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Exploratory Process for Grade 9

August 3, 2023

Dear Parents and Guardians of Ninth Grade Students,

During the week of September 5-8, ninth-grade students will begin Minuteman High School’s Exploratory process. In career technical education (CTE) high schools such as Minuteman, all students in grade 9 will go through this process to decide which CTE program to choose for their major over the next four years.

The first part of the Exploratory process is called “Mini-Exploratory.” During this time, the grade 9 students will visit all 19 of Minuteman’s career technical education majors. Students will be introduced to the CTE teachers and given an overview of each CTE program.

At the end of “Mini-Exploratory,” on Friday, September 8th, each student will be asked to select six (6) programs for further exploration. Out of those six selections, the students will be assigned five (5) of their choices to revisit. For the first week, students will attend their 4th, 5th or 6th choice for one week only. The following eight weeks of Exploratory will be divided into two-week programs with students visiting their top choices.

Attire & Safety

All ninth-grade students should report to school on Tuesday, September 5th, prepared to start the exploratory process. Students will receive hard copies of their “Mini-Exploratory” schedule in the morning during their Advisory period.

Proper Attire

Proper attire is required to participate in program activities.

must wear
  • Safety Glasses (issued)
  • Long pants (jeans or khakis are preferred)
  • Closed-toe shoes (leather boots or work boots preferred).
don't wear
  • Shorts
  • Sweatpants
  • Leggings
  • Flip-flops
  • Loose or baggy clothing
  • Long hair should be tied back to prevent injury and to minimize any safety issues in the shops and laboratories. 

Throughout the exploratory process and when enrolled in our career and technical programs, students will be trained in and use program specific equipment including but not limited to power tools and machinery.  Safety is of the utmost importance.


During the Exploratory process, students will be graded on their five career choices using a rubric (see important links on this page). Grades will be calculated using five areas including professionalism, willingness to follow instructions, workmanship, learning expectations and attendance & punctuality. Beginning Sept. 22nd, exploratory weekly grades will be posted on ASPEN.

We ask that you please review the grading rubric with your student and emphasize that grading and attendance play an important role in students being accepted in their 1st choice when selecting a career major. Career areas are limited to the number of students who can be accepted for each grade. Students who do not receive their first choice will be placed on a waitlist. All freshmen will be assigned a career major during the week of January 22nd. The school will make every effort to assign students their first choice and at least one of their top three choices.  With the popularity of some programs, we cannot guarantee students their first choice.  Thank you for understanding.  

We strongly encourage parents/guardians to speak with your students during the “Mini-Exploratory” week before they pick their top six programs (on September 8th) to revisit. As your child moves through the Exploratory weeks, it would be a great opportunity to talk to them about their top three final career choices and why they are excited to choose those programs as their future career paths close on or about  January 19th

Please contact us via email with any questions or concerns regarding the exploratory process.


Eugene DiPaolo

Assistant Director of Career and Technical Education

Important Links

Freshman Exploratory Schedule


Sept. 5-8, 2023 (4 days)

Students visit all 19 CTE majors

Exploratory Session 1

September 18-22, 2023 (5 days)

Program Choice 4, 5 or 6

Exploratory Session 2

October 2-6 & 16-20, 2023 (10 days)

Program Choice 1-6

Exploratory Session 3

Oct. 30– Nov. 3 & Nov. 13-15, 2022 (8 days)

Program Choice 1-6

Exploratory Session 4

Nov. 27-Dec. 1 & Dec. 11-15, 2022 (10 days)

Program Choice 1-6

Exploratory Session 5

Jan. 2-5 & Jan. 16-19, 2023 (8 days)

Program Choice 1-6