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Assabet Valley

Regional Technical/Vocational School District
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First Year Exploratory

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."

-Theodore Roosevelt

During the first year, students explore all of Assabet's seventeen technical areas for two hours over the first two weeks of school, called the Mini-Exploratory. Upon completion of the Mini-Exploratory, students select six technical areas to explore further for one week, called First Year Exploratory. Following the completion of the First-Year Exploratory, students choose the three technical programs they would most desire for permanent technical program placement. Each student is notified of their placement and will remain in that technical area for the remaining 3½ school years of technical program training.

Exploratory Schedule

  • 1st Exploratory: Week of September 19th
  • 2nd Exploratory: Week of October 3rd
  • 3rd Exploratory: Week of October 18th
  • 4th Exploratory: Week of October 31st
  • 5th Exploratory: Week of November 14th
  • 6th Exploratory: Week of November 28th
  • 1st Day in Technical Program: Monday, December 12th

Required Technical Program Attire

Please make sure to review the REQUIRED TECHNICAL PROGRAM ATTIRE. Safety is our number one priority and it is critical that students dress appropriately in order to prevent injury. 



Technical Program Selection

Selecting your final technical program choices is arguably one of the most important events during your time as an Assabet student. You will spend roughly 30 hours every other week in your technical program for the next three and a half years, so do not take this decision lightly. Use the information and the experience obtained from your explanatories and the knowledge of your strengths, interests, goals, and talents to drive your decision.

Consider career clusters, remember transferable skills and always keep an open mind!

Selection Prerequisites

A student must earn a 'C' or better in a shop exploratory in order to qualify for acceptance into that shop at the end of the Exploratory Program. 
Students are ranked for assignment to their choices based upon the following factors:
  • Grade earned in the shop of choice, as evaluated by the shop teachers
  • Grade average in all subjects and exploratory attendance record
It is important that all parents/guardians and students understand that because each shop is limited in the number of students it can take, admission to some shops can be competitive. Some students may be offered assignment to a shop which is not their first choice. To be sure that each student has a chance to compete on the same basis for the shop of their choice, we evaluate the factors listed above. Grade average in all subjects and explanatories (25%), attendance (25%) and shop performance in the shop of choice (50%).

Selection Process

Review Student Feedback From Exploratory
You can do this in iPass by clicking on ‘Grades’ and clicking on the ‘comments’ for each exploratory. If you want more information on the feedback, have your child login to the Google Classroom for that Exploratory and review the feedback form. Need help with this process? Reach out to Guidance at

Feedback Consideration 
Please take time to review the feedback prior to making your choices. This is feedback but it does not prevent your child from choosing a program. If your child received a grade of “F” or did not explore a program for at least three days, they will not be able to choose that program.


The school counseling staff will conduct a technical program selection meeting to process a lottery for students’ first choices.
Students are assigned a random number for the lottery. To request your lottery number, please email with the student's first and last name.
Subsequent second and third choice lotteries will be conducted for all students based on space availability. The lottery system will be used to place students on a waitlist in the event that they are not placed in their first, second, or third place program.
At the conclusion of the lottery, students who did not receive a seat in their first, second, or third choice program will be offered seats in programs that have openings. Waitlists will remain in effect for one school year following the initial lottery.


Nov. 14th - Nov 30th: Individual Meeting Availability.
  • Thurs., Dec. 1st: Students receive "Final Technical Program Ranking Form" in student email account
  • Fri., Dec. 2nd: "Final Technical Program Ranking Form" due by 2:30 PM
  • Mon., Dec. 12th: First Day in Technical Program

Thank you for your attention to this important milestone at Assabet! We are in this together and please do not forget to complete the required form


Michele Nichols, Student Services Administrative Assistant | 508-263-9626
Gayle Ripley, Vocational Office Administrative Assistant   


students using tools in a technical shop
students using tools in a technical shop
students using tools in a technical shop
students in a technical shop
students painting nails

2022 Exploratory Students