E. O. Smith High School

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E. O. Smith High School
E O Smith High School, Storrs CT.jpg
Storrs, Connecticut, (Tolland County) 06268
United States
Coordinates 41°48′09″N 72°14′39″W / 41.8026°N 72.2441°W / 41.8026; -72.2441Coordinates: 41°48′09″N 72°14′39″W / 41.8026°N 72.2441°W / 41.8026; -72.2441
Type Public school
Established September 1958
School district Regional School District 19
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1226 (2014) [1]
Color(s) Red and Black         
Team name Panthers
CEEB Code 070754

E. O. Smith High School, named after Edwin O. Smith, is a secondary school located in Storrs, Connecticut, United States. E. O. Smith was established by the University of Connecticut in 1958.


E. O. Smith serves the towns of Ashford, Mansfield, and Willington, which together make up Connecticut's Regional School District #19. E.O. Smith also serves students from nearby Columbia.

Students from surrounding towns such as Coventry and Windham may also attend E.O. Smith, as participants in the school's Agriculture Education program, if their school does not offer an agriculture program. The E.O. Smith campus lies adjacent to the larger campus of the University of Connecticut.

Clubs and activities[edit]

Sports include badminton, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, crew, cross-country, dance team, field hockey, football, ice hockey, softball, soccer, swim and dive, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor), volleyball, wrestling, and lacrosse. These sports compete in the Central Connecticut Conference Eastern Division (CCC East) in Class L. The girls basketball had appearances in 2012 and 2011 class L state championships but lost in both games. The school also has several Unified Sports teams that practice and compete, including Unified soccer, basketball, track, and bowling. A fencing club was started in the fall of 2007. The EO Smith/Tolland High School Hockey team appeared in the 2014 CIAC State Championship Finals, losing to Newtown High School in overtime, and returned to the CIAC State Championship Game the following year, 2015, beating Masuk High School 5-2 for their first hockey state championship.

The E.O. Smith Drama Club presents 4 shows per year, including a winter musical, two straight shows in the fall and spring, and a night of senior directed one acts at the end of the year. The spring show is performed at the Connecticut Drama Association Festival where cast and crew members have a chance to win awards and advance to the New England Drama Festival. E.O. Smith's Drama Club has won several awards from the Connecticut Drama Association including outstanding performance for Animal Farm (2009) and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse (2010), allowing them to continue on to the New England Drama Festival, which E.O. Smith hosted in 2009.[2] Several E.O. Smith actors have also won individual awards for their performances in the shows or in the Connecticut Drama Association Monologue Contest.

The music department has three main ensembles: band, chorus, and orchestra. Each ensemble performs in four concerts each year, with locations including Von Der Mehden Recital Hall and Jorgensen Theatre. In addition, E.O. Smith music students participate in a variety of music festivals throughout the year, including the CMEA Eastern Region Music Festival, CMEA All-State Music Festival, New England Music Festival, NAfME Eastern Division Conference, and NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles.

E.O. Smith's academic teams in: Quiz Bowl, making its 12th consecutive NAQT appearance, Science Bowl, finishing in 3rd place at the National level in 2015, Ocean Sciences Bowl, won 7th place in the national competition in 2016, Science Olympiad, won 4th place in the state finals in 2014 and 2015 and 3rd place in 2016, FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics, Envirothon, Connecticut Geography Challenge, and math teams.

Other notable activities include TSA (Technology Student Association), Amnesty International, Gay-Straight Alliance, Model UN, Green Teens (who won $10,000 for the school to implement a recycling program), VEX Robotics, Cool-It Team (who recently won $3,000 that will be used to promote Bike to School week in mid-May), Leo Club (the youth service organization of Lions Club), DECA, Best Buddies, Peer Natural Helpers, Jazz Ensemble, Choral Ensembles, Dance Team, Debate Team, Drum Line, Fencing Club, Scuba Club, Ski and Snowboard Club, Yearbook Club and chapters of the National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society for Latin, German, Spanish and French, and Mu Alpha Theta, the mathematics honor society, and the Drum Line

E.O. Smith and UConn[edit]

E.O. Smith shares a special relationship with the University of Connecticut; students are allowed to take classes at the university free of charge during the school year. Both UConn and E.O. Smith credit is given for a successful completion of a class. Popular subjects include math, foreign languages, psychology, and music. E.O. Smith also offers UConn ECE (Early College Experience) classes similar to other programs offered throughout the state.

E.O. Smith Depot Campus[edit]

Since 2008, E.O. Smith hosts a non-traditional learning program in collaboration with Big Picture Learning called the Depot Campus. The Depot Campus is aimed towards E.O. Smith students who have demonstrated a need or desire for a smaller or more personal instructional setting. The goal is for students to learn through 'real-world' experience by students gaining interest-based internships of at least two school days. Other days the students are in an advisory, with lessons that meet E.O. Smith's grade requirements as well as the students' interests. Students are expected to show their learning through individualized learning plans, maintaining portfolios, and hosting exhibitions of what they have accomplished each trimester. These exhibitions are open to the general public.

In the five years this program has been active, 18 students have successfully graduated with E.O. Smith diplomas as well as job experience. The Depot Campus has been designed to serve up to 40 students. An application is required to be considered for admission.

Grading scale[edit]

Currently, E.O. Smith offers classes on a weighted scale. AP, A, and B level classes are considered college-level, and G levels are TECH. The APA is calculated out of 6.0 points. An 'A' counts for six points in an A level course, five points in a B level course, and four points in a G level course. An 'A+' is not counted as anything more than an 'A'; B level students would not receive weighted 'B+' credit if they were to obtain an 'A+' in their class.

The school year is broken down by report cards, which are issued once per quarter, and final exams, which occur twice a year, at the end of each 2-quarter semester. Midterms and finals account for 20% of each semester grade.

Special privileges[edit]

E.O. Smith currently has in effect a privilege system. Through academic achievement, students gain privileges, namely choice of study hall area for sophomores and juniors, and Open Campus for seniors. A senior who has earned this privilege is allowed to leave campus when his classes are finished, rather than being required to stay on school grounds for the entire day.

Senior projects[edit]

E.O. Smith seniors must complete a year-long, self-directed senior project in order to graduate. This includes a thesis-driven research paper, community service work, a presentation to the school community, and an activity or product. Three teachers generally advise the student during the process, and grade the project upon completion as either highly successful, successful, or not yet successful. A minimum grade of "successful" is needed for graduation.

Notable alumni[edit]

Architecture of E. O. Smith[edit]

Built in 1958, Edwin O. Smith High school is highly regarded as one of the most structurally intricate school designs in the country. Designed by renowned Swiss-German Lorenzo von Matterhorn[3] famed for his retro-futuristic-recognitive styling, modern materialistic and Babylonian flat top influences seem clear. Apprentice of Frank Gehry, Matterhorn’s lines evoke those of his teacher. Mixed hard and soft lines accentuate a dull brick exterior, sloped edges evoking buttress like support act as variation in the upper floors, and precisely engineered steel-bicarbonate extended archways provide a welcoming entrance. The two most distinct features of the building are its infamous offset second floor, and the notorious third floor pool. Mimicking the roundabout style room structure of the math wing, the second floor lies on the north-west corner of the building, atop the agricultural studies wing and 1,650 [3] feet away from its sister floor at the south-east end of the building. In a 1990 interview with Architecture: Today, Matterhorn described his choice to offset the second floor at a slight seven degree angle as “Visionary. Absolutely visionary. Nobody had done something like this before, because nobody had ever designed a building smart enough to do it.” [7]. This offset floor sat atop walls of reinforced concrete similar to that of skyscrapers, a series of load bearing walls made of concrete steel mesh [2]. This load bearing capability allowed for lofty hallways and support enough for a second story, adding extra classroom space for the English and Social Studies departments [5]. Most notably, however, the structure holds the only third floor Olympic sized swimming pool in the continental United States [6.1]. No school had ever been designed to support over 660,000 gallons of water well above ground level, but the land restrictions presented by construction on a University campus [5.9] forced Matterhorn’s creativity. Utilizing the load bearing walls below, the full sized swimming pool is supported by a prefabricated shells surrounded by isolating metal girders, maximizing weight distribution across the north half of the school.


  1. ^ US News 2014
  2. ^ "Connecticut Drama Association Newsletter" (PDF). Connecticut Drama Association. 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  3. ^ "Lorenzo von Matterhorn Official Wiki".