Salem school, the Carlton Innovation School, is chosen as winner of 2022 Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools

May 10, 2022

A group of elementary school students stand in a classroom and pose for a photo with the school Principal
Photo:  Carlton Innovation School.

Boston – The Carlton Innovation School, a Grade K-5 innovation school in Salem, Mass., has been chosen as the winner of the 2022 Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools, the Boston Foundation and Pozen Prize Committee announced today. The $80,000 award comes in recognition of the outstanding achievement of the school’s students and of the Carlton Innovation School’s innovative approach to student advancement. The Patrick Lyndon Pilot School in West Roxbury, a Grade K1-8 pilot school in the Boston Public Schools, was selected as runner-up, receiving a $10,000 prize.

First awarded in 2014, the Pozen Prize highlights schools of all types, including district and charter schools, which find creative ways to connect with students and help them succeed. The general focus of the prize competition varies annually to recognize school innovation across the K-12 pipeline. This year, the focus of the prize competition was on district schools in Greater Boston that serve elementary and middle school grades and have an autonomous status – whether as pilot, innovation, or Horace Mann in-district charter schools.

The Carlton School became an Innovation School in 2012, with a mission to meet the needs of each student in a systematic and rigorous manner using a continuous progress approach to learning. It serves roughly 240 students in Grades K-5. The school strives to provide intensive, personalized instruction to all students, allowing them to learn at their own pace and demonstrate mastery of standards when they are ready. The school allows students to enroll in Kindergarten and move between grades at the end of each trimester as they master learning and demonstrate developmental skills and social and emotional readiness.

“The Carlton Innovation School’s creative approach to student readiness and advancement, coupled with its all-around rigor and high standards, make the school a natural choice for this year’s Pozen Prize,” said Robert Pozen, who created the prize with his wife, Elizabeth. “The trimester approach puts the full focus on each student, in a school structure that enables students to work at their own pace and tackle problems in a more fluid and responsive way than traditional school structures allow.”

“We are delighted and honored that our school was awarded the 2022 Pozen Prize,” said Carlton Innovation School Principal Bethann Jellison. “Our students, teachers, and staff give their all every day to make sure each student succeeds at the Carlton, and we are proud of what they do. We hope that this recognition will shine a light on our innovative model of personalized grade advancement, as we hope that other schools learn from our hard work as well.”

The 2022 runner-up, the Patrick Lyndon Pilot School in West Roxbury, educates 650 students in grades K1-8. The Lyndon became a pilot school in 1995, and uses the flexibility of pilot school status to expand professional development and provide greater innovation in scheduling and curriculum. The school has placed a focus on “equitable literacy” for all students and is deepening partnerships between the school and home to expand students' access to materials and supports beyond the school day.

The Pozen Prize was created by Boston Foundation donors Robert and Elizabeth Pozen. Robert is a former top executive of Fidelity Investments and MFS Investment Management, who now serves as a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Elizabeth is a retired psychotherapist who is now focusing on her career as a figurative artist and poet.

To learn more about the Prize and past winners, visit