Bilingual Education

male teacher smiling at a young female student with glasses, wearing a red shirt, and a young boy wearing a blue shirt


The Holyoke Public Schools offers a variety of programs to support students’ acquiring both English and Spanish. 

Our Programs

  • Transitional Bilingual Education (Newcomer Program
  • Two Way Immersion (Dual Language
  • SEI Sheltered English Immersion) /ESL (English Second Language) Instruction- Students in grades K-12 receive English instruction, and native language may be used to help clarify concepts and skills when necessary. Teachers make use of specific teaching techniques that assist students in learning English, content skills and concepts. SEI programs consist of two components, Sheltered Content Instruction (SCI) and English as a Second Language (ESL) Instruction.  The goals of sheltered instruction are: to promote the development of English language proficiency.
    • SCI includes approaches, strategies and methodology to make the content lessons more comprehensive and to promote the development of academic language needed to successfully master content standards.
    • ESL instruction provides systematic, explicit, and sustained language instruction, and prepares students for general education by focusing on academic language across all content areas. 

City of Holyoke Demographics


Holyoke Public Schools (HPS) serves more than 5,300 students, approximately one quarter of them who are English Learners (ELs). Nearly 75% of our EL population comes from a background where Spanish is spoken at home. Other languages spoken by our families in their homes include: Swahili, Mandarin, Amharic, Portuguese, Kirundi, Bosnian, Romanian.

HPS Philosophy

The ability to speak more than one language is a valuable asset, and one that should be recognized in ways such as earning the Seal of Biliteracy.

Linguistically diverse students require ample opportunities to understand, speak, read, and write English to realize their full potential within the context of schooling and the greater dominant English speaking society.

The most successful programs are those that develop a positive self-concept in each student, while they continue to develop their English proficiency.

Teachers have high expectations of all students, regardless of the student’s background or academic preparation.

Teachers value students’ linguistic and cultural background and assist them in their transition to school and district norms.

Students in heterogeneous groupings learn from each other as well as from the teacher.

Students must have access to multiple pathways through which they can experience success and teachers have the responsibility of ensuring they are awarded those opportunities.

Contact Us

Anne Day

Director of ESL and Bilingual Education

413-534-2000 Ext. 1403


Doris Ortiz-Nieves

Senior Data Clerk

413-534-2000 Ext. 1420