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Energy Conservation Project In The Works - - - Officials Project Significant Savings 

The School Committee was pleased to hear from Superintendent Dan Barker that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Western Massachusetts Electric Company to completely retrofit Smith Academy’s lighting system . . . at no cost to Hatfield Schools.

Funded by the WMECO 2002 Municipal Buildings Program, plans call for the summer replacement of all flourescent lights and ballasts in the school, along with lights in the gymnasium.  In addition, sensors will be installed in each room which will turn off the lights if there is no movement or sound detected.

After a preliminary walk-through, WMECO Representative Carl Santoro estimated that lighting should  increase by as much as 40% across the building, and that there will be a simultaneous reduction in energy use (and costs) of at least 25%.  The complete project, with costs estimated at $40,000, will be paid entirely by WMECO.   When the energy saving project is finished, the consultant estimates that the School Department could save $10,000 each year in utility costs.  Firmer figures will be made available to the School Committee and community after the contractor completes the detailed energy audit.

School Choice Program Moves Forward 

At its February Meeting, the Hatfield School Committee heard a review of the 2001-2002 School Choice Program and approved  the superintendent’s request to proceed with plans to advertise and accept applications for 2002-2003.  The Committee will set grade level ceiling numbers at its March meeting.

Smith Academy Principal Frank Abarno reported that the 14 School Choice students currently enrolled at Smith Academy have made a smooth transition to our system. A significant concern before the year began, the question of whether or not these students would “fit in” has never really come up.  “You simply cannot distinguish them from the rest of the student body,” he concluded.

Superintendent Dan Barker estimates the program will generate $80,000 in additional funds for the 2001-2002 year, and that these funds will be used to help pay for costs to renovate Smith Academy Biology Lab this coming summer.

It Happened One Night 

On January 14, Smith Academy Seniors, Brittney Wickles and John Wilkes, Jr. became the 13th and 14th Falcons to reach the 1000-point plateau.

Surprisingly, it was not the first time that the school has had two players reach this milestone on the same night. In 1993, Senior, Mike Theberge and Junior, Bill Skorupski reached the 1000 point mark during a game at Frontier.

Biology Lab Plans Take Shape 

The School Committee approved a recommended plan to renovate the Smith Academy Biology Laboratory this summer.

With accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges looming in the not-too-distant future, Committee members have expressed a keen interest in modernizing the badly outdated facility.

Based on estimates provided by Architect David Owen, the total project will run in the neighborhood of $150,000.  The Smith Academy  Board of Trustees has agreed to provide $60,000 to purchase new laboratory equipment.   The School Choice account and Smith Academy’s general operating budget will be used to pay remaining costs associated with demolition, remodeling and architectural services.

School Committee Election - - - Two Positions Open 

On May 21, 2002  Hatfield voters will cast ballots to fill two 3-year positions on the Hatfield School Committee.  Current committee members Mark Vachula and Stanley Pitchko have chosen to not run again.

Any registered voter interested in serving on the School Committee may pick up and return the completed nomination papers to the Town Clerk by April 2, 2002.   For more information, please phone 247-0492.

A Message From SAAAC - - - Smith Academy Athletic Awards Club 

SAAAC is a non profit group of volunteers who work to provide all student-athletes at Smith Academy with awards for their efforts during each sports season.

We hope  supporters will consider sending a donation to SAAAC Donations help provide all students who participate in sports activities at Smith Academy with awards and/or trophies for individual and team efforts and accomplishments.

SAAAC sponsors an awards ceremony at the end of each sports season. Donations are needed to continue this tradition of acknowledging the hard work that these student-athletes commit themselves to in addition to their regular schoolwork and family obligations.

Donations may be sent to SAAAC, in care of Smith Academy, 34 School Street, Hatfield, MA 01038.   Thank you!

Tom Lafond, S.A.A.A.C. President


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