Collaborate is defined as the ability to “work jointly with others or together, especially in an intellectual endeavor.”
At Hampton, the word takes on a much greater meaning. In fact, it plays such an important role in how we shape everything that we do that it is prominently featured in our Mission Statement: Hampton Township School District works collaboratively with the community to support all children in becoming creative and innovative problem-solvers and communicators. The District maintains high expectations by furthering our Tradition of Excellence as our students develop the knowledge, character and integrity to impact the world.
Collaboration among administrators, school board members, faculty, staff, students and the community as a whole has been an important factor in helping Hampton to become one of the best school districts on the regional, state and national levels. Collaboration also is an important life skill – one that our students will need to master if they hope to be successful in any endeavor in which they engage after they leave Hampton High School.
Looking back on the 2016-2017 school year, there were a number of accomplishments that reflect the importance of collaboration in the District.
One of the most exciting accomplishments was the awarding of a second National Blue Ribbon Schools designation for Hampton High School. The designation encompasses high-performing schools and schools that are demonstrating they are closing the achievement gap. Schools meeting the criteria can only be nominated once every five years. It is extremely difficult for a high school to be named a National Blue Ribbon School once, but to do so twice within two decades is quite remarkable. Of the 1,500 public and private Pennsylvania high schools, only 20 have been recognized in the entire history of the Blue Ribbon Award, with 12 of those in Western Pennsylvania. Only three high schools have received the designation more than once.
The High School also was able to boast a 100-percent graduation rate for the Class of 2017. Once again, this is an example of how a collaborative effort can produce amazing results. Students are monitored from the first day in the classroom to the final days of their senior year, and provided with the appropriate guidance and support needed to successfully complete their education at Hampton.
Another highlight of the 2016-2017 school year was the District’s first formal participation in the regional Remake Learning Days. On May 17, the community and region were invited to stop by Hampton Middle School to experience firsthand the exciting STEAM-related activities our students enjoy as part of the everyday curriculum at Hampton. Prominently featured at the event was our student-designed and built escape room with a Mayan theme. The project was one of many ways our students are given ownership over their learning.
Our High School musical, “Big Fish,” earned six Gene Kelly Awards in May. Hampton was awarded for Best Scenic Design Budget Level 2; Best Lighting Design Budget Level 2; Best Costume Design Budget Level 2; Best All-Student Orchestra; Best Crew and Technical Execution; and Best Musical Budget Level 2.
The High School Wind Ensemble had the honor and privilege to perform at the 2017 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Conference in April. Performers are chosen to participate following a rigorous selection process. Only two to three high school bands across the state are invited to perform at the event each year.
Our student athletes also enjoyed some notable accomplishments, including:
Girls’ Lacrosse – WPIAL Champions and Section Champions
Girls’ Volleyball – WPIAL Silver Medalist and Section Champions
Girls’ Basketball – Section Champions
Boys’ Basketball – WPIAL Silver Medalist
Boys’ Golf – Section Champions
Track/Field – Jason Goodman named WPIAL Champion
Gymnastics – Katrina Jones won all-round at the WPIAL Championships
The District also had numerous all-section and all-WPIAL team members, in addition to Academic All-Americans. Numerous teams and athletes qualified for the WPIAL and PIAA Championships, and we had 72 Scholar Athletes.
These are wonderful accomplishments; but there are more exciting initiatives and goals on the horizon for the 2017-2018 school year.
We are very excited about the District’s partnership with the Arts Education Collaborative of Pittsburgh. A true collaboration in every sense of the word, this partnership will involve not only District leadership, but also students, staff, parents and the community. We will participate in a yearlong exploration of how the District might enhance the quality of Art Education throughout the school district.
As part of our collaboration, we plan to use our Administrative Office Building Conference Room as a venue to display student artwork on a regular basis. While Hampton has always supported arts education, we plan to take our appreciation a step further by using public meeting spaces as places to highlight the themes of imagination and creativity that are common in the arts.
We look forward to participating in Remake Learning Days again this year, and plan to incorporate our Hues and Harmony community arts program into the event. In previous years, we have hosted the Hues and Harmony event separately, and only every other year. Moving forward, we will combine the two events and offer both annually.
The District also will be launching a student device initiative in which every student in grades 1-12 will be provided an electronic device as a means to enhance the District’s already rigorous curriculum. The devices will be rolled out over a four-year period, with students in grades 2, 4, 7 and 9 receiving either a tablet or a laptop-hybrid device in the fall of 2017. Updates on the device distribution plan, as well as training opportunities for parents, will be provided as the school year begins.
Hampton also is pleased to be leading a consortium of districts, with the combined goal of designing the highest-quality science curriculum. This consortium is partnering with the Carnegie Science Center and Jay McTighe, a national thought leader in the Understanding by Design curriculum design technique. PA Science Standards and frameworks will be used as the guide for creating this high-quality science curriculum.
Hampton High School, in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, is developing a new computer programming course and curriculum sequence. As part of the new curriculum offerings, Hampton will pilot a computer programming class titled Introduction to Computer Programming. The class will be available to students starting in 9th grade and teaches core computer skills.
The Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence (HAEE) has provided a grant that will be used at Hampton Middle School to transform an existing room into a conceptual thinking lab similar to what already exists at the High School. All buildings also are working on creating studio space/makerspace areas.
We also look forward to another spectacular year in our arts program, with the annual fall play and spring musical at the High School, the fall musical and 10-minute plays at the middle school and a variety of concerts and programs designed to highlight our remarkable art education opportunities. Finally, please be sure to come see our award winning marching band preform and play at our football games this fall.
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!
Dr. Michael Loughead
Superintendent of Schools