Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools

Arts for Learning Connecticut has adopted the nationally-renowned Higher Order Thinking Schools, a whole-school, deep impact, teaching and learning program.

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 program designed to enrich school culture, expand teacher practice, and improve student engagement through a variety of arts learning strategies. Grounded in Social and Emotional Learning, Culturally Responsive Teaching, and Multiple Intelligence Theory, 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. 

As we navigate a path through this paradigm shift in education, arts infused teaching and learning remains critical to our resilience. Higher Order Thinking Schools cultivates creative and collaborative thinking to help steer our way. 


—Christopher Eaves, Director, HOT Schools

In the 2021-22 school year we are partnering with five schools. 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 in search of expanded impact and a sustainable future for HOT Schools.

Special thanks to the generous supporters of this program, including: the CT Office of the Arts, a division of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation; the George and Grace Long Foundation; The Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust, Near & Far Aid, and the City of Bridgeport (enabling our work in Bridgeport, Fairfield County); The Harry Chapin Foundation and NewAlliance Foundation (enabling our work in New Haven); the Ion Bank Foundation (enabling our work in Hamden); the CT Community Foundation and Red Rhino Foundation (enabling our work in Waterbury); the Elizabeth Carse Foundation; and Carol Bailey and Laurie Desmet.

Our five HOT Schools for 2021-22:

Church St Elementary

PK-6 school in Hamden

Ashford School

PK-8 school in Ashford

Warren Harding High

9 – 12 school in Bridgeport

Outside Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy at 360 Columbus Ave. on Tuesday, August 9. Esteban L. Hernandez-New Haven Register

Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy

K-8 school in New Haven

FJ Kingsbury School

K-5 school in Waterbury