Rowland Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

Who may apply?

Any Vermont high school teacher, guidance counselor, mental health counselor or healthcare professional from a Vermont public school, from one of the state’s four independent academies, from a Vermont technical center, or from a private school where at least 85 percent of the students are publically funded and do not have selective admissions may apply for a fellowship. Middle school teachers may apply who are part of a K-12 or 7-12 school and where the high school and middle school fall under the same leadership umbrella.

Are joint applications acceptable?

Absolutely, in fact, they are strongly encouraged! However, the grant remains the same as it would be for an individual applicant. The co-applicants will be expected to explain their partnership and their co-sabbaticals.

How are the Rowland Fellows selected?

The Executive Director reads all applications and recommends a list of finalists to the Board of Trustees who will ultimately select the Rowland Fellows. The Executive Director interviews all of the finalists at The Rowland Foundation's office in South Londonderry, VT.

The selection of the finalists will be based on the strength of the proposal and a clear vision articulated by the applicants as to how the time spent on sabbatical will help transform an aspect of their school. Significant attention is given to the recommendation and support from the principal or head of school. This is a critically important partnership.

Could you provide clarity on the sabbatical? How broadly can it be defined?

Dream big!

At one level the sabbatical is defined as the semester or year that applicants are freed from their daily responsibilities. At another, there is an assumption about professional growth, education and time for research. The Rowland Foundation hopes that the sabbatical time will embrace elements of both definitions.

One applicant may visit schools in North America or overseas, and yet another attending conferences, writing and planning. The sabbatical is defined as the semester that applicants are freed from their daily responsibilities.

What if I do not have a clear handle on my sabbatical costs at the time of my application?

Not a problem. The application asks for a preliminary budget which you are to complete to the best of your ability. Once selected, Rowland Fellows will meet with the Executive Director to finalize their budgets.

Can my family join me on my sabbatical?

The Foundation recognizes the challenges inherent in offering an opportunity for travel and significant time away from home and loved ones. The preliminary budget submitted with the application asks you to indicate the costs of any family members who will accompany you. Half of the $100,000 grant is earmarked for the cost of the sabbatical and the school's cost of covering a substitute teacher in your absence.

How will the Rowland Foundation react to multiple applications from teachers within the same school?

The Foundation will only consider up to two proposals or two joint proposals from the same school. It is up to the principal/head of the school to monitor this.

What about my salary and benefits during my fellowship?

Your school continues to pay your salary and maintain your benefits during your sabbatical. It is assumed that your school board and teachers association (if applicable) will be supportive of the concept of a sabbatical, particularly one which will positively impact your school.

The Rowland Foundation will reimburse your school for the cost of hiring a long-term substitute and for all related advertising costs.

What is not funded by the Foundation?

As previously mentioned, Foundation grants are made with a clear assumption about sustainability. With that in mind, we generally do not fund:

  • Faculty or staff salaries
  • Student travel unless sustainability can be demonstrated
  • Capital costs, e.g., buildings, building renovations, large-scale computer purchases
  • Master's degrees for the applicant (note: we certainly are willing to fund a course related to the applicant's initiative)
How often do the Rowland Fellows meet?

Typically four times per year. The Executive Director and the two Rowland Associates facilitate these meetings often using a "critical friends" protocol to assist the Fellows in articulating and seeking solutions to obstacles and challenges.

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