$75,000 grants available to cultivate Innovation Schools

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is accepting applications for a fellowship program aimed at cultivating Innovation Schools, with support for a year-long planning process.

The fellowships provide $75,000 for up to three school districts that are either establishing new Innovation Schools or converting existing schools to the Innovation School model. Sponsoring school districts will partner with DESE and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education to participate in the program. The fellowship will begin in the new fiscal year, which starts on July 1. Priority will be given to districts with Level 3 and Level 4 schools.

Governor Patrick included the Innovation Schools initiative in the Achievement Gap Act of 2010 as a way to foster school-based decision-making, innovation and choice within public schools. Innovation Schools are similar to Horace Mann Charter Schools and to Boston’s Pilot Schools, though there are differences in implementation. Innovation Schools have more flexibility and autonomy than other district-run schools with regard to curriculum, staffing, budget, scheduling, professional development and district policies.

Information, including the full request for proposals and fellowship application, is available on the DESE website.

The deadline for completed applications is March 3. A nonbinding notice of intent is due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14.

DESE WEBINARS FOR INTERESTED DISTRICTS
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 10, 4 to 5 p.m.

Click here to register.

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