As the parent of a former student here, and a school staff from another school, I warn you, HCCS is beyond overrated. That it's the best school in Holyoke? Not even close. Good things: Most teachers are caring. Bad things: Their behavioral kids are out of control. Abusive - physically and emotionally- to other students. When issues are brought to the staff's attention, they justify them by saying "he has an IEP; they have ADHD; they're working with their anger problems, etc". No disciplinary actions. If you don't mind exposing your children to an unprofessional, unorganized and chaotic environment, you will have no problems (many children and families deal with it on a daily basis); otherwise, check another school and do not be fooled by reviews clearly written by the school's staff. I had 2 children there and I took them out immediately. They are doing much better (academically, emotionally and mentally).
Once you've come across better, you realize that this school is not as great as people want you to believe. The school is just okay. Students are all over the place and the staff lacks control over them. Like I said, I've been to public schools more disciplined and organized than the HCCS.
I'm a student at HCCS, and I love it. They teach really well, the uniform is good, and I believe they are good at disipining the students that misbehave. I'm learning Spanish, and I think it's going really well. Yoy should definatly send your children here so they can learn and be ready for high school and colledge.
I am so very pleased with the refreshing approach taken by HCCS. My daughter and I love HCCS, she actually looks forward to going to school. I commend the SABIS approach to teaching. Some how they make it a fun and exciting environment for learning. The concept of introducing students to Spanish during the developmental years is encouraging. The curriculum is challenging and I feel she will be more than adequately prepared for High School and beyond, with a bi-lingual advantage. HCCS teaches our children not only academics courses, but social skills that they will carry with them. Learning to respect each others individuality and being held accountable for their actions. The principal does a tremendous job of ensuring consistency and order. Children are polite and respectful. I asked my daughter what she liked best about her school, she said, 'the structure'. Children need that. Check it out!
I am a parent of two HCCS students and the current president of the HCCS Parent Connection. We chose HCCS because it offered a great curriculum (provided by the SABIS organization), had a uniform policy, had a Student Life component and taught Spanish to all of its students. We are very happy with our decision as our children are thriving in this wonderful school. Our Director, Dr. Sonia Correa Pope, is a diehard advocate for our kids and has worked hard to create an inviting atmosphere where children feel safe and welcomed. Our strong Parent Connection group works to provide communication between the school and our families as well as raise funds to provide great family events throughout the school year. HCCS celebrates our diversity, recognizes achievements, instills good values and builds leadership skills. HCCS is a home away from home and it welcomes all to be part of the family/familia.