Two Rivers Magnet High School is a dynamic and diverse science and technology-based urban learning community with an environmental science focus. Our mission is to inspire and prepare our students to meet the challenges of the 21st century through a robust academic program. Our vision is to serve as a center of excellence for engaging students in innovative science and engineering through the use of nationally recognized curriculum and state-of-the-art technology. While providing students with the tools needed to become inventive environmental leaders and critical thinkers, we follow a belief system that not only values our diverse student population, but builds upon that diversity to ensure global and environmental awareness.
Our school partners with local organizations to create learning opportunities that reach far beyond the classroom walls. We work with the CT Science Center to develop curriculum for mini STEM units on topics such as harnessing energy from fuel cells, biotechnology and green building design. In our theme based courses, students engage in authentic environmental science explorations such as creating sustainable green building designs, water quality testing, and the study of drone and robotic conservation efforts. We use the CT River which runs behind our school as a field research site where students conduct experiments related to water and soil quality as well as study of the local ecology of the river front. Students learn how to make healthy eating choices by working in the kitchen at a local downtown resteraunt that demonstrates sustainable business practices in everything they do.
Our three-year School Improvement Plan (SIP) includes initiatives for theme integration such as: theme specific interdisciplinary units, cutting-edge curriculum, professional development related to environmental science, teacher fellowships in ecology, and a senior Capstone projects related to conservation and service learning. . The creation of a school wide data team has provided us with the opportunity to examine our theme alignment and current instructional practices to define a clear mission, vision, goals, and School Improvement Plan (SIP). The SIP outlines specific action plans and strategies for theme connection. All teachers are responsible for creating quarterly exemplar STEM or environmental science lessons and attending regular theme related professional development. Additionally, the schedule was designed to allow for daily meetings in vertical and grade level teams, where teachers develop co-curricular theme-based lessons.
In an effort to promote theme-specific experiences, enrichment, and projects that build upon science concepts and skills learned each year, the magnet theme coach works directly with teachers and administration to develop a comprehensive 9-12 curriculum supporting national STEM and environmental science initiatives. Students take introductory science elective courses in the first two years of their academic career in addition to core classes. Participation in these elective courses provides each student with a strong foundation in environmental science, technology, and engineering through the implementation of the Engineering Design Process, NGSS Engineering practices, and the 5 E’s Model of Inquiry. As juniors and seniors, students choose their environmental science or engineering pathway, research college and career options, and create a theme-based Capstone plan.
The students in our school are intelligent, enthusiastic and come from very diverse backgrounds. They come from all over the Greater Hartford area including rural farming towns, suburban dwellings and the urban city of Hartford. Hartford is our state’s capital and a hub for many industries including the insurance industry. The city also boasts a vibrant downtown center with eateries, museums and cultural centers. Many of our students who live in Hartford come from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background and qualify for free or reduced lunch.