District Administration - April 2012 - (Page 18)
New Conn. Magnet School Commands Aquatic Culture
“It’s a three-dImensIonal textbook,” says Jeff elliot, architect with JCJ architecture, of the aquatic-themed marine science magnet high school in Groton, Conn. The school, located on the Connecticut shore near new london harbor and designed by JCJ, first opened its doors to roughly 100 ninth- and tenthgraders this past fall. It includes nautical features such as large windows for observing the aquatic culture and a first-of-itskind ship simulator for learning how to navigate ships in ports. The school draws in students on a lottery basis from southeastern Connecticut districts including Groton, stonington and new london. The high school’s story began in 1999 when five Connecticut superintendents became aware of money available through the state board of education for construction of magnet schools. They wanted a school dedicated to marine science due to their proximity to the ocean and the nautical lifestyle of the shore. It took nearly a decade to find a location, but in early 2010, construction began with a $27 million bond, according to doreen marvin, director of development for the regional education service center learn in southeastern Connecticut. marine science magnet high was completed by september 2011. The school was designed to contain only half of the students at any given time. half of the time, says marvin, students are out on the water, exploring the river estuary or researching aquatic life in a salt marsh or on a boat. The science-based curriculum attracts many children looking to pursue careers in the maritime industry, which is prominent along the Connecticut shoreline. While other core classes are included in lessons, the school does not offer extracurricular activities and students must travel back to their original district after school to participate in them. Beyond the research-based curriculum, the school touts
by Marion Herbert
Students at the Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton, Conn. can walk on a boardwalk through a pond and marsh.
many green and sustainable features, as well. although there is no way of knowing definitively the return on investment the school will get for its solar panels, rainwater reclamation, green roof and geothermal heating and cooling system, marvin estimates that within 10 years the school should save approximately $800,000.
Long Island School Rebuilds in Record Time
On Feb. 18, 2010, A spOntAneOus combustion occurred at south bay elementary school in the West babylon (n.Y.) union Free school District while the gym floor was being refinished on the final day of the school’s winter vacation. Although no one was injured, the entire school was set aflame and left nothing for the 300 students expected to return the following day. though considered to be the worst school fire in the greater new York region, south bay was rebuilt in less than two years, opening this past fall, and students only missed one day of school due to the fire. the district’s superintendent of five years, Anthony Cacciola, formerly served as the district’s facilities and grounds superintendent of its seven schools. students were immediately transferred to a neighboring parochial school that had been empty. the district opted to forgo the traditional exchanging of insurance checks and municipal bidding wars and instead allowed the insurance company, the new York schools Insurance Reciprocal, to handle the reconstruction. by the summer, construction had begun on the school. “the footprint of the building remained the same,” says Cacciola. “the major difference was that the insurance company agreed to update the roof to a steel frame instead of a wood roof.” Cacciola credits his team’s working together for the school’s quick recovery. “It was the best of a very terrible situation.”
A fire caused by spontaneous combustion destroyed South Bay Elementary School in West Babylon (N.Y.) on Feb. 18, 2010.
18 April 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - April 2012
District Administration - April 2012
From the Editor
Special Ed Update
Robust and Safe BYOD
Success Breeds Success
Funding Building Projects in a Tough Economy
Widening Participation to an IB Education
Why All the Chatter about #EdChat?
District Administration - April 2012