Hampton Journalism

Carson Klute - Activities Director and 7 - 12 Principal

This month's newsletter is focused on public education, specifically the benefits of a system that allows local control over what students learn and the experiences they have in school.

In recent months, there have been numerous claims and generalizations about the state of education with examples from around the country. The goal of this article is to allow everyone at Hampton Public School to be confident in the system that is currently in place to work alongside you as parents or community members in helping your son or daughter get to the next stage of where they want to be academically, athletically, and from a career standpoint. 

While each state differs in how education is run, education in the United States takes on a form imagined by people like Thomas Jefferson, who had the goal of the United States succeeding as a country based on an educated populace. In order to educate the citizens of this country, he proposed a system that would establish small school districts that even states would not have control of. Today, there is even a Federal Department of Education along with State Boards of Education but the idea remains under local control. Why is that important? It is so that the people who are educating students are held accountable to parents and community members of those localities via the elected Board of Education. 

A few examples of this local influence inside Hampton Public School are 1) The Hawk Herd and 2) The established Hawk P.R.I.D.E. (Positive, Respectful, Involved, Dependable, Engaged) expectations found for both the elementary and secondary buildings. The Herd is clearly representative of our agricultural background while it also provides opportunities for students to learn about careers where they can get jobs in the very communities in which they grew up. This has been a goal of many programs that Hampton has done. The P.R.I.D.E. expectations are created to be in line with what our community expects. These were submitted to the school board which they ratified last summer in the Student Handbooks. While these are two simple examples, they show the benefit and necessity of having as much happen at the local level as possible. It is very difficult and frustrating to follow the laws and regulations passed in Lincoln, much less Washington D.C., because many are not as relevant as, say, a district the size of Lincoln Public Schools or Omaha Public Schools. However, it is much more streamlined and straightforward to meet with our school board at least once a month and have them review the workings of the school. The community's desires, through the school board, are evident in meetings like the board retreat where we planned out what Hampton Public School looks like in 5 or 10 years. 

This article is intended to do several things, namely get people involved with the school through the Board of Education, the Hampton Public School Foundation, or Booster Club if you would like to see change, and secondly, support legislation that favors local control of schools. It is a lot easier to have an impact when talking to a school board member or myself than it is to get a meeting with a State Senator or Congressman. 

As always, Go Hawks!