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By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
PAWTUCKET – Next Generation Learning Challenges, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging educational innovation through applied technology, will award up to $450,000 to the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy high school that will launch in Cumberland this fall.
Founded in 2009, BVP is the first Rhode Island-based charter organization to receive an investment from the Charter School Growth Fund. BVP currently operates two elementary schools and a middle school that serve nearly 1,000 students from Lincoln, Cumberland, Central Falls and Pawtucket.
Last July, BVP received a $100,000 planning grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges to design the first BVP high school as a “breakthrough model for college readiness.” The most recent Next Generation award, announced Tuesday, includes an initial $150,000 investment and up to $300,000 in matching funds to support the high school’s launch.
BVP was one of 16 grantees awarded funding through Next Generation’s competitive grant program, and was selected from among 45 total applicants. Next Generation is managed by Educause and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other nonprofit foundations.
“After going on school visits, learning as much as possible about other successful models, and searching across the country for our founding team members, we are thrilled that all the pieces are coming together and becoming a reality,” said BVP high school’s Head of School Jonathan Santos Silva. “This grant will significantly help us make the BVP high school a model of what it means to effectively prepare our scholars for success in a 21st-century world.”
The announcement of Next Generation’s grant support comes a week after BVP’s founding high school staff came together for its first team weekend retreat, which included planning instruction and designing classrooms for the new school, according to a BVP release.
Plans for the BVP high school include the requirement that every student take at least one advanced placement course and at least one virtual learning course, and that every student receives a laptop with access to Google Apps for Education as part of BVP’s “blended learning” approach to education through technology.
Earlier this year, BVP won a $56,650 investment from The Champlin Foundations to fund technology and other items for the new high school.