Hatfield Schools step up security, promote healthy habits
Hatfield Elementary students, from left, Willy Childs, Jacob Yagodzinski, Morgan Whidden, Maisy Dyer and Elena Baranoski practice proper form for squats during a BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success) program before school last May.
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Hatfield Elementary physical education teacher Julie Andrus and student Olivia Niedbala jog back from the pavilion behind the school during a BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success) program that Andrus leads before the start of the school day.
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HATFIELD — New security measures are being put in place this year at Smith Academy and the Hatfield Elementary School.
Smith Academy Principal Andrew Berrios said cameras will be focused on main corridors and parking lots. He called the expanded security measures a proactive safety strategy that aims to dissuade any violence, vandalism or poor conduct.
“The installation should be completed by the time the kids get back, or shortly thereafter,” Berrios said.
Also new this year, Hatfield Elementary School Principal Jennifer Chapin says a new outdoor classroom is being built by Smith Academy student Harrison Bardwell, a project he is doing to receive his Eagle Scout badge.
“When it’s completed this will be a nice outdoor spot for environmental classes, as well as after-school enrichment classes,” Chapin said.
In addition, Chapin said the school will continue to offer the Build Our Kids’ Success program sponsored by the Reebok Foundation. The program combines early morning play, physical activity and team games, with short tutorials on food and nutrition.
“The kids loved it last year. We will probably get it up and running right after our open house,” Chapin said.
Another ongoing program is the Farmers Rally to Enhance Students’ Health, known as FRESH. The student-run program gets local fresh fruits and vegetables to the food service team which, in turn, provides students with healthy, nutritious meals.
“We also planned a school garden to raise our own produce,” said Berrios. “That, however, is still a work in progress.”
Saftey a priority
Officials say there has been no increase is violence or anti-social behavior at the schools, nor are the cameras a reaction to school shootings around the country.
“We had been discussing installing cameras for quite some time,” said Hatfield Superintendent John Robert.
In keeping with the student safety theme, Berrios says he has also arranged for Calvin Terrell, a nationally recognized speaker to come to Smith Academy on Sept. 9 to speak about bullying and social justice.
Terrell is founder and lead facilitator of Social Centric, an organization he designed to provide education and training for all ages to “enhance human interactions.”
Berrios said teachers, staff and administrators discussed hosting such an event last year. “I looked around and reached out to Calvin as he comes very highly recommended,” Berrios said.
New teachers at Smith Academy this year will be: James Morgan teaching math; Vanessa Kerby teaching chorus; and Shelley Gingras and Alyssa Horton, special education teachers.
New teachers at Hatfield Elementary are: Jessica Corwin, music; and Jacqueline Juras, special education.
The Hatfield Elementary School’s open house has been scheduled for Sept. 18.