Our continued transformation efforts set our students on a pathway of excellence, prepared for college, career and community leadership.
Every student deserves an excellent education. 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
- Redesigning the high school experience, which includes the launch of a Freshman Academy for a more personalized entry to high school and the launch of theme-based Linked Learning Academies, designed to ignite student interest and connect learning to the real world
- An expansion of programs to provide students and families with more choice for their education, including a dual language program (PreK-4 and growing), new middle school options (including Holyoke STEM Academy, Veritas Prep Holyoke and a personalized learning program (P3) at Peck) and dual enrollment and early college opportunities for high school students
- Enhanced standards-based curricular resources in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science (grades PreK-8)
- Breakfast in the Classroom (grades PreK-8 and expanding into high school) to ensure students have a healthy start to the day and are ready to learn
These efforts are leading to improvements in student learning and engagement. Drop-out rates have declined 3.4 percentage points over the past three years, while graduation rates are steadily improving, most recently reaching 69.9% in SY16-17 (the highest graduation rate on record). Chronic absenteeism, a measure of the percent of students missing more than 10% of school days (18 days if they are enrolled in the full 180-day school year), has decreased from 31% in SY12-13 to an estimated 25% in SY17-18. Our students have also experienced gains in English Language Arts, highlighted by a 5.4 percentage point gain in high school this past year. Read more about the district’s Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) Results, Non-MCAS Indicators, Next Steps, and Key Priorities.