The Magnet High School functions as a school within Central High School. Since its inception in 1983, it has proven to be an outstanding program. Approximately ninety-six percent of our graduates attend college : we are represented in all of the Ivy League colleges, other distinguished colleges such as Georgetown, MIT, University of Virginia, Amherst, Williams, Naval Academy and West Point and southern universities such as Spellman, Morehouse and Hampton.
Geared toward the academically motivated student, the Magnet Program functions in an environment of high motivation and creativity. Students follow a rigorous program of studies. In the last four years we have added Inter-Disciplinary Studies, Environmental Studies, Japanese and Chinese to our curriculum offerings. Magnet students also participate in the Regional Aquaculture School, the Bassick Business Magnet School and the Regional Program for the Arts.
The Magnet School, as well as its staff and students, have been the recipient of many collective and individual awards. In 1995 we were given an award by the State of Connecticut for Educating for High Performance and in 1997 we received a national Magnet School of Merit Award, one of only forty Magnet schools in the United States to be so honored.
It was a Magnet teacher who conceived of a statewide high school computer science contest, which is now sponsored each year by GE. In 1996 we finished first place in the state in that contest with the winning team members going on to attend Harvard, Yale and Princeton. In each of the last three years we have finished first among public schools (third overall) with over forty of the best public and private schools in the country competing.
We have dominated the National Engineering Design Challenge Contest finishing first in three of the last four years. Our students represented Connecticut in the national competition held in Washington in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and placed third, seventh and third respectively in the nation. Our JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) J.V. team finished first in the stateand third in the nation. Our Academic Decathalon Team won the Gold Medal in the Super Quiz and won six individual gold and fifteen overall medals. Our New England Math League Team finished second in Fairfield County.
We had seven winners in the Connecticut Organization of Language Teachers Poetry Contest in 2001 and eight in 2002. We also just introduced two Distance Learning classes in Japanese and Chinese with East Lyme High School.
We had sixteen AP scholars in the 2000-2001 schools year. We had ninety two students pass AP exams in fifteen subject areas with twenty five students receiving fives on their exam, which is the highest score possible. In 2000 we had the most AP computer science exams passed of all the high schools in the state. We also had 100% passing rate in Biology and Spanish Language. Overall we offer fifteen AP courses with over two hundred fifty students currently enrolled.
The Magnet has had two International Rotary scholars; one went to Japan and the other to Belgium. In 2001 we have an International Exchange student with us from Japan. Every year we have had at least one National Commended Scholar.
Magnet staff members have also been recognized for excellence. One of our computer science teachers was named Advanced Placement Teacher of the Year in 1998, one of only six New England teachers to receive this honor and in 1999 he was one of fifteen teachers nationwide to receive the First Siemens Award for Advanced Placement National Scholars. In 1998 one of our English teachers received the National Council of Negro Women's Excellence in Teaching Award, one of only seven women in the country to be so honored. In 1996 our calculus teacher was named Bridgeport Teacher of the Year.
The Magnet School is racially and ethnically diverse, which we consider to be one of its great strengths. The Magnet School staff rejects the notion that urban students can't compete with the best students in the country. We do, and consistently prove that academics are alive and well in urban centers.