School on the Move Prize

Through the Prize selection process, EdVestors seeks to understand how and why certain schools are able to accelerate student achievement. Each fall, EdVestors engages a select panel of civic and business leaders to dive deep into the stories of these rapidly improving schools and select one $100,000 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 fall at a breakfast event that draws close to 300 guests and is an inspiring reminder of the hard work and innovation that can improve schools. The Prize is awarded in front of an audience of Boston’s leaders in education, the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, and business.

Congratulations to the Mildred Avenue K-8 School, the winner of the 2017 School on the Move Prize! The winner was announced at EdVestors’ 12th annual breakfast in celebration of improving schools at The Westin Boston Waterfront on November 1st. In recognition of its improvement, Mildred Avenue received a $100,000 prize, public recognition, and the chance to share its improvement strategies with others. Check out the front page Boston Globe Metro article featuring Mildred Avenue’s story of improvement and the School on the Move Prize and story in the Boston Herald. 

Hear the Mildred Ave’s story in their own words.

Just 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. The Mildred attributes its success to being “present and proactive” in its commitment to building strong student-staff relationships and to dedicating resources to create more personal learning opportunities for students.

We are also honored to congratulate the two finalist schools, which have also achieved significant improvement for students over the past four years:

Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School

The Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School (PJK), a 300-student school in East Boston, serves one of the largest populations of immigrant students and English language learners across Boston Public Schools (including a significant number of students new to the country). The PJK credits its improvement to deeply engaging families as partners in student success and through their purposeful use of data to inform instruction and plan and provide supports for all students.

Donald McKay K-8 School

At the 700-student Donald McKay K-8 School, a collaborative, supportive culture encourages teachers to learn from colleagues and test new ideas in their classrooms to find what works best for students. The McKay credits its improvement to its commitment to use data to meet students’ learning needs, provide support to continuously improve teaching practice, and create opportunities for professional learning and autonomy.

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.

2017 Invited Schools

Elementary Schools

Manassah Bradley Elementary School

Phineas Bates Elementary School *

Edward Everett Elementary School

Harvard Kent Elementary School

Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School

Thomas J. Kenny Elementary School

The Mather Elementary School

James Otis Elementary School

William E. Russell Elementary School

K-8 Schools

Joseph J. Hurley K-8 School

Donald McKay K-8 School

Mildred Avenue K-8 School

Oliver Perry K-8 School

UP Academy Dorchester

Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot K-8

High Schools

Jeremiah E. Burke High School *


*Previous winners of the School on the Move Prize are not eligible for consideration until five years after their win. Former School on the Move winners the Phineas Bates Elementary School (2016) and the Jeremiah E. Burke High School (2015) met all screening criteria in 2017 and we salute their continued effort to improve.