Grantee Corner  |  LEARN



LEARN, located in Old Lyme, Connecticut, is the local regional educational service center for southeastern Connecticut that provides comprehensive regional training and education services to individuals and organizations. LEARN serves nearly 53,000 students in 24 school districts along Connecticut’s southeast shore, including the cities of Hartford, New London, Windham, and Norwich. The region is characterized by wide racial diversity, significant minority group isolation, and large student achievement gaps. LEARN’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant project, titled Partners for Equity & Achievement in eastern Connecticut’s Education (PEACE), expands choice through inter- and intradistrict magnet schools across eastern Connecticut. At the conclusion of the project period, PEACE expects to serve more than 2,000 students.

PEACE will significantly revise four magnet schools and create three new schools, all with a deep focus on varied science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities.

Science and Technology Magnet High School is revising its existing magnet program by adding a biomedical strand and increasing enrollment by 100 students. Language and Technology Arts Middle Magnet School is adding a technology arts theme and expanding enrollment. Quinebaug Middle College, a grade 10-12 high school, is adding an engineering component and increasing student enrollment.

Norwich Public Schools created two new intradistrict magnet schools as part of PEACE. Moriarty Elementary School focuses on environmental sciences and Wequonnoc School has a technology and arts theme. Charles Barrows STEM Academy of Windham Public Schools is a new K-8 magnet STEM school. Lastly, Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School is a new early-childhood (pre-k to3rd grade) Reggio Emilia magnet lab that is housed on the Goodwin College campus.

The seven MSAP schools partner with higher education institutions, educational service centers, and school districts to offer parents and their children across eastern Connecticut a quality educational experience in schools that foster inclusion, high expectations, and a commitment to lifelong learning. In the  first year of the grant, MSAP funds were used to hire magnet theme coaches for each school, purchase theme-specific equipment (including significant expansion of technology, working toward a one-to-one student environment) and developing an emergency room learning lab at the New London Science and Technology Magnet High School.

In addition, a mobile STEM lab serves multiple purposes, including recruitment of middle school students to the high school program and bringing STEM resources to students who otherwise would not have had them. Staff have received professional development on the Next Generation Science Standards, on Science in the Content Areas with McRel, Developmental Design for middle school students, and at a week-long Curriculum Academy.

Doreen Marvin is the Director of Development at LEARN and serves as the Project Director for PEACE. Ms. Marvin has extensive experience working with communities locally, statewide, and nationally. Ms. Marvin is trained in strategic planning, creative planning, and systems approaches to organizational development. Additionally, within her work at LEARN, she has coordinated  the development and start-up of six magnet schools (including design, construction, curriculum development, marketing, and opening) and has authored and co-authored successful grant proposals, including four MSAP applications. Ms. Marvin serves as President of Magnet Schools of America.

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