RootEd in WNC


Apply for the 2021-2022 Teacher Cohort by September 15th

THe Teacher Experience

application & eligibiliy

Impacts & benefits

What is RootEd?

RootEd was founded on the belief that the best way to prepare students and communities for tomorrow, is to engage them in solving the challenges of today, right in their backyard. RootEd is a community of educators, students, coaches, and partners working together to solve local and regional challenges. We know that bold, authentic learning experiences have the power to transform and strengthen students, teachers, schools, and communities. We also know that making these experiences attainable and sustainable for all western North Carolina students and communities, requires a strong network of support. That’s RootEd.

    RootEd Impact Stories

    Buncombe Students Redesigning Azalea Park

    “We’re connecting students to the broader community through authentic learning experiences. This is a real-world challenge – how to redesign a park, and we’re going to solve it with our creativity, collaboration, and professionalism.” – Jeff Fleckenstein, Teacher & Community Coordinator

    Madison Students' COVID Project Highlighted in Edutopia

    “The goal is to distribute their research to the community and beyond in hopes to inform others about COVID-19 with reputable information and possibly help save lives,” – Oshen Wallin, Science Teacher

    Polk Students Build Outdoor Classroom

    “The idea originated in an English writing course, and students in that course planned the project and collectively wrote the grant.The construction of the outdoor classroom and green space has been a school-wide effort.” –


    Madison Students Redesigning Pool Site

    “I think it’s an important project because we don’t really have anywhere to hang out here,” Metcalf said. “There’s not much to do. We have to go to Weaverville or Asheville to do stuff. This will give us some where to hang out.” – Georgia Metcalf, Freshman

    Powerful Learning for and with Teachers

    RootEd provides teachers with everything they need to create bold community-connected learning experiences for their students, and nothing they don’t. As part of a cohort, RootEd teachers engage in a year-long blended learning experience that includes:


    • 1-on-1 and small group coaching 
    • 3 cohort meetings, including a 2 day launch, 1 day study visit, and 2 day showcase event and conference
    • Membership in an online community of practice
    • Networking and collaborative learning with peers, partners, and coaches
    • A $1,000 stipend
    • 50 CEUs
    • Project management support
    • Partnership development support
    • Storytelling support

    The Teacher Experience

    The Challenge

    Over the course of a school-year, teachers will design and deliver a project that connects their students with their community to solve a challenge.

      Major Milestones and Deliverables

      • RootEd application and interview
      • Complete challenge design document
      • Facilitate student challenge experience
      • Complete project website
      • Tell your project story

      Major Goals

      • Teachers learn how to create student experiences focused on community challenges.
      • Teachers learn how to facilitate student problem solving, collaboration, and communication.
      • Teachers learn how to integrate their academic standards into community challenges. 
      • Teachers learn how to integrate local people, places, and professions into their challenges.

      Calendar & Activities

      Sep 15

      Application Deadline 

      Applicants will be notified for interviews by September 17th.

      Sep 30 – Oct 1

      Launch Event 

      Teachers meet to kick-off RootEd, and start designing their student challenges.

      Western NC Location TBD



      RootEd coaches will meet with teachers 1-on-1 and in small groups at least 4 times throughout the school year to help teachers design and deliver their projects. Supports and activities include: designing student activities, integrating with standards, co-teaching or modeling activities, and identifying potential partners.

      At Your School & Virtual


      Online Community of Practice

      RootEd utilizes an online community of practice to connect teachers to one another, coaches, tools, partners, and other resources. 

      Mar 18

      Study Visit/Field Experience

      Teachers will visit a location in WNC to see community-connected learning in action.

      Western NC Location TBD

      Jun 18-19

      Showcase Conference: Pitch Competition, Storytelling Event

      Teachers, students, and community partners will share their work, pitch their ideas, and learn from one another.

      Western NC Location TBD

      Apply to the 2021-2022 RootEd-GEAR UP Teacher Cohort


       The 2021-2022 RootEd-GEAR UP Teacher Cohort is open to…

      • Middle school and high school teachers in…
      • Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Clay, Graham, Madison, Swan, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey


      Teachers accepted into the 2021-2022 RootEd GEAR-UP Teacher Cohort will receive…

      • 1-on-1 and small group coaching 
      • 5 cohort meetings, including a launch, study visit, and showcase event
      • Membership in an online community of practice
      • Networking and collaborative learning with peers, partners, and coaches
      • A $1,000 stipend
      • 50 CEUs
      • Project management support
      • Partnership development support
      • Storytelling support


      Applicants to the RootEd-GEAR UP Teacher Cohort commit to the following:

      • Designing and delivering a minimum of one student learning experience focused on a community challenge
      • Completing a challenge design document for their project
      • Creating and maintaining a project website that documents and tells their project story
      • Attending all 3 cohort meetings: launch event, study visit, and showcase event (barring unforeseen circumstances)
      • Meeting with a RootEd coach a minimum of four times per year

      application form (due sep 15)

      Draft your answers here