Our goal is to connect all students to success in and beyond high school.

We believe all students can achieve on-time high school graduation, successful transition to post-secondary education, and meaningful engagement with career opportunities.

As we embark on our new strategy in 2016, we specifically seek to increase the number of youth who connect to secondary and post-secondary success.

The Education program’s charge from our trustees in 2015 was to define a bold and ambitious portfolio that will advance impact across New England. Underpinning our planning efforts was a shared vision of high expectations for all students. We believe that all students can be:

  • Exceptionally well prepared for next steps in life
  • Informed of opportunities to connect to success in high school, college, and career
  • Empowered to make choices that prepare them for success

A significant opportunity exists to support this vision by helping more students connect to success in secondary and post-secondary endeavors, arguably one of the most crucial junctures in young people’s lives. To this end, Barr is excited to join a growing national movement to rethink secondary education and definitions of student success, both in high school and beyond.

Diverse partners are creating new secondary school models and programs, helping school systems adapt to support them more effectively, and forging new pathways that integrate rigorous academics and practical, real-world work experience. As a result, we are seeing stronger connections between high school, college, and career, with expanded definitions of student success that are more inclusive of 21st-century skills. At the same time, a growing cadre of innovative schools and leaders is identifying new ways to understand and address individual student learning needs. Ultimately, this work adds up to more students connecting to success in ways that are meaningful.

We believe philanthropy can be a constructive partner in advancing this movement.

And we believe in the potential of Boston and our region—already a beacon of academic excellence for many—to join the vanguard of those connecting all students to success. We look forward to working with many of you—new and existing partners—to achieve this vision.

Barr’s strategies to increase the number of students who connect to success are organized under two contributing goals: 1) to achieve a new vision of secondary education in New England; and 2) to expand access to K–12 quality in Boston.

Learning Beyond the Walls of Traditional High Schools

We are excited to release a request for proposals (RFP), the next stage of Barr's strategy to support a new vision for high schools and to catalyze innovation across the region.

The RFP is intended to identify existing high schools in New England that are interested in the planning and design of whole school models that leverage the wider learning ecosystem and blend the lines between high school, college, career, and the community—not discrete programs or stand-alone interventions.

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A Vision for New England Schools and Programs for Students Off Track to Graduate from High School

One of our first endeavors under our Education strategies is a multi-year initiative to improve secondary outcomes for New England youth who are off track to graduate.

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New Classrooms

How can classrooms best serve students who each learn at their own pace, in their own way?

Across the country, districts and schools are adopting new approaches to teaching that recognize that students learn in different ways and that foster high expectations for all students. Teach to One: Math, a personalized instructional model developed by New Classrooms, offers one novel approach to tailoring students’ educational experiences within the classroom.

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Meet Our Education Team

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