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HCCS Sends Message to Massachusetts’ Governor-Elect

Soon after Charlie Baker, an advocate of charter schools and the welfare of children, won the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial election, a Boston Globe reporter visited the Holyoke Community Charter School (HCCS), a charter school with a cap that is preventing it from expanding and adding grades 9 to 12, to get a sense of what students and parents want the new governor to change in education. The school, which is in its 9th year of operation, is a member of a global SABIS® Network and is enrolled to full capacity with 702 students in Kindergarten through Grade 8.  

The reporter met with an HCCS 7th grade student and her father and listened to their concerns about the fact that HCCS students have to go back to traditional public schools in a largely failing district after finishing Grade 8.  “If I have to go to a Springfield high school, I know I’m not going to be getting as good of an education,” the HCCS 7th grader said.

The girl’s father has seen the decline in the public education system and, having seen the positive impact that HCCS has had on his daughter, hopes the governor-elect will be able to raise the cap which limits enrollment in Massachusetts public charter schools.  “I’m a parent and a [charter school] advocate, and I’ll be in support of this even after she’s out of high school,” he said.  

The governor-elect has said that he plans on adding more charter schools when he takes office in January in Massachusetts, and charter school advocates are optimistic.  They feel that raising the statewide cap on charter schools will lead to increased access to a quality education for underserved students.

Although HCCS only offers classes from Kindergarten through Grade 8 and cannot reference their own high school graduation rates, the Springfield International Charter School, SICS, a SABIS® Network school in neighboring Springfield, provides students enrolled at HCCS with a clear view of the future.  SICS recently graduated its 1000th student, ALL of whom have been accepted to college or university! 

To learn more about HCCS, a member of the SABIS® Network, visit hccs-SABIS.net.  

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