Perspective: Hammonton Schools
As we approach the end of the first marking period for the 2021-2022 school year, I wanted to highlight our return to full, in-person instruction. All students (and staff) have been welcomed back to regular schedules, in-class resources, sports, clubs, parades and celebrations. It is wonderful to see schools bustling with students learning and interacting with their teachers and each other.
Classrooms are meant to be filled with people, not projected onto a computer screen. Although we are very fortunate to have devices for all students, they are being used to supplement instruction, not to be the only means of instruction. Our teachers are using online platforms to provide interventions and extension activities in addition to their in-class personalized instruction.
A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt epitomizes how our staff has adapted to the numerous changes throughout this pandemic, “You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.”
Our high school students have been participating in fall activities including athletics, clubs, band, pep rallies and homecoming. Although venues may have been changed to implement additional safety protocols, students are able to enjoy these events. In addition, PSAT, SAT and ASVAB examinations have been administered as our students work towards meeting graduation requirements and plan for the future.
At our middle school, sports, academics, spirit days and Renaissance trips have been reinstituted for our students. Wally, the therapy dog, is also celebrating his birthday with a party for the entire school population.
Warren E. Sooy Jr. Elementary School and Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center students are having spirit days, Renaissance and Super Friends programs, Teddy Bear picnics, and Week of Respect activities, with clubs and academies beginning soon. In addition, the full Halloween parade is back with the classes marching around the properties to the music of the Hammonton High School marching band.
Although we are not back to “normal,” our students are benefiting from the high standards set by our staff and enjoying many of the traditions we have instituted over the years. While interviewing a candidate for a position in our schools this past summer, I was asked what I am most proud of as a superintendent. My response was very easy. It is the sense of pride that our staff takes in everything that they do.
It is the sense of family that each building creates to ensure that students are cared for and supported. It the sense of community we uphold that protects our traditions and values.
Superintendent of Schools