WESTERN MA gt steam academy

Launched in summer 2017, the Western MA GT STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Academy is a free five-week academic acceleration summer program for Holyoke Public School students entering grades 6, 7, or 8. Attendance is mandatory; free transportation is provided

The Holyoke GT STEAM Academy runs Monday - Friday, July 9 - August 9, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

"I liked how the GT STEAM Academy gave us a chance to meet new people and make new friends." - GT STEAM Academy Student


Holyoke STEM Academy

1045 Main Street, Holyoke, MA 01040


What student profile is GT STEAM designed to serve?

GT STEAM is designed to serve students who will attend consistently, participate fully, and enjoy small classes with young teachers. GT STEAM Academy does not provide credit recovery and must not be required for students who are not ready to be advanced to the next grade level. Students with all different levels of academic achievement (far below and far above grade level) have successfully completed the GT STEAM Academy. A student's interest in attending the program is a far greater predictor of success than past grades or test scores (which is why we collect neither!). 

How much does the program cost?

The program is tuition-free to families.

Is transportation provided?

Transportation is provided.

Are meals provided? Can my child bring his or her own lunch?

Breakfast and lunch are provided every day. Students may bring lunches.

How is this different from school?

While this is an academic enrichment program, we understand the importance of fun during the summer. In addition to frequent breaks and outdoor recess, students explore new areas of learning (such as computer science and engineering), participate in daily physical activity, and enjoy weekly special events, including field trips.

What is the dress code?

A uniform is not required. However, students should wear appropriate clothing. Shoulders and stomachs should be covered, and students should wear shoes or sneakers that are appropriate for physical activity.

Are supplies provided?

We provide folders and paper for students. Students should bring pencils every day. 

What is the cell phone policy?

We recommend not bringing cell phones, as they may be lost or interrupt learning. Students may have cell phones to call parents for a ride, but the phone must be off and in the student’s backpack during the Academy.

What is the student-teacher ratio?

Classes are never larger than 15 students. With individual Teaching Fellows, class sizes are limited to 10 students. Six professional educators support Teaching Fellows.  During activities, professional staff supervise students.

Can I meet the teachers?

You may meet the teaching fellows at Student & Family Orientation. We also invite you to meet Teaching Fellows and hear about your child's progress at Open House the second week of the program and to Ed Expo the last evening of the program. We conduct local and national background checks on Teaching Fellows, Teacher Coaches, and leadership staff. 

What is the attendance policy?

Daily attendance is important for your child’s success. Absences are excused in case of illness or emergency. Please make sure your child attends the first three days, in particular, when we are building our community.

Can my child ride with a friend?

Rides need to be arranged in advance to ensure all students are safe. Otherwise, staff will release students only to immediate family members. 

What if my child has a food allergy?

Please indicate medical conditions or allergies on your registration forms. We will make appropriate accommodations for your child. Please note we do not have a nurse on site.

What if my child has a daily medication?

Please indicate daily medication (prescription, inhaler, etc.) on your registration and provide a doctor's note. We will make appropriate accommodations for your child. Please note we do not have a nurse on site.

What if my child has an IEP or 504?

The GT STEAM Academy does not have special education staff. We are not able to serve students who need a 1:1 paraprofessional. If your child's IEP or 504 recommends small classes, unlimited time for activities, and individual attention, our program may be a match, but if your child is best served by certified teachers and specialized staff, we will not be able to accommodate your child. Please note our Teaching Fellows are not certified.

What if my child has a physical disability?

Please indicate the situation on your registration form. We will make appropriate accommodations for your child. Please note we do not have a nurse on site.



Amneris Narvaez is a Western MA native and graduate of Holyoke Public Schools. She began her college education at Holyoke Community College before receiving a B.S in Special Education from Westfield State University and an M.Ed from Lesley University. Amneris taught special education in the Springfield Public Schools for eight years. She aspired to impact her students’ education at the policy level and transitioned to Stand for Children Massachusetts where she served as a Family Engagement & Organizing Manager for almost four years. She joined the Generation Teach Team in 2019. As a teacher, advocate, and parent, Amneris is passionate about education and furthering opportunities for students across the Commonwealth.


The Holyoke GT STEAM Academy is offered in partnership with HOLYOKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS and TEACH WESTERN MASS