Below are upcoming opportunities to explore.

Scaling for Impact  Have you heard about Illinois’ 60 by 25 goal? It’s the state’s goal to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and  credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025.  Many communities and organizations have joined the effort to reach the 60 by 25 goal, but there is still more work to be done! What can you do? Join Illinois’ 60 by 25 Network at their fifth annual conference on February 6-7, 2018, in Bloomington, Illinois. They will be diving into strategies to advance equity within Illinois communities and achieve the 60 by 25 goal. You can expect to hear about challenges and success stories, exchange best-practices, and find opportunities to collaborate. Guest speakers include State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Smith, and other school officials, business leaders, and national partners. You won’t want to miss it!

USDOE seeks applicants from rural areas for the purpose of the School Ambassador Fellowship program  School staff members provide vital leadership in classrooms and schools, but too often lack opportunities to contribute their knowledge to the development of education policy on a broader scale. The U.S. Department of Education designed the School Ambassador Fellowship program to enable outstanding teachers, principals and other school leaders, like school counselors and librarians, to bring their school and classroom expertise to the Department and to expand their knowledge of the national dialogue about education. In turn, School Ambassador Fellows facilitate the learning and input of other educators and community members. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Time, January 31, 2018.

21st Century Community Learning Centers RFP  The Illinois State Board of Education has released the RFP for the federal 21stCentury Community Learning Centers funding for FY2019. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding can be used to support community schools programming. The state will distribute approximately $12 million in grant awards ranging from $50,000 to a maximum of $600,000. Individual awards will not exceed $150,000 per site. The grants from this RFP will be offered for a five year period beginning no sooner than July 1, 2018. The RFP is due to ISBE no later than 4 p.m. Central Time, Thursday, February 15, 2018.

Applications Open for Second Cohort of Competency-Based Education Pilot  “This competency-based learning pilot might be the most exciting opportunity available to school districts right now,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “This pilot allows districts to redesign the high school experience totally around what students know and where they want to go.”

Grow Your Own Consortium  Applications are now open for the Fiscal Year 2018 Grow Your Own Teacher Education Initiative (GYO). The goal of GYO is to recruit and prepare parent and community leaders and paraeducators statewide to become effective teachers in hard-to-staff schools serving low-income students.

Prevention Initiative RFP  The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Prevention Initiative (PI) program for FY2019. The RFP must be submitted by 4 p.m. February 9. Please note the FY2019 PI RFP is not available for electronic submission in the IWAS system. Eligible applicants must submit an Intent to Apply before submitting an application. Applicants proposing to provide services for children and families within the Chicago city limits must apply for funds through Chicago Public Schools. Please check the ISBE RFP page regularly for resources, including the RFP rubric  and updates. A Bidders Webinar is forthcoming. Questions should be directed to the Early Childhood Division of ISBE at (217) 524-4835 or emailed.

National Board Resource Center (NBRC) Professional Development Opportunity The NBRC is seeking administrators interested in a research-based ongoing professional development opportunity. There are currently 40 National Board Professional Development Schools in Illinois led by administrator leaders. The NBRC is expanding this program to include an additional 25 schools/districts to take part in this opportunity during the 2018-19 school year. This program is school based and includes several research-based instructional strategies that focus on implementing effective teaching approaches that nurture critical thinking. Application deadline is March 26, 2018. Call Debra Kasperski at (309) 438-1833 for more information or to set up an appointment.

Seeking Educator Feedback on College and Career Pathway Endorsement Competencies Feedback is being sought on draft competencies for College and Career Pathway Endorsements as part of the effort to implement the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act. These competencies were developed by public-private committees in four areas: Finance and Business Services, Health Sciences, Information Technology, and Manufacturing and Engineering. The competency-mapping process will be extended to additional sectors starting in the spring. Feedback collected via this survey will be incorporated into edits and evaluation of the drafted statement, and educator voices are essential.  The survey is open until January 15. Please feel free to share the survey with colleagues and networks. Please contact Andrea Messing-Mathie at or Leah Moschella at with any questions.

Call for Evaluators – Early Childhood Request for Proposals: Prevention Initiative (PI) Birth to Age 3, Preschool for All (PFA) Ages 3-5, Preschool for All Expansion Model (PFAE) State  To apply, complete this survey. In submitting this application you are volunteering time and expertise to complete the evaluation of approximately 10 to 20 proposals.​ Questions may be forwarded to the Early Childhood Division at​.​