Groton Magnet Elementary Schools

Thames River Magnet School 

Theme: Environmental and Marine Sciences 

Thames River Magnet School is excited for the hands-on experiences inside and outside of the classroom as we dig deep in the earth and sea! 

- Jamie Giordano, Principal of Thames River Magnet School

TRMS students will engage in daily instruction in all core content areas combined with an environmental/life/marine sciences focus. As our learning and exploration grows, students will have access to hands-on opportunities to investigate and connect with life outside the classroom and school community through hands-on research and fieldwork exploration in our local area.

Opportunities Students Will Enjoy:

  • Outdoor lessons in a community garden Greenhouse with composting and rain barrels.
  • Indoor hydroponics and/or aquaponics 
  • Aquariums with fresh and salt water living animals and plants
  • Green Team and Recycling Program.
  • Enrichment throughout the year to connect the various themes through Art and Technology


Click Here to visit the TRMS web site!

Thames River Magnet School Is Also Home to groton Public Schools Preschool and Pre-K program.

TRMS Program Partners:

Our local community is a natural classroom for our youngest students to explore and investigate.

Project Oceanology 

  • Students will engage in project based learning connected to the Next Generation Science Standards working within the school, or in Project O labs, out doing field work, or on boat trips. 

 New England Science and Sailing (NESS) with Americorps Representatives

  • Students will be working in class and in the field. Americorp will help to lead a Green Team of students.

Other partners to include Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport.


Mystic River Magnet School  

Theme: Active Exploration - Play and Ingenuity

The power of play motivates students to connect with, actively explore, and joyfully engage with their surrounding world.

- Steve Wheeler, Principal of Mystic River Magnet School

Our Play and Ingenuity Magnet School will find new ways to engage our students meaningfully in interest based learning with a focus on Active Exploration. Students will benefit from making social emotional connections in creative, hands on learning environments while working collaboratively and thinking critically with their peers. 

  • Grades K-2 - Active Exploration features developmentally appropriate play based learning that provides active exploration of topics. While building and strengthening brain pathways, children will create meaning through play and problem solving across disciplines.
  • Grades 3-5 - Active Exploration features games that promote mental and physical play and learning with a problem-solving framework to understand information across content areas. Collaboration between students and teachers will support solving complex problems across disciplines.
Click Here to visit the MRMS web site!

MRMS Program Partner: 

  • Life is Good Playmakers from Boston
    • The Life is Good Super Power Curriculum is researched based with a focus on social/emotional skills through play and cooperation. Staff will take part in training that will help to develop these skills and look to infuse play based learning, as well as strengthening character, feelings, and emotions for our students.

Optimism is powerful. When human beings grow their capacity to see and focus on the goodness in themselves, others, and the world, their social, emotional, and cognitive superpowers emerge. 

- Steve Wheeler, Principal


CHARLES BARNUM magnet school 
Theme: Discovery - Creativity and Curiousity  


We are excited to now embrace individual student discovery as our magnet theme. Throughout our curriculum, we will encourage all students to explore their primary interests in the ways they prefer to learn and how they enjoy expressing themselves – promoting the general curiosity and creativity of everyone!

- Seth Danner, Principal of Charles Barnum Magnet School

Our Discovery magnet theme encourages student voice and choice in an exploratory setting.  By nurturing creativity and curiosity, it will foster a lifelong passion for learning and build social-emotional and academic skills, while promoting purposeful and reflective practices that empower students to reach their full potential. 

Students will participate in the core academic programs that all Groton students have access to, and select magnet enrichment classes during the day, and before or after school.  The magnet enrichment offerings will be designed to support students' multiple intelligences as outlined by Gardner. (i.e. bodily-kinesthetic, visual/spatial, musical, linguistic, inter and intra personal, logical-mathematical, and naturalistic).


Click Here to visit the CB web site!

CBMS Program Highlights:

Helping students discover what they are good at and what they like to do!

Renzulli Learning Center (UCONN)

  • Using the research from Dr. Renzuilli's (UCONN) school-wide enrichment model; along with Dr. Howard Gardner's (Harvard) Multiple Intelligence Theory, this program nurtures every child's gifts and talents, with a focus on characteristics of task commitment, creativity, and curiosity, so they may discover their proclivities and passions (what they are good at and what they love to do).

Life is Good Kids Foundation

  • CBMS also works with Life is Good Kids Foundation as we support the social/emotional learning of each student.



Theme: STEM + Arts =  STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math)

CKMS provides engaging learning opportunities in STEM with technology and arts integration. We value creativity and innovation while helping all students to discover passions and develop a lifelong love of learning.

- Christine Dauphinais, Principal of Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School

CKMS students provides a strong STEM foundation and opportunities to engage in real world problem solving using a multidisciplinary approach and the integration of technology and the arts.  In addition to problem solving, an emphasis is placed on providing students an opportunity to express their creativity, and discovery talents and passions that lead to lifelong learning.

This is our 8th year as a STEAM magnet school. 

  • Our school is a beautiful building designed to support the arts and technology. 
  • Our campus is located in a private wooded setting, surrounded by town owned open space.  The property features a school garden, hiking trails, and an abundance of wildlife.

We all embrace a STEAM approach that promotes creativity and curiousity through opportunities for all students, regardless of background, ability, or academic performance. and are proud of our diverse school community. 


Click Here to visit the CKMS web site!


CKMS - STEAM Program Highlights

  • We recognize the importance of the arts in developing innovators and creative thinkers.  In activating the creative and innovative parts of the brain, students become creators, collaborators, and problem solvers. Our entire community embraces a STEAM approach that promotes student creativity and curiosity by emphasizing project-based and hands-on minds-on learning. 
  • All K-5 students have guaranteed experiences in science, engineering, computer science/coding, robotics, and makerspace. 
  • Additional experiences include science fair, Invention Convention, Computer Assisted Design Lab (3D printing), piano beginning in gr 1., and strings beginning in gr 2.  



Theme: Arts (Fine, Visual, Performing and Multimedia)

Northeast Academy Arts Magnet School strongly values the arts as an integral part of our children’s education. In addition to opportunities such as instrumental music and drama/performance productions, the arts are infused into our current district curriculum. ​

- Ryan Chaney, Principal of Northeast Academy Arts Magnet School

NEA students engage in challenging and complex instruction designed to develop creative thinkers and innovative learners. In addition to opportunities to explore their talents and skills in the arts, students are engaged in our Journey to Success program focused on their personal development and respect, responsibility, safety and honesty. 

Through interdisciplinary projects with an arts focus, students will become creative, innovative learners who consistently strive for their personal best.

Northeast Academy Arts Magnet School offers a variety of classes and activities that extend beyond the current arts curriculum of the Groton Public Schools, including: chorus, band, orchestra, small ensembles, drama, community performances, and other enrichment opportunities.

Click Here to visit the NEA web site!

NEA - Arts Program Highlights:

Examples of opportunities students have had to explore their talents and skills in vocal and instrumental music, drama and visual arts, and multi-media productions. 

  • 1st grade performing arts play
  • 2nd grade art show
  • 4th and 5th grade band
  • 3rd, 4th and 5th grade strings program
  • 2nd - 5th grade chorus program
  • 4th and 5th grade drama program, each with their own cast and production
  • Annual Celebrate the Arts Festival
  • Clubs, field trip and enrichment activities focus on the arts.

Community Partners to Include:

Mystic Art Museum, Garde Arts Theater, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra adn United States Coast Guard Band.