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VITAL Educator Program

Virtual Implementation of Teaching and Learning

The New York State Education Department seeks to build expertise in the teaching and administration of virtual/hybrid schools, programs, and courses. The VITAL (Virtual Implementation of Teaching and Learning) Educator Program intends to develop a cadre of expert, or VITAL, educators who are able to turnkey professional learning content to colleagues throughout the state. 

VITAL educators will participate in a year-long professional learning community to become expert trainers who will turnkey these ready-made materials into regional and/or online trainings. Trainers names will be posted on the NYSED website and will then have the ability to train educators in their regions, districts, and schools using the SED-approved content. Educators who complete all program requirements will receive a generous $14,500 stipend and statewide designation as a VITAL Trainer at the conclusion of the PLC in July 2024.

To be eligible for program admission, educators must be currently employed by a public school district, BOCES, charter school, non-public school, or college or university within New York State. Applications will be evaluated on criteria including, but not limited to, the following:

Download VITAL Educator
Program Flyer

  • Teaching/administrative/support staff experience
  • Experience teaching/administrating/supporting virtual & hybrid learning
  • Willingness to champion virtual & hybrid learning as a means for more equitable access to high-quality instruction beyond the training period
  • Experience delivering professional learning to adults
  • Regional representation
  • Approval from current supervisor

Questions about the VITAL Educator Program can be sent to

Interested educators should use the VITAL Program Teacher Application survey link below to apply for the program. The application window will close on October 13, 2023.

VITAL Educator Program Requirements
  1. Submit all paperwork by November 1, 2023
  2. Complete 3 module tracks in Tale Academy:
    1. Shifting to Teaching Online- must be completed in order to progress to the next module series to be eligible for the VITAL Educator Stipend
    2. Family & Community Engagement or Supporting Educators
    3. One additional professional learning track. The third track will identify the educator as a specialist in the specific core competency.
  3. Complete train-the-trainer program
  4. Participate in focus groups/interviews with action research partners from SUNY Stony Brook to advise the state on comprehensive guidance for virtual learning
  5. Propose and conduct at least one training or record a webinar
  6. Attend VITAL Kick-off event in July 2024 (subject to change; details TBD)
TALE Academy Information

TALE Academy includes 7 Modules:

  1. Shifting to Teaching Across Learning Environments (TALE)
  2. Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Across Learning Environments
  3. Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities Across Learning Environments
  4. Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners/Multi-Language Learners Across Learning Environments
  5. Family and Community Engagement Across Learning Environments
  6. Social Emotional Learning Across Learning Environments
  7. Leading to Support Educators Across Learning Environments

TALE Academy is designed to model best practices in online learning. 

  • SELF-PACED: The 7 modules are comprised of sessions that take 60-90 minutes to complete. Each session is chunked into discrete activities. The learning management system will keep a record of where the learner stopped so that they can pick up again when they have time.
  • LEARNER CHOICE: Choice is fostered through providing multiple modalities to engage with direct instruction (e.g., reading or viewing a video) and links for deeper learning that also use multiple modalities (online videos, research papers, blog posts, podcasts, etc.).
  • MODELING: Throughout the modules, short videos of New York State educators sharing their own experiences related to teaching across learning environments (TALE) provide inspiration for the learners.
  • ENGAGING ACTIVITIES: Learners will receive a variety of activities to support reflection and application through written prompts, guided activities, and opportunities to create videos, cartoons, mind maps, and more.
  • APPLIED LEARNING: Learners will complete reflective activities that help them bring what they have learned back to their classrooms and schools in relation to their own teaching contexts (e.g., subject area, grade level, etc.).
  • DEEPER LEARNING: Learners are provided opportunities to pursue deeper learning with choices (both in terms of content and format) to engage more intensively with the topics.

VITAL Program Calendar

Event Date
Application window closes October 13, 2023
VITAL Educator Orientation November 2023
Module completion and focus group window November 2023- February 2024
Turnkey trainer session window February 2024 - March 2024
Training (Coaching) window April 2024 - July 2024
VITAL Kickoff Event July 2024