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

Across the United States, approximately 2.6 million young people ages 16–24 are off track to graduate from high school.

The overarching goal of Barr’s Education program is to increase the number of youth who connect to secondary and post-secondary success. In this, we are committed to addressing the needs of all students.

Accordingly, 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. We aim to support both existing and new models across the region that can serve as inspirational exemplars for the design and implementation of responsive, flexible, and student-centered schools, intentionally designed to support the needs of young people who are so often left behind by traditional schools. The success of these schools will provide critical insights into how best to meet the varied needs of all students, lessons that we believe will be applicable across the entire landscape of high school programming.

We know that students should be at the center of school design. And students are at the center of this initiative. As we embarked on this new work, we produced the short video below to ground us, and to inspire with the real life experience of students who are now connecting to success.


Please note the following estimated timeline for the initiative:

  • February 15, 2017: Planning phase proposals were due (view the closed RFP)
  • July 2017: One-year planning phase awards announced
  • January 2018: Implementation award invitations released
  • July 2018: Two-year implementation awards announced
  • Fall 2018: Launch of new, expanded, or improved models


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