New Easthampton superintendent to shine spotlight on academics, consolidated school in design

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Article Author: Luis Fieldman
Publication Name: The Gazette
Article Date: 8/23/2018
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EASTHAMPTON – With so many changes underway in the school district, newly appointed superintendent Dr. Allison LeClair wants to put the spotlight back on academics.

“We are making sure our curriculum is the top quality that it needs to be and that our instruction is on the same page,” LeClair said. “The (consolidated) building project is number one on our radar … We are taking a look at challenges around civil rights issues at the high school and district wide and how we are supporting students and families around these issues.”

LeClair worked in the Agawam public school system as assistant superintendent since 2012 before being hired as superintendent by the Easthampton School Committee this past spring.

Across the district, LeClair said that the math, reading, music, and arts programs are strong and that there are many students and parents in the community that take pride in their schools. A new civics class will pilot in eighth grade this year as well as a new early literacy program for kindergarten through second grade called Being a Reader.

A new, approximately $109 million consolidated school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade is slated to be built on the site of White Brook Middle School and is currently in its design phase.

Easthampton High School enters its second year of a three-year plan, created by the Collaborative for Educational Services, intended to address incidents of racial bias in the district last year. The administration has stated that the three-year plan launched to ensure that every public school in Easthampton is a safe, welcoming learning environment for every student and adult regardless of their identity.

The high school is also preparing for a visit from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges for accreditation next spring. A steering committee, made up teachers and administrators, are preparing for the review that occurs every 10 years.

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