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Hopedale Public Schools District News

Press Release                                                           
March 27, 2018   

Media Contacts:

Karen Crebase, Superintendent of the Hopedale Public Schools, 508-634-2220

Derek Atherton, Principal of Hopedale Junior-Senior High School, 508-488-2217

Candice Perodeau, Manager of Corporate Public Relations, American Student Assistance, 617-728-4558

Hopedale Junior-Senior High School Receives Middle School STEAM Career Gateway Grant from American Student Assistance (ASA)

Hopedale, Mass., March 27, 2018 – Hopedale Junior-Senior High School is thrilled to announce that it has received a $125,000 grant to offer high-quality science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) to seventh and eighth grade students.  Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, every seventh and eighth grade student will engage in STEAM curriculum during his/her Explore classes.  Some of the learning in which students will be involved includes designing algorithms, coding, sensor input, and mechanics in relation to robotics.

Hopedale Junior-Senior High School is honored to be awarded this opportunity through American Student Assistance® (ASA), which is a national nonprofit that works with kids to discover and support their education and career options. ASA® develops strategies, partnerships, and philanthropic programs to help students navigate all the opportunities available to them, and to link that educational journey to career possibilities. Key to these efforts is engaging with kids early – beginning in middle school – so they are well-positioned for success and career readiness.  

“Hopedale’s middle school exploration program is exactly the type of innovative program that will set students on the path toward 21st century jobs. We’re very excited to support this initiative and to see the impact it will make on kids through high school and beyond,” said Alisa Wilke, Managing Director of Strategy and Innovation at ASA. “ASA is committed to helping kids discover their passions, talents and skills at an early age so they can make smart decisions about their education and career choices down the road.”

When the Hopedale School Committee Chair, Craig Adams, was notified of this exciting news, he stated, "This is another great example where the faculty and administration recognized a need of our students.  They did the research and made the effort to find a solution that would have minimal impact on the school budget or on the taxpayers of Hopedale.  The School Committee thanks the faculty and administration for all this effort and creative thinking, and thanks ASA for the funding."

Administrators and teachers in Hopedale believe that the grant funding through ASA will enable staff to engage our middle school students with hands-on lessons in science, engineering, computer science, technology and math.  The staff believes it is critical to provide students with these STEAM opportunities in order to guide our students into high school computer science courses that will lead to informed decision-making for college and careers.  A main goal of the grant is to open opportunity for students to significantly deepen computer science skills.

The Blackstone Valley business community has identified the need for employees trained in the area of computer science as a critical need.  We are grateful that through the generous grant funding of ASA, we are able to prepare students to meet the needs of our business community.  

Principal Derek Atherton stated, “We are excited about the opportunity to work with ASA. Their goals to promote college and career readiness and STEAM at the junior high level are perfectly aligned with the goals of Hopedale Junior-Senior High. Designing a computer science curriculum for the 2018-2019 school year is a school goal, and with the help of ASA we are moving closer to achieving that goal.”