DL&AMMS to Close at End of School Year

Dual Language & Arts Magnet Middle School to Close at the End of the Academic Year
Posted on 02/10/2020
DL&AMMS logo

Dual Language & Arts Magnet Middle School (DL&AMMS), at 51 Daniels Avenue in Waterford, will close at the end of the 2019-20 school year in June.

LEARN, the Regional Educational Service Center that administers the school, reached the decision after feedback from DL&AMMS staff and families showed that most were not able to commit to attending if the program was located in East Hartford. DL&AMMS enrolls 148 students from 11 different school districts, all in eastern Connecticut.

In January, LEARN informed its stakeholders that the school would be closing at its current location. However, there was an opportunity to transfer the current 6th and 7th graders to Goodwin University in East Hartford to complete their middle school experience at a school on the Goodwin University campus in East Hartford, beginning in August.

LEARN considered several factors before making the difficult decision to close the program. The Daniels Avenue location, which LEARN leases from the town of Waterford, was never intended as a permanent location for the school. The building has challenges for which there are no long-term solutions. LEARN conducted an 8-year search for an alternate school location, but unfortunately was unsuccessful in finding any viable options that would meet the needs of the students. Additionally, DL&AMMS has not met its target for student enrollment in the last two years, largely due to many theme-based middle school choices across southeastern Connecticut that did not previously exist.

LEARN and Goodwin cooperatively administer two magnet schools on the university’s campus, including the Connecticut River Academy, which is expanding from 9th-12th grade to a 6th-12th grade program. LEARN considered East Hartford as a possible site to close the final two years of the DL&AMMS program, ending when the current 6th grade class completes the 8th grade. If there was interest on the part of staff and families, LEARN would create transportation hubs in Norwich and Waterford to take students to and from the East Hartford program.

After reviewing data collected at forums and surveys, LEARN concluded that the East Hartford opportunity was not feasible.

“This is a sad outcome and we certainly understand the difficult choice that families had to make,” said LEARN Executive Director Kate Ericson. “During the final months of the school’s operation, we will focus on supporting families as they prepare to transition to new placements.”

“DL&AMMS has often been referred to as a small but mighty school,” Ericson continued. ”It is known for supporting every student in achieving their personal best by building connections, providing challenging experiences, and offering individualized choices. The school will continue to do just that until its last day in June. We thank everyone who has been a part of the school’s journey and who continue to give their all to the school today.”

DL&AMMS families seeking help in returning to their home district or other local schools of choice can reach out to LEARN’s Communications Team at communications@learn.k12.ct.us.

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