NHPS Awarded Major Grant to Support Student-Centered Learning


April 4, 2013
New Haven Public Schools is one of seven districts awarded grants by The Nellie Mae Education Foundation as part of New Approaches in Urban Districts Initiative
In recognition of New Haven Public Schools’ commitment to student-centered learning, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, announced today that it is awarding New Haven a 20-month, $450,000 grant through its initiative, New Approaches in Urban Districts. The grant will help New Haven advance School Change goals and meet new Common Core State Standards through the implementation of systemic approaches to student-centered learning.
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is the largest charitable organization in New England focused exclusively on education. New Haven was selected along with Chelsea, Mass.; Hartford, Conn.; Manchester, Conn.; Meriden, Conn.; Providence, R.I. and Revere, Mass. from 22 applicants and has already demonstrated a commitment to pursue student-centered learning. The 20-month grant will support systemic remodeling efforts that will better equip students with the critical thinking, problem solving and communications skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century.
“We are very pleased that the Nellie Mae Foundation has chosen to support New Haven’s reform efforts. This grant will assist us in pushing the envelope in preparing our young people in new and exciting ways for a world that is very different from the one their parents and teachers grew up in”, said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo.
New Haven is in the midst of a nationally recognized School Change Initiative that is already seeing real progress toward school improvement goals of closing the achievement gap, lowering the dropout rate, raising graduating rates, and ensuring all students can attend and succeed in college. Initiatives focused on mastery-based and student-centered learning will play a big role in the future of School Change.
Nellie Mae’s New Approaches in Urban Districts initiative was developed based on extensive research and consultations with superintendents of urban New England school districts and leading experts in urban education. Defined by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, “student-centered learning” extends beyond the traditional school calendar and classroom walls, requiring students to take shared responsibility for learning in a variety of settings, including real-world situations and projects where teachers act as coach and guide. The grants will help districts grow and strengthen specific student-centered approaches like blended learning designs and performance-based assessment systems. This initiative also will support the formation of a cross-district learning network that will provide opportunities to develop a culture of peer-supported learning.
“We are proud to work with these districts as they strive to shape the future of learning by implementing more personalized and tailored approaches,” said Nellie Mae Education Foundation President and CEO Nicholas C. Donohue. “Our hope is that these grants will help these communities reshape educational opportunities to graduate a higher number of students prepared for 21st century success.”