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  • aMAzing Educators

    Sontag Prize in Education

    The Sontag Prize in Education is an annual award that recognizes and celebrates outstanding educators for their teaching excellence.

    All Sontag Prize recipients receive a $3,500 honorarium and first-time recipients receive professional development and an invitation to an awards ceremony.

    Educators who are selected for and accept the Sontag Prize expand their impact by committing to teach in an Acceleration Academy, a week-long academic program designed to accelerate student learning through engaging, standards-aligned lessons. During the Acceleration Academies, each content teacher is paired with a small group of students (10–12) for the entire week, and teachers are given the autonomy to design lessons based on their students' specific needs.

    Acceleration Academy Dates, Locations, and Content Focus

    The following districts will host Acceleration Academies in February (Feb 21 – 25, 2022)

    • Chelsea Public Schools — ELA focus, grades 5–8 and high school
    • Holyoke Public Schools — ELA focus, grades 3–8 and high school
    • Lawrence Public Schools — ELA focus, grades K–8 and high school
    • New Bedford Public Schools — ELA focus, grades 6–8 and high school
    • Springfield Empowerment Zone — ELA and Math focus

    The following districts will host Acceleration Academies in April (Apr 18 – 22, 2022)

    • Chelsea Public Schools — Math focus, grades 5–8 and high school
    • Holyoke Public Schools — Math and Science focus, grades 3–8 and high school
    • Lawrence Public Schools — Math and Science focus, grades K–8 and high school
    • New Bedford Public Schools — Math focus, grades 6–8 and high school

    Sontag Prize Professional Development and Awards Ceremony

    This year's Sontag Prize professional development and awards ceremony event will tentatively take place in the spring or summer of 2022. First-time Sontag Prize recipients will receive additional information in early spring.

    Sontag Prize Application

    Please complete the application for any district you are interested in teaching in during an Acceleration Academy week.

    • Application for Chelsea Public Schools — 2022 applications closed.

    • Application for Holyoke Public Schools — 2022 applications closed.

    • Application for Lawrence Public Schools — This application will be used to select teachers for Lawrence's April Acceleration Academies only which will serve students in grades K–8 and high school. Applications for Lawrence's April Acceleration Academies are due March 13, 2022. Applicants for Lawrence's April Acceleration Academies will be notified of selection decisions by mid to late March.

    • Application for New Bedford Public Schools — This application will be used to select teachers for New Bedford's April Acceleration Academies only which will serve students in grades 6–8 and high school. Applications for New Bedford's April Acceleration Academies are due February 28, 2022. Applicants for New Bedford's April Acceleration Academies will be notified of selection decisions by mid-March.

    • Application for Springfield Empowerment Zone — 2022 application closed.

    General Eligibility Requirements

    Licensed educators who teach reading and writing, math, science, or specials (physical education, music, art, etc.) can apply. Please see each district's specific application for any additional eligibility requirements or preferred qualifications.

    Program Placement

    Applicants who are awarded the Sontag Prize will only be placed in an Acceleration Academy program and location in which they have applied.

    Questions?

    If you have questions about the Sontag Prize and Acceleration Academies, please send an email to CSI@mass.gov and write "Sontag Prize" in the email's subject line.

    Last Updated: February 9, 2022

     
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    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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