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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 $4,000 honorarium from their placement district and first-time recipients receive professional development.

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. Educators who accept the Sontag Prize should also be prepared to participate in planning and preparation meetings with their placement district and/or school prior to the Acceleration Academy week.

Acceleration Academy Dates, Locations, and Content Focus

The following districts will host ELA focused Acceleration Academies during the February school vacation week (February 20–24, 2023):

  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • Holyoke Public Schools
  • Lawrence Public Schools
  • New Bedford Public Schools

The following districts will host Math (and potentially science) focused Acceleration Academies during the April school vacation week (April 17–21, 2023):

  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • Holyoke Public Schools
  • Lawrence Public Schools
  • New Bedford Public Schools

Sontag Prize Professional Development

The 2023 Sontag Prize professional development events will take place a couple weeks before the February Acceleration Academies and a couple weeks before the April Acceleration Academies. Exact dates are to be determined. First-time Sontag Prize recipients selected to teach in the February Acceleration Academies will be invited to attend the professional development that takes place prior to the February Acceleration Academy week. First-time recipients selected to teach in the April Acceleration Academies will be invited to attend the professional development that takes place prior to the April Acceleration Academy week. Last year's first-time Sontag Prize recipients will also be invited to attend.

Sontag Prize Application

The Sontag Prize application for educators interested in teaching in the February Acceleration Academies is now closed. The Sontag Prize application for educators interested in teaching in the April Acceleration Academies will be posted in December 2022.

General Eligibility Requirements

Sontag Prize for February Acceleration Academies — Licensed educators with experience teaching early literacy, reading and writing, ELA, ESL, special education, or specials (physical education, music, art, etc.) can apply.

Sontag Prize for April Acceleration Academies — Licensed educators with experience teaching math, science, ESL, special education, or specials (physical education, music, art, etc.) can apply.

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 "2023 Sontag Prize" in the email's subject line.

Last Updated: November 22, 2022

 
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