Agentic Learning Grant Opportunity

Agentic Learning is offering a competitive grant opportunity for school districts to work with our organization on an innovative and comprehensive 1-year program to engage all learners and improve academic outcomes. The engagement offers an annual assessment to measure the level of agency in the district, establishment of a Formal Improvement Process to increase agency and other student outcomes in the district, specific workshops and professional development opportunities designed to enhance the capacity of teachers and administrators  to foster student agency, and consulting with building and district leaders to foster agency in teachers – a necessary prerequisite for authentically developing student agency in the classroom.

The selected districts and Agentic Learning will partner for 1 year to increase student agency and other student outcomes defined by the district. In return for free access to the Agentic Learning Program, the district will join the Agentic Learning Advisory Board, provide ongoing feedback on the program, measure progress according to their own metrics over the 1 year period, and share the outcomes with Agentic Learning.

What does the engagement look like?

The implementation includes 4 phases and ongoing consultation

Phase 1: Pre-implementation

The district will conduct several online surveys of students, teachers, and principals that will be involved in the engagement to determine the district’s current level of agency and readiness:

  • ASSESS: The ASSESS surveys measure the degree of intrinsic motivation in students and in teachers
  • TRANSFORM: The TRANSFORM survey measures district readiness/maturity in implementing agentic learning

Phase 2: Data Review and Planning

Agentic Learning and district leaders, including the Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer, and Chief Technology Officer will meet to discuss survey results, district goals, and to tailor the engagement to the needs of the district. The district will then be asked to choose up to 3 schools to participate.

Phase 3: Implementation

Agentic Learning will conduct Leadership Workshops and Teacher Professional Development (Listed in the next section).

Phase 4: Reflection and Data Collection

At the end of each semester the district will conduct the online surveys to track growth over time.

Ongoing Consultation

Agentic Learning supports the district leaders through the whole process. We meet monthly with principals, the superintendent, and other key central office staff as needed to discuss implementation progress and strategies for  increasing agency among teachers, staff and students.  The district representative will meet monthly with the Agentic Learning Advisory Board to share successes and challenges, and to provide constructive feedback for the program.  

What is Included in the Workshops and Professional Development?

There are a specific set of workshops designed for the development of agency in the district. One set for leaders and one for teachers.

Leadership Workshops

Recognizing and Fostering Teacher Agency

Description:  In order for teachers to effectively foster student agency, they need to have experienced it and know what it looks like and feels like.  This workshop gives Cabinet Leaders and Principals the tools to foster and recognize agency in their staff.  It presents definitions and examples of teacher agency along with strategies to foster that agency.

Participants: Principals and Central Office Administrators


Visioning/Starting with the “Why”

Description: When most districts are asked why they are taking the implementing a major initiative, they respond instead with what they are doing: We are going to be doing some great new things in the classroom that we think the student will like. They are going to be given more choices…”  Leading districts, however, start with the why – what they want for their students. The clearly defined “why” that is shared by all staff acts as a sextant or compass to guide decisions that will lead them to achieving their goals.

This workshop presents the trends and changes in the workforce that are important for educators to understand if they are going help students prepare for their future.

The underlying values and (often unarticulated) goals of the district will then be explored, and then aligned with the goals of the agentic learning program to provide an authentic, simple, meaningful “why.”

Participants:  Developing the district’s “why” is ideally done with many stakeholders.  The Superintendent, CTO, CAO, and principals plus representative teachers and parents is the ideal composition when possible.  Minimum representation is the Superintendent, CTO, CAO and representative principals.


Goals and Metrics

Description:  A district’s “why” becomes reality through concrete goals and metrics. This workshop identifies district goals in three critical categories: Academic Achievement, Workforce Skills, and Student Agency, as well as other categories defined by the district that are needed to support the “why.”  These categories are chosen to balance each other and avoid the diminishing returns that occur when the focus is on a single metric such as test scores.  The district may have student outcome goals that fall outside these categories, and those will also be included.

The workshop will address strategies and approaches that support the district goals and how to implement them. Once this workshop is complete, the district will have a well-articulated “why” that is backed up by the concrete goals and metrics that will bring it to fruition.

Participants: Developing the district’s goals and metrics is ideally done with many stakeholders.  The Superintendent, CTO, CAO, and principals plus representative teachers and parents is the ideal composition when possible.  Minimum representation is the Superintendent, CTO, CAO and representative principals.


Teacher Workshops

Recognizing and Fostering Student Agency

What is student agency?  This is a term that is used in many ways in the education field.  In order to get the outcomes that student agency promises, it is necessary to go beyond definitions of simple engagement or self-direction or responsibility.  This workshop presents definitions and examples of student agency inside and outside the classroom along with strategies to foster that agency.

Participants: Teachers that are going to be working toward changing their practice to increase student agency in the classroom.  Principals and Central Office Administrators who are going to be assessing progress against district goals for student agency would also benefit.

Agentic Formal Improvement Process

Student agency is like engagement on steroids – when successfully activated using agentic approaches such as Project-Based Learning, Inquiry, Design Thinking, Game-Based Learning and others, it supports deeper learning, workforce skill development, and better test scores.  Implementing these approaches with a traditional top down approach, however, doesn’t work. One of two things happens: either principals and teachers ignore the initiative, believing it is just another reform that will go away in a year, or the initiative is co-opted and implemented with the form but not the substance, as when Project-Based Learning turns into just doing projects.

This workshop will help teachers and principals design a Formal Improvement Process for each school that meets their particular needs and context.  The process will offer teachers agency and power in implementing changes to their classroom practice that will meet the goals defined by the district for student outcomes.  The process involves teachers committing to try something new in their classroom, trying it out, then reflecting with peers on how it went.  They then either modify their experiment or try something new.  This leads to a culture of innovation where over time teachers learn to trust their students with owning their learning, where teachers’ mindsets shift to one of authentically fostering student agency, and where continual small improvements lead to big results.

This workshop also includes free use of the REFLECT app for documenting the outcomes of teacher classroom trials for 1 year.

Participants: The audience for this workshop are groups of a principal and representative teachers representing each school to be involved in the change process.


Teacher Capacity and Professional Development Options

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is an agentic pedagogical approach that fosters deeper learning, workforce skills, student agency, and raises student achievement.  In this workshop, teachers will experience learning through PBL about the practice of PBL.  They will learn how to deliver PBL in the classroom, how to assess student work with PBL, and how to evaluate the PBL learning experience.

Inquiry Based Learning

Inquiry Based Learning is an agentic pedagogical approach that fosters deeper learning, workforce skills, student agency, and raises student achievement.  In this workshop, teachers will experience learning through Inquiry about the practice of Inquiry.  They will learn how to deliver Inquiry in the classroom, how to assess student work with Inquiry, and how to evaluate the Inquiry learning experience.

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is an agentic pedagogical approach that fosters deeper learning, workforce skills, student agency, and raises student achievement.  In this workshop, teachers will experience learning through Design Thinking about the practice of Design Thinking.  They will learn how to deliver Design Thinking in the classroom, how to assess student work with Design Thinking, and how to evaluate the Design Thinking learning experience.

What are the district’s responsibilities and costs?

This is a 1 year engagement. Agentic Learning is a partner with the district. Over the  year, the district will implement agentic learning approaches and the formal improvement process to increase student agency.  Agentic learning will provide initial workshops and professional development and ongoing support.  The district will participate in the Agentic Learning Advisory Board to provide insight into the program and help with its continual improvement.

School District’s Responsibilities

The district is responsible for helping to define the engagement, making staff available for workshops and consulting opportunities, implement the formal improvement process and following up to evaluate their progress against their own goals. This includes:

  • Superintendent available for ongoing dialogue throughout the engagement
  • Superintendent, CAO, and CTO are available for 1-2  initial virtual meetings to determine the fit between this engagement and district needs, as well as develop a preliminary scope for the project
  • District will complete surveys of participating schools and a control group of schools to establish a baseline including:
    • ASSESS
      • Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (students and teachers)
      • Work Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation Scale (teachers, principals, central office, staff)
      • District Readiness for Agentic Learning
  • Superintendent, CAO, and CTO are available for in-person meeting to review the results of the surveys, participate in brief workshop “Why Agency” and finalize the scope of the engagement
  • Appropriate staff are available for all workshops
  • District representative participates in monthly Agentic Learning Advisory Board Meeting to
    • Share successes and challenges
    • Share progress
    • Offer constructive feedback of the program
  • Near the end of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd school year the district will:
    • Complete the surveys again
    • Share survey results with Agentic Learning
    • Share progress against goals and metrics with Agentic Learning

School District Costs

The workshops, consulting, and costs of travel for the visiting team are all covered by Agentic Learning.  However, the district may incur some costs such as:

  • Teacher/staff pay for when attending workshops
  • Support for additional professional development beyond the Agentic Learning program to meet student outcome goals beyond student agency.

School District Eligibility Requirements

Districts that meet the following criteria are invited to apply:

  • Are a U.S. K‐12 school districts (including public, charter and parochial districts).
  • Have a vision for student agency by superintendent and leadership team (tech director, principals, curriculum director, school board)
  • Have an existing district‐wide strategic plan that includes goals related to student agency, or be in a position to adjust or develop a new strategic plan that focuses on student agency.
  • Plan to implement one or more agentic strategies, such as Project Based Learning, Inquiry, Design Thinking, Adaptive Software, Mastery Based Learning, etc.
  • Can Identify a point person who can assist in collecting and reporting on metrics relating to their goals and participate in Agentic Learning Advisory Board
  • Are prepared to select at least one school in district (up to three) that will participate
  • Will commit to publicly identify themselves as an Agentic Learning pilot site
  • Will commit to the sustainability of the program through secured funding and human capacity to carry out all key implementation factors for the proposed project.
  • Will commit to implementing the Agentic Learning Formal Improvement Process
    • Allocating appropriate amount of time for cohorts of teachers to meet on a regular basic
    • Developing plans to implement instructional strategies aligned with agentic pedagogies
    • Developing goals tied to outcomes involving student agency, workforce skills, and deeper learning
    • Developing  internal capacity of lead teachers and/or instructional coaches

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be chosen for their ability to meet the Eligibility Requirements (above), as well as the following selection criteria:

  • Willingness to look at all systems holistically and redesign classroom practice to align with agentic principles rather than layering yet one more set of requirements on top of existing initiatives.  
  • Preparedness to develop a system for tracking outcome data for three years in the following categories: Academic Achievement – deeper learning; Workforce skills; Student Agency
  • 1:1 student device ratio preferred
  • Having a robust infrastructure so that:
    • All students and teachers can simultaneously access the school WiFi in all learning spaces with a minimum of 1 Mbps/user;
    • Bandwidth and access to the Internet allow for student/staff to work online effectively, with a capacity of 100 Kbps/second/student;
    • Servers (school or district) allow for content delivery such as video, digital resources, content creation and storage;
    • Sufficient tech support to provide 99+% availability of all system components.


Yes! We are a district that has student agency as a priority and we would like to partner with Agentic Learning.