Phase 1 of Holyoke Public Schools’ rezoning efforts now complete; Phase 2 begins

Holyoke Public Schools has completed Phase 1 of its rezoning efforts that will allow the district to transition to separate elementary (PK-5) and middle (6-8) schools and redraw school boundary lines for fall 2023. These changes will allow the district to better meet students’ academic and social-emotional needs by:

  • Designing schools tailored to elementary or middle school grades;
  • Staffing each grade with a complete team of teachers who collaborate together; and
  • Expanding learning opportunities, including growing dual language and offering varied enrichment opportunities to students.

More than 900 people attended meetings and nearly 450 took a survey to share their opinions during Phase 1. This inclusive process helped drive the Phase 1 decision making and will be maintained throughout Phase 2. 

Key Phase 1 decisions include:

  • Beginning next fall, Sullivan will be a middle school. Kelly and Donahue will remain elementary schools. 
  • Dual language programming will be at E.N. White (full DL), Kelly (partial DL), and Sullivan Middle (partial DL). 
  • Grade configurations have been established for Holyoke’s elementary and middle schools.

“This new path forward combines elements of all three rezoning scenarios that HPS publicly presented this fall,” said Superintendent Anthony Soto. “Most people who took the survey and participated in community conversations preferred the scenario where Sullivan would become a middle school due to the location, facility, and other factors. However, many people raised important points that HPS took into consideration to further strengthen that scenario.” 

In Phase 2, HPS will solicit feedback on proposed school boundary maps, facility improvements at Sullivan Middle School, and how to ease transitions for students and families. Representatives from AppGeo, the district’s geographic information system (GIS) consultant, will also participate in the following public input sessions:

  • Tuesday, November 1 (in person) at Sullivan School
    • 5 p.m. Tour of Sullivan School building; 5:30 -7 p.m. In-person meeting at Sullivan.
    • Food for all, fun activities for children, interpretation available
  • Monday, November 21
    • 6 p.m. during the School Committee meeting (Zoom link)

Community members can also provide feedback by taking a survey, which will be open November 1-14.