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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?”

 
Graduation Competencies
 
Students will see our graduation competencies (below) in multiple classes and grade levels, but HSC teachers have committed to highlighting specific indicators in each grade. These indicators (standards) provide a scaffolding for academic and personal growth, particularly in the areas of college and career preparation and leadership.