Pre-K Access RFP

To download the full RFP, click here

THE NEED

Public school districts across the state have experienced a 22% decline in pre-K enrollment this school year.* COVID-19 has created a new set of barriers to access for families who wish to enroll their child in pre-K. In order to lessen barriers to enrollment and return pre-K enrollment rates to pre-COVID levels, school districts will need to consider how to launch targeted outreach efforts to connect with families in new ways. They will also have to increase support before, during, and after the enrollment process to ensure that families are engaged and ready to enroll their child on the first day of school. 

 

*Texas Education Agency. (2021). Summary of Texas Public Schools Student Enrollment Trends: October 2020. https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/Student-Enrollment-Summary-Table.pdf

THE OPPORTUNITY

To increase pre-k access to eligible 3 & 4-year-old students by the 2021-22 school year, Good Reason Houston will work with a select set of Houston school districts prepared to launch targeted outreach efforts and consider new approaches to pre-K 3 & 4 student recruitment and enrollment. Districts should submit proposals that demonstrate their interest in implementing strategies that support the following:

  • An increase in targeted outreach efforts to families: Projects that employ outreach and marketing strategies to increase the number of families reached with messages about pre-K, with a focus on families that are eligible for free, public pre-K. This may include activities such as digital media marketing, targeted mailers, launch of a parent ambassador program for pre-K enrollment, a phone-a-thon or text-a-thon, marketing materials for promoting pre-K enrollment, etc.
  • A redesign of the district’s website and branding for pre-K: Projects focused on updating online content to provide parents with clear, compelling information about pre-K programming and a roadmap for enrolling. This may include working with a web developer and/or marketing agency to update website design and content about pre-K programs and how to enroll, designing online tools for helping families navigate enrollment, etc.
  • Enhanced engagement and support for families throughout the pre-K enrollment process: Projects aimed at making the pre-K enrollment process more accessible for all families and increasing engagement with families from the start of their application until the first day of school. This may include activities such as optimizing the enrollment process to decrease the number of steps or time it takes to complete, creating a unified application process across the district, creating a centralized source of support for families who need help with online enrollment, strategies to support continued engagement with families and incoming pre-K students after they complete enrollment.

ELIGIBILITY

The following districts are eligible to apply: Aldine ISD, Alief ISD, Channelview ISD, Galena Park ISD, Houston ISD, Pasadena ISD, Sheldon ISD, Spring ISD, Spring Branch ISD.

WHAT WE VALUE

Good Reason Houston champions a bold, community-wide vision. We accelerate progress within districts and promote courageous decision-making to change the trajectory of school performance. We value organizations that are fiercely committed to this work and share our core beliefs.

DESIRED ACTIVITIES AND OUTCOMES

Good Reason Houston will provide school districts with access to technical assistance providers and funds to support the implementation of the above mentioned strategies. 

As part of this work, each grantee (district) will be expected to:

  • set goals for pre-K enrollment annually and design strategies with the aim of returning to pre-COVID levels of pre-K enrollment 
  • set equity goals with the aim of increasing access to pre-K for specific student populations
  • ensure cross-departmental teams work together to plan and implement a pre-K enrollment strategy
  • invest in projects that drive systemic changes in how parents experience pre-K enrollment year over year (we recognize the need for all types of outreach; however, programs that have longer term impact will have priority consideration)
  • outline key metrics they will commit to monitoring in order to fuel continuous improvement efforts during the project period and year over year 
  • engage in a learning community with other grantees to share progress and key lessons learned

INVESTMENT RANGE

Selected grant recipients will be eligible for up to $30,000. These funds will be used to execute on the approved initiatives with the goal of increasing pre-K enrollment for the 2021-22 school year and beyond.

TIMELINE

Phase 1: Priority Consideration (March 8, 2021 – March 31, 2021)

  • The date of the application does not influence chances of funding as long as it is submitted within the window.
  • Applicants will be notified by April 16th if they have been selected to receive grant funds, placed into phase 2 for future consideration (waitlisted), or denied grant funds.

Notification Date: April 16, 2021
Funding available April 23rd, pending grant document finalization and payment scheduling. 

 

Phase 2: Second Round Consideration (April 1, 2021 – April 30, 2021)

  • After all applications in Phase 1 have been processed, additional eligible applicants will be considered dependent on remaining funds available.  

Notification Date: May 17, 2021
Funding available as early as May 24th, pending grant document finalization and payment scheduling.

 

Phase 3: Final Round Considerations (May 1, 2021 – May 28, 2021) 

  • After all applications in Phase 1 and 2 have been processed, eligible applicants will be considered on a once monthly basis in the order in which their application was submitted until all funds have been granted. 

Notification Date: June 14, 2021
Funding available as early as June 21st, pending grant document finalization and payment scheduling. 

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

To complete the grant proposal, a campus will need to submit the following information: