Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, and Faculty of HCSS,

I welcome you to the start of a new school year at Hampden Charter School of Science with great pleasure, excitement, and honor. We are excited to open five days a week in person, providing students with much-needed opportunities for socialization that will play a larger role in their educational lives. The school believes that this schedule is the most appropriate and considerate of students’ social lives and needs following months of social isolation. This way, students will have sufficient time to expand their social circle, which will have a positive effect on their academic success.

We have worked and continue to work to provide the best possible learning environment for students. While the rest of the education system rested, our administrators, academic team, teachers, and support staff worked diligently to prepare the program and buildings for learning. Everyone is putting forth the necessary effort to ensure the success of the school’s students. For example, last year, the entire community worked tirelessly to ensure our students received a high-quality education, which included the establishment of an advanced level virtual school combined with synchronous education. This year, we are excited to return to entirely in-person instruction while maximizing the benefits of our new enhancements to provide even higher-quality education. The school staff is also working around the clock to ensure that students are prepared for their next level of education, which will present them with greater challenges.

HCSS has a track record of success that cannot be overlooked. The institution had a 96 percent acceptance rate to numerous prestigious colleges such as NYU, WPI, Boston College, George Town University, UCONN, UMASS Amherst, Amherst College, Cornell University, and Dartmouth college last year. This level of success translates into an over $15 million scholarship for two Ivy League students and the Class of 2021. Additionally, US News ranked us as one of the best schools in Massachusetts and as the second-best in the Springfield metropolitan area. This accomplishment, however, should not overshadow the school’s long and successful history of high graduation rates, college acceptance rates, and scholarships. These accomplishments have served as an inspiration and motivation for students, teachers, and support staff to continue pursuing greater success.

To build on our success and ensure that students return to school safely and successfully, we are implementing policies consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions and American Academy of Pediatrics’ most recent updated masking guidance. Both institutions encourage students to return to five days a week of in-person learning, with masking required for all students in grades pre-K through 12. Wearing masks is a critical step that we can all take to assist our community in containing the spread of COVID-19 and encouraging more of our neighbors to get vaccinated. We have encouraged and will continue to encourage adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols in all of our school activities. As a result, beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, students will be required to wash their hands more frequently, sanitize whenever possible, and wear facemasks inside school buildings and school buses.

The school’s mission for the upcoming academic year is to promote educational excellence in a safe environment while adhering to our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Resilience, and Excellence. We are looking forward to the start of the 2021-2022 school year on August 27th. On behalf of the incredible team of educators and support staff, thank you for putting your faith in us to provide your children with a world-class education.  We look forward to working with you throughout the year to ensure the success of all of our students!

CEO/Superintendent Tarkan Topcuoglu