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June 29, 2020
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JP O'Hare

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New York State Education Department Submits Application for U.S. Department of Education Rethink Education Models

$19.9 Million Would Support Blended & Remote Learning 

The New York State Education Department today submitted its application to the U.S. Department of Education requesting $19.9 million in the Rethink K-12 Education Models grant competition to develop and launch the Teaching in Blended/Remote Learning Environments (TRLE) program. New York’s TRLE program would address the immediate and urgent learning needs of New York’s most vulnerable students and their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing educators with the tools, resources, and training to facilitate blended/remote instruction when needed. The Department is requesting $19.9 million over a three-year period to implement the TRLE program.

“Each day it becomes increasingly clear that the pandemic has further exacerbated the equity gaps among our students who were already most at risk and marginalized,” said Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “While nothing can replace the importance of face to face instruction, with these funds, we hope to effectively implement blended instructional approaches that meet the needs of all children.”

“Since mid-March, educators across the State have worked around the clock to offer New York’s students high-quality learning opportunities,” said Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe.Our school systems adapted rapidly to provide for continuity of learning. Now we will build on those efforts and provide teachers and school leaders with professional learning experiences to help them effectively engage their students in blended/remote learning opportunities.”

As the Board of Regents and the Department continue to work on guidance to help schools and school districts safely reopen schools, given the nature of the pandemic, it is possible that educators may need to use blended/remote learning strategies at various points during the school year to ensure continuity of learning.

The Department’s approach to continuity of learning is founded on two major pillars: a partnership with communities, schools, and educational leaders to close the digital divide, and steadfast support for New York’s educators.  NYSED recognizes that educator capacity is fundamental if students and their families are to continue their learning in the midst of the pandemic. This is the crucial foundational area that the Department aims to address through TRLE.

The Department’s TRLE program will serve 1.9 million of New York’s most vulnerable students, engage over 190,000 educators and provide over 450,000 hours of wraparound services and support to build the capacity of teachers and educational leaders to effectively implement blended/remote learning.

Consistent with the grant deliverables, the Department’s TRLE Program consists of the following eight components to be implemented in three phases:

  • Rapid Early-Phase Implementation;
  • Field-Based Action Research;
  • Statewide Framework for Quality Bended/Remote Teaching and Student Engagement;
  • Competency-Based Professional Learning Experience Units Aligned with the Framework;
  • Preparing Continuing Teacher and Leader Education Providers to Deliver Professional Learning Experience Unit-Based Trainings;
  • Deploying Approved Quality Blended/Remote Teaching Trainers to the Highest Need Communities;
  • Examining Ways to Continue the Work Past the Grant Period; and
  • Addressing Systemic Policies and Issues that Impact Long-Term Transformations of Educator Training and Professional Learning, with a Focus on Vulnerable Communities.

The Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant is available for states to create adaptable, innovative learning opportunities for K-12 and postsecondary learners in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. The grants will be funded through the federal Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.