HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP)– More than a month into the school year, and nearly two months after state officials officially took over the system, the Holyoke Public Schools turnaround plan has been announced.
The three-year plan to improve student performance was announced Thursday morning by both Commissioner Mitchel Chester and the school department receiver Dr. Stephen Zrike. He was named the district’s new leader following a commission vote that the school system was chronically underperforming.
A major emphasis Dr. Zrike spoke about in the new plan included much greater teacher involvement in the decision-making process on how the schools can improve. He also told 22News that high school students will be a major focus of their changes.
“Right now, we have way too many students who aren’t successful getting through high school, and then once they leave high school, their success rate is nowhere near as high as we would want,” Zrike said.
Another major change includes longer schools days. Dr. Zrike told 22News that change is expected to start next fall, but that they plan to get teacher and parent input before making final schedule changes.
Both Dr.Zrike and Commissioner Chester emphasized the plan will take time to fully implement.