HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke’s two high schools will become one next fall.

“One city, one high school!” That’s the new mantra for the merging of Holyoke High School and Dean Technical High School into Holyoke High School North and South. The merger means access to technical training, and participation in Holyoke’s new theme-based academies, which focus on fields including medicine, technology, and media.

“I’m not for it,” Gerald Hortie, a Dean Tech alum, said he wasn’t sure about the merger. “When I went to school, and I think a lot of kids are in the same situation, they’re really not going for the academics, they’re going for the trades. I guess they have to pledge which way they want to go very soon here.”

Holyoke’s academy-based programs start this fall for current eighth and ninth graders. Current ninth graders will select one of the four academies the first week of February, and current eighth graders the first week of March.

Holyoke is hoping to address what the school system referred to as a “chronically low graduation rate” and “struggling academic performance.”

Holyoke’s new high school model will include work-based learning opportunities like job shadowing and internships.

“Merging campuses to expand opportunities for all kids, but also to start thinking about how can we more explicitly, intentionally and successfully link the learning that’s happening in the classrooms with the learning that’s happening out in the adult world,” Executive Principal Dr. Stephen Mahoney of Holyoke North & South told 22News.

Students will be able to tour the campus and learn about the academies before deciding on their educational path.

Two public informational sessions for parents and other interested community members will be held on November 28 at 6 p.m. at the Holyoke High School and on November 30 at 6 p.m. at the E.N. White School.Click here for more information >>>>You can also send your questions and comments here >>>>