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 2018, we 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, in Fall 2021, our dual language program is expanding to 7th grade. Meanwhile, we continue to convert more of our PreK-8 buildings to elementary schools to open more space and specialized learning opportunities for PreK-5.
Proposed Middle School Buildings
In November 2019, the citizens of Holyoke considered a ballot question to fund two new middle school buildings. Although the ballot question was not passed, we are confident that many Holyoke residents are supportive of a new middle school building, yet wanted to explore other funding sources. Accordingly, in May 2020, the City Council submitted a Statement of Interest (SOI) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to continue to explore the construction of one new middle school building as we work together to realize the educational vision of HPS. We will engage the community in a process to gather input on the plans.