A new charter school will be coming to West Springfield that will provide another option for education here in western Massachusetts.
The Hampden Charter School of Science-West is set to open next school year after the state gave the final approval on Monday.
Mayor Will Reichelt has been opposed to the charter school since the beginning, and said West Springfield schools will now need to work to retain students in the public school system.
The reaction among parents is mixed.
Mayor Reichelt told Western Mass News that he's disappointed in the process and the short time frame of when the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the school.
"Putting one in West Springfield specifically targets our community, we're going to lose a lot of money," said Mayor Reichelt.
The school will be on Main Street on the site of the Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini Catholic School.
"I feel like schools nowadays are all about testing and passing that test and I feel like we should gear the kids up for life and what's going to happen after college and what life is really like because it's not about tests," said West Springfield parent Crystal Gilmore.
According to its website, Hampden Charter is a college prep school with a strong curriculum in math and science.
"We have a great experience, I personally don't agree with privatizing education like the charter school model has," said West Springfield parent Beth DiStefano.
The executive director of the school wrote:
"We are pleased with the acting commissioner's decision and are excited to settle into the building where we hope to provide high quality public educational opportunities for families in West Springfield, Agawam, Holyoke and Westfield."
Hampden Charter School of Science already has a location in Chicopee. The new school will welcome just over 250 students in grades 6-9.
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