Program of Studies

The full Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School Program of Studies is available here.


Course Structure

All courses offered at Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School are college preparatory so that all students are college or career ready. Courses are structured using the following delineations:-

College Preparatory

College Preparatory is designed for college-bound and career-oriented students. The curriculum develops critical skills for college and career readiness and moves at a pace that focuses on content and skills essential to succeed after high school. Students will complete assignments independently and in small groups in a structured class environment and have homework assignments and projects that extend the concepts and skills practiced in class.

Accelerated College Preparatory

Accelerated College Preparatory is designed for students preparing for two- and four-year college. The curriculum develops critical skills for college and career readiness and moves at a moderate pace. Students should evidence a solid interest in learning and work well independently and in groups with teacher direction. Students are capable and willing to put time and effort into their assignments. These courses require daily homework, longer-term projects, and consistent participation in various class activities.


This level is the most academically challenging and it moves at a rigorous pace with nightly homework as well as independent projects. Students in honors courses should possess a strong interest in learning and have a high level of intellectual curiosity. Students are expected to be self-motivated and work well with others. Homework is required to be done on time to ensure participation in daily class discussions.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement courses require students to apply advanced critical thinking and analytical skills that are typical of comparable college-level courses. This guiding Advanced Placement enrollment policy holds true for all Advanced Placement courses and exams, regardless of the grade level in which a student takes Advanced Placement coursework. Advanced Placement courses are specifically designed to provide challenging, college-level coursework for willing and academically prepared high school students. The amount of homework and independent research and reading is significantly more than in other courses. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement exam in the spring. Advanced Placement courses follow specific guidelines and requirements set forth by the College Board. For more information visit the AP Central website: Students taking Advanced Placement courses are required to sign and return this Advanced Placement Student & Parent/Guardian Contract

Early College Courses

Early College courses will be collaboratively taught in by a team of ENSATS instructor(s) and North Shore Community College faculty.  Learning will take place on both the ENSATS and NSCC campus throughout the term of the course (transportation provided). Successful completion of early college course will result in students earning both ENSATS high school credit and NSCC college credit. 

MCAS 2019 Results Presentation

The link below is the presentation Dr. O’Toole presented to the School Committee on October 10, 2019


District Curriculum Accommodation Plan

Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School is an inclusive school where diversities of all types, including learning differences, are respected and embraced. We recognize that all students have individual learning needs. Our classroom instruction is designed to provide all learners with access to our curricula. Our District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) describes accommodations that are available for all students.

State College Standards

This Guide outlines the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education minimum standards for admission to the Commonwealth’s four-year public institutions.


Contact Information

Dr. Thomas O’Toole, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment – ext. 3108

As Director of Academic Programs for Essex North Shore, Tom O’Toole brings more than 25 years of experience as a teacher, counselor, and content director. Tom served as the ELA Lead Developer for all the MCAS English Language Arts tests for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and as a Director of School Partnerships for Project PACE [Performance Assessment Collaboratives for Education] at the Harvard Graduate School of Education responsible for offering PreK-12 teacher trainings in all content areas through the Massachusetts Performance Assessment Program. He served as Chief Reader for the MCAS ELA Composition Scoring Institutes throughout the state.  He has provided content and pedagogy training, workshop facilitation, and graduate instruction to counselors, including his current work with Writing With Colors, an award-winning writing development program that benefits students of all ability levels. At Essex North Shore, Tom directs the teachers and curriculum and assessment development for all academic programs and ensures that school curricula are aligned to the respective Massachusetts curriculum frameworks. Prior to working at Essex North Shore, Tom was the K-12 Director of English and Drama for the Waltham Public Schools. In addition, Tom taught English and writing at Phillips Andover Academy, Boston College High School, Haverford School, and worked with special education students at The Holden School in Charlestown, MA, where he also served as a counselor. At Waltham High School, Tom co-taught screenwriting. Tom O’Toole holds a doctorate in writing development theory from Northeastern University, along with two masters degrees: a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Teaching, English from Brown University, where he was named a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in English at Boston College.  He is a member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Council of Teachers of English, American Psychological Association, and the Massachusetts Council for Social Studies.

Academic Administrative Assistant – Ms. Erin Nestor – ext. 3313