One of the five standing committees of the Madison Board of Education is the Curriculum and Student Development committee. The innovative classes, programs, and educational experiences our students enjoy are a product of the hard work of our teachers and administrators who develop Madison’s curriculum and bring it to the committee for review and comment prior to adoption.
Our district ranks 9th in Connecticut in math on the SAT, and 10th in reading and writing. Our students get into great colleges and universities, with 24% of all applications to the most competitive colleges accepted and 68% of applications to highly competitive colleges accepted. Few Connecticut towns outside Fairfield county have these results.
Our students at Daniel Hand High School (DHHS) filled 620 Advanced Placement course seats last year, and of those who took AP tests, nearly 80% earned a score that is the equivalent of a passing college grade. In our Early College Experience/UCONN program, 95% of the students enrolled earned UCONN credit, totaling 463 individual UConn courses. Students who participate in these programs are learning at a high level and getting ahead in college while they’re still in high school.
Last year we also began innovative Independent Study courses that allow students to design their own academic experience. Teachers guide students as they explore their interests, conduct research, build projects, and anything else they can dream of, ultimately presenting to a panel of real-world experts for feedback, which models a collegiate or professional experience.
At DHHS, a trimester model is used, which is predominantly seen in highly regarded private high schools, enabling students to follow personal passions and interests. Many college-level and elective offerings are available. Students are studying Spanish, French, Latin, and Mandarin. They choose from Social Studies electives like Sports and American Culture, or the Modern Middle East. They take multi-year TV studio courses and enjoy broad arts offerings like digital animation, movie making, and clay and innovative forms. Science electives include Biotechnology, Marine Science, and Infectious Diseases. And we’re very proud that the Technology and Engineering Education program was selected as the 2019 CTEEA high school program of the year.
Many supports are also available to our students to help them succeed and lead a balanced lifestyle, guided by the District's commitment to the whole child. Most courses have small class sizes, allowing for significant teacher attention to each student. As students navigate their personal goals, they enjoy a low guidance counselor to student ratio. And math and language arts learning labs are open every period of the school day to provide additional on-demand supports to students.
At Daniel Hand, there is truly something for everyone, and that extends to extracurricular activities as well. Nearly 80% of the student body participates on an athletic team. We have competitive teams in robotics as well as e-sports, and there are over 80 clubs across a wide variety of interests. The arts scene is thriving at Hand with regional award winning student artists, a theater program which includes over 100 students, and the nationally-recognized show choir, Vibe. These content-rich curricular and co-curricular experiences help us meet our district vision – that we will develop joyful and passionate learners by fostering every student’s diverse talents and abilities.
To learn more about the many educational opportunities at the high school please visit the district curriculum website.