The Irving Middle School in Roslindale is one of two Boston Public School middle schools that will expand its school day due to a federal grant.
Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol Johnson announced yesterday that the Irving and the McCormack Middle School in Dorchester were selected to participate in project funded by a federal grant allowing for an expanded school day at both schools. BPS officials said the grant will allow both schools to replicate the successes of schools like the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, which has been a nationally heralded model of expanded learning time in schools.
Students from around the Parkway area and beyond attend the up-and-coming Irving Middle School which has quickly seen its reputation grow once Principal Arthur Unobskey began running the school.
“These are two schools that families may not hear a lot about, but make no mistake they are schools on the move,” said Mayor Thomas Menino via press release. “Not too long ago people may have written off a school like the Edwards, but now it is a jewel in our city. I expect that in the near future we’ll see the same great results from the Irving and the McCormack.”
The grant, Investing in Innovation - known as i3 – is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, and will be managed by BPS and Mass 2020, the state affiliate of the National Center on Time & Learning, according to a press release from BPS.
“We know that simply expanding the school day won’t necessarily lead to better results,” said Johnson via press release. “Having partners like Mass 2020 at our side as we recreate these school schedules and expand the academic and enrichment opportunities for these students will ensure that we are able to surpass all of our own expectations.”
BPS' i3 project is about $3.5 million dollars, and is funded 85% by federal funds of $2.9 million. The remaining 15% is from private funders including the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, EdVestors, Clipper Ship Foundation, Inc., Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Jessie B. Cox CLT – Cox Family Fund, The Boston Foundation, and the Barr Foundation.
BPS, Mass 2020, and school leaders, teachers, and parents in the building will work to create the new school schedule, which will go into effect next school year.
“The i3 grant is an exciting opportunity and a further signal of the U.S. Department of Education’s commitment to investing in innovations that are proving effective in schools,” said Chris Gabrieli, co-founder and chairman of Mass 2020/National Center on Time & Learning. “Across the country, over 1,000 schools are expanding learning time to close achievement and opportunity gaps for the students who need it most. Right here in Boston, the Edwards Middle School is a powerful example of what can happen when a school expands learning time in a thoughtful way.”
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