Welcome to Shawsheen Tech!

  • You're about to learn about 14 different and exciting careers out of the 22 Shawsheen offers! The 9th-grade exploratory program is part of the admissions process and governed by the SVTHS Admissions Policy approved by the School Committee and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Shawsheen Valley Technical High School admits students and makes available to them its advantages, privileges and course of study, without regard to race, color, gender, religion, gender identity, national origin, sexual identity, sexual orientation, disability or homelessness status.

    What is Exploratory? Exploratory is a 28-week process where 9th-grade students have the opportunity to explore 14 different career and vocational/technical programs.

    One period is designated for the related portion of said vocational/technical program, which covers the safety and learning about all aspects of the industry. Students engage in a full week (30hours) in the career and technical shop/lab completing hands-on projects and activities.

    How do students Select the 14 Career and Vocational/Technical Programs for Exploration? The exploratory schedule is based on the students’ rank-ordered choices identified on their application. Students are assigned additional programs to ensure exposure to non-traditional career areas.

    How does the Exploratory Impact Career and Vocational/Technical Shop Placement? Students are graded in both the related coursework (25%) and shop/lab performance (75%) by the instructors. Instructors use a rubric that identifies aptitudes and abilities to perform in the career and technical area. At the end of the explore process, students are ranked by a score for each vocational/technical program. Doing well in all exploratories is important since overall exploratory grade average can impact selection.

    How is a student Placed in their Career and /Vocational/Technical Program? Students are asked to rank their top three choices twice during the 9th-grade year. This is paired with career planning activities to provide them with an opportunity to explore the different aspects of the careers they are interested in.  At the end of the explore experience students pick their final three choices. Students are then placed by interest and by grade. Roughly 90% of the students are admitted into their 1st choice and approximately 95% get their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice. 

    What if I don’t get a Career and Vocational/Technical Program I am interested in? Students who are not placed in a vocational/technical program they are interested in will be placed on a waitlist for that Career and Vocational/Technical area. The students may have an opportunity to transfer into that shop throughout the 10th-grade year if an opening arises.

    Have more questions? Contact your 9th-grade Guidance Counselor.