Hadley Elementary welcomes new principal, air conditioning

  • Dan Talbot of T. J. Conway Company in Springfield installs a ductless split air conditioning system at Hadley Elementary School on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Dan Talbot of T. J. Conway Company in Springfield installs a ductless split air conditioning system at Hadley Elementary School on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Justin Whitney, left, and Chris Reutter, right, of TC Controls and Services in Worcester, install low voltage thermostat wiring for a new ductless split air conditioning system at Hadley Elementary School on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The compressor units of a new ductless split air conditioning system are mounted out of sight on the back walls at Hadley Elementary School. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jennifer Dowd, Hadley Elementary School’s new principal, in the school's library on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Pamela Haywood, the new director of student services for Hadley Public Schools, at Hadley Elementary School, Aug. 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jennifer Dowd left, is the new principal at Hadley Elementary School and Pamela Haywood, right, is the new director of student services for Hadley Public Schools, Aug. 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jennifer Dowd is the new principal at Hadley Elementary School. Photographed on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • New Hadley Elementary School Principal Jennifer Dowd is shown in the school's library on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • New Hadley Elementary School Principal Jennifer Dowd is shown at the school on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jennifer Dowd left, is the new principal at Hadley Elementary School and Pamela Haywood is the new Director of Student Services for Hadley Public Schools. Photographed on Thursday, August 2, 2018, at Hadley Elementary School. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hadley Elementary School on River Drive on Thursday, August 2, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 8/23/2018 10:38:28 PM

HADLEY — As Hadley Elementary School students and staff welcome new principal Jennifer Dowd, they will experience a more comfortable learning environment during the warm days at the beginning and end of the school year as an air-conditioning project is completed.

Dowd brings extensive experience as a classroom teacher and district safety coordinator, with knowledge of special education, from her tenure with the public schools in South Hadley.

“I want to help guide the elementary school in a positive direction, support the incredible staff here and make sure to focus on the social and academic well-being of the children,” Dowd said.

Superintendent Anne McKenzie said the nearly $600,000 being spent on the air conditioning will be a great improvement.

“Thank you to the town of Hadley for supporting this capital project,” McKenzie said.

Another project at the school is a pavilion being built by the Hadley PTO and the town’s Park and Recreation department using Community Preservation Act money and private donations. Dowd said this can be an outdoor education space, but also a place for families to gather and for Park and Recreation events.

Dowd said local Girls Scouts are refurbishing the map of the United States painted onto the pavement outside the school.

The elementary school is continuing the tiered instruction model in literacy and technology integration and STEAM, or science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, for lab projects, McKenzie said.

The Positive Behavior program is also remaining in place to ensure every student receives an engaging and personalized learning experience in a safe and supportive environment, McKenzie said.

Hopkins Academy

At Hopkins Academy, academic specialization pathways are being developed for students, McKenzie said. These pathways will allow students to pursue a specialized course of study while fulfilling their graduation requirements. Business and finance is the first pathway available.

McKenzie said a project to renovate the athletic fields and build a community walking track remains in the planning stages. “We anticipate going out to bid on the project this fall,” McKenzie said.

At the district level, the schools have a new director of student services, Pamela Haywood, who came to the district last year as special education coordinator. Haywood is a licensed social worker and has an extensive background in special education, McKenzie said.

Members of the School Committee are focused on identifying ways to better engage and partner with families.

“They are considering ideas for bringing together families and community members to socialize and have discussions about what is working and what families would like to see improved in the district,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said partnerships with community organizations remain strong and two major events are already scheduled.

On Nov. 24, the Celebration of Lights, sponsored by the Edward Hopkins Educational Foundation, will take place for the second time at the gazebo next to Hopkins. The Hopkins Band and Hopkins Chorus will provide music, and a tree planted in memory of Peter Wanczyk and the gazebo will both be lit.

On April 7, the Helping Hearts for Hadley Schools will hold its annual road race. That event has provided the schools $20,000 that was used last year to create maker space at the elementary school and buy standing desks for the high school, as well as an automatic defibrillator.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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