The Nellie Mae Education Foundation in Quincy, Massachusetts, has announced grants totaling more than $16.2 million to five school districts in New England.
The funds awarded by the foundation will be used to advance phase II implementation of its Building New Models for System Change initiative in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, and Portland, Maine, and phase I implementation of its New Approaches in Urban Districts (NAUD) initiative in Hartford and Meriden, Connecticut, and Revere, Massachusetts. Funding for the Burlington and Winooski school districts, which were a part of the original cohort of Building New Models for System Change, has been deferred until the spring of 2015, when the foundation can better determine whether new leadership in the two districts is ready to embrace full implementation of student-centered approaches to learning.
In Pittsfield, New Hampshire, the funding will enable Pittsfield Public Schools to map students' postsecondary success, raise student achievement, and help students develop the skills they need to succeed in the twenty-first century. Portland Public Schools will use its grant to advance its new proficiency-based graduation policy, review leadership structures at both the district and school level, and implement student-centered models throughout the district.
As part of NAUD, grants were awarded to Hartford Public Schools in support of the High School Centers of Innovation program, which will work to cultivate innovation and collaboration in district schools and become a vehicle for continuous improvement with respect to sustain student-centered learning; Meriden Public Schools to incorporate an "anytime/anywhere" learning model, implement competency-based and blended learning, and personalize learning experiences; and Revere Public Schools to build its internal capacity for implementing student-centered learning, pilot and measure new strategies in specific schools, and advance its community engagement efforts.