On behalf of our talented and dedicated faculty, I am proud to welcome you to the Simsbury High School website—a tool that we are committed to using increasingly as we communicate with families and other partners in education.
By any measure, Simsbury High School is one of the most successful comprehensive high schools in the state of Connecticut...and well beyond. As a mission-driven school community, we have established overarching goals for our school and our students. These are captured below in our newly revised Mission Statement:
"The mission of Simsbury High School is to help each student realize his/her potential by learning the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that promote both personal fulfillment and civic responsibility."
These are lofty goals indeed, but we are fortunate at Simsbury High School to have the kind of exceptional environment—characterized by its committed educators, passionate and well-rounded students, and supportive parents—that allows us to achieve those expectations on a daily basis.
First and foremost, our school is about building a rich and rigorous academic foundation—a tradition that has marked this institution for decades. We are certainly proud of our high test scores (CAPT, SAT, Advanced Placement, and more), but our real sense of accomplishment comes in the way our students approach their academic pursuits with depth and passion. In recent years, our faculty has engaged in a process of extensive curriculum revision in order to ensure that our offerings are relevant in today's information-saturated world and also that they are emphasizing the crucial skills of critical thinking, problem solving, and group inquiry. A visit to our classrooms would reveal teachers and students working together as they struggle with the "real work" of the discipline at hand. In addition, our school has been able to provide multiple avenues for students to pursue advanced studies in a wide variety of disciplines through AP courses, community partnerships, independent studies, and on-line offerings.
With our current school goal, we are seeking to ensure college and career readiness for all SHS students. Our faculty is engaged in the revision of end-of-course assessments that are designed to measure the kind of 21st century skills that students must demonstrate in each discipline. These performance-based assessments require students to analyze, argue, defend, write extensively, and problem solve, and they are a much better representation of the skills that students will need beyond SHS than could be captured in a traditional assessment. In other aspects of our work on college and career readiness, we are encouraging students to pursue a sustained interest in an elective-area “cluster” (i.e., engineering, biomedical sciences, culinary arts, business and finance) as a means for following their passions. In the longer term, we are committed to the development of a Senior Capstone experience for all students as we believe it is vitally important for students to follow their own interests in-depth, to demonstrate initiative, and to present their original work to others.
As proud as we are of our academic standing, we know how important it is to focus on the whole child. As a way to encourage social and civic responsibility, we ask students to pledge our “Trojan Code.” In doing so, our students affirmatively commit to doing the right things, including adhering to the tenets of an academic integrity policy and providing service to our school community. We are proud of efforts to build character in our students, as we are keenly aware that success in life requires much more than academic skills. Beyond the classroom, Simsbury High School has earned a reputation for providing one of the most extensive co-curricular programs in the nation. Our athletic program is the largest in Connecticut, with offerings for male and female student-athletes that range from the traditional (football, basketball, track, etc.) to the truly unique (crew, badminton, and cross country skiing). We also have award-winning programs in both the visual and performing arts, both of which involve hundreds of student participants. Finally, there is a broad array of other clubs and activities available, and I urge visitors to this site to check out our Daily Notices for frequent news about the extensive activities that occur at SHS.
With our commitment to continuous improvement, we have so much more to share about Simsbury High School and our work over the last few years. Not only have we completed a major renovation and expansion project that added more than 100,000 square feet and state-of-the-art technology to our classrooms, but we have also worked incredibly hard as a school community to meet the demands of our accreditation process conducted by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
As principal of Simsbury High School, I am fortunate to work side-by-side with teachers and students who care deeply about education. In the final analysis, close personal relationships make this a truly great school—one that values its traditions at the same time that it responds to the needs of a changing world.
Neil Sullivan, Principal