Two public high schools in Rhode Island received $500,000 grants on Tuesday morning, March 10, as they were selected the winners of the XQ+RI Challenge, a collaborative effort of the Rhode Island Department of Education and XQ Institute.
Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA) in Providence and Ponaganset High School in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District were chosen to implement their designs for what high schools can be like in the future.
As part of the program, Barrington High School and 15 other institutions won $20,000 XQ Momentum Awards for their "commitment to diving deep into their schools’ data and confronting issues of equity and rigor with candor."
The XQ+RI Challenge invited all 64 public high schools across Rhode Island to "rethink high school in order to expand educational equity and prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s world."
"The challenge was designed with community, equity, and innovation at its core. It helped schools deeply and authentically engage educators, families, and students in this transformative high school redesign process," stated a press release from RIDE.
Thirty-two high schools submitted proposals and 20 received planning grants in June 2019, including Barrington High School. At that point, the BHS team set out on an intensive design process.
A group of people reviewed the proposals from each school and on Tuesday officials announced the winners. Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts and Ponaganset will received two-year grants of $500,000 and become part of the XQ Community of Practice, "a diverse group of innovative schools nationwide that learns from and with one another, alongside leading education researchers and experts."
Sixteen other high schools, including Barrington, were selected for the XQ Momentum Awards. That grant money is intended to support the proposed projects envisioned by the high school teams.
• XQ Momentum Award Winners:
Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School
Barrington High School
Chariho Regional High School
William B. Cooley Sr. High School
East Providence High School
Evolutions High School
Highlander Charter School
Hope High School
The Learning Community Charter School
Mt. Hope High School
Mount Pleasant High School
Scituate High School
Smithfield Senior High School
XQ Accelerator Awards
360 High School in Providence and Woonsocket High School will receive XQ Accelerator Awards of $120,000 each this year, which they can use to advance their bold ideas for whole-school transformation. Officials said 360 High School in Providence and Woonsocket High School "were particularly ambitious in presenting how to enable students to become owners of their own learning and social change agents."