Annual Report for 2015-2016
I am pleased to submit this annual report to the citizens of Hampton for the 2015-2016 school year. As the principal of Hampton Academy, I am proud to serve the children, parents, and community as we all strive for educational excellence. Hampton Academy is comprised of sixty-five professional, paraprofessional, and support staff members. I witness their efforts, dedication, and genuine concern for each student on a daily basis. I am very fortunate to lead this group of caring professionals.
The school building houses sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. Currently, our student population is 398. Hampton Academy’s mission is “to provide an environment where all students are encouraged to reach their academic, artistic, social, and physical potential in order to become productive citizens in an ever-changing world. This mission is best achieved when staff, families, and community share the responsibility of educating our adolescents during their middle school years.”
Hampton Academy, originally founded as a secondary proprietary school, celebrates 216 years of service this year. The original Hampton Academy was located on the Meeting House Green adjacent to Tuck Museum on Park Avenue, moving to the current location on Academy Avenue in 1883. In September of 1885, the school opened under the name “Hampton Academy & High School”. The “new” Hampton Academy & High School was dedicated in 1939 with additions added to the structure in 1963 and 1974. The building served as the town’s high school until 1959 when Winnacunnet High School opened. From 1960 till 2004, the facility was known as HAJH, or Hampton Academy Junior High School. In 2004, the school resumed the name “Hampton Academy” in response to the changes in educational programing for the “middle school student.” Although the programs and needs of our students have changed dramatically over the last seventy-seven years, our building has not.
As we look to plan for future needs at Hampton Academy, we continue to struggle with the challenges of providing a 21st century education within the confines of the iconic structure that has served the community so proudly. The building is in desperate need of vital upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, safety, and air quality systems, as well as handicap accessibility, and improved conditions for a safe and healthful environment. It lacks appropriate sized classrooms to meet the needs of our STEM and science lab core curriculums. The Eastman and lower gymnasiums are not suitable or safe for middle school athletics. The building also lacks an assembly area large enough to accommodate the student body due to current fire code regulations. In the last few years, we have been forced to rent space at other facilities for athletic programs and musical performances. The building has served this community well; however, it is time for Hampton to consider necessary improvements/renovations. The newly drafted renovation plan reflects the needs of our entire community, offering a full sized gymnasium, auditorium, and community room. A comprehensive set of plans, costs, and rational for this project can be found at http://www.sau90.org. Call Hampton Academy at 926-2000 for more information or a tour of the facility. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting the renovation of this building so it will continue to serve the educational needs of the young men and women of Hampton for future generations.
Hampton Academy remains committed to embracing opportunities for continued growth and progress. The STEM and STEAM programs offer an interdisciplinary approach to learning; rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply arts, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, in contexts which create connections between school, community, work, and global enterprises. This year, sixth and seventh grade students received a laptop to use in their studies. A student run weekly news program, Shark News, was implemented this year and can be viewed each weekend on Channel 13.
Assessing individual student growth is an essential part of education. To that end, Hampton Academy uses formative and summative assessments, affording teachers the necessary data to monitor periodic growth, align curriculum to meet core standards, and assist with the development of student success plans, by identifying specific areas of strengths and/or weaknesses. Teachers use this data in conjunction with our Response to Instruction (RTI) to provide additional support for struggling learners. Support is provided in a tiered model where the intensity of intervention increases in proportion to children’s levels of need. Intervention and children’s progress is closely monitored, assessed, and amended to meet their needs. Support is provided by a variety of professionals within the school community, including regular and special education teachers, interventionists, and specialists.
Hampton Academy celebrates the talents and strengths of its students through a variety of after-school sports, clubs, and activities. The school has eleven competitive sports teams, nine after-school clubs, and seven performance groups. Hampton Academy also partners with Rotary Interact Club. Interact gives students opportunities to support their school and community. Interact encourages and aids students with the development of leadership skills and make connections with community leaders, following the Rotary’s motto of “service above self.”
As important as our staff is, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the following people for everything they do for us each year. I wish to thank the Hampton Academy Trustees, the Hampton Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments, Lane Memorial Library, Hampton Rotary Club, Experience Hampton, Pease Greeters, St. James Mason Lodge, the Hampton PTA and many other local organizations and community members for their unwavering support. I thank the entire Hampton Academy staff for their dedication and commitment to providing Hampton students with the highest quality education. I also want to acknowledge the staff members who are bidding us farewell this year after many years of dedicated service:
Mrs. Kathy Collins, Mrs. Sheryl Blair, Ms. Dianne Reardon, Mrs. Linda Trofatter, and Mrs. Lori Cotter, whose great great grandfather donated an acre of land in 1881 to the Town of Hampton so the building could be moved to its current location. On behalf of the entire staff, we wish you all the best in your well-deserved retirements.
Finally, I would like to thank this community for the care and outpouring of support shown to me while undergoing cancer treatments this past year. I remain grateful to live and work in a community that values education and demonstrates so often, and in so many ways, a strong commitment to our children.
David O’Connor, Principal