The Mildred Ave. K-8 School in Mattapan was awarded $100,000 last week in recognition of their achievements in improving school performance. EdVestors awarded its Thomas W. Payzant School on the Move Prize to Mildred Avenue at an event on Nov. 1.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Superintendent Tommy Chang revealed the winner at a ceremony that included other finalist schools, Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary and the Donald McKay School, both in East Boston. They each received $10,000 prizes.
Five years ago, the 500-student Mildred Avenue K-8 School was among the lowest performing schools in the state. The Mildred is now classified as a “Level 1” school, the state’s highest ranking.
“I congratulate the Mildred Ave. K-8 School on being awarded this year’s School on the Move Prize,” said Walsh. “Education provides a solid foundation for a growing and thriving city. The School on the Move Prize is an honor that highlights the investment we have made in our children’s education and in Boston’s future. I thank EdVestors for our long-standing partnership dedicated to improving educational outcomes for our students and our school communities.”
“The Mildred’s turnaround is a story about trust,” said school Principal Andrew Rollins. “The district trusted us and gave autonomy back to the school, and we gave it back to the teachers in the classrooms. We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done. Just three years ago, we were at risk of being closed or taken over by the state, and now we’re winning the School on the Move Prize. It’s incredible and it’s a tribute to the hard work of our staff, students, and families.”
Rollins continued: “We invested in building strong, trusting relationships between staff and students. We created smaller class sizes so teachers could get to know their students as individuals. We also made structural changes like greeting every student as they entered school, streamlining transitions between classes, and walking the neighborhood after school to connect with kids outside of the building walls.”