Principal's Welcome

Photograph of Maria DiNola, Principal        On behalf of the 416 fifth through eighth grade students, two administrators, over fifty-one professional staff, and thirty support staff, I'd like to welcome you to the Hampstead Middle School. The school continues to belong to a select number of outstanding middle schools recognized by the New England League of Middle Schools as a Spotlight School. The purpose of the Spotlight School Award is to acknowledge schools that have a record of powerful learning for young adolescents and that consistently observe middle level best practices.

Behavior expectations at HMS include the Three R’s: Respect, Relationships, and Responsibility. Students and staff are aware of these expected behaviors, and such behaviors are taught to students in a positive, supporting manner. The school offers athletic programs that consist of competitive teams as well as teams where a student can be on the team regardless of his/her ability. Our fall sports include field hockey, boys and girls soccer and cross country. Our winter sports consist of boys and girls A and B basketball, cheerleading and co-ed volleyball. Baseball, softball, co-ed golf and track complete our spring sports offerings. HMS has a total of twenty clubs and activities. Students interested in music can participate in Band, Jazz Band, Chamber Chorus, Musical Play, and Select Chorus. Those students interested in science, math, and engineering can take part in 5th grade Engineering, Robotics. and Math Team. Students interested in social justice can participate in 5th/6th grade Our World Club, 7th/8th grade Anti-Bullying Club, Student Council and Military Support Club. Other clubs include Ski Club, Yearbook, Video Club, Art Ventures, and National Junior Honor Society.

This year will be our fifth year of implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies. RTI enables our teachers, specialists and administrators to target instructional interventions in response to a student’s specific areas of need as soon as those needs become apparent. In addition, our Ventures program utilizes this time to reach, stretch, and engage students who have already mastered skills and concepts. To identify student’s academic progress, HMS conducts i-Ready testing and Smarter Balanced testing for diagnostics of student learning needs and instructional supports twice yearly. Analysis of this data enables educators to place enhanced learning opportunities and supports in place for every level of learner.

HMS follows a full-inclusion model where each grade-level Special Education teacher is a full partner in a classroom with a general education teacher. Our staff embrace the philosophy of differentiation which involves providing students with different avenues to their learning. The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) program at HMS is a resource setting that provides special education programming and related services to students who are identified with autism. This instructional model aligns with the general education curriculum in the Hampstead School District and is modified as appropriate. Key components of the program include a team approach in developing students’ individual programs, a social skills class, in-house training to all staff, the promotion of student advocacy, a library of references and resources, and family outreach and support. Team members include a special education teacher, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, district behaviorist, and school psychologist.

Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, teachers continued to focus on professional and curriculum development reflecting the New Hampshire College and Career Ready Standards. All core curriculum areas have created competencies for full implementation of all curriculum areas by 2018.

To keep parents informed of grade level curricular content, teachers created grade level summaries that are accessible on the HMS website in the curriculum folder located within the About Us tab. Teachers also participated in on-going technology training to deepen their skills in the use of Moodle and Google Docs as online learning environments. All students receive a weekly advisory period whereby HMS students learn about personalized learning goals and and all student's role in bullying prevention. As a school we continue to learn the importance of caring for one another and how to create a sustainable community of learners.

Hampstead Middle School has fully implemented a 1:1 computing device per student ratio using Chromebooks and iPads. Students and teachers have consistently remarked on the convenience of students being able to pull out their devices at a moment’s notice to do research, compose writing, view a website, and other Internet-based activities. Through the use of Google Apps for Education, students can store their work in a cloud-based drive that is accessible at home as well as school. Since the Google apps offer the ability to simultaneously work on a document, students are able to collaborate with peers to create projects and peer edit each other’s work. This initiative requires new and different ways of teaching and is supported by consistent and relevant professional development.

Please feel free to contact me personally if you would like more information about our wonderful school. Respectfully,
Maria Di Nola-Principal
Hampstead Middle School