Springfield, MA: Gateway City

Springfield, MA
From the Industrial Revolution to an Academic Revolution

Springfield is known in Massachusetts as a Gateway City – a city that historically welcomed immigrants to build a life for themselves and their families during the industrial revolution. The gateway then did not require much education; it simply required hard work. Today, the need to work hard remains – but now that work must be accompanied by a powerful public education, starting in kindergarten.

A small and mighty school, Springfield Prep provides that educational gateway, and we are so proud of the work they are doing, the results they are achieving, and the disseminating force they are bringing to multiple schools as nearby as NY,NY, as far south as Memphis, TN, and as far west as Los Angeles, CA.

Since it opened in 2015, Springfield Prep has been one of our Fellows’ favorite schools to study and return to several times throughout the year because of the school’s engaging student culture and strong record of helping its scholars achieve extraordinary academic results. This year, only their second year of state testing, scholars were among the highest performing in Massachusetts: 72% of students met or exceeded expectations in math and 69% met or exceeded expectations in ELA. Springfield Prep was recently named a 2019 Massachusetts School of Recognition, one of only three charter school statewide to earn this designation.

Another remarkable proof point school in Springfield, MA is Veritas Prep. When you go to the Veritas Prep website, you will read their framing ethos: Proving what is possible for Springfield scholars. When you go to their results, you will see the translation of that ethos into measurable transformative change for their scholars, their families, and their community.

A 5-8 charter middle school that opened in 2012, Veritas Prep is defying the odds in the Gateway City where only 1 in 2 students earn a high school diploma and where schools are unable to ensure that students across all grades can meet and exceed grade level expectations. Turning this academic and life trajectory narrative upside down, Veritas Prep scholars who have three years of its middle school education achieve success not seen across the city, surpassing district peers. Most recently, for example, Veritas Prep scholars outperformed their district peers by 25 points in ELA and 30 points in math on the 2019 state assessment.

Springfield Prep and Veritas Prep – both small and driven schools – have learned deeply from other high-performing schools, and are now proof points and learning opportunities for all of us, as they prove what is possible when high-quality schools work with families to turn big dreams for their children into reality.