EarlyBird in New York Request for Proposals
Funded by the Heckscher Foundation for Children
Application deadline 10.3.23 at 5:00ET
EarlyBird in New York – Request for Proposals from New York Charter Schools
to adopt a game-based, research-driven dyslexia screener/comprehensive early literacy assessment platform for pre-readers and early readers in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and/or first grade
Applications can be submitted at any time until
October 3, 2023 at 5PM ET
Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received, and funding will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until exhausted. We encourage schools to apply early to increase your chances of funding.
New York schools are making great strides in seeking to combat reading difficulties. However, there is – simply put – much work to be done, and too few have taken advantage of the revolutionary tool developed by EarlyBird to detect dyslexia and other reading differences as early as pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and/or first grade – a point at which these learning differences can be prevented.
Accordingly, the Heckscher Foundation for Children is offering support to New York Charter Schools to implement EarlyBird during the next two academic years. Up to $500,000 is available state-wide.
EarlyBird is a digital, self-administered, interactive game that detects dyslexia and other reading difficulties pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and/or first grade.
To better understand how EarlyBird works, please review our brief overview video. This insightful video will guide you through the intricacies of how the assessment method works, providing a clear explanation of its mechanics and benefits.
As a New York Charter School, you are invited to apply for support to cover the full cost of EarlyBird, a ground-breaking early literacy assessment bringing together science, educational practice, and new understandings of brain development in a cutting-edge, easy-to-administer format. Any New York Charter School or network that meets the required criteria below and agrees to implement EarlyBird with fidelity (described below) is encouraged to consider applying for support.
Schools have two options to participate:
- SY23-24 & SY24-25 (18 month) grant period: Commitment can begin with Middle of Year assessment (after Thanksgiving) in SY23-24 and continue through SY24-25 (for a total of five assessments). Schools applying for an 18-month grant period will assess at the middle of year and end of year for school year 2023-24, and at the beginning of year, middle of year, and end of year for school year 2024-25.
- SY24-25 grant period: Commitment can start with the Beginning of Year assessment in SY24-25 and continue through SY24-25 (for a total of three assessments). Schools applying to implement EarlyBird during SY24-25 only will assess at the beginning of the year, middle of the year and end of the year.
EarlyBird is a universal screener/assessment and therefore schools may choose any combination of grade levels (pre-kindergarten through first grade), provided all students in that grade are included.
The full cost of EarlyBird includes:
- Web-based/app-based gamified assessment (for Chrome or iPad) with three times per year benchmarking (beginning of year, middle of year, and end of year)
- Kick-off live virtual webinar (45 min scheduled at school convenience) for all staff involved in administering the assessment
- Data live virtual workshops with an EarlyBird literacy specialist (60 min scheduled at school convenience) for each grade level following each assessment period. This means either 5 workshops per grade level over the course of the funded engagement (for schools starting with the Middle of Year assessment in SY23-24) or 3 workshops per grade level over the course of the funded engagement (schools starting in SY24-25).
- Access to robust Next Steps platform with evidence-based, high-value resources such as lesson plans, instructional strategies, at-home activities, and more. These materials provide concrete next steps for instructors to support students based on the data from the assessments.
- Access to Literacy Specialist office hours twice a week so your teachers have an expert on call.
- Web-based data dashboard with classroom and student screens, family reports in English and Spanish, and alignment with Next Steps platform
Proposals (using the application link below) will be accepted on a rolling basis until October 3, 2023, or until the $500,000 funds are exhausted.
The goal is that, at the end of the grant period, each sponsored charter school will have fully adopted and integrated EarlyBird into its school, and sustains its continued use without Heckscher’s funding.
Requirements for Application
If you would like to be sponsored to use EarlyBird for the upcoming two academic years (either 2023-24 and 2024-25, or 2024-25 only), you must meet the requirements and complete the below application. To apply, the charter school must:
- Be a New York Charter School or charter network of schools.
- Serve students in pre-kindergarten (4 year olds), kindergarten and/or first grade.
- Designate a point of contact to manage the project.
- Demonstrate the commitment of the principal(s) and literacy leaders to the implementation and use of the EarlyBird literacy assessment through this application.
- Use EarlyBird as a Tier 1 literacy assessment tool with all students at selected grade levels.
- Have a plan for how EarlyBird will complement any existing literacy assessment, as demonstrated by application response.
- Have a commitment to explicit literacy instruction, or implementing the Science of Reading, as demonstrated by application response.
- Have technical devices (computers, tablets, headphones, internet) as outlined in the FAQ
- Commit to administering EarlyBird with fidelity, by fully engaging in the Adoption Process described below.
- Develop a plan for sustaining the engagement after the grant funding period has ended without Heckscher’s support, as demonstrated through application
What to expect with the EarlyBird Adoption Process
The following PDF is an overview of the implementation process with the EarlyBird Customer Success & Training Teams (all meetings are held live, virtually). This also includes assessment and post-assessment process details.
Funding for this initiative will be provided by the Heckscher Foundation for Children, directly to EarlyBird. The goal is that, beginning in SY2025-26, each sponsored school will have fully adopted and integrated EarlyBird into its school, and sustain its continued use without Heckscher’s funding.
Current annual costs include a platform fee of $750 per school, $9 license fee per student, and a $500 fee per post-assessment data workshop (three per grade per year).
Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about EarlyBird and this Request for Proposals. For additional questions, please contact us as [email protected] or set up a 1:1 appointment here.