Southbridge Public Schools to Expand Southbridge Academy
Southbridge Public Schools Receiver/Superintendent Jeffrey A. Villar, Ph.D. is pleased to announce the expansion of Southbridge Academy to include students in grades 6, 7 and 8. Established in 2018, Southbridge Academy is a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Licensed Therapeutic Day School. The school, located in the former Southbridge High School building, is designed for students that historically do not make progress in a traditional setting. Its goal is to help students become successful by coupling high academic rigor with a focus on each student’s strengths, to ensure a truly individualized educational experience. Southbridge Academy graduates meet all MCAS and credit requirements for a Massachusetts High School Diploma.
Southbridge Academy students benefit from smaller class sizes, individualized care teams, and a high staff to student ratio. In addition to academic classroom settings, the Academy also offers work-study and credit recovery programs. Students have access to individual counseling on site, as well as a variety of services provided by partnerships with local organizations including You, Inc and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. In addition, Academy students are able to participate in extracurricular activities at Southbridge Middle High School, such as athletics and after-school clubs.
Presently, Southbridge Academy admits High School students in grades 9-12. Due to the success of the High School program, the school will increase enrollment to include Middle School students in grades 6-8. Beginning with the Spring 2020 semester, a limited number of openings will be available at the Academy for Southbridge Middle School students.
Southbridge Academy Principal, Desiree Chumsantivut, Ed.D. is pleased to welcome new students. “My goal is to ensure students graduate from Southbridge Academy college and career ready”, said Dr. Chumsantivut. “We will work closely with students, staff, and families to ensure our middle and high school students have the tools necessary for success.”
A Community Open House for Southbridge Academy is planned for the Spring. All Southbridge residents will be invited to visit for a tour and opportunity to meet the staff.
As a result of the Southbridge Academy expansion, several central office functions will relocate to Southbridge Middle High School, located at 132 Torrey Road. These include the offices of the Superintendent, Human Resources and Finance. These moves will allow Southbridge Academy the space needed to accommodate additional students and staff.
Additionally, Dr. Villar notes that the central office move to
Southbridge Middle High School underscores the importance of turnaround efforts at the secondary level, stating, “Focusing on secondary education in Southbridge is vital. Spending more time at Southbridge Middle High School gives my administrative team an opportunity to work closely with building leadership on initiatives to improve the educational experience of Southbridge students.”
Information about Southbridge Public Schools can be found on its website, http://www.southbridgepublic.org/.