Academy Pathways

  • What is an EHS Academy?

    EHS Academies are not stand-alone schools but consist of an integrated pathway of courses and learning opportunities within EHS.

    Academy students meet the standard graduation course requirements and also participate in Academy pathway requirements.

    EHS offers students the opportunity to participate in three Academy pathways: the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA), the Global Leadership Program (GLP), and the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Academy.


  • AVPA ( is for students who wish to develop a passion for learning through exploration, creation and immersion in the arts.  In addition to a rigorous experience within EHS visual and performing arts courses, students receive intensive exposure to professional artists through an arts lecture series, hands-on workshops and field trips. 

    The internship and capstone courses offer AVPA students immersion into relevant, real-world arts settings. 

    Students who wish to obtain the AVPA endorsement on their EHS diploma may sign up at any time during their high school career, however it is recommended to sign up at the end of 9th grade. 

    AVPA Endorsement Requirements:

    1. Enroll in an AVPA advisory.
    2. Create an AVPA electronic portfolio.
    3. Earn at least three credits in visual and performing arts courses.
    4. Complete the AVPA Internship Course, usually during 11th grade.
    5. Complete the AVPA Capstone Project during 12th grade.
    6. Earn 30 Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO) points by participating in AVPA field trips, Guest Artist workshops, and other advisor-approved ELOs.

    Students interested in AVPA should enroll in a visual or performing arts course as soon as possible.  These courses are: 

    • Art 1
    • Photo 1
    • Clay 1
    • Media Communications
    • Movie Production 1
    • Theater 1
    • Improv
    • Dance: Inclusion Fusio,
    • Advance Dance Studio
    • Chorus
    • Symphonic Band
    • Orchestra or
    • Film Appreciation

    Visual and performing arts teachers can help students with course selection and provide recommendations within a certain area of focus. 

    Please see Fine Arts classes for full course descriptions. 

STEM Academy

  • The STEM Academy ( is designed to support students interested in building a strong foundation in the STEM content areas and to provide students with the opportunity to explore connections across different disciplines through additional experiences. 

    Students who complete all of the components of the STEM Academy will receive the STEM Academy endorsement on their diploma to indicate that they have gone above and beyond in the areas of scientific exploration and creativity.  This program has been created in conjunction with an advisory board consisting of representatives from institutions including UVM, GlobalFoundries and Champlain College. 

    Students who wish to obtain a STEM Academy endorsement may start at any time in their high school career, however it is recommended to sign up at the end of 9th grade.

    STEM Academy Endorsement Requirements:

    1. Enroll in a STEM Advisory.
    2. Create a STEM electronic portfolio.
    3. Students taking 200-level science courses need to complete at least 11 credits of STEM courses. Students taking 100-level science courses need to complete at least 9.5 credits of STEM courses. 
    4. Complete the STEM Internship course, usually during 11th grade.
    5. Complete a STEM Capstone Project during 12th grade. This project will be completed by enrolling in one of the following courses:
      • Designing Solutions to Global Challenges
      • Mobile App Development
      • Experimental Science
      • AP Environmental Science
      • AP Statistics
      • Entrepreneurship
      • Electronics
      • Robotics
      • CTE Engineering courses
      • Independent Study

           6. Attend 10 STEM Lecture Series events or equivalent Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs).

Global Leadership Program (GLP)

  • The Global Leadership Program (GLP) ( - opens in a new browser window) is Essex High School’s newest academy.

    GLP is a flexible combination of globally-focused coursework, internships, experiences and activities that are customized to students’ personal, academic and pre-professional goals. With a focus on cross-cultural competency, leadership development, and language acquisition, the program prepares students for both college and careers in today’s competitive global economy. 

    Upon graduation, students receive a GLP endorsement on their diploma to recognize and reward their pursuit of learning and experiences in fields with an international dimension. Students in all grades (nine through twelve) may apply.

AVPA Courses

  • Required for the AVPA endorsement.

    AVPA Internship

    Course Number F427    .5 Fine Arts credit          Grades 11-12

    The first phase of this course involves a 20 hour pre-employment skills course. The curriculum includes interactive student activities, site visits with businesses, and classroom presentations by professionals and employers. Students learn soft job skills and prepare to be successful at an internship.

    The next phase includes a 40 hour internship with a local business where students gain real world experience and learn hard skills. Instructors track and support students throughout both phases of the course.

    The internship phase necessitates time and transportation outside of the school day.  Students typically take this course in 11th grade. 

    AVPA Capstone Project

    Course Number F428    .5 Fine Arts credit           Grade 12

    This course actively engages students in the learning process by facilitating student-designed projects. 

    This process allows students to learn about themselves and strengthen their organizational skills by moving an idea or dream toward a topic of interest, a post EHS application and/or a community need. 

    It synthesizes previous learning, offers new interactions with ideas and people, results in a showcased product, and submits the student in charge of the project to a review and evaluation by a community panel. 

    The work culminates in a formal presentation to the community. 

    Students are expected to spend at least 40 hours of work on their capstone project. 

STEM Courses

  • STEM Internship

    Course Numbers: Fall M130, Spring M132, or Online M131   .5 Elective    Grades 11-12

    This one semester course is for 11th and 12th grade students who need to meet the internship requirement of the STEM Academy. 

    Pre-employment skills will be taught in conjunction with our Career Center. 

    Students will then participate in a 40 hour internship at a local STEM business. 

    Google Classroom will be used for keeping track of assignments.

    Online Class

    If STEM Academy students are unable to fit the STEM Internship course into their schedule, they may sign up for Course Number M131 (the online option) to earn the 0.5 credit and meet the STEM Academy requirement. 

    Students participating in the online version of this course will meet with the STEM Academy Leader to create a plan for the course and for participation in at least 40 hours of off-campus career experiences. 

    It is also possible to complete the 40 hour internship requirement in the summer. 

    This will require instructor approval and the completion of some preliminary coursework during the previous spring.





Key Global Leadership Program Benefits

    • Skills and knowledge that support future success in a global economy
    • Opportunities to grow a pre-professional network that supports summer internships and jobs, college applications, and valuable experiences through participation in GLP internships, guest lectures, and UVM and other off-campus events
    • Planning for semester or year-long study abroad programs in college
    • Option to complete GLP as a stand-alone academy or concurrently with AVPA or STEM
    • Achievement of advanced level of foreign language proficiency
  • GLP Endorsement Requirements

    To earn the Global Leadership Program Endorsement, students must complete the following:

    • Enrollment in a GLP Advisory
    • Three or more years of study of one world language, which may include study through dual enrollment at a college or university.  (Note: Students whose second language is English may seek a waiver of this requirement.)
    • EHS Internship (Course Number B340 .5 Elective credit).  Note: Students in grade 11 or 12 complete an approximately 40-hour internship, facilitated by the EHS Internship Coordinator, with a GLP employer or organization
    • Two semester (.5 credit) courses or one full year (1 credit) course from the following globally-themed courses list. Note:  These courses may also fulfill graduation requirements.                                       


    • Multicultural Literature (.5)
    • Public Speaking (.5)
    • World Literature (.5)                                                                                      i


    • AP Comparative Government and Politics (.5)
    • AP World History (1.0)
    • Current Issues (.5)
    • Facing History and Ourselves (.5)
    • Introduction to World Geography (.5)
    • World Cultures (.5)


    • Belize Field Study (.5 Natural Science)
    • Designing Solutions to Global Challenges (1.0 Physical Science)

    TED Talk

    • GLP students in grade 11 (and, for the 2018-2019 school year only, grade 12) complete capstone projects in the form of a TED Talk before an audience of peers, friends, family, faculty and the community.
    • Students share their in-depth knowledge about and passion for an important globally-themed topic.
    • TED Talk global themes support post high school graduation goals.  Students research and prepare their presentations with the support of a GLP Faculty Advisor in the Fall of 2018.

    Participation in 10 GLP Events, including but not limited to:

    • Workshops
    • Guest lectures
    • Performances
    • Film series
    • Conferences
    • Forums
    • Podcast Projects
    • Exchange program participation (Tour Guide, Student Ambassador, Student Host, Scholarship student host, Student Traveler, etc.)
    • Off-campus events such as:
    • Rowland Foundation Conference
    • Rotary meetings and/or presentations
    • University of Vermont lecture series and events