Turnaround Overview

About Turnaround

In April 2015, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to designate the Holyoke Public Schools chronically underperforming (Level 5), placing the district in state receivership. The receivership provides the opportunity for a significant, sustained turnaround in Holyoke.

The 2015 Turnaround Plan was released October 1, 2015, and renewed for another three years effective October 1, 2018. Due to DESE refraining from issuing new accountability determinations for districts and schools for SY20-21, the Morgan and HPS turnaround plans remain in effect. Following that plan and driven by the steadfast commitment of our students, educators, staff, families and community, we are proud of our improvements.  More students are having greater success, as more students are achieving on grade level, the graduation rate is increasing, and students are thriving in welcoming, safe and supportive schools.  

Across the district, a spirit of collaboration and empowerment has taken hold. We are building a system where school leaders and their teams have the knowledge and support necessary to create and foster school learning environments. School leaders and their teams partner with parents, families and community agencies to fully support the whole child.

We have raised expectations and centered on a collective mission: To be the first educational choice for Holyoke families by designing multiple pathways where all students graduate prepared to excel in college, career and community leadership.

At the core of the original plan was the firm belief that all Holyoke students deserve a world-class education. There is still significant work ahead to achieve this reality. Student achievement remains below state expectations, and many students still do not graduate high school. We cannot afford to mistake improved for acceptable.

We have already demonstrated that, by working together, much improvement is possible. Let us continue to partner together to ensure a pathway for every student!

A group of dual language students enjoying their work at Metcalf.

Turnaround Accomplishments

We are creating learning opportunities that nurture, engage and ensure that our young people are poised to excel in college, career and community leadership.  Since the beginning of the turnaround efforts, signature initiatives include:

  • A full school day with more enrichment, academic and social/emotional opportunities for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade.
  • A High School Redesign, which includes  Freshman Academy for a more personalized entry to high school,  theme-based academies and/or career vocational technical education programs which are designed to ignite student interest and connect learning to the real world.
  • Expansion of programs to provide students and families with more choice for their education, including a dual language program, new middle school options, and dual enrollment and early college opportunities for high school students.
  • Enhanced standards-based curricular resources in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science. 
  • Breakfast in the Classroom to ensure students have a healthy start to the day and are ready to learn.

Read about our accomplishments.

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