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RISE Educator Innovation Fund Match Offer

The Connecticut RISE Network supports educators in preparing students for college, career, and life success. In collaboration with our RISE district partners -- East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, Naugatuck, New Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford Public Schools -- we are thrilled to invite RISE high school teachers, counselors, and specialists to participate in the RISE Educator Innovation Fund. The RISE Educator Innovation Fund encourages educators to pursue innovative strategies to increase on-track achievement and college and career readiness. Since 2016-17, RISE educators have leveraged the Innovation Fund to launch hundreds of projects, securing funding to enrich their instruction and classroom environments to build student engagement and connections to school, create experiences that invest and motivate their students, and enable students to explore post-secondary opportunities.

All teachers, counselors, and specialists in RISE high schools can participate in the Innovation Fund by submitting projects to pursue ideas to advance Network-wide goals around supporting students transitions to, through, and beyond high school. Projects submitted by RISE educators and aligned to RISE Network goals receive an exclusive match funding offer from the RISE Network and the Dalio Foundation, while funds last. Educators leading funded projects will be asked to share tools and learnings with colleagues in other RISE schools and districts via a survey, supporting a cross-district community of learning and improvement.

The RISE Educator Advisory Council, made up of teachers, counselors, and administrators from across the RISE Network, helps facilitate Network-wide learning and periodically reviews and provides funding to particularly promising proposals. The RISE Educator Advisory Council will evaluate proposals using the following criteria:

  1. Student Need: Does the proposal identify and respond to a clear and data-driven student need?
  2. Project Description: Does the proposal provide a clear hypothesis and an exciting idea to improve on-track achievement and/or college and career readiness?
  3. Network Goal Alignment: Does the proposal present a compelling connection to Network goals (i.e., improving on-track achievement and/or college and career readiness)?
  4. Impact: Will it be possible to learn from and measure the impact of this project?
  5. Replicability: Is the proposal scalable? Is it likely to support shared learning and potential implementation in other RISE schools and districts?

RISE high schools eligible for the match offer include:

  • Orville H. Platt High School, Meriden
  • Francis T. Maloney High School, Meriden
  • Hill Regional Career High School, New Haven
  • East Hartford High School, East Hartford
  • Hartford Public High School, Hartford
  • Manchester High School, Manchester
  • Middletown High School, Middletown
  • Naugatuck High School, Naugatuck
  • Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk
  • Westhill High School, Stamford

Application Process

To submit a project through the RISE Educator Innovation Fund, teachers, counselors, and specialists in RISE high schools should:

  1. Register for an account if you are new to DonorsChoose.org.
  2. Create a project with a total project goal of up to $2,000. Your project should request the materials you need to pursue you innovative idea; you might consider dividing your proposal into sub-projects to obtain funding and supplies more quickly.
  3. In your project essay, which is targeted at potential donors, please make sure to:
    1. Clearly explain the goals of your project, using data when possible, and how you intend to use the resources you are requesting.
    2. Articulate the way in which this project takes an innovative approach to improving students’ on-track achievement and college and career readiness, access, and success.
  4. If your proposal is complete and aligned to Network goals, you’ll receive an email when the project goes live informing you that you’ve qualified for a match offer from the RISE Network. You’ll also see the RISE Network match offer logo on your project page if you’ve qualified.

For inspiration and guidance, educators are encouraged to review some of the hundreds of project proposals that have been successfully funded through the RISE Educator Innovation Fund. If you have any questions about the process, please contact Peter Lorinser at the RISE Network.