The Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) at Goodwin University has been named the 2020-2021 National Secondary Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme-based schools. The Magnet Schools of America Merit Award of Excellence singles out one secondary magnet school that is committed to academics and successful diversity efforts. CTRA is that school.
“Our educators have spent the last 11 years creating and delivering authentic, early college curriculum highlighting our advanced manufacturing and environment science themes,” explained CTRA principal JT Foster. “They have worked to break down racial, economic, and social-emotional barriers while honoring and developing the gifts all scholars bring with them. We are very excited and humbled by this award.”
The Connecticut River Academy at Goodwin University is a partnership between Goodwin University and LEARN. CTRA serves students in grades six to 12 through a sustainability theme that combines studies in environmental science and advanced manufacturing. Students learn about environmental and social issues such as climate change and green energy in the school’s state-of-the-art laboratories and on its own research vessel that brings science classes directly out onto the Connecticut River. Students also explore how current developments in technology are shaping the future of our planet with advanced manufacturing.
Kate Ericson, Executive Director of LEARN, could not contain her excitement for CTRA. “We, at LEARN, know that CTRA is a school of excellence. The academic accomplishments of scholars, the engagement of families, the commitment of faculty, the community partnerships, and the leadership of JT Foster are undeniable. We are thrilled that Magnet Schools of America and now the nation knows it, too. We hope this national recognition will help us further impact the lives of young adults in Connecticut. Sincere gratitude to all at CTRA who continue to work tirelessly and made this award possible.”
Goodwin’s president, Mark Scheinberg, echoed Ericson’s sentiments. “Our entire campus community is delighted with this well-earned honor for CTRA,” he said. “With its focus on sustainability — and especially its early college programming making higher education a reality for so many of its scholars — CTRA is truly where the global citizens of tomorrow are learning to make a difference for the greater good, socially as well as academically.”
To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. These schools are judged on their demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.