The BU Consortium
2023–24 BU Consortium Grants Program: Submit Your Application
Established in 1977, the Boston University Consortium is the product of a collaborative agreement between Boston-area educators and BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. By virtue of its location in the City of Boston, BU Wheelock places particular importance on addressing educational problems that appear to be characteristic of, but not limited to, the city and surrounding urban and suburban communities which we seek to serve. The overarching mission of the Consortium is to enhance educational quality for all concerned, namely, the preparation and professional development of prospective and current education professionals for work in diverse school environments.
Funded by BU Wheelock, the Consortium consists of eight public school districts: Boston, Brookline, Chelsea, Everett, Framingham, Lexington, Newton, and Somerville. Through the work of the Consortium Council, the Consortium seeks to achieve the following goals:
- Support the preparation of BU Wheelock educator candidates to become effective PreK–12 teachers through the identification of high-quality prepracticum and practicum field placements and increased communication and collaboration between Wheelock and member districts.
- Support the continued education of all practitioners, including district members and BU Wheelock faculty, through the planning and enactment of targeted professional development.
- Support engagement in education research that is relevant to both BU Wheelock faculty and district members.
- Oversee the development and administration of the Consortium Grants Program.
Consortium benefits include:
- Access to BU Wheelock student teachers
- Access to prepracticum and practicum placements with high-quality supervising practitioners
- Funding for classroom-level and school-level initiatives
- Access to annual professional development opportunities
- Complimentary BU course vouchers to district members
- Enhanced collaboration and information-sharing between district members and BU Wheelock
For more information regarding Consortium benefits, please contact your district’s Consortium Council Representative.
BU Consortium Grants Program: Annual Call for Funding 2023-2024
Are you interested in learning more about your practice? Do you want to implement something new in your classroom? Receive funding to try out new ideas and support the learning and growth of educators and students? Applying for a BU Consortium Educator Learning Grant can help you get closer to those goals. Learn more about the program and the application process.
Application Deadline: Extended to March 24, 2023
For more information, contact:
Program Director, Mathematics Education
Recently Funded Projects
2022-2023 Funded Projects
AAPI Outreach and Support for Newton South High School
Newton South High School, Newton
This project seeks to provide duty relief for teachers and staff involved in AAPI outreach and student support, provide common meeting time for affinity group leaders to plan school-wide events. and provide funding for inviting guest speakers and mental health professionals to support our student body. We hope to be able to continue to offer AAPI awareness programs, leadership training, student workshops and mental health support resources to raise awareness, support, and amplify AAPI student voices at Newton South High School, which make up over 23% of our population.
Neurodiversity Training and Curriculum to Improve Understanding of and Support for Neurodivergent Students
Burr and Horace Mann Elementary School, Newton
Neurodivergent children think, learn, communicate, emote, socialize, etc. in ways that are different, though no less valid, than their neurotypical peers. But those differences are often interpreted as deficits to be addressed rather than differences to be acknowledged and celebrated. This grant will fund such educator training on neurodiversity—designed and provided by neurodivergent advocates, as well as implementation of a curriculum to teach students about different brain types, at Burr and Horace Mann elementary schools.
Boston Oracy Project
Winship Elementary School, Boston
The Boston Oracy Project recognizes that oracy (speaking and listening) is vital to success in school and in life. When students develop the ability to express their ideas and respond to their peers, the research shows that they succeed in reading, writing, and math, as well as gain access to the critical thinking and collaboration skills necessary for 21st-century careers. The Boston Oracy Project will support a cohort of teachers to collaboratively engage with the research on oracy, develop a repertoire of instructional strategies, and undertake a classroom-based research project that incorporates those strategies.
Enhancing Students with Special Needs Independent Play Skills
John Silber Early Learning Center, Chelsea
The goal of our educators’ work with our students with special needs population is to empower them with the skills to participate independently in daily life. In early childhood, the work of our students is to learn through play. Play is a powerful experience that enables students to develop self-regulation, problem-solving, social communication and critical thinking. Our project will use funding to acquire the diverse developmentally appropriate types of toys that our students with special needs require access to, but that are often difficult to include in school-wide budget plans. Teachers will receive yearlong professional development, in-classroom side-by-side coaching opportunities, book-study opportunities, and increased toy supplies in their classrooms to build the necessary competencies and skills to enrich the play-based learning of the student populations they serve.
Project-Based Counseling: Revamp of the Healey Indoor Gardens
Healey School, Somerville
The Healey School has large indoor garden space on multiple floors of the building. Students, along with staff guidance, survey the area, research indoor planting, purchase plants and materials necessary for the beautification of the space, and conduct maintenance on the space as part of their counseling experience at the Healey School. Throughout this process, students will be guided by the School Adjustment Counselor and their interns and their IEP goals and benchmarks will be embedded in the work.
Bringing Queer History to Newton South High School Grant Proposal
Newton South High School, Newton
Queer history is essentially absent in most history courses at Newton South High School. In general, there is a lack of knowledge and awareness about the essential role queer people and culture have played in shaping the world we live in today. The aim of this project is to empower history staff (and other interested faculty) to engage with queer history in the classroom. The project includes professional development for educators, protected time to design curriculum specific to their history courses in response to the professional development, and the establishment of a queer history senior elective at Newton South that many teachers would be qualified to teach.
Professional Development Training for US History Curriculum Development
Framingham High School, Framingham
As a part of Framingham Public Schools, the history and social studies department at Framingham High Schools is committed to making the curriculum more inclusive and antiracist. This project will include the implementation of professional-development training and curriculum workshops for building an antiracist curriculum so that educators can rewrite the curriculum to show a more accurate and critical view of history.
Shifting the Balance: Incorporating Current Reading Research into Early Literacy Classrooms
Elementary Literacy Program, Newton
This project will support early literacy teachers across the district in learning about the reading research and incorporating high-leverage strategies into their balanced literacy instruction. This will include professional development for educators, follow-up work in professional learning communities and coaching with literacy specialists, and infusing decodable texts to support immediate application and transfer of phonics concepts to reading.
Evidence-Based Practice in Assistive Technology
Speech, Language & Hearing Services, Newton
This project proposal is to attend the annual conference in 2023 hosted by the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA), the global leader in assistive technology (AT) education and research. We wish to learn about the latest trends, tools, and best practices in AT and AAC and to network with colleagues from across the country to ensure that we are providing comprehensive, evidence-based, and equitable supports to our students.
Desmos Math 6-8 Curriculum
Next Wave Middle School, Somerville
This project will allow educators to become trained in and familiar with using the DESMOS Math 6-8 Curriculum, which is problem-based and uses sequenced problems to help students understand and do math with real-world contexts. The curriculum offers interactive and dynamic lessons aligned to standards that provide students visual feedback, a variety of approaches, insights into student learning, and continuous improvement. This project will allow educators to adapt this curriculum for students’ different learning levels.
School Store Merch Kits
STRIVE Department, Boston
The goal of this project is to be able to supply 6 high-level special education programs with a start-up kit to create their own merchandise. This will give students the ability to be creative in what they are creating and learn the skills required to create unique merchandise that can then be sold to help continue to fund the business. Students enrolled in the programs that receive the kits will be able to work on transition skills that are transferable to a variety of work settings. In addition to learning how to use the machines, students will also learn budgeting, marketing, advertising, communication, and customer service skills.
Assessing Growth through Portfolios
FA Day Middle School, Newton
In this project, educators will learn about a new assessment practice (portfolios) in the summer and will start using portfolios in Fall 2022 as a way to chart students’ progress and growth within a math intervention course. This project will also incorporate and increase the ways students can get feedback from the teacher. With these portfolios, students will reflect on their previous work and recognize the ways their understanding has changed and developed across the course.
2018-19 Funded Projects
First Grade Math Lab
Healey School, Somerville
We will provide teacher professional development on 1st grade math using the model of Math Labs which allow teachers to plan lessons together, observe each other teach, and debrief the lesson. We plan to help teachers incorporate more number sense activities into the 1st grade curriculum, including number talks, rekenreks, subitizing, and Kathy Richardson assessments and interventions.
SCALE: Using Brain-Based Teaching and Learning Strategies
This project represents the culminating step of a three-year initiative to infuse cognitive research-based teaching strategies into the ELL instructional repertoire. During year one and two, teachers learned about and experimented with cognitive research and research-based strategies. The year three project will allow a cognitive research expert/trainer to work one-on-one and in small groups with instructors to select, adapt, and implement appropriate strategies into instruction across the program.
Re-imagining Physics Curriculum, Re-engaging Diverse Learners
Fenway High School, Boston
This project will develop curricular units for physics that meet the needs of our school’s diverse learners and address recent changes in the Massachusetts science standards. Units will be developed collaboratively by a team of physics teachers serving our general education students, students with special needs, and English language learners. Physics units will utilize learning stations to allow for increased opportunities for differentiation and provide students with a collaborative learning experience.
Building School Connectedness and Engagement
Williams Elementary School, Newton
While regular classroom structures and programming meet the needs of most students, each year we struggle to support the needs of a handful of students who experience low levels of connection, motivation, and academic engagement. This project, focused upon the needs of a specific cohort of students, seeks to build their sense of belonging and connection at Williams School, develop critical academic and social-emotional skills, and create joyful school-based experiences for identified students by providing targeted structures and supports responsive to their needs. Further, we intend to build our capacity as educators to develop and implement responsive programming to support and engage all students.
Video Based Discussions of Mathematical Discourse
Richard J. Murphy K-8, Boston
To meet the needs of differentiated individualized professional development for practicing teachers, this project will focus on assisting teachers during reflection based planning for future mathematical classroom discourse. Teachers will engage in cycles of student data analysis, planning, lesson enactments, and engaging in cognitive interviews to consider how to plan for discourse as they prepare for future lessons.
Literacy Instruction for Students with Complex Communication Needs
This project proposal is a continuation of a previously funded BU grant to create modified literacy materials that are tied to the curriculum to be used by district-wide special education staff during implementation of reading and writing instruction. In order to expand our professional knowledge in the area of literacy intervention for students with complex profiles, we will attend a well-known annual educational assistive technology conference that shares best practices and research on the most current uses of technology for all disabilities and age groups.
Treating Anxiety in the School Setting: Supporting Students, Teachers, and Parents
John F. Kennedy School, Somerville
This project will develop a set of best practices for supporting students who present with school-based anxiety, including supporting families, teachers, and administrators in how best to approach this issue. We will investigate how the role of the school counselor can be most effectively leveraged to manage school-based anxiety and prevent these issues from increasing in severity or affecting a student’s attendance and participation in school.
Bringing Restorative Justice to the West Somerville Neighborhood School
West Somerville Neighborhood School, Somerville
For this project, the 7th and 8th grade team at the West Somerville Neighborhood School will attend trainings at Suffolk University’s Center for Restorative Justice. The team will then bring their knowledge back to the West where they will train the rest of the upper elementary staff members. After receiving instruction from their colleagues, the staff will use the Restorative Justice strategies as an alternative to traditional discipline methods. Our goal is to implement these strategies as a way to decrease student office referrals and suspensions, increase time spent on learning, and improve school culture.
Afro Cuban Music as a Vehicle for Learning, Teaching and Building Community
This project aims to create living learning communities using Afro Cuban drumming and song to bring people together through music. Through this project, Brookline performing arts faculty and students will work together with BU music education faculty and students, and collaborate with residents of all ages in Brookline public housing to create connections and build community through the common language of music.
Equity in Science Education: Helping Students Connect to the Scientific World Through Citizen Science
East Somerville Community School, Somerville
This project aims to provide equitable science education by having students participate in two citizen science projects. With each project, 4th grade students will continuously submit data to climate change scientists using nature they observe in their own schoolyard. The goal of the project is for students who live in urban areas to notice the science around them and develop positive attitudes about their roles in the scientific world.
Using Systemic Functional Linguistics as a Literacy Framework for English Learners
Dearborn STEM Academy (6-12), Boston
This project aims to develop the capacity of our ESL and SEI content teachers to use Systemic Functional Linguistics to teach genre-based reading and writing development. ESL and content teachers will be paired to develop integrated units of study and will explore this theory of instruction in greater depth through coursework and a professional learning community.
Chelsea Math Labs
Eugene Wright Middle School, Chelsea
Math Lab is a job-embedded, full-day professional development design that aims to promote learning opportunities for teachers to work alongside each other to improve core instruction for all students within the school. Math Labs educators co-plan rigorous lessons, co-teach the lessons to their own students, and co-analyze the outcomes of these lessons. By working collaboratively, teachers have the opportunity to take ownership of and improve their content knowledge and pedagogy. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase opportunities for students to have access to complex rigorous mathematical thinking.
2017-18 Funded Projects
Mindfulness in Eighth Grade
W.H. Lincoln School, Brookline
This project will train eighth grade teachers how to teach Mindfulness in order to improve student outcomes emotionally, behaviorally and academically. A mindfulness teacher, trained by Mindful Schools, will lead the lessons, enabling students and staff members to learn Mindfulness practices and its benefits for learning and social emotional health.
Creating Trauma Sensitive Classrooms
John Silber Early Learning Center, Chelsea
This project aims to create and sustain positive learning environments by helping teachers to build supportive climates based on trauma informed practices, develop their cultural awareness and proficiency, foster positive relationship-building and promote social-emotional skill development.
Arts Integration and Civil Rights
Memorial Spaulding Elementary School, Newton
This project will reinvigorate and restructure our 4th grade unit on the Civil Rights Movement. It will integrate and infuse arts learning into this significant and important unit of study; which will give teachers and students an opportunity to learn, through the arts, about our country’s history, our place in it and how to positively impact our own communities in the future.
Building Academic Conversation Skills to Foster Critical Thinking
Bowman Elementary School, Lexington
This project will allow for developing supports to implement academic conversation skills and strategies in K-3 classrooms. In particular, we are hoping to build communication skills that support effective discussion of identity and race through literature and relevant age-related topics addressed in our Dismantling Racism curriculum.
Social, Emotional and Behavioral Program
Point Webster Middle School, Quincy
To meet the needs of our changing student population, this project will focus on making programmatic changes to our substantially-separate program serving students with social, emotional and behavior needs.
No Place for Hate: Creating a School Library as a Space for Comfort and Support For All Students
Dept. of Information Technology and School Libraries, Newton
This project will provide two targeted professional development workshops for K-12 Newton Public School library teachers, increasing knowledge and professional practice in developing library collections that are current and accurately reflect the culture and experience of Muslim and Transgender students. Collaboratively, K-12 library teachers will develop multicultural guidelines and criteria to be applied in using grant funds to create a core collection of titles on these topics to serve as “Windows and Mirrors” (Rudine Simms Bishop) for all students, now and in the future as we grow culturally diverse collections.
Early Childhood ASL Literature
Horace Mann School for the Deaf, Boston
This project aims to foster bilingual skills in Deaf children by curating, creating, and commissioning original American Sign Language texts aligned to the themes of the early childhood curriculum.
Supporting Student Learning Through Mindfulness
Edgar F. Hooks Elementary, George F. Kelly Elementary, Chelsea
This project will allow us to further develop mindfulness for both educators and students. We will provide skill development in mindfulness for educators and support educators in developing self care plans. Students will benefit from having a mindfulness based alternative to suspension and detention.
Building a Culture of Literacy: A School/University Partnership to Foster Student-Centered Literacy Instruction in Secondary School
The English High School, Boston
This project aims to build a school-wide culture of literacy by developing a sustainable model of supplemental literacy instruction, engaging students as co-teachers and co-designers in the development of that model, and creating a professional learning community to support ELA teachers in building literacy communities in their own classrooms.
Cross-School Math Labs
Chelsea Public Schools
This project will allow for the extension of an existing professional development structure, Math Labs, to be inclusive of teachers in all 3 middle schools in Chelsea Public Schools. The design of Math Labs will allow educators to collaborate in grade-level teams to co-plan rigorous lessons, co-teach the lessons to their own students, and co-analyze the success of the lesson and make adjustments for improvement.
Middle School Disciplinary Literacy Initiative
Brookline Public Schools
This project brings together interdisciplinary teacher teams from 4 middle schools to study the domains of disciplinary literacy and to apply that new learning to classroom practice. In Year 2, we will include at least 3 new teams, including a team of 9th grade teachers from Brookline High School. The goal is to increase disciplinary literacy instruction in middle school across almost the entire district and connect that instruction to high school so that students have more cohesive learning experiences throughout secondary school.
Sensory Integration Strategies
Roger Clap School, Boston Public Schools
This project will work to increase teacher understanding of sensory integration theory and work to incorporate principles of universal design for learning to support all students in an inclusive educational setting. The hope is that this project will help improve inclusive practices and develop learning environments that embrace student differences.
Winship Elementary School, Boston Public Schools
This project aims to improve both teacher understanding of how to engage students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and the Winship School makerspace resources. The hope is that both teacher and students will practice these new skills and strategies not just in the makerspace, but throughout the elementary science classroom.
2016-17 Funded Projects
Sustained Silent Reading
Tech Boston Academy, Boston
This project will allow a team of 6th and 7th grade humanities teachers to research, plan, and implement a Sustained Silent Reading program in order to support students as they become life-long and enthusiastic learners, readers and thinkers.
Thomas Edison K-8 School, Boston
This project aims to learn how to create and maintain h4 professional communities across a school by leveraging the leadership and existing school structures including the Instructional Leadership Team, the Math Leadership Team, and grade level and department structures.
Sperber Education Center, Brookline
This project is a joint K-8 ELA, Social Studies and Science effort to give integrated school teams of middle school teachers the opportunity to learn about the basics of disciplinary literacy, engage in inquiry around disciplinary literacy topics of interest, apply what they learn, and then gather to share, give feedback and learn from each other.
Zones of Regulation Study
John Pierce Elementary School, Brookline
This project aims to assist students in their ability to self-regulate by piloting an intervention study using The Zones of Regulation, which is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control.
Classroom Reading Libraries
John D. Runkle School, Brookline
This project will allow teachers to improve their tier one instruction in literacy and enhance independent reading practice through the creation of leveled classroom reading libraries.
Families For Health
Edgar F. Hooks Elementary School, Chelsea
This project will allow us to bring Wheelock faculty Sarah Benes’ program, “Families For Health,” to our school in order to increase our after-school programming options and family engagement and involvement while also increasing opportunities for wellness and physical activity to support our students’ health and academic success.
Modified Math Labs
Clark Avenue Middle School, Chelsea
This project will allow for the introduction and modification of Math Labs; educators will co-plan rigorous lessons, co-teach the lessons to their own students, and co-analyze the success and the barriers of the instruction.
Universal Design for Learning Institute
William A. Berkowitz Elementary School, Chelsea
This project will allow a team of educators to attend the Universal Design for Learning Institute and create an implementation plan for sharing what they learned with the rest of the school.
Resources for Study of Indigenous Peoples of the Northeast
Alcott Elementary School, Concord
This project will develop text sets and a variety of other more updated and relevant media resources for a third grade social studies unit to support the content so that all students can access the content and demonstrate their understanding of the values, beliefs and customs of indigenous peoples of the Northeast.
Reading/Writing Instruction for Learners with Special Needs
Peirce Elementary School, Newton
This project will focus on continuing to identify evidence-based methods to improve reading and writing instruction for our learners with special needs, support professional learning for our district’s special educators to increase consistency of literacy intervention amongst schools, and ensure that our district has the most appropriate and current assessment and instructional materials.
ELD Curriculum Frames
Countryside Elementary School, Newton
This project will allow for the investigation of best practices around integrating the English Language Development (ELD) Curriculum Frames and the development of instructional techniques and curriculum materials that specifically embed the use of the ELD Curriculum Frames across a variety of content areas.
ESL Blended Learning
Somerville High School, Somerville
This project supports the work of the ESL teaching team to increase opportunities for students to develop English language and technology skills through the consistent implementation of blended learning.
Integrated Science Education Curriculum
Capuano Early Childhood Center, Somerville
This project integrates a combination of content-based information, reflective practice in a community of practice, and access to materials and spaces to launch a sustained and integrated science education curriculum.