Upcoming Public Information Sessions
The City of Holyoke, Mayor Alex Morse & State Rep. Aaron Vega invite community members to public information sessions about the proposal to build two new public middle schools in Holyoke. Read the event flyer (PDF).
Monday, OCTOBER 7th at Peck School, from 6 – 7:30 pm – (VIDEO)
Tuesday, OCTOBER 15th at Enlace de Familias, 299 Main St from 6 – 7:30 pm
- Childcare and Spanish interpretation services will be provided.
Proposed Middle School Buildings
The City of Holyoke and the Holyoke Public Schools (HPS), with the support of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), is proposing to build two new middle schools in Holyoke (one to replace Peck and the second on Chestnut Street). The need for middle schools was identified through a community process in 2017. If approved by voters, every middle school student in Holyoke would be in a new, 21st-century school by fall 2023. HPS would also realize $4.5 million in savings by running more efficient buildings. In a move that no other community has done, HPS has committed to dedicating $1 million of this savings to pay for the cost of the buildings. The remaining savings would be re-allocated to support all PreK-12 students. Examples include: continuing to expand dual language and arts and enrichment opportunities; hiring more math and literacy tutors to support struggling students; and reducing class sizes, particularly at younger grades.
- NEW: FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions 10-7-2019 (PDF) | En Español (PDF)
- NEW: PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Zrike and Mayor Morse on the Middle School Building Proposal from 10-7-19 (PDF) | PowerPoint presentation of discussion with the Holyoke Taxpayers Association (En Español PDF)
- NEW: Press Release 9-18-19 from Mayor Morse Holyoke Releases Updated Financial Projections for Middle Schools Project
- PowerPoint presentation from the May 25th meeting (PDF) En Español (PDF)
- Proposed Holyoke Middle Schools Powerpoint 2/2019
- Letter from Dr. Zrike about the future of school facilities.
About Middle School Redesign
Middle school students deserve experiences, tailored to their developmental stage, as they progress from elementary school towards high school. We are enhancing the middle school experience for all middle school students by offering more enrichment programming, designed to strengthen their academic and social-emotional skills and engage them more deeply in school. Middle school students have more access to extracurricular sports, arts, and music than ever before.
We have also introduced new middle school models. In fall 2016, we piloted and then expanded Summit Learning at Peck, a personalized learning program based off the Summit Schools model in California. In fall 2018, we also opened two new middle school options by co-locating with existing schools. Holyoke STEM Academy was a theme selected due to community interest and alignment to the high school linked learning academies, and Veritas Prep Holyoke is modeled after a top-performing school in Springfield. And, by Fall 2020, our dual language program will expand to 6th grade and keep on growing!
The application process for our middle school programs will open in January 2020. Check back for more information!
HPS Middle Schools
Holyoke STEM Academy is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) school, where students engage in hands-on learning, such as coding and robotics, and develop strong problem solving and communication skills. STEM Academy is a potential pipeline into two of our science-themed linked learning academies at Holyoke High School.
Veritas Prep Holyoke is a college prep middle school, where our close-knit community sets high expectations for all students and provides them with daily tutoring and customized supports.
Summit Learning is a personalized approach to teaching and learning. It is a way for students to unlock the power within themselves to live fulfilled and successful lives. Summit Learning gives every student: support from a caring mentor, life skills that they can apply to real-world situations, and an ability to use self-direction to develop self-confidence, understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and prepare themselves for life after graduation.
As part of our vision of a pathway for every student, HPS has four middle school options programs for which students and families can apply for SY19-20. Apply today!
Middle School Options for Out-of-Zone Students
We will begin accepting applications for SY19-20 in June. If you are interested in joining one of these middle school options for SY18-19, visit the Student Enrollment and Family Empowerment Center to submit an application for the waitlist.
Recent Press Releases and News Coverage
- The Gazette 9-27-19 – Replacing middle schools on ballot in Holyoke
- Masslive 8-28-19 -State awards $73.2M for Holyoke middle school construction; Proposition 2½ override vote looms
- Masslive 3-15-19 – Holyoke- Charter Committee Holds Off on Special Election, Middle School Funding Debate Continues
- Press release 8-30-18 -Holyoke Gets Green Light from State to Move Forward with Designing Two New Middle School Buildings
- WWLP News 8-30-18 – State approves designing of 2 new middle school buildings in Holyoke
- Masslive News 8-26-18 – Holyoke Public Schools launch middle school programs
- The Sun 3-15-18 – Two new middle schools to open
- WesternMass News 3-12-18 – Holyoke Public School District holds informational session on new middle schools
- Masslive News 3-8-2018 – 2 new middle schools to open in existing buildings in Holyoke
Middle School Redesign
Proposed New Middle School Buildings Videos
Get an overview of the process, plans, financing, and city council meeting.
Peck School Existing Conditions
There has been a lot of talk about the current state of Holyoke middle school buildings. Watch this video for an insider’s look at the Peck school building, which currently has 550 students (grades 4-8).
Middle School Buildings Discussion with the Holyoke Taxpayers Association 9-18-19