularly English Learners, low-income students, Foster Youth, and students from other underserved student groups.

Background

In 2013, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) fundamentally changed how the State provides resources to school districts and holds them accountable for improving student performance. The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), an integral component of the LCFF, provides a way for districts to continuously improve by describing their goals, actions, and services for all students, particularly English Learners, low-income students, Foster Youth, and students from other underserved student groups. In 2017, the California School Dashboard was launched to help districts identify strengths and challenges to inform their LCAPs.

The California Statewide System of Support, which is rooted in identifying and eliminating inequities, has been established to build local capacity to ensure that districts are equipped to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies to ensure that each student has the resources needed to succeed. The System of Support includes the CCEE, the California Department of Education, county offices of education, as well as many other entities that serve as “Leads” in particular areas. The Legislature created the Community Engagement Initiative in 2018, pursuant to Section 140 of Assembly Bill 1808, to take the lead with respect to community engagement.

The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI)

The CEI is a five-year effort intended to strengthen the System of Support by building the capacity of school districts and communities to authentically engage each other in the LCAP development process, to have difficult conversations, to build trusting relationships, and to identify effective models of community engagement and metrics to evaluate those models. The CCEE, SBCSS, CABE and FIS jointly lead the CEI.

At the core of the CEI are Peer Leading and Learning Networks. The first phase of the CEI includes a single network designed to bring together four to six geographically diverse “District Teams” that have had demonstrable success in community engagement, ideally at both the school and district levels. The District Teams in this inaugural Network will collectively—along with the CCEE, SBCSS, CABE, and FIS—share, develop, and refine effective models of community engagement and metrics to evaluate those models based on those successes. The inaugural Network will also help support future Peer Leading and Learning Networks within the CEI.

Each District Team in the inaugural Network must include the following members:

  • From the district: a cabinet-level district administrator (e.g., Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent) who oversees community engagement for the district and (if different) a district staff member who leads community engagement implementation for the district.
  • From a specified school site: the principal, assistant/vice principal, or dean who oversees community engagement at the school and (if different) another administrator or staff member who leads community engagement implementation at the school; two students and/or a family member of each of those two students enrolled in the school. If the school is an elementary or middle school, only family members of the two students enrolled in the school would serve as Team members.
  • From the county office of education: an administrator or staff person who oversees or provides support for community engagement to school districts in the county.
  • From the community: a representative of a community-based organization that works with the district or specified school.

Benefits & Commitments of District Teams

If selected, each District Team will have the unique opportunity to help lead the statewide effort to build capacity for authentic community engagement through the CEI. Each selected District Team will receive a stipend to offset the costs of network participation, and the Team members’ travel, lodging, and meal costs will be reimbursed under the CCEE’s reimbursement policies.

If selected, each District Team commits to the following:

  • To participate in the Network for at least three years, with eight meetings a year
  • To engage in an open dialogue on issues related to improving local pupil outcomes
  • To partner with other communities and school districts on improving community engagement through the Network
  • To inform the district’s governing board of the District Teams’ selection in the Network by May 1, 2019
  • To find a replacement for any team member who leaves, within one month of that team member’s departure, keeping with the requirements for participants set forth above, and to notify the CCEE, SBCSS, CABE, and FIS upon designating the replacement
  • To provide space at the specified school site for Network meetings that is video-conference capable
  • To be available to hold the first meeting for the Network on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at the video-conference capable space provided at the specified school site

To Apply

First Round: Any interested district should submit a Letter of Interest, signed by the District Superintendent, that is not more than three pages in length.

  • First: The Letter should detail how the district has been successful at (i) involving community members in district-level decision making (e.g., through the LCAP process) and/or (ii) engaging families at the school level.  Positive consideration will be given to applicants whether the district and one or more of its communities (i) have successfully built capacity to have difficult conversations with each other and build trust, with a focus on improving outcomes for all students, particularly English Learners, low-income students, Foster Youth, and students from other underserved student groups, and (ii) have successfully engaged communities that have not historically been engaged.
  • Second: The Letter must also include three options for a possible one-day site visit should the applicant make it to the second round. (As described below, there may be a site visit for applicants who progress to the second round.) The available dates for the site visit are: Tuesday, March 26, 2019; Wednesday, March 27, 2019; Thursday, March 28, 2019; Friday, March 29, 2019; Monday, April 1, 2019; Tuesday, April 2, 2019; Wednesday, April 3, 2019; Thursday, April 4, 2019; and Friday, April 5, 2019.
  • Third: The Letter must identify the specified school site that would be represented on the District Team.
  • Lastly: The Letter must include the name and contact information (phone and email) for the district employee to be contacted regarding the application.

Second Round: The second round may involve a video interview and/or a visit to the specified school site. Either option is likely to require meeting with students, families, District and site staff, and the local community-based organization. The second round will also include a request for the names of the individuals proposed to serve on the District Team and a request for supplemental information regarding the successes identified in the Letter of Interest (e.g., the metrics or other evidence used to demonstrate such success). The deadline for second round applicants to provide the requested supplemental materials is April 5, 2019. Additional details will be provided if the applicant is advanced to the second round.

Application Submission Information & Questions

Please submit the Letter of Interest (as both a word document and a PDF) via email to Josh Daniels (CCEE Director, Finance & Operations). The preferred submission deadline is Friday, March 8, 2019. If necessary, however, Letters of Interest will be accepted up to 9:00 A.M. in the morning on Monday, March 11, 2019.

Anyone interested is encouraged to contact Josh Daniels with questions. If a significant number of questions are received on the same topic, one or more FAQs will be posted on this webpage. Thus, interested applicants are encouraged to check the webpage frequently to see if any such FAQs have been created and posted. Please note that questions received on or after Thursday, March 7, 2019 may not be answered prior to the submission deadline.

Timeline Summary
Feb 19, 2019:  Request for Applications
Mar 8, 2019:  Preferred application due date
Mar 11, 2019:  All applications must be submitted by 9:00 A.M.
Mar 12, 2019:  Applicants will be notified if they have been selected to advance to the second round
Mar 26, 2019:  First potential day for possible site visit
Apr 5, 2019:  Last potential day for possible site visit
Apr 5, 2019:  Deadline for submission of supplemental materials (for those who have been selected to advance to the second round)
Apr 9, 2019:  Applicants will be notified if they have been selected as a District Team for the inaugural Network
May 2, 2019:  First meeting of inaugural Network held from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M