For enrollment questions:
Call (413) 285-3697

Geoffrey Schmidt
Executive Director of Opportunity Academy
Send Geoffrey Schmidt an Email

Christopher Smidy
School and Community Partnerships Coordinator
Send Christopher Smidy an Email

Juan Maldonado
Student Coach for Opportunity Academy
Send Juan Maldonado an Email

Angela Morales
Manager of Operations for Opportunity Academy
Send Angela Morales an Email

Vivian Ostrowski
Director of Gateway to College
Send Vivian Ostrowski an Email

Julissa Colón
Recruitment Specialist for Gateway to College
Send Julissa Colón an Email

Catherine Gobron
Executive Director of Lighthouse Holyoke
Send Catherine Gobron an Email

About Us

Opportunity Academy is proudly alternative. We offer a set of alternative high school pathways that allow students to continue or restart on a pathway to a diploma if they are not succeeding at Holyoke High School. Our students can earn high school credits, prepare to pass the MCAS, and graduate with a Holyoke Public Schools Diploma, or state-granted diploma (HiSet.) Students may continue to participate in all of the extracurrricular activities at Holyoke High School providing good academic standing. We ask our students to maintain their academic and social growth, and to maintain respect for their peers and educators as these are the most important drivers of success.

OA offers three campuses to serve students with a diverse set of needs or goals, which we identify as part of our onboarding process. Our campuses include:

  • A Dual-Enrollment program at Holyoke Community College for students age 16+ who seek an early college experience);

  • A small personalized progressive education center for high school students of any age; and

  • A project-based and competency-based high school program for students who are more than one year off-track.

Opportunity Academy is a school of choice, and students and families always have a say in whether or not they enroll at one of the three OA campuses. Our highly dedicated team of engagement specialists will ensure you understand all options on the table and work to help match students with the option that best suits their needs and goals.

We ask our prospective students:

  • Do you need an alternative to Holyoke High School?

  • Do large high schools not work for you?

  • Did you drop out but want to resume your studies to receive a diploma or HiSet diploma?

  • Do you have dreams for your future and need a diploma to achieve them?

  • Do you have competing priorities that require flexibility in how, when, and where you learn?

If so, we offer pathways for you!

Opportunity Academy’s Three Different Programs

Gateway to College

  • Offered to HPS students on HCC campus

  • Students (16 years old+) can earn HS and college credit and a Holyoke High School diploma at the same time

HPS Success Center

  • Project-based and competency-based means you can progress at your own pace

  • A combined program for HS students & adult learners

  • Students can complete their Holyoke High School diploma

  • Adults can prepare to pass the HiSET and earn a GED (state-granted diploma)

  • Students are supported by a primary person (advisor) who deeply knows them and understands their challenges, goals, and academic and social emotional goals and progress

  • Success Center can be an ideal option for students who have fallen behind (more than one year behind their graduation cohort) and are looking to get back on track at their own pace

LightHouse Holyoke

  • A program for a small number of Holyoke Public Schools students to earn a Holyoke High School diploma at LightHouse Holyoke

  • LightHouse emphasizes student agency, restorative practices, social justice, and high interest academic programming

  • A small, intimate school where many students who have struggled to “find a home” in traditional school settings can find something radically different

Our 'Primary Person' system

We use a "Primary Person" system, through which every OA student has an advisor who knows them deeply, and employs case-conferencing and frequent outreach and check-ins to set academic and social goals, then make the best decisions and take the right actions to meet those goals.

While we treat students as young adults, they must take the initiative to make young-adult decisions and place the recovery of their pathway to graduation and a choice-filled post-secondary life first and foremost.

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