The Magnet School path is a great educational path for children who would benefit from a more hands-on experience, without being confined by their zip code. While there are many different types of schools out there – such as public schools or charter schools – magnet schools are an innovative, motivating, and free public school choice that parents and children should explore. There are a several different types of magnet schools available for children of all ages, each with a specific focus at the heart of their curriculum.
Which magnet school will facilitate your child’s growth, and be the best fit for your family? Let’s explore a few different types of magnet schools in Connecticut that you may want to consider:
- STEM Magnet Schools:
STEM Magnet schools are centered around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These types of magnet schools use an interdisciplinary approach where they integrate each subject together and place a heavy focus on hands-on learning and its application to daily life. This theme-based style of education prepares students for life beyond the classroom, in professions relating to the focused curriculum. Connecticut River Academy in East Hartford, CT is similar in that the high school is technology and environmentally-driven. Its hands-on curriculum focuses on teaching students how to build and maintain a sustainable future in all aspects of life, and appeals to high schoolers specifically interested in advanced technology and environmental science.
- Early College Magnet Schools:
High school is traditionally a place that prepares you for college and college-level classes. But what if your children could attend a high school that not only prepares them for what’s ahead, but encourages them to experience a college-level curriculum firsthand? There are many types of magnet schools that offer early college education, in which students can earn college credits while in high school. Connecticut River Academy, for example, also follows an early college model in which Junior and Senior students have the opportunity to take up to 30 transferable college credits at neighboring Goodwin College. This allows students to get a head start on their college career credits and career path, without any tuition cost at Goodwin College.
- Reggio Emilia Magnet Schools:
Reggio Emilia magnet schools are designed specifically for younger children seeking a hands-on, creative, and inspiring education. These schools follow the Reggio Emilia philosophy, which places great emphasis on the child’s voice, interests, and curiosity. With this approach, children are seen as the directors of their own learning and exploration – the classroom is the space for them to express themselves and make discoveries about the world around them. Riverside Magnet School in Greater Hartford offers a Reggio Emilia education (Pre-K through 5th grade), in which the curriculum is not something set in stone and repeated each year, but one that is built and directed by the interests of each child.
- Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Schools:
For those students, usually of high school age, who have an interest in fine and performing arts, then this could be a great magnet school option. Similar to a STEM or technology magnet school, Fine and Performing Arts magnet schools focus on preparing students for pursuing higher education and/or careers in the arts. Learning at these types of magnet schools is not just confined to the classroom. Rather, students pursue the arts in many different ways, including meeting professional artists, attending professional arts events, and participating in community field trips.
Deciding which educational environment is best for your child is a big decision. Fortunately, there are many types of magnet schools out there for you to choose from.
Goodwin College 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 College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.