A new magnet school based in Enfield Ct., has a public safety theme, reports the Hartford Courant. The Public Safety Academy, believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation, aims to prepare students for college as well as for careers in policing, firefighting, homeland security, corrections, and emergency medical treatment. Bill Jaeger, the school’s 28-year-old principal, says, “We provide a structured environment and teach the values that are important in public safety. Those skills are transferable to a lot of careers.”
Discipline is clearly the order of the day when Wayne Rioux, the academy’s public safety director who spent three decades in law enforcement, leads the morning exercises, barking out commands such as “ten-hut.” Some days, it’s calisthenics. Some days, the 100 students line up to patrol the school grounds. The school had hoped to open with 150 sixth-, seventh-and ninth-graders – starting as both a middle school and high school this fall – but it didn’t obtain zoning approval until July. Its leaders scrambled and attracted 100 students. Grades will be added each year until the school enrolls sixth- through 12th-graders, and organizers plan to have upperclassmen take college courses and to graduate trained in CPR, first aid, and other public safety areas.