Rhode Island’s Blackstone Valley Prep Gets $100K For New Programs

Friday, July 19, 2013


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Blackstone Valley Prep will receive a $100,000 planning grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges to design a blended college-prep model in 2014.

On Monday, July 15, Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) announced that it will award Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) Mayoral Academy a $100,000 planning grant to design a “breakthrough model for college readiness.” Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. The grant will allow BVP to incorporate blended learning in the model for its high school that will open in the fall of 2014.

“We’re excited to bring BVP to the blended learning space,” said BVP Executive Director Jeremy Chiappetta. “The mindset at BVP is that 'the education for the best is the best education for all.' Thus, our school will have everything that we want for our own children: fantastic academics, strong arts, competitive athletics, and a smart use of technology. The BVP high school will include a computer-to- scholar ratio of one-to-one, participation in massive open online courses (MOOCs), in addition to more traditional classroom instruction.”

The movement toward blended and personalized learning through the use of technology is growing in Rhode Island–the first statewide blended learning conference was held only last year and there are growing opportunities for collaboration and professional development.

With a little help from their friends

BVP announced that it will also partner with Brown University, Rhode Island College (RIC), and other education leaders in the state to engage in the planning process. “Rhode Island College has enjoyed collaborating with Blackstone Valley Prep for the past several years and is proud to have been invited to collaborate on the planning for a Next Generation High School,” said RIC President Nancy Carriuolo.

“We already convened an advisory committee to aid in the planning process and continue to work hard, as is necessary, to build a school from scratch,” said BVP High School Designer Jonathan Santos Silva. “This grant will allow us to continue to partner with other education leaders across the state and the nation to learn new and better ways to leverage technology to prepare each and every one of our scholars for top colleges and careers.”

Awardees have the opportunity to apply this December for launch grants of $150,000, with up to $300,000 available in matching funds to aid in the implementation of the planned model.

“As BVP builds upon its continued successes and embarks on the exciting journey of building a new high school, we look forward to providing research and technical support in the planning and development of a model that is highly student-centered, rigorous and holds all students to high expectations,” said Dr. Kenneth Wong, the Director of the Urban Education Policy Program at Brown University.

Read more about the Next Generation Learning Challenges at www.nextgenlearning.org.


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