Grade 9


This required course introduces students to the Spanish language by learning Spanish in preparation for the workplace. Students learn vocabulary and concepts of basic grammar acquisition, allowing them to communicate information about themselves and others using simple sentences, both orally and in writing. The practice of all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, helps students solidify their acquisition of the Spanish language. Active participation in class activities and completion of homework assignments are required.


This required course is designed for students who have successfully studied Spanish in middle school and will continue to develop their Spanish-speaking skills with a focus on the workplace. Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are developed through grammar acquisition, oral presentations, dialogs, as well as reading and writing assignments. Students will be expected to respond in Spanish to questions posed by their peers and their teacher, to write conversations and dramatize them. Connections to the workplace will be presented in class through videos, music and selected readings from a variety of sources.


Targeted Academic Seminar is a required course for students based on data who need to receive customized academic support to transition successfully to the academic expectations of Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School.  Students will be assigned to either English language arts or mathematics and taught by content-specific teachers. Students will learn how to analyze and solve problems using appropriate strategies. A variety of test-taking strategies will be presented to give students the tools required to successfully complete various types of assessments. At the beginning of the year, an individualized plan based on diagnostic assessments will be designed for each student with ongoing benchmark measures to monitor student progress. 


Grade 10


Financial Literacy is essential in meeting the financial challenge of the 21st Century with understanding and managing personal finances the key to one’s future financial success. Based on the Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework (2017) learning standards, this course teaches students to apply the knowledge and skills to various financial situations they will encounter later in life to make critical decisions regarding personal finances. Students will learn money management, savings and investing, income, and spending strategies. This course will teach students to identify and prioritize their personal money management goals, develop personal spending, savings, and investing plans, tax implications and understand the cost of using credit along with asset protection.


This course is required for students who are identified through data as being in jeopardy of not meeting the standard for the Grade 10 MCAS English Language Arts, Mathematics, or Biology tests. Areas of study will include the following: developing test-taking strategies, writing text-based essays (for ELA) or open responses (for Mathematics or Biology), computer-based testing practice, and targeted improvement based on diagnostic assessments.


 This elective course is designed to provide tenth-grade students with a basic knowledge of the purpose, structure, and operation of the national and state governmental systems. The primary content of study is the Federal system and its underlying principles as they are related to National, State, and local levels.  This course will be a thought-provoking exploration taught through the lens of current events into the United States Government and Politics. We will cover such topics as the Constitution, civil rights, interest groups, politics, voting, Congress, the Presidency, the Judiciary, laws, public policies, state & local government.

Grade 11


Spanish 1 begins a 2-year introduction to the Spanish language and culture. Students will practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Spanish. Students will learn a variety of vocabulary words across many topics, basic grammar concepts such as present-tense verbs, forming sentences, and the use of gender in the language. A variety of cultural topics will be covered, including but not limited to, the dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, the Running of the Bulls, Las Fallas, and Tomatina Festivals in Spain, explorers Ponce de Leon and Hernan Cortes, as well as artists Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, and Frida Kahlo. Students will celebrate the Mexican holidays of Cinco de Mayo and el Dia de los Muertos. Projects completed will be creative menus, written reports, and oral presentations.


This elective course is designed to introduce students to the legal system, focusing on landmark American trials, key constitutional cases, and current legal issues related to business, employment, and the workplace. Additional topics include computer law, financial crimes, contracts and business organization. The course design and approach are to learn law in a practical, relevant, and experiential way through a case-study approach. The class blends legal content with hands-on learning that allows for students to read critically, to discuss interpretations of law and to debate with the goal of helping students understand their rights and responsibilities under the laws so they can function as responsible citizens in their professional and personal lives.


This elective course is focused on the foundational skills necessary for students to be successful career pathway.  Many students will secure coop placements with local companies in a field they wish to pursue beyond high school. In-school co-op placements are also arranged, and juniors remaining in the building have the chance to work on contracted work such as setting up social media accounts and performing bookkeeping for local businesses. Students can also pursue advanced certifications to further their employment opportunities or take the next steps to launch a product they have developed in their CTE area.


This new math elective will introduce students to the basics of computer programming. Students will learn using Python, a relatively new and widely used programming language both in industry and academia. The concepts learned with Python are easily transferable to other popular languages such as C++ and Java. Students will use the concepts they learn to create their own programs to solve complex problems or increase the speed and efficiency of tasks performed on a computer. Topics to be covered will include the basics of programming, conditional statements, loops, vectors, strings, cells, and a cursory overview of object-oriented programming. The class will be largely project-based, where students are given a problem or task that they need to create a program to solve.


This is a lab-based course designed to give students an in-depth look at the world of forensics. Students will be introduced to the basic application of science to the law. Students will learn how forensic scientists combine today’s technology with the skills of the scientific community in order to help solve crimes. Topics covered include crime scene evaluation, fingerprinting, and DNA analysis; and the examination of current cases as they relate to these topics.  

Grade 12


Spanish 2 continues and solidifies the introduction to the Spanish language and culture with more extended vocabulary and grammar concepts. Students will continue to practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Spanish. Students learn how to conjugate stem-changing verbs in the present tense, as well as both types of past-tense verbs. The cultural topics covered in Spanish 2 are largely based on the geography and description of life in the 19 Spanish-speaking countries of Latin & South America. Other cultural topics covered will include, but are not limited to, the Dirty War in Argentina, Latin American Immigration to the United States, ancient civilizations like the Aztec and Maya, as well as Jose Marti and his poetry. Students will celebrate the Mexican holiday of el Dia de los Muertos in more depth by creating their own ofrendas or alters, and will also celebrate Dominican Republic’s Independence Day. Projects completed will be poem recitations, creative travel brochures, and oral presentations.


This elective course examines the 20th century as “the century of genocide,” beginning with the Armenian genocide, the horrors of the Holocaust, and ending with the atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda and the violence in Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Northern Iraq. We will consider many questions in this course: What is genocide? Where did the term come from and how has it been defined and examined over time? What conditions lead to genocide? What are the warning signs? What allows people to act in such evil ways and what causes others to stand by? How is genocide represented, coped with, and remembered? How can it be prevented? Which genocides have been emphasized, and which have been overlooked? We will explore these and other ideas through a historical lens, with critical review of primary sources and research, and through a literary lens, with first-hand accounts and survivor testimony.


This elective is designed to prepare students for the content and discourse they will encounter in a college-level psychology course. The foundation of the course centers on helping students to develop familiarity with the terminology and concepts of psychology with an emphasis on how psychology is applied to real-world situations. Topics include but are not limited to the history to psychology, the brain and behavior, learning and memory, consciousness, psychological disorders, and a general understanding of human behavior. Students are eligible to take this course junior or senior year, but not both.


This elective course examines United States history from a world context and extends the sequence of United States History from Grades 10 and 11, by examining the major events in U.S. and World History from the 1970s to the present. Major units include Watergate, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Reagan Years, the Collapse of Communism and the Rise of the New World Order, Clinton and the New Democrats, Bush and the Age of Terrorism, Obama’s Hope and Change, Europe and the Migrant Crisis, and Globalism and the Rise of Populism.  Understanding history relies on evidence-based thinking to construct interpretations of past events and is guided by giving students direct access to sources of documentary evidence. As in previous years, to promote historical reasoning students will continue to refine their critical reading and analytical writing, source evaluation, use of primary source documents, ability to make claims, evidence, and interpretation, and research methods. 


This is a lab-based course designed to give students an in-depth look at the world of forensics. Students will be introduced to the basic application of science to the law. Students will learn how forensic scientists combine today’s technology with the skills of the scientific community in order to help solve crimes. Topics covered include crime scene evaluation, fingerprinting, and DNA analysis; and the examination of current cases as they relate to these topics.  

Additional Courses

Academic Seminar

The Academic Seminar is designed to support the academic learning and organizational needs of students seeking additional support to complete their academic coursework at Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School.  In addition to providing students with focused in-school time to continue working on their academic coursework assignments, the Academic Seminar classroom also provides explicit instruction in organizational strategies and ongoing support to help students successfully complete their academic work. With that in mind, the daily classroom protocols must (a) maximize instructional time, (b) create a supportive, predictable environment, and (c) foster self-regulating learning skills. Students taking Academic Seminar courses are required to sign and return this Academic Seminar Student & Parent/Guardian Contract

Career Enrichment

All grade 10, 11, and 12 students will receive one trimester of Career Enrichment during their CTE week.

Career Enhancement is a one-trimester course exposing students to the foundational skills in the areas of employability, management, business communication, and technology. This course addresses the Vocational Technical Education Framework Standardized Strand 4 (Employability and Career Readiness), Strand 5 (Management & Entrepreneurship), and Strand 6 (Technological). As part of the course, students will study employability, professionalism, communication, research, digital citizenship, along with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Discontinued Courses

Academic Skills Seminar (Grade 9)

This course is a requirement for all freshman. It consists of a rotating schedule with a different content focus for each trimester (one trimester each of literacy, mathematics, and science). Students take all three with the same group. Content for the course is based on Pre-Advanced Placement curriculum. Materials provide students with the deep content knowledge and essential critical thinking skills necessary to meet Standards and to be prepared for college success. In English, lessons train students to identify relevant textual support for an idea and how to evaluate arguments based on the quality of evidence and the validity of the reasoning. English lessons guide students through the process of connecting a writer’s’ choice of words, phrases, punctuation, and syntax to create the desired meaning within a text. Mathematics lessons take students beyond the standard skill-based approach to a conceptual understanding of mathematics. By incorporating many concepts into one lesson and by presenting questions in a variety of modalities, students are engaged in interesting activities that require them to think, to reason, and to engage in mathematical inquiry. Students are encouraged to explain their solutions and to verbalize their thinking processes. In Science, students develop a series of thinking skills. They progress from acquiring facts to being able to analyze and evaluate various pieces of scientific information. The science materials are content-based with an emphasis on laboratory skills and the integration of mathematics, technology, and the graphing calculator into the science classroom.

Project-Based Learning Lab (Grade 11)

This elective is designed to have grade 11 students during their academic week work collaboratively with a specific CTE project to develop and implement connections between academics and technical/agricultural learning.  The focus for this course will be a campus-based sustainability project to improve water quality while restoring the pond pathway and surrounding areas that will one day be open to Essex North Shore students as well as to the public.  Students in the Project-Based Learning Lab will support students in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Technology to manage resources involving ecology and conservation in the development of this legacy project.  While students do not have to be in either Natural Resources Management or Environmental Technology tech areas, it will help to have a general interest in this project and a willingness to help it be a success. This elective is open only to students in their junior year.