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Supporting Innovation in Learning

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The 2016-2017 school year was another great year for the Colonial Fund! Together we raised $55,800 for Shrewsbury Public Schools.

Thank you to all who have made donations and participated in our events. Because of your support, we will once again be able to bring projects to our schools that would not otherwise be feasible.

For the 2017-2018 school year, the Colonial Fund has already sponsored a visit to the district by world renowned speaker Chad Hymas. Chad delivered an inspiring message of overcoming personal challenges and societal pressures to be the best self we can be. Chad mesmerized his audiences with incredibly moving, inspiring and often funny stories from his own life. Chad spoke to students in grades 7-12 over his two days in Shrewsbury and to parents in the evening. 

Chad HymasThis presentation continued our discussion about how Shrewsbury can best prepare our students for success in a changing world. In 2016, the film Most Likely To Succeed and the evening with Will Richardson helped frame a discussion about the skills our students must possess. Last fall, our Profile of a Graduate workgroup broadened the focus to include the character traits students should develop.  

We received such overwhelmingly positive feedback about the opportunity this gave students and parents/caregivers to engage in an important dialogue, that the Colonial Fund may look to sponsor a speaker series in the future.

The Colonial Fund also funded the recent use of Thoughtexchange software to solicit input critical to the development of the district's next five year strategic plan. Parents and caregivers, staff and students all used this software to answer three questions about what our district does well, where there is room for improvement and what are the most important things our school and school district should focus on over the next five years. Unlike traditional survey tools, Thoughtexchange allows users to not only answer questions anonymously but to also see the responses from others and "star" the ideas they like best.  In this way, the ideas that resonate most receive the most stars and rise to the top as the most valued topics. Over 4,500 students, staff and parents/caregivers used this tool to provide input in a way that would not otherwise have been possible.  

As the school year continues, we expect the Colonial Fund to sponsor more projects that align with and support the goals of our district today and those we develop as part of the next five year strategic plan.

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