How weird is this? The 3 school systems in Connecticut that have Special Masters, (or, in Bridgeport, the equivalent) have been selected, totally randomly, to receive grants for schools just for the gifted. And in Bridgeport, the school chosen to house this wonderful experiment in pulling the best students out of the regular school system is, by sheer coincidence, in the far North End – John Winthrop (where I myself taught for 2 years.)
From the Hartford Courant:
The University of Connecticut will use a $500,000 grant to replicate Hartford’s Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy — a school for the city’s brightest young students — in the New London, Windham and Bridgeport school systems this year.
Teachers at the three new academies will be trained in the schoolwide enrichment model, an advanced curriculum developed by UConn education researchers Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis that taps into students’ interests to challenge them.
The grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, awarded to UConn’s Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, will also fund “mini-internships” for those teachers this spring, Renzulli said. That will involve visits to the Renzulli Academy in Hartford, where 115 students in kindergarten and grades 4 to 9 are enrolled in the all-day gifted program.
This fall, Renzulli academies are expected to open within existing classrooms at Windham Middle School in Willimantic and Bridgeport’s John W
inthrop School. In New London, the academy is set to be housed in the former Harbor School building…
The school systems have committed to funding the academies in their annual budgets, said Renzulli, an international expert on gifted education and director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented at UConn.