Greenwich Public Schools announce magnet school open house schedule

The Greenwich Public Schools announced the magnet schools’ open house schedule for January, in preparation for the application deadline for the 2015-2016 school year.

The Greenwich Public Schools are proud to offer choice to the families of Greenwich that may wish to apply to any of the district’s four elementary magnet schools and one middle school magnet program. School choice provides opportunities to attend a school with programs that may be of particular interest to a family and/or an individual student.

School choice also provides the district with a means of balancing enrollment among its schools on a voluntary basis rather than by mandating school attendance area changes. The magnet school application guidelines packet will be posted to the GPS web site by the end of December at: Greenwichschools.org/MagnetSchools.

All Greenwich Public Magnet Schools teach the same curriculum and provide the same support services as every other public elementary and middle school in Greenwich.

In November, the Board of Education unanimously approved a proposal to transition Hamilton Avenue School (HAS) to the first Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) school in the District. HAS is transitioning to a STEM program beginning in 2015-2016, year one of a multi-year implementation. HAS was also one of the first two schools in the district to adopt a digital learning environment in 2013, providing a mobile learning device to every student.

Offering a magnet program in a state-of-the-art building, new in 2009, HAS will also continue to provide preschool classes, world language instruction (Spanish)  from kindergarten through fifth grade, Suzuki violin instruction in grades prekindergarten to five and smaller class sizes in kindergarten and first grade.

STEM education can ignite interest and develop the skills and knowledge that prepares students for expanding career opportunities. As a phase one digital learning environment school, with an existing science lab and television studio, HAS is well positioned to launch the STEM theme.

Students will begin to experience inquiry-based instruction as early as the 2015-2016 school year, with the expectation that teachers will be fully trained and proficient in delivering STEM/inquiry-based instruction by 2017-2018.

The International School at Dundee K-5 (ISD) is an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme School since 2003, and the district’s first magnet school, opening in 2000. The program provides an engaging inquiry-based learning environment that fosters active student participation and independent learners. The magnet program also includes an integrated character development component and partnerships with local and regional institutions, such as the Guggenheim Museum, and Stamford Nature Center.

Julian Curtiss has been a magnet school of world languages since 2003; students attending represent 60 countries and 30 languages in one great school. Centrally located near downtown Greenwich on a sixteen-acre site, JCS offers the choice of learning either Spanish or French in grades K-5. Julian Curtiss is the single elementary school offering a choice of language and the only one to offer French beginning in kindergarten.

New Lebanon School (NLS) is an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school and has been a magnet school since 2009. NLS will be accepting magnet applications for 2015-2016 on a limited basis. The Board of Education is currently considering a proposal for expanding New Lebanon School in order to address overcrowding and provide a high quality educational facility for neighborhood and magnet students.

Western Middle School (WMS) re-opened as a magnet school in 2013 as an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the Middle Years Programme. WMS also offers the AVID program and has implemented a digital learning environment and one-to-one program in sixth grade. The digital learning environment will expand to seventh and eighth grade with students receiving devices early in the 2015-2016 school year.

The IB Middle Year’s program provides a framework of learning, which encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The Middle Years Program emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.

The open house schedule for Greenwich public magnet schools is as follows. Hamilton Avenue will have open houses on Thursday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m. Julian Curtiss School will host open houses Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. Western Middle School will host on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The International School at Dundee will be open Friday, Jan. 9 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. New Lebanon School will have an open house Monday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 14 at 8:30 a.m.

Spanish translation will be available. Those requiring special accommodations to attend an open house should contact the school at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Visit Greenwichschools.org.

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