School on the Move Prize

Mayor Marty J. Walsh; EdVestors CEO, Laura Perille; Bates Principal, Andrew Vega: Chairman & CEO, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, James M. Stone, PhD; EdVestors Board Chair, Wendell Knox

The Thomas W. Payzant School on the Move Prize presented by EdVestors is Boston’s premier award for public school improvement and a coveted honor for schools across our city. The annual $100,000 Prize recognizes one of the most improving Boston Public Schools each fall. Despite the many real challenges facing urban schools, each year a number of public schools document rapid student progress that outpaces the rest of the district.

Through the Prize selection process, EdVestors seeks to understand how and why certain schools are able to accelerate student achievement. EdVestors engages a select panel of civic and business leaders to dive deep into the stories of these rapidly improving schools and select one winner and two finalists each year. Through a case study of the winning school and incorporating what we learn into the rest of our work, we help more schools make significant progress to improve education outcomes for all students.

The School on the Move Prize is presented each year in October, at a Prize Ceremony and breakfast that draws 300 guests and is an inspiring reminder of the hard work and innovation that can improve schools.

2016 School on the Move Finalists 

Joseph P. Manning Elementary School

Phineas Bates Elementary School

UP Academy Boston

And the winner is…….. Phineas Bates Elementary School! Congratulations on your win!

Prize Criteria & Finalists


Each spring, EdVestors invites a select group of Boston public schools to apply for the School on the Move Prize based on a rigorous quantitative screen of student achievement using historical and current MCAS and PARCC data.  The criteria identify schools with improvement that is 50% greater than the average district improvement rate in one or both core subjects (English Language Arts and Math), as compared to schools serving similar grades, with additional criteria related to school performance, student demographics, and graduation rates for high schools.

Typically, only 5-10% of schools each year meet the eligibility criteria and receive invitations to apply for the Prize. Invited schools are asked to prepare a written Prize application that details how they achieved dramatic improvement and outlines the strategies and best practices they employed. EdVestors’ Prize Selection Panel reviews applications and conducts site visits before announcing the winner at our annual Prize Ceremony.

School on the Move Prize applications are accepted from Boston Public Schools by invitation only.

2016 Invited Schools

Elementary Schools

Samuel Adams Elementary School
Phineas Bates Elementary School
Roger Clap Innovation School
Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School
John F. Kennedy STEM Innovation School
Joseph P. Manning Elementary School

K-8 Schools

Oliver Hazard Perry K-8 School

Middle Schools

UP Academy Boston

High Schools

Boston International and Newcomers Academy
Muriel S. Snowden International High School

Previous winners of the School on the Move Prize are not eligible for consideration until five years after their win, and schools that have received consecutive finalist awards are asked to take one year off before applying for the Prize again. Former School on the Move winners the George H. Conley Elementary School (2013) and the Jeremiah E. Burke High School (2015) met all screening criteria in 2016 and we salute their continued effort to improve. The Joseph J. Hurley K-8 School met all screening criteria in 2016 as well, but any school that is a finalist for two consecutive years is not eligible to apply for the Prize for one year.