New Haven magnet schools receive big federal grant

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Changes are underway at New Haven’s Roberto Clemente School. The Leadership Academy is transitioning to a magnet school for students K-8. Changing the name to Roberto Clemente Academy for Global Awareness and changing up the curriculum.

“We’re going to be looking at the economy internationally, looking at social justice, looking at women’s rights,” said Clemente Principal Pam Franco. “Poverty, social economic issues.”

Four schools in New Haven are splitting an $11 million grant to create magnet schools. In addition to Roberto Clemente, Bishop Woods, John Martinez, and West Rock Schools will receive the funding over three years. Members of Connecticut’s Washington delegation said the federal money is needed now more than ever, with the state budget in disarray. Only nine grants were awarded nationwide.

“We’ve got to work even harder for federal dollars because for the next few years we may be filling in gaps created by tight budgets in Hartford,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

Located in New Haven’s Hill neighborhood, Clemente school officials hope by opening it up and now bringing in suburban students, that diversity will be one of the first lessons taught to all.

“Most children here are from the community,” Franco said. “And I think it’s time they learned there’s a world outside the Hill.”

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