Survey to be sent out by Schedule Committee

May 11, 2017

Dear Community Members;

One of the goals of the current District Improvement Plan is to "Review the current school schedules and make recommendations for changes, if necessary, in order to increase the overall time students spend on learning while still providing adequate time peer collaboration and professional development. To begin this process, I recently assembled a schedule committee made up of School Committee, teachers, and administrators. The purpose of the committee is to start a discussion about what works with the current school schedule and what does not work. It has been over ten years since there have been any significant changes to the current school schedule so a careful review is warranted.

I would like to point out that there are many good things about the current school schedule and that it's important to proceed carefully. This is particularly true in a small school district with shared staff and limited resources. Both our high academic achievement and vibrant fine arts programs have resulted under the current school schedule. Hatfield is also unique due to the fact that twenty-five percent of our student body do not currently reside in Hatfield.

With this in mind, it is important to ask if the school schedule could be improved. Some of the factors to take into account include: recent data that suggests a later start time is beneficial to adolescent students, the need to add more electives and advance placement courses at the secondary level, and continuing challenges of finding time for both collaboration and professional development for teachers.  

I want to emphasize that the committee is in the early stages of this process and that the work will continue into next year. There are NO significant changes planned for the 2017-2018 school year.  Before any significant changes would take place, the committee would first gather input from the various stakeholders including parents/guardians, school staff, and students through meetings and surveys.  The School Committee will have the final say on any significant changes to the school schedule.

The first survey to be sent out by the committee will go out via email to parents and guardians the week of May 14, 2017.  For those individuals without email access, the survey is available at the Superintendent's office or it can be mailed to you at your request (413) 247-5641.   

The members of the schedule committee include:    

  • Marti Barrett, Retired Superintendent and Principal,  Consultant and Co Facilitator
  • Andrew Berrios, Principal of Smith Academy
  • Christelle Boyle, French Teacher, Smith Academy
  • Emily Case, Middle School Science Teacher, Smith Academy
  • Jen Chapin, Principal of the Hatfield Elementary School
  • Jessica Corwin, Music Teacher, HES and Smith Academy
  • Jason Duncan, High School English Teacher, Smith Academy
  • Martha Elliot, Nurse, Smith Academy
  • Cathy Engelhardt, School Committee Chair
  • Julie Muellejans, Art Teacher, Smith Academy
  • Casey Pescitelli, Guidance Counselor Smith Academy
  • John Robert, Superintendent/ Director of Student Services/ Co facilitator

Thank you, 

John F. Robert