As I write this message, we are in the final weeks of preparation for the start of the 2019-2020 School Year. I hope that everyone has had a refreshing summer break and is ready to dive back into their studies and daily activities at HTSD.
Many of you know that I greatly admire Fred Rogers. I look to his example frequently as a guiding hand when making important decisions; not just those that affect my personal life, but also those that affect our school community as a whole. Mr. Rogers once said that “often, when you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else . . . the miles we go before we sleep will be filled with all the feelings that come from deep caring – delight, sadness, joy, wisdom – and that in all the endings of our life, we will be able to see the new beginnings.
That is my hope for our school community, as we send off the Class of 2019 to new beginnings, and look forward to what the 2019-2020 School Year has in store for our returning students.
The recently-concluded school year was action packed with exciting headlines occurring almost weekly. In an effort to share the excitement we experienced this year, I would like to take the opportunity to touch on a few highlights.
Academically, Hampton continues to be a leader on the regional and national stages.
For the 11th year in a row, the Hampton Township School District has been ranked one of the top 10 school districts in Pennsylvania, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times 2019 Guide to Western Pennsylvania’s School Districts report. The 2019 rankings list Hampton at number six out of 102 regional schools and number nine out of 493 schools statewide. The honor roll is based on PSSA and Keystone exams taken in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Hampton High School also has been recognized by US News & World Report in its 2019 Best High Schools in the U.S. ranking. Hampton is listed as fourth in our region, 17th in the state and 712 in the nation. Data for more than 23,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia were reviewed before the list was compiled. More than 17,000 schools were ranked using six factors based on state assessment performance and college readiness.
The Hampton Township Board of School Directors was named as a recipient of the 2018-2019 D. Richard Wynn School Board Award. The recognition is awarded by the Tri-State Area School Study Council of the University of Pittsburgh. I nominated our Board for this award because it is their cooperation and dedication to advancing the Tradition of Excellence at Hampton that has helped our students and teachers to succeed. Each individual member of our Board focuses solely on the advancement of the School District and are motivated to serve the entire Hampton community.
Hampton’s Leadership Team also was recognized this year as the recipient of the prestigious 2019 District Team Leadership Award. The award is granted each year by the Consortium for School Networking, and honors school district leadership teams for their transformative impact on student learning with technology. As part of the recognition process, Hampton presented at the 2019 CoSN Envision 2030 Annual Conference in Portland, Ore. alongside world renowned educator Dr. Ruben Puentedura, creator of the SAMR model, on Designing Learning for the Future. Our presentation examined the fourth industrial revolution and the role of artificial intelligence, computational thinking and extended reality on the changing world of work and the knowledge, skills and dispositions of today’s learners.
Hampton also was featured in the “10-Minute Tuesdays” podcast produced by Eduplanet21 for three separate interviews: The Move to Understanding by Design®, Personalized Approach to Professional Development and Teachers Perspective on Understanding by Design®. The podcasts are available on Eduplanet21’s website at www.eduplanet21.com/10min-tuesdays.
At Hampton, we also believe in the importance and value of the A (arts) in STEAM education. That’s why the Hues & Harmony event – featuring visual, fine and performing arts – has been made an annual event in the District. Previously, the event was held every other year. With arts education recognized by experts in education as a valuable tool for development of collaborative, creative and problem-solving skills in students, Hampton will continue to emphasize arts education in our schools. District-wide, we continue to work with the Arts Education Collaborative of Pittsburgh to improve our arts curriculum.
Athletically, the District had a record year for achievement during the 2018-2019 School Year; we will continue to cheer on our teams and scholar athletes who not only excel on the fields and courts, but in the classroom as well.
So many achievements in Academics, the Arts and Athletics transpired last school year that it’s difficult to imagine what the coming year will bring. However, what I have learned during my tenure here is that when our students, staff and families work together, almost anything is possible. I look forward to seeing our District shine even brighter in 2019-2020.
Welcome back! Have a rewarding and productive 2019-2020 school year!
Dr. Michael Loughead, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools