Massachusetts Schools Receive 15 Innovation Grants

Friday, September 2, 2011

Five Worcester schools were among 15 schools statewide learning yesterday that they will receive $25,000 to $60,000 each to help them implement changes as part of their innovation school designation. Innovation schools are existing schools that have asked the district for and received more authority over operational issues, such as curriculum and staffing.

Worcester?s five innovation schools will use the money for professional development for teachers, technology and fine-tuning the curriculum, said Superintendent Melinda J. Boone.

Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray announced the grants yesterday morning at a news conference at University Park Campus School, which is one of the innovation schools. The school plans to use some of the $50,000 it will receive for a voluntary extra hour in the day, said Principal Ricci W. Hall. The extended day, which will be strongly encouraged for the school?s middle school students, is scheduled to start Sept. 19, he said.

The city?s other innovation schools and the amounts of their grants are: Chandler Magnet School, $50,000; Goddard Scholars Academy at the Dr. Arthur F. Sullivan Middle School, $40,000; Goddard School of Science and Technology, $50,000; and Woodland Academy, $50,000. The amounts received were less than what schools asked for in their applications, but any amount will help, Ms. Boone said.

Other Central Massachusetts innovation schools that received implementation grants are: the Pathways Early College High School in the Ralph C. Mahar District (New Salem, Orange, Petersham and Wendell), $60,000; Baccalaureate School of North Middlesex (Ashby, Pepperell, Townsend), $25,000; the Quaboag Innovation STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Early College High School (Warren, West Brookfield), $25,000; and Quaboag Innovation Middle School, $25,000.

The money for the grants comes from the federal Race to the Top Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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