Important: School Day Hours Change for Remote and In-person Learners – Effective 1-19-21, for the Remainder of SY20-21

Important: School Day Hours Change for Remote and In-person Learners – Effective 1-19-21, for the Remainder of SY20-21

Effective January 19th, the school day hours for in-person and remote learners are being adjusted in order to support our implementation of the Hybrid Learning Model for the remainder of the school year (SY).


 In the December 23rd Holyoke Update, we provided information about the newly adjusted school day (starting on January 19th) that will be structured based on the uniqueness of the school, program, and grade. In response to formal and informal feedback from students, families and teachers – as well as updated DESE guidelines – we have developed a structured day that will allow students to be more engaged with their peers and teachers, will offer small group instruction for additional support and include time for necessary breaks and opportunities for asynchronous and synchronous (live instruction) learning time.  The original school schedule included synchronous learning from 8 AM – noon and asynchronous learning of up to 2.5 hours daily.  The schedule provided students with 6.5 hours of learning daily.  The schedule change will now offer students a 6 hour school day, with 4-5 hours of synchronous learning scheduled throughout the day that includes movement breaks, lunch breaks, recess (for younger grades), hand-washing breaks, transition, and cleaning time. 

Wednesdays will follow the current schedule of no more than 3 hours of synchronous learning for grades K-8 and no more than 4 hours for grades 9-12. Synchronous learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays is as follows: 

  • Grades K-2 is 4 hours daily,
  • Grades 3-8 is 5 hours daily,
  • Grades 9-12 is 4.5-5 hours daily 

This change allows the district to:

  • Increase synchronous (live) instructional time to meet the needs of students and following updated DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) guidelines, and
  • Develop bussing schedules to safely transport students to and from school and maintain all safety protocols and appropriate distancing.

While the re-entry target dates have been pushed back, this does not affect the new schedule that will start on January 19th. Many variables go into planning the structured learning day – remote or hybrid – with the goal of creating the best educational experience for our students despite the challenges the pandemic presents.  We as a district are continually striving to create more meaningful and engaging learning opportunities throughout the school day.  It is not our expectation that any child is sitting in front of a screen for 6 hours, but rather students have ongoing engagement in structured learning throughout the day with the goal of improving the learning experience for all students.  

Providing all our students with the best learning model possible while prioritizing the health, safety, and well-being of all students and staff is our top priority.  We will continue to follow DESE guidance and partner with the Holyoke Board of Health to monitor our district and Holyoke health data to slowly bring more students back to in-person learning.


Student School Day Hours for Remainder of SY20-21

Effective January 19th for all Cohorts

      • **The schedule for students in Opportunity Academy (OA) and the Transition program is individualized. Families should be in contact with the OA or Transitions staff with questions.
      • *This schedule applies to HHS-Dean only on the one day per week where students are in-person for their CVTE learning. The remote learning day for HHS-Dean students will be: 9:00-3:00 p.m.


Thank you for your continued support. Visit our Return to School web page for more information. Questions? Email

Print Friendly, PDF & Email