New London school changes blindsided some parents

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)–This new school year started with some new changes in New London and some new concerns for parents.

The Early Childhood Learning Center at Harbor School is a brand new concept. It offers only Pre-K and kindergarten classes.

But Evelyn Johnson, who thought her son Ezekiel was going into the dual language program at Jennings School, a magnet school in New London, recently found he was instead sent to Harbor School.

“There was no communication. I had to find out. I called them and then I went to the Board of Ed,” Johnson said.

In an email to News 8 she wrote: “My son will not be attending the school we had chosen due to the overload of kindergarteners they accepted from other towns.”

News 8 went to the Harbor School looking for answers. We found out only dual language kindergarten classes were moved there with the same curriculum and same teaching team as Jennings. News 8 also learned her son didn’t get moved because of out of city students.

Miriam Morales Taylor, the Interim Administrator at the Early Childhood Learning Center at Harbor School says, “We don’t take out of district students at Jennings. Jennings has an intra magnet lottery so they are students only from New London.”

Johnson’s other concern was also spelled out in the email saying: “They opened a run down school which has been closed because rumors of mold.”

We asked Taylor, “Is this school safe?” She answered, “Of course. We will not bring kids to this place if we are not 100 percent sure it is safe.”

The school has new carpeting, new floors in the auditorium, and new air conditioners, but it also has a shorter school day some parents did not expect.

Johnson says she now has to rush home earlier to pick her son up from school. He gets out of Harbor School at 2:45. He would have been in school until 4:15 at Jennings School.

Harbor School may have one advantage.

In addition to having the dual language program at there it also has the Arts program and the STEM program which are at the other magnet schools in the city and having them all in one building allows the younger students to figure out if they want to stay in the program they’re in or maybe switch to another one.

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