PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
Holyoke Public Schools Releases Arts Education Recommendations for Fiscal Years 2021-23
HOLYOKE, MA – Dr. Stephen Zrike, Jr., Receiver/ Superintendent of the Holyoke Public Schools, recently announced the release of a series of recommendations designed to create a dynamic, equitable K-12 arts education program in the Holyoke Public Schools (HPS). The recommendations were developed by the Arts Education Task Force, convened in 2019, and led by Dr. Zrike and Representative Aaron Vega.
The goal of the Task Force was to build on the progress that Holyoke has been making towards its efforts to provide each child attending a Holyoke public school with a substantive arts education that aligns with the framework developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“The recommendations build on the important work currently taking place in our schools such as the creation of a Performing Arts Academy at Holyoke High School, the addition of more music educators in elementary schools and the implementation of programs with area cultural organizations such as Enchanted Circle Theater, Community Music School of Springfield and Holyoke Media, commented Dr. Zrike.
A key component of the recommendations is the hiring of an Arts Education Coordinator to oversee and expand relationships between HPS educators and administrators with area cultural institutions, colleges, and universities. Dr. Zrike, his successor, Dr. Alberto Vázquez Matos, and Representative Vega are working to raise the funds required to support this new position.
Dr. Vázquez Matos noted, “I am a trained classical Spanish guitarist so I have direct experience with how important a well-rounded arts education can play in providing every child with a high-quality education. I am looking forward to working with the Holyoke community to implement the Task Force’s recommendations.”
The Arts Education recommendations were presented to and received wide approval from, the Holyoke Public School Committee at Dr. Zrike’s final meeting on June 15, 2020.
Read the HPS Arts Education Recommendations FY 21 – FY23 that include a list of task force members.