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New London High School to turn into a Magnet School?

At the Board of Education meeting Thursday night, Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio proposed turning New London High School into a "scholar-athlete and sports medicine magnet school" similar to the Sports and Medical Science Academy in Hartford.

 

New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio on Thursday proposed turning New London High School into a magnet school for sports and sports sciences in the mold of Hartford's Sports and Medical Sciences Academy as part of a plan to transform the public school system into an all-magnet district.

Finizio, who spoke at Thursday night's Board of Education meeting about his plan after circulating a memo on the subject (see attached PDF) earlier in the day, noted the challenges facing the New London Public Schools District in recent years, including the appointment of a state "special master" to oversee the city's schools and flat funding for five consecutive years. In the memo, he wrote, "It now falls to all of us to chart a new course forward."

Finizio's "new course forward" includes turning New London High into a scholar-athlete and sports medicine magnet school as part of a larger plan to make New London the state's first all-magnet district under legislation introduced by state Sen. Andrea Stillman in 2006 and passed by the state legislature.

The state-appointed special master overseeing the school system, Dr. Stephen Adamowski, announced at the meeting that there is a $3 million request to cover initial design work for the renovation of the high school that is scheduled to be approved by the state Bond Commission Friday.

"The original building is in dire need of renovation and improvement," Adamowski said. "There are a number of complaints that have been filed over the years to the Office of Civil Rights that are pending against the district relative to the issue of the school being inaccessible to the handicapped."

The 2006 Stillman bill also lowered New London's threshold of required out-of-district students to 15% and stipulated that the district would receive $3,000 per student if the all-magnet school system was "racially and ethnically integrated," according to Finizio's memo.

"This has the potential of bringing in $9 million in new revenue to the city," the mayor noted. "... This initiative would be able to compensate for years of flat-funding and help the school district and the City in immeasurable ways."

Currently, the city has two magnet schools — the Science & Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut and the . The Nathan Hale Magnet Elementary School for Visual and Performing Arts is slated to open next fall.

In the memo, Finizio compares New London's demographics to Hartford's, and notes the success of Hartford's Sports and Medical Science Academy in improving achievement rates.

The mayor also said his proposal would be consistent with the demonstrated interests of the community.

"A Sports and Science Medicine Academy would be in keeping with the interest among the student population that is currently at New London High School," Finizio wrote. "In addition, there is the possibility for widespread political support for investment of this initiative throughout our community.

"In the past, the community supported improving the athletic programs and facilities that are available. This academy would maximize the prior athletic facility investments that have already been made."

Jason Harris contributed reporting to this article.

Tanykameka Washington October 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM
UUuuugghhh....How about a magnet school for education? The whole sports thing is rediculous. Don't get me wrong though, because I am for anything that engages a student and offers structure but the notion that the school must be focused on sports is narrow minded. Haven't you learned something from all those evenings of watching Glee?
Kellie W. October 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM
The way I view it is, some people learn differently, so why not make it so there is something that will appeal to everyone.
London self storage October 29, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Its always the duty of the nation to have a proper focus on the activities those are having in the school for the proper all round development but I have seen the schools like above those are out of focus and some time they are run by the private organizations much better then the govt. I have seen one run by the http://www.aussie-storage.co.uk/
Carolhardin November 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Turning New London High School into a magnet school for sports is a great idea. Children need to indulge in sports, an activity that not only keeps them healthy, but allows them to improve fitness and their creative skills. There are some children who are unable to excel in the academics field. By turning the school into a sports school, these children will be able to showcase their talent in the sports field. http://www.lockandleave.co.uk/
Alan Murfee November 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Indeed I completely agree that a school should be oriented to all-round development of students. Just studies makes them studies, unaware of outside world and just sporty makes them ignorant. So it should always be both the ways. http://www.bishopsgate.co.uk/

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