Back to School 2018-19

(Image: SA Student Council Members)

Dear Smith Academy Community Members,

Greetings, I hope the summer is treating you and your family well...

As we prepare for a successful 2018-19 school year, I am writing to communicate the details for the start of school and important information regarding the academic year. Please welcome our new faculty and staff members: Ms. Shifra Yonis (HS Science), Mr. Brendan Abad (PE/Health), Mrs. Kristy Dadmun (SA Admin. Assistant), and Mrs. Emily Anderson (School Psychologist) to the Smith Academy family. We look forward to experiencing the new energy they will bring to Smith and the benefits of their professional skill-sets! 

*Please note that our snack time will now be offered at 8:30 rather than 9:30 am. 

Overview

Information regarding the best way to contact teachers, dates for the 7th Grade and New Student Orientation, eligibility guidelines for playing a fall sport, lunch menu and MySchoolBucks, school supply lists for middle school students, and the academic calendars are among the items that we hope you will find useful as you begin to plan for an outstanding and busy year at Smith Academy. After reading the information below, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Our opening day is scheduled for Thursday, August 30. All students will report to the gymnasium for our faculty greeting and to review the first-day schedule. After our welcome back message, students will be assigned to their first period educator where they will review schedules, locker assignments, and other pertinent information.

In order for us to keep you informed of news and events at Smith Academy, we ask for a current email address. If you are new to Smith Academy this year, or if your email has changed from last year, we request that you share your email address within the first week of school. If for any reason you are unable to receive emails at home or work, please let us know and we will be happy to mail you a hard copy of what we send out electronically. In addition to the website and email communications, we send out a monthly newsletter and have a twitter account to keep you abreast of all happenings at Smith. We encourage you to explore the webpage and available school calendars from which you can subscribe to display on your personal device (add calendar). We utilize an instagram account for unofficial communications and to share student-centered items.

Schedules and Report Card Access

Student schedules are now viewable within Plusportal. Please note that if there are any issues with schedules Mrs. Pescitelli will be available August 20, 21, & 22 to meet with parents/guardians and students. We ask that you make an appointment in advance to ensure we are able to schedule an adequate amount of time (usually 15 minutes). If you plan to enroll in a VHS course they will be scheduled within the first few days of school (VHS course availability is not finalized until closer to the start of the school year). Last, please remember that the last day to drop courses is Thursday, September 6. If you would like to schedule a meeting with Mrs. Pescitelli, please contact her directly: Mrs. Pescitelli EMAIL.

Plusportal is a vital tool that permits users to view educator gradebooks, report cards, and student schedules. Users are also able to contact educators directly, view calendars, and view our lunch menu. The user homepage can be accessed here: PLUSPORTAL LOGIN. New users will receive a separate secure email that will permit you access to plusportal. If you have any issue with accessing plusportal please contact Mrs. Dadmun.

To learn more about accessing and navigating the portal please view Rediker's instructional videos on their web-based software here: PLUSPORTAL TUTORIAL.

Middle School

All 7th and 8th Grade parents/guardians will want to read the Middle School webpage on our website. It provides information on Middle School academic and social expectations. You will also find information regarding the 8th grade Washington, D.C. trip (you will be alerted/updated throughout the year). In addition, please see the Middle School Supply Page for more detailed information and supply requests. All homework and weekly overviews are posted to the Daily Homework Page.

Grade 7 and New Student Orientation Information

In order to facilitate a smooth start to the year for our new students, an orientation session will be held on Wednesday, August 22 from 11-12 pm. New students will receive a hard-copy schedule, locker assignments, receive a tour of their classrooms, and meet with Mrs. Pescitelli (Guidance Counselor) and myself. Seventh Grade students and parents/guardians will also have the opportunity to meet with the Middle School educators. We invite you to join us for a lunch/cookout at the conclusion of the orientation program. Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to attend. If you plan on attending, please fill out the Student Orientation Sign-Up so we can plan accordingly. Please contact us at 413-247-5641 if you cannot access this form.

AGENDA: Meeting in the Sherry A. Webb Gym for a brief presentation followed by a tour and then lunch.

For the last few years we have been involved with the Three County Fair’s Demolition Bus Derby fundraiser. We are provided the opportunity to paint our bus in a school-spirited theme. This usually take places a week or two prior to the Labor Day weekend fair. We are attempting to have this event scheduled for the same day as our new student orientation as it is a great team-building/introductory opportunity. Our assigned date/time is not within our control and is determined by the fairgrounds administration, I will communicate this information as soon as I learn more.

Student Schedules and Guidance Meetings

Your child’s schedule is now available in plusportal under the schedule tab. Please understand that developing the master schedule is a very detailed and intricate process. Our decisions are based upon the best interests of our collective school-community. Academic programming and individual student schedules are balanced in the most academically appropriate manner possible. Our decisions are made with one intention: to provide the highest quality of education possible to our students.

As mentioned above, Mrs. Pescitelli will be available on three separate days prior to the start of school. These sessions are designed to resolve any academic conflicts or concerns you may have with the assigned schedule. The meeting times available are 8 am - 2 pm on the following dates: 8/20 (Mon.), 8/21 (Tue.), 8/22 (Wed.). Please contact Mrs. Pescitelli directly prior to the dates provided to schedule your appointment (cpescitelli@hatfieldps.net).

*All X-Block selections will be made during the first two days of school.

Athletic Program

Students playing a fall sport should be ready to join pre-season practices on Thursday, August 23.

  • Fees and Registration

All student-athletes MUST register for each sport through FamilyID. Please visit our FAMILY.ID PAGE to register your student-athlete.

Fees must be paid in advance before the first scheduled game of the season. No one will be excluded from a team or activity due to the cost of the activity. Students who are unable to pay all or part of the fee should speak with the principal. Students may not participate in any athletic contest until the fee is paid. All fees must be paid to Brenda in the Main Office as coaches are NOT responsible for collecting athletic fees ($125 per Sport with a Family Cap of $500).

Throughout the year you can find updates on our Athletic Programs webpage. You will also find the MIAA Smith Academy page helpful when looking for game schedules. You are also always welcome to contact our Athletic Director: Ms. Allison Slysz.

  • Fall Participation

In order for a student to participate in fall sports practices, the athlete must have a current physical (within the last thirteen months). For numerous reasons, we must strictly enforce this procedure without exception. Please know that if your family is away during the pre-season conditioning sessions, students may still participate on a team by attending practices when school opens. Lastly, students must also meet academic eligibility requirements in order to participate in the interscholastic sports program.

Smith Academy requires that our Student-Athletes are prepared for the start of a season. If a player joins a team after the first date when practice can occur, they will have to participate in 7 practices before they will be allowed to participate in a game. A practice, in this case, will be defined as actively performing tasks that are specific to the sport in which the player is a part of, and it must last at least one hour in length. Two practice sessions conducted on the same day are allowed on non-school days, but there must be at least 8 hours between the end of session 1 and the beginning of session 2. There will only be 2 days where double sessions are allowed to occur. All practices must be conducted with the head coach in attendance.

Open House

Open House will be held on Wednesday, September 12 at 6:00 pm.

Consent Information

Armed Forces Recruitment: The No Child Left Behind legislation requires all public secondary schools receiving federal funds to provide student names, addresses and phone numbers to the United States Armed Forces for the purpose of recruitment. If you DO NOT want SA to provide your child’s information, you must notify the school, in writing, to have your child’s information removed from the lists that will be forwarded to the Armed Forces.

Media Release: Please see our media release language below. If you DO NOT want your child utilized in any form of media production, please place in writing your request via email (kdadmun@hatfieldps.net) or letter form to Mrs. Kristy Dadmun in the main office.

I hereby release and discharge The Hatfield Public Schools, and/or assigns from any and all liability by virtue of distortion, blurring, alteration, optical illusion and/or use in composite form, whether the same is intentional, or otherwise. Parent/guardian understands that images/video posted on the Internet can be viewed and downloaded by others. Parent/guardian understand that The Hatfield Public Schools may use any process or procedure resulting in the completion of the finished product, the publication, distribution, or public display, when images of the subject are used in accordance with the usage listed below.

Usage: To display images/video on Web site and/or for the use of images in publications, media, and print collateral.

Class Dues

Class dues are considered a student’s contribution for being a member of the class for a given academic year and are required in order to support class activities such as Homecoming, the Middle School Social, the Washington, D.C. Trip, Prom, Yearbook, Graduation and the Class Gift. At present, the dues are set at $60 per year. Families receiving, or who are eligible to receive, free-and-reduced lunch may contact the principal to discuss other payment options, including a reduction of the yearly-established amount. The payment of class dues commences in the 7th Grade and continues through one’s senior year. All students are required to pay dues regardless of one’s participation in an individual class event. Dues collected for that year are non-refundable. See the Student Handbook for more details.

Health Office

Parents/guardians whose children take medication during the school day, including asthma inhalers, must fill out medication forms and return them to the school nurse. Additionally, recent immunizations must be on file with the school nurse. Missing records may delay your child’s start of school. All forms can be found under School Nurse Forms: HERE

Substitute Teachers

Smith Academy is looking for adults interested in substitute teaching this year. If you have an interest in teaching, and are available to contribute in this critical area, please contact Mr. Keith Lepine.

Student Handbook

All SA students will receive a Student Handbook within the first week of school. Class meetings will be held to review certain items that all students must know and understand. Parent/guardians are required to sign a form acknowledging that they have had an opportunity to review the Handbook. You can find the 2018-19 Student Handbook HERE and on our website under the Parents and Students tab. Please understand the handbook is a procedural document that provides an outline for school business. Not all circumstances and/or variables involved with a given situation will be outlined within the handbook. Decisions will be made in the school community’s best interest and with all information taken into consideration.

Website Information

Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to explore our website. There is a great deal of information available here, and it will assist you in staying abreast of what is happening at Smith Academy, both in and out of the classroom.

Misc. Forms & Information

  1. Hatfield Public Schools District Calendar
  2. Smith Academy Academic Calendar
  3. Guidance Webpage
  4. Pupil Data Form
  5. Emergency/Medication Form
  6. Complete Summer Mailing Packet (with Free/Reduced Lunch Application)
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2

Looking forward to welcoming back our students and to a great academic year!

Respectfully,

Andrew Berrios, Ed.D.