Farmington Schools receives $120K for middle school innovation

Farmington Public Schools (FPS) will launch an innovative practice project at the middle school level, thanks to a $120,921 grant from the Bosch Community Fund.

Bosch’s U.S. headquarters is located in Farmington Hills. An on-going partnership with the company has supported STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) education in the district.

Farmington Schools AWIM program
A World In Motion, through which Farmington Schools students worked with engineers, is an example of the on-going partnership between the district and Bosch. (submitted photo)

The project aims to create time for teachers to learn about and develop innovative practices, and to build physical learning spaces that make use of flexible furniture and technological tools.

This work is driven by the desire to have students:

  • develop academic proficiency and real-world competencies,
  • engage in rigorous problem solving, creative thinking, and production of ideas and knowledge,
  • be immersed in career readiness experiences that build discipline-specific habits of mind and practice, and
  • effectively and flexibly use “tools” to engage in meaningful collaboration.

The initiative will take place during the 2020-2021 school year and will include a group of four or five teachers at each middle school, who will engage in collaborative inquiry and focused professional learning related to developing innovative instructional practices.

The grant will also support the formation of a learning space development team that will visualize and actualize the creation of one physical learning space in each middle school. These spaces will support student collaboration and learning production by serving as a “destination workplace” for small or large student groups while also providing mobile technology that can move into the typical classroom.

Next steps include developing:

  • a common message about the nature of this work,
  • an action plan to guide the work,
  • an “invitation/application” to identify the 2020-21 cohort,
  • a structure and target for professional learning, and
  • an action team (including teachers and building administrators), who will inform the design of the physical learning space at each building.

“We were thrilled to hear that we received this grant from the Bosch Community Fund,” Superintendent Bob Herrera said in a press release. “This grant will help to support our strategic work around innovation in the District.” “We continue to be grateful for the wonderful partnership that we have with Bosch and the Bosch Community Fund,” he added.

“We’re proud to support Farmington Public Schools and its continued dedication to providing exceptional learning experiences and implementing innovative approaches to education,” said Kathleen Owsley, president of the Bosch Community Fund. “The funding will give more students access to the critical tools, resources, and trainings to advance their academic experience.”