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Texas School Ready Comprehensive Request for Applications

The Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is seeking Texas community organizations, child cares, schools, and others to help at-risk children be more prepared for kindergarten through Texas School Ready (TSR) Project. Since 2003, nearly 500,000 children have been positively impacted by TSR Comprehensive - join us and help children in your community!

Every two years, CLI solicits applications from local and regional community organizations that are interested in serving as TSR Comprehensive Lead Agents. In this role, the organizations serve as the hub for TSR Comprehensive in their community, providing direct service delivery to partnered programs using the TSR model. Multiple research studies have confirmed that Texas School Ready positively impacts teacher instructional practices in the classroom, regardless of setting (public school pre-k, Head Start, and private child care classrooms). Teachers participating in TSR are more responsive to the individual needs of the children in their classrooms. They show increases in their use of language-building strategies, including the quality of book reading, general conversations with children, and the use of oral language instruction to build these skills. Even greater gains have been found in emergent literacy instructional practices. Teachers also show better responsive teaching practices, organization of their centers, and the use of lesson plans. 

TSR Comprehensive 2017-19 Request for Applications

Lead Agents partner with early childhood programs in their local communities to provide the following services. When delivered together, these services and materials have been proven to have a positive impact on the instructional practices of early childhood teachers and the school readiness of the children in their classrooms: 

TSR is currently soliciting applications from prospective Lead Agents for the 2017-19 grant cycle. Click below to download the Request for Applications. NOTE: A correction to the RFA was issued on May 12, 2017 (relating to coaching hours for the CIRCLE CDA Training Program expansion model).

TSR-Comprehensive-RFA

Applications for TSR Comprehensive are due Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 5:00 PM CST. All applications must be submitted through the TSR Comprehensive application survey.

Direct Link to the application surveyhttps://uthtmc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4VgnsrreU6YEWVf

All questions must be submitted by Wednesday, May 24, 2017 to tsr.rfa@uth.tmc.edu.

Applications will be reviewed and pre-award letters will be sent to Lead Agents by Friday, June 23, 2017.

Pre-Application Webinar

The Children’s Learning Institute hosted a Pre-Application webinar on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. All current and prospective lead agents are strongly encouraged to view the recorded webinar. Click here to view the recorded webinar.

View the PowerPoint presentation from the pre-application webinar (corrected May 12, 2017).

Note: the webinar contains an error related to coaching hours for the CIRCLE CDA Training Program expansion model. Please download the updated RFA document (above) and updated slides from the webinar for the corrected information.

Learn More about TSR Comprehensive

TSR Coaching Model

Integrating Professional Development Content and Formative Assessment with the Coaching Process: The Texas School Ready Model

TSR Expansion Delivery Models

Review the following information about the TSR resources that could be implemented in your community through the TSR expansion delivery models.

Beginning Education: Early Childcare at Home (BEECH)

TSR Online Tools and Resources on CLI Engage

CIRCLE CDA Training Program

TSR Online Tools for Texas Rising Star Certified Providers

List of Texas local workforce development boards

Recruitment Documents for Partner Programs

Prospective Lead Agents can use the following information to recruit early childhood programs for TSR Comprehensive. All applications must be accompanied by at least 20 letters of intent from potential partner programs.

Direct link to the Letter of Intent survey: https://uthtmc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6DmLnnl25Pln8gd

TSR Comprehensive Waiting List: Early Childhood Programs that have requested to participate in TSR Comprehensive

TSR Comprehensive Partner Program Eligibility 2017-18

TSR Comprehensive Components 2017-19

Sample TSR Teacher Commitment Letter

Sample TSR Administrator Commitment Letter

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the RFA? Please send your questions to: tsr.rfa@uth.tmc.edu  

Who can apply to be a Lead Agent under TSR Comprehensive?

Lead agents must be state, regional, or local organizations and/or have 501(c)3 status. Eligible applicants include:

  • Public School Districts (see RFA for specific information if you are a school district applying)
  • Open enrollment Charter Schools (see RFA for specific information if you are a charter school applying)
  • Head Start Programs
  • Childcare Programs (for profit/nonprofit, faith and community based)
  • Local Government
  • Community Based Organizations (CBO)
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Education Service Centers (ESC)
  • Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB)

As a public school district, can we apply under TSR Comprehensive and TSR Online+?

Yes, public school districts and charter schools may submit applications to both TSR Comprehensive and TSR Online+. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated separately.

Those who are interested in becoming a Lead Agency through the TSR Comprehensive RFA must keep in mind that only childcare and Head Start teachers will receive the full service model (coaching, incentives, and materials). ISDs and charter schools that have entered or are willing to enter into integrated partnerships with child care and/or Head Start are encouraged to apply for TSR Lead Agency status and supports. Public School teachers that are part of a TSR Lead Agency Partnership will have access to CLI Engage for progress monitoring and professional development but not coaching, incentives and materials. 

Public schools can apply to receive additional components through a separate application process for TSR Online+, specifically for ISDs and charter schools. Learn more at: www.texasschoolready.org/tsr-online-plus  

Does the role of organizational leader include a reimbursement for salary?

No, but this role receives a stipend of $4,000 under the TSR Comprehensive model.

Are income eligibility requirements at program-level or classroom level?

Program-level. As a community, you must serve at least 75% low income children. Each participating site must serve at least 50% at-risk, which allows for recruitment flexibility across all your participants. Both definitions for low income and at-risk are defined using the public prekindergarten eligibility requirements from the Texas Education Agency.

Who has to complete the letter of intent?

All partner programs where you have recruited classrooms to participate in the project need to complete the letter of intent online survey. If the lead agency has current classrooms that plan to continue their participation, they too need to fill out the survey.

Does the letter of intent need to be submitted online?

Yes, the LOI must be submitted through the LOI survey. Please ensure that your interested programs list your organization as the potential lead agent.

Can toddler classrooms participate in TSR?

Only preschool classrooms (those serving three- and four-year-old children) are eligible for TSR Comprehensive participation. If a Lead Agent is interested in providing TSR services to toddler classrooms, in addition to providing TSR Comprehensive for eligible preschool classrooms, they should consider activities through one of the TSR expansion models.

Will teachers who attend the CIRCLE Preschool Foundation Training receive the CIRCLE Activity Manual?

Yes.

Will fair market value of office space be reimbursed or is it flat rate?

Please refer to Appendix 2 of the RFA for more information.

For face-to-face trainings, does CLI cover all costs?

CLI covers the cost of the materials and trainers.

Is there a required number of classrooms for the TSR online+ model?

No, applicants are encouraged to tailor their numbers as best they can to the needs of their community.  

If I would like expand coaching services in my community, would I do so through this application?

Yes, it is appropriate to provide us a picture of your ideal service delivery levels through this application, although funding may or may not be available, depending on the needs statewide.

Should we include PPCD classrooms in our application?

No, these classrooms are not an ideal fit for TSR Comprehensive model, although Lead Agents could consider including PPCD classrooms through one of the TSR expansion models.

Can only home-based providers participate in BEECH through the expansion model? Does this mean Infant/Toddler teachers will not be allowed to participate or continue if already participating?

Only home-based child care providers can receive services (beyond access to the online courses) through the BEECH expansion model. Infant and toddler teachers are able to access the BEECH modules, as well as specific training courses for infant and toddler teachers, on CLI Engage for free. As stated in the RFA, lead agents need to ensure that all teachers at sites participating in TSR Comprehensive have active CLI Engage accounts, so they can access online resources.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of participants for the expansion models?

There is no minimum or maximum number of participants for the expansion models. If you propose to implement an expansion model, please include a realistic number of participants you could recruit and support. Your implementation plan should include how you would support these participants, and how staff FTE would be allocated.

Do the expansion models allow for incentive payments to participants?

You can propose this in your expansion model implementation plan, and we will consider it during the application review process. Please indicate your reasoning for providing incentive payments in the application.

For the BEECH expansion model, are their eligibility requirements for the providers to participate?

You can recruit licensed or registered home-based child care providers for the BEECH expansion model. Listed providers are welcome to access the BEECH courses online for free (they are publicly accessible), but are not eligible to receive additional services and/or materials through the expansion model.

Do we need to collect LOIs for participants in one of the expansion models?

No, you do not need to collect LOIs for potential participants in one of the expansion models. LOIs are only required for sites interested in receiving TSR Comprehensive service delivery from your organization.