By Ken Krayeske • 8:06 AM EST
Kids who want to learn get chewed up in the public school system, said Patrick Moore, the head of the new Covenant Preparatory School in Hartford.
Covenant, a private, rigorous middle school, will begin operations this week, on the corner of Farmington and Broad streets in the old YWCA facility.
A year ago, Moore had a vision to start an intensive academic experience for high-performing yet at-risk Hartford students. He had no building, no money.
“No nothing,” Moore said. Moore hails from Canton. He attended Holy Cross College in Worcester, and considered law school. But then he spent a year volunteering as a teacher in a Covenant Prep School in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
That year turned into four, and those four years stoked the fire for Moore to replicate the successful Covenant model in Hartford. Jesuit brothers in the lower east side of New York City started the Covenant model 37 years ago, and now more than 65 Covenant Schools dot the American urban landscape.
“I’ll never be able to give back what this school has given me,” Moore said. “This is my passion. I had it pretty good. I was fortunate to grow up in Canton.”
So Moore is trying to give back, and he is not worried that 15 students fifth and sixth grades that will start this week won’t trust him, a white idealistic suburbanite.
“These students are smarter than we give them credit for,” Moore said. “They know I am here to work for them.”