Education Strategies

Expanding Access to K–12 Quality in Boston

Access to Excellence.

Barr's Education Strategies for Boston

Barr has a deep and longstanding commitment to the city of Boston and its students and families. As a complement to our regional work, our Education program aims to build on the strength of our historic partnerships to ensure student access to high quality public schools and seats across Boston’s K–12 spectrum. This is an important priority within our home community.

Investments in quality K–12 options in Boston will fall into three strategies:

1. Support the growth of high-quality schools.

Barr will support high-quality schools in Boston to serve more students by increasing available seats, either through the expansion of existing grades or by adding new grades within a school. Barr’s support of such efforts will span diverse needs, including (but not limited to) expansion design and planning, and implementation support.

2. Support school replication within networks of high-performing schools.

A second means of increasing K–12 quality in Boston is to increase the number of schools within existing networks of high performing schools. Support for this type of quality expansion will be similarly diverse across design, planning and implementation.

3. Attract high-capacity partners.

Expanding quality in Boston can also be achieved through partnerships with new and existing high-capacity partners from both within and outside of New England. Barr looks to identify and support partners that can work with teachers, principals, and administrators to develop and implement high-quality programs with Boston schools.

Similar to our focus on secondary education in New England, our Boston work is also governance agnostic—we seek partnerships across the spectrum of public schools, including traditional, innovation, pilot, and charter schools, as well as alternative programs. And while our focus on expanding access to quality K–12 options will be exclusive to Boston, Barr remains committed to developing and perpetuating strong communities of practice whose proof points and lessons can be used to benefit practitioners, schools and school systems, and communities both within and beyond the Commonwealth.

Read about our regional strategies

Education Program Grantmaking Process and Inquiries

Grants awarded by the Barr Foundation originate in different ways. The majority are initiated by our staff. Additionally, given the value we place on long-term partnerships, many grants are renewals for current grantees.

However, we welcome inquiries from those who feel their work may align with Barr’s priorities and who wish to introduce themselves to us. The best approach is to email Cindy Lung, Education program associate, with a brief description (we suggest 300–400 words) of your organization and the funding opportunity you would like us to consider. While we commit to reviewing all inquiries, given the high volume we receive and a relatively small staff, we reply only to those we intend to explore further.

Click here for more information on our grantmaking process.

Connecting All Students to Success In and Beyond High School

Learn more about the ideas and trends that informed these new strategies. In the following blog post, Leah Hamilton discusses the growing national movement to rethink secondary education and its influence on the Education program’s strategic planning process.