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ACADEMICS AT HSC
 
HSC offers a comprehensive high school curriculum enhanced by access to dynamic electives and arts classes, college courses, seven Advanced Placement (AP) classes, independent study opportunities, and co- and extra-curricular experiences. Our academic programming prepares our students to be leaders and to achieve success in higher education.

Using a project-based approach to assessment, HSC offers students multiple opportunities to demonstrate their growth and understanding of core skills and content in all classes. Our benchmark assessment in 10th grade is a Social Justice Symposium and in 12th is our Project HSC Capstone, but it’s the daily work in their classes that prepares our students for these larger projects. Because of our commitment to helping our students develop the skills necessary for success in the 21st century, our students are empowered to put original initiatives into action, becoming change makers before they’ve even received their high school diplomas. Past Project HSC Capstones have included an award-winning safety plan for a local swimming program, a workshop to increase elementary students’ self-esteem, and original and cutting-edge research around housing instability.

Our mastery-based learning program ensures that students truly understand the content and skills introduced in our classes. HSC has been on the forefront of the mastery movement in Connecticut, joining schools throughout New England and beyond in developing personalized, flexible, and authentic learning experiences that prepare students for navigating a global community.

The most noticeable difference between mastery-based learning and traditional assessment lies in our grading system. In a mastery-based system, graduation is based upon measurable and explicit learning outcomes. We use a 1 to 4 grading scale rather than traditional letter grades for two reasons: 1) to move away from “getting” certain grades and instead ground our work in a growth mindset and 2) to align with a traditional GPA scale that’s easy for colleges and universities to understand.

As a result of the rigorous academic work at HSC, in recent years our students have been accepted to schools such as Howard University, Boston College, Yale University, NYU, The New School, Quinnipiac University, UCONN, SCSU, and more.

For more information about mastery-based learning, visit the Connecticut State Department of Education page, “What is Mastery-Based Learning?”

MASTERY PERFORMANCE LEVELS
 
4 – Exemplary
Student has proven expertise in course material and is ahead of course pace. Student is on track to finish this course and might move on to the next course level before the academic year has ended.

3.5 – Approaching Exemplary 
Student has proven some expertise in course material and is ahead of course pace.

3 – Competent (Mastery) 
Student has proven mastery through demonstration of quality work and has maintained course pace. Currently on pace to earn credit. 

2.5 – Approaching Competency 
Although completed work may show mastery of skills, student has not yet met all course expectations. 

2 – Emerging 
Student has developed some understanding, but has not demonstrated mastery of course content and skills. Without additional academic support student may not finish course material by the end of the academic year. 

1.5—Beginning 
Student has completed some work demonstrating a beginning understanding of course content. Student is not on course pace and will require substantial academic support in order to reach mastery and complete course work by the end of the academic year. 

1 – Novice
Student has demonstrated little or no understanding of course content and skills. At current pace, student will not complete the course by the end of the academic year.