Summer Newsletter

Dear Smith Academy Community Members,

Greetings, I hope the summer is treating you well. 

As we prepare for another successful year, please join me in welcoming several new educators and support staff to Smith Academy. First, Mr. Dan Jaworski has been hired to share in teaching our high school science offerings. Second, Ms. Susan Cole will teach high school math alongside Dr. LeGrand. Finally, Mr. Robert Spring has been hired as one of our new middle school paraprofessionals. Mr. Matt Brown, Mr. John Garrett, and Mrs. Shelley Gingras will remain in their current positions following their official hire last year. 

I want to share that our official New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) report has been released. In reviewing the report, you will find that we received several accommodations; however, with any audit recommendations were also made. These recommendations will be addressed in the coming school year/s. Please find the report here: NEASC REPORT. Again, thank you to all the school community members who showed their support throughout this process.

The information provided below is intended to explain the details of our opening days and communicate important information regarding the 2015-2016 school year.

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 a successful and busy year at Smith Academy. After reading the below information, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Our opening day is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2nd. Students playing a fall sport should be ready to join pre-season practices on Thursday, August 27th.

In order for us to keep you informed of news and events at Smith Academy, we ask for an up-to-date 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 of copy of what we send out electronically. Please print and complete the email registration form and drop it off to Mrs. Kristy Dadmun in the Main Office.

All 7th and 8th Grade parents/guardians will want to read the Middle School Webpage. It provides information on Middle School academic and social expectations.

7th Grade Orientation 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 26th from 11-12 pm. Students will receive their schedules and locker assignments, provided with a tour of classrooms, and meet with their guidance counselor and the principal. 7th Grade students and parents will also have the opportunity to meet with teachers. We will also be serving a free lunch/cookout for students and their families at the conclusion of the orientation program. Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to attend. If you plan on attending, please fill out the following form: STUDENT ORIENTATION SIGN-UP.

Agenda: Meeting the Sherry Webb Gym for brief presentation followed by tour (11-11:30) and then lunch (11:30-12).        

Student Schedules and Guidance Meetings

Your child's schedule will be mailed in hard copy form. Mrs. Pescitelli will be available on three separate days prior to the start of school. These sessions are designed to resolve any conflicts or concerns you may have with the assigned schedule. The meeting times available are between 8 am-2 pm on the following dates: August 25th (Tues.), 8/26 (Wed.), and 8/27 (Thur.). Please contact Mrs. Pescitelli directly prior to the dates provided to schedule your appointment (cpescitelli@hatfieldps.net).

Grade 8 Language Offerings

The language offerings for 8th grade students will be changed from Language 1 courses to Introductory courses for the 2015-16 school year. Students will be placed in both Intro. to French and Spanish through semesterized sections. For example, a student will take Intro. to Spanish for the first half of the year and French for the second half. These courses will lay the groundwork for both cultural and linguistic introductions to the language. We will eventually cycle Language 5 courses out of the schedule. Students will still be able to build strong college applications with Language offerings through the 4th level. We will also still offer Independent Study offerings for those students who show a special interest in pursuing a language passed the 4th year. In this model, our 8th grade students will be able to develop a true understanding/feel for the culture and language before more fully committing to the course in 9th grade. If students would like to take both languages this will also still remain an option, but it will have to be staggered within their schedule (same as before). 

Fall Sports Participation

In order for a student to participate in fall sports practices, he/she must have had a 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 apart of and they 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 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.

Athletic Fees

Fees must be paid in advance of 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.                 

$100 per Sport with a Family Cap of $450

More Athletic Program information can be found via the: ATHLETICS PAGE

Open House

Open House will be held on Tuesday, September 15th at 6:00 pm.

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.

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.

If you are looking for specific forms please see Forms, Documents, & Reports Page

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. David Keir at 413-588-1915.

Student Handbook

All SA students will receive a Student Handbook within the first week of school.  Class meetings will be held to review certain issues 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.

Website Information

Parents/guardians should be certain to visit our new website at http://www.hatfieldps.net/smith-academy. There is a great deal of information available there, and it will be the place to stay abreast of what is happening at Smith Academy, both in and out of the classroom.

Best wishes for an outstanding 2015-2016 school year!

 

Respectfully,

Andrew Berrios