Spring break, from an educator’s perspective, is the most often anticipated. I wish for each of our families, students, and staff much fun and well-earned rest! I cannot believe our return will mark the beginning of May: we did it! With collective candor, cooperation and communication, the academy remained open for in-person, full time direct instruction. The academy staff are grateful for your trust and feel privileged to have afforded your children comparative normalcy. While many children throughout the state and nation will now struggle to re-assimilate into structured, social experiences and to regain developmental and academic delays, our students look forward to an eventful summer and a return to school in the Fall.
Consistent with past practice, if you travel for the spring break, we trust each of you to look at prevailing state and CDC guidelines and inform affected teachers if students will plan to return to class on Monday, May 3rd or if they might be delayed to momentarily quarantine. Remember, even if your child is delayed from physical return, your child’s teacher can and will incorporate your child into class via online tools.
With her consent, I wish to inform the greater Hampstead Academy community and alumni that after a long and inspiring tenure at the school, Ms. Jean Corbin has announced her retirement effective at the end of the current academic year. I personally wish to thank Jean for her warm welcome to me and for words of encouragement wisdom and disclosures as I oriented to the academy. Having witnessed her daily instruction and interactions with students, I sense for Jean teaching was never a job. Teaching was her vocation and for so very, very many students made all the difference. There is a noted study indicating regardless of a child’s family life, it takes two, significant adults outside of a family to inspire a child’s moral character and altruism. For many, Jean was one. You will be missed.
Ms. Lisa Fan, the school’s business manager has worked with me to revamp the school’s website, expand our social media presence and both streamline and personalize new candidate outreach and communication. The fruit of her labors is a significant expansion in the school’s enrollment for the fall. Remaining true to my conceptual business model, please know as the academy continues to grow, I remain committed to a maximum cohort enrollment of fifteen students. Based on our tuition fee schedule, if a cohort were to approach capacity, there is identified revenue allowing me to consider the employment of an instructional aide, or preferred, another classroom teacher.
Academic Year 2021-2022
Fine and Performing Arts: As we look forward to our next academic year, I wish to place on the horizon a significant shift in instructional strategy. There will be a concerted effort, pun intended, between visual, performing, and theatrical arts resulting a unique project-based learning curriculum. Within physical education students will be exposed to movement, dance and choreography. There are two goals: (1) to link core and ancillary subjects assisting students to make content connections across all instruction. The efforts will result in microproducts which may include chorale performances, theatrical vignettes, and significant art displays and (2) using our developed social media presence and sound promotional strategies, the academy will move toward community schooling. Community schooling would mean an academy open well beyond school hours hosting and nurturing life-long learners. We envision The Hampstead Academy Players, The Hampstead Academy Chorale and maybe even the Hampstead Academy Community Band [each open to general, public auditions and intergenerational membership].
Extended Day Program: Soon, the academy will be advancing promotional materials for the
reinstatement of an extended day program [3:00 PM until 5:30 PM. Program viability is based upon enrollment so we will circulate the materials before school end and will ask families to make a timely decision so we can secure staffing.
Parent-Teacher Organization: Anticipating a more relaxed year [reduction/elimination of strict Covid Protocols]we will be reconvening a Parent-Teachers organization focused upon program supplementation and enrichment.
Dr. John "Jack" W. Billings
Head of School