Networking Meeting 8/13/20

Networking Meeting 8/13/20

Below is a link to our Networking Meeting on Zoom that was held on Thursday, 8/13/20 at 1:00pm.  After clicking on the link, you will need to add the password to view the video. Video:
Meeting Notes 9/10/20

Meeting Notes 9/10/20

The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative has a goal of getting youth and families in Holyoke connected to resources they need to assist them to get to better places in life. Below is a link to a video from our monthly networking meeting that was held on Zoom on 9/10/20. The networking meeting is a...
Meeting Notes 7/9/20

Meeting Notes 7/9/20

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Meeting Agenda Date:   July 9, 2020 Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm Place:   Zoom Meeting Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service...
Meeting Notes 11/12/20

Meeting Notes 11/12/20

View this email in your browser Meeting Notes 11/12/20 Below is a link to a video from our Networking Meeting that was held on Thursday, 11/12/20. When you click on the link, you will see a video with a copy of the notes from the chat on the right hand side of the video. Meeting Recording:...
Meeting Notes 10/8/20

Meeting Notes 10/8/20

The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative has a goal of getting youth and families in Holyoke connected to resources they need to assist them to get to better places in life. Below is a link to a video from our monthly networking meeting that was held on Zoom on 10/8/20.  There is an overview...
Networking Meeting 8/13/20
Networking Meeting 8/13/20
August 18, 2020
Meeting Notes 9/10/20
Meeting Notes 9/10/20
September 11, 2020
Meeting Notes 7/9/20
Meeting Notes 7/9/20
July 17, 2020
Meeting Notes 11/12/20
Meeting Notes 11/12/20
November 13, 2020
Meeting Notes 10/8/20
Meeting Notes 10/8/20
October 09, 2020

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Agency Updates

April 7, 2020

Nalxone SM Graphics Holyoke 06

Because the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative had to cancel our monthly networking meeting, we are providing the updates below, which we received from various agencies that typically attend our monthly meetings.


Although we have no idea when the COVID-19 threat will be gone or when the restrictions will be lifted, we are still planning our Summer Basketball League, date TBD and the large Back to School Event that is targeted for August 15th at McNally Field. Both of these activities take a lot of planning and we want to ensure that we are prepared when the Coronavirus is behind us. ALL of our community based activies will remain on hold, including community meetings, family fun nights, etc., until the threat is gone.


Steve O’Neil: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Nick Cocchi has implemented strict preventive measures to reduce the chance of the COVID-19 virus entering any of our facilities. Our All-Inclusive Support Services (AISS) program is closed to the public, however it is staffed to handle issues via the phone during this pandemic. We follow all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Health recommendations. All staff and incarcerated individuals are required to wear masks at all times, maintain social distancing guidelines, cleaning and disinfecting protocols are all ongoing. Our overarching goals are to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Sheriff Cocchi is opening the First Responder Recovery Home as a safe refuge for doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, EMTs, corrections professionals and military members who are working to recover from COVID-19.

Many of these professionals have elderly parents, newborn infants or immunocompromised children or spouses, which means they can't safely go home to recover without putting loved ones at risk. The new recovery home is for them and will have restaurant-quality food and hotel bedding. In just over 24 hours, supporters from the community have pledged around $25,000 to the efforts.

The program will operate out of our Pre-Release Center in Ludlow where the program will be housed as long as it's needed for the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Chief Manny Febo: Holyoke Police Department

The Holyoke Police Department has been mostly unaffected so far. We continue to operate at full capacity delivering police services to the citizens of Holyoke. We have a strong partnership with both the Mass State Police and the Hampden County Sheriff's Department who have offered their personnel to ensure we stay fully staffed. Sheriff Nick Cocchi has also provided the Holyoke Police Department with masks to ensure our officers stay safe while protecting our citizens! These times are unprecedented and the best thing we can do is work together with whatever your agency has to offer. Stay safe and let me know if we can help your agency in any way.


First Justice William Hadley: Holyoke District Court


EMERGENCY FILINGS MAY BE MADE BY EMAIL TO THE HOLYOKE DISTRICT COURT AT This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Chief Sean McBride: Holyoke District Court Probation

The Holyoke District Court is currently closed for all matters for the next 2 weeks. A firm reopen date has not been set. We, or I should say I am working remotely to triage any non emergency court matters. All criminal matters are temporarily sent to Westfield DC and all civil matters have been forwarded to Chicopee DC. As I get further guidance I will pass it along! As always you or your team can feel free to contact me by email.


Heidy Fontanez: Bethany Assembly of God

Bethany Assembly of God continues to service the community by providing groceries.

Hours of operation are:

Mon & Fri from 1 – 3 pm.

1st Tuesday from 6 – 8 p.m.

Last Saturday from 9 am – Noon.

Participants will need to bring: Picture ID, and a piece of mail with their current address.

We are taking precautionary measures to service the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Participants do not come into the building. We have a drive through method and our volunteers are working hard to make sure they and the community are protected.


Cass Pastorelle: Eagle Eye Institute

With our colleagues at Holyoke High School, Eagle Eye and Kestrel Land Trust have put together a resource page for Holyoke students to connect with nature for wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, whether they are able to get outside or not. The resource page can be found here: There are all sorts of other great resources on there put together by the counselors of Holyoke High. We'll continue to update the page and our social media with resources and tips for connecting to nature and staying well (Instagram: eagleeyeinstitute and kestrel_land_trust).


Maryann Linnehan: Western Mass Elder Care

WestMass Elder Care is still providing services to existing consumers and taking referrals from new ones.

Stay safe,


Justine Sabbs: Holyoke Housing Authority

The Holyoke Housing Authority is closed to the public however staff is operating on a limited, rotating basis. Maintenance will respond to emergency work orders as needed and all maintenance related calls should be made to 413-539-2216. Although tenants are still responsible for their rent, we have deferred rent collection until the office is officially re-opened. Tenants are able to mail in rent payments via check or money order as they are able. Any pertinent matters can be directed to 413-539-2220 to the general voicemail or via email to Justine Sabbs, Director of Resident Empowerment and Community Programming at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Justine Sabbs

Director of Resident Empowerment and Community Programming



Jamie Santiago: Preferred Behavioral Health

Preferred Behavioral Health is a new practice and they are accepting outpatient clients for individual therapy via telehealth.








This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Melissa Garcia: Gandara Center

In response to COVID-19 and the State of Emergency declared by Governor Charlie Baker. As of Monday, March 15, 2020, The Gándara Center officially implemented our Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).

We will continue to provide the people we serve with the highest standards of service delivery. Our agency is taking precautionary measures and following best practices to uphold Gándara Center’s part in the public

health responsibility to mitigate the spread of the virus. This includes using Telehealth (phone/video)

at our Outpatient clinics as well as for our Children’s Behavioral Health, Care Coordination, Family Support and Training, In-Home Behavioral, Therapeutic Mentoring and In-Home Therapy services. We will also be

offering limited in-clinic services by appointment only and practicing social distancing at all of our locations, with over 270 employees working remotely. When visiting, we ask that you please follow the practices we are being asked to implement, including: social distancing (6 feet), cleansing of hands, limiting groups of people gathering. We also ask that if you are sick please refrain from visiting at this time. Gándara Center's essential services continue in time of need.


Angela Callahan: River Valley Counseling Center

True Partners in Care - Here for You! Telehealth

River Valley Counseling Center is committed to providing high quality services during this time of COVID-19 − and always. Our team is taking additional precautions to keep our clients and staff safe, while continuing to establish true partnerships with every client. All our offices are open, and continuing to offer outpatient child, adolescent, and adult mental health services, including:

Outpatient Clinics in Easthampton, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services (In-Home Therapy, In-Home Behavioral, Therapeutic Mentoring) CONCERN EAP - with deferred payment options to those who need support for employees.

To learn more visit, call 413-540-1234, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Migdalia Rivera-Ortiz: Caregiver Homes

Hello community partners, as we continue adjusting to this new way of life, we wanted to let you know we are here for you and your members, and are fully operational while supporting our 3000+ families in MA . As a result of Adult Day Health Closures and some Hourly Care Workers no longer making home visits, we have experienced an increase in families looking for support as they assume responsibility to care for a loved one at home. Many of our newly added families have found themselves out of work due to the current pandemic, and programs like Caregiver Homes that offer a stipend to family caregivers, has become a favorable option for some. With Vela, our HIPAA - secure collaboration app, we have been able to quickly move to remote visits and stay connected to families using the chat feature, broadcast messaging system, daily check-ins and COVID – 19 risk screenings. All of this provides an opportunity to collaborate with you regarding health status of members, medication reconciliation, and more.

As a quick refresher, Caregiver Homes serves individuals 16 years and older, that live in the same home with the caregiver, and that require physical assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing/personal hygiene, toileting, ambulation, transfers, and feeding.  The care recipient must have Masshealth Standard or Commonhealth.  That means that we serve SCO, ACO, MCO, One Care and PACE members.

If you have program specific questions, I can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 413-209-1010. If you have a consumer in our services and want to reach the Care Team assigned, I can be the liaison between your patient and our organization.

Stay safe and can’t wait to see your face soon!


Thais Rivera: Career Connections, Springfield

At CPM Career Connections in Springfield and Holyoke we are closed to the public, however we are still serving our clients from home. We are utilizing various methods to keep our clients engaged and continuing to work towards their employment training and educational goals. Career Coaches are available to clients by phone, email, and video conference. We have also put together a virtual classroom through Google, in which we are able to connect with clients, assign work, and track their progress. We have also shared numerous resources that are available to clients during COVID 19.

We look forward to the continued resources the agency shares with us, to continue sharing with our clients.


Angela Baez: Behavioral Health Network

BHN has introduced an innovative new program, BHNTeleCare connecting individuals with therapists by phone or through a secure internet connection.

This new program allows those currently served by BHN to continue counseling sessions with their therapists via the Internet or by phone, and new individuals are welcome to use this new resource.

While BHN’s outpatient clinics are operating reduced hours for in-person sessions due to the COVID-19 crisis, BHN is open for business and our counselors are available via BHNTeleCare seven days a week.

Sessions and therapists available:

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday

Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While BHN’s physical outpatient clinics are closed to sessions and therapists are working remotely, those needing an internet connection or assistance with using the technology can access BHNTeleCare services at several of BHN’s outpatient clinics. There, they will be able to use a monitor to access their therapist who will be working remotely.

Children, youth and family programs continue to accept new clients and remain available to those who need them. Individuals will continue to receive all services with the same level of support via remote technology.

How to Access BHNTeleCare Phone & Online Virtual Counseling Services

Need help connecting to Zoom? View our Quick Start Guide.

Zoom Quick Start Guide

For more information or to request an appointment, please contact BHN at any of the following numbers:

Springfield (413) 733-1423

Holyoke (413) 532-0389


Sarah Schmidt: Holyoke Community College

Holyoke Community College is operating, staff and faculty are working remotely and classes are being held remotely. This includes our adult education and workforce trainings at the Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center. Anyone interested in starting classes should call Marisol Fontanez at 413-552-2990 and leave a message. She will call them back right away. 


Jennifer Fernandes: United Way, Thrive Program

Hope you’re doing well and staying safe. As far as United Way, we want to stress that Thrive is still open, doing coaching by phone during COVID-19. If you here of anyone that needs financial help during this time, let them know that THRIVE is still up and running!

Here are the coaches and our phone numbers:

Jen Fernandes- 413-333-8365

Emil Farjo- 413-693-0232

Emmanuel Reyes- 413-302-3871. Emmanuel also provides coaching in Spanish.


Amy Karangekis: Office of the Attorney General

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office work, as the People’s Law Firm, continues amidst the Coronavirus public health emergency. The AGO’s hotlines are still fully staffed during regular hours, and we are here to assist. 

The AG’s Office is warning Massachusetts residents to be on alert for individuals and business that may try to take advantage of uncertainty about COVIC-19, and has set up a special resource page at:

Additionally, our Community Engagement Division is holding weekly webinars. Information and registration regarding the webinars can be found at:

Please let me know if I could be of further assistance to you or others.

Take care,



Melissa White: Valley Opportunity Council

At VOC, many of our programs are still open, with the exception of Child Care, we are just operating differently. Fuel Assistance and WIC are fully functioning and can provide all assistance for new and returning individuals via phone. Our Adult Education Programs are providing classes for existing students virtually and are developing a plan to admit new students. Our College and Career Readiness Programs are also fully functioning virtually. We are posting regular updates about programming on our website and Facebook page as well.

Thank you, take care,


Iohann RashiVega: Holyoke Media

I Hope you are doing well and staying safe and healthy.

I have shifted from the regular work to transform Holyoke Media in a news hub and we are broadcasting daily, a news information brief, with updates and announcements of services and programs available for the community. I am doing this in two segments, one in English, another in Spanish.

Whoever has information that would be helpful for the community to know about, feel free to reach out, or send me all press releases, flyers, videos, and I can also do zoom or phone calls to get statements or interviews, to inform the public. This service is being broadcasted on Holyoke Cable Channel 15, and also distributed through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and the Colectivo de Medios Latinos team that includes El Pueblo Latino (also The Republican and MassLive), Presencia from New England Public Media, a news segment in Spanish that is being aired on WHMP radio in Northampton, and also through Radioplasma.  

Take care and let me know if I can be of assistance with anything.



Dori Digenti: Breathing Space Yoga & Mindfulness Studio

First, I am wishing you and your family to be safe and healthy!

Breathing Space Yoga & Mindfulness Studio (a 501c3 nonprofit) on Race Street is closed during the crisis. We will keep our space in the STEAM Building ready until we can reopen in the future. Our volunteer work in the Hampden County Sheriff's Department is also on hiatus, as volunteers cannot enter the facilities at present.

We are providing services to the community during this time:

FREE Online resources include Youtube yoga classes, group meditation sessions on Sundays, and stress relieving audio guided meditations on our website:

ONLINE yoga classes scheduled each week, presented through Zoom, and paid on a sliding scale $5, $7 or $10. Those classes can be signed up for here:

Peace and health to all, we will meet again!



Matthew Leone: BHN Crisis

BHN Crisis services is still available 24/7 for assistance, support and assessment of any urgent behavioral health concerns. We are attempting to limit face to face interaction, when possible, and we have expanded to offer telehealth services utilizing telephone or the Zoom video conferencing platform. We are still providing mobile and on site face to face interventions when appropriate. The Living Room program also continues to remain open 24/7 for those in need of support.


Bud Delphin: MassHire

Mass Hire Holyoke Career Center is open for business remotely. Please go to our website, to access information and contact numbers. We are available to answer questions and provide support. Job Postings also are available on the website.

If you have a question about job seeker services, you can call 413-532-4900 and leave a message. A staff member will be in contact with you as soon as possible. If you need to file an unemployment claim, please call 877-626-6800, or you can do so on line at Thank you


Sergio Vicente: MassHire

Greetings Team,  

My hopes are that this message finds you in good health. The reason for this message is to provide an update from the Youth Services Office at MassHire Holyoke Career Center. As we gear up for our summer programs, we are faced with various challenges that have been received as opportunities for innovation and creativity. 

In an effort to keep our community safe during these times, we have devised an electronic version of our YouthWorks Applications for 2020. With the creation of this application, we are able to commence the application process as we are hopeful that in the near future, things will normalize and that our youth will be of great help to many organizations that have suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

To participate in the YouthWorks 2020 Employment Program please keep in mind that there are some eligibility requirements that are addressed in the application itself. We also would like to stress that the application itself is not a promise of employment and will be used more as an initiation as families will need to follow up with the Youth Services Office at MassHire Holyoke in order to complete the process.  

Please help us by spreading the information in the following link to all of the families that you service that you feel would benefit from this program.  

To fill out the YouthWorks 2020 Interest Form, Please click on the link or go to:  


Any questions please feel free to contact to reach out to myself or any of the members of our youth team. Contact information can be found within the application website. 


Monica Baldyga: Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass

Virtual Girl Scout Information Session!

The way we do things may be different, but Girl Scouts is moving forward! If your girl is interested in being a Girl Scout, join us for an upcoming virtual information session to learn more.

Intro to Girl Scouts


These are unprecedented times, and we know families like yours are looking for ways to bring optimism, joy, and purpose to each day during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Whether or not you’re familiar with us at Girl Scouts, we want to be there for you.   That’s why we’re proud to offer Girl Scouts at Home, an innovative way for families to embrace the experiences, learning, and joy of Girl Scouts—for free—wherever they may be members or not.  Through Girl Scouts at Home, we are proud to offer free access to a wide variety of Girl Scout activities, including two full badge activity guides per grade level group that allow girls to earn official Girl Scout badges. Additionally, we’ve partnered with our Girl Scout community far and wide to offer you special videos leading girls through this new experience.

Girl Scouts ¿Quiénes Somos? Aprende más


Jennie Adamczyk: Providence Ministries

Here are the updates to Providence Ministries,

The following changes have been made to the services at Providence Ministries:

Kate’s Kitchen will continue to serve lunch to the community Mon-Friday from 12-2 and has ceased operations on the weekends.

Margaret’s Pantry will continue to hand out food to the public by appointment.

Sober Housing is currently not taking any new residents in and houses are on lock down to the general public.

Thank you Ed!


David Beturne: Big Bothers / Big Sisters of Hampden County

Feel free to share that BBBS of Hampden County is operating on a limited basis, providing support to existing matches. Intakes of volunteers and children have been suspended. Match meetings and home visits of any kind have been put on hold for the time being.

All questions, concerns should be directed to David Beturne, Executive Director. I can be reached at 781-4730 ext. 112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Guy Ciancio: River Valley Counselling Center

RVCC is still admitting new clients and continuing to see existing clients via telehealth. Our Central Intake phone number is (413) 540-1234 for anyone looking for behavioral health services. Our prescribers are also continuing care and services via telehealth. 

Thank you, 


Christine Zaskey Cullen: Holyoke Chicopee Family and Community Program

The Holyoke Chicopee Family and Community Program (CFCE Grant) is supporting families during this time. We are listing basic need resources, parenting information, and learning activities on our Facebook page. (Holyoke Chicopee CFCE Facebook). We are able to check in with families by phone for those who just need someone to talk to during this time. Families can also provide an email address to receive information by email. The Facebook page has video playgroups for children ages 3-5. These videos engage children in learning activities and give families information on how to support learning through play at home. We will also be implementing a Parent Chat on Zoom for families to connect with each other. Please call Christine at (413) 549-0259 for more information or to join our email list. Or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jesus Pereira: Holyoke Veteran’s Serices

The Holyoke Veterans' Services Department is still available via phone or email. Veteran's, surviving spouses and eligible dependents may contact us at 413-322-5630 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Brenda Carroll: Commonwealth Care Alliance

News Update - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Providers

March 16, 2020

Dear Commonwealth Care Alliance providers:

As you know, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak has presented a public health emergency across the world. Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) remains committed to working with our provider partners to provide the highest quality, individualized care to the members we so proudly serve. We are also working to help enable our members to remain in their homes in order to help reduce COVID-19 exposure and transmission, and to preserve health system capacity for the duration of this public health emergency. As part of these efforts, we have implemented the following:

  • • CCA will cover the full cost of diagnostic tests for COVID-19. CCA members who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for testing will have no co-pay, coinsurance, or deductibles for these tests.
  • • Effective March 10th–April 9th 2020, CCA members can refill their medications early (without being rejected for filling too soon). This will help ensure they have an adequate supply of medications so they have the ability to remain at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • • All administrative barriers, such as prior authorizations and referrals, for medically appropriate care for COVID-19 will be removed.
  • • CCA will permit qualified providers to deliver clinically-appropriate, medically-necessary CCA-covered services to CCA members via telehealth. Providers are encouraged to use appropriate technologies to communicate with individuals and should, to the extent feasible, ensure the same rights to confidentiality and security as provided in face-to-face services.
  • • CCA will cover all medically necessary COVID-19 treatment at doctor's offices, emergency rooms and urgent care centers within the United States or internationally. Consistent with the guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Insurance, this will include the cost of vaccination, once a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

CCA also continues to follow the recommendations from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to keep our members and employees safe. We encourage providers to consult the CDC, the DPH, Mass.Gov Coronavirus and CCA websites for the most up to date information.

We will continue to provide updates to you as they become available. If you have any questions, please contact CCA’s Provider Services at 866-610-2273. 0070_COVID-19 30 Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108 | Tel: 866-610-2273 | Fax: 617-426-1311

Thank you for your continued support and the quality of care you provide to CCA member as we work through the challenges of COVID-19.


Pamela Barnes: Womanshelter Companeras

Womanshelter's priority remains the provision of support services to those who are experiencing domestic violence.  Anyone who wishes to access domestic violence services should call our emergency hotline number at 413-536-1628.  This is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  A domestic violence advocate will be available by phone to conduct an intake assessment and determine the next steps for services and safety planning.

Our main office is closed for walk-in and group meetings, and all staff are working remotely.  Domestic violence advocates can be reached by calling the hotline number at 413-536-1628.  

We are not accepting donations of clothing, toys, household items, etc. from the general public until furthernotice.  Anyone who is interested in donating cleaning supplies and paper products should call the mail office at 413-538-9717, ext. 170 and leave a message for Pamela Barnes.


Ana Jaramillo: Holyoke Health Center

HHC is still open an seeing patients mostly via Telehealth. I'm working remotely, but still actively looking for ways to get accurate information to best serve patients of our and/or Holyoke Community to overcome challenges during this Covid 19 Crisis.

I have trying to get as much information I can for basic needs such food access, homeless resources including those who are presumptive or positive Covid 19. Do you have any info about these?



Judy Taylor: Holyoke Public Schools

Following Governor Baker’s announcement that schools across Massachusetts will open no earlier than Monday, May 4th, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) shared a series of recommendations for remote learning last week.  The guidance notes that while nothing can replace the in-person schooling experience, it is clear that districts have an obligation to continue the learning process for students.  In alignment with the Commissioner’s guidance, today begins the second phase of our remote learning efforts that will extend for the next five weeks.  Our schools will continue to post assignments on the site and are designing remote learning plans anchored by the following philosophy:

Remote learning in Holyoke Public Schools will be a combination of online and offline learning opportunities that engage students in meaningful learning that reinforces skills and concepts already explicitly taught this school year (prior to closure).  Students will be immersed in learning that asks them to apply these skills and to deepen their understanding. 

Components of Remote Learning

Parents/Guardians can expect the following moving forward:

Time on Learning: Schools are developing learning opportunities for approximately 3 hours a day (half of the school day) for our K-12 students and approximately 1.5-2 hours a day for our preschool students.

Types of Activities: The assignments provided by our educators will be both technology-based and non-technology based. It will be a combination of work directed by the teacher (video recordings, read alouds, demonstration lessons and explicit directions for the completion of projects, etc.) and work that students are required to complete independently (reading a book or article, completing writing journals, using learning platforms the student is already familiar with from school, etc).

Material Taught: Beyond Science, Math, English Language Arts, and Social Studies, students will be exposed to various areas of the curriculum including physical education, social-emotional learning, music/dance, media and visual arts opportunities.

Feedback for Students: Educators will provide students with ongoing feedback on work submitted using online tools like Bloomz, ClassDojo, Google Classroom or other electronic modes of communication used across our schools.

Team Teaching: Our educators will be working together – classroom teachers, interventionists, Special Education teachers, tutors, paraprofessionals, and English Learner teachers – to manage and guide students through the work assigned.

Supports for Special Education Students and English Learners: To the extent possible, students who have Individual Education Plans and receive English Learner Students supports will be provided resources and services to ensure access and continuity of learning. . 

Paper-based work packets (by grade band) will continue to be available at our six food sites:  Morgan, Kelly, Lawrence, Holyoke High North, Donahue, and Sullivan.

Technology Guidelines and Access

Video-conferencing: Given that our staff will be using video-conferencing more regularly, we have developed guidelines for students and families to safely and effectively use these tools. English, Spanish.

Devices: We have now distributed more than 1,100 devices to HPS families over the last two weeks. If your family is still in need of a device in order to access remote learning, please contact your child’s teacher or call/text our English-speaking hotline at 413.561.0862 or Spanish-speaking hotline at 413.314.3560.

Internet Access: With the assistance of Mayor Morse, we have established a partnership with Comcast to provide a free Internet connection to any HPS family over the next six months (as long as they have not had service within the last 90 days). We will share information on how to initiate this service later this week. 


Below is the grading plan during school closure.  Please note that a decision regarding last quarter grades in grades K-12 will be made once there is more clarity as to whether schools will reopen on May 4th as predicted.

Grades Kindergarten-5: Grades closed on Friday, March 13th for the 2nd trimester. Report cards and special education progress reports were mailed home last week. 

Grades 6-8: 3rd quarter grades will now close on March 13th, but students can make-up work assigned until April 17th to improve their 3rd quarter grades.  Final 3rd quarter report cards and special education progress reports will be shared with students and families during the week of May 4th. 

Grades 9-12: 3rd quarter grades will now close on March 13th, but students can make-up work assigned until April 17th to improve their 3rd quarter grades. Final 3rd quarter report cards and special education progress reports will be shared with students and families during the week of May 4th. 

Thank you for your patience as we adapt to a new way of teaching your children while away from school, and thank you for all you are doing at home to support your children’s learning.  Please continue to encourage your children to complete the assignments that our educators share so that they can continue to develop their academic and social skills.    We encourage and welcome your insights and feedback in the days ahead. We send you our deepest wishes for the continued well -being of our precious students and of you our families.

Dr. Zrike is hosting a Facebook Live for students (only) on Wednesday evening at 5 pm.  We are asking students to submit questions via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the end of the day Tuesday or ask questions live.    

Recent communications:

4-3-20 Emotional Well-Being and Support for Families During COVID-19 School Closures

Food Access for Holyoke Students during District Closure

Last updated 4-3-20 at 10:00 AM

Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch for Holyoke Students – Menus (PDF)

Food Service Changes – Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch to take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Holyoke Public Schools is changing the grab and go schedule for meals beginning Monday, April 6th.  Distribution will be changing from Monday through Friday to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.This is being done to limit person to person contact as much as we can and still provide the service.

The meals will include two breakfasts and two lunches on Monday and Wednesday for each student so they will be covered for breakfast and lunch Monday-Thursday.  

Please note that on Fridays students will receive 4 extra meals, so they can enjoy breakfast and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays during the closure.

The times and locations will remain the same.  

Holyoke school-aged students can pick up breakfast and lunch at the front doors of ANY of the following schools: Morgan, Donahue, Holyoke High School North, Kelly, Lawrence, and Sullivan schools from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm 

If these hours or locations present a challenge to you, please contact Jose Bou, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 413-534-2000, Ext. 1104 or the Family and Community Engagement member from your school.  

Holyoke Boys and Girls Club Offers Grab and Go Dinner for Holyoke Students

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke offers a free “Grab & Go” Dinner Club Meal Program to all youth in Holyoke ages 18 years old and younger. The program operates Monday through Friday from 5 – 6:30 pm at the Main Club facility location on 70 Nick Cosmos Way, Holyoke MA.

Flyers with more information (PDF).

Food for Families

Kate’s Kitchen is providing to-go meals in the parking lot of 56 Cabot Street, Holyoke from 12:00 – 2:00 pm and Margaret’s Pantry is available by appointment by calling Brenda at 413-536-9109 Ext. 119.

To better help families access food resources during this time, Project Bread’s Child Nutrition Outreach Program has created a master list and map of all meal sites in Massachusetts currently serving students and families. In addition, counselors at Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 are available to connect you to food resources as well as provide information about elder meals programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The Hotline will continue to operate Monday-Friday, 8 am – 7 pm and Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm, and can provide information in 160 languages.

Additionally, to find food pantries and meal sites near you, the Foodbank of W. Massachusetts has prepared a user-friendly site where you can search by town or county and by the day of the week.  Use the link below to find food assistance. You can also use this link if you wish to donate or volunteer: This map updates live as information is received about program hour changes, as programs are added, and closures.


Debbie Flynn-Gonzalez: Hope for Holyoke Peer Recovery Support Center

Hello all- please share with your distribution lists- we are premiering the puppet show tomorrow on HFH Facebook Live at 1:30 but it will be available after that for family viewing.  Age appropriate for young children in addressing stress and worry, questions children may have, also fun for adults! Also included our revised online group schedule as we continue to provide “virtual peer recovery support”! Share with friends and families!

If people seeking recovery support or treatment can still call the HFH main number 561-1020 we are still fielding calls and getting back to people and assisting people and getting into treatment over the phone. We have literally been getting calls every day and have been able to get people into detox or assist with other options so we are willing to help where we can.


Dee Ward: Girls Inc. of the Valley

Girls Inc. of the Valley is offering programs virtually!  Please view the Girls Inc. website at to register and learn more.  We also encourage girls to follow us on social media where we will post program offerings, YouTube videos and activities.   Programs are open to girls ages 5- 18.   

Thank you,



Freddy DeJesus: Gandara Center for Children Health Behavioral Initiative (CBHI)

Gandara Center for Children Health Behavioral Initiative (CBHI) is still providing services. Our office location at 80 Commercial St. Holyoke, MA 01040 is closed but the business operation is still open. We are providing telehealth services for our Intensive Care Coordination, In-Home Therapy, In-Home Behavioral, Therapeutic Mentor, and Family Support and Trainer services. We can take referrals via phone at 413-846-0445 or on the attachments you can send referrals via email. Our hours of operation is from 8am to 5pm Monday thru Friday, although we are closed on April 20, 2020 due to Good Friday, we will be back open on Monday April 13th, 2020.

If there are any questions please feel free to contact Freddy DeJesus Jr. at 413-846-0445 ext. 6025 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Susan Ventura: Golden Years Home Care Services

Golden Years Home Care Services is hiring HHAs, CNAs, and PCAs for immediate hire. All CNAs and HHAs must have a valid certificate. Candidates must have reliable transportation, good references, clean and neat appearance, and a professional attitude. All caregivers are trained to infection control, proper Personal Protective Equipment use, and further continuing education to ensure the safety of our caregivers as well as our clients.

Job duties will include providing assistance in daily living and personal care services in patients homes in accordance with an established care plan. 


Sign on bonus

Paid Time Off 

Tuition Assistance Program 

Health Insurance 

All candidates will be expect to undergo CORI,SORI checks. 

Application must be submitted online at:


Rondey Allen: CrossPoint Clinical Services

We Thrive in Connection

Are you ready to make changes in your Health & Wellness? Are you looking for support and accountability in your health? Are you looking to build a healthier lifestyle? Are you looking to start or enhance your fitness plan?

Learn more here



Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library

The 2020 Mini Golf and Games at the Holyoke Public Library has been re-scheduled for Saturday September 26.

The Library building is currently closed, of course, but many electronic resources are available 24/7 from the library’s website:

Census information, including links to guides in Spanish and English, is posted prominently on that Library webpage.



Neil Desroches: U.S. Attorney’s Office

The Federal government is continuing to work through these difficult times to ensure the physical and financial safety of our communities.


Angel Coriano: Homework House Inc.

Homework House will be offering open tutoring to their students via google hangouts Mon-Fri from 2:30pm-4:00pm

Homework House is posting activities that you can do from home to keep busy (Family Fun Crafts)

Homework House is still planning on having their Free Summer Readers and Leaders Program (July 6-Aug 7) 


Ron Johnson: CrossPoint Clinical Services

We want you to know that we are here for you. You can now receive teletherapy in the convenience of your own home. Teletherapy does not require any fancy equipment and is covered by insurance. Your phone or your computer will do just fine. Please contact us and we will walk you through the simple setup. Contact Us Referral Form

Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your families.

Covid 19 Teletherapy Announcement, Teletherapy is available at 1-833-327-6777

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Victor A. Nunez-Ortiz: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Central Western Mass (CWM) is operating under special conditions:

With mission of geriatrics, mental health, and primary care, CWM closed its Community Living Center (CLC) early; is conducting drive-through testing; is supporting over 150 Soldier-On residents on its campus; patients are seen by appointment only in their CBOCs; employees are having their temperatures taken prior to their shift; they are practicing social distancing; and 90% of care is now being delivered virtually.

All VA locations are screening for respiratory illness and exposure to COVID-19.

Our Greenfield, Fitchburg, Worcester-Plantation Street, and Worcester-Lake Ave Clinics are closed effective Tuesday, March 24th, 2020, until further notice. For questions or concerns please contact the call center at 1(800) 893-1522. 

Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for urgent issues: 1(800) 273-8255, Press 1

When using telehealth services, VHA will provide a first line of defense by virtual screening for symptoms or exposure. Standardized screening questions are in place for all administrative call centers and Clinical Contact Centers (CCC).

At medical facilities, VHA is screening at all points of entry.  Facilities will use standardized screening questions at appointment check in and during initial clinical screening.

In addition, VHA is strongly encouraging Veterans to call their local medical center before visiting the facility and advising Veterans to consider using VA’s telehealth and virtual care options like VA Video Connect. VA’s telehealth providers can evaluate their symptoms and provide a diagnosis and comprehensive care. 

For updates, please visit  or our Facebook page at


Marisol Guevara: Springfield College

A Virtual Open House All About You You can learn more about our bachelor’s degrees in human services, business management, criminal justice, and recreational management, and our master’s degreesin clinical mental health counseling, organizational leadership, and nonprofit management. Talk to students and meet faculty and staff members. Our admissions counselors also can assist you in completing your application. 

Ask us about:

  • Earning undergraduate credits for work and life experience.  
  • Creating a schedule that works for you with our fully online or hybrid evening and weekend programs. 

Email today to reserve your place! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Once you register, you will receive a link to a Zoom session for your virtual open house experience. Call (413) 271-7692

Undergraduate Open House

Organizational Leadership Information Session

Regional Campus


Founded in 1885, Springfield College is a nonprofit institution and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.


Sarah Kapinos: Louis & Clark Pharmacy

We are committed to ensuring our customers receive the medications they need in a safe and timely manner, dependent on our suppliers. Our entire staff has been trained in proper handwashing, cleaning and infection control procedures, including our delivery drivers.  Much of our prescription-filling process is automated, which reduces the number of people handling products.

We offer free prescription delivery. If you have a loved one or client has not taken advantage of this service, we encourage you to do so, especially our elderly and immune-compromised patients who benefit the most from limited social contact. If they do not receive delivery from their pharmacy, we are happy to help them transfer their prescriptions to Louis & Clark Pharmacy so they can benefit from this service. In addition, through our website, you can easily manage your prescriptions and refills, request delivery, pay your bill, enroll and reach out to us with questions.

The health and wellness of our patients and staff are the utmost importance to us.  We are actively monitoring the news about the coronavirus COVID-19 and following recommendations from local, state and federal agencies, including the CDC.

Stay Safe & Health!

From your Local and Family owned Pharmacy since 1965,

Louis & Clark Pharmacy


Ruth Tirado: Community Education Project (CEP)

The Community Education Project (CEP) is a non-profit agency that prioritizes adult literacy and language education. Based in south Holyoke MA., most of our work is carried out through educational counseling, grassroots organizing and community partnerships. We are seeking your help and support in sharing the word about our ESOL program and Native Language Literacy in Spanish program. Due to COVID-19, our committed educators are continuing to hold their classes remotely. The Community Education Project (CEP) is seeking to recruit students for our Summer and Fall programs. 

Our class offerings are as follows: 

l- 3 levels of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Classes

|- 2 Levels of Native Language Literacy in Spanish

*Day and evening virtual class schedules are offered

To apply and coordinate an orientation you can reach referral specialist, Adlyn Colon at 413.552.2990 or by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wishing you well and good health,



Bronwyn Murphy: Holyoke Health Center

The Holyoke and Chicopee Health Centers continue to serve our patients and communities during COVID-19.

Services available during COVID-19:

  • Pharmacy – Open to serve patients and community, now offering curbside pick-up and home delivery. Call (413) 533-7323 for our Holyoke Pharmacy, and (413) 420 – 6222 for our Chicopee Pharmacy.
  • Medical – Open for sick/urgent and essential appointments, Telemedicine virtual phone/video visits for non-urgent and non-essential visits. As always, we have 24/7 nurse triage available via phone at (413) 420 – 2200.
  • Dental – Closed for all non-urgent services. Emergency services available at our Chicopee location on 505 Front St. Chicopee, by appointment only – call (413) 420 – 2200 for emergency dental services for adult, pediatric and orthodontics. Teledentistry virtual video visits available for urgent dental appointments. You do not have to be a current patient of the Holyoke or Chicopee Health Center to receive emergency dental services.
  • Eye Care – Closed for all non-urgent services. Emergency eye care services are available by appointment only, call (413) 420 – 2825.
  • Center for Recovery & Support (CRS) – Walk-in services are no longer available. Appointments for MAT, HIV, and testing & counseling are by appointment only. Call (413) 420 – 1730 to speak to a member of our CRS team.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, Holyoke and Chicopee Health Centers have implemented the following protocols:

  • Single point of entry to our facilities – All patients, visitors, and employees who enter our facilities will be screened for COVID.
  •          Limit to patient visitors – Patients can bring one caregiver with them to an appointment, and only if necessary. Additional visitors will not be permitted.
  •          ILI Clinic – ‘Influenza Like Illness’ Clinic that is specifically for patients who are presenting COVID symptoms.
  •          Clinical staff required to wear masks at all times in our facilities
  •         Increased cleaning/disinfecting in our facilities, especially high touch surfaces.

Please visit our website at for the most up-to-date information during COVID-19, or call (413) 420 – 2200.


Cynthia Espinosa: Planning and Economic Development

Thank you for your email. Due to a declared public health emergency, City Hall is closed until further notice.

During this time, many of our department staff members will not be in office but will be available remotely via email and/or phone for assistance. Essential services will still be provided, including trash & recycling pick up.

Please visit for a listing of city departments, contact information and ongoing updates regarding the City's Coronavirus response. Email communications and voicemails are welcome and a staff member will return your message as soon as possible. 


Sarah Aasheim: WestMass ElderCare, Inc.

I'm writing with an update for the HSNI group.  WestMass ElderCare is continuing to operate as an essential service throughout the COVID-19 Crisis.  Our office is closed to visitors and 90% of our employees are working remotely.  Our homecare and nursing staff are offering assessments and support telephonically.  

WMEC's Meals on Wheels Program is running Monday through Friday and has experienced a 30% increase in home delivered meals requests since the COVID-19 public health advisories began in mid-March.  Many of the seniors who were receiving meals at the Holyoke Senior Center signed up for WMEC home-delivered meals when the Senior Center closed due to COVID-19. All requests are processed and new clients begin receiving meals within 1-2 days of referral.  Our nutrition staff and drivers are following strict safety and social distancing protocols.  We are in need of both volunteer and paid drivers.  Interested applicants should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 413-538-9020.

Donations are also needed to sustain our ability to respond to the COVID-19 needs and continue to deliver Meals on Wheels to anyone who needs it to stay safely at home throughout the outbreak.  You can give at or mail a check to WMEC, 4 Valley Mill Road, Holyoke 01040.

Thanks for delivering this update and please let me know if you have any questions!

Best, Sarah


Tarah Shepard: South Bay Community Services

South Bay is providing telehealth therapy services for youth and adults, we are also providing medication management services through tele med and there is no wait. If someone would like to refer an individual have them email me so I can process right away. They can also email me with any questions, thank you so much! Take care during this time.


Leanna Tamiso: Springfield College

We are still accepting applications for our summer and fall semesters and have waived the application fee indefinitely, making right now a great time to apply for a Master of Social Work degree. We have also extended our scholarship application deadlines to May 1st. 

We will be hosting a Virtual Information Session on Thursday, April 30th, from 5-6:30 pm for those who are interested in learning more about our weekday, evening, and weekend programs. Prospective students will be able to tune in from the comfort and safety of their homes! They can register here:

I encourage anyone interested in obtaining their MSW degree to explore our website, here: or contact me, Leanna Tamiso, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for continuing to connect us with resources during this challenging time. 

I hope that everyone is staying well.


Andrea St. Louis: National Farmworker Jobs Program, New England Farm Workers’ Council

In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the National Farmworkers Jobs Program at New England Farm Workers’ Council has moved to working remotely, temporarily closing its offices to the public. We continue to serve our participants and work with our community partners via email, phone, and regular mail. We are still enrolling new participants and providing support and qualifying financial assistance to existing participants. Our hours of operation continue to be 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Individuals who have worked on a farm within the last 2 years, can connect with with one of our Career Coaches by phone or email for assistance:

Marilyn Rodriguez - 413-386-6117, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Valerie Martinez - 413-355-6677, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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She's Local Open Meeting: 12/3/20

The Pioneer Valley She’s Local Team is looking for women in the Pioneer Valley to get involved.  Please consider joining an Open Meeting on Thursday, December 3rd at 6:30pm.  It is very important to hear from the women in the Pioneer Valley about what they feel are the topics that should be presented at the upcoming conference.  It is equally important to hear about local women that could potentially be speakers at the conference.

Please click on the link below and register to receive the Pioneer Valley Conference for Women Newsletter.

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