BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), and State Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) joined with Reading school officials to announce that Reading Memorial High School (RMHS) has been awarded a $75,000 Innovation Pathways Implementation and Support Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Innovation Career Pathways (ICP) allows students to take courses and gain valuable hands-on experience in high-demand industries such as information technology, engineering, healthcare, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing. The targeted state grants provide resources to designated Innovation Career Pathways to support program implementation.
Reading’s grant award comes just five months after RMHS received its official ICP designation from DESE in recognition of its approved pathways of Advanced Manufacturing (Engineering) and Information (Computer Science and Digital Media). The funding will help support these programs by funding students taking advanced coursework of dual enrollment classes through higher education partners such as UMass Lowell, and Advanced Placement assessments, in addition to enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom to include field trips and speakers. RMHS staff instructing ICP courses will also benefit from grant funding in the areas of more robust curriculum, supplies, equipment, and compensated time for professional development.
According to DESE, innovation pathways programs are based on five guiding principles, including Equitable Access, Guided Academic Pathways, Enhanced Student Support, Connection to Career, and Effective Partnerships. Through this program, schools develop and maintain strong partnerships with local employers to help enhance students’ career awareness and work-based experiences; offer a defined series of courses providing instruction in specific industries; and help guide students to post-secondary education and training.
“The Innovation Career Pathways program offers invaluable classroom instruction and hands-on learning opportunities for students to explore and evaluate their future career options,” said Representative Jones. “Congratulations to Superintendent Milaschewski, RMHS Interim Principal and Director of Academic Achievement Callanan, and the teaching staff at Reading Memorial High School for securing this grant award and for doing such an outstanding job to prepare students with the skills they will need to succeed in the workforce after graduation.”
“I’m extremely pleased to see Reading Memorial High School receive this grant funding from the state to support their Innovation Pathways program,” said Representative Haggerty. “The program will open tremendous learning and career opportunities in the future for RMHS students by allowing them to gain firsthand, real-world skills and experiences. I commend the administrators, educators, and partners who worked hard to make this program a reality for Reading students and securing this grant funding.”
“After receiving their Innovation Career Pathway designation earlier this year, I’m pleased that the state will continue to support Reading Memorial High School with funding to help establish this new programming for students to explore and consider different career options,” said Senator Lewis. “I’m thrilled that we are able to provide students the opportunity to explore hands-on working experience in collaboration with industry partners.”
“As the Interim Principal and Director of Academic Achievement at Reading Memorial High School, I would like to extend my appreciation to the staff, higher education, and community partners that worked diligently throughout last school year to make earning DESE Innovation Career Pathway designations and grants possible, said Jessica B. Callanan. “Without the commitment and vision of this group, neither accomplishment would be possible.”
“We are thrilled about the receipt of a $75,000 Innovation Pathways Implementation and Support Grant,” said Reading Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Milaschewski. “Our continued development and implementation of innovation pathways will open doors of access and opportunities for so many students in our community. We truly appreciate the leadership at Reading Memorial High School, particularly RMHS Interim Principal Jess Callanan, in making innovation pathways a reality in our district. We are also deeply thankful for the continued support of our community and local leaders House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, Jr., State Representative Richard Haggerty, and State Senator Jason M. Lewis.”