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East Hartford magnet school receives national award of excellence

CTRA serves students in grades six to 12 through a sustainability theme.
Credit: Google Maps

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) at Goodwin University was named the 2020-2021 National Secondary Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America.

CTRA is a partnership between Goodwin University and LEARN.

“Our educators have spent the last 11 years creating and delivering authentic, early college curriculum highlighting our advanced manufacturing and environment science themes,” said CTRA principal JT Foster. “They have worked to break down racial, economic, and social-emotional barriers while honoring and developing the gifts all scholars bring with them. We are very excited and humbled by this award.” 

CTRA serves students in grades six to 12 through a sustainability theme. It combines studies in environmental science and advanced manufacturing.

Students at CTRA learn about environmental and social issues such as climate change and green energy in the school’s laboratories and on its own research vessel that brings science classes directly out onto the Connecticut River. 

CTRA students also explore how current developments in technology are shaping the future of our planet with advanced manufacturing. 

Credit: CT River Academy Facebook
In a Facebook post, CTRA thanks two magnet theme coaches, Wendy Gavin and Michele Saulis, for their leadership and dedication to CTRA

“Our entire campus community is delighted with this well-earned honor for CTRA,” Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg said about the award. “With its focus on sustainability — and especially its early college programming making higher education a reality for so many of its scholars — CTRA is truly where the global citizens of tomorrow are learning to make a difference for the greater good, socially as well as academically.”

To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. 

These schools are judged on the ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create a strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme. 

“We at LEARN know that CTRA is a school of excellence. The academic accomplishments of scholars, the engagement of families, the commitment of faculty, the community partnerships, and the leadership of JT Foster are undeniable," said Kate Ericson, Executive Director of LEARN. "We are thrilled that Magnet Schools of America and now the nation knows it, too. We hope this national recognition will help us further impact the lives of young adults in Connecticut. Sincere gratitude to all at CTRA who continue to work tirelessly and made this award possible.” 

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