At-Risk Middle School Youth

Almost half of all middle school students in the Dallas area (approximately 75,000 students) are considered “at-risk.” This means that these students are more likely to experience academic difficulties, leave home, and commit crimes or abuse alcohol and drugs. This alarming statistic is one of the reasons that our trustees selected at-risk middle school students as one of two primary focus areas for grantmaking from the foundation’s community impact funds. Strategic investments to support at-risk middle school youth, are made in order to ultimately improve high school graduation and retention rates in the Dallas area.

To see a list of our most recent grants in this area, please click here.

Goals and Strategies

One of the two strategic areas designated by the CFT Board as a critical focus for the foundation’s community impact grantmaking is improving high school graduation and retention rates in the Dallas area by focusing on at-risk middle school youth.

In particular, through this line of grantmaking, CFT aims to support efforts that increase the quantity and quality of teachers and school leaders coming into the profession, as well as those currently working in local high-need urban middle schools.

In order to assist the foundation in these efforts, we invite nonprofits that provide teacher and school leader preparation and/or professional development programs in the Dallas area to submit letters of inquiry outlining their efforts to achieve this goal.

Teacher and School Leader Pipeline

The goals of this grantmaking program are to support initiatives and programs that provide specific professional, leadership development programs, strategies and models that will create a larger pool of strong teachers and school leaders for high-need urban middle school campuses, ultimately impacting overall student performance.

Professional Development for Teachers and School Leaders

The goals of this grantmaking program are to support the implementation of initiatives and programs that provide specific professional development programs, strategies and models that will enhance the skills and knowledge of current teachers and school leaders within high-need, urban middle school campuses, ultimately impacting overall student performance.

In July 2012, we announced our inaugural middle school grants totaling more than $2 million to support professional development for teachers and school leaders serving at-risk middle school students in our community.

2013-2014 Grantees are:

University of Texas at Dallas Center for Brain Health (CBH)

$250,000 to support the creation of a SMART Community at Thomas A. Edison Middle Learning Center in West Dallas. The SMART (Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training) Community at Edison will serve as a model for improving teacher practices, enhancing student achievement, and impacting long-term student outcomes.

Uplift Education

$250,000 to create a High School Readiness program for Uplift’s middle school students and for professional development for teachers. The program tailors existing curriculum to help students move from basic skills to more in-depth content and critical thinking, identifies students who need additional support, and creates lab classrooms to demonstrate models of successful teaching practice.

Big Thought

$225,000 to continue the Teaching Artistry Fellowship professional development course for Dallas ISD teachers to improve how lessons are presented, applied and evaluated across 38 DISD campuses. The fellowship increases student engagement, which leads to improved academic success and more students graduating from high school college- and/or career-ready.

Teaching Trust

$190,000 to fund the Executive Education Institute for Teams program for DISD middle school principals and their leadership teams at Long, Stockard, Greiner, Walker and Browne middle schools. The program helps principals and their teams improve the culture of learning, teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

Plano ISD Education Foundation

$136,490 for intensive professional development for sixth grade teachers in Plano’s three high-need middle schools, Frankford, Otto and Wilson Middle Schools. Teachers are trained in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, which incorporates best-practice teaching strategies, study skills and a culture of high expectations to increase student academic success.

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation

$126,142 to enhance programs that serve specialized needs of middle school teachers and provide professional development for up to 50 DISD middle school teachers, with a specific focus on math and science teachers. NAPE’s curriculum, Micromessaging to Reach and Teach Every Student, is based on the highly successful gender equity STEM program developed by the Women of Texas Instruments.

KIPP DFW and Big Thought

$89,928 to develop Partnership for Integrated Learning, a year-long professional development program which supports in-school arts integration and after-school creative learning enrichment not currently offered at KIPP Truth Academy. Big Thought will guide teaching artists and community instructors to create customized curricula.

University of Texas at Dallas and National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation 

$74,812 to augment the $500,000, three-year grant made in 2012 for the UTeach Dallas program. Students are actively recruited from the UTD pool of undergraduate STEM majors to consider a career teaching in middle and high school math and science classrooms. NAPE provides professional development training for STEM educators to help every student fulfill his or her potential.

 

2012-2013 Grantees are:

Teaching Trust

$500,000 paid over two years for their Aspiring Principals program, a two-year Masters-level program that includes a “clinical residency” and a five-year teaching commitment in Dallas ISD. Another part of the grant provides a high-impact, multi-phase professional development Institute for existing principals and their school leadership teams from Dallas ISD and Uplift.

Teaching Trust

$250,000 to create and pilot a professional development institute for existing principals and school leadership teams within Dallas ISD and Uplift Education schools.

University of Texas at Dallas

$500,000 paid over three years for the UTeach Dallas program that actively recruits UTD’s STEM majors to consider a career in teaching high-need, urban middle school math and science classrooms. Graduates are placed in positions and receive ongoing training and support in partner districts currently including Richardson, Garland, Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Dallas ISDs.

Teach for America

$350,000 paid over two years to implement an innovative Middle School Partnership Plan program at Dallas ISD’s Ann Richards Middle School in Pleasant Grove (opening September 2012) including comprehensive training and robust tools for both TFA corps members and non-TFA teachers at the school.

Big Thought

$225,000 to create and implement a proven High Impact Learning Institute, a year-long professional development course for Dallas ISD teachers and community educators to improve how material is introduced, presented, applied and evaluated across 38 DISD campuses.

Plano ISD Education Foundation

$144,070 for intensive professional development for 6th grade teachers in Plano’s three highest-need Title I middle schools, closing the gap of similar training provided to the district’s feeder elementary schools and 7th and 8th grade teachers.

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation

$27,830 to adapt and enhance its Micromessaging to Reach and Teach Every Student program to serve the unique needs of middle school teachers. The current highly successful high school program is in place in Dallas, Richardson and Plano is modeled after the Women of Texas Instruments’ gender-equity STEM program.

KIPP DFW

$19,000 to research and develop a teacher residency program and professional development school intended to prepare and retain a pipeline of highly qualified urban teachers in partnership with SMU’s Simmons School of Education.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for our Middle School Community Impact grants, organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation from the Internal Revenue Service
  • At least 50% of the population served must be residents of Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Collin or Rockwall Counties
  • Have a current DonorBridge profile with an approval date within the last 12 months

Ineligible Requests CFT’s Community Impact Grants do not fund:

  1. Individuals
  2. Campaigns to elect public officials or for political or lobbying efforts
  3. Projects which take place before the completion of the grant making process
  4. Grants that ultimately will go wholly to another agency, other than the applicant (pass through)
  5. Organizations which have the ability to levy taxes

Teacher and School Leader Pipeline

Examples of components of the types of programs that may be funded (though not restricted to the below) are those that:

     

*Identify candidates and provide professional/leadership development opportunities for teachers and administrators that demonstrate the leadership characteristics needed for future teaching and/or leadership roles within high-need, urban middle schools or school systems.

 

*Promote the implementation of teacher and administrator skill development, including data-informed teaching and leading, and the integration of research and technology-based methods into curriculum.

 

*Provide for follow-up training (workshops or institutes), as well as tracking for middle school teachers and administrators who are candidates for school leadership.

 

Professional Development for Teachers and School Leaders

Examples of components of the types of programs that may be funded (though not restricted to the below) are those that:

 

*Create opportunities for enhanced, on-going development of teachers and school leaders to improve their subject-matter knowledge, as well as their pedagogical skills used to impart the specialized knowledge/content of their subject area(s), including achievement of required Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

 

*Promote the implementation of teacher and administrator skill and competency development, including data-informed teaching and leading, and the integration of research and technology-based methods into curriculum.

      

*Provide opportunities for enhanced, on-going development of administrators to improve and enhance competencies attributable to strong leadership, including, but not limited to supervising and motivating staff, coordination of curriculum, promoting and sustaining a positive school learning climate and evaluating student performance.

 

Deadlines 

The deadline for the 2016 round of grants is has passed. Stay tuned for future deadlines.

Apply 

We are not accepting applications at this time.

FAQs 

Q. How much funding does CFT have to invest in at-risk middle school youth each year?

A. We have approximately $1 million available annually for grantmaking in the middle school focus area.

Q. How long will at-risk middle school youth be a focus area for CFT?

A. Our trustees have not set a definite timeframe for re-evaluating the foundation’s Community Impact focus areas. However, it is likely that we will continue to make significant investments to support at-risk middle school youth for the next 3-5 years.

Q. Does CFT plan to support programs that directly benefit students, or only professional development for teachers and school leaders?

A. At this time, we have decided to focus our limited resources on professional development for teachers and school leaders, rather than direct student programs. We believe that, with our limited resources, training and professional development for new and existing school professionals will have the most significant impact on student achievement.

Q. When will be the next opportunity to apply for middle school funding?

A. The current deadline for 2016 has passed. Stay tuned for 2017 deadlines.  

Donate 

Donate to our at-risk middle school youth initiative.

Download

  • Recent At-Risk Youth Grants

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