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.