Somerville gets grant to revamp school for high-risk students

Somerville will be able to redesign the educational model for its Next Wave/Full Circle School through a recent funding award.

The nonprofit Center for Collaborative Education, in partnership with the Somerville public schools, was one of five organizations selected to receive grants under the Barr Foundation Engage New England: Doing High School Differently initiative. The five recipients represent the second group to receive funding under the foundation’s $30 million, five-year investment to build innovative school models that can give more children an opportunity to succeed.

The $150,000 planning grant for Somerville will fund an effort over the next year to redesign the school model for Next Wave/Full Circle. The 45-year-old school serves high-risk students in grades 6 to 12 in a small, therapeutic educational environment that focuses on individualized instruction and support.


Recipients of the Barr Foundation planning grants also receive technical assistance and have the potential to be invited to apply for additional grant of up to $750,000 to help implement their redesigns.

They also become partners with other grant recipients in the shared effort to devise new school models, according to the foundation.

“This type of deep planning work is about equity of opportunity and access for all students,” Somerville School Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a statement. “We look forward to connecting with and learning from our peers involved in this work, and to exploring and identifying ways in which we can redesign the school model to better meet the needs and ensure the future success of Next Wave/Full Circle students.”

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.