Teacher Observation and Mentorship Program (TOMP)

U.S. EMBASSY IN TBILISI, GEORGIA
Program Office: Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia
Funding Opportunity Title: Teacher Observation and Mentorship Program (TOMP)
Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-GEO-21-CA-009-06082021

Deadline for Applications: July 24, 2021

ESF/AECCA 400,000.00

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility is limited to U.S. non-profit/non-governmental organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code, U.S. and Georgian educational institutions, and Georgian non-profit/non-governmental organizations.

Applicants must have demonstrated expertise in leading programs that include classroom observation, constructive feedback, and mentoring of teachers. The following will be favorably considered: established relationships with educational organizations in Georgia; experience working with ethnic and religious minority communities in Georgia; and familiarity with the pedagogy introduced by the USAID Basic Education program to promote student-centered teaching of literacy and numeracy skills in grades one through six. The applicant should work closely with Embassy’s Public Affairs Section (PAS) throughout the grant period to select participants and ensure the guidance offered by this program is consistent with the pedagogy of the USAID Basic Education Program.

Funding Opportunity:

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi will award up to $400,000 in FY 2021 for this two-year project, with a possible expansion of the program activities in 2023, subject to the availability of funds and the concurrence of PAS.  Applicants should clearly explain in their proposals how many teachers their proposed plan will benefit, how many classroom observations are planned and over what period of time, how constructive feedback and mentoring will be offered, and how they will evaluate the degree to which teachers successfully implemented training and the impact on student achievement.

PAS plans to award one cooperative agreement pursuant to this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to the applicant whose proposal is the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO and which offers the greatest value to the U.S. Government. PAS reserves the right to fund any or none of the proposals submitted. PAS may make an award on the basis of the initial proposals received without discussion or negotiation. Therefore, each initial proposal should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. PAS reserves the right, but is under no obligation, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional details, or to suggest refinements in the program description, budget, or other aspects of a proposal.

The U.S. Embassy Tbilisi Public Affairs Section (PAS) involvement:

The U.S. Embassy Tbilisi Public Affairs Section (PAS) anticipates a close working relationship with the implementing partner for this Agreement. PAS will exercise substantial involvement in the following areas:

  • Review and approval of the Implementation Plan;
  • Selection of target schools and development of training schedule;
  • Review and approval, in consultation with USAID, of the teacher observation rubric.
  • Review and approval of recipient’s key personnel, and any changes in key personnel;
  • Review and approval of the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan including specific indicators;
  • Review and concurrence with the selection of any sub-grant or sub-award recipients, if any, for grants over $25,000 made under this award;
  • Monitoring of activities;
  • Direction or redirection because of interrelationships with other projects.

A PAS staff member will liaise with the implementer, beneficiaries, and stakeholders.

Cost Sharing or Matching:

This program does not require cost sharing, however, in-kind financial contributions will be favorably considered.

Other Special Eligibility Criteria:

Not Applicable.

CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. A) For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726.
  2. B) On program requirements of this solicitation, contact Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, at E-mail: TbilisiExchanges@state.gov

Please, note the funding opportunity title – Classroom Observation and Teacher-mentoring program – in the subject line of the e-mail.

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Description

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia is pleased to announce an open competition for the administration of the Teacher Observation and Mentorship Program. U.S. and Georgian non-profit/non-governmental organizations and educational institutions may submit proposals to provide classroom observation and teacher mentoring consistently with the pedagogy introduced by the USAID Basic Education Program.  At least fifty percent of the teacher beneficiaries must work in public schools where Georgian is not the primary language of instruction. PAS will award $400,000 for the two-year project.  Background:

Georgia is a growing democracy increasingly engaging with European institutions and the international community.  As a result, investing in the next generation of Georgian students with the most innovative teaching and learning methodologies remains critical to facilitating Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.  Students will require Georgian and English language skills to thrive in a competitive and Western-oriented economy.  In 2020, USAID introduced the Basic Education Program to train approximately 20,000 teachers at 2,000 schools in Georgia.  Three teachers from each school serving grades one through six are trained directly by regional education institutions, and they provide in-service training for colleagues at their school. In addition, online training modules will be offered to all teachers.  The focus of the program is to promoted student-centered teaching methods and improve achievement in literacy and numeracy learning at the primary level.  Additional information about the program is available online or from USAID.

Project Overview:

TOMP will provide classroom observation and mentorship to help primarily a selection of school teachers who have completed the USAID training program (either directly or through in-service training from a colleague) to successfully implement the new pedagogy in their classrooms and raise the achievement level of their students. The priority of the program is to strengthen language and literacy education with a particular focus on communities where Georgian is not the primary language and otherwise underserved schools.

Objectives:

The purpose of this project is to improve the classroom instruction of the teachers at public primary schools in Georgia, including schools where Georgian is not the primary language of instruction.

Specific objectives:

Observe the teaching of a selection of primary school teachers who have completed the USAID Basic Education Program and assist them in implementing the new pedagogical methods through personalized constructive feedback on their work;

Mentor teachers as they implement the training in their classrooms;

Ensure that at least 50 percent of the teachers observed and mentored are working in minority schools.

Expected results:

Participant teachers will better apply the training pedagogy;

Students in the classrooms will demonstrate higher achievement in the subject area, particularly literacy (reading) or other language skills).

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Application Submission Process: Applicants must submit proposals electronically using Grants.gov. Instructions on the Grants.gov application process are available at http://www.grants.gov. For questions relating to Grants.gov, please e-mail: TbilisiGrants@state.gov

Application Content: Applicants must follow the NOFO instructions and conditions contained herein and supply all information required. Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements will result in disqualification from the competition. Applicants must set forth full, accurate, and complete information as required by this NOFO. The penalty for making false statements in proposals to the USG is prescribed on 18 U.S.C.1001.

The proposal must consist of the following:

Section 1 – Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424):

This form can be found in the Section “Additional Resources

Section 2 – Project Goals/Implementation Plan (maximum 10 pages):

The applicant must specify the goals and objectives of the project, relative to the announced project statement. The applicant should also identify the number of schools and teachers that the program expects to reach and how specific schools and teachers will be identified and selected.  The proposed activities should be described in sufficient detail to show how objectives and goals will be met. This section should include a structured monitoring and evaluation plan or matrix that will demonstrate how success will be measured via performance indicators by defining objectively verifiable indicators. The matrix should also include sources/means for verification, risks and assumptions for goals and objectives, and expected results and activities. Finally, this section must include a time-task plan that clearly identifies the objectives and major activities.

Section 3 – Organizational Capability (maximum 2 pages):

Applications must include a clear description of the applicant’s organizational and management structure, and previous experience with similar Educational projects as these relate to the proposed activities.  This section should also include information about how teacher mentors/observers will be selected and the expected qualifications and experience of this personnel.  This section must also identify the proposed management structure and staffing plan for the proposed project.

(a) Resume – a resume, not to exceed 2 pages in length, must be included for the proposed key staff person, such as the Project Director. If an individual for this type of position has not been identified, the applicant may submit a one-page position description, identifying the qualifications and skills required for that position, in lieu of a resume.

(b) Letters of Intent (optional) – Public Affairs Section (PAS) recommends that the applicants identify in advance the local partners in Georgia and requires including the letters of intent with the proposal. The letters must identify the type of relationship to be entered into (formal or informal), the roles and responsibilities of each partner in relation to the proposed project activities, and the expected result of the partnership. Please note that these are not letters of support, and should only be included for those organizations that will play an active role in the project, including those that receive financial support through the project budget. The individual letters cannot exceed 1 page in length, and applicants are limited to submitting up to 5 letters per proposal.

Section 4 – Budget:

The budget must identify the total amount of funding requested, with a breakdown of amounts to be spent in the following budget categories: personnel (salary, wages, honoraria); fringe benefits if any; materials; equipment, if any; supplies; office /classroom rental; other direct and indirect costs, etc. Include a budget with an accompanying budget narrative that provides in detail the total costs for implementation of the program your organization is proposing. Detailed budget notes and supporting justification of all proposed budget line items should be included. In addition, a summary of the budget must be submitted using Standard Form SF-424A. This form can be found in the Section “Additional Resources

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Consistent with the federal grant regulations, the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia reserves the right to give priority for its funds to the organization which best meets most of the objectives stated at the program announcement. Proposals will be evaluated on:

1) Project goals and proposed activities (60 points): Applicants should describe what they propose to do, how they will do it, and how they propose to conduct monitoring and evaluation of the program. The proposed activities must directly relate to meeting the goals and objectives. The review panel will be viewing proposed activities in terms of how well they address the problem statement, the relevance of the goals and objectives, the feasibility of the proposed activities, and the extent to which the impact of the project will continue beyond the conclusion of the funding period.

2) Organizational Capacity (25 points): Proposals should demonstrate the ability to develop and implement the program. Applicants must demonstrate how their resources, capabilities, and experience will enable them to achieve the stated goals and objectives. Provide the CVs of key project implementation team members, if available.

3) Budget Outline (15 points): Review committee must determine that the costs paid for this award are reasonable, and allowable for proposed project activities. This will consist of a review of the budget outline to determine if the overall costs are realistic for the work to be performed.

PROGRAM DEADLINE

Application Deadline: All applications must be submitted in electronic form to TbilisiExchanges@state.gov on or before July 24, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Tbilisi time. Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. will not be eligible for consideration.

Please, note the funding opportunity title – Classroom Observation and Teacher-mentoring program – in the subject line of the e-mail. Every page of the proposal must be numbered. The application must have a table of contents. Large graphic files are discouraged. The format of any attachments must be in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PDF. The attached files should be printable on U.S. letter-size paper (8½ x11”).

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Award Notices

The cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is the Government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the Recipient through either mail or facsimile transmission.

Anticipated Time to Award

Applicants should expect to be notified of the selected proposal within 90 days after the submission deadline. Following this the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia staff will provide information at the point of notification about the requirements for the final application, which may include revisions to the activities. The final applications will not be subject to further competition, but must incorporate any suggested changes made by the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Applicants should be aware that there may be a delay between the time that applications are submitted and awards are made. Successful applicants can expect to sign the award no later than September 30, 2021.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Embassy, nor does it commit the U.S. Embassy to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Disclaimer

If a proposal is selected for funding, the U.S. Embassy has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.