Riverside Magnet School at Goodwin College

Frequently Asked Questions about Goodwin's Magnet Elementary School

What is the Riverside Magnet School at Goodwin College?

Riverside is an inter-district elementary magnet school serving the educational needs of students from all over the State of Connecticut ranging from ages 3 through grade 5. With fully certified teachers, low student to adult ratios, state of the art building and abundant technology and creative materials, we offer an inviting and inspiring environment for all learners.

What is the benefit of attending a magnet school over my local public school?

As a magnet school, Riverside offers several benefits including:

  • Flexible and innovative curriculum centered around a unifying theme
  • Diverse student body that encourages respect, empathy, and collaboration
  • Family and community involvement that instills a passion for learning and growth
  • Academic success that prepares students for a lifetime of academic achievement

How do you incorporate the Reggio Emilia approach in your teaching?

Riverside applies the world-famous Reggio Emilia approach as the foundation to help guide our learners through a project-based curriculum that empowers students to reach their full potential by:

  • Developing effective relationships with peers and adults
  • Encouraging students to take an active role in directing their learning
  • Having all adults serve as facilitators of learning
  • Providing students with multiple opportunities to be creative and represent their learning

What grade levels does your school serve?

We currently serve children in pre-K 3 through grade 5. Preschoolers must be three years of age by December 31 of the school year for which they are entering.

Who is eligible to attend?

Any student residing in the State of Connecticut and is eligible to attend the local public school is eligible to attend Riverside Magnet School. Acceptance into RMS is through a random lottery system conducted by the State of Connecticut Regional School Choice Office.

How does enrollment work?

Enrollment into RMS is conducted through a random lottery managed by the State of Connecticut Regional School Choice Office (RSCO). The lottery application period for the 2018-2019 school year runs from November 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018. Please visit www.choiceeducation.org for more information on the lottery process and to apply.

What are the school hours?

Student drop off begins at 7:45 a.m.
Education instruction begins promptly at 8:10 a.m.
Dismissal begins at 2:45 p.m.
Fridays (half days) dismissal is at 12:45 p.m.

Is before/afterschool care available?

We provide a tuition-based afterschool enrichment program that provides extended hours to help support our working parents. This program is offered on a first-come basis with our currently enrolled students receiving priority.

Is transportation provided?

Bus transportation is provided for all students in grades kindergarten through grade 5 that reside in the Greater Hartford Regional Transportation Zone. Pre-K students residing in Hartford are also afforded transportation.

Families living outside the zone have the choice of transporting their child to the closest existing bus stop within the zone or providing their own transportation to and from school. A stipend is available to those families who choose to drive their student for the school year and is based upon attendance at the end of the year. For additional information call the RSCO Transportation line at 860.524.4077 or go to www.choiceeducation.org.

Will there be programs for children during vacations and holidays?

As a public school, we follow the East Hartford Public Schools calendar and are closed during holidays and vacations. However, we do offer a tuition-based, 4-week summer program.

Will children of different ages be grouped together in the classrooms?

Pre-K 3 and pre-k 4 (children ages 3 and 4) will be grouped together in classrooms. All other students are separated by grade.

Does the school provide for the needs of special education students?

Yes. The responsibility for holding planning and placement team (PPT) meetings belongs to the district where the student lives. The inter-district magnet school is responsible for ensuring that the student receives the services required by the student’s individualized education program (IEP), whether those services are provided by the inter-district magnet school or by the school district in which the student resides. For more information, contact the Bureau of Special Education via telephone at 860.713.6910 or visit the website Staff Directory.

How will parents/guardians be involved in the schools?

Families and the surrounding community play an essential role on our school. Families are recognized as children’s first teachers, and we support them in being active and engaged co-responsible partners in the learning process. We have a newly formed parent/teacher organization (Riverside Community Council) that meets on a regular basis.

What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

Each classroom will have 18-21 students depending on the grade. Each pre-k 3 through grade 1 class is staffed with one state certified teacher and one instructor. Grades 2 through 5 are staffed with one certified teacher and will have additional instructors as needed. Goodwin College staff and students may also help in the classroom, providing teachers and students with access to best practices and the latest research.

Will there be a rest-time?

Rest-time is part of the pre-K daily schedule.

Are students provided with breakfast and lunch?

Breakfast and lunch can be purchased daily. Free and/or reduced meals are available to those families who qualify.

Do children need to be potty trained before starting school?

If your child is not potty trained, we will work with you and your child on a potty-training plan.

Do you participate in Care for Kids (reimbursement for afterschool care)?

If a family qualifies for Care for Kids, we will work with them to make necessary arrangements.