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Common Ground High School

Hear from Monique Frasier about the inclusive community at Common Ground High School.

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Meet Monique Frasier

Teacher Ambassador

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I have chosen to work here at Common Ground because I have found a place where I can show up as my whole self—New Haven native, first generation college student, African-American.  My colleagues are talented, innovative and diverse, as are my students. I have been greatly supported in any and all of my professional endeavors. I’m not only supported and encouraged, but challenged daily to reflect and evaluate my practice to better serve my students’ intellectual and emotional needs.


  • 9th grade English/ Reading Teacher



      Teacher Certification Program

      Common Ground by the numbers

      • 26

        Dedicated Teachers

      • 215

        Engaged Learners

      • 40,000

        New Teacher Starting Salary

      About Common Ground High School

      • About

        Common Ground is the nation's longest-running environmental charter high school, embedded within a community organization that also operates an urban farm and environmental education center. Our goal is to grow a new, more inclusive generation of powerful leaders and successful college students, ready for meaningful careers and healthy, just, purposeful lives. 

        We use three sites as laboratories for learning: The city of New Haven, West Rock State Park, and our urban farm. Our 20-acre site is home to beautiful science labs, art facilities, and classrooms, as well as rich outdoor learning opportunities. 
        Common Ground students come from across New Haven and from more than a dozen surrounding towns, and are mixed across racial, economic, gender, linguistic, sexuality and cultural differences. 

        Because Common Ground is a small school, every student is known well and challenged as an individual. Challenging academic classes push students to investigate and build new skills. All students work with an advisor from 9th grade through graduation, and beyond. The result: Common Ground students graduate high school and go on to college at rates far above the state average. 

        The environment and social justice are the heart of our curriculum. An integrated 9th grade core curriculum allows students to explore their identities, our place, and how they fit. In 10th grade, students study the City of New Haven, with a focus on our community's stories, justice, power, and health. In 11th and 12th grade, students experience a range of elective courses and opportunities for dual enrollment, alongside strong core academic courses, junior seminar, and a Senior Social Justice Experience course. 

        Experiences outside the school building extend academic learning. Students take on paid green jobs, enroll in courses at local colleges, and explore their passions through three dozen after-school programs.

      • For Teachers

        Teachers at Common Ground:

        • Have the opportunity to build and teach courses that are relevant and engage students in real work for real audiences by tackling environmental and social justice issues, partnering with teachers from other disciplines and using our unique site and the surrounding community as learning laboratories. 
        • Live out the belief that all students can learn. They hold students and themselves to high standards, while meeting students where they are. 
        • Build real and responsive relationships with students, their families, community partners and colleagues.
        • Are committed to equity, justice, and building a culture of anti-oppression.
      • Salary, Compensation & Benefits

        Common Ground strives to offer salaries commensurate with surrounding districts, though charter school funding in Connecticut means we sometimes fall short of this goal. Our step system recognizes teachers' experience and advanced degrees. First-year teachers holding a master’s have a starting salary of $42,500. The mid-point salary is $55,600 and the range maximum is $73,800. 

        Teachers holding multiple certifications and bilingual teachers can receive additional compensation, and all teachers are compensated additionally for attending summer planning institutes and for summer curriculum development. 

        All employees at Common Ground receive lunch and breakfast made with ingredients grown on our organic farm at no cost.

        A medical insurance plan, a dental insurance plan, $35,000 life insurance plan, and short term and long term disability insurance is offered to all regular, full time employees after one month of employment. Medical and dental insurance plans will require an employee contribution in order to participate

      • For Students

        Common Ground offers a rich array of opportunities for students who are interested in pursuing degrees in education. 

        • Students take on paid employment as camp counselors and children’s program assistants through Green Jobs Corps, our youth employment program.
        • Students are sought-after partners in our co-creative curriculum development process, and can intern directly with teachers to do that work.
        • Students can serve as interns in NatureYear, a full day forest school program for children ages 5-13. 
        • Juniors and seniors can serve as teaching assistants in 9th and 10th grade classes.
        • We are launching a Child Development elective in the spring, uniquely designed for students who are interested in teaching.
      • Job Opportunities

        If you’re interested in working for Common Ground High School, check out our job postings at the link below or email bsneath@commongroundct.org.

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