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King-Robinson International Baccalaureate School

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 150 Fournier Street
 New Haven, CT 06511
Grades: PreK-8
School website 

January 2013.  As a prospective parent of a kindergartener, I was very impressed by visiting King-Robinson and in particular their partial French bilingual program.  KR is an International Baccalaureate pre-K through 8th grade school which focuses on global awareness/understanding and student led inquiry.  All students take a foreign language – either French or Spanish.  In addition, one class in each grade (currently from K-2nd grade, but adding a grade each year) is part of the French immersion program where students have three hours a day of French instruction for their social studies and science classes.  Observing kindergarteners and first grade kids in the French immersion program was quite awe inspiring – they responded to rapid fire French instructions from their teacher, jumping, dancing, singing in French and reading confidently from a French story.  Middle school students who led the tour were confident and engaging, and commented how KR was different from other New Haven public schools they had attended.   Cons: like other NH public elementary schools, recess is limited to 15 minutes a day in the elementary grades, and is suspended entirely during the several months of standardized test prep.  After getting in to KR through the magnet lottery, not all students who want to be in the French program can get in.  The teachers said that admission is based on an oral interview, social skills, PreK grades if the student was already at King Robinson, and a lottery.  Students find out if they are part of the French program by June.  M.D., prospective parent

September 2012.  Why you chose the school: Because of the French partial immersion program (more details here).

Any special information about getting in? Lottery system

What’s great about the school? It’s an International Baccalaureate school with an expanding French partial immersion program.

A.B., parent

June 2011.  My daughter attends the PreK3 program at King/Robinson. My daughter was quite verbal as a toddler, and I was very pleased with how her PreK3 teacher has helped develop her reading skills. In my case, King/Robinson’s emphasis on academics has served our daughter well, because reading has given her new ways to see the world and occupied her curious mind. Other positives include diversity, not only in terms of US ethnicities but internationally as well–since King/Robinson is an international baccalaureate school, it seems to attract a wonderful array of international families. While I have felt several individual teachers to be lacking a certain je ne sais quoi, overall the staff at K/R is friendly and committed. The administrators are responsive. And again, her current teacher is great!

My daughter will attend the PreK4 program at King/Robinson next year. While some of the privates may offer more enrichment, it would be hard to find a better value in PreK education than K/R.

However, looking beyond the early grades, I cannot say how long our daughter will stay. Test scores are not high at King/Robinson, which means that teachers feel pressure to prep for the CMTs. Given my daughter’s need to be challenged academically, I imagine she will outpace many of her peers and that we’ll ultimately seek a school that is more freed up to devote energy to things like academic enrichment, extracurriculars and development of the whole student.

-Kenna B., parent

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