Renton GREAT Program
GREAT (Growing Renton Educators to Accelerate Teaching) is RSD's "Grow Your Own" initiative and a central strategy for achieving the goals of the RSD Strategic Plan. GREAT is our teacher pathway program that aims to get students and current RSD paraeducators on the road to a teaching certificate based on needs and level of educational attainment by eliminating financial barriers.
In July of 2022, the Renton School District's Board of Directors laid out a Strategic Vision and goals centered on its core values of Service, Excellence and Equity. The focus for equity has been to continue to identify ways to break down barriers for students so that they have access to the resources and supports needed to graduate with options and prepared to participate fully in democracy. During the 2022-23 school year, that focus has been targeted at Human Resources creating and implementing a strategic recruitment plan aligned with the recommendations of the District's DEI committee.
At its core, this translates to HR focusing its energy and efforts at attracting, recruiting and retaining a workforce that is more reflective of the students it serves. Its signature strategy is the creation of a GYO program called GREAT – Growing Renton Educators to Accelerate Teaching. GREAT aims to identify promising candidates within our own paraprofessional ranks to assist them in attaining their teacher credentials. With support from Block Grants from PESB and generous support from the New Schools Venture Fund, HR now has the seed funding to make this vision a reality.
The funds available will help paraprofessionals with last dollar aid (the remaining monies needed to pay for tuition, sub release time, etc.) after financial aid grants and scholarships are applied. RSD anticipates the ability to support 15-20 paraprofessionals in its inaugural cohort for GREAT.
How does it work?
- Paraprofessionals who are selected for the program continue in full-time positions, retain benefits and pay while attending classes at one of RSD's partner universities.
- Tuition assistance (last dollar aid) depending on program
- Release time for internships and trainings as needed
- Guaranteed employment with RSD in a certificated teaching position in high-need school or subject for 3 years following successful completion of the program
Application Process & Resources
The GREAT Application for the 2022-23 school year is now open. Please review the application process overview linked below prior to beginning your application.
- Please click here to access the GREAT Application Overview
- Click here to access the GREAT Program FAQ
- Please click here to access the GREAT Info Session Power Point
Applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, April 1, 2022. Selection for the inaugural 2022-23 GREAT cohort will take place between April - May, 2022.