North Hartford Schools Update

North Hartford Schools Update


Background and a Challenging Reality

Hartford Public Schools confronts a stark reality that has been years in the making including:

• Eight years of flat and reduced educational investment;

• Increasing costs and increased programming especially for students with special needs;

• Implications from Sheff v. O’Neill: increased tuition costs, competition for students and under-enrollment in high-performing schools;

• Many schools operating under capacity; and many in aged facilities that require significant investment;

• Under-enrolled schools are challenged in providing the resources and range of programs that students deserve;

• Current State of Connecticut and City of Hartford fiscal crises limits investment.

The Opportunity

HPS, the City of Hartford, and the State of Connecticut are collaborating on an opportunity to renovate as new the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Building. This possibility represents a major investment in the north end of Hartford and a commitment to our students and families.

With this potential funding, it is projected that by 2020-21, the north end will have two new school campuses: Weaver High School and a new school facility on the MLK site.

If project is approved, this makes possible a long-held objective to provide clear elementary and secondary pathways for our students.

The proposed North Hartford schools plan would be one step in the districtwide school redesign process.

HPS is committed to on-going dialogue with stakeholders as we redesign our school district for excellence, equity and sustainability.

Important Note: This update reflects a proposed plan that requires Board of EducationState of Connecticut, and City of Hartford pprovals and commitment of funds.

North Hartford Proposed School Design

Educational specifications* for the MLK site – which is a general overview of the project submitted to the State of Connecticut – will include MLK as a neighborhood school collocating with a magnet school.

The inclusion of the magnet school makes possible the 95% state construction grant reimbursement rate; a requirement in this difficult fiscal climate. Our Superintendent, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, will recommend an MLK plan and Ed Specs to the Board of Education for a vote on May 30, 2017.

Proposed MLK Redesigned Campus: MLK Middle School Grades 6-8

By Year 2020-21, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School will consist of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from:

  • Simpson-Waverly
  • Milner
  • Wish
  • Rawson
  • SAND
  • MLK

Magnet Program

Benefits to Students

  • Elementary and secondary pathways for students
  • Dedicated middle schools model that provides developmentally responsive programming
  • Focus on academic excellence
  • Commitment to student-centered learning
  • Design of extra-curricular and athletics programming
  • Community partnerships as part of school redesign
  • Neighborhood revitalization
*Educational Specifications or Ed Specs (also referred to as a program) is a detailed narrative, developed to guide the design process. An Ed Spec typically includes a summary of the educational organization’s goals or mission, a list of rooms and sizes as well as descriptions of site and spatial characteristics.

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