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Senator Spilka Announces Framingham’s Wilson School Wins $15,000 Innovation School Grant

March 21, 2011

Funds will support the development of instructional and operational plans

Senator Spilka announced on March 17, 2011 that Framingham’s Wilson International Elementary School would be one of 26 schools receiving funding to accelerate the planning process for potential new Innovation Schools across the Commonwealth. Building on the state’s continued efforts to close achievement gaps, promote innovative and bold strategies in education, and give students and their families greater access to high-quality public schools, Innovation Schools are a cornerstone of the education reform bill passed last session.

“This is great news for Framingham’s Wilson Elementary School,” stated Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “This grant will allow the school to become an International Baccalaureate school.  I’d like to extend my congratulations to Principal Robin Welch, Framingham school officials, and the school committee for thinking of innovative ways to raise students’ performance!”

“Innovation Schools represent a major step forward in our education reform agenda,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “This funding will support the development of detailed local plans that would establish several brand new, high-quality Innovation Schools and provide exciting options for students heading into the new school year.”

Innovation Schools are in-district, charter-like public schools that employ 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.

“For the first time in the Commonwealth’s history, Innovation Schools provide educators and local partners with the opportunity to innovate from the inside out and design a school around the core needs of students,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville. “The 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 help educators and partners have the resources necessary to design more effective approaches to increase student learning.”

The funding was 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. The remainder of the available funding will be utilized for implementation grants and additional opportunities for planning grants in the future.

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