On Monday, August 22, Holyoke Public Schools released a complete, multi-year strategic plan that articulates the district’s focus for the next several years.
The strategic planning process began in September 2021 as HPS Superintendent Anthony Soto launched his entry plan efforts. This newly released strategic plan reflects Mr. Soto’s entry plan findings and other work done under the district’s turnaround plan over the past nearly seven years.
“Called ‘Moving Forward Together,’ our plan builds on the strengths of our past while serving as a call to action to dramatically and urgently accelerate student learning,” Mr. Soto said. “We anticipate seeing changes in every classroom this year as we embrace and follow the plan we mapped out together as a community to improve learning for all students.”
An initial draft of the strategic plan was released in June. Planning efforts continued over the summer to finalize a timeline for key action steps designed to help the district meet previously identified goals and priorities. One of the final pieces to be completed was the district’s Learner Profile, which was finalized earlier this month following a community workshop on July 26 that drew 25 participants, including students, staff, and family members.
“Our Learner Profile describes the most important attributes and skills a student develops throughout their educational career in HPS, whether they are a student in PreK, elementary, middle or high school,” said Assistant Superintendent Stephen Mahoney. “Beyond the academic standards a student develops, the Learner Profile paints a picture of the type of person a Holyoke student is now and who they will be supported to become.”
Earlier this year, Superintendent Soto recruited students, families, staff and community members to join a large group Advisory Committee and small group Steering Committee to support the development of the strategic plan. Education Resource Strategies (ERS) in Watertown, MA, facilitated these groups. Throughout the process, more than 1,500 students, families, educators, staff, and community members participated in meetings, focus groups, surveys, classroom visits, and observations to help guide the process and shape the final version of the strategic plan. HPS will continue to engage a broad stakeholder group to reflect on progress each year and plan for future years.