Windham to send students to Norwich

Norwich - Starting this school year, Norwich Free Academy will become one of six high school options for Windham students as part of an overhaul of the troubled school system overseen by Special Master Steven Adamowski.

Under the deal, as many as 10 incoming ninth-graders from Windham could attend NFA starting this year, Adamowski said. Three students have signed up so far.

The Windham school district will pay the regular non-Norwich tuition rate of $11,020. The Windham parents, however, must provide their own transportation to Norwich.

Adamowski said he was charged with finding opportunities for Windham students, and forming a partnership with NFA fit perfectly with the goal of the Windham reform plan.

NFA Head of School David Klein said NFA expects to receive four or five Windham students at the start of the school year next week.

Klein has embarked on a multi-faceted effort to bring more students to NFA as enrollment is expected to drop over the next several years.

NFA is one of six anticipated high school options for Windham students in the coming years. Windham High School will undergo a transformation under the new plan, phasing out the regular school in favor of two specialized academies that will be open to students from throughout the region, Adamowski said.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy, or STEM, will follow the model of the University of Hartford school of science, while the Arts and Humanities Academy will have an emphasis on arts, language and performing arts, history and culture. The two academies will operate on a trimester basis, giving students a year-round education. The two Windham academies are expected to be open to ninth-graders from the region starting next year, Adamowski said.

NFA is the first of three anticipated arrangements with high schools outside Windham - not including the state-run Windham Regional Technical High School, Adamowski said. The other three options have yet to be identified.

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