For Immediate Release - February 15, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION AWARDS OVER $280,000 IN PLANNING GRANTS TO 29 POTENTIAL INNOVATION SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH

Funds will support development of educational innovations that close achievement gaps, help all students achieve at high levels

MALDEN – Wednesday, February 15, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced $281,000 in grants to 29 potential Innovation Schools across the Commonwealth. The funding builds on the Patrick-Murray Administration's continued efforts to close persistent achievement gaps, promote innovative and bold strategies in education and give students and their families greater access to high-quality public schools.

"I am extremely proud of the progress we’ve made on the Innovation School initiative and am happy to see more schools stepping up to provide improved educational opportunities for Massachusetts students," said Governor 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 helping all students achieve at high levels."

“Innovation Schools provide quality resources and exciting new options for student learning and improvement in our schools,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “With today’s funding announcement, we look forward to the development of potential new Innovation Schools as we strengthen our education system in Massachusetts.”

Initial prospectuses for these schools have already been approved by local stakeholders including superintendents, school committee members and union leaders and the grants will be used to develop robust innovation plans that will be presented to local school committees for final approval. A number of these schools could open as early as September 2012.

A signature component of Governor Patrick’s Achievement Gap Act of 2010, Innovation Schools are in-district, charter-like public schools that use inventive strategies and creative approaches to education 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.

There are currently 18 operational innovation schools across Massachusetts and another two fully approved innovation schools scheduled to open this fall. If these new 29 plans are fully approved, nearly 50 innovation schools could be up and running by fall 2012. The Administration awarded over $1 million in innovation school planning and implementation grants last year and another round of implementation grants will be awarded this summer to new schools that meet final plan approval from their local school committees. Funding for Innovation School planning and implementation grants is 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.

"It is encouraging to see so many local communities collaboratively finding solutions to their own unique challenges," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "The continued development of excellent new Innovation Schools statewide will ensure that students have access to the instruction and support we know they need to be successful students and lifelong learners."

“Innovation Schools provide educators with a new option to build supportive schools that ensure students reach high standards and expectations,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. “These planning funds will provide educators and partners with resources to design more effective approaches to increase student learning.”

Governor Patrick announced today’s round of planning grants at the Linden K-8 School in Malden, one of today’s recipients whose Innovation School prospectus includes converting the school to a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) model, with a robust group of community partners to support this work.

“I am delighted that the Linden School has received this grant and recognition of their leadership in innovative education,” said Senator Katherine Clark. “I thank the school committee, administrators, teachers and staff for all their hard work and I am pleased the Governor had the opportunity to see this work firsthand.”

“We are grateful to Governor Patrick who continues to be innovative in developing initiatives to further strengthen educational opportunities for our students,” said Malden Mayor Gary Christenson. “The community is honored to have the Governor make this announcement in Malden and we look forward to making him proud. I also commend Malden School Superintendent David DeRuosi on his efforts in pursuing this forward-thinking grant.”

The Linden School’s partners include The Broad Institute, local artist Jodi Colella, Partnership for Community Schools in Malden, WEDIKO Children Services (social-emotional supports) and Baystate Reading Institute. During today’s visit, the Governor and other participants had a chance to meet with representatives from these partner groups to hear about how they will benefit the school’s student population. 

Malden is also one of the Commonwealth’s 24 Gateway Cities and as such, will be eligible to apply for grant funding under the Governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda, announced in November 2011. The Governor has dedicated $10 million for this initiative in his fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, with the goal of closing persistent achievement gaps that disproportionately affect children living in poverty, students of color, students with disabilities and students who are English language learners. Many of these students are heavily concentrated in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities.

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

For more information about Governor Patrick’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda, please visit www.ma.gov/edu/gatewaycities.

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

INNOVATION SCHOOLS PLANNING GRANTS – awarded with state Race to the Top funding.

Proposed Innovation SchoolPartner DistrictAmount
STEM Academy for Middle School EngineersAuburn$10,000
Eliot K-8 SchoolBoston$10,000
Mildred Avenue SchoolBoston$10,000
Paige AcademyBoston$10,000
Renaissance Hope AcademyBoston$10,000
Maurice J. Tobin SchoolBoston$10,000
Ezra H. Baker SchoolDennis-Yarmouth Regional School District$10,000
Nathaniel H. Wixon SchoolDennis-Yarmouth Regional School District$10,000
McKay Campus School/Fitchburg Arts AcademyFitchburg$10,000
O’Malley Middle SchoolGloucester$10,000
GEMS AcademyGreenfield$10,000
John C. Tilton SchoolHaverhill$10,000
Center for ExcellenceLeominster$10,000
Center for Technical Education InnovationLeominster$10,000
Washington ElementaryLynn$10,000
STEM/21st Century Elementary SchoolMarlborough$10,000
International Baccalaureate School of  QuabbinQuabbin Regional School District$7,000
Worcester East Middle Academy of Science, Technology and HealthWorcester$10,000
Lincoln Street SchoolWorcester$10,000
Worcester Technical High School STEM Early CollegeWorcester$10,000
Winter Hill Community SchoolSomerville$10,000

TOTAL = $207,000

INNOVATION SCHOOL PLANNING GRANTS – awarded through Next Generation Learning Models grants provided to the Executive Office of Education by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Proposed Innovation SchoolPartner DistrictAmount
Crocker Farm Elementary SchoolAmherst$10,000
Cape Cod Tech STEM AcademyCape Cod Regional Technical High School$10,000
Becket WashingtonCentral Berkshire Regional School District$10,000
Berkshire TrailCentral Berkshire Regional School District$10,000
Linden STEAM AcademyMalden$10,000
Algonquin Personal Pathways in STEM (APPS)Northborough-Southborough$10,000
Warren Community Elementary SchoolQuaboag Regional School District$7,000
West Brookfield Elementary SchoolQuaboag Regional School District$7,000

TOTAL = $74,000

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