Riverside Magnet School at Goodwin College

Frequently Asked Questions about Goodwin's Magnet Elementary School

What is Riverside Magnet School (RMS)?

Riverside Magnet School is an inter-district elementary magnet school serving the educational needs of students from all over the state of Connecticut ranging from age 3 through grade 5. With fully certified teachers, low student-to-adult ratio, 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?

As a magnet school, RMS offers several benefits including:

  • Flexible and innovative curriculum centered around a unifying theme
  • iverse 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 does RMS incorporate the Reggio Emilia approach in its teaching?

RMS 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 RMS serve?

We serve children in pre-K 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 eligible to attend the local public school is eligible to attend RMS.

What are the school hours?

  • Student drop off begins at 7:45 a.m.
  • Education instruction begins promptly at 8:10 a.m.
  • Monday – Thursday, dismissal begins at 2:45 p.m.
  • Fridays are half days, dismissal begins at 12:30 p.m.

Is before/afterschool care available?

We provide a tuition-based afterschool enrichment program which extends the day until 5:45 p.m. to help support our working parents. This program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis with our currently enrolled students receiving priority.

How does enrollment work?

Students interested in attending RMS must go through a lottery process conducted by the State Department of Education’s Regional School Choice Office (RSCO). Families must submit a lottery application online during the lottery application period. The lottery application period for the 2018–19 school year runs from November 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018. The random lottery will begin in the spring. Please visit www.choiceeducation.org for more information on the lottery process and to apply.

Is transportation provided?

Bus transportation is provided for all students in kindergarten through grade 5 who 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 families who reside outside of the transportation zone and 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 the RSCO transportation page.

Will there be programs for children during vacations and holidays?

As a public school located in East Hartford, 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.

Are special education services provided?

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.

How are parents/guardians involved in the school?

Families and the surrounding community play an essential role in 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 between 18–21 students depending on grade level with a low student-to-adult ratio. We have a fully certified teaching staff supplemented by highly trained paraprofessionals and curriculum specialists.

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 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.

Are there any costs to attend?

As required by the State of Connecticut, we charge a tuition fee for pre-K students only. Families of newly enrolled preschool students whose family income is above 75% of the state median income will be required to pay a tuition fee. For the 2018-19 school year, tuition will be set at $3,000 for the first child, $1,000 for the second child with a cap of $4,000 per family per school year. Families whose income is at or below 75% of the state median income will not be required to pay a tuition fee. Verifying documentation will be required.