TeachOakland Educator Retention Grant Program

Due Friday, May 5, 2017 @ 5PM

The TeachOakland Retention Grant Program was designed by Oakland teachers for Oakland teachers to put resources directly in their hands to develop innovative approaches to job satisfaction and teacher retention at their school sites.

What would make you want to stay in your school another 3, 5, or 10 years?

Grant Proposal and Timing


The TeachOakland Retention Grant proposals are due by 5PM on May 5, 2017. Grant teams may submit applications at any point leading up to that date. Grant decisions will be announced by early June before schools break for summer.

Step 1: Complete the Interest Form

Whether you know you definitely want to apply, or aren’t sure yet but are interested, fill out the Interest Form right away, and we’ll be in touch. We will share more information with you about support provided and answer any questions you have quickly.

Step 2: Build Your Team

Find at least one other educator, and ideally several other, at your school who is fired up to design and implement a strategy that will improve teacher satisfaction and retention at your site. Invite them to join the Grant Development Team.

Step 3: Get Free Training to Develop Strong Programs and Proposals

Register for these optional (but strongly recommended!) workshops:

  • Designing a Strong Retention Program with Design Thinking Workshop to learn tools to plan your teacher retention program
  • Office Hours on Grant Proposal Writing
Step 4: Submit Your Grant Proposal

Due 5PM on May 5, 2017. After an initial screen, grant applicants will be asked to participate in a phone or in-person interview within 2 weeks of grant submission.

Grant decisions made by early June 2017.

Key Dates


Thursday, March 30

TeachOakland Retention Grant Program application period opens

Thursday, April 13

Designing a Strong Retention Program with Design Thinking workshop: 5-8:30pm


Saturday, April 15

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hours @ TeachOakland Teachers’ Lounge, 10a-1p


Thursday, April 20

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hours, 5-7p

Thursday, April 27

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hours, 5-7p


Friday, May 5

Grant Application Deadline: 5p


Early June 2017

Grant Awards Made

Grant Proposal Support


We intend this grant development process to support meaningful reflection and planning and to not be overly burdensome to complete. If you have a great idea that will improve teacher satisfaction and retention at your school site, we want to support you to plan a strong grant program and to write a strong grant proposal.

We are thrilled to offer two free workshops to support you!

Workshop locations TBA in Oakland. Good food included!

How to Design a Strong Grant Program with Design Thinking

Thursday, April 15- 5pm to 8:30pm

  • Learn design thinking tools and mindsets that prepare you to plan a strong retention program with colleagues at your school site
  • Get coaching and feedback on your ideas from design thinking experts
  • Get to know other Oakland teacher teams designing innovative programs

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hour

3 Dates!

Saturday, April 15 – 10am to 1pm | Thursday, April 20 – 5pm to 7pm | Thursday, April 27 – 5pm to 7pm

  • Ask questions to get clarification on specific sections of grant proposal application
  • Get feedback on already drafted sections of application for clarity and completeness
Eligibility Criteria

All grants

  • Demonstrated need in terms of student population and teacher retention.
  • Grant proposal includes a clearly defined strategy to improve teacher satisfaction and retention at the school site that is a new approach or will expand an existing successful approach and includes clear goals for increased retention as a result of proposed retention program.
  • Grant design team members are all Oakland public school employees and include at least two full-time Oakland public school teachers (PreK-12 in district-run or charter-run Oakland schools).
  • Implementation of the grant proposal will occur during the 2017-18 school year.
  • Letter of Support included from School Leader.

Continuation Grants (For 2016-17 Grant Winners Only)

  • Evidence of impact on teacher retention and satisfaction
    • Teacher surveys/feedback on impact of work on satisfaction & clear demonstrated teacher buy-in to continue/expand work
    • Actual increased teacher retention
  • School leader had demonstrated this work as a priority, e.g., active participation in check-ins, created time in staff meetings/PD, committed budget $ to support
  • School commitment of resources toward retention program in 17-18 (suggested 50% of retention grant program costs)
  • Potential to scale learning/strategies to other schools

Grant award decisions will be made by a Selection Committee of Oakland public school teachers, school leaders, and citywide leaders by early June 2017.

Funding and Sample Grant Ideas


Teachers can apply for one of three tiers of funding to implement their school-level retention strategy:

  • Tier I: up to $5,000 intended for small-scale or lower-cost pilots (e.g., across a grade level or department team, with a specific group of teachers like new teachers, to pilot a new retention strategy not tried before)
  • Tier II: up to $10,000 intended for deeper reach in terms of number of participating educators and/or intended impact on teacher satisfaction and retention. This strategy should be part of a schoolwide improvement strategy with school leader support.
  • Tier III: up to $20,000 intended for strategies with strong evidence bases and/or to scale up and refine a successful pilot. Tier III grants should impact a significant number of teachers at the site and be part of a schoolwide improvement strategy with school leader support.

Funding Tiers and Potential Grant Ideas


*These are just to spark ideas and are far from a comprehensive list.

What would make YOU want to stay in your school for another 3, 5, or 10 years?

Tier 1: $1,000-5,000

(Up to 5 new grants and 5 continuation grants awarded)

  • New teacher online or in-person mentoring
  • High-quality PD experiences for a grade level/department team
  • Provide basic needs, materials, and equipment teachers identify as lacking, thus contributing to low teacher engagement/morale

Tier II: $5,000-10,000

(Up to 2 new grants and 2 continuation grants awarded)

  • Team retreats, data and collaboration days across one or more departments or grade levels
  • Contract with external partner to facilitate professional learning, e.g., on instructional strategies, equity practices, teacher inquiry, teacher wellness, etc.
  • School leader or instructional leadership team coaching

Tier III: $10,000-20,000

(Up to 2 new grants and 2 continuation grants awarded)

  • Partnership with community organization to build teachers’ instructional skills in social and emotional learning with their students.
  • Provide release time to selected mentor teachers to coach and observe other teachers
  • Create an assistant teacher/resident teacher position matched with a strong, experienced teacher for a year-long residency


Great teachers are essential to prepare our students for success in college, career, and life. Yet as a city, Oakland loses 1 in 5 of our teachers every year. This retention has a negative impact on our students’ learning.[1]  And it’s expensive: about $15,000 to replace a teacher in recruiting, onboarding, and training costs.[2] These resources could be spent on teacher training, classroom supplies, or more competitive compensation to bolster the satisfaction and effectiveness of our city’s educators.

Research suggests that many factors contribute to teacher turnover – preparation, new teacher mentoring, compensation, working conditions, school leadership, autonomy, access to career pathways,[3] to name some of the most widely cited.

We believe Oakland teachers know best what will increase their job satisfaction and retention in their schools and are uniquely positioned to design and pilot solutions to do so.


[1] “How teacher turnover harms student achievement,” Matthew Ronfeldt, Susanna Loeb, Jim Wyckoff, March 2012.

[2]Recruiting and Retaining Teachers: What Matters Most and What Government Can Do,” Linda Darling Hammond

[3] “Who Stays in Teaching and Why: A Review of the Literature on Teacher Retention,” Harvard Graduate School of Education, February 2005; “Greenhouse Schools: How Schools Can Build Cultures Where Students and Teachers Thrive,” TNTP, March 2012; “Recruiting and Retaining Teachers: What Matters Most and What Government Can Do,” Linda Darling Hammond, Accessed 4/26/16.

Interested in applying or learning more?

First step is to fill out the Interest Form so we can share about support offerings and answer any questions you have right away!

Complete the Interest Form

Looking for an external partner to help build capacity through your retention grant program?

Check out this list of organizations working with Oakland schools and reach out directly if you think one may be a good fit for your needs.

Download Sample Grant Application

In the interest of making this application less burdensome for teachers, we’ve created a sample grant proposal to provide applicants with examples of the type of information we seek.

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