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Fenway Faculty Innovation Grants

Fenway Faculty Innovation Grants

Fenway has awarded grants to a number of teachers and faculty since the start of the program in 2017. Grants have enabled our faculty to innovate and solve problems to provide students with what they need to prepare them for the twenty-first century. Innovative pedagogy, technology, field trips, expert-led workshops, special events, and service learning projects are just a few of the ways Faculty Innovation Grantees have energized their curriculum. See some of the Faculty Innovation Grants awarded below:.

2018-2019 Winners
Fenway High School is devoted to providing a high-quality, personalized education to students from all over the city of Boston. Our faculty members work hard to ensure that each student is supported, connected, and intellectually challenged by developing innovative curricula and programs that encourage creative, interdisciplinary thinking and active, engaged citizenship. Seven Fenway faculty members were empowered to create programs that advanced educational excellence both inside and outside of the classroom through our Faculty Innovation Grant Program. Here is a glimpse of our 2018-2019 winners.

For more information on how you can support the Faculty Innovation Grant program, please contact Robin Cohen, Director of Development and School Partnerships at rcohen@fenwayhs.org.

Personalized and Blended Learning in a Science Classroom, Keith Magni

Because of the Fenway Faculty Innovation Grant program, Fenway science faculty member Keith Magni was inspired to push his teaching practice to a competency-based model, allowing him to personalize his lessons and meet each of his students “where they are” regardless of their skill level. Keith was able to purchase 30 Chromebook computers for exclusive use in his classroom as well as a subscription to “Schoology,” an online platform that allows students to track their progress on lessons while giving their teacher the opportunity to access student data and look for trends in mastery and understanding. According to Mr. Magni, “I was able to change the way I teach this year because Schoology and Chromebook access gave me the ability to track student progress and comprehension and tweak my lessons accordingly. I was more creative and was able to develop more engaging and hands-on lessons to teach more difficult concepts.”

One lesson students were particularly engaged in was “You Are What You Eat” (pictured), where they prepared, cooked, and analyzed the macronutrient content of a chili meal. Mr. Magni will use lessons learned from this pilot year to further develop curriculum and lessons, ensuring that all students in his classes are engaged with and understand complex scientific concepts, regardless of academic or linguistic ability.

Robotics Gets New Bricks!
Benadette Manning and Victor Mateas

In order to support Fenway students interested in STEM fields and inspire others to “try it on,” just as the Fenway Safety Guidelines promote, Benadette Manning, a member of the math faculty, and Victor Mateas, a member of the science faculty and special education team, developed a six-week robotics elective which was offered in the spring for interested students. In the inaugural year of the program, Fenway had the ability to borrow LEGO Robotics kits from Tufts University. However, as technology evolved and more students expressed interest in exploring robotics, Tufts was unable to update their software and could not guarantee that the Fenway team could borrow the necessary equipment. Thanks to the incredible support of The Charlotte Foundation, Ms. Manning and Mr. Mateas were able to purchase four kits that were used for the Boston Public Schools Robotics Olympiad in June 2019. Thirteen students participated in the Olympiad from Fenway, (compared to just two students in 2018 due to lack of equipment), including four students in our Sheltered English Immersion classes. Fenway’s team was competitive in the Olympiad, receiving one third place finish.

Fenway Boys Go To College
Barbara (Bet) Regan, Benadette Manning, Chadwick Johnson, Murales Louis

In response to The Boston Foundation report, “Supporting Post-Secondary Success” by the University of Massachusetts, which details the struggle young men who attend urban schools in taking advantage of college success programs, Fenway faculty members Bet Regan (College Advising), Benadette Manning (Math and Advisor to “Young Kings” group for boys), Chadwick Johnson (Math), and Murales Louis (Humanities and Special Education), developed a half day conference for all Fenway male students and their families. More than 70 Fenway students and 7 parents, attended the conference, which aimed to increase awareness of future college attendance, introduce college advising and mentoring programs both within Fenway and through community partners, and inspire male students to learn what it means to be a man. Fenway faculty, local college students and recent college graduates led sessions which included, “Real Talk: Man to Man”, “Finding a College Mentor”, "Do More with Less" where a Harvard graduate and male of color shared his story of success, and a parent workshop that provided a space for parents to engage with each other, Fenway faculty, and our college advising office on the college application process. Conference attendees, who represented grades 9-12, were able to develop relationships with each other and mentors from Fenway’s faculty, and left energized to work hard, be themselves, and do the right thing for the academic year.

Rainbow Vision Project
Chadwick Johnson and Alex Spyropoulos

Eleven members of Fenway’s Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) and their Faculty Advisors Chad Johnson (Math) and Alex Spyropoulos (Humanities), attended “RuPaul’s DragCon” in New York City in September 2018. Students like Lesly, a sophomore at Fenway, stepped out of her comfort zone and “got the chance to interact with all different types of people.”

This field trip was the kickoff event of the year for the Alliance and built visibility and pride for Fenway’s LGBTQ+ community while also increasing membership among younger students. The trip was two weeks prior to “National Coming Out Day” in which the Queer Straight Alliance hosted educational events for the greater school community. Students showed empathy and felt empowered to express their true selves and the QSA continues to be an active and vibrant part of Fenway’s school culture.