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In DC: OSSE Invests in Teacher Preparation, Pipelines, and Supports 

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced the expansion of a popular and successful educator coaching program, which will provide free instructional coaching to 75 DC public and public charter teachers who have completed DC Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) programs and have fewer than five years of teaching experience. This work builds on OSSE’s 2023-24 school year school leader coaching, which served nearly 200 school leaders who support over 2,000 DC school-based educators. 

“OSSE is proud to provide this coaching opportunity for new teachers who have completed their teacher training right here in the District,” said State Superintendent Christina Grant, Ed.D. “To improve student outcomes, teachers must be well prepared and well supported from the minute they set foot in the classroom, and investing in this one-on-one coaching resource will provide new teachers with the support they need to improve their instructional practice and ultimately make a meaningful impact on the social and academic success of DC students.” 

For the past two years, K-12 school leaders, including principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, and others in school and LEA leadership positions, have had access to free one-on-one coaching support funded through recovery dollars. More than 200 DC leaders have taken advantage of the opportunity, and many have completed multiple 90-day cycles with a trained coach. The expansion of this coaching opportunity is just one initiative in a suite of programs and investments that OSSE has implemented to support the recruitment, preparation, and retention of effective educators in DC. 

OSSE recently awarded two new grantees as part of the Educator Preparation “Grow Your Own” Program: Trinity Washington University and Georgetown University. These grantees will support the development of current paraprofessionals into future District teachers by offering a cost-free degree leading to an OSSE Teacher Credential. American University was initially named a grantee in FY22 and will continue to serve students in the baccalaureate pathway. OSSE has awarded a total of $550,000 in FY24. 

Building on the success of Grow Your Own, OSSE will begin recruitment for DC’s flagship Teacher Apprenticeship Program this spring. This exciting new opportunity will offer a cost-free pathway for District high school graduates and current paraprofessionals to pursue a degree in Elementary, Early Childhood, or Special Education while engaging in on-the-job learning at a DC school. Apprentices who complete the program will be eligible for an OSSE Standard Teaching Credential and will commit to teaching in DC schools after graduation. 

Further, in the coming weeks, OSSE will announce grantees for the Flexible Scheduling Pilot Grant Program, a new grant program that provides funding for DC schools to implement schedules that provide students with rigorous academic instruction, while allowing educators additional time to engage in professional development, continuing education, course planning, collaboration, wellness, and other activities. This is an innovative opportunity for schools to pilot new scheduling flexibilities designed to support the retention of teachers. 

Finally, OSSE continues to provide ongoing professional development and training supports to enhance the content expertise of DC teachers. Current offerings, among others, include Math Bootcamps, Foundations of Special Education courses and Science of Reading-aligned literacy training. All trainings are developed to support educators and administrators working with students in grades K-12 with pedagogical and foundational skills to teach in their respective areas. Through these trainings and others, OSSE has been able to serve over 5,000 educators with robust professional learning. All trainings can be accessed through OSSE’s Learning Management System (LMS). 

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