TeachOakland Retention Grant Program

Due Friday, May 12, 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?

Read more below or start the application process now by clicking here

Grant Proposal and Timing


The TeachOakland Retention Grant proposals are due by 5PM on May 12, 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 on 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. (Not applicable for Individual Retention Grants)

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 12, 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


Saturday, April 15

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


Thursday, April 20

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hours, 5-7p

New Date! Monday, May 1

Designing a Strong Retention Program with Design Thinking workshop: 5-7:30pm


Wednesday, May 3

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hours, 5-7p

Wednesday, May 10

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hours: 5-7p


Friday, May 12

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 free workshops and office hours to support you!

Workshop locations TBA in Oakland. Good food included!

Design a Strong Grant Program with Design Thinking

New Date! Monday, May 1- 5pm to 7:30pm

  • 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
  • Dinner included!

Grant Proposal Writing Office Hour

2 Dates! Saturday, April 15 – 10am to 1pm | Wednesday, May 3 – 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

School-Level Grants (Year 1)

  • 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 results in more great teaching and student learning. Strategy 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.
  • Grant proposal clearly how articulates how it will result in more great teaching and student learning.

School-Level Continuation Grants (Year 2)

  • 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 has 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
  • Potential to scale learning/strategies to other schools

Individual Grants

  • Oakland public school teacher in a high-needs district or public school (>60% FRL)
  • Taught for a minimum of 1 year
  • Spend at least 50% of your full-time position in the classroom or classroom-like setting
  • Intend to return to teaching at your site in the consecutive school year (2018-19); this grant is intended to support your retention as an Oakland teacher
  • Grant proposal will lead to improvements in your practice and your students’ learning


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


Teacher teams 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 not a comprehensive list.

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


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.

Ready to Apply or Interested in Learning More?

First step is to fill out the Interest Form and we will email you the application link and support offerings!

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.