November 2017

(Image: Student Carving)

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope our November newsletter finds you and your family doing well!

I want to thank all who came out for the viewing of Most Likely to Succeed. The documentary was focused upon the benefits of project-based learning (PBL). The post-viewing community discussion was energizing and generated great questions and thoughts as we explore PBL. In a pilot trial, several educators have applied to explore various PBL activities. We are excited to observe the creativity of our educators and opportunities to learn created for our students over the next few months.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary (MDESE) has officially released our 2017 MCAS results. Shifts in rigor and testing platform uncovered areas where we will need to place particular attention. Specifically, ensuring that students fully understand the accessible tools and operation of the testing platform. Although we piloted several testing sessions prior to the official test, new changes are always an opportunity to learn and gain greater clarity on “best practice.” We will also take a look at the correlation between standards and specific cohorts of students. This will allow educators to identify areas of need and adjust curriculum where required.

Although we were not assigned accountability levels this year, overall the data indicates we continue to perform at a high level: SA Results. Smith Academy recognizes that this Academic assessment is only one measure of the many pieces that contribute to the overall quality of education we provide to our students. We also hold the Social and Emotional development of our students as top priorities and pride ourselves on effectively serving ALL of our students' needs. You can find more information on the next generation MCAS and gain greater insight: HERE.

On Sunday, Nov. 5 (5-6:30 pm) STArHS will host our annual Men Who Cook event! The evening will take place in the Sherry Webb Gymnasium and is open to the public. We encourage any and all to attend this great community dinner. I want to personally thank STArHS members and all of those who make this event a truly special evening. *Please note: outside vendors are not permitted to fundraise at this STArHS-exclusive event. If you have not already done so, please purchase tickets: HERE.

On Wednesday, November 8 we will host the Save a Life Tour. This assembly is intended to educate students on the dangers of distracted driving. The equipment and driving simulators will add to the experience and provide students the opportunity to gain an understanding of how distractions impact safely operating a motor vehicle.

Student Council has partnered with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive scheduled for Tuesday, November 14 from 8 - 2 pm in the Sherry Webb Gymnasium. If you are interested in donating please contact Mrs. Shelly Gingras. Please see official FLYER.

We are asking parents/guardians who drop-off or pick-up their child/ren to please remain behind any buses that are doing the same. At times, the pickup/drop-off area becomes congested. For the safety of our students, please remain behind the buses until they pull away instead of passing them on the inner-side of the drop-off loop.

School Department Updates:

  • Guidance Department​

  • Nurse Department

  • Food Services

    • November Menu

    • Special thank you to our local farming community for providing farm-to-table produce to our cafeteria this month:

      • Szawlowski Farm: Baked Potatoes

      • Bardwell Farm: Kale & Cabbage

      • Wendolowski Farm: Yellow Onions

Important Dates and Events:

  • Wednesday 11/1

    • School Council Meeting

  • Thursday 11/2

    • SAAAC Meeting (6:30 pm Smith Academy Cafeteria)

  • Saturday 11/4

    • Class of 2020 Can and Bottle Drive

  • Sunday 11/5

    • Men Who Cook (5-6:30 pm S.W. Gym)

  • Tuesday 11/7

    • Field Trip: Student Council

  • Wednesday 11/8

    • Save a Life Assembly

    • SAAAC Fall Sports Banquet (6:30 pm in Gym)

  • Thursday 11/9

    • School Closed: Professional Development Day for educators

  • Friday 11/10

    • School Closed: Veteran’s Day

  • Tuesday 11/14

    • American Red Cross Blood drive (8-2 pm in S.W. Gym) Mrs. Gingras -

      • Please see official FLYER.

    • Health & Wellness Committee Meeting (2:40 at HES)

    • Hatfield Mental Health Awareness Committee Meeting (6-8 pm at HES)

  • Friday 11/17

    • Bus Route Pilot: Bus pick-ups will be 30 minutes later than regularly scheduled

    • Field Trip: MIAA

    • Basketball Trivia Night Fundraiser (6:30 pm S.W. Gym) -Coach Zerneri -

  • Saturday 11/18

  • Monday 11/20

    • Bus Route Pilot: Bus pick-ups will be 30 minutes later than regularly scheduled

    • Pie Delivery/Pick-Up at 2 pm (Mr. Morris)

  • Tuesday 11/21

    • Bus Route Pilot: Bus pick-ups will be 30 minutes later than regularly scheduled

  • Wednesday 11/22, Thursday 11/23, Friday 11/24

    • School Closed: Thanksgiving Break



Andrew M. Berrios, Ed.D.