Nor­wich fam­i­lies to see cur­ricu­lums

City’s two soon-to-be mag­net mid­dle schools hold­ing re­view nights to­day and Thurs­day

The Day - - REGION - By CLAIRE BESSETTE Day Staff Writer

Nor­wich — Novem­ber is a busy month for school ad­min­is­tra­tors, teach­ers and fam­i­lies of mid­dle school-aged stu­dents get­ting ready for the launch of the city’s two mag­net mid­dle schools start­ing next school year.

Nor­wich in Septem­ber re­ceived fed­eral grants to­tal­ing $4 mil­lion over five years to con­vert the Kelly Mid­dle School into a STEAM — sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing, arts and math — themed mag­net school, and the cur­rent Teach­ers Me­mo­rial Sixth Grade Academy into a global stud­ies mag­net school. Both will be in­tradis­trict schools for Nor­wich stu­dents only, and the pro­grams will start at the be­gin­ning of the next school year.

Par­ents and stu­dents will be able to re­view the pro­posed cur­ricu­lums dur­ing events at the re­spec­tive schools. Cur­ricu­lum night will be held at Teach­ers Me­mo­rial global mag­net school at 6 p.m. to­day, fol­low­ing the grand open­ing of the newly ren­o­vated plan­e­tar­ium. Cur­ricu­lum night for pro­posed pro­grams at Kelly will be held at 6 p.m. Thurs­day.

En­roll­ment lot­ter­ies for next year’s sixth-, sev­enth- and eighth-graders will be held in early 2018, but the ex­act dates are not yet set, Teach­ers’ Me­mo­rial Prin­ci­pal Alexan­dria Laz­zari and Kelly Prin­ci­pal Wil­liam Peck­rul said.

The two prin­ci­pals told the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion on Tues­day that they have spent much of the past month work­ing on be­hind-the-scenes plan-

Stu­dents aren’t the only ones who must de­cide if they want to at­tend one of the mag­net schools. Su­per­in­ten­dent Abby Dol­liver ... asked teach­ers to con­sider their “gifts,” in­ter­ests and their teach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.

ning, in­clud­ing fi­nal­iz­ing their bud­gets for the Oct. 30 dead­line — the day schools were closed due to storm dam­age.

The two prin­ci­pals met for four hours Thurs­day with of­fi­cials from LEARN, the re­gional ed­u­ca­tional agency that ad­min­is­ters the mag­net school grants. The schools have started the hir­ing process for fam­ily li­aisons and learn­ing co­or­di­na­tor po­si­tions. Next, the school of­fi­cials will meet with pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ists for the two themes and later with a sched­ul­ing ex­pert to help de­ter­mine how the de­sired theme pro­grams will fit in with reg­u­lar cur­ricu­lum within the al­lot­ted time in the school day.

Stu­dents aren’t the only ones who must de­cide if they want to at­tend one of the mag­net schools. Su­per­in­ten­dent Abby Dol­liver told the board she held a fac­ulty meet­ing with all teach­ers to dis­cuss staffing at the two mag­net schools. She asked teach­ers to con­sider their “gifts,” in­ter­ests and their teach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions when de­cid­ing whether they are in­ter­ested in a mag­net school po­si­tion.

The grant does not in­clude money to hire many teach­ers, Dol­liver said, other than a few spe­cialty teach­ers for the mag­net themes, such as a lan­guage teacher for the global stud­ies pro­gram.

“There’s a lot we have to con­sider in mak­ing as­sign­ments,” Dol­liver said of the mag­net school staffing.

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