An increasing population in the late 1950’s and 1960’s necessitated the opening of Stamford’s fourth junior high school, Turn of River (TOR) which officially opened in September 1963.
The school is located on Vine Road, hidden in a quiet suburban neighborhood, yet close to the hustle bustle of the City. The neighborhood features many different personalities and home styles and TOR students reflect this with a rich mixture of nationalities. TOR students learn from one another’s backgrounds and cultures, and thrive in a dynamic, all-inclusive school setting. TOR offers a comprehensive educational program as well as a nurturing environment for students.
TOR aims to help children acquire academic skills as well as to become life-long learners. In partnership with home and community, TOR is dedicated to the goal of academic, artistic, athletic, and character education, as well as developing children into responsible and caring individuals. The school continues to set high standards of academic excellence, community responsibility and a sincere concern for its students. TOR is committed to teaming, interdisciplinary instruction, and a 21st Century Curriculum, all designed to meet the needs of the early adolescent.
Turn of River offers a diversified program of extracurricular activities: intramural sports, community service, specialized instruction in art and music, world languages, yearbook, and a wide variety of after school clubs – yoga, student council, Rachel’s Challenge, Soul Writers, and Math Counts—to name a few. The school also offers an after-school tutorial program in reading and math, as well as providing an environment for students to complete homework with assistance four times a week. One of the many features of the school are it’s outstanding athletic fields.
Across from TOR, is the Harry Bennett Branch of the Ferguson Library, which is a great place for students to do their homework, research for a project or just sit down to enjoy great books in their collection. The Ferguson Library offers classes and programs including after school homework help, book group and craft class plus Teen Cooking Class whose topics range from baking your own pizza to learning about nutrition and healthy eating.
This middle school has been recognized by College For Every Student (CFES) as a “School of Distinction” for its programs to promote student mentoring, community service and college-path emphasis. Cloonan is the only school in the country to receive this national honor seven years in a row!
Located in the Mid City section of Stamford within close proximity of downtown setting the school’s urban vibe, with its economically and ethnically diverse community. Cloonan is a short walk to downtown, making for easy access to what our great City offers and allowing students to enrich their learning experience through relatable field trips. The school also backs up to Scalzi Park which gives access to wonderful playing fields. In fact, the Bulldogs ended the 2016 campaign a perfect 7-0, they also defeated New Haven TWICE. What a FANTASTIC accomplishment … 9-0 … Congrats !!!
Cloonan offers numerous programs to the students. Scholar Power Series, after school STEAM Academy, after school clubs, intramural competition in eight sports and participates in the Special Olympics plus music and arts programs. Cloonan also participates in many community service projects, and their student-designed anti-bullying program has become a model adopted across the country by CFES.
Cloonan science teacher, James Forde was honored by the White House, being selected as “Champion of Change for Computer Science Education” last year. He is a former Stamford Public School’s Teacher Of the Year and an active science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education advocate. The school was also home to the famous Stamford egg-drop experiment where students’ goal was to find a way to keep an egg from cracking after being dropped from a fire truck ladder. This annual event was orchestrated by former teacher Sal Buchetto who was best known for his “Pop-up” style of science education, in which he strove to make the material he taught pop up off the page, favoring experimentation over textbooks. These are just 2 examples of the innovative teaching that takes place at Cloonan.
“Cloonan Middle School recognizes that in our diverse community, each child is an individual and has an inherent capacity for learning. Cloonan’s mission is to create a safe and nurturing environment of learning excellence for early adolescents in which all stakeholders work as partners to equip students with the knowledge, skills, character, compassion, confidence and desire to build successful lives and communities.”