Choosing the right high school with your teen is a challenging prospect. Like most decisions at this age, you’re trying to reach a compromise, right? Curfews are bartered for weekend homework completed early; Netflix or Xbox time is won with chores. When it comes to finding the right academic home for your teen for the next four years, you also have to reach a deal that makes both of you happy. Where do you begin?
Discussion is a great place to start. Open the conversation with your teen’s interests at the forefront. In which classes have they excelled the most? What subjects make them excited about learning? If any of those answers cover the topics of science, the environment, sustainability, technology, or outdoor learning, then a science magnet school could be the perfect option for your teen. Science magnet schools, like Connecticut River Academy (CTRA), use a science-integrated framework with an early-college model to prepare motivated students for successful futures. Use your teen’s interests now, to start building their future path with them.
How are science magnet schools beneficial to your teen?
- In science-focused high schools, students learn with state-of-the-art technologies. 3-D printers. Robotics. Advanced laboratory equipment. These are the tools of the future! With its dual theme in Environmental Studies and Advanced Manufacturing, Connecticut River Academy prepares students for possible careers in manufacturing, engineering, and logistics. They learn how we can use technology to make Earth a better place.
- Students practice awareness, action, and respect for diversity. These core values are enforced both through Connecticut River Academy’s curriculum, as well as more informally. The school’s Magnet Standards are set to provide students with the framework to contribute to a more just and sustainable world. The sustainability theme at our high school doesn’t just encompass academics—it addresses the word more holistically. Science magnet schools like Connecticut River Academy endeavor to educate the whole student, not just their brain, but also shape their conscience and worldview, as well.
- Students have the opportunity to conduct outdoor field research. Connecticut River Academy is located right on the Connecticut River, which acts as an extended classroom for students’ environmental high school courses. Thanks to CTRA’s connection with Goodwin College, students taking Water Stewardship courses collect and analyze samples from the river, and learn about the natural life existing in and around it. Additionally, students may hop aboard Goodwin’s research vessel and learn not just from the shores, but from on top of the river itself.
- Learning is made personal. At a science magnet school like Connecticut River Academy, students work with a mentor to produce a portfolio of work in their Senior year, exhibiting an in-depth study of a topic. This topic might expand upon interests developed over the course of their high school career, and may be explored through an internship, community service, or a special project. Producing a Capstone is a valuable, personalized learning experience that not all high schoolers have the opportunity to undertake. This type of exercise allows teens to develop their academic interests, while developing maturity through bonding with a mentor and applying their passions to a “real-life” project.
- Science magnet school parents are passionate and organized. The River Academy Parents Group (RAP) is supported by CTRA’s administration, and serves as a place for parents to partake in the mission of the school and the growth of their teens. RAP produces opportunities for parents, teachers, and students to socialize, learn, and develop, through programs, events, and fundraisers. So much of parenting is about being engaged with your child’s activities: their goals, their challenges, and their accomplishments. Parents at Connecticut River Academy come together with RAP to address and celebrate each benchmark. They also keep the conversation about enhancing the student experience always moving forward.
- Community life is important. It’s not only academics that are important in high school! Teens learn some of the most important lessons at this stage in their lives, such as social development and the practice of respect within their communities. The founding Magnet Standards at Connecticut River Academy enforce this. With organizations that get parents involved (like the RAP), athletics that get students on the field and building teamwork skills, and creative opportunities like acting in the Musical or contributing to the school newspaper, CTRA scholars build their communications skills and use their interest in science to connect with one another across varying activities. Communities are built on common denominators, and made more vibrant and strong through diversity.
Now, spend some time this season talking with your teen. You may find that a science magnet school could be the perfect next step for your child and also for you as a parent. Find out more about Connecticut River Academy at Goodwin College, and sign up for the next Info Session today.