Holyoke changing structure of its public school system

Hampden County

Big changes are coming to Holyoke Public Schools this fall.

The new motto is one high school, two campuses. Students will be able to explore future careers through work-based learning opportunities.

The Holyoke Public School District is bringing back its elementary, middle and high school model, in an attempt to provide individualized learning for every student.

“It’s not easy to do, but it’s something that our families deserve,” said Steve Zrike, superintendent of Holyoke Schools. “We gotta keep pushing ourselves, as a school district, to have the expectations that we’re going to try to individualized and personalized, as much, for students, because we do that they do learn best when the learning is tailored to their needs.”

When they go back to school next week, Holyoke High students will be split between two campuses; Holyoke High North Campus, which will be located on Beech Street and Holyoke High Dean Campus.

Holyoke’s new High School model will include work based-learning opportunities, like job shadowing and internships. They will also continue to work with Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University, as the district continues to grow the number the students who are enrolled in higher education before they graduate from Holyoke High school.   

“We’re looking to do middle school differently,” said the school’s principal. “We’re looking to respond to their needs. You’ll notice in our classrooms, there’s not a student desk. We’re very much student-centered. we want teachers to feel supported, as a team. we also want students to learn from one another in a collaborative environment.”

Veritas Prep at Peck Middle school is launching with just fifth grade but will expand to a full middle school over time.

For the first time in three decades, grades one through five will receive new furniture and each school will also receive upgraded front door security.

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