Education in Stamford, Connecticut
Education in Stamford, Connecticut takes place in both public and private schools and college and university campuses.
- 1 Higher education
- 2 Stamford public schools
- 3 Charter schools
- 4 J.M. Wright Technical High School
- 5 Private education
- 6 Notes
- 7 External links
Stamford, Connecticut has branches of the University of Connecticut, University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University. The University of Connecticut's campus is located in a large modern building in downtown that opened in 1998 after extensive renovations to an abandoned former Caldor's department store. The other two are located in small office parks in Springdale. All are commuter campuses.
Stamford public schools
Stamford's public education system is an integrated district with racial balance requirements exceeding those of the state of Connecticut. State standards require that a school's racial makeup be within 25% of the community's racial makeup. Stamford's standard is a more strict 10%. Over the years, schools have become unbalanced. Stamford has three public high schools, Westhill High School, Stamford High School and the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering.
No Child Left Behind Act in Stamford
The state Department of Education usually publishes results of Connecticut Mastery Test scores for districts in July and for individual schools in late August.
Districtwide 2007 Connecticut Mastery Test results for Stamford public schools showed improvements in math and writing compared with the 2006 scores, but lagged in reading. The school district uses the data to adjust teaching. The district has been concentrating its efforts in improving math skills and also in bringing up scores for black students. This year's results showed small gains in almost all grades for black students.
The biggest increase in math scores was from sixth grade students. A total of 54 percent of them reached the state goal, compared with 48 percent in 2006. Fifth grade students had the smallest increase, with 63 percent reaching the state goal, up from 60 percent in 2006. Students in Grades 3 and 7 also had higher scores than the previous year.
In writing, scores improved, with third grade students making the most gains — 60 percent met the state goal, up from 54 percent the previous year. Students in the eighth grade scored only 1 percent higher — 55 percent met the state standard.
In reading, third grade students improved, with 49 percent meeting the state goal, up from 46 percent in 2006. Only 48 percent of fourth grade students met the state goal, down from 55 percent in 2006.
Thirteen of the city's 20 public schools made the 2006 list of failing schools, based on Connecticut Mastery Test results, according to the state Department of Education's "No Child Left Behind Act" report (NCLB), five more than in 2005. The NCLB Act sets rising targets for schools, so even though some may have improved since the previous testing, they can be cited if improvement isn't made fast enough, Superintendent of Schools Joshua Starr told The Advocate of Stamford (August 24, 2006), which published a list of the local schools provided by Associated Press:
- Rippowam Middle School — "whole school deficiencies in math and reading"
- K.T. Murphy School — "whole school deficiencies in reading"
- Julia A. Stark School — "whole school deficiencies in reading"
- Newfield School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Rogers School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Roxbury School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Springdale School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Toquam Magnet School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Davenport Ridge School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Stillmeadow School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Hart School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Turn of River School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
- Scofield Middle School — "subgroup deficiencies in math and reading"
In nearby communities, 11 Norwalk schools were cited, one in Greenwich, one in Wilton, none in New Canaan or Darien.
District Reference Group H
Stamford is one of the eight public school systems in District Reference Group H, a classification made by the state Department of Education for the purpose of comparison with the achievement levels of similar schools and districts. District reference groups are defined as "districts whose students' families are similar in education, income, occupation and need, and that have roughly similar enrollment". The other seven school districts in the group are Ansonia, Danbury, Derby, East Hartford, Meriden, Norwich, Norwalk, and West Haven.
- Westover Elementary School, 412 Stillwater Avenue, dedicated its auditorium on September 16, 2006 to former principal Edmund Barbieri, who became principal in 1979 and continued to head the school for 13 years. He died in 2004. Barbieri built up the magnet program at the school, set up the city's first gifted-students program and the state's first full-day Kindergarten, according to a committee of parents, teachers and city officials who supported the dedication.
- Toquam Magnet Elementary School - it focuses on Social Studies as the main study. The former principal, Eileen Swerdlick, was chosen as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, and left Toquam in July 2004.
- Roxbury Elementary School is an elementary school containing approximately 600 students. It is right across the street from Westhill High School, one of the three high schools in Stamford, Connecticut. The former principal of Roxbury, Gail Flaster, retired before the 2008-2009 school year. She was replaced by Gloria Manna. Ironically, Roxbury Elementary School is located on Westhill Road, while Westhill High School is located on Roxbury Road.
Turn of River Middle School
In early 2007, school officials said they worry that a child might be seriously injured in an accident involving the school's many large glass windows, some of which are floor-to-ceiling and not shatter-resistant. The windows of the building, which was constructed in 1963, are often made of single panes of glass instead of more modern double- or triple-panes that insulate better. A few years before 2007, a student leaning back in his chair accidentally struck a window pane which then shattered.
Rippowam Middle School
Located on High Ridge Road, Rippowam is the district's largest traditional middle school.
George Giberti, principal of the Scofield Magnet Middle School for the 2006-2007 school year, was reassigned as principal at Rippowam for the school year beginning in the fall of 2007. Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr said Giberti has experience in raising math scores and has been in charge of large traditional middle schools in New York City and Long Island. Giberti switched places with Jan Grossman, who took over Giberti's job at Scofield, where she had previously been assistant principal. The transfers were part of a large number under a policy by Starr to give administrators more varied experiences.
Various groups use the Rippowam building on weekends, including The Stamford Youth Foundation's chess league and wrestling program, a youth basketball program in the gym, a Chinese school on Sundays, and, since 2007, the German School of Connecticut.
German School of Connecticut
The German School of Connecticut (GSC) holds classes on Saturday mornings from 9:30 am to 12:15 pm. The German School in Stamford (at Rippowam Middle School, 381 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT, 06905) currently teaches more than 250 students each Saturday in 20 to 22 classrooms. The school also runs classes in West Hartford (At the First Baptist Church, 90 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06107). The German School offers German language instruction in a friendly, stimulating learning environment for children age 2 through high school and adults.
In addition to language education, German culture and traditions (both old and new) form an important part of the curriculum, offering students a modern view of German speaking countries. Classes target students new to the German language as well as students already used to speaking and/or listening to German. The website is: http://germanschoolct.org
Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage is an after school program on African American history. It is hosted by the Stamford Public Schools. Students attend classes for 12 Staturdays and learn about African origins, slavery, and civil rights. The program culminates in an educational trip to West Africa to see the ancestral home of many African Americans. The program requires competitive admission and acceptance.
Stamford Academy is a charter high school run by Domus Kids Inc. The school accepts students who have failed out of other high schools in the area. The school features small classes, family advocates to help students address social and emotional challenges, uniforms, and credit recovery options.
In the summer of 2007 a student selected by school officials traveled to Benin as a "cultural ambassador" who would help build classrooms and live with villagers as part of the Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Higher Education and Responsibility through Overseas Exchange program.
Trailblazers Academy, a charter middle school, is run by the nonprofit Domus Kids Inc. of Stamford. Trailblazers students have struggled in traditional schools. Trailblazers features small class sizes, uniforms, after-school activities, and a longer school day. The school holds a weekly ceremony recognizing successes. Family advocates are assigned to students to address each student's social and emotional challenges.
J.M. Wright Technical High School
J.M. Wright Technical High School, located just south of Scalzi Park, is a vocational school run by the State of Connecticut. Facing declining enrollment, the school closed after the 2008-2009 school year. The state plans to reopen the school in fall 2014.
The city has several private schools, including King Low Heywood Thomas, The Long Ridge School, Sacred Heart Academy (closed since 2006)The Mead School, Bi-Cultural Day School and Trinity Catholic High School.
The Jewish High School of Connecticut
JHSC is an independent, pluralistic Jewish high school - one that offers a rigorous, comprehensive curricular and co-curricular program in general and Jewish studies, athletics and the arts. Its location in the Stamford Technology Center supports our approach to learning through collaboration, and learning opportunities in a supportive environment. In addition to preparatory and honors level programming for students of all abilities in grades 9-12, JHSC has a unique "early entry" program for gifted students ages 11–13. At the core of a JHSC education is engaged and honest discussion; honoring student interest and opinions. Students are involved in all aspects of the school life including choosing curricular electives. Fostering a student's voice is a hallmark of a JHSC education. Students develop skills and an understanding of the imperative of becoming a citizen of the world. As part of the JHSC experience students explore and learn to understand and look through the lens of their Jewish values and heritage. JHSC is unaffiliated with any one synagogue or Jewish movement.
The Long Ridge School
The Long Ridge School is a co-educational independent day school for children two years old through Grade 5. The school was founded by Harriet Rowland in 1938 in her home on Old Long Ridge Road. Mrs. Rowland founded the school based on the premise that children learn in different ways and at different rates and that challenging academics can go hand in hand with a joyful educational experience. The school moved to its 14-acre Erskine Road campus in the mid 1950s. An Arts and Athletics Center, winner of the Connecticut HOBI award for excellence in new construction, was opened in 2007. The Long Ridge School is one of the few schools in Fairfield County focusing specifically on early childhood and elementary education. Headmaster: Kris Bria
The Mead School
The Mead School, founded in 1969, serves children in preschool programs through Grade 8. The school, with an enrollment of 178 in the 2004-2005 academic year, adds programs in drama, music, art and dance to a traditional curriculum. The school also emphasizes community service and skills in negotiation and mediation.
Bi-Cultural Day School
The Bi-Cultural Day School is a co-educational, nonprofit Modern Orthodox Jewish institution founded in 1955 and serving children in Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. Students in 8th Grade spend a month in Israel, while the 6th Graders go to Philadelphia in June, and the 7th Grade goes to Greenkill in October and Washington D.C. in June. The school had an enrollment of 431 students in the 2004-2005 academic year.
Administration: As of 2013
- Mrs. Jacqueline Herman, Headmaster
- Rabbi Richard Auman, Senior Administrator
- Mrs. Rachel Bahar, Director Early Childhood (Pre-K and K)
- Mrs. Adrienne Robinson, Director of Secular Studies, Grades 1-8
- Mrs. Michal Smart, Director of Jewish Education, Grades 1-8
- Mrs. Joanne Karow, Director of Admissions
- Rabbi David Israel, Rabbinic Dean
- Mr. Bob Abrams, Director of Student Life and Alumni Relations
The school's curriculum is a complement of secular and Judaic studies, which include, according to the school's Web site, "an understanding of Jewish values, a broad knowledge of Jewish history and religious practice, sensitivity to community needs, a strong bond with Israel and an appreciation of their dual heritage as American Jews". Hebrew language, Torah and all aspects of Jewish observance are taught. In the past decade (up to 2007), the school has organized and sent more than 200 marchers a year to the annual Israel Day Parade in New York.
- Gosier, Chris, "Mastery test report shows mixed results: math, writing up while reading falls", news article in The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, pp 1, A4, Stamford edition
-  state "Strategic School Profile 2005-2006" for Wilton High School, accessed March 25, 2007
-  Web page titled "Find a Community: By Educational Reference Group (DRG)" at the "Discovery 2007 / An initiative of the William Caspar Graustein Fund" Web site, accessed March 25, 2007
- "Auditorium dedicated to late principal news brief, The Advocate of Stamford, September 15, 2006, page A14
- Gosier, Chris, "Middle school to make urgent request for repair funds", news article in The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, March 19, 2007, page A7, Stamford edition
- Gosier, Chris, "Scofield parents upset by principal change", news article, The Advocate (Stamford) of Stamford, Connecticut, July 9, 2007
-  Gosier, Chris, "Rippowam Middle School to play host to German school", news article, The Advocate (Stamford) of Stamford, Connecticut, July 16, 2007, accessed July 18, 2007
- Lee, Natasha, "Building bridges: Student ambassadors head to West Africa", article in The Advocate of Stamford, pp A9-A10, Norwalk edition
-  Web page titled "History" at The Long Ridge School Web site, accessed October 23, 2010
- Handbook of Private Schools: An annual descriptive survey of independent education, 86th edition, 2005 (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers Inc.) page 770
- "Mission". Bi-Cultural Day School.
- Handbook of Private Schools: An annual descriptive survey of independent education, 86th edition, 2005 (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers Inc.) pages 769-770
-  Web page titled "About Our School" at the Bi-Cultural Day School Web site, accessed April 13, 2007
- Stamford Public Schools
- The William Pitt Child Development Center
- Stamford Adult Education
- Stamford page at Great Schools website
- Trinity Catholic High School, 926 Newfield Ave., Kevin Burke, president and chief financial officer; Robert D'Aquila, principal
- St. Cecilia Elementary School, PreK-5, 1186 Newfield Ave.; Joann Borchetta, principal
- Sacred Heart School Kindergarten PreK for 3- and 4-year-old children; 1 Schuyler Ave.; Sheri Tarantino, Director
- Holy Spirit School, 403 Scofieldtown Road, Pat Torchen, principal
- Our Lady Star of the Sea School PreK-5; Gail Ryan, principal-retired; From the school Web site: "[T]here is one class per grade. We strive to have 25 students in grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade and 20 children in each of the Pre Kindergarten 3 and Pre Kindergarten 4 programs. We strive to have 190 students enrolled in the school."
- Trinity Catholic Middle School Grades 6-8, 948 Newfield Ave., R. Fox, principal