Nellie Mae Education Foundation Awards $252,000 Grant to Support Personalized Learning in Providence Schools

PROVIDENCE: The Nellie Mae Education Foundation has awarded Providence Public Schools a $252,000 grant to extend its efforts in learner-centered, personalized learning in four district high schools.

The grant fund “Supporting and Developing Student-Centered Teachers and Administrators at Scale” empowers educators and administrators to play a leading role in the implementation of personalized learning within Providence Public Schools. In personalized learning environments, students are able to learn at their own pace, anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, teachers have the tools they need to support students, monitor progress and provide interventions in real time. Personalized learning gives students access to engaging, culturally reflective instruction.

“As teachers shift their practice, and administrators work to build and sustain student-centered classrooms and schools, they need new forms of support and training,” said Eve Goldberg, director of Research at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “Student-centered approaches at scale cannot be accomplished without educators and administrators being equipped with the tools to rethink and strengthen their practice.”

Work funded by this significant grant impacts many areas of the educational process in Providence Public Schools, from curriculum development to instruction, performance assessment and professional learning in four high schools. Through this grant, professional development and job-embedded coaching will be provided for educators as they grow their personalized learning knowledge, skills and abilities.

A key component of the grant is the development and expansion of learning communities at each of the four high schools that include students and families as well as staff. Calling it a victory for student voice and choice, Maher said, “By consistently involving students and families in creating a learner-centered culture, the Nellie Mae-funded work will promote family engagement and give students more say in their own education.”

The mission of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation is to stimulate transformative change of public education systems across New England by growing a greater variety of higher quality educational opportunities that enable all learners—especially and essentially underserved learners—to obtain the skills, knowledge and supports necessary to become civically engaged, economically self-sufficient life-long learners.