About Our Themes

We believe learning shouldn’t be confined to a classroom. We believe your child’s success later in life depends on the choices 18886069032_81ac5c2467_oyou make now.

Our Vision and Values

Connecticut River Academy graduates will use their gifts to contribute to a just and sustainable world.  


Our Magnet Standards

CTRA scholars will contribute to a just and sustainable world by:

Magnet Standard 1: demonstrating self- and global awareness.

  • Using self-reflection to identify personal values, interests, strengths, and challenges
  • Making plans and using strategies, resources, and innovative technologies and ideas to contribute to the well-being of self, others, and the environment
  • Increasing global awareness to improve the efficacy and sustainability of decisions
  • Using Habits of Mind and the design process to make choices that will positively affect our future

Magnet Standard 2: demonstrating a respect for the importance of diversity in the community of life.

  • Communicating an understanding of how diversity affects our physical, social, economic, and cultural environments
  • Seeking diverse, innovative ideas and relationships
  • Making collaborative and informed decisions

Magnet Standard 3: demonstrating the impact of individual and social actions and decisions on the community of life.

  • Communicating an understanding of how choices affect environments
  • Acting individually and collectively to positively affect our environments and increase community ownership for learning
  • Employing innovative manufacturing methods and technologies that improve the conditions of life

CTRA’s Magnet Theme Days demonstrate our values:

Download Our 2016-2017 Vision, Values & Magnet Standards

Sustainability Theme

Sustainability: Making decisions to ensure the well-being of all life, including nature, economy, and society. At CTRA, we demonstrate this through awareness, diversity, and action.

The 15787362755_d47de25aa0_oConnecticut River Academy Sustainability Theme includes two areas of study, Environmental Studies and Advanced Manufacturing.

Environmental Studies provides students with opportunities to experience first-hand what environmental scientists and engineers actually do. Students learn about relevant environmental and social issues such as climate change and green energy in the school’s state-of-the-art laboratories and on its very own research vessel.

Students can also explore how current advancements in technology will shape the future of our planet with Advanced Manufacturing. Working hands-on with cutting-edge equipment and high-tech machinery such as 3-D printers and robotics, students gain experience in technologies including advanced manufacturing, engineering, and logistics.

21085638713_b332097cae_oEarly College Model

In addition to a full range of high school courses, students grade 11-12 have the opportunity to earn up to 30 transferable college credits through our early college model. Unlike at many other high schools, our students get a head start on their college career while still in high school, all at no tuition cost. At the Connecticut River Academy, students are prepared academically and socially for college – laying an important foundation for their future success. Our students enjoy a curriculum filled with opportunities for hands-on learning and discovery – inside and outside the classroom.

Special Features

  • Early College model with opportunities to earn 30 tuition-free, transferable college credits while still in high school
  • Sustainability theme with a focus on the Connecticut River watershed area
  • Hands-on learning including engineering and advanced technologies
  • State-of-the-art technology including collegiate level science labs and laptop computers for every student
  • Internship opportunities with high-tech corporations including advanced science and technology experiences
  • Extended day for advanced enrichment, academic, and social supports

21083733494_90dd965620_oHabits of Mind as Learning Outcomes

Educational outcomes in traditional settings focus on how many answers a student knows. When The Connecticut River Academy teaches for the Habits of Mind, we are interested in how students behave when they don’t know an answer. The Habits of Mind are performed in response to questions and problems, the answers to which are not immediately known. We are interested in enhancing the ways students produce knowledge rather than how they merely reproduce it. We want students to learn how to develop a critical stance with their work: inquiring, editing, thinking flexibly, and learning from another person’s perspective. The critical attribute of intelligent human beings is not only having information but also knowing how to act on it.

To learn more, read our Habits of Mind Overview.

Connecticut River Academy is a featured school on the Teaching Our Cities website. Click here to see our page.

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