RWU Awarded $150,000 by Barr Foundation to Put Success Within Reach of All Students

School of Continuing Studies will use grant to design new school model that will serve English Language Learners

Gateway student working with teacher
Edward Fitzpatrick

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– This week, Roger Williams University’s School of Continuing Studies was named one of five new grantees in the Barr Foundation Education Program’s Engage New England: Doing high school differently initiative.

Together, they form the second group of educators participating in a multi-year initiative to open doors to rigorous, personalized education so that more young people have real opportunities to thrive. RWU received a planning grant of $150,000 over one year for the design of a new school model, which would serve English Language Learners.

The Barr Foundation’s Engage New England: Doing high school differently initiative is a $30 million investment over five years to help New England innovators redesign existing high schools and bring new school models to life in their communities. Participants receive one-year planning grants and technical assistance with design and planning, with the potential to be invited to apply for implementation grants of up to $750,000 over two years. Participants also become partners in a learning community, to share and learn from like-minded peers across the region. Together, they are doing high school differently by building a diverse set of school models that expand student success.

“We’re thrilled that the Barr Foundation is supporting the critical work we’re doing on behalf of students in Providence and connecting us to peers engaged in kindred efforts,” said Jamie Scurry, dean of the RWU School of Continuing Studies. “Ensuring that all of our young people are able to connect to success during and after high school creates real progress for New England.”

Intentionally designed around the principles of positive youth development theory, schools supported under this initiative will be as rigorous as they are flexible in developing content knowledge, successful habits, creative know-how and navigation abilities — the integrated elements that are essential for today’s students to connect to success in high school, college, career and community.

“This partnership brings together a diverse group of educators who share the belief that all students can meet high expectations when their schools engage their interests, empower their potential and fully prepare them for success in life,” said Leah Hamilton, the Barr Foundation’s Director of Education. “We are thrilled to include Roger Williams University in our second cohort of Engage New England: Doing high school differently grantees and to support them in a planning process to refine their vision for a cohesive school model that addresses the unique needs of their students and community.”

New England’s schools have done a good job for many students. Engage New England: Doing high school differently is one of the Barr Foundation’s many efforts to make sure we do a great job for all.