MWDN: Algonquin passed over for innovation school grant

by susan on August 14, 2012

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Back in February, Algonquin was awarded a $10K grant to plan the creation of an “innovation school” – a charter-like school program that would focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. Last week the school learned a second grant they were hoping to get to fund the program didn’t come through.

The Algonquin Personal Pathways in STEM Innovation School (called APPS IS) is scheduled to launch this fall, and Northborough-Southborough Assistant Superintendent Christine Johnson tells the Metrowest Daily News it still will, despite the lack of funding.

Although it is publicly run, no money from the regular school budget can go toward the endeavor, which combines online learning with several labs throughout 12-week courses called modules.

Northborough and Southborough Assistant Superintendent Christine Johnson said that while the district is disappointed it didn’t receive funding, the first module will still push ahead as scheduled this fall.

The district, which has opened up the school to students in any of the 13 area towns in the Assabet Valley Collaborative, was awarded a $10,000 state grant earlier this year to plan the school.

Johnson said there’s enough of that money left to pay for a pilot module to run in the fall and in spring. The district had planned on using the up to $50,000 in implementation money toward expanding its offerings, but will now need to wait until the next round of grant proposals.

In a school newsletter earlier this year, Algonquin Principal Tom Mead said APPS IS will offer “an alternative learning experience” with a focus on “career and college readiness, 21st century skills, expanded learning time, and learning through collaboration and communication.”

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