By Carol Britton Meyer
An exploratory committee was recently created -- in alignment with the School
Committee's mission and the goals outlined in the Hingham Public Schools strategic plan --to consider the possibility of offering a Spanish elementary structured immersion program for K-5 students.
This is part of Supt. of Schools Margaret Adams' efforts, with the committee's support, to actively pursue more opportunities to prepare students for active participation in the global community.
"I'm excited about Dr. Adams' plan to create a committee to explore this possibility,"
School Committee Chair Nes Correnti said. "The positive response to this year's pre-K Spanish pilot program has already been evident. I appreciate her innovative thinking in finding ways to encourage families to remain within our public schools and to possibly attract new families to our district."
According to HPS World Language Department Director Erica Pollard, research into
immersion programs consistently shows that participating students develop higher levels of proficiency in the second language, gain an improved ability to focus, and can easily switch between tasks, in addition to other benefits. Such programs are also known to promote cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.
The School Committee will hear an update on findings from the exploratory committee this winter. "If the recommendation at that time is to move forward with a K-5 immersion program, the School Committee would vote on the proposal at that time," Correnti said.
By Carol Meyer
A program update for the new school year was recently outlined by Interim
Executive Director of Student Services Dr. Barbara Cataldo.
The director's role is to ensure that Hingham Public Schools' implementation of
the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks is accessible to all students.
To help achieve this goal, HPS has developed a comprehensive District
Curriculum Accommodation Plan that is used uniformly across all grades and
In describing the Student Services Entry Plan for 2023-2024, Cataldo explained
that in the past couple of months, she has had an opportunity to work directly with
school administration -- both Central Office and school-based -- which she said
provided her "with an excellent understanding of the Hingham Public Schools."
In addition, several teachers visited with Cataldo, sharing areas of success and
concerns about students and offering suggestions for ways to improve the
"I have also worked closely with the senior leadership team to understand the
mission and vision and how the activities and curriculum match these essential
areas for the Hingham Public Schools," she said.
The Special Education Parent Advisory Council co-chairs shared their thoughts,
"providing an important parent perspective." Cataldo also plans to work with the
Special Education Sub-committee.
The interim director identified "areas of need" that will receive attention during the
new school year. "They do not encompass every aspect of Student Services, but
they are most certainly part of the heart of our work in Hingham," she states in the
By Carol Britton Meyer
Voters will undertake the important task of approving a name for the new elementary school at the former Foster School site on Downer Avenue during next Spring's Annual Town Meeting.
"The construction of the new school is progressing smoothly and is on track for completion by the beginning of the next school year," School Committee Chair Nes Correnti said.
Supt. of Schools Margaret Adams and Director of Business and Support Services Aisha Oppong recently outlined a process for the district to follow in gathering name suggestions from the community, which met with unanimous School Committee approval. Their outline is based on the School Committee's "Naming New Facilities" policy.
The suggestions will be presented this fall to the School Committee, which will vote to select a proposed name in January. Suggestions are due by Oct. 31.
The name they choose will be submitted to the Select Board and Advisory Committee for their consideration and will be included in the Annual Town Meeting warrant article.
"We are so excited for the Foster community and our town as we get closer to the
completion of this long-awaited project," Correnti said.
A form to collect suggested names from the community is being shared through various forms of communication. Feedback will be solicited from the PTO and school council.
The data collected will be synthesized by the superintendent and presented to the School Committee for discussion on Nov. 27, followed by a second round of feedback. A final School Committee vote on a warrant article on the proposed name is expected Jan. 22. Town Meeting voters have the final say.