Hartford’s Journalism and Media Academy Will Become A Magnet School

Spotlight on Excellence     April 2013


Hartford’s Journalism and Media Academy Will Become A Magnet School:  New High-Tech Facility Opens This Fall


The Hartford Board of Education voted on April 9th to transform the city’s Journalism and Media Academy into the district’s newest Sheff magnet school, when it moves to its new state-of-the-art location at 150 Tower Ave. for the 2013-2014 academic year.
The state Department of Education requested the conversion under the terms of its ongoing negotiations toward a new one-year settlement with the plaintiffs in the Sheff vs. O’Neill desegregation case.
Increasing the city’s portfolio of quality educational opportunities has been a key focus of the talks. Last month, the board approved proposals from the state to convert the current Montessori program at Moylan Elementary School into a magnet school and to create a new Hartford Pre-K Magnet School for children of ages 3 and 4. All of the changes must be in place by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
The transition into the new Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School, which will be phased in over four years, calls for the school to make available up to 180 seats in the 9th grade for the coming academic year. Half of those seats will be open to suburban students. Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto emphasized that students who are already enrolled in the academy will be part of the founding class of the new magnet school.
“Both sides in the negotiations are committed to providing more Hartford families with access to quality, integrated educational opportunities within the city of Hartford,” Superintendent Kishimoto said. “In doing so, they ensure that Hartford Public Schools remains a strong district.”
The Journalism and Media Academy opened in temporary space on the campus of Weaver High School in August 2009. It incorporates mass media literacy and technology, including graphic arts, photography, web design and radio and television production, into all aspects of the curriculum to facilitate learning.
In partnership with the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, the academy’s senior class is housed at the CPBN Hartford studios on Asylum Avenue, where students work side by side with seasoned media professionals in a new $3 million technology lab as they take their academic and elective courses for graduation.
Students at the academy, in addition to having access to an on-site television studio and radio station, also publish an on-line newspaper called Teens Today.
“This is a great opportunity for our students here in Hartford and throughout the region,” said Board Chair Matthew K. Poland.  “And the state-of-art facility, curriculum, and partnership with CPBN will create significant career opportunities.”
With the addition of the Journalism and Media Academy, the Montessori program at Moylan and the Hartford Pre-K Magnet School, Hartford Public Schools will now be home to 18 magnet schools, eight of which specialize in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. 
The district’s portfolio also includes a number of themed schools such as, the Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy, the Hartford Insurance and Finance Academy (High School, Inc.), the Hartford Nursing Academy, the Hartford Law & Government Academy and the Hartford Academy of Culinary Arts.
The operations plans for all three of the new magnet schools are to be presented to the board for approval on or before its June 18, 2013 meeting.

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