Breakthrough Magnet School Chosen the Best in America
(Monday, April 27, 2015) Hartford’s Breakthrough Magnet School has been awarded the prestigious Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Merit Award as the best magnet school in the United States.
The award, given annually by Magnet Schools of America, is presented to the one magnet school in the country that most exemplifies a commitment to diversity, high academic standards and curriculum innovation. There are approximately 3,800 magnet schools in the United States, serving 2.6 million students.
Breakthrough Principal Julie Goldstein accepted the award, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, Sunday afternoon at the MSA’s 33rd national conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is the second time that a Hartford Public School has been so honored. Hartford Magnet Middle School, which later became the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, received the Simpson Award in 2011.
“Receiving this top national award is an honor that was made possible by every past and present teacher, staff, student, family member, community partner and Hartford Board of Education administrator who have ever been a part of the Breakthrough Magnet School story,” said Principal Julie Goldstein. “It seems like the nation is hungry for new and innovative ways to develop the social emotional and interpersonal skills in children as well as their own self awareness, which allows them to become self reliant and successful not only in school but also in life.”
Breakthrough Magnet, at 290 Brookfield Street, serves children in grades Pk-8 and currently has an enrollment of 352 students. Its curriculum places an emphasis on developing students to become problem solvers; to acquire self-awareness and be in charge of their minds; to be people of their word; to use their talents to contribute to society and to cultivate social and communication skills.
The school’s accomplishments this year include the creation of a Leadership Club, a Nobel Peace Laureate affiliated group called Peace Jam, and an award winning classroom-based community service project called Crayons for Cancer, as well as a new partnership with the Charter Oak Cultural Center. Breakthrough Magnet was also selected in November 2014 as the national exemplar for School Culture as a School to Learn From by Teach for America.
“My heartfelt congratulations and thanks to the Breakthrough Magnet family and to Principal Julie Goldstein for all their hard work,” said Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez. “This award is well deserved. It validates our ability offer innovative, outstanding educational opportunities to our students.”
In order to compete for the Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Merit Award, a school must first be recognized as a Magnet School of Excellence, the top category given to a group of select magnet schools all across the country. A total of 74 schools received that designation this year, including three Hartford Public Schools: Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School, Breakthrough Magnet, and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.