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Greenwich Magnet School Held Open Day

And Greenwich magnet school in the next few weeks, during the open application, school officials have announced that will host the opening in January of the magnet.

Hamilton Avenue, Julian Curtiss, New Lebanon and Western Middle schools and the International School at Dundee will each host two open houses. Some of the sessions will be at night, and some will be in the morning.

"The Greenwich Public Schools are proud to offer choice to the families of Greenwich that may wish to apply to any of the district's four elementary magnet schools and one middle school magnet program," school officials said in a statement. "School choice provides opportunities to attend a school with programs that may be of particular interest to a family and/or an individual student."

The application process for the following school year begins each January. If there are more applicants than seats available, a lottery will be held.

The magnet network is the district's main initiative for school choice. The magnets are also at the core of Greenwich's new racial-balance plan. The racially unbalanced Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon are both magnet schools, and they need to attract many magnet students from other parts of town to address the demographic disparities.

As part of the racial-balance plan, Board of Education members last month approved a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) magnet theme for next year at Hamilton Avenue. The magnet themes at the other schools are as follows: Julian Curtiss, world languages; New Lebanon, ISD and Western Middle, International Baccalaureate.

Earlier this month, the board approved a number of other changes, which included a lifting of the ban on new magnet students at New Lebanon and revisions to the magnet lottery rules to give priority to students from crowded schools such as Glenville and North Mianus.

The magnets have not had much of an impact on racial imbalance, but they have been much more successful in evening out enrollments among the elementary schools. With the help of the magnets, the district has avoided redistricting during the last 15 years.

But school officials have acknowledged they need to improve marketing of the magnets, especially after no students enrolled this year in the new magnet program at Western. Open house attendance at Western was sparse last year, so turnout next month will be an important measure of whether the district is reaching more people this year.

The magnet school application guidelines packet is set to be posted to the district's website by the end of December at

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