Magnet Schools at Goodwin University

School Choice … Magnet Schools vs. Charter Schools

differences between magnet and charter schools

We understand that making the right choice for your child’s future is a difficult task and realize the importance of making an informed decision. As a parent, you hope to see your child succeed in an academic setting that is safe, motivating, and nurturing. There are so many choices for families in Connecticut to choose from and it is important to gather as much information as possible about school options that may best suit your child.

Charter Schools

Considered cutting edge, charter schools usually challenge standard education practices and sometimes specialize in a particular area, such as technology or the arts, or adopt a basic core-subjects approach. They usually have smaller classes and offer more individual attention than conventional public schools.

Like public schools, Charter schools are funded by the state and receive tax dollars, but they may also have private funding. Charter schools do not charge tuition. Charter schools provide small-scale educational programs that are independently run separate from school districts and some are run by for-profit agencies. They are not subject to the scrutiny of a public school board of education, self-governance is the fundamental differentiator between charter schools and other forms of public education. Charter schools must adhere to the basic curricular requirements of the state but are free from many of the regulations that apply to conventional schools.

The Department of Education describes a charter school as having these characteristics:

  • Has been granted a charter, usually by the state legislature, or other designated authority.
  • Its governing body may be a group, organization, or corporation.
  • May have specific academic themes or serve particular populations.
  • Is granted more authority than other public schools, but has accountability and mission statements written into its charter.
  • The charter is periodically reviewed, and may be revoked.

Magnet Schools

Magnet schools are public schools of choice, so named because they "attract" students to their specific educational focus or theme. Magnet schools give parents and guardians the opportunity to choose quality programs for their children throughout the state of Connecticut. Magnet schools allow students to focus on specific talents or interests while studying a challenging core curriculum of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and languages in a diverse environment.

The Department of Education describes a magnet school today as having these characteristics:

  • Aims to eliminate or reduce racial or ethnic isolation by bringing together students from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Focuses on a specific academic theme.
  • Has no tuition.
  • Follows same laws and regulations of other public schools.
  • Administrators and staff are required to have state certifications.

Magnet School Highlights

  • Have helped desegregate public education
  • Offer specialized programs that challenge students more
  • Level of academic achievement is often greater
  • Lower teacher — student ratios and smaller class sizes often offer deeper hands-on learning
  • Increases motivation since students are enrolled based on interest not location

The Benefits of Attending a Goodwin Magnet School

We’ve created an educational community in which each student will thrive in an environment that is inclusive, challenging and inspiring. Unlike many traditional local public schools, we offer unique and diverse learning experiences that combine the best parts of a public school education with the benefits of individualized learning. We empower our students to pursue their passions and encourage them to be thoughtful leaders — both in the classroom and in the community. We offer a theme-based education and hands-on learning approach. These provide a more personalized learning experience, driven by individual interests and talents.

Our magnet elementary school is the perfect fit for a child you want to immerse in a world of educational possibilities. A curriculum focused on building literacy, numeracy, social and physical skills empowers students to take an active role in directing their own learning. At Riverside Magnet School, your child will be able to start on a limitless educational journey.

Our magnet high school benefits teens who want a supportive educational environment surrounded by motivated students interested in similar themes. The Connecticut River Academy, provides the opportunity to earn over 35 transferable college credits while still in high school — all at no tuition cost.