Wallingford BOE changes magnet school application process

Wallingford BOE changes magnet school application process

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WALLINGFORD — The Board of Education voted Monday to change the way parents apply for their children’s admission to Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School.

The board voted to dissolve the current partnership with Wintergreen, a K-8 magnet school  located in Hamden. It’s part of Area Cooperative Educational Services.

Instead of applying through the school district, parents will apply through the Magnet School Parent Choice program, a lottery for open seats at Wintergreen that’s coordinated by ACES.

“The real difference is the transportation piece,” said Roxane McKay, school board chairwoman. “Transportation is covered by ACES now. Nothing changes for students.”

Wallingford has about 35 students who attend Wintergreen.

The board has discussed the proposal for the past few months, McKay said. It will save an estimated $111,000 in transportation costs, she said.

McKay said the school board’s decision was driven by the cost savings, and the fact that “it does not adversely affect our families.”

“It just makes sense for all the parties to take this next step,” he said.

The change begins in the fall.

About a week ago, McKay said, she, Superintendent Salvatore Menzo and Business Manager Dominic Barone offered to meet with Wintergreen parents to answer any questions. About four families attended, and a few others called in, she said.

Evelyn Rossetti-Ryan, head of marketing and outreach for ACES, said Monday that when a school district partners with Wintergreen, the school district can place a member on the Wintergreen steering committee, and must have a certain number of students enrolled.

Meriden’s Board of Education voted to end its partnership with Wintergreen in January.

Rossetti-Ryan said Wallingford and Meriden are the only two school districts in the greater New Haven area to change to the Magnet School Parent Choice program.

In April, ACES approved a five-year lease on Gateway Community College’s North Haven campus, 88 Bassett Road, for the new Wintergreen site.

Hamden’s Board of Education voted last year to take back the building after its lease with ACES expires next month.

Twitter: @LCTakores


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