Hatfield Brief

The Community

The town of Hatfield is located in the scenic Pioneer Valley, on the banks of the Connecticut River.  Founded in 1670, Hatfield occupies an idyllic setting and retains a classic rural New England character.  The rich agricultural history still presents itself today, and its close-knit community of 3300 prides itself on a warm and open culture.  In Hatfield, it is not uncommon to stop at a local farmstand and walk away with a new friend!    

However, while Hatfield engages locally, its vision extends far beyond.  As part of the renowned five college region in Western Massachusetts, Hatfield is conveniently located near Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts.  Surrounding areas provide enriching experiences, and continue to bring new ideas to the town.

The Schools

Despite being a small town, Hatfield provides for its own school district.  The Superintendent serves a total of 445 students, about 30 percent of whom commute under the school choice program.  The district houses two schools — Hatfield Elementary for students in PreK-6, and Smith Academy for students in grades 7-12.  

The small size of Hatfield’s schools is a distinct advantage, and allows us it to provide a personalized academic experience for all students.  Both schools are considered high-performing according to state-wise student assessment standards.  In 2019, 92 percent of Smith Academy graduates went on to higher education, and the dropout rate is typically less than one percent.

The Hatfield schools offer diverse opportunities for students.  At the elementary level, there is a gifted and talented program, a forest learning program, and outdoor classroom, robotics instruction, and after school enrichment classes.  Project-based learning initiatives have been implemented at all levels, and students are provided with chrome books in grades 3-12.  An award winning band and instrumental program and a performing arts program are offered to students in grades 5-12.

Smith Academy offers on-line classes in additional to a full traditional curriculum, student internships, school-to-work opportunities, advanced placement classes, and an option for students to take courses at Smith College.  There is a competitive athletic program, with students participating in fall, winter, and spring sports.  Smith Academy also hosts an annual declamations, which is the longest continuous public speaking contest east of the Mississippi River.  

Hatfield is very proud of its schools and the important role they play in the community.  School and town come together for Homecoming, the winter Luminarium, the spring Musical, Graduation, and many events in between.  The schools receive extra support through very active parent and community groups, who provide funding for field trips, grants, scholarships, and special projects.