HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Public School’s Opportunity Academy has been awarded a $600,000 grant that will allow the district’s alternative high school to continue to ”do high school differently,” with a focus on achieving fair experiences and outcomes for their students. 

This funding comes from the Barr Foundation to help high schools across New England bring new school models to their communities. Barr selected Holyoke’s Opportunity Academy and four other schools to receive three-year grants of up to $600,000 to spread the impact of the work that they have already started.

Springpoint Schools have supported professional development, staffing, partnerships with experts in fields of study, and curriculum design as well, prior to the funding and The Barr Foundation

“This new round of funding will further support our plans to strengthen Opportunity Academy’s post-secondary success planning and programming, continue our shift towards project-based and competency-based learning, and increase capacity across our staff to act as primary person advisors for each of OA’s students,” said Principal Geoffrey Schmidt. “Without the partnership of The Barr Foundation and Springpoint, we would never have been able to increase enrollment and double our graduation numbers, while increasing the rigor and relevance of student learning and becoming more adept at strengthening relationships with students to increase their engagement and academic success.”