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AFLCT + Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools


Arts for Learning Connecticut is excited to be relaunching Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools, a program designed and developed by the CT Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development. 


HOT Schools is a whole-school, deep impact, teaching and learning intervention designed to strengthen school culture, teacher practice, and student engagement through a variety of arts learning strategies. Grounded in social and emotional learning and culturally responsive teaching, this program utilizes a skilled roster of teaching artists to provide professional development, arts-integrated residences, workshops, and performances in K-12 schools across the state. 


In the 2020-21 school year, we are partnering with Church Street Elementary School in Hamden, Ashford School in Ashford, and Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport. With a school portfolio that bridges the urban, suburban, and rural divide, we seek educational equity by serving schools and communities with significant proportions of students who are eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch or who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color.


HOT Schools was created over 2 decades ago by leaders at the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and partnered with dozens of schools and hundreds of teaching artists, serving tens of thousands of students over the years. Beginning in 2019, leaders at COA and AFLCT started working together to envision the next chapter of this nationally-recognized program, which has led to AFLCT relaunching HOT Schools from within our non-profit. We are grateful for the continued support of original HOT Schools leaders including Bonnie Koba and Christopher Eaves.

We are currently working with major funders and institutional supporters across the state—including the CT Office of the Arts—to develop a sustainable future for HOT Schools. Interested school leaders, educators, teaching artists, funders, or potential partners should email AFLCT’s Executive Director, John-Michael Parker, at to begin a conversation.


  • COA
  • Ion Bank
    Ion Bank
  • Community Chest
    Community Chest