In-Person Learning

In-Person Learning Overview

We have worked diligently to put procedures in place to best suit the needs of students and staff so that we can continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities in a safe environment. 

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 are continuing to follow DESE guidance and have been partnering with the Holyoke Board of Health to monitor our district and Holyoke health data, as we bring more students back to in-person learning.

DESE Guidance regarding In-Person Learning Requirements

DESE announced guidance on in-person learning which shifted HPS from a Hybrid Learning Model to a full in-person learning model (5 days/week) or full remote learning model (5 days/week). This shift began at HPS on:

  • April 5th for students in grades PreK-5,
  • April 26th for Middle school students (grades 6-8)

Massachusetts Commissioner of Education announced that by May 17 all high school students must be either fully in-person five days per week or fully remote five days per week. Read more about the return to school dates for both North and Dean campuses below:

  • Holyoke High School, North Campus students will return for one day per grade Monday, May 10 through Thursday, May 13, and all students will be in-person or fully remote beginning Friday, May 14 as follows:
    • Monday, May 10:  Seniors in person, grades 9-11 remote
    • Tuesday, May 11: Juniors in person, grades 9, 10 and 12 remote
    • Wednesday, May 12: Sophomores in-person, grades 9, 11, and 12 remote
    • Thursday, May 13: Grade 9 in-person, grades 10-12 remote
    • Friday, May 14: Grades 9-12 in-person

Read more in the April 27, 2021 notification to families.

  • Holyoke High School, Dean Campus students in grades 9-12 will be in-person or fully remote beginning Monday, May 17th.
    Read more in the April 27, 2021 notification to Dean Campus families.

The only learning models HPS will offer after these dates will be full in-person learning 5 days/week or full remote learning 5 days/week. HPS will continue to run the school day hours that were put in place on January 19th.* The only change will be that Wednesdays will run the same school hours as Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday.  School hours for all schools are posted to their school web pages.

*The only exception will be that the Veritas schedule will change to:  Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri: 7:50 AM – 2:05 PM and Wed: 7:50AM – 1:00 PM.  

DESE’s decision to return more students to school is in line with the latest research and health officials’ recommendations, as was shared in the DESE In-person presentation.  We encourage you to view the presentation, especially the letter from more than 300 doctors supporting the return to in-person, as well as the MA study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease that shows no substantial difference in cases among students or staff with 3 versus 6 feet of distance since schools reopened, “Lower physical distancing policies can be adopted in school settings with masking mandates without negatively impacting student or staff safety.”  Read more about DESE’s guidelines. Please note:

  • Efforts will continue to be made to maintain 6 feet of social distancing whenever possible.  The majority of classrooms are set up at at least 3 ft distance or more in alignment with CDC and DESE guidance.
  • The distance between teachers and students will remain 6 feet, and 6 feet is required during mask breaks and lunch breaks. 

Return to School Background

Since the start of the 2020-21 School year, the majority of HPS students began learning remotely.  For selected groups of students (called “Cohort C”), remote learning could not effectively meet their educational needs, so we offered them an in-person learning option since the start of the new year.

On February 22nd, we began phasing into our hybrid model (a combination of in-person and remote learning):

  • Preschool and Kindergarten selecting in person learning returned  on February 22nd. Starting on April 5th these students began attending school in person 5 days/week.
  • Grades 1-2 students selecting in person learning returned Monday, March 8th.  Starting on April 5th these students began attending school in person 5 days/week.
  • Students in grades 3-5 who selected in-person learning returned on March 22nd. Starting on April 5th these students began attending school in person 5 days/week.
  • Students in Grades 6-8 who selected to participate in school-based Campus Learning Centers (CLCs) returned the week of  March 29th. Starting April 26th these students began attending school in person 5 days/week.
  • Students in Grades 9-12 who selected to participate in school-based Campus Learning Centers (CLC) did so at both Dean and North Campus. Dean Campus has also been running a schedule of 1 day/week in person by grade level “Vocational Learning Day” throughout the year. As of May 17th, all students in Grades 9-12 who selected in-person learning will attend school in person 5 days a week.

 

 

Important to Notes for In-Person Learners

  • Students who are learning in-person at school do not need to wear uniforms, although they may choose to. The priority is on creating a safe environment; families do need to ensure the student has a face covering/mask. Contact your school if you need a mask for your child. If you haven’t done so already, please complete your child’s Return to School Packet. It is absolutely critical that we have the most current phone numbers for every student in attendance, so that we can quickly contact you if your child becomes ill while at school.
  • Efforts will continue to be made to maintain 6 feet of social distancing whenever possible.  The majority of classrooms are set up at at least 3 ft distance or more in alignment with CDC and DESE guidance.
  • The distance between teachers and students will remain 6 feet, and 6 feet is required during mask breaks and lunch breaks.
  • We will continue to run the school day hours that were put in place on January 19th. The only change will be that Wednesdays will be run the same in-person hours as Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday.
  • Every Day, Before Coming into HPS Buildings, Check your Symptoms! Each morning, families should symptom-check their children at home prior to leaving for school to identify signs and symptoms that may be related to COVID-19 and all HPS staff should self-check their symptoms. To serve as a guide for symptom-checking, the nursing team has developed a Daily Screening Tool which can be found here in English and Spanish. Considering symptoms, exposure, and travel, this tool provides guidance as to when in-person learners and staff should stay home and when they should go to school. It also provides guidance for remote learners when they should contact their school nurse with symptoms or COVID-19 positive results.

Contact Us

Questions? Please email us at: returntoschool@hps.holyoke.ma.us

Important Resources

What is HPS doing to keep our staff and students safe?  Visit our School Safety webpage for information about our safety measures and protocols.

District Resources

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