Jane Hatfield is the new Principal of LaBelle Elementary School: “I started my teaching career as an English teacher at Clewiston High School for twelve years. After that I worked in Naples at Gulf Coast High School for two years. Then I became an assistant principal at LaBelle High School and West Glades after that and now I’m back in LaBelle. I’m happy to be here but it is going to be a challenge, the overall grade of our school was an ‘F’ so we really have to get that grade up. But I’m confident we will do better next school year, we hired some good new teachers, new custodians and even office staff,” Hatfield says.
“We are starting a program called AVID; Advancement Via Individual Determination, it is a program that in secondary targets kids in the middle, to get them thinking about being ready for college and going to college or getting secondary training to prepare for a career. The focus is on getting kids organized and having a view for the future. The LaBelle High School and Middle School already have it, so the kids can continue the program when they continue their education. In their senior year, for example, the program can help them apply for college scholarships and help them with their college application, so all in all it is a kind of support system. The parents are involved in this program as well so I’m excited about getting that started,” Hatfield explains.
“I’ve also departmentalized fourth and fifth grade, which means specific teachers are going to teach specific classes which spreads the workload. This gives the teachers an opportunity to focus more on their specific class and the children. Fortunately, the State of Florida will give the school funding to help better the school. With that I’m going to hire a reading and a math coach to get our overall grade up.”