New Program Helps Hartford Students Choose A High School
Vanessa De La Torre
December 02, 2010
City students will need to think about the possibility of college under a career-focused school initiative announced this week.
Eighth-graders already decide which city high school they will attend as part of the district's choice program, but educators now expect students to weigh that decision with grown-up considerations: What career do I pursue? And what are the post-secondary requirements to get there?
After picking a city school that best meets their interests, eighth-graders will tour their first choices during field trips scheduled for later this month, school officials said.
A $20,000 donation from People's United Bank will cover the costs of bus transportation for those trips, which are akin to college campus visits.
The city high schools involved in the program include High School Inc., for insurance and finance; academies in the culinary arts and journalism and media at Weaver High School; and the engineering and green technology, law and government, and nursing academies at Hartford Public High School.
District administrators also plan to schedule meetings with parents after the new year to discuss the high school selection process.
The existing choice program allows students to list their top three high school picks. Most eighth-graders are matched with their first or second choice, school spokesman David Medina said.
The specialized academies were developed in recent years under Superintendent Steven Adamowski's aggressive reform efforts to improve achievement in a city in which roughly one out of two students didn't graduate from high school.
Michael Casparino, the Northern Connecticut president of People's United, said the bank will wait to see if the field trips are successful before committing to future funding.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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