Elementary school in New London expands to dual language, international magnet school
wtnh.com. Tina Detelj. August 23, 2017.

One of New London‘s elementary schools is expanding its curriculum and its student base in a unique way. CB Jennings has been a dual language school for 20 years but this year it’s taking on and even more worldly curriculum.

These summer camp kids will be part of the new kindergarten class during the school’s first year as a magnet school.

“We really can have students coming from any part of the state of Connecticut,” said Dr. Jose Ortiz, Principal.

And the first year of its International Baccalaureate Candidacy. Principal Jose Ortiz is leading the school in this new direction.

“This is kind of a first year right now,” said Ortiz.

Started in Switzerland, the IB philosophy encourages students to think and take action.

“So they’re just the time to explore their own learning but this time with the intent of taking action and making this a better world,” said Ortiz.

The inquiry based learning works well in how the kindergarten classrooms are already set up at CB Jennings Dual Language and International Elementary Magnet school. No more straight rows.

“If we’re going to promote language, we cannot be you know facing.. doing things in rows. We want kids to be using language all the time,” said Ortiz.

Students are now taught equally in English and Spanish but this year world language will be in the mix.

“We’re looking to add possibly Chinese, Mandarin, Arabic.”

Another academic choice and another philosophy.

“It’s developing thinkers and leaders and students that really can take the lead in their own learning,” said Ortiz.

Starting for the first time with the school’s youngest students who will grow along with the International Baccalaureate program.

“For the students, it’s going to be like hey you’re not multi-lingual. What’s the matter with you?” joked Ortiz.

Even though students will be back in these seats on August 31st, new students can register through the fall.

New London is working towards being an all magnet school system. We’ve learned there are still spots available at some of the city’s other magnet schools as well.

Visit the News Archive for more magnet school news.