For Immediate Release - August 31, 2011

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $660,000 IN IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS TO 15 INNOVATION SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH

Funds will support application of new education tools at Innovation Schools

University Park Campus School
Lieutenant Governor Murray makes an announcement relative to Innovation Schools in Massachusetts at the University Park Campus School in Worcester (Photo Credit: Norm Birenbaum/Lt.Gov.'s Office)

WORCESTER - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced that $660,000 is being awarded to support the operation of 15 Innovation Schools across the Commonwealth. Plans for these Innovation Schools received approval from local school committees and will be implemented in communities statewide beginning this fall.

Lieutenant Governor Murray made this announcement at the University Park Campus School in Worcester, a grades 7-12 school approved earlier this year to convert to an Innovation School by the Worcester School Committee. As part of today's announcement, University Park is receiving $50,000 in additional funding for implementation of its Innovation Plan. This first round of implementation awards includes 15 Innovation Schools receiving $25,000 to $60,000 per school.

"These schools will provide expanded and improved educational opportunities for Massachusetts students," said Governor Deval Patrick. "This robust and diverse group of schools demonstrates what can be achieved when local school communities are given the flexibility to be creative in their approach to improving education for students."

"We are committed to giving school administrators, teachers and parents the tools and flexibility they need to ensure our children receive a world-class education," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "These awarded Innovation Schools are great examples of the creativity and leadership necessary for our kids to succeed."

A signature component of Governor Patrick's Achievement Gap Act of 2010, Innovation Schools are in-district, charter-like public schools that employ inventive strategies and creative approaches to education to accelerate student achievement while keeping school funding within districts. Innovation Schools can utilize greater autonomy and flexibility with regard to curriculum, staffing, budget, schedule/calendar, professional development and district policies.

"This is an exciting example of local communities collaboratively finding solutions to their own unique challenges," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "This cohort of schools is on the vanguard of an initiative that has promise for significant positive impact statewide."

"Innovation Schools provide school districts with a new option to design more effective approaches around increasing student learning and ensuring that all students reach high standards and expectations," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester.

Funding for these implementation grants was made available as part of a total of $2 million in support from the state's successful Race to the Top proposal and additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation funding supports schools that utilize Innovation School flexibilities and autonomies, while also incorporating the elements of the Next Generation Learning Model - in particular, the inventive use of technology and real-time and ongoing student assessments. Remaining funds will be awarded through a second round of planning grants this coming fall and a second round of implementation grants in Spring 2012.

Schools receiving implementation grants include elementary, middle and high schools from across the state that have taken advantage of the autonomy and flexibility that Innovation Schools offer by extending learning time for students, providing alternative pathways to college and career readiness, empowering teachers through differentiated teacher roles in school leadership, creating STEM focused curriculum, instituting dual language programs, offering hybrid virtual programs and individualizing curriculum and instruction for students.

"I am pleased to see that districts are taking advantage of the opportunity to open Innovation Schools. I am hopeful that more districts will utilize the flexibility that this model provides to meet the educational needs of students and improve academic performance," said Representative Alice Peisch, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education.

University Park Campus School's mission is to ensure that that all students, regardless of racial/ethnic or socioeconomic status, will be college, career and citizenship ready. The school's Innovation School autonomies will be used to allow for more staffing flexibility, create a professional development schedule with Wednesday morning meetings, improve curriculum by utilizing courses and resources at Clark University, and require students to complete Gateway performances to demonstrate that they have achieved school-wide expectations for student learning.

For more information about Innovation Schools, please visit www.mass.gov/edu/innovationschools.

The list of grant recipients, the districts in which the schools will be located, and amounts granted is as follows.

INNOVATION SCHOOL IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS - awarded with state Race to the Top funding:

· Roger Clap Community Academy, Boston, $50,000

· Marguerite E. Small School, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, $50,000

· Lawrence Academy, Falmouth, $50,000

· Pathways Early College High School, Mahar, $60,000

· Baccalaureate School of North Middlesex, North Middlesex Regional School District, $25,000

· Quaboag Innovation STEM Early College High School, Quaboag Regional School District, $25,000

· Paul Revere Innovation School, Revere, $60,000

· Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, $50,000

· 21st Century Skills Academy, West Springfield, $25,000

· Chandler Magnet School, Worcester, $50,000

· Woodland Academy, Worcester, $50,000

· Goddard Scholars Academy, Worcester, $40,000

· University Park Campus School, Worcester, $50,000

TOTAL = $585,000

INNOVATION SCHOOL IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS - awarded through Next Generation Learning Models grants provided to the Executive Office of Education by the Gates Foundation:

· Goddard School of Science and Technology, Worcester, $50,000

· Quaboag Innovation Middle School, Quaboag Regional School District, $25,000

TOTAL = $75,000

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