High School Redesign

Girl working in biology class

View video below from a recent informational session that was held for parents and other interested community members.  The four linked learning academy leads (Meghan Harrison, Marcus Holt, Jake Belanger, and Joe Courchesne) presented their progress and fielded questions from the audience. For more information, contact academy-design-leads@hps.holyoke.ma.us. 

Providing a high-quality educational option for every student


The Holyoke Public Schools is transforming the high school experience to ensure that every student has a high-quality educational option, with a focus on college and careers for all students.  We have developed an innovative High School Redesign Plan (pdf.)| (En Espanol) that includes strategies for improving the instruction and services offered, and providing students with the skills and tools they need to be successful in school now, and later in college and their careers.  The high school redesign structure empowers students as self-directed learners ready for 21st-century workplace and college rigor.    The plan, developed by nearly 100 educators, students, community members and national experts, including support from the Barr Foundation, is organized around an academy structure designed to provide “personalized learning pathways” for all students.


Our strategic plan calls for creating a series of thematic academies that will provide opportunities for students to develop a personalized learning path toward college, career or both. Built upon choice, and access to advanced educational opportunities, the plan deepens student engagement and provides families and business and civic leaders explicit opportunities to partner with educators to help guide students’ career and college plans, as well as strengthen our local economy. Importantly, our academy structure will prepare our students for the global economy and a society that demands more critical thinking and higher levels of educational achievement. It is a structure that gives our students a competitive advantage, ensuring they graduate with stackable credentials sought after by employers and colleges and universities alike.  Read the High School Redesign Plan and frequently asked questions (pdf.) (En Español) (pdf.) and press release (pdf.) (En Español) (pdf.)

Contact Us:

High School Redesign Academy Leads:

Performing and Media Arts Academy – Joe Courchesne

Community and Global Studies Academy – Meghan Harrison

Medical and Life Science Academy – Jake Belanger

Technology, Engineering, and Design Academy – Marcus Holt

Email: academy-design-leads@hps.holyoke.ma.us

Improved Graduation and Dropout Rates

The district’s graduation rate is 69.9%, up 7.8 percentage points from the prior year.  The district’s average dropout rate for the past 10 years has been nearly 10%. Over the last two years, the dropout rate has been almost cut in half, averaging 5.6%.  This reduction means over 100 fewer students per year have dropped out of school.  Read press release.

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