By: Sarah Mishkin
Forget the formaldehyde — and no need for a dissection kit either. In Samantha Rowe’s high school science class, students don’t dissect chickens. They incubate chicken eggs, and then, six weeks later, watch as some of the birds are slaughtered.
Rowe attends Common Ground High School, New Haven’s only charter school and also the Elm City’s only school whose campus doubles as a farm. The school, located in the West Rock neighborhood, teaches all the standard high school classes, but does so through the lens of sustainable ecology and environmentalism. The student body is small, only 135 students in total, and many of the students, 90 percent of whom come from New Haven public middle schools, are from disadvantaged backgrounds or struggle academically. Nevertheless, the school maintains a 90 percent college acceptance rate, Oliver Barton, the school’s director, said.