Grantee Corner  |  New Haven Public Schools



Five students in red shirts face a white board
Strong 21st Century Communications Magnet School students create designs and words on a magnetic board in their 21st century discovery lab

A boy sits on the floor of a classroom with a map
Elm City Montessori Magnet School student completes a mapping activity

Two boys complete a map puzzle on the floor
Elm City Montessori Magnet School students complete a puzzle of the United States during their study of world geography

A boy holds a camera while three students stand in front of a green screen
Strong 21st Century Communications Magnet School students film a video in front of a green screen as part of their communications curriculum

A woman hugs students with backpacks
Quinnipiac Real World Magnet Math STEM School students are greeted by their principal

A class sits on the floor in front of a teacher
Quinnipiac Real World Magnet Math STEM School students check for understanding as they prepare to complete a design challenge

A female student raises her hands
Celentano Biotech, Health & Medical Magnet School participates in STEM class

Two girls at a table smile at the camera
Celentano Biotech, Health & Medical Magnet School students complete class work

Three students use a microscope and other lab supplies
Celentano Biotech, Health & Medical Magnet School students engage in a science lab

Head shot of Kim Johnsky
Kim Johnsky, NHPS Project Director

New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) has 48 schools that serve 21,810 students. NHPS believes that all children can learn, achieve, and rise to a bright future. The district’s purpose is to provide an outstanding education that extends beyond graduation and prepares students to be the next generation of leaders, innovators, and problem solvers.  

NHPS has the largest magnet program in Connecticut. The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant helped the district add four more magnet schools that offer a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) focus and serve about 1,250 students. The grant funds two K-4 elementary schools and two pre-K-8 schools, one of which is a Montessori school. The programs provide an inquiry-based approach to instruction and investigations of problems through project-based learning.  

At Strong 21st Century Communications Magnet School, students in kindergarten through grade 4 recognize that technology makes communication more accessible and global than ever. Children master the 21st century communication, academic, and social skills necessary to succeed in a diverse, technologically advancing world. Students can learn American Sign Language, Chinese, or French, and the STEM Discovery Lab provides hands-on learning experiences. Through a partnership with Southern Connecticut State University, Strong serves as a Lab School, where students receive support from future educators in a dynamic environment that inspires and develops the next generation of teachers.

At Quinnipiac Real World Math Magnet School, K-4 students have the opportunity to be problem solvers, innovators, critical thinkers, and risk takers by taking a position on real-world problems as they engage in problem-based learning. Each marking period, learning is framed through one World of Math theme: financial, physical, geographical, or world of the future, the last of which covers topics around technology and communication. Students take an active role in their education through technology use, hands-on science investigations in the Discovery Lab, and learning experiences outside the classroom.

At Celentano Biotech, Health, and Medical Magnet School, preK-8 students explore medical careers. This STEM school offers students the opportunity to experience an exciting applied science that will inspire and motivate them to invent, create, and problem solve while achieving the technological skills necessary for success in the 21st century. Students are part of a thriving learning community with innovative approaches to learning that maximize student potential.

Elm City Montessori Magnet School is New Haven’s first public Montessori school. Elm City is committed to working with families to grow students’ independence. Students learn in multiage classrooms, where ages 3-5 and 6-9 share learning activities. The Montessori approach focuses on interactive, self-directed learning and hands-on inquiry to foster independence, creativity, critical thinking, and leadership. The program’s developmental approach to education integrates math, science, language arts, music, and the outdoors in a nurturing and academically rigorous environment that promotes lifelong learning and helps each child realize his or her full potential. The environment is brought to life in the school’s outdoor classroom where students learn science and maintain a community garden.

Kim Johnsky is the NHPS MSAP Project Director. She proudly engages regional and local youth in the highest quality educational experiences possible to ensure student success in school, college, and career. Johnsky has more than 28 years of experience as an education leader in New Haven, and is committed to ensuring that culturally diverse educational opportunities are accessible to youth in New Haven and surrounding cities and towns.