December 20, 2017
Dear Parents and Residents:
We are writing to provide you with an update regarding the McCloskey School building and our connected efforts to expand Early College* coursework and underrepresented programs for our high school students in Uxbridge and throughout the region. Uxbridge High School has solidified an engineering pathway over the past two years to better address higher education and workforce needs - and our sights are now set on the biomedical and agricultural industries, in addition to expanding early college opportunities, which would benefit students and families alike.
With the closure of the McCloskey Middle School, an opportunity has presented itself to establish college programming at the McCloskey campus through a potential partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College for high school students, post-secondary students, and adults to advance career training. The Uxbridge Public Schools administration feels strongly that joint partnerships between higher education and PreK-12 public school systems will form the basis of the next wave of reform initiatives in Massachusetts, since the last major reform of 1993.
On Tuesday, the School Committee voted to endorse the administration’s exploration and pursuit of state and federal grant funding, with the goal of establishing technical and higher education programming in the local Uxbridge Public Schools. There is an understanding that this pursuit will likely be a collaborative effort among Blackstone Valley and Worcester County schools. Likewise, discussions and decisions about the future plans of the McCloskey campus will occur in the upcoming months, as it is understood that early college programming to address higher education and workforce needs will likely require the use of the campus. In so doing, Uxbridge may very well be poised not only to lead new partnerships but also potentially fill the regional void in terms of higher education opportunities in the Blackstone Valley. With the state encouraging districts to collaborate, and given the demands identified by both higher education and the local workforce, the opportunities could be many, which is why additional study and exploration has been supported at this time.
We will be sure to inform the community in advance of informational forums to discuss these opportunities in greater depth. In the meantime, please see the attached Early College and McCloskey School Reuse Summary and the Higher Education Center PowerPoint that was presented to the School Committee on December 19, 2017. We hope this information will provide you with background details that will help you to understand our strategic efforts and lay the groundwork for meaningful and engaging discussions moving forward.
Kevin M. Carney Michael Rubin
Superintendent of Schools UHS Principal
Early College programming has been defined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as an effort to provide high school students with college-level coursework while simultaneously providing exposure to a variety of career opportunities.