For Immediate Release - February 06, 2014

PATRICK ADMINISTRATION AWARDS ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR INNOVATION SCHOOLS TO CLOSE ACHIEVEMENT GAPS

BOSTON – Thursday, February 6, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced additional funding for the Commonwealth’s Innovation schools to further the Administration’s commitment to close persistent achievement gaps, promote innovative and bold strategies in public schools, give students greater access to high-quality education and maintain Massachusetts’ position as a world leader in education.

“Innovation Schools give educators the tools they need to close achievement gaps and create an environment that adapts to the unique needs of all of our students," said Governor Patrick. “These grants will give more of our educators the flexibility to think creatively on how to best prepare our young people for success in the 21st century.”

The Governor announced $90,000 in planning grants to nine potential Innovation Schools and nearly $500,000 in enhancement and sustainability grants to 17 established Innovation Schools across the Commonwealth. The enhancement grants awarded will provide districts and schools with additional resources for enhanced implementation of their approved Innovation Plans. The 17 schools, encompassing 10 districts, are implementing plans that support improved student achievement outcomes through a number of innovative initiatives like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, enhanced literacy programs, extended school day and professional development for teachers. Thursday’s announcement also includes $90,000 in grants to potential Innovation Schools that will support the development of detailed local plans that could establish nine, high-quality Innovation Schools, which would provide additional options for students heading into the 2014-2015 school year. Initial prospectuses for these schools have already been approved by local stakeholders 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 fall 2014.

Governor Patrick announced these planning and enhancement grants at the Chandler Magnet School in Worcester, a recipient of a $30,000 enhancement grant.

“We are seeing great examples of student success at Innovation Schools across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “The continued development of new Innovation Schools and additional resources for these schools provided today will support our work to close achievement gaps through innovation in education and ensure that our students have the best possible instruction and support they need to be successful students and lifelong learners."

A signature component of Governor Patrick’s Achievement Gap Act of 2010, Innovation Schools are in-district, 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 46 approved innovation schools across Massachusetts. If the nine new plans are fully approved, nearly 55 innovation schools could be fully functional by fall 2014. 

Funding was made available as part of $1 million in competitive grants to school districts for the planning, implementation and enhancement of Innovation Schools included in the state's Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget. The Patrick Administration has awarded over $2.1 million in innovation school planning and implementation grants through funds from the Commonwealth’s state budget, the state's successful Race to the Top proposal and additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2010. The Governor’s FY15 budget proposes $4.6 million for these grants, an increase of $3.6 million from FY14.

“Innovation Schools are providing districts across the state with an important, new option to design supportive schools that set all students on a pathway to high school graduation and success beyond,” said Commissioner Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell D. Chester. “These planning and enhancement grants will help ensure that educators and partners have the resources they need to increase academic achievement for all students.”

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

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

INNOVATION SCHOOLS PLANNING GRANTS – For Potential Innovation Schools

  • Auburn High School’s 21st Century Skills Academy, Auburn, $10,000
  • Dorchester Arts and Business Academy, Boston, $10,000
  • Henderson K-12, Boston, $10,000
  • The Merrimac School, Pentucket Regional School District, $10,000
  • The Pentucket Academy of Movement Science and Athletics, Pentucket Regional School District, $10,000
  • The Pentucket Arts Academy, Pentucket Regional School District, $10,000
  • The Pentucket Safety and Public Service Academy, Pentucket Regional School District, $10,000
  • The Pentucket Design and Engineering Academy, Pentucket Regional School District, $10,000
  • Wareham Middle School STEAM Academy, Wareham, $10,000

Total: $90,000

INNOVATION SCHOOLS ENHANCEMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY GRANTS – For Operational Innovation Schools

  • Eliot Elementary School, Boston, $30,000
  • Madison Park Technical High School, Boston, $30,000
  • Roger Clap Innovation School, Boston, $30,000
  • Talbot Innovation Middle School, Fall River, $30,000
  • McKay Arts Academy, Fitchburg, $30,000
  • Ralph B. O’Maley Middle School, Gloucester, $30,000
  • Tilton School, Haverhill, $30,000
  • Leominster Center for Excellence, Leominster, $24,400
  • Leominster Center for Technical Innovation, Leominster, $30,000
  • Goddard Scholars Academy at the Sullivan Middle School, Worcester, $30,000
  • Lincoln Street School, Worcester, $30,000
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, $30,000
  • Chandler Magnet, Worcester, $30,000
  • Berkshire Trail Elementary School, Central Berkshire Regional School District, $30,000
  • Quaboag Middle School, Quaboag Regional School District, $19,840
  • N H Wixon Innovation School, Dennis-Yarmouth School District, $30,000
  • Beckett Washington Elementary School, Central Berkshire Regional School District, $30,000

Total: $494,240

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