What Is A Magnet School?

A magnet school is a public school which offers a special theme-based curriculum to suburban and urban students in a diverse setting. There is no tuition to attend and transportation is provided to most students. All students must apply through the Regional School Choice Office.

 At the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker, students are engaged in a rigorous, relevant curriculum which integrates the  environmental sciences through the following over-arching goals:

  • Use scientific process/inquiry skills to solve environmental problems and to effectively communicate results.
  • Infer, interpret, and draw conclusions to support arguments with evidence from conflicting views on environmental issues.
  • Use sustainable practices and apply them to real-world situations.
  • Participate in environmentally-based service learning and collaborate with community partnerships.
  • Apply science literacy to new learnings and observations.
  • Identify environmental factors which affect living organisms.
  • Interpret the local landscape by identifying key features including: flora, fauna, topography, and human impact.

The Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker is a direct result of the historic, landmark civil rights lawsuit Sheff vs. O’Neill. ESM is fortunate to be a part of this positive change to reduce ethnic, racial, and economic isolation of Hartford students while closing the achievement gap.

As a proactive, voluntary solution, magnet schools were supported as a way to provide choice, theme-based education, and innovation to students throughout the greater Hartford region in order to diversify the populations of our schools without forced integration or re-districting of schools.  We believe that ESM proudly illuminates the best-practices of magnet schools while helping to erase zip codes and political boundaries which have traditionally limited the diversity of our schools and programs.

Please take a moment to review the links below regarding the Sheff v. O’Neill State Supreme Court case.