School Innovation Fellows

Now accepting applications

Are you an excellent teacher or school leader aiming to close the achievement gap?

Do you have an innovative idea that you want to pilot at your school site?


Why: We believe that every student in the Bay Area deserves a world-class school particularly for students with disabilities. We want to partner with ambitious, successful educators as they develop their practice to rethink and reimagine the solutions and possibilities to address current inequities especially in our new context of distance learning. It is our hope that some of our School Innovation Fellows will decide to pursue school leadership and that some may choose to transform current or launch new, innovative schools in the Bay Area one day.

What: Innovation Fellows will receive support to design, plan, and execute an innovative learning pilot in their classrooms or school sites using Liberatory Design Thinking mindset. Fellows will receive personalized leadership coaching as well as pilot support throughout the year from a member of our schools team. At the end of the school year, fellows will present their outcomes, insights, learnings, and next steps from the pilot from their year-long experience.

Who: We are looking for master teachers or school leaders with a proven track record of advocating and raising academic outcomes for students with disabilities. They must be in a position where they will be leading a team at their school site (i.e. grade-level chair, department chair, Lead teacher, etc.). He/she thrives on new learning experiences and have an intense passion for learning about how to scale these innovations to eventually reach all students.

Fellow Benefits

All Innovation Fellows will receive a financial stipend to support the design and implementation of their pilot and will receive ongoing support and from members of Innovate’s Schools Team. Support will include:

  • Training in Liberatory Design Thinking and Mindsets: Fellows learn principles of design thinking and liberatory mindsets to apply to their leadership development and their unique innovation pilot.
  • Excellent Schools Visits: Fellows will have the opportunity to visit at least 4 excellence schools across the Bay Area to gain insight and ideas to enhance their pilots.
  • Tuning Protocols: Fellows will have three opportunities throughout their pilot year to receive/provide feedback on their progress with peers.
  • Leadership Seminars: Fellows will be able to learn and practice distinct leadership practices they will use to engage stakeholders and invest others in their innovative pilot.
  • Coaching: Fellows will be paired up with a member of Innovate’s Schools Team to provide monthly 1-1 coaching and support.
  • Network of colleagues, supporters, and learners: The fellowship is designed to enable Fellows to build a network of colleagues who can learn from and support each other over the long-term and to help people feel part of a larger, inspiring movement. Fellows will be afforded many opportunities to engage in rigorous dialogue about effective models of school design and student support, including visiting each other’s school sites.

Host School Benefits

  • Financial Support: Host schools will receive a stipend to cover the cost of supplies needed for implementing the pilot at their school.
  • Academic Pilot: Innovate will provide coaching and support to help the School Innovation Fellow launch a successful pilot at the school site with the goal of raising student achievement for students with special needs.
  • Best Practices: As part of the fellowship, the Innovation Fellow will learn best practices and exemplary approaches from other excellent schools. Additionally, by serving as a host school, the school will have access to all Innovate materials to use at the site for professional development.
  • Network of colleagues, supporters, and learners: Innovate partners with other high-performing, student-centered change agents across the Bay Area who are committed to ensuring equitable academic outcomes for all students. As a host school, the site will be connected to other Bay Area educators, organizations, and networks deeply committed to this work.

Time Commitment

  • Five 3-hour meetings throughout the pilot year (after school)
  • Monthly 1-hour coaching conversations (with Innovate Schools Team)
  • Ongoing development and implementation of the pilot

Stipend Specifics

The School Innovation Fellow will receive a 2-part stipend:

  • Up to $3,000 to be used to design and implement an innovative educational pilot for their classroom or school for the 2020-2021 school year. Fellows will be required to draft and submit a pilot proposal and budget before funds are disbursed.
  • $3,000 will be granted to the Fellow as compensation for participation in the School Innovation Fellowship.

Application Process

We are accepting applications until June 12th, 2020.