Sontag Prize

Sontag Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who was Frederick Sontag?

Frederick Sontag was a Philosophy professor at Pomona College in Claremont, California who shepherded many wayward students on to graduation.  For more on his life, please Click Here.

How did the program develop?

This program was created by Lawrence Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Riley during his tenure in  Boston Public Schools. It was created as a way to marry two distinct needs: recognizing urban educators and providing top level instruction to some of our most needy students. The program is in its third year in Lawrence under the direction of Superintendent Riley.

Who is eligible to apply?  

Any teacher who works with urban students in grades K-12 is eligible to apply. Specifically, we are looking for the following teachers to apply for the February and April Sontag Prize, respectively:

February Sontag awards will be granted to: ELA, Elementary, ESL, Special Education and Specials Teachers (Music, Art, Theater, Dance, Technology, and Physical Education). 

April Sontag awards will be granted to: Math, Science, Elementary, ESL, Special Education, and Specials Teachers (Music, Art, Theater, Dance, Technology, and Physical Education).

How is the program structured?

Below is a typical Acceleration Academy schedule.

Professional Development & Orientation Celebration for ALL new Sontag Prize Recipients
  • Takes place the weekend before the February Acceleration Academy
  • Weekend includes welcome event, keynote address, awards dinner, student performances, professional development sessions, and more
 
ELA Acceleration Academy
  • Takes place during February Break (mid to late February)
  • Teachers work with one small group (10-12 students) for the week
  • Typical day is 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
 
Math & Science Acceleration Academy
  • Takes place during Spring Break (mid April)
  • Teachers work with one small group (10-12 students) for the week
  • Typical day is 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
 

How do I get to my teaching site?  

Local school teachers are expected to get to their teaching sites on their own.  School districts will arrange shuttle transportation to and from host schools for teachers from outside the area who are staying in hotels.

How long do I teach each day?

Teachers teach about 6-7 hours during the day and are given a free period as well as time off for lunch.  The day resembles a typical school day with the exception that teachers work with the same small group of students exclusively.

What does my teaching space look like?

You will teach in the same classroom for the entire week.

Is there a fixed curriculum?

No, since this award recognizes outstanding teachers, we trust you to decide how best to teach.  With that said, we will provide specific data on your students that can help guide you and will purchase supplies and materials for you for the week based on your input.