How We Work

Innovation

We Fuel & Scale Innovation

Because there’s always room for growth

For fifteen years, Boston Beyond has incubated innovative models of out-of-school learning with a network of committed partners. Together, we test new approaches and refine them until ready for broader adoption.

As network convener, Boston Beyond is well positioned to mobilize partners around promising strategies and to attract the resources necessary to assess their effectiveness and spread what works. We take this role seriously and are constantly looking ahead at the next question: How can we do more? What is the latest research saying? Where are there still gaps in our citywide learning system? How can we reach the kids who need us most and provide them with the learning opportunities they deserve?

Our signature innovation: summer learning

In 2010, Boston Beyond and partners launched a bold new approach to summer learning. Instead of the old summer remediation model, we’d offer active, skill-rich programs in our city’s parks, museums, and more. Real-world projects would connect students with exciting future possibilities and adult role models, while igniting their interest in learning.

Our big idea paid off! Today, our summer learning model has replaced summer school across the city, and we’re poised for statewide expansion.

What’s next?

Boston Beyond is always looking ahead at the next question: How we can engage more students, improve outcomes, and truly prepare every student for the future they deserve? We currently lead three cutting-edge initiatives with local schools and partner organizations who share our commitment to learning innovation.

  • Skill Badges: We’re working with local schools, colleges, nonprofits, and employers to develop digital credentials, or “skill badges,” that students can carry with them across sectors. Badges establish a common standard across institutions, validating and communicating students’ successful mastery of crucial college- and career-ready skills. more
  • STEM: Our multi-year BoSTEM initiative aims to increase middle school students’ interest in STEM careers, while boosting their engagement and achievement in related academic subjects. We’re working with a coalition of middle schools, nonprofits, and local businesses to ensure all Boston middle schoolers have access to hands-on STEM programs that help them build essential cross-cutting skills. more
  • Social and Emotional Learning: We’re part of a national initiative that is demonstrating how school-community partnerships can create seamless learning in the elementary years. Participating schools and partners are developing a common language around social-emotional learning to ensure a consistently supportive learning climate during and after school. more

Ready to support our forward-looking learning agenda?

Summer for All

Boston Beyond’s top lessons from ten years of expanding and deepening summer learning in Boston.

Badging Practice Brief

Lessons from Boston Beyond’s digital badge pilot in grades 6 through 8.