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Who can participate in the CityBridge Design Fellowship?

  • Teams of school-based educators across Washington, DC (e.g. an assistant principal and two additional educators)  or teams of non-school based educators
  • Participants who are able to commit 5 to 10 hours between each workshop to apply the tools with students and the school community.

The Fellowship is designed for teams, not for individuals. We encourage teams consisting of three members.

  • Teams within schools should consist of faculty, staff, and leaders working at DC Public Schools or DC Public Charter Schools. Teams can also include a central office or non-school-based staff.
  • Teams focused on building a new school or non-school venture should have at least one member of the team be based in a school or work directly with students on a regular basis.

Do I have to apply as a team? Can CityBridge help me find team members?

Yes, you must apply as a team. We’ve learned from experience that the work of designing and scaling a solution is more successful if team-based.

No, unfortunately, we do not have the capacity at this time to help participants form teams. However,  the first stage of the CityBridge Incubator, Design Studio, is designed for individuals.

What will participants do in the Design Fellowship?

  1. Explore and define a student-centered problem and the conditions that shape it
  2. Design one or more pilots to test, adapt, and scale innovative and equity-centered solutions
  3. Learn and collaborate with a community of like-minded educators, entrepreneurs, and leaders

What will participants create in the Design Fellowship? 

Participants will walk away with at least one fully executed pilot plan, designs for a second pilot of their proposed solution, a theory of change, compiled insights and analysis from their testing, and a detailed action plan to continue adapting and scaling after the workshop.

What follow-up support is available to participants?

Participants are eligible for grants to support their ongoing pilot work. Participants can also receive ongoing support to continue piloting following the workshops.

What is the time commitment?

  • The pre-work for Design Fellowship will take participants approximately 3-4 hours prior to the first workshop.
  • The four workshops will be full-day experiences. These will remain virtual until public health recommendations change.
  • Monthly applied design work and coaching sessions will take participants between 6-8 hours.
  • Post-fellowship ongoing support for the semester will include monthly 1-hour sessions.

Do team members need to quit their jobs to participate?

No. The Fellowship is specifically designed as job-embedded learning so that teams can learn, test, and explore alongside learners before moving to larger-scale work.

How much funding do participants receive?

Teams can be eligible to receive between $750 and $5,000 to support piloting. Teams must apply for grants and work with a coach to access the resources. More information about the grant application and process will be available after teams apply.

What happens if a team’s pilot project doesn’t work?

The purpose of prototyping and piloting is to learn. If a pilot doesn’t produce the student experience that the team intended, then a well-designed set of measures will help teams learn why it didn’t work the way they hypothesized. That, in turn, will help teams iterate and build better solutions over time.

What kinds of projects have fellows worked on in the past?

Fellows in past programs have tackled a range of challenges from how to make personalized learning equitable in a middle school to how to build capacity for restorative justice at the high school level. Some specific challenges included: developing a sense of belonging for students of color in schools that are diverse but not “integrated”; deepening student passions, civic knowledge, and expertise through electives and extracurriculars; and supporting 4th and 5th graders to build connections with one another and become advisory group leaders.