Top Accomplishments

high school graduates in line waving to families

Our HPS team is proud of our accomplishments, although we recognize there is more work to do to ensure an excellent education for every student and a top-quality work environment for every employee.  We thank our students, families, partners, community leaders and friends for their partnership and support!

Top Accomplishments since the start of receivership:

 

  • 10-point increase in the graduation rate, raising it to 72%.
  • 13-point increase (to 26%) in hiring teachers of color.
  • Nearly doubling access to PreK programming to 512 seats (nearly 200 are full-day seats).
  • 10x increase to dual language (Spanish/English) programming such that 10% of HPS students are enrolled in the dual language program.
  • 45% of students involved in advanced coursework (including AP and dual enrollment) in SY19-20.
  • $17 million investment in the physical infrastructure of our schools.
  • From SY13-14 to SY19-20, 56% decrease in out-of-school suspensions and 68% reduction in days lost to suspension.
  • In 2019, all elementary and middle schools with publicly available data made at least moderate progress towards improvement targets, with E.N. White, Kelly, Lawrence and Metcalf “meeting or exceeding” their targets, on MCAS (last year available). 
  • Double-digit increases in teachers and staff feeling that the working environment in their school is positive: 65% of teachers (39-point increase from 5 years ago) and 75% of staff (22-point increase).
  • SY21-22 marks Dean’s first year of full enrollment in nearly a decade, after 160 students (40% of the rising freshman class) selected Dean as their top choice school.  

Top Accomplishments in SY2020-21

 

Instructional Leadership

  • Our strengthened practices in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment have contributed to improved performance on school quality reviews by the School Empowerment Network.  Every school at least met the “developing” level in each category, with two schools (Veritas and E.N. White) reaching the level of “proficient” in assessment. 
  • The first class of graduating seniors engaged in the full Academy experience for all four years of high school.  
  • Opportunity Academy leveraged the modified competency determination to re-engage 26 students who had earned their certificate of attainment, but needed the flexibility this year to earn their full high school diploma. 
  • Students are active participants in learning.  For example, 62% of grades 3-5 students and 61% of grades 6-12 students (a 12-pt and 31-point increase from 5 years ago, respectively) indicated they revise their writing in response to feedback at least weekly.  

Management & Operations

  • A safe, healthy school environment for students and staff, whether remote or in-person, contributed to low evidence of in-school transmission of COVID-19 allowing us to complete the year with 56% of students in-person.
  • More than 5,000+ devices were issued to students and educators, who in turn have acquired and sustained enhanced technology and organizational skills.  
  • More students completed the college financial aid (FAFSA) process than last year and as compared to many other urban communities in the Commonwealth this spring.  Our students have earned more than $250,000 in scholarships.  Felicidades!    
  • Staff and students connected and developed strong relationships.  Eighty percent (80%) of grades 3-5 students and 69% of grades 6-12 students (a 15-point and 19-point increase, respectively) indicated that their teachers are excited to teach their class. 

Family and Community Engagement

  • Community organizations (Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc, Homework House, YMCA) served 100+ HPS students in learning support pods, with 90%+ approval ratings by families and students.  
  • HPS served more than 800,000 meals.
  • HPS partnered with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), City Council and Mayor’s office to invest in our school buildings through invitations for three roof replacement projects and the potential to build one new middle school for 550 students.  
  • 81% of families agree that their child’s school embraces all students and families as their own.

Professional Culture

  • 69% of teachers and 73% of staff (a 7-point increase from last year) indicated that they are optimistic that the school will improve in the future.    
  • Through a $750,000 grant from the Barr Foundation, more than 50 leaders are participating in best-in-case training and hands-on learning with the Relay Graduate School of Education.  
  • A majority of educators have engaged in culturally-responsive training, and others have participated in anti-racism training.  

 

For more details on these accomplishments, please read Superintendent Soto’s accomplishments letter from June 2021 in English or Spanish.

Contact Us

Erin Linville
Chief or Strategy and Turnaround
elinville@hps.holyoke.ma.us

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