December 18, 2023

Request for Qualifications: Academic Strategist Services

By Bellwether

Share this article

Bellwether’s Academic and Program Strategy (APS) team is seeking a pool of qualified contractors to assist with supporting education leaders across the country.

Through tailored one-on-one collaborations and multi-school cohorts, the APS team helps schools and networks start strong, diagnose emerging challenges and gaps, improve results, and grow with quality. Common project needs range from 6 weeks to 6 months and include conducting school health assessments as phase 1 of a strategic planning processes, leading stakeholder engagement processes, supporting school/network teams with actionable implementation plans, and coaching/advising a cohort of school and network leaders toward aligned goals.

Key skills and experiences we are seeking include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university
  • A minimum of five years of successful school/district/network leadership experience
  • Deep knowledge of and experience in curricular materials, instructional strategies, positive school culture and whole child support practices, data analysis, adult learning, network/systems development and management, and/or family and community engagement and investment
  • Experience developing or implementing multi-year strategic plans that enabled high-quality school outcomes
  • Ability to develop insights and recommendations that support strategic learning acceleration and achievement gap closure
  • Understanding and ability to coach toward principles of strong school design
  • Strong adaptive leadership skills
  • Project and team management experience
  • Effective communication, collaboration, and interpersonal skills
  • Prior consulting experience is a plus

Read the full Request for Qualifications for more information.  

Responses should be submitted via the RFQ Submission Portal by Friday, January 19, 2024, at 11:59p.m. ET. Submissions received any other way will not be considered.


Will the RFQ projects require full or part-time support?
Published projects will have opportunities for full and part-time support. Selected contractors will review “mini-bid” project scopes before confirming interest.

Is there a format requirement for documents/attachments?
No, you may submit in any format. However, PDF usually reads best. A linked file folder of supporting materials is also acceptable, as long as it includes notations to the requested qualifications.

Is there a word or page limit for sections and/or attachments?
No, we will review the full submission package.

What level of detail is needed for the budget?
We realize that rates may differ based on the type and length of projects. In the initial response, you may submit an average rate and/or range of rates. Once we publish specific “mini-bid” projects and scopes, we will request more detail.

How do I revise my submission?
You should be able to revise your submission by using the link in your confirmation email.

What happens after selection?
Our goal is to establish a short list of qualified contractors, who will be provided opportunities to work with our team, as needed. Once selected, contractors will be able to respond to specific “mini-bid” projects and scopes, and determine interest level. To all selected, we will host a brief orientation to the mini-bid process, and be in touch throughout the year as opportunities arise.

How will our partnership work? Can I, or my company, retain ownership of the work product?
Those selected will serve as subcontractors under the Bellwether name. We will use Bellwether tools and resources, but will be willing to consider the use of additional items. The work produced throughout the partnership will be the client’s, but a subcontractor can reference the work in other relationships (i.e. “I worked with Bellwether on ____.”)

We are a mid-sized to large company. Do we have to provide resumes for everyone?
We are seeking individuals and/or smaller organizations that would be interested in short-term partnerships. Given this, we are expecting to review qualifications and interview any one that could possibly be partnered with us (so yes, all resumes are required). Our goal is to establish a short list of qualified contractors that will then be provided opportunities to work with our team, as needed.

We are a small consulting firm. Should we apply jointly or independently?
While this is completely up to you, please apply in the format closest to how you plan to work most times, and know that you will retain a bit of flexibility if you are selected. If you apply individually, you could respond to mini-bids with a proposal to collaborate with the other, or if you apply jointly, you could respond to mini-bids together, and state which of you will do the work.

If selected, can I use the project to share my or my company’s resources with the client?
Our intention is for the selected contractors to serve as extensions of our Bellwether team. Bellwether’s core value is tailored excellence, meaning we craft our services to fit the needs of each client and scope. As a result, we cannot proactively commit to sharing any additional information with clients. Instead, if the project team determines the client could benefit from the resources, we are open to including it, but cannot guarantee at this time.

More from this topic

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.