An Early College Magnet High School 

The Benefits of a Magnet High School

are magnet high schools better?

We’ve created an educational community in which each student will thrive in an environment that is inclusive, challenging and inspiring. Unlike many traditional local public schools, we offer unique and diverse learning experiences that combine the best parts of a public school education with the benefits of individualized learning. We empower our students to pursue their passions and encourage them to be thoughtful leaders — both in the classroom and in the community. We offer a theme-based education and hands-on learning approach. These provide a more personalized learning experience, driven by individual interests and talents.

Our magnet high school benefits teens who want a supportive educational environment surrounded by motivated students interested in similar themes. The Connecticut River Academy provides the opportunity to earn more than 35 transferable college credits while still in high school — all at no tuition cost.

A magnet school education offers several benefits including:

  • Academic success that prepares students for a lifetime of academic achievement
  • Diverse student body that encourages respect, empathy, and collaboration
  • Family and community involvement that instills a passion for learning and growth
  • Flexible and innovative curriculum centered around a unifying theme
  • Small class sizes that ensure connection to the content and foster positive student/teacher relationships

Take a virtual tour

CTRA scholar sitting with her hand on her chin

"I chose Connecticut River Academy because the school revolves around community and self-expression, and I love that. I've become my best self because of this school. The teachers are the sweetest, most supportive people I have ever come across. They helped me come out of my shell and be a better person with their warmth and positivity."DAMARILIS, CTRA SCHOLAR

“CTRA really exposed me to the world. I’m from a really small town and it opened my eyes about different cultures. I met my two best friends on the first day, and we just connected right then and there.”JULIA, CTRA STUDENT

“Attending CTRA taught me how to push myself, and what I liked best was the ability for active student leadership roles.”Jesline, CTRA graduate

What is a magnet school?

Magnet schools are public schools of choice, so named because they “attract” students to their specific educational focus or theme. Magnet schools give parents and guardians the opportunity to choose quality programs for their children throughout the state of Connecticut. Magnet schools allow students to focus on specific talents or interests while studying a challenging core curriculum of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and languages in a diverse environment.

The Department of Education describes a magnet school today as having these characteristics:

  • Aims to eliminate or reduce racial or ethnic isolation by bringing together students from a variety of backgrounds
  • Focuses on a specific academic theme
  • Has no tuition
  • Follows same laws and regulations of other public schools
  • State certifications required for administrators and staff

Magnet school highlights

  • Have helped desegregate public education
  • Offer specialized programs that challenge students more
  • Level of academic achievement is often greater
  • Lower teacher — student ratios and smaller class sizes often offer deeper hands-on learning
  • Increases motivation since students are enrolled based on interest not location

Interested in CTRA?

Contact us!