Common Ground offers small school support and big school opportunities. Students go above & beyond through learning and leadership opportunities, on and off campus, outside the school day.

  • Green Jobs Corps connects students with paid work and leadership opportunities. Learn more.
  • Career exploration programs focus on animal science, forensics, and health sciences.
  • Geek Squad maintains Common Ground’s computer technology.

Academic Enrichment Opportunities give every student the support they need to master high standards, and provide same-day interventions to students who are struggling.

  • Homework Center
  • Academic Labs
  • Tutors
  • Writing Center

Common Ground helps students connect with off-campus opportunities, as well:

  • Evolutions at the Peabody Museum
  • ArtSpace internships
  • Elm Shakespeare Fellows
  • Sports teams at other high schools
  • Youth Rights Media
  • Summer College Prep Programs


  • Drama Club stages student-directed and student-written plays.
  • Sound Lab, Common Ground’s on-site recording studio, produces at least one CD a year.
  • Hip hop, Salsa, and African Dance classes happen throughout the year, and include opportunities to perform.
  • Graffiti Art


  • Cooking Club encourages students to cook tasty food fresh from the farm — some to eat, and some to share with those in need.
  • Recreational Athletics occur every day between 4 and 5 pm.
  • The Common Ground Hawks — our basketball team — competes in the New Haven Small Schools League.


  • Every after-school program pushes students to take leadership — and students must assemble a portfolio of leadership work to graduate.
  • Community Service opportunities happen weekly: from cooking for the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, to tutoring elementary students, to  rebuilding trails in West Rock Park.


  • Envirothon is a year-long environmental science competition. Common Ground fields two of the state’s only urban teams.
  • Robotics club, created by students, is busy building robots from the ground up.
  • Science Fair participants compete in New Haven and state-wide competitions.
  • Science Club explores a range of hands-on science challenges.


  • Strategy Games meet four times a week for minds-on, social fun.
  • Scavenger hunts, field trips, capture the flag, and other after-school activities help students relieve stress and get exercise.


Adventure Club offers students an opportunity to hike, backpack, climb, ski, snoeshoe, canoe, and bike — often for the first time. Thanks to Common Ground’s gear locker — created with support from the Appalachian Mountain Club and Trailblazer — students have access to the equipment they need to take on any adventure.

Our Above & Beyond programs run for two hours a day after-school, with special opportunities before school and on weekends, as well. On any given day, more than half of our student body is after-school.

Common Ground’s after-school programs are made possible through grants from the AT&T Aspire program, the Connecticut After-School Grant Program, and the 21st Century Learning Community program.

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