Photo of Superintendent Paul Smith

Superintendent Paul Smith

East Hampton Public Schools

1 Community Drive
East Hampton, Connecticut 06424

Welcome to the website of the East Hampton Public Schools where all of our programs are designed to open doors to inspire every learner to dream, discover, and achieve. 

Opening the door to each child's future

Even in this challenging time of COVID 19, we firmly believe that we prepare students to excel in every opportunity in their world!

In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, titled “From a Loss, Something Found,” the author of Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand, describes a Norway maple in the backyard of her Oregon home.  She writes of the great pleasure in the “foliage so full that the branches kissed the ground.”  She particularly loved the fall when the tree’s “torrent of huge orange leaves whirled through the air like laughter.  The tree was so in love with life that it swallowed the sky.”

Her description of her tree in her backyard as it appears in the fall reminds me of our own schools each fall, filled with the joyous sounds of children and the colors of life seen in our students’ clothing and backpacks. 

In her story, she shares the difficult choice to drastically trim the tree as opposed to cutting it down as recommended by an arborist.  But instead of gloom, she feels hope.  “The maple still stood.  Its lower branches were gone, but the central limbs remained, grand and defiant, arcing into the sky like fireworks, bursting into a joy of greenness.”

I am hopeful that many will look at our schools in the fall of 2020 like Hillenbrand looked at her altered tree.  Some of our experiences will be curtailed to start the year.  There will be limitations at first.   It will, at first glance, look like we have cut too many “branches.”  But I am confident that through it all, our staff and families will see that our schools are still there for our children and what we do offer will be “grand,” offering the joy we have come to expect. 

Hillenbrand ends her piece on a high note reminding us to look at the outcome in a positive light.  She gazes into her backyard and writes that “the maple was not gone, but reimagined, and with it the dogwood beneath and the whole world around them.”  She also speaks of the new life she could see including a bird that arrived each day.  “One day she brought her baby, who sat on the branch, beating her wings and calling in her small, new voice.”

Our schools may look a little different in the fall and some of our procedures may at first glance seem stifling, but like the bird, who is on the branch guarding her baby, our schools and classrooms will still be a nest for our children.  The voice of our children is the song that we as educators live to hear each day.  And, it will be the guide for all of us as we move forward this fall. 

We are welcoming our children back.  And like the tree in Hillenbrand’s story, we will mourn that school might look different at first, but we know that at the heart of the school, our staff and classrooms are still there.  Hillenbrand ends being stunned with “a beautiful, grateful reimagining.”

And though we are “reimagining” the school experience for a short time period, know that the most critical element of school will always be intact.

Our teachers will be there for your children.

Our district goals reflect the importance of our children’s growth as students and as people.  Our first district goal reflects the importance of the social and emotional development of our children, laying the foundation of our students’ success.  The second goal speaks directly to the academic growth of our students.  And, the third reflects the strong professional commitment of our teachers to ensure a world-class education for the children of East Hampton. 

Our third goal is based on one of the professional culture indicators from the New England Association of Schools & College Standards for Accreditations:  Educators examine evidence of student learning to improve instruction, assessment practices, and programs/services. (From NEASC Principle 3.3).  Our goal is to always improve our classroom instruction.  This is accomplished by teams of teachers working together to review student data on classroom assessments and other indicators that demonstrate student growth and effective teaching practices.

 

During the 2020-21 school year, we are more committed than ever to preparing our students by making sure that every one of our students can master the skills that this community deemed essential for every one of our graduates.  We are proud of our Profile of the Graduate as it represents the values selected by our own students, parents, teachers, business leaders, and community members. 

Learning Culture

East Hampton Public Schools Goal 1: Learning Culture

The East Hampton school community will

(1) put plans and services in place to identify and support the social and emotional needs of students;

(2)  ensure that all classroom educators and support staff share responsibility of struggling learners; and

(3) maintain and support high expectations for all students as outlined in the school’s vision:  “Opening doors to inspire ever student to dream, discover, and achieve” – East Hampton 2030.

Our first goal is based on one of the most important indicators from the New England Association of Schools & College Standards for Accreditations:  The school community takes collective responsibility for the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional well-being and can demonstrate how each student is known, valued, and connected.  (From NEASC Principle 1.3).  Given that students have not been engaged with in-person learning since March 2020, our priority this year is to make sure that we meet the social and emotion needs of students as they serve as the foundation for academic learning.

Student learning

East Hampton Public Schools Goal 2: Student Learning

The East Hampton school community will

(1) place an emphasis on learner application of knowledge and skills;

(2) emphasize deep understanding through interdisciplinary learning, project-based learning, and authentic learning
experiences; and

(3) embed skills and competencies in learning necessary to attain the attributes of the Profile of the Graduate.

Our second goal is based on one of the instructional and academic indicators from the New England Association of Schools & College Standards for Accreditations:  Curriculum ensures that learners demonstrate a depth of understanding over a breadth of knowledge. (From NEASC Principle 2.3).  Given that students shifted to distance learning in March 2020, we want to make sure that there are no learning gaps and we want to move forward with new learning as we enter what could be a very unpredictable year.  Creating deep and meaningful learning opportunities right away is our priority. 

Professional Practices

East Hampton Public Schools Goal 3: Professional Practices

The East Hampton school community will

(1) examine student work including common course and common grade-level assessments;

(2) examine data from a variety of formative and summative assessments; and

(3) an alyze data to respond to inequities in student achievement, improve instruction and programming, and ensure that grading and assessment practices are aligned with the school’s vision: “Opening doors to inspire every student to dream, discover, and achieve” – East Hampton 2030.

Our third goal is based on one of the professional culture indicators from the New England Association of Schools & College Standards for Accreditations:  Educators examine evidence of student learning to improve instruction, assessment practices, and programs/services. (From NEASC Principle 3.3).  Our goal is to always improve our classroom instruction.  This is accomplished by teams of teachers working together to review student data on classroom assessments and other indicators that demonstrate student growth and effective teaching practices.

During the 2020-21 school year, we are more committed than ever to preparing our students by making sure that every one of our students can master the skills that this community deemed essential for every one of our graduates.  We are proud of our Profile of the Graduate as it represents the values selected by our own students, parents, teachers, business leaders, and community members. 

Caring

Imagination

Confidence

Teamwork

Wonder

Empathy

Creativity

Adaptability

Community

Curiosity

Responsibility

Initiative

Resilience

Perspectives

Inquiry

Compassion

Innovation

Perseverance

Collaboration

Learning

Student who are compassionate and innovative are prepared for 2030;

students who can persevere and collaborate are equipped for 2030;

students who can design their own learning will succeed in 2030.

Sincerely,

Signature of Paul K. Smith