Your teen’s high school experience can do more than just educate – it can provide a lasting source of passion for learning, as well as help your teen develop into a respectful and responsible adult. Providing your teen with a magnet high school education may be the best way to ignite that passion and guide them on a positive path to adulthood. A magnet high school experience is often specialized, helping teens to both discover, and pursue, those lasting passions. At Connecticut River Academy (CTRA), that specialty is science and technology. CTRA engages students with innovative classes and hands-on experiences that foster excitement in teens and benefit them in so many other ways.
To qualify as a magnet high school, institutions need to uphold certain standards of education and conduct. Magnet schools were developed as an alternative to traditional public education in the 1960s – breaking the standard of segregated schools. From their founding tenets of leveling educational inequality with an integrated, reformed model of public schooling, magnet schools continue to uphold the mission of diversity. Magnet high schools like Connecticut River Academy have integrated “diversity” into their key standards of scholarship; understanding that high school is such a critical time for teens, as their minds and values mature.
Instilling respect in teens is so important as they approach adulthood, and hands-on collaboration is the best way to combat stereotypes and untrue assumptions of students from different and mixed ethnic, religious and regional backgrounds. Understanding, accepting and embracing people from diverse cultures combats hatred and contributes to a more just nation. As the population statistics change, this becomes even more important: the USA is actually on its way to becoming a majority “minority” nation. In fact, by 2065, the white population in America will be the minority, at 46 percent.
Magnet high schools act as a catalyst to this culture; mirroring this effect in the nation. One Hartford mom with two daughters at Connecticut River Academy remarks on how the school is responding to a changing demographic of young learners. She describes the school as an “anchor” for her family, explaining that CTRA “understands this generation” of learners. Her younger daughter, a CTRA high school freshman, remarks, “I like that the school is very diverse and that I get to have new experiences.” Exposing teens to diversity is also preparing them to be good citizens and community members – exactly what our country needs right now.
As Dr. Donald Waldrip puts it for Magnet Schools of America, “Magnet schools are based on the premise that all students do not learn in the same ways, that if we find a unifying theme or a different organizational structure for students of similar interest, those students will learn more in all areas.” Through CTRA’s magnet high school education, students are challenged with hands-on learning in the sciences and technology fields. Under the umbrella theme of Sustainability, the Academy’s teens gain experience in both environmental studies and advanced manufacturing. They explore climate change, environmental issues, robotics, engineering, and logistics, among many other topics. Using an adaptive educational model, instructors have the flexibility to employ various tools and techniques to reach all kinds of learners, thus guiding them to explore the theme of the school, but opening up new avenues to learning in other areas as well. Encouraging students to develop their personal interests thus challenges them, building confidence in teens and contributing to their self-awareness. Connecticut River Academy, Goodwin’s early college high school, is a great example of how a magnet high school unifies its studies around one theme, yet results in increased achievement in all academic areas.
Connecticut River Academy students graduate with a blended understanding and respect for the global environment, both social and ecological. A magnet high school education can offer teens not only rigorous and interesting academics, but a positive worldview. Next to knowledge, we need to be teaching our teens acceptance of others. In the current social climate of America, we can help our teens develop into level-headed, accepting adults by offering education and diversity – the best tools we have to fight with.