How to Apply

Scholar Selection

All ABC student scholars undergo a rigorous admissions process to become a part of the program.

  • For information on how to begin the application process, please visit the National A Better Chance website
  • First, teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, ABC alumni, and other volunteers nationwide identify promising students and recommend that they look into the ABC Program. These students demonstrate both academic talent and strong motivation to succeed.
  • Each candidate completes the application requirements of the national program, including multiple questionnaires and the SSAT or ISEE.
  • Madison ABC then selects the students who best match and might benefit from the educational, cultural, and social opportunities our program has to offer.
  • The top candidates are invited to come to Madison for a couple of days to interact with current ABC students, our resident staff, and the Madison ABC Selection Committee, and to visit Daniel Hand High School.
  • The Selection Committee then makes the final decisions on which student or students are invited to participate in the Madison ABC program.

1.  Does DHHS offer rigorous courses that will challenge my Scholar?

Yes, Daniel Hand offers leveled courses from Level 3, to Honors, to Advanced Placement (AP) and Early College Experience (ECE) through UCONN.  Hand offers 16 AP or ECE courses.  Compared to other high schools, DHHS offers those courses across all curriculum subjects.  The Sciences have Chem and 2 Physics offerings and the Math department has 3 offerings, including Calculus, Statistics, Computer Science and Macroeconomics.   The History department offers both European and American AP History while the languages offer AP Latin, French and Mandarin.  English AP courses include Lit and Comp as well as Language and Comp.  DHHS also has AP Psychology and Individual and Family Development.  The rigor of AP/ECE courses prepares Scholars for the pace and volume of college curriculum and the opportunity to earn credit to apply to college.

2.  DHHS has trimesters, which is unusual.  Why do they do that?

Trimesters open up the opportunity to take part in the myriad of electives offered by DHHS.  Electives are an academic path for students to start to explore areas of interest outside the core curriculum.  Some of the elective courses include Video Game Design, Intro to Business, Helping Hands (a nursery school right at DHHS), Computer Aided Drafting, Robotics, Video Journalism and Culinary courses.

3.  AP courses and Electives are plentiful, but what about the arts at DHHS?

Hand offers art courses like drawing, painting animation and an AP Art course.  Music programs include an almost 200 member Marching Band which plays at home football games at the Surf Club.  There is also a Jazz Band, a Symphonic Band and Chorus.  Many DHHS student participate in the award winning Show Choir (like Broadway musical) group called Vibe, which has won both Regional and National Awards.  Hand also puts on a fall and spring play every year.

4.  Are there any courses that make DHHS unique?

Most definitely!  Hand has added several unique, contemporary classes like Modern Middle East and Sports and American Culture in the History Department.  The arts have added Short Films and Music Theory.  The Science department now offers Infectious Disease as a course and the English department now has a course, Courage, Hope and Adversity.  Some unique electives include Boat Building and Entrepreneurship.

5.  The transition to high school is significant and add onto that moving to a new town, how does Madison ABC support my Scholar academically?  

At the Roby House, Scholars spend every night from 7-9:30pm with the Resident Tutor in what is called “Study Hours.”  The Resident Tutor is there to provide academic support including strategies for studying and writing papers.  At DHHS each student has an Academic Advisor, who is a teacher designed to be an ally within the school setting.  Each Scholar also has a Guidance Counselor at the high school.  Additionally, Madison ABC has a board member who serves as the Academic Director who supports the Scholars, coordinates communication with the Resident Tutor and DHHS.  The Scholars have Academic Reviews at the Progress Report date as well as the end of Trimester date to measure performance, monitor concerns and offer feedback to ensure academic success.  The Madison ABC also has a board member who works with each scholar over the four years to guide and direct the college application process.