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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Holyoke Public Schools District Review Report

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
March 13, 2015

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I look forward to discussing the enclosed Holyoke District Review Report Download PDF Document  Download Word Document at our meeting on March 24, 2015. This report was provided to you for the February 24 meeting, and we are including it again for your reference. Since the February meeting, Rob Curtin, director of education data services and district accountability, has shared the report with the Holyoke School Committee at their regular biweekly meeting on March 2.

As background for our discussion, I have attached two additional documents, which provide an overview of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's extensive history of assistance to the Holyoke Public Schools. You also received these for the February meeting.

  1. Holyoke Public Schools History as an Underperforming/Level 4 District: Highlights major reviews conducted in the district and the associated Department efforts, in partnership with the district, to address the challenges and improve student performance. The attached timeline is broken down into key time periods throughout the past twelve years reflecting important events or actions in two categories: 1) Reports/Analyses describing the state's evaluation of the conditions and needs in the district over this period of time, and 2) Responses/Assistance that provides information on the major investments of resources and direct support to address the identified needs.
  2. Holyoke Public Schools Targeted Assistance Financial Support FY2005-FY2015: Lists in broad terms, state and federal resources-above and beyond state and federal entitlement grants-invested in Holyoke Public Schools during this period. It identifies over $13 million in targeted assistance resources provided to the district. These funds have been used to support an array of targeted professional development, technical assistance, and additional student learning time and supports at both the district and school levels. Among the major investments are:
    • the five-year partnership with America's Choice
    • funding for key positions in the district
    • funding for an alternative education program for newcomer students (the TOP program)
    • the four-year partnership with the District Management Council to help build district capacity and systems to improve student performance
    • federal School Redesign grants to two Level 4 schools in the district

At the Board meeting on March 24, we will discuss these reports and possible next steps to address the needs of the students in the Holyoke Public Schools. Deputy Commissioner Alan Ingram, Senior Associate Commissioners Russell Johnston and Brooke Clenchy, and Director of District Accountability Rob Curtin will join us for the discussion.

Enclosures:

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Summary Timeline of Accountability and Assistance to Holyoke Public Schools 2003-2015
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Holyoke Public Schools History as an Underperforming/Level 4 District
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Holyoke Public Schools Targeted Assistance Financial Support FY2005-FY2015


Last Updated: March 17, 2015
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