Connecticut River Academy Named Nationally Certified Magnet School

Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) has been named a Nationally Certified Magnet School by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools. CTRA was among the first 55 schools located in 12 states to successfully complete an approximately nine-month evaluation process and demonstrate through evidence and strategic action that it has established the best practices outlined in the Magnet School Standards of Excellence.

“In an increasingly complex school choice environment, parents, families, students, and local communities can be confident that each nationally certified magnet school is held to the same high standards,” said MSA Executive Director Todd Mann.

The certification process is based on the five pillars of Magnet School Standards of Excellence: diversity; innovative curriculum and professional development; academic excellence; high quality instructional systems; and family and community partnerships.

To become a nationally certified magnet high school, CTRA participated in a rigorous evaluation conducted by the National Institute for Magnet School Leadership. The process required the school to submit evidence demonstrating how it promotes school diversity, closes the achievement gap, integrates a theme-based curriculum throughout the school, and encourages parent and community involvement.

“Receiving this certification is a testament to CTRA’s commitment to excellence,” explained Lynn Guerriero, Director of Magnet School Operations for Goodwin College. “CTRA provides a unique opportunity for students from around the state to attend high school and obtain college credits at no cost to students. The partnership with Goodwin College allows students to explore areas of interest such as environmental science and advanced manufacturing, all wrapped within a sustainability theme. This MSA recognition attests to the leadership of our educational team members, who strive to provide a nurturing environment that supports students, family, and community.”

Among the faculty and staff at CTRA, this commitment to educational leadership is a deeply held belief.

“Our school was created from the ground up to reflect the hearts and souls our educators,” said CTRA principal Tara Amatrudo. “Each element keeps the best interests of our scholars in mind, so that we can truly fulfill our mission as a magnet school in the Sheff region. Working through the certification process proved to be a tremendous validation of everything we have done and has helped us to plan for our continued growth and contribution to a just and sustainable world.”

CTRA, our leading early college high school and certified magnet school in Connecticut, will be recognized during a ceremony at Magnet Schools of America’s 36th National Conference in Chicago in April 2018.

To learn more about the Connecticut River Academy, please visit