Dear HCSS East & West Students, Faculty, Parents & Guardians,
We hope you are having a wonderful and restful summer. We thought we would reach out to you to share some of the highlights of the last school year and outline some of the changes we are planning for your return to school this fall.
First, we’d like to welcome our new students and their families. In addition to new transfers, HCSS-West is welcoming new classes of 6th graders as we continue to expand into a Grades 6-12 program, while HCSS-East is also welcoming a new class of 6th graders.
We couldn’t be more excited about the accomplishments we made together this year, and look forward to continuing to improve our academic program and expanding student and family support services.
2019 saw the celebration of 10 successful years at HCSS-East in Chicopee and the opening of our new HCSS-West campus in West Springfield.
At HCSS-East, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education concluded a thorough review of our academic program, operations, and governance, and recommended HCSS-East be granted a new five-year charter without conditions. This reflects the tremendous work of our teachers, students and families are doing to make HCSS one of the best public schools in Western Massachusetts.
This year, we celebrated being named one of the best 100 public high schools in Massachusetts by US News & World Report – and ranked Number 3 among public high schools in the Greater Springfield area.
At this year’s Commencement exercises, we celebrated the 100% graduation rate at HCSS-East and the 97% four-year college acceptance rate among our graduating seniors.
Our first year at HCSS-West was marked by perseverance. After opening temporarily in shared space with HCSS-East, HCSS-West opened the doors to its new campus in West Springfield in early November.
The co-location of East and West for the first two months of the school year provided us with an opportunity to orient new West students to HCSS’s curriculum and culture and provided all of our students with a chance to bond as one community. Our new facility includes the most up-to-date technology and educational resources available and will mirror the mission of HCSS-East – to prepare your children for college by providing quality learning opportunities in a technologically rich-environment with a curriculum that focuses on mathematics and science education to strengthen performance in fields that will drive our economy for decades to come.
To continue our progress and strengthen our school network, we made some changes to our curriculum, services, and administration to better serve our communities. We thought we would share some of them with you and preview some changes coming this fall:
- Mrs.Nelson became HCSS-East Director and Mr. Cogal (our former Dean of Academics) became the Director of HCSS-West. I am serving as CEO/Superintendent of both schools.
- The positions of Dean of Academics and Dean of Students were changed to Dean of Student Services and Dean of School Culture. Mrs. Colon, former HCSS-East counselor will be Dean of Student Services at HCSS-West and Mr. Dere, former HCSS-East Guidance Department Head, will be HCSS-East Dean of Student Services. They will be responsible for ensuring our schools provide academic, emotional, and physical services for all students and be the first point of contact for parents and students.
- Mr.Borelli and Mr.Dout have been named the Deans of School Culture will continue to work to maintain a positive, safe, and college-going school culture.
- Ms.Godard became new ELA Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Ms.Wcislo become the new Director of Special Services and Mrs. Gullett will be the AP Capstone School Coordinator. They will be providing services at HCSS-East and HCSS-West.
- HCSS East and HCSS West became an AP Capstone School and offer AP Capstone Diplomas and Certificates with 14 different AP Courses. Students can start taking college-level courses starting in their freshman year. Each student graduating from high school will be able to experience an AP course to be ready for college.
We are excited about these changes and look forward to continuing to provide our students with a high-quality public education. Let’s make this the best year ever, by working together for our students!
Tarkan Topcuoglu, Ed.S.
Chief Executive Officer