Download December 2017 Brochure

Students spelling out ECA

Performing Arts | Literary Arts | Visual Arts | Academics

Community - Excellence - Challenge - Opportunity - Leadership - Support
are all words used to describe The ECA Experience. Our community is a unique and special place full of academic challenge and creativity. The discovery of a unique self and a chance to get outside one’s comfort zone is encouraged through process and the pursuit of product. Students are able to mature and develop as young scholars and leaders. At ECA, we observe friendships forged for life and students find themselves surrounded by caring adults who are more than teachers – they are mentors and extended family.

About Us

ACES ECA Curriculum logoTHE ACES EDUCATIONAL CENTER FOR THE ARTS (ECA) is an innovative and unique school in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. It draws students from all over the state of Connecticut, and now from around the world. ECA blends creativity and innovation skill development with cultures, weaving them into a powerful personalized education model.  It is truly one-of-its kind in Connecticut. The high school curriculum is focused on the performing, literary, and visual arts. We focus on inquirybased learning, critical thinking, and creative problem solving in a rigorous intellectual environment. This prepares ECA students for the challenges of the modern integrated world. ECA’s academic program is diverse in scope with a strong and intentional arts and innovation focus that promoted individual identity within the student. Our school is from grade 9 through grade 12, while our Summer Institute is grade 7 through grade 12.

Our Mission

ECA is an education model for creative learning and innovation skills in Connecticut. It blends rigorous content with creativity, problem-solving, immersive collaboration, and advanced critical thinking in an outstanding environment that supports all individual students.  Our environment is student-centered and values: 

Empathy – Creativity - Honesty – Equity – Respect

At ECA, we embrace a world that is dynamic and ever changing. We believe that it is our responsibility to prepare our children for their world.Girl playing violin


The ECA mentoring system provides a mechanism for students to cultivate a strong relationship with adult mentors who are responsible for the development of a meaningful educational plan that aids in crafting a unique experience for each student at ECA.  

Mentors are teaching and support staff members in the school community. Each mentor shares in the responsibility to engage, promote original thought, nurture failure to obtain greater success, and closely coach in their field of expertise.  

Families are partners in our mentoring program and will develop their own relationship with their student's mentors.

ECA as a Global School

Theater students performance

Our idea of a global school is one that brings the world in various ways to local people and communities. A global school is characterized by students who are curious, who are experienced in asking critical questions, who reach judgments after weighing wideranging evidence, and who can move their thinking through a series of multiple perspectives. Diverse thinking and learning styles fuel such capacity.  

We think a deep sense of individual purpose and engagement in learning is systemic in a global school.  Students and teachers learn all the time from the world, but at the same time they should be learning for the world as they expand their own individual advancement. The goal is to apply all this learning to change our world for the better and to address the great challenges of our time.  Above all, a global school should develop a positive instinct for difference, and a desire to learn from others and their diverseness. A global school’s goal is to be national and global citizens, comfortable in their local identity but also completely at ease with individuality and diversity. This is our ambition at The Educational Center for the Arts.

We Value:

  • Immersion in the Arts to develop the individual innovative person;
  • Building character and community;
  • Promoting the connection between cultures and the Arts;
  • Promoting individual identity in a world context;
  • The acceptance of failure to obtain success;
  • The ability to work with ambiguity and the unknown in order to support critical thinking and innovative skill development;
  • Collaboration and teamwork in order to develop empathy and embrace diversity;
  • Commitment to the development of the self in order to become a lifelong learner

Our ambition is to share successes with celebration and to learn from failures bravely, and to engage fully with the world of education, and the world at large, beyond our school walls.  

Our students are motivated for opportunity, progressive in their thinking, and creative in their instincts. They are encouraged to become expansive in their dreaming, determined in their work, collaborative in their teamwork, and humble in their progress. They learn to be ambassadors of their environments and to be as diverse as the world around them.

Our teachers are passionate about learning, rigorous in their standards, and inspirational in their engagement. They are respectful listeners, attentive caregivers, innovative thinkers, compassionate mentors, and world-minded citizens.

Our graduates possess the intellectual, cultural, and creative fluency to navigate gracefully into life well beyond college, as we do not prepare scholars for just academics, but for life afterward. They will know how to apply their emotional
intelligence, character, and passion for learning to help develop and improve the communities in which they thrive in and serve.  Each member of the ECA community — parents, students, teachers and staff — is expected to act in ways that show respect, compassion and consideration for others, and to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for all.

Becoming a part of the ECA community offers unique privileges and also implies shared responsibility. In an atmosphere where safety, trust and belonging are our foundations, we create a strong community partnership through a collective sense of values and tradition. The ECA Community follows these core principles that provide the foundation for our behavior, interactions, and achievement.

Teacher working with student

We prepare our students for their world.

Our school includes an international homestay program in grades 9-12.

Through our international program, our students develop close ties to faculty mentors, their host families, and build upon values, close peer relationships and their own independence that are essential for positive leadership and personal success.

The International Academy at ECA enables a model of true cultural fusion and international understanding as students become part of the ECA community.

The majority of our students are American, but we pride ourselves on a diverse populace of individuals with a healthy representation of other nationalities and cultures.


We are social beings who derive identity from our interactions with each other. We recognize the interdependence of communities and cultures. We act with kindness, understanding and empathy in our relationships with others. We value the quality of our connections, and care for the emotional, physical and spiritual health of self and those around us. We act with generosity and care and make a positive difference in the communities in which we live in, thrive in, and learn.

Honesty and trust are the building blocks of every successful community. We rely on good intentions, the honoring of one’s commitments and authenticity in each and every interaction. Our community members tell the truth, act with integrity and live up to the highest of expectations. We accept responsibility for our actions and lead by example.

We act rationally and fulfill our responsibilities courageously and with determination, steadfast in our integrity and sense of balance. We resolutely uphold justice for all and treat others as we want them to treat us. We are compassionate stewards of our community, of humankind, and of our world ecology.

We value the norms and expectations for social behavior in our community and beyond. We base our interactions and relationships on respect, reverence, equality and a desire to serve and better understand each other. We possess a sense of duty and compassion towards family, community, educators and mentors, peers, and our everchanging world.

We embrace originality and individuality to accept the creativity of others while diligently pursuing personal enrichment and knowledge ourselves.  Originality guides us to creativity and can help us make the right decisions in life. We use intuition, intelligence and reflection to achieve and we employ our introspective abilities to understand, problem solve, and live with fulfillment in the 21st Century.


Student playing the piano



Student playing the cello



Student presenting lecture


ECA prepares graduates for top universities and conservatories in the United States.  Ultimately, the ‘ECA Experience’ equips our students to take their place as significant participants on a global stage.