Below are upcoming opportunities to explore.

PS Launches New Community Schools Initiative-Seeking RFQs  The Chicago Board of Education announced a new initiative aimed at developing a citywide network of community schools in Chicago. Non-profit agencies interested in providing community school programming in Chicago Public Schools should submit a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to the Chicago Board of Education to pre-qualify. A Pre-Submittal Conference will be held at 9:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, February 21 at the Garfield Park Office, 2651 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago.  Completed RFQs must be received by 10 a.m. CST on Friday, March 16. Only organizations with approved RFQs will be able to apply for the SCS initiative funding when it is available.  Go to RFQ Specification # 18-350012, and register with the link provided.

2018 College Changes Everything Conference®  Call for Proposals The Conference Planning Committee is making a call for interest session proposals for the 2018 conference. Help make this conference a valuable professional development experience by sharing with colleagues your best practices, perspectives, and knowledge.  Proposals are due by March 9, 2018.

Teach For America Rural seeking non-TFA members for 2018 for their Rural School Leadership Academy (RLSA)  In rural regions across the country, there is a strong demand for committed, effective school leaders. To respond to this need, Teach For America created the Rural School Leadership Academy (RSLA) in 2013. After four years of growing and developing RSLA with TFA corps members and alumni, we will be expanding the program to non-TFA members in 2018.

FY 2018 Arts and Foreign Language Planning Assistance Grant Available  The Illinois Arts Council Agency has released a Request for Proposals (RFP).  The purpose of this RFP is to solicit proposals from eligible applicants that seek resources to develop district-based plans for initiating, strengthening, or expanding instruction in the arts or foreign languages.  Full guidelines and materials can be found on the Illinois Arts Council Agency’s Arts and Foreign Language Education Grant Program. Proposals are due Thursday, March 8.

Illinois Action for Children’s Annual Public Policy Conference  Join Illinois Action for Children’s Public Policy and Advocacy team for the annual Spring Into Action Conference on April 9-10, 2018This year’s keynote speaker is Julie Vogtman, Director of Job Quality and Senior Counsel with the National Women’s Law Center. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in timely policy-oriented workshops, networking, and visits to the state capitol.

2018 National Forum to Advance Rural Education and 110th NREA Convention and Research Symposium  October 11–13, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.  In the spirit of collaboration, Battelle for Kids and the National Rural Education Association (NREA) will host the 2018 National Forum to Advance Rural Education and 110th NREA Convention and Research Symposium.  This annual event is designed to create an environment for collaboration and innovation with a diverse community—national experts, K–12 and higher education practitioners, leading researchers, policymakers, and philanthropic leaders—to learn and share ideas around the topics at the forefront of rural education and to ensure 21st century learning is a reality for all rural students.

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.

Making ESSA Work for You: Professional Learning for Teachers webinar on March 08, 2018 4:00 PM CST. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Play-based Learning: The What, Why & How  Wednesday, March 7, 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.  Learning objectives:  1) Define features of play-based learning, 2) Apply brain-based principles to classroom design and instructional planning, and 3) Analyze the teacher’s role in scaffolding student play.

I Believe in Play; Sharing our Successes and Planning Next Steps for Positive Student Outcomes  Wednesday, March 21, 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.  Learning objectives: 1) Reinforce proven practices that incorporate learning in play. 2) Planning for the adult’s role in child-directed play to promote students’ social and academic growth.  3) Practice planning standards-based units that incorporate play.