• How did the Opportunity Culture concept begin?

    In 2009, Public Impact, a national education policy and management firm, published a paper calling for more teachers to have paid, advanced roles while continuing to teach, in order to reach all students with excellent teaching. In 2012–13, the first two districts in the nation designed their Opportunity Culture models, adhering to five Opportunity Culture Principles, which call for teams of teachers and school leaders to choose and tailor models to: 

    1. Reach more students with excellent teachers and their teams
    2. Pay teachers more for extending their reach
    3. Fund pay within regular budgets
    4. Provide protected in-school time and clarity about how to use it for planning, collaboration, and development and match authority and accountability to each person’s responsibilities. 
    5. Match authority and accountability to each person's responsibilities


    Which El Paso ISD schools will have Opportunity Culture roles available?

    El Paso ISD schools that are participating in Opportunity Culture and the UTEP Yearlong Residency Program include:

    1. Mesita Elementary, Principal Laila Ferris (Residents and Mentor Teachers)
    2. Newman Elementary, Principal Pauletta Howard
    3. Tom Lea Elementary, Principal Michelle Casillas
    4. Collins Elementary, Principal Leticia Ewing
    5. Terrace Hills Middle, Principal Leticia Ewing
    6. Austin High, Principal Cyndi Severns-Ponce (Residents and Mentor Teachers)

    2022-2023 Campus Additions 

    Andress High, Principal Joseph Manago


    What are the Opportunity Culture roles/positions available in 2020-21?

    • Multi-Classroom Leader
    • Mentor Teacher
    • Team Reach Teacher
    • Yearlong Resident 


    What is the stipend amount offered to participants of OC roles per year?

    • Multi-Classroom Leader - $6,000
    • Mentor Teacher - $1,000
    • Resident Teacher - $20,000


    What is the application process for the Multi-Classroom Leader (MCL) position?

    All interested applicants must currently hold a teaching position on an OC campus and submit a written application to the campus Principal—including a resume and cover letter, student data demonstrating prior excellence, teacher evaluation ratings, a 5–7-minute coaching video and colleague/principal recommendations. Selected candidates will complete an in-person interview and may also be asked to participate in optional activities at the principal’s discretion, such as modeling a lesson and/or facilitating a PLC meeting.


    How am I supported in OC roles?

    Great support is a hallmark of Opportunity Culture schools. Multi-classroom leaders get intensive training before the school year begins in how to lead their teams, and all Opportunity Culture staff get on-the-job training and development, and scheduled, dedicated collaborative time for planning, coaching, and support.


    What does a typical day look like for an MCL?

    A typical day for an MCL is teaching their students then supporting their OC team. The MCL takes on additional responsibilities of co-teaching, coaching, modeling, analyzing data, observing, etc. MCLs are responsible for coaching and supporting, not formal evaluations of their team members.


    An MCL sounds like an instructional coach/facilitator. What’s the difference?

    Unlike most coaches, multi-classroom leaders are fully accountable for the results of all the students assigned to them and their team—and they continue to teach as well. And unlike many coaches/facilitators, MCLs lead small teams—typically two to five, although advanced MCLs may lead teams of six to eight. This gives them the protected, in-school time to provide the on-the-job guidance, co-planning, help with data analysis, and feedback that is a hallmark of the support in an Opportunity Culture. Additionally, many MCLs help select their teammates, help them advance in their own careers, and help principals lead instructional excellence school-wide.


    Will my child’s class size(s) increase?

    EPISD participates in a partial release MCL model, which does not increase class size.