Our History & Mission
The Holyoke Community Charter School (HCCS) is a public charter school located in Holyoke, MA in operation since 2005. Holyoke is an urban area where 67.5% of HCCS enrolled students are economically disadvantaged. HCCS students reside in Holyoke and other surrounding communities including Chicopee, Easthampton, East Longmeadow, Northampton, South Hadley, Springfield, West Springfield, and Westfield. The school strives to prepare all its students to enter the colleges and universities that are of the best quality and “fit.” We believe that a college education is accessible to all students who are enrolled in the SABIS® Network and the record of college placement by students serves as evidence.
HCCS incorporates academic and behavioral supports for diverse learners into its daily curriculum. The school has dedicated departments for Special Education and English Language Learners (ELL). Accelerated curriculum is provided for advanced students. For students with special needs, HCCS offers services according to their Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) through the school’s special education department. The department follows an inclusion model of Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS).
For students who have been identified as English Language Learners (ELL) HCCS offers services through an ELL program. Because 89% of HCCS students are Latino, the administration and faculty have a commitment to ensure that all students who are English Language Learners and those that are from a home where English is not the first language have full access to the school’s curriculum. Teachers are trained in Sheltered English Immersion (SEI).
HCCS’ curriculum and instruction has differentiation and multiple access points to support the learning of all students, including diverse learners. In their daily lessons, teachers identify language objective for ELL students and define explicit ways differentiation is happening for Special Education students. All HCCS teachers have been given support and guidance on differentiated instruction, sheltered English immersion, and meeting the needs of diverse learners. HCCS believes this inclusive model allows delivery of a high quality education to each of its students.
The mission of HCCS is to promote the joy of learning and prepare a broad cross section of Holyoke children for success as students, workers, and citizens by providing them with a high-quality public education. Special care will be taken to develop in students the joy of learning. Joy is a powerful motivator but can only be attained if students see themselves as confident, capable learners. Students develop that confidence by working with their teachers to set and achieve goals that are challenging. When learning activities are challenging, and students believe in their ability to meet those challenges, indifference and reluctance to engage in learning are replaced by an authentic delight in learning. Joy permeates each classroom, and the school as a whole, because students understand that they have acquired the skills and knowledge that enables them to follow their dreams and become agents for positive change through their new-found belief in themselves.