Breakthrough Magnet Schools North and South Named National Magnet Schools of Excellence

Breakthrough Magnet Schools North and South Named National Magnet Schools of Excellence

Breakthrough Magnet School North and Breakthrough Magnet School South have been named National Magnet Schools of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.


Breakthrough Magnet Schools, South and North are both character education themed schools with a unique set of core values which promote resiliency, self-regulation, integrity, community service and collaboration, and a growth mindset.


Breakthrough South is Connecticut’s only National School of Character and is a lab school for social emotional learning. Their school-wide mindfulness program helps students learn how to tune into their feelings and stay present which in turn creates a safe and welcoming school climate. They celebrate their diverse student community in their curriculum and through fun traditions that include a whole school multicultural luncheon and an annual Global Equity Day.


Julie Goldstein, the Principal of Breakthrough Magnet School South, states, “On behalf of our amazing community of teachers, staff, students and families, it is a pleasure and a privilege for Breakthrough South to meet Magnet Schools of America’s standard of excellence as we prepare students for success in high school, college and life.”


Katherine Leonard, Principal, Breakthrough Magnet School- North  states, “Breakthrough Magnet School North is honored to be recognized by the Magnet Schools of America as a Magnet School of Excellence for the first time!  While we have been recognized as a Magnet School of Distinction in the past, the Excellence Award acknowledges the growth, hard work and dedication celebrated and showcased every day in our school community.  As Principal of Breakthrough Magnet School-North, I am honored to accept this award on behalf of our Global School for Students of Character.  I also look forward to continuing the work of spreading our mission that includes staff, families and community members of diverse backgrounds working in partnership, to develop students as models of outstanding character.”


“On behalf of Hartford Public Schools, I would like to congratulate Breakthrough Magnet School North and Breakthrough Magnet School South for being honored as Magnet Schools of Excellence. Being honored as a Magnet School of Excellence is a great achievement and it can only be realized through the collaboration and dedication of the teachers, staff, students, and families. These schools demonstrate the mission, vision, and core values set forth in our District Model for Excellence. We know that Breakthrough Magnet School North and Breakthrough Magnet School South, along with every school in our district, will continue their work to achieve and maintain the highest levels of excellence so that all our students meet success in and beyond school,” said Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.


Magnet School of Excellence Awards are only given to a select group of magnet schools. Schools of Excellence are eligible to receive monetary awards and are eligible to be named the nation’s top Elementary, Secondary, or New & Emerging Magnet School. One of the Schools of Excellence will also be selected to win $5,000 and the Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Merit Award, which is considered the most prestigious magnet school award in the nation.


To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. These schools are judged and scored on their demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.


To learn more about the national merit awards program, please visit