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K to 7 Arts and STEM Magnet School Pathways available to students in the region
K to 7 Arts and STEM Magnet School Pathways available to students in the region
Posted on 02/09/2016
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Imagine a school where every day is your child's day to shine.

Where academic rigor and your child's specific interests and talents come together in an innovative, individualistic approach to education. Where a pathway to success starts early and continues well past graduation.

This is the promise of New London Public Schools, and it is an opportunity open to all children in New London and its surrounding communities.

"By pathways, we mean educational themes that are of interest to students and their families," says Dr. Manuel J. Rivera, Superintendent of New London Public Schools. "We are currently accepting applications from families living in New London and surrounding communities for our Visual and Performing Arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) pathways."

District's Arts Pathway ignites learning

Students who attend our Arts Pathway schools experience an academic program where rigorous academics are infused through the arts. Using the HOT Schools model of strong arts, arts integration and democratic practice, our students are exposed to and immersed in the arts including vocal and instrumental music, visual art, dance, theater, creative writing, and interdisciplinary arts.

The beginning of next school year marks the expansion of the district's Arts Magnet Pathway, as the 6th and 7th grade levels open to students living in New London and its surrounding communities. The Arts Magnet Middle School will collaborate with arts partners from throughout the region to offer a challenging academic program responsive to every student's interests and needs, with creative opportunities to develop their talents.

The vibrant colors, sounds of music, high-tech media center and enthusiastic staff give the Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School campus a unique feeling in grades K-5.  Visiting artists work with the staff, many of whom are accomplished artists, musicians and dancers themselves, to open students' eyes to the wonder of the arts and to a world of opportunity.

"We are here to tap into the potential of each student," says Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School Principal Carlos Leal. "We ignite the creative spark, with individual brilliance to follow!"

Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School is a community of highly trained educators, motivated students and an excellent choice for families seeking an educational environment servicing students in grades K through 5.

"We like to say that every child is a work of art," says Principal Leal. "We ensure a high-quality, innovative program based on choice, equity, diversity and academic excellence."

The Arts Pathway's innovative curriculum is based on individual arts-based instruction that is relevant to each student's interest. This is combined with academic rigor in all grades, and creates an atmosphere of learning that prepares students for higher education and the career of their choice.

STEM Pathway Encourages Exploration

"Elementary school children are naturally curious at this age," says Michele Han, Principal of Winthrop STEM Elementary Magnet School. "Our STEM focus is a great match for students and our hands-on inquiry process allows them to take the lead in their learning."

In many ways, the district's STEM-themed elementary magnet school is a typical elementary school, where students from grades K-5 learn the basic and necessary skills one would expect.  But what sets Winthrop STEM Elementary Magnet School apart is the 75 minutes every student spends throughout each day in "enrichment" activities.  These activities are the focal point of the school's many partnerships, including those with Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, Roger Williams Park Zoo, and Connecticut Science Center.  Representatives of these organizations and many others are on site every day, providing an engaging atmosphere for each and every student.

Several times a year, students of all grades spend time off campus, visiting and working with partners in a truly hands on experience.  These out-of-school opportunities serve as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics building blocks for children at each grade level.

Crossing the bridge

If elementary school provides the first steps on the STEM pathway, then the next stop is middle school. New London's new STEM Magnet Middle School is making great strides in its first year under the leadership of Larry Washington, Director of STEM and Renzulli Academy.

"The STEM Magnet Middle School serves as the bridge from elementary to the Southeastern Connecticut Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics High School," says Washington. "Any child who completes the STEM program here is guaranteed a spot at Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut (STMHS). It is part of our overall K through 12 approach to STEM."

A major factor in the STEM Magnet Middle School's success is the "Teach to One" program.  An individual approach to mathematics funded in part by the Dalio Foundation, "Teach to One" is a nationally-recognized program that teaches math at a child's own pace.

"Project Lead the Way" provides enrichment in robotics, design, computer science, energy and environment, medical detectives and green architecture. This background paves the way for students to take college credit courses at STMHS. Students are challenged to solve real-world problems, such as cleaning oil spills and designing sustainable housing solutions. Using the same advanced software and tools as those used by the world's leading companies, students learn how to apply math, science, technology, and engineering to their everyday lives.

The middle school is also nationally recognized for its partnership with New England Science and Sailing, the gifted and talented program within the school's Renzulli Academy, and the school's designation as a Michelle Obama Healthy School.

To learn more about New London Public Schools Arts and STEM Pathways, or to view the schedule of Tour & Information Sessions, please visit


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