HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The community charter school in Holyoke continued growing Saturday by dedicating its newest addition.
Holyoke Community Charter School had a grand opening on Saturday of its school’s newest wing, which offers new science labs, and a library equipped with computers. This expansion comes on the heels of controversy surrounding charter schools in Massachusetts. Lawmakers rejected a bill to lift the cap on the limited number of students to attend the school, who are selected through a lottery system.
School Director Dr. Sonia Correa Pope told 22News, “As a school director this has been part of my mission, to ensure that every lawmaker understands that we are Holyoke, and that my children are from this city and they deserve the best.”
It took three million dollars and less than a year to create what they wanted to be the best opportunities they could offer with a new wing. Parents of students told 22News how these investments improve their child’s education.
Jose Porter, whose daughter attends the school, said, “She’s now in 3rd grade, they’re pulling her out, and she’s doing 5th grade reading and 4th grade math. So that she’s just always challenged.”
There are 702 students here at Holyoke Community Charter School and 427 on the waitlist, and teachers here expect that waitlist to grow after creating its new wing. Current students credit not only these unique opportunities and investments, but also their teachers for their success.
Student Katelynn Cruz said, “It has to do with the way our teachers welcome us, and our education is so college preparatory that we’re learning at a higher level than public schools, and I’m so grateful for that.“
In fact, 89-percent of students come from homes where English is not the primary language, but by the time 8th graders take the MCAS test for English, they test higher than public school students who speak English as their first language.