The Significance of Hartford Public High School in Hartford Ct

From its inception in the early 1600’s as a preparatory school for young men (and later women), the Hartford Public High School has been part of the fabric of what comprises Hartford, Connecticut. Reverend Thomas Hooker took the lead in the 1630’s with his school to train young men to enter Puritan ministry. He educated these young men in Latin and English, as well as Scripture. In the early 1800’s, the need for advanced education for young women was recognized, and the Hartford Female Seminary was formed. The first women were admitted to the Hartford Public High School in 1847, although separation of the sexes was enforced.

The Hartford Public High School gained a reputation for excellence and was noted as one of the top secondary schools in the country. Bolstered by efforts on the part of Henry Barnard and Horace Bushnell, an emphasis on business and finance was added to the study of English, Latin, and the Scriptures.

Today, the Hartford Public High School is home to several “Smaller Learning Communities” or academies, each of which develops students for specific pathways. These Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs) are:

* Green Technology & Engineering Academy – a smaller learning community for 10th-12th graders that prepares students for careers in areas of technology. These include: digital photography, desktop publishing, networking, computer refurbishing, design engineering, manufacturing and robotics.

* Freshman Academy – a smaller learning environment to aide students with the transition from middle school to high school.

* Law & Government Academy – a community that focuses on 10th-12th graders interested in attending police and fire academies, pursuing community service or legal careers, or attending colleges and universities. This academy strives to develop strong leaders and offers internships with the city of Hartford.

* Nursing Academy – a program designed for 10th – 12th graders with a focus on health care careers. This academy focuses on career opportunities and offers mentorships, internships, and job shadowing.

These Smaller Learning Communities focus on the math, science and writing courses that help students qualify for a specific area of study in college. They are not designed to be a shortcut to a career, but rather college prep aimed at getting these students into 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.

In better than three and a half centuries, the Hartford Public High school and its forerunners have had one primary objective…developing the intellect of Hartford’s youth and preparing them to be productive and successful in the community at large – and to make Hartford a place of inspiration for others. The legacy of the second oldest secondary school in the United States can be found in a list of “Notable Alumni,” which includes graduates of Ivy League universities such as Harvard and Yale and other major universities throughout the U.S., Pulitzer Prize winners, mayors of Hartford, Governors of Connecticut, presidents and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, a Tuskegee Airman, authors, actors, artists, scientists, missionaries, and more.

Clearly Hartford Public High School is fulfilling the mission set forth in 1638 by Thomas Hooker and perpetuated such leaders as Henry Barnard and Horace Bushnell. This institution continues to pave the way for future generations to be productive contributors to the livelihood and development of not only Hartford, but also New England, the United States, and throughout the world.