FAQ
Is the design of the school meant to be a collegiate approach to room and space usage, in which teachers do not own their classrooms?

Yes, this was discussed and agreed to by district administration. The intent was that no teacher “owns” a classroom, but with careful scheduling, it is possible for teachers to reside in the same classroom for several back-to-back class periods. This will need to be managed by the School administration.

Will the Doc Hurley Field House be renovated?

Yes. The district is working closely with Office of School Construction Grants and Review to determine how to best renovate the Doc Hurley Field House. Hartford Public Schools Athletics has gathered input from Weaver coaches, student-athletes, CIAC and multiple governing bodies of sports ensure the renovations will fit the needs of Weaver’s athletic programs and make the Doc Hurley Field House facility suitable for multi-sport competition.

Why are there 400 students in Kinsella – wasn’t the original agreement for 300 students in each of the schools?

Legislation granting 95% reimbursement required that an existing, approved magnet School be incorporated into the project. The only high School magnet program that was in search of space was Kinsella, which had an enrollment of 400 students in the state approved operations plan. To function according to the educational plan, Kinsella needed to continue as a 400 student program.

What is the allocation of square footage for each school and how was it determined?

Several programming meetings were conducted with a district administrative team led by the superintendent and COO, which also included the principals and staff for each school program. Specialty spaces for each program were determined according to academic requirements of the specialized programs and were scrutinized by the design team and district administration to maximize shared use of certain rooms. The net square feet of specialty space by program is:

  • Journalism & Media Academy: 3,742,
  • High School, Inc. – Hartford’s Insurance and Finance Academy: 5,066;
  • Kinsella Magnet High School of the Performing Arts: 12,772.

None of these areas are restricted to a particular school enrollment and much of this specialized space is intended and designed to be used of all three schools and the community, for example, the Black Box Theatre and the Auditorium.

What, if any, typical spaces of a traditional neighborhood high school are missing because of Kinsella and its design requirements being added?

None come to mind. General academics are supported by six well-appointed Science classroom/labs and seventeen academic classrooms. Special Education curriculum is supported by three Special Education classrooms, an Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy classroom and Special Education office, conference and testing spaces. Additionally, student support services are addressed via two dedicated EL (English Learner) classrooms. The School has a very large gymnasium with supporting locker rooms (exclusive of the field house wing which includes athletic team locker rooms, fitness room, coach’s offices, and natatorium), very large auditorium and main stage, cafeteria & food service kitchen and media center. A music curriculum is supported by the two instrumental classrooms and a choral classroom. A drama program is supported by the main stage, black-box theater, dance, drama, musical theater and costume studios. A tech-ed curriculum is supported by the CAD (computer-aided design) lab/model building classroom, computer lab and stage craft spaces. A visual arts curriculum is supported by a computer graphic arts room and more conventional 2D/3D Wet art room and ample student project storage space.

How will students access the seat opportunities at the new Weaver Campus?

Hartford Public Schools (HPS) is an all Choice District that enables families to select the schools that best meet the needs of the child’s interest and learning. The Weaver High School campus will offer a rich variety of opportunities for citywide selection, access and opportunity.

Students will access seats in the following manner:

  • All schools will be part of the annual marketing and recruitment efforts undertaken by the Office of School Choice informing Hartford resident families and those of the Greater Hartford Region of the opportunities and options available at Hartford Public Schools.
  • All families will apply for their transitional 8″ grade students through the current lottery application systems (HPS & RSCO) for access to available seats at the new Weaver Campus. Each school will be offered as a separate option, enabling families to select more than one school option within the Weaver Campus.
  • Families will apply through HPS District Choice Application when applying for High School, Inc. and Journalism and Media Academy seats. Families will use the RSCO Magnet School Application when applying for Kinsella Magnet School of the Performing Arts.
  • Suburban Resident Families seeking to access Open Choice seats at the Weaver Campus will apply through the RSCO Magnet School Application.
  • All schools will offer traditional preferences to Hartford residents including but not limited to: neighborhood, Zone, sibling, and staff.
  • An additional Pathway preference will be added for students that will attend the Weaver Campus from identified “feeder schools’ where the learning theme and instruction is aligned. For example, Kinsella elementary students will have a pathway to the Kinsella High School program.
  • The number of seats available annually will be determined by the Design Specifications and Operations Plans of the schools. Kinsella Magnet will also be subject to the Compliance Standard and Operation Plan approved by the State Department of Education under the Sheff v. O’Neil stipulated agreement.
Wifi specs: How many wireless access points are being built into the school and how was the number determined? How does the wifi compare to what is found in other newly constructed schools?

The data network designed for the school includes wired and wireless networks. In general, there is a minimum of one access point per classroom, but ubiquitous coverage has been provided throughout the renovated portion of the building. The data networking design has been carefully reviewed with MHIS and meets, or exceeds their requirements. The data network design represents the current state of the art development for Schools.

Bus lane: Will staff and students who park cars have to cross either parent drop off or bus lanes to get in? Does the bus lane being double wide in the front of the school mean that student will be walking between buses as they board and depart? And if so, what are the safety implications?

Student and building occupant/visitor safety is paramount in any School site design and the Weaver design employs several strategies to maximize safety. A raised crosswalk is provided across from the main entrance and at both ends of the bus lane. Site fences are installed in the landscaped islands between the parking and bus lane, such that pedestrians can only cross the bus lane at the raised crosswalk locations. Buses are not permitted to queue on the crosswalks. Additionally, pavement markings will be provided for crosswalk lanes for students exiting buses on the outside lane to walk at the front of the adjacent parked buses. The same approach, fencing in the landscaped island directing pedestrians to cross the parent drop off lane at a single raised crosswalk, is used at the eastern parking lot. As with any School, Student arrival and departure sequence will need to be managed by school administration daily.

Was a grass field considered? What is the difference in costs between the artificial turf field and grass field?

Natural grass was considered, but synthetic turf was requested by the district. Natural turf is more difficult to maintain in the context of state pesticide regulations for schools and will also require an irrigation system. The cost differential is approximately S350,000. With synthetic turf, students will be able to use the field year round. MultipleSports such as football, Soccer, lacrosse and field hockey can be played without having to rest the field.

Revised-June 23, 2017