Below are the answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions.
- updated: 05.31.2022
To be a part of the Core Cohort (limit five districts), we have a list of essential criteria:
- Location - Be a district legal education agency in the state of Texas
- District Size - Mid to large size Texas districts
- Demographics - More than 50% students of color or Free and Reduced Lunch status
- Initiative Commitments - Commit to the requirements for district participation (to be provided soon)
In addition to the essential criteria, each qualifying district will complete a brief application that will be evaluated by the TxCSI team. In the case that more than five districts that qualify for the Core Cohort, the TxCSI team will review application responses by the districts meeting the essential criteria, score them according to a rubric, and, based on the scores, extend invitations to the top five districts. Districts that submit applications for the Core Cohort and do not matriculate will have the opportunity to engage in the Virtual Cohort.
Yes. We are creating a Virtual Community for up to 15 districts, Virtual Community districts will need to commit their district science leadership teams to consistent attendance in the virtual offerings. The Virtual Community will have access to all the resources and tools being built, virtual engagement in the quarterly convenings, and networking opportunities with all districts in the initiative. All Texas districts will be able to access tools, resources, and recorded sessions throughout the term of the initiative on our website.
There will be a virtual Kickoff for TxCSI on 6/15 from 12-2pm. We would like to meet with district science leaders from districts interested in joining TxCSI before the Kickoff to provide an overview of the initiative. Please contact email@example.com to schedule a meeting to learn more before the Virtual Kickoff on 6/15.
Applications for TxCSI will be available on 6/1/2022 and will be sent via email to all districts that express interest. Applications will be due on July 1, 2022. The TxCSI team will notify districts about the outcome of their applications by July 15, 2022.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about applying TxCSI.
- Cost-free, in-person, quarterly cohort convenings (3-4 meetings per year, 2-days each) for professional learning, deliberate practice, planning, and support for district science leadership teams in the Core Cohort (up to 5 district members).
- Travel and expense reimbursements will be available to science leadership teams in the Core Cohort. Districts in the Virtual Community will have access to select live virtual or recorded convening sessions.
- Tailored coaching, consulting, and professional learning for science teams in the Core Cohort. These services can be onsite at participating districts or virtual.
- Virtual Community districts will engage in regular collaborative virtual calls.
- Support for capturing and sharing impact stories from educators and students through video and social media.
- Access to tools, resources, and materials aligned to TxCSI initiative objectives.
- Networking activities, practice sharing, and troubleshooting with peer districts.
- Opportunities to regularly engage with the Texas Education Agency, instructional materials publishers, and education organizations to provide feedback.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided funding for UPD Consulting and partner NextGenScience (NGS) - a part of WestEd - to support the goals of TxCSI through professional cohort-based learning and coaching support for a cadre of TX districts. Districts in the Core Cohort will receive reimbursements for travel to in-person convenings.
- New Instructional Model - District science leadership teams are prepared with knowledge and skills to support the implementation of research-based instructional practices aligned to the new science TEKS for grades 6-8 that lead to high quality and equitable instruction in science classrooms at scale.
- Internal Capacity - Districts build capacity to continuously improve instruction, effectively use curricula, and deliver high quality PL.
- Materials Review - Districts learn best practice research for evaluating instructional materials for science.
- Inspiring a Movement - Cohort engages in a movement to share impact stories and inspire other districts to adopt research-based instruction and high quality curricula aligned to the new TEKS.
Our focus is on equipping science leadership teams (science coordinators, science instructional coaches and other district level decision-makers) to be the learning leaders for their departments and their teachers, ready to provide PD, guidance, and coaching.
The tools and supports are for 6th-8th grade only. Districts can take the learning and the resources and extend vertically to elementary and high school as they see fit.