September 2019 Newsletter

Dear Students & Parents/Guardians,

I hope that you are all enjoying the last moments of Summer and are excited to start the new school year! 

I wanted to let you know about some important upcoming events, opportunities to be an active member of the Smith Academy community and reminders about expectations in relation to attendance, school dress code, cell phone use and grading.

I look forward to working with you all to support the academic, social, and emotional development of all Smith Academy students and also to meeting many of you at our Open House event on September 11th, 6-8pm (College information for Seniors: 5:30-6pm). My door is always open should you like to discuss any educational business or you have a matter of concern. 

Best wishes

Chris Buckland, Principal, 

Twitter: @Smithacademy1, Instagram: smithacademy


Important Dates for September:

  • 8/29 Thursday: Students First Day (all students report to the gymnasium upon arrival)

  • 8/31 Saturday: Bus Derby at Three County Fair 7 pm 

  • 9/2 Monday: School Closed for Labor Day

  • 9/11 Wednesday: Open House (6-8 pm) College talk for Seniors 5:30-6pm

  • 9/12 Thursday: School Picture Day (9/24 Tuesday: Senior Section Photos)

  • 9/17 Tuesday: Heads-Up Meeting 6-8 pm at HES

  • 9/19 Thursday: Principal drop-in/listening session, 7:30-9am

  • 9/25 Wednesday: Screening of Angst, 6-8pm at HES

Student Handbook

During the first two days 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 Student Handbook. 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 available information taken into consideration. 

Electronic Gradebooks

Student schedules are now viewable within plusportal. When report cards are distributed we will utilize the e-locker area of plusportals. Directions on how to access e-locker will be shared when report cards are distributed.

For new parents/guardians, plusportal is an integral tool that allows 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

Handheld Device Policy

Please familiarize yourself with our Handheld Device Policy in our student handbook. I am asking for your support in enforcing this policy. Although electronic devices are embedded within our society, we are attempting to teach both responsibility and self-control in their use. When utilized for educational purposes, they can prove beneficial, conversely, they can prove very distracting when students are unable to "disconnect."

Please assist us in reinforcing the importance of responsible use by limiting text communication to strictly emergency purposes while your child is in school. If your child is feeling ill, we request that they visit the nurse's office to receive a proper assessment. Please refrain from scheduling health-related pick ups via text message without appropriate communication with our medical faculty. Last, students who feel they need to rest in the nurse's office will be asked to check-in their cell phones while laying down. We are asking for your support in speaking with your child about this policy and the importance of responsible use. 

Building Security

Upon arrival to Smith Academy, you must check-in at the main office, sign-in, receive a visitor’s pass, and await an escort to your destination. Unfortunately, due to tragic circumstances that have happened within our public schools, this is a necessary precaution in keeping ALL of our students safe. If you are requesting a formal parent-teacher conference or simply would like to speak to your child’s educators please utilize the appropriate steps necessary to arrange this meeting. You may call the school and leave a memo for an educator or utilize email to schedule your meeting. Our email contact page is a helpful tool: CONTACT PAGE

Parent Notification (Concerning Absences)

The Principal will notify Parents/Guardians, in writing, when students are absent for the following number of days:

  1. Five (5) Absences:   A letter of absences will be sent home.

  2. Ten (10) Absences:  A second letter of notification for excessive absences will be sent home.

  3. Fifteen (15) Absences:  A third letter of notification for excessive absences will be sent home.

  4. Twenty (20) Absences:  A fourth letter of notification for excessive absences will be sent home.

  5. Once a student exceeds twenty (20) absences from school or from an individual class, no credit towards graduation will be awarded.

  6.  Parents / Guardians should arrange a meeting with the School Principal and the Guidance Counselor to determine the next best course of action due to the loss of credits toward graduation.

Dress Code

As summer comes to an end, I am asking for your support with enforcing our dress code policy. When dressing for school, the line between relaxed and inappropriate is sometimes. I ask that you review the Dress Code Policy located in our Student Handbook with your child. 


There are several ways to become involved with our school/district. I am providing a list of parent/faculty groups that tighten the bond between community and school. Our collective efforts help to ensure our students receive the very best quality of education possible. I encourage and appreciate your participation.

  • STArHS: Supporting the Arts in Hatfield Schools: 

    • ​Mission: STArHS is a non-profit organization of parents, staff and townspeople. We support the arts in Hatfield, Massachusetts by funding scholarships, classroom supplies, activities and more.  Please visit our website to learn more and find ways you can get involved.

  • Booster Club: Smith Academy Athletic Awards Committee: A community committee that raises funds for athletic awards for our student athletes.

  • HEF: Hatfield Education Foundation: The Hatfield Education Foundation (HEF) was formed in 1990 by a group of committed and forward-looking Hatfield community members concerned with the future of their children's education. Mission Statement: To provide financial and general support for a variety of programs and activities which improve and enhance the educational and extracurricular offerings to the students of Hatfield.

  • SEPAC: Parent Advisory Council: The Parent Advisory Council advises the district on matters pertaining to the education and safety of students with disabilities. Membership in the PAC is open to any party interested in special education services, laws, and regulations surrounding student services.

  • School Council: Any parents or guardians who may be interested in serving on the school council should contact me directly:

    • Here is more information on the election process and council objectives: SCHOOL COUNCIL

  • Hatfield Cultural Council: The council supports opportunities that promote community support and participation. 

District Governing Bodies

School Committee: A five-member governing body of the school district. The superintendent works alongside the Committee to guide the district, approve the school budget, and create school policy. Any questions or comments on the Committee or their work can be answered by Superintendent Robert:


1.  Heather Cahill, Chair

2.  Jill Robinson, Vice-Chair

3.  Bridget Rodrigue

4.  Danielle Stanisewski

5.  Rebecca Bench

6. Savannah Bouley (Student representative)

Smith Academy Board of Trustees: The Trustees award school grants that provide additional curricular/instructional resources to SA. Additionally, the board awards individual academic scholarships to SA students. Smith Academy’s Board of Trustees is an invaluable resource and key component in helping SA reach its goals.

  • Members include: Anna Holhut, Sanford Belden, William Belden, Jonathan Bardwell, Richard O’Dea, Robert Shea, Jr., Brenda Keir, John Wilkes

School Department Updates: