Greenwich Schools Statement: Factoring in “Need,” All Magnet Schools in Town are High Performing

western middle schoolGreenwich’s five magnet schools are high performing, according to materials distributed by Greenwich Public Schools  on Thursday.

The materials pointed to the strong performance of Ham Ave, New Lebanon, Julian Curtiss and Western Middle School relative to schools in Connecticut with similar populations.

sledding Julian Curtiss SchoolThose four schools average around 60% of students achieving the standard on the Smarter Balanced English Language Arts assessment, while other schools average over 80% achieving the standard.

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Student Need Four of the five magnet schools in Greenwich have a significantly higher percentage of students with need factors, such as learning disabilities, lack of proficiency in English and low income and performance on standardized academic assessments.

New Lebanon School

New Lebanon School outperforms schools with similar student populations by a wider margin than any school in Greenwich, according to a statement from Greenwich Schools, Jan. 14, 2016.

Yet, according to the statement released on Thursday, lower average student performance in most Greenwich magnet schools does mean they are not a good option for students or parents.

According to the statement, “All staff in the Greenwich Public Schools are dedicated to personalizing and accelerating learning for every student. District personnel focus on comprehensive data and information to guide teaching and interventions.”

The statement points out that the most powerful measure of student performance is how well students improve over time.

“Achievement—a time specific point of performance—still matters, but the gold standard now is growth.

The Greenwich Public Schools is developing a rigorous approach to monitoring student academic growth.

Greenwich Schools anticipate being able to report on student growth in the 2016-17 academic year.” – Statement from Greenwich Schools, Jan. 14, 2016

The District welcomes questions and feedback on the successes and challenges of schools and students.

Student Need in Greenwich Schools

Student Need in Greenwich Schools

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The deadline to apply to a magnet school for 2016-2017 school year is Feb. 5, 2016.

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  • Jodi Weisz

    I wish the Greenwich Public Schools would stop calling ISD a magnet school. It is a quasi-public school that is more exclusive and more impossible to gain admissions into than every single private school in Greenwich including Brunswick, Greenwich Academy, GCDS, Whitby and the like.

    The private schools in Greenwich are not as economically segregated as the International School at Dundee.

    To heap ISD into the category of a magnet school–along with Julian Curtiss, New Lebanon and Hamilton Avenue is ingenuous.

    My advice to the parents of children stuck in Greenwich’s segregated schools is to request an application to the 30-40 private schools in a 20 mile radius of Greenwich, to apply, to “go and see” if these schools are a good fit for your child.

    I know you will be pleasantly surprised by the welcome mat you will receive. Private schools use the family contribution formula which fairly allows families to pay a rate of tuition in keeping with their family’s ability to pay.

    Do not let public school bureaucrats keep your kids segregated, unable to network, unable to expand their horizons, unable to be exposed to other cultures, social classes and folks in higher economical levels, not to mention life long friendships and specialized opportunities which will be made available to your child at a private school.

    Private schools are not narrow, unwelcoming education institutions that are only open to the very wealthy.

    Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Your child’s social networks and ability to reach and have social mobility IS THE KEY factor that will ultimately determine your child’s social and economic mobility. This is based on sociological research and the BOE is acting shamefully when they deny your child a right to social mobility.

    Greenwich and the state of Connecticut has the largest opportunity gap–the difference between the quality of education offered to the poor and rich–in the nation.

    Reach out beyond your zoned neighborhood school. Do not let anyone hold you or your family down.

    Think of your house in Greenwich as a great launching pad to reach and attend that private school that will truly have your child’s back.

    You don’t deserve to be ghettoized. The non-resident teachers aren’t sending their kids to New Lebanon, Hamilton Avenue nor Julian Curtiss.

    That says it all, doesn’t it?

  • Jodi Weisz


    Thank you so much. I have analyzed the report from the BOE regarding outside placements (students who attend other schools beside their zoned school!)

    I am in shock. The situation is worse than I imagine. I had information based on reports from individuals and case studies.

    The three schools Magnet schools should be called FLIGHT schools.

    They have more students leaving them, either through the magnet program OR from direct requests to the Superintendent than any other schools in Greenwich.

    So, while the Magnet schools were set up to attract students, your report revealed that they actually LOSE more students than all the other elementary schools in Greenwich.

    Wow, I was stunned by the numbers and the graph.

    More students leave New Lebanon, Hamilton Avenue and Julian Curtiss. There are so many of them leaving that these schools HAD to set up a “magnet” program.

    It was interesting to see that the Superintendent gave families special permission to attend Glenville, Cos Cob, North Street and Parkway and that–pretty much–the only magnet students Julian Curtiss can attract are from Hamilton Avenue–which has even lower scores than JC.

    The public should know this information.

    Thank you, again, Maura for posting it.

  • Jodi Weisz


    I thank you for your explanation. So, if non-minority students are transferring out–the highest rate of leaving a zoned school–NL and HA, either via lottery or special permission by the Superintendent, why does the BOE think it can realistically attract other non-minority students outside the zone?

    The very students it wants to keep–the non-minority students–that live a few blocks or miles from NL, HA and JC are leaving.

    It sounds like the solution is broke and has no chance of working.

  • John B.

    Bottom line, go to the School in YOUR neighborhood ! It has been that way for decades prior to this whole “Magnet School”/ “International School ” pathetic titles came about. It just increases Unnecessary Busing and traffic. I know firsthand families that send their kids to magnet schools , and after school they go home and have no interaction with THER neighborhood kids that attend their local schools.