build a home, CT, customize your home, home, lots for sale, new construction, real estate, smart home, Stamford, Uncategorized, Westover

It’s All About The Journey … Should You Build Your New Home?

Have you been looking for a new home and are tired of estimating the cost of renovations or reworking a floorplan to suit your lifestyle? Maybe it’s time to entertain the idea of bulding the home of your dreams!

Since a home is usually your largest investment and you can spend lots of time and energy searching for or designing “the perfect home”, building may be an option you should consider, especially if you have a wish list that includes specific needs (the things that you absolutely must have-like a 5 car garage or a gourmet kitchen) and wants (the features that you would like in your new home, but could do without if necessary) building may become an exciting option. While the home buying process involves a number of important choices, one of the very first decisions buyers need to make is whether to shop for an existing home or build a new one.

Building a Home

 

The big advantage of new construction is that you are more likely to get exactly what you want. For many, this factor alone is enough to choose building over buying, but there are other advantages too. A new home is more efficient, especially with the new energy codes which are both better for the environment and can save you money on your utility bills.

 

Another perk? A new house may literally be better for you.  A new home is less likely to have the health concerns or toxic materials such as asbestos and lead paint. You can build with environmentally friendly materials, green Energy Star rated appliances, plus you have the option to outfit your home with future technology in mind such as home automation and solar.

Even though the upfront costs of building can be higher, it may be easier to recoup your investment.  A newer home is typically more appealing than an older home to most people and a new home will require fewer repairs and less maintenance, which can save both money and time.

Money and features aside, building a house can lead to a level of satisfaction that you can’t achieve through buying an existing home. There is a definite feeling of an emotional connection to living in a new home that you have created.

If this option sounds enticing, check out these wonderful, level lots located in the prime Westover neighborhood.  Located on a convenient cul-de-sac, the hook-ups for City Water, City Sewer, electric & cable are already there!  With 3 lots still available, this could be the perfect fit for you!   

Contact me for more information.

 

Advertisements
Standard
Education, real estate, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About Journey… Magnet Schools: Scofield Magnet Middle School

Scofield Magnet Middle School (SMMS) is one of 5 middle schools in Stamford, and continues the magnet philosphy found in the elementary schools.  Admission to Scofield is through a lottery process and offers an innovative program of educational choices through theme-based instruction.

SMMS is located on Scofieldtown Rd in the heart of North Stamford, at the former UCONN Stamford campus.

Each grade consists of 2-3 Teams with approximately 100 students each  Students travel with the same group for all three years at Scofield which bonds them into a family type atmosphere.

Scofield was founded as a magnet middle school with an emphasis on science, technology and math. The goal of the Magnet Middle School is to involve students in a learning partnership with the school, home, and community in order to insure success for all students. The Magnet Middle School is comprised of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students and is based on the following beliefs; high standards for all
students, trust, respect, and collaboration.  The school philosophy is that students need to learn to think critically, master an appropriate
body of knowledge in new and unfamiliar settings, and to develop a constant desire to learn something new if they are to succeed in their adult lives. The students acquire an appreciation for science as a critical inquiry across the subject areas so they are able to have the necessary skills for employment. The staff and parents work collaboratively on ensuring the success for all the students. The curriculum is delivered mainly through interdisciplinary topics and project usually with heterogeneous and homogeneous groupings of students. Teams of teachers are responsible for scheduling and grouping students within blocks of time. Assessment of students is an ongoing process. Evaluative measures used by the teachers are observations, portfolios, performance-based assessment, and testing.

One of the unique programs at SMMS is Exhibition. It is the culminating activity for SMMS students where they are required to demonstrate the skills mastered during the middle school years by preparing a multi-faceted Exhibition at the end of the eighth grade. They will choose a particular technology and thoroughly investigate it. This leads to in-depth student presentations  made to teachers, classmates, parents, and community. All SMMS students are required to complete the Exhibition and are guided through the whole process: the research, scheduling & time management and presentation with visual & creative pieces.

 

“In its original form, the Exhibition is the public expression by a student of real command over what he or she has learned.”

–Theodore Sizer, Chairman of the Coalition of Essential Schools

 

Scofield offers a unique environment for both independent and cohesive learning.

 

Standard
CT, Education, real estate, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About Journey… Magnet Schools: Westover Elementary School

Westover  Magnet is tucked between the beautiful “country” neighborhood of Westover and the exciting Downtown neighborhood known as the West Side, in Stamford.  What makes this school unique as a magnet school?  The focus on Arts and Problem Solving (APS) plus the Mastery Learning program which encompasses flexible grouping based on ability level, combined with “looping”.

Westover’s Showcase, a theatrical production done by grades 4-5, where each grade works together combining  their studies in dance, art, music, gym and drama.

Key Elements of Mastery Learning are:

  • Flexible grouping for instruction in Reading & Math. Students with similar learning needs and skill levels are grouped together.

  • Adjustable class size. Class sizes can be adjusted through the addition of teacher-specialists in reading classes.

  • Good teacher/student ratio. Students who need more individualized instruction and support are in smaller classes for reading and/or math.

  • Looping. (Same teacher, same students for 2 years) in grades 1 & 2 and 3 & 4.

 

Arts & Problem Solving (APS)

At Westover, a basic curriculum is enhanced with rich experiences in cultural arts.  APS Team is comprised of a group of teacher-specialists – Art, Dance, Drama, Music, Physical Education, Problem Solving, and Technology.

Westover students experience 4 kinds of APS activities – Basics, Focus, Culminating Activity and Showcase.

  • Basics APS to learn basic skills. The students cycle through each of the disciplines with their homebase classmates.

  • Focus APS course to explore in an intensified focus course based on their interests.

  • Culminating Activity is the presententation – parents are invited to see what the students have been learning and creating at the conclusion of each focus course.

  • Showcase to perform a full-scale productions (4th & 5th grade). These performances integrate all of the APS classes from scenery designed and executed by the art students to music, dance, gymnastics, and acting. Past productions includes classic children’s stories, like “The Jungle Book” and   “Through the Looking Glass”.

 

Westover also incorporates programs such as “Talents Unlimited” – the thinking skills that people need in order to be successful in the world of work, and “Teaching/Learning Styles” – 4 innate learning and teaching styles based on how a person perceives and organizes the world.

 

 

 

 

There are 13 Elementary Schools in Stamford,  5 of which are Magnet Schools.  The Magnet Schools enroll students from all parts of Stamford by a lottery process.  Each school is centered around a unique, theme-based instruction.

Standard
Uncategorized

It’s All About Journey… Magnet Schools: Strawberry Hill, and Extension of Rogers International School

It’s Official – the newest school in Stamford is named:  Strawberry Hill, an Extension of Rogers International School!

Strawberry Hill School opened in September 2016 and enrolled 240 students in kindergarten and grade one, with one grade to be added each year until it becomes a K-8 school by 2023. As an Inter-District Magnet School, Strawberry Hill will invite students from Stamford and the surrounding towns.

Strawberry Hill School is in the historic building, former home of Sacred Heart Academy, the girls’ Catholic School.  The city bought the 10.8-acre property from the Sisters of St. Joseph in 2014 – eight years after the group closed Sacred Heart Academy. There are four buildings on the property; the main, four-story building that was built in 1925 and had a gym added later, a separate building that housed the nuns, a caretaker’s house and the old barn that has been used for concerts.

Though it’s officially open, construction will continue until at least 2018. The recently completed first phase of the project included razing an old convent on the property and renovating the original school building and adjacent 1964 structure. After the new wing is built – around fall 2018 – students will be moved there while the 1925 building is completed and the 1964 structure is converted into an auditorium. All three structures will be connected once the project is complete.

The C.J. Starr Barn and Carriage House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be rehabilitated in a later phase of the project.

When the school is fully expanded, it will host about 900 students, a quarter of which will come from outside Stamford.

Strawberry Hill has International Baccalaureate program, currently as an extension of Rogers Magnet School.  IB program aims to foster caring, open-minded, communicative thinkers who will help to create a more peaceful world through intercultural understanding.

Standard
CT, Education, real estate, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About Journey… Magnet Schools: Toquam Elementary School

Toquam Magnet Elementary School is located in a residential area of Springdale, tucked behind Dolan Middle School. Toquam just welcomed two new administrators:  Dr Shawn Marinello as Assistant Principal and Jamie Fisco as Administrative Intern.

As one of four magnet elementary schools in the district, their instruction is based on Bank Street Philosophy.  The mission of the Bank Street Program at Toquam is to promote excellence through academic success, positive character development and responsible citizenship for all students.  At Toquam, the key word is RESPECT: respect for yourself; respect for others; respect for your environment. Toquam strives to accomplish this mission through a supportive partnership with the Stamford Public Schools, the home and community.

Social Studies/Science content integration is the core of the Bank Street curriculum.  The study of social studies and science curricula are integrated with literacy and technology throughout the field of study.  Research skills, hands-on activities and educational trips are utilized to enhance our students’ depth of study. Classrooms are child-centered and structured to promote cooperative learning.

BANK STREET PHILOSOPHY

The foundation of Bank Street Program comes from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. The program has been functioning and expanding in Stamford since 1972.

The Bank Street Program at Toquam School encourages individuality, creativity and critical thinking. Our goals are to develop inquisitive, lifelong learners who have the skills necessary to pursue their questions and work towards possible solutions. Toquam aims to provide the children with basic inquiry and research skills. The program also individualize instruction to meet their varied needs and levels of development when appropriate.

In order to help the students broaden their talents and gain confidence in their special abilities, classroom teachers and specialists offer varied opportunities for the children to express themselves through writing, speaking, art, vocal and instrumental music, creative dramatics and physical education. Children learn to express themselves in classroom communities where group discussions expose them to ideas and different ways of thinking. Class meetings build a sense of community and cooperation. A meeting area in each classroom is designed for this purpose.

 

Some of the extra curricular school-wide programs include an Author & Artists Assembly and the Apex Fun Run Marathon.

Go Toquam Tigers!

.

Standard
CT, Education, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About Journey … Magnet Schools: Rogers International School

Rogers Internation School (RIS) is located a mile from Long Island Sound and built on an existing urban brownfield site which was formerly an R&D facility for Proctor and Gamble.  RIS is an inter-district magnet school for PreK-8th grade servicing students from Stamford and surrounding towns with a focus on environmental studies.

This urban school has received multiple awards including the LEED Silver Certification, AIA Connecticut Design Award and the CT Green Building Council Most Intriguing Institutional Award.

The green building, which is integrated into the school’s curriculum, also teaches an awareness of the students’ connection to the earth and their responsibility to care for it.

The design creates a vibrant sense of place and demonstrates ecological stewardship through its four prominent environmental demonstration components: a large intensive green roof for educational use; a rain garden demonstrating the natural filtration process; a rain and stormwater collection system; and wind turbine demonstrating ‘free energy’.

RIS is a community with active volunteers – The Green Team and The Green Action Squad, The Community Pantry.  The Green Team is a group of volunteers who are interested in maintaining the unique environmental features of the school.  They work closely with The Green Action Squad which consists mostly of 3rd & 4th graders. The children develop their own projects based on environmental interests. In the past they have developed programs to educate their peers about recycling, tick identification, and birds on our campus. The Community Pantry is set up to support Roger’s families by providing supplemental groceries. Collections are accepted all year long.

RIS is an authorized participant in the world renowned International Baccalaureate World School working with students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade. The school offers the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). In 2007, the International School at Rogers Magnet received the Lone Pine First Annual Fairfield Academic Gain Award.

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), founded in 1968, is a nonprofit educational organization based in Geneva, Switzerland which provides a broad and challenging education. The programs enable students to acquire important academic skills and to develop an international perspective and a commitment to their communities.

There are three programs:

The Primary Years Program (PYP)  for students aged 3 to 12. Click here for more information.

The Middle Years Program (MYP) for students aged 11 to 16. Click here for more information.

The Diploma Program (DP) for students in the final two years of school before university which we will cover when we take a look at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE).

The 2018-19 lottery for this, and other magnet schools, can be accessed through the Stamford Public Schools website after the 2017-18 school year has begun.

 

For a tour of the school, or to answer any questions on Rogers, or any of the Stamford Schools feel free to contact me.

 

Standard
CT, Education, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About Journey… Magnet Schools: Hart Magnet Elementary

Magnet Schools

As we continue looking at the Stamford Public Schools, we are now going to look at the Magnet School programs.  Each magnet school has a unique focus with innovative programs and theme-based instruction. Hart, Toquam, Westover, Rogers and Strawberry Hill are the elementary magnet schools; Scofield is the middle magnet school and AITE is the high school magnet. These schools offer admission through a lottery system, most of which concentrate on Stamford students, with Rogers & AITE being open to a larger population. We’re starting this series with Hart Magnet Elementary School.

 

Hart is one of five magnet elementary schools and their focus is on science and technology offering additional exposure to science and technology above and beyond the standard Stamford Curriculum.

At Hart Magnet School, each grade level reflects a science theme so that…

Kindergarten are Zoologists

Grade 1 are Biologists

Grade 2 are Botanists

Grade 3 are Geologists

Grade 4 are Ecologists

Grade 5 are Engineers

The school has 3 additional teaching positions, two science specialists and a technology teacher, who see every student on a weekly basis.  There are two labs with computers and several wireless links throughout the building providing fast access. There are also three unique mini-courses offered during the year where students choose a one-week long additional class to enrich and further augment the curriculum in science or technology.

The Five E’s and Science Education

The Hart program is building on the inquiry method of teaching science.

The inquiry process is driven by the learner’s curiosity and sustained by his or her sense of ownership of the process and uses the 5 E Approach. This allows learners to build or construct new ideas on top of what they already know.  Each of the 5 E’s describe a phase of learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate.

The school is situated in downtown Stamford and takes advantage of its location by sharing the diversity of arts offered within the City. Its location provides opportunities for field trips to UCONN Stamford, Stamford Hospital, the Palace Theater, and Mill River Project, to name a few. Hart Magnet is a member of the Mill River Collaboration and the students participate in outdoor classes and hands-on activities while they study the ecosystems.

 

As part of Stamford Public Schools’ STEMfest, https://www.facebook.com/Stamford-STEMfest-201557736716911/, Hart students celebrated “STEAM” – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – with activities that include grade-level field trips to the Barlett Arboretum and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, as well as a visit from the Beardsley Zoo. The school also hosted its third annual STEAM Night where families had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities such as rocket building, tower building and breath-powered car designing.

The school’s philosphy is stated in their misstion statement:

 In partnership with parents and the Stamford community, Hart Magnet School provides its students with a learning environment that ensures a firm foundation in the basics and fosters respect for our diverse population. Hart focuses on technology and an inquiry-based approach to science. The theme of environmental studies allows our students to find a connection between their own community and the world in which they live, creating productive citizens and resourceful, life-long learners.

 

 

 

 

 

Standard