About this Request for Letters of Intent (LOI)

The Emerging Bilingual Collaborative is looking for applicants seeking to support young Multilingual Learner (ML) students, who include both Dual Language Learner (DLL) and English Learner (EL) students, as described in the Multilingual Learning Toolkit: Resources for Supporting PreK-3rd Multilingual Children. Through this opportunity, we are focused on providing support to organizations working with preschool-3rd grade educators that are eager to redesign or enhance their professional learning systems to meet the needs of ML students in alignment with the goals below.

The Collaborative has released this funding opportunity to address the following immediate goals for the grant (October 2021–September 2023):

  • To implement the instructional practices and corresponding resources as described in the Multilingual Learning Toolkit, through the implementation of high-quality professional learning for PreK-3 educators
  • To generate lessons learned from implementation efforts to support ongoing refinement of the tools and resources to support PreK-3rd educators; and share examples of effective instructional models and supports (documentation and exchange of lessons learned, etc.) 
  • To focus on and build understanding of the unique needs and assets of ML students as central to the work of being a California teacher

What support will be offered by the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative as part of the grant?

The Collaborative will select up to 10 applicants for funding and to participate in a Community of Practice (CoP). This grant program structure will include the following:

  • Funding: The Collaborative will issue grants up to $200,000 to eligible applicants (see below for eligibility requirements).
  • Community of practice (CoP) for Grantee Leadership Team: Each grantee leadership team, in partnership with their respective technical assistance providers or other partners, will participate in a Community of Practice (CoP) from October 2021 to September 2023. The CoP will focus on: (a) designing better professional learning systems to support educators working with Multilingual Learners; (b) change management to support the implementation of a professional learning system focused on educators working with Multilingual Learners; and (c) leadership development to effectively advocate for MLs and the educators who serve them. The CoP will enable grantees to share best practices, conduct site visits in other schools/districts, develop leadership skills on ML issues, and collaborate/receive technical support on using other funding sources to support the long-term vision of their work.
    • CoP facilitation will be delivered remotely and in person. Participants will include those organizational leaders responsible for the design, implementation, improvement and budget management of professional learning systems and their technical assistance partners.
    • Time commitment: The CoP will meet monthly for a 2-3 hour Zoom call. In addition, there will be two in-person meetings per year for all grantees leadership teams.
    • *Note, educators will not be expected to participate in the CoP but we encourage educator representation or engagement of educators in the grantee leadership team. 

Eligibility and grant objectives 

Eligibility Criteria Eligible applicants:

  • Must be a local educational agency (LEA) (this includes public school districts, charter school networks or other local education agencies); or a Quality Counts lead agency; or a county office of education (COE); or a local planning council (LPC) applying through their COE or with an identified lead representative of the LPC. 
    • Technical assistance (TA) providers can apply in partnership with one or more of the eligible applicants listed above.  
    • Applicants who have applied without a technical assistance provider will have the opportunity to identify if they would like for the Collaborative to match them with a TA provider for the duration of the grant.
  • Grantees will preferably have student enrollment where at least 25% of the student population is identified as an English Learner or Dual Language Learner and a minimum student enrollment population of 2,500 students 
    • Single lead applicants who do not meet the student enrollment population minimum are encouraged to: 
      1. apply as a partnership alongside their county office of education (COE); or
      2. partner with other eligible applicants (i.e., two LEAs apply together and in combination have a student population of 2,500, of which at least 25% are ELs/DLLs); or
      3. work with a TA provider to organize multiple districts for partnership
    • We understand that some applicants may not have data available that indicates the percentage of their student population who are identified as English Learners or Dual Language Learners. In these cases, proxy data is acceptable.
  • We encourage collaborations that include partnerships of early learning partners and LEAs (e.g., Quality Counts Lead Agency and LEA)
Specific Objectives  We will give priority to responses that reference alignment with the following objectives:

  • Consider integration of Multilingual Learning Toolkit practices into professional development provided to all educators serving MLs in PreK-3rd grade
  • Consider how their systems need to adapt to improve support to ML educators in PreK-3rd grade
  • Consider how, over the course of the two years, the team plans to braid/use other funding sources (e.g., CARES Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), The American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER), Title I/IDEA, First 5 California Dual Language Learner Pilot Expansion Phase, among others) to support the longer term vision of this work 

Examples of activities eligible for funding include but are not limited to:

  • Coaches/educator supports provide “look fors” in practice, provide reflection and feedback using aligned tools/observation rubric
  • Build partnerships across Prek-3 systems to help design culturally-relevant professional development integrating Multilingual Learning Toolkit practices, as one element of improving PL systems
  • Identify technical assistance partners to adapt or re-design professional learning systems supporting PreK-3rd grade educators teaching MLs and implement redesigned systems with a focus on continuous improvement
  • Provide professional development opportunities for educators to learn from the Multilingual Learning Toolkit and associated resources
  • Educators practice implementing strategies embedded in the Multilingual Learning Toolkit
  • Educators track progress on implementing strategies, noting any successes, as well as areas where they need more support
  • Note: We will not consider stand-alone events, such as one-time workshops.
Grant Period October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2023
Grant Amount Grants up to $200,000

Expectations for grantees

Grantees will be expected to participate in shared learning provided through the Community of Practice (CoP), as well as track and report progress in partnership with the CoP learning and evaluation partner for the duration of the grant term between October, 2021 and September, 2023. In addition to planning, grantees will be expected to implement direct training to educators within the 2- year grant period and be required to demonstrate a commitment to integrating high-quality ML instructional practices and resources, such as the Multilingual Learning Toolkit, into their professional learning strategies. Estimated time commitment will include:

  • Virtual monthly CoP and coaching sessions (2-3 hours)
  • Biannual Convenings (2 full day gatherings each year)

If applicants are invited to submit a full proposal, more details will be provided. 

Tracking and reporting progress

We understand that there may be grantees who already have a strong comprehensive tracking system in place for supporting educator practice and mindsets and some who would prefer to be given a standardized rubric for measuring progress and supporting continuous learning. The Collaborative will offer some flexibility for tracking the progress of practices outlined in the Multilingual Learning Toolkit for the duration of the grant. Grantees can choose from the following options:

  • Grantees can focus on integrating practices into tools (rubric, surveys) already in use and collect baseline information before implementation starts. If using existing tools and rubrics, the information and collected data must meet reporting requirements below.
  • If requested, the Collaborative can provide a rubric and survey that grantees can adapt and use to track progress and collect data. 

All grantees must provide data that includes or demonstrates:

  • More educators working with MLs are: 
    • Implementing high-quality instructional practices aligned to the Multilingual Learning Toolkit
    • Have developed equitable, assets-based mindsets related to working with MLs
  • More education leaders are: 
    • Better equipped to systemically support MLs (e.g. curriculum adoption, use of funds, etc.)
    • Have the  leadership skills and mindsets needed to effectively advocate for MLs
    • Have the tools needed to effectively support the professional development of educators working with MLs

In addition, the Community of Practice will be supported by a learning and evaluation partner to document lessons learned. More details on these activities will be provided to applicant finalists but may include interviews, observations, surveys and/or other data collection methods. 

Grant amount and allowable use of funds

The grant funds can support grantee planning efforts, such as consulting support or staff time for project management and planning; convening meetings with team members, stakeholders or other partners; stipends, release time and/or travel expenses for team members, experts or partners; etc.  

The grants may cover a portion of staff time, but not the full amount for a full-time employee. Grant funds cannot be used for funding one-time events.

Indirect costs cannot exceed 10%.

Grant program timeline

Event Milestone Date/Range
Invitation issued Potential applicants receive LOI notice 6/8/21
Letter of Intent (LOI) Due LOI submission window closes  7/9/21

5:00 PM PDT

Request for proposals Invitations sent to select applicants, based on letters of intent, to submit a full proposal by 7/28/21
Full proposals due Invited applicants only submit full proposals by 8/25/21

5:00 PM (PDT)

Awardee notifications Selected finalists notified of award contingent on due diligence conducted by New Venture Fund by 9/15/21
Grant agreements Grant agreements signed and submitted to NVF by 10/15/21
Awards released Funds released, if finalists confirmed by New Venture Fund and execution of grant agreements by 10/31/21 
Grantee reporting and learning evaluation Ongoing – TBD
Final report Final report to Education First and the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative 10/1/23

*Dates may change slightly based on the number of submissions received.

Questions related to this LOI process?

Emerging Bilingual Collaborative, a project of New Venture Fund, is supported by the following foundations…