Audition for ALSCT Production of Peter Pan

Once again, Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater (ALSCT) is creating a fabulous, large-scale musical, with lavish sets and costumes, a full live orchestra, and enthusiastic audiences fill the 600-seat UMass Bowker Auditorium for nine performances in January. This year, we’ll be presenting PETER PAN, the beloved Broadway musical that has transfixed audiences for over one hundred years. We’re excited to present a version that is both true to the story and also speaks to contemporary audiences in the Pioneer Valley. Actors, singers, and dancers ages 7-107 are encouraged to audition!

 AUDITIONS: Friday, Sept. 14th, Saturday, Sept. 15th, Sunday, Sept. 16th

Callbacks Monday, September 17th

 

Baystate Textiles Recycling Program at all ARPS Schools


Now you can drop your clothing and other textiles in any condition into collection bins located at each school. Convenient and easy! The collections are weighed weekly and each school’s PGO will receive a check based on the bulk weight. Help the Wildwood PGO earn FREE CASH while also helping our planet Earth by up-cycling your textiles. Thanks!

 

View Flyer

AEF Stars in our Schools – Perfect Teacher/Staff Gift!

starsin our schoolsRecognize teachers and staff at the end of the year with a gift in their honor!

Now is the time to let teachers and staff members know how much your appreciate their hard work, expertise, care, and dedication.

You can strengthen our schools with a tax-deductible gift to Amherst Education Foundation (AEF) in a teacher’s or staff member’s name. AEF will deliver a personalized recognition card to your honoree/s.

Please make your gift online or send your gift by mail by June 15 to guarantee delivery to honorees before their last day of the school year. As always, thank you for supporting public education and AEF, and thank you recognizing the Stars in Our Schools!

Click here to complete online gift form
Print PDF for mailing here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s what educators say about Stars in Our Schools:

“Receiving a star is one of the most meaningful gifts to get. I love receiving these because I feel truly appreciated as a teacher, and I know that the donation people make is going back to a great organization that really supports our schools.” – ARMS Co-Assistant Principal and ELL Teacher Alicia Lopez

“I was really moved when I received some Stars in Our Schools cards in my mailbox indicating that the parents of some of my students had donated to AEF in my honor. AEF does very important work to support teachers and programs at ARMS, so a monetary gift is like thanking a teacher twice!” – ARMS Science Teacher Jennifer Welborn

“I have had the good fortune to be honored by parents and members of the Amherst community through their ‘Stars in our Schools’ donations to AEF. When making their donations, parents and relatives have commented specifically that they see their children singing with joy and self-confidence and that they have an appreciation for music of different world cultures. It is deeply satisfying to know that what we do in the schools gets carried out into the community.” – Fort River Elementary School Music Teacher Anne Louise White (retired 6/2017)

Request from the ARMS PGO

Calling all incoming Middle School parents to be a part of the Middle School PGO.

We are going to have a transition meeting one evening during the first week of June, so that the current PGO can download all of our knowledge to the future PGO, and so we can try to fill some of the leadership roles for next year.  Even if you are not interested in taking a leadership role, we need lots of general PGO members to help with various events and activities. Please consider coming to hear about the PGO. There will be refreshments!!

If you are interested and willing to join us, please fill out this Doodle with your availability, so we can schedule the meeting as soon as possible:

4th Annual SEPAC Stars in Our Schools Call for Nominations

Do you know of someone (student, parent, staff, community member, etc.) who you would like to recognize for their dedication, creativity, patience, and determination in helping students who receive special education to experience success?

The Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools SEPAC encourages you to nominate such excellence in our learning community so that we may all publicly thank these individuals for the important way they influence our students.  Honorees will be celebrated at an awards ceremony: Cookies, Cupcakes, and Kudos on June 15th (more details are forthcoming).

Please email the completed Nomination Form (attached here in English and Spanish) and Nomination Statement to: SEPAC@ARPS.ORG

or mail to: ARPS, Student Services Office, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA 01002

All nomination information must be received by May 18, 2018

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1D81UbgP_fsY3LNTAQHiGVhMzZAivuWZVWWUwAPrxiZ0/viewform?ts=5acf6aa0&edit_requested=true

Fort River School Building Committee Seeking Architectural Design Team

For More Information, Contact:

Jonathan Salvon, Fort River School Building Committee, Chair

fortriversbc@amherstma.gov

On May 2, the Fort River School Building Committee released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Fort River Elementary School Feasibility Study. The Building Committee will receive applications from architectural design teams interested in working with the Committee to provide the Amherst community with options for a Pre-K through 6thgrade school on the Fort River site and the estimated costs of those preliminary design options. The Building Committee’s work will conclude with the delivery of these options to the Amherst School Committee.

The awarded design team will analyze the Fort River site and school building and propose options for at least three feasible designs. The committee will ask the design team to give the community options that span a range of building costs, operating and maintenance costs, and environmental impacts of both initial construction and continuing operations of the building. The committee and design team will also consider how potential design solutions will affect the operations of the school during the construction of such a project. Renovation, addition, partial or complete demolition, and new construction will all be explored.

The successful design team will work with the building committee in a collaborative, iterative design process over an anticipated 6 months. During this process, the Amherst community will be invited to participate in public forums at three milestones to learn about the design processes and offer feedback.

An indoor air quality assessment of the existing building was recently conducted by ATC Group Services from West Springfield, MA.  Results are expected to be available in June.

Community engagement with the Building Committee’s work will include public access to the committee’s website (www.amherstma.gov/frsbc), that provides access to meeting agendas, minutes, and documents; a binder located in the circulation section of the Jones Library; an e-mail address to receive public comment (fortriversbc@amherstma.gov​); an e-mail list serve; public forums; and scheduled press releases. We welcome feedback on all of these strategies.

Please support the Wildwood PGO

Please support us on Tuesday May 1 for #VALLEY GIVES & BROWN ENVELOPE FUNDRAISER 

Your generous, tax-deductible gift to the Wildwood Parent Guardian Organization will help support equity and enrichment at Wildwood. The funds we raise provide curriculum-enhancing opportunities for our children and support dedicated staff.

OR
MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: WILDWOOD PGO (return in brown envelope)

Last year, we ensured every child went on every field trip, we funded the Library, Art, Movie Night, and much more.

Your contribution of:

$5 Funds a child’s field trip
$15 provides extra supplies for a classroom $25 provides books for the library
$50 Art supplies for the art room
$100 towards a visiting artist
$200 For a teacher Mini grant

PLEASE GIVE WHAT YOU CAN AND HELP US MEET OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL!

THANK YOU!

Thank you to all who voted for us in the Florence Bank Community Choice Grant!!

This week, the ARPS PGO was awarded a Community Choice Grant of $1413.00 from Florence Bank.  The money will be used to support PGO initiatives within our member schools. Thank you to all who voted for us.

Congrats to the almost 60 nonprofits in our community who also received grants through this annual program. Since the  Community Choice Grants program started 16 years ago, Florence Bank has given away more than $1 million to community non-profits.
The Amherst Regional Public Schools Parent Guardian Organization (ARPS PGO) is a Registered 501(c)(3) Massachusetts Charity encompassing the individual PGOs of the Amherst Regional High and Middle Schools, Crocker Farm and Wildwood Elementary.

School Safety and Advocacy

Dear ARPS Parents and Guardians:

In the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, school safety and advocacy have been on all of our minds.  Many of you are aware of a national advocacy effort planned for March 14.  Please visit these links for a letter outlining our school safety efforts and our plans for student advocacy.

Mike Morris, Superintendent

Letter in English

Estimados padres y tutores de ARPS:

A raíz de la tragedia en Parkland, Florida, la seguridad de las escuelas y la abogacía han estado en nuestras mentes. Muchos de ustedes están al tanto de un esfuerzo de abogacía nacional planificado para el 14 de marzo. Visite estos enlaces para obtener una carta que describe nuestros esfuerzos de seguridad en nuestras escuelas y nuestros planes para la abogacía de los estudiantes.

Mike Morris, Superintendente

Letter in Spanish

Basic Rights in Special Education Workshop

Basic Rights in Special Education.  Monday March 12, 2018 @ 5:00 PM, ARHS Library.  Please mark your calendars and join us for this informative workshop for parents and professionals.

RSVP to SEPAC@ARPS.org or call (413) 687-4255.

Derechos básicos en educación especial. Lunes 12 de marzo de 2018 @ 5:00 PM, Biblioteca de ARHS. Por favor marque sus calendarios y únase a nosotros para este taller informativo para padres y profesionales.

RSVP a SEPAC@ARPS.org o llame al (413) 687-4255.

Basic Rights in Special Education Workshop – English

Basic Rights in Special Education Workshop – Spanish

AEF Celebrates Champions for our Schools on March 17

Join Amherst Education Foundation for an evening of celebration, fun, and food as we honor the 9 principals from the Amherst Regional and Union 28 schools along with our community champion Florence Bank.
Our principal honorees are: Mark Jackson, Patty Bode, Diane Chamberlain, Derek Shea, Lisa Desjarlais, David Slovin, Margot Lacey, Jackie Mendonsa, and Nick Yaffe.
The celebration will take place on Saturday, March 17, 2018 in the UMass Student Union Ballroom. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with a cash bar followed by dinner and entertainment, including music and trivia. Tickets are $50 each or reserve an entire table in a prime location for you and 9 friends for an additional $10 per person.
Proceeds support annual AEF-funded grants provided to educators in our public schools.

Meet the Candidates for School Committee, Mar 6, 2018

Meet the Candidates for School Committee!
at the next Wildwood PGO Meeting,
Tuesday Mar 6, 2018  6:00pm-7:15pm

  • 6pm Candidates for Amherst School Committee, Kerry Spitzer, Ben Herrington, and Allison McDonald will each give a brief speech and then answer your questions in preparation for the town-wide election on March 27th.
  • 7-7:15pm  PGO Updates and Meet & Greet

Audition opportunity for kids–ALSCT brings KING ARTHUR to Amherst!

ALSCT and Missoula Children’s Theater brings two professional actor/directors to Amherst to stage an original, fill-scale musical production with local cast members in grades K-12 in ONLY ONE WEEK

Auditions Monday March 5th, 4:15PM at the ARMS cafeteria

Performances March 10th, 1:30PM and 4:00PM a the ARMS auditorium. Tickets $5/$8

View Flyer

Celebrate Black History Month

AMHERST AREA NAACP AND AMHERST HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

The public is invited to a celebration of Black History Month on Sat., Feb. 10, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Amherst Town Common, on the steps of Town Hall

At the event, sponsored by the Amherst Area NAACP and the Town of Amherst Human Rights Commission, community members will join to sing the Black National Anthem. All are invited to sing, and to bring noisemakers to make a joyful noise. Community leaders will give brief remarks.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the Black National Anthem, was written in 1900 by brothers James Weldon Johnson (lyrics) and John Rosamond Johnson (music). It was first performed as a poem by African American children at a segregated school in Florida.

Autism: Parent Training Series

Mark your calendars and reserve your spot today.

Social Skills: How to Optimize your Child’s Play-dates, January 10, 2018.  6:00 – 7:30 PM @ Amherst Regional Middle School, PD Center

A conversation on what expectations to consider regarding play-dates as well as practical information on how to set them up and what skills to work on.  Will include time to work together to share experiences and plan future play-dates.

Intended for families of students with ASD who are using some type of language (verbal, or augmentative) to get their needs met.

Presented by: Jennifer McIntire, PhD, BCBA and Melanie Collins, BCBA

Childcare available for in-district families with rsvp no later than 1/4/18.

RSVP to BloomenthalW@arps.og or (413)362-1834.

You don’t need an account to Vote for Amherst Regional Public Schools in Florence Bank Customers’ Choice Community Grants

Florence Bank gives away $100,000 each year to community non-profits through its Community Choice grants program. Florence Bank customers vote for the non-profit of their choice & all non-profits getting at least 50 votes receive a grant.

There are 2 easy ways that people can vote:
(1) Online – Visit https://www.florencebank.com/vote to view the online voting site & can cast a vote online for the “Amherst Regional Public Schools PGO”.
(2) Paper Ballot. Templates attached. Ballots are also available at Florence Bank location.

Voting is open until December 31st.

Last year (2016), the ARPS PGO received got 52 votes & $947.  Some non-profits get up to $5,000 through the program. The $947 received by the ARPS PGO went for classroom support, special projects, & more.

This year, the PGOs of the ARPS PGO (CF, WW, ARMS, & ARHS) are campaigning jointly again to maximize our votes.

Each Florence Bank account holder is eligible to vote once for the community organization of their choice.
The ARPS PGO is urging people to vote (at least consider voting for) for the “Amherst Regional Public Schools PGO”, the name of our joint non-profit.

View Flyer for more details.

Information Related to School Delays or Cancellations

  • Delays or cancellations are posted first on the ARPS School Closing Information line at 362-1898 (with a goal of posting by 5:30 a.m.).
  • Notification is made next to the local television stations.
  • Delays are typically two-hours, although a one-hour delay can be called.  With delays, students are expected to report the appropriate number of hours later than the regular school day and should plan to be at bus stops based on those times, as well.

 

  • Las demoras o cancelaciones se publican primero en nuestra línea de cierre en 362-1898 (con el objetivo de publicar antes de las 5:30 a.m.).
  • La notificación se publica luego a las estaciones de televisión locales.
  • Los retrasos suelen ser de (2) dos horas, aunque podría haber retrasos de solo (1) una hora. Con las demoras, se espera que el personal se reporte de acuerdo el número de horas de retraso a su jornada de trabajo regular. Por ende, si existiera un retraso de una hora, se reportará a su jornada de trabajo una hora más tarde, y no habrá cambios en su hora de salida.

Warm Winter Coat and Clothing Share Amherst Public Schools

To help everyone stay warm this winter, the Amherst school parent & guardian organizations (PGOs) are collecting winter coats & other outerwear for students (preK through 12th grade) & families.

We are seeking donations of clean, gently-used winter outerwear:
in ALL sizes (especially student sizes)
* coats * snow pants * snow boots * hats
* jackets * gloves/mittens *scarves * snowsuits

AMHERST REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL (ARHS) 21 Mattoon Street413-362-1700
Collection: Now through December 1st in the lobby
Distribution: Through the ARPS Family Center, November 20th into December

CROCKER FARM ELEMENTARY 280 West Street413-362-1600
Collection: Now until November 13th, in the lobby & at the preschool entrance
Distribution: November 14thNovember 15thNovember 16th

FORT RIVER ELEMENTARY 70 South East Street413-362-1200
Collection: Now until November 16th, in the lobby
Distribution: November 17th through November 29th(school days only)

WILDWOOD ELEMENTARY 71 Strong Street, 413-362-1400
Collection: Now until November 17th in the lobby
Distribution: November 20th through December 15th(school days only)

AMHERST REGIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL (ARMS) 170 Chestnut Street413-362-1800
Collection: November 6th through December 1st in the lobby & near the auditorium
Distribution: Through the ARPS Family Center, November 20th into December (as supplies last)

MANY THANKS for your donations. Thank you too to the businesses and community partners who are helping with this effort.

Any winter clothing that is not given out at the schools will be donated to the Amherst Survival Center.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Crocker Farm PGO: Tracy Zafian, tmz23@zafian.com
Fort River PGO: Sarah Cohen, sarah.fortriver@gmail.com
Wildwood PGO: Julie HawkOwl, jhawkowl@comcast.net
ARMS PGO: Amy Sweeting, amysweeting@yahoo.com
ARHS PGO: Becky Demling, beckydemling@yahoo.com
ARPS Family Center: Mildred Martinez, martinezm2@arps.org 413-362-1871

Screening of Backpack Full of Cash

Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst

All are welcome to attend a public screening of the acclaimed documentary, “Backpack Full of Cash”.  This film explores the growing privatization of public schools and the impact it’s having on America’s children.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Barbara Madeloni, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association; Jean Fay, President of the Amherst-Pelham Education Association; and Max Page, Amherst Parent and MTA Board Member.

Sponsored by the Amherst College Careers in Education Professions Program, the Amherst-Pelham Education Association and the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Shop at Amazon?

Doing any online shopping through Amazon during the holidays? Did you know you can earn money for the Wildwood with each Amazon purchase. Enroll in passive fundraising to earn money for the Amherst Schools PGOs while you shop!

AMAZON SMILEamazonsmile
Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at smile.amazon.com/ch/46-4510327 and Amazon donates to Amherst Regional Public Schools Parent Guardian Organization.

To select Wildwood as your permanent charity, go to smile.amazon.com. Click Your Account -> Your Amazon Smile -> Change Charity button. Search for “Amherst Amherst Regional Public Schools Parent Guardian Organization” -> Click Select.

ARMS Online Merchandise Store Open

The ARMS PGO online Amherst merchandise store is now open.  But act fast, because the store will be closing at midnight on Monday, November 20.  We’ve got lots of great Amherst merchandise, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, athletic tops, shorts, sweatpants (new!), hats, scarves, caps, bags, socks, and headbands.  Something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Items will be available for distribution to ARMS students or pickup in the ARMS office on December 8. You can order online at https://amherstregionalmiddleschool.itemorder.com

Volunteers to videotape the Fort River School Building Committee meetings

Looking for volunteers to videotape the Fort River School Building Committee meetings.  Amherst Media will provide training and the necessary equipment, and will broadcast the meetings for the community.

The first meeting is Thursday, November 30 from 4-6pm at the ARMS Professional Development Center and there will likely be one or two meetings per month so it would be great if we had several people willing and able to take turns doing the filming.

Please contact crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com if you or someone you know can help.

Survey Regarding Possible Dual Language/Magnet School

Message from the The Magnet/Dual-Immersion Subgroup of the Enrollment Working Group:


We are part of the Enrollment Working Group,  a group of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members that is in the process of researching educational options for the Amherst Public School district.

Our subgroup is exploring world language opportunities for our students, with a focus on the potential for our district to start a K-6 magnet school. Based on our perception of ongoing interest by the community and our current demographics of ELL (English Language Learners) students and bilingual staff, we are particularly interested in determining the feasibility of creating a English/Spanish K-6 dual immersion program (a dual language school teaches subjects in English and Spanish, with the goal of all students learning both languages). Our goals for this survey are to:

  • Assess interest in a K-6 dual immersion magnet school option by English-speaking and Spanish-speaking families
  • Assess interest in other magnet school themes
  • Assess interest in expanded Spanish language instruction as part of regular (non-dual immersion) K-6 programming.

Please take a moment before November 14 to complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GFG7JNX to share your thoughts and opinions.

Thank you for your time!

Sincerely,

The Magnet/Dual-Immersion Subgroup of the Enrollment Working Group
Andrea Battle (ARPS Grandparent)
Irene Dujovne (ARPS Parent)
Margaret Sawyer (ARPS Parent)
Miki Gromacki (ARHS Assistant Principal, ARPS Parent)
Phoebe Hazzard (Amherst School Committee Chair, ARPS Parent)

 

Somos parte del grupo de trabajo de matrícula, un grupo de padres, maestros, administradores y miembros de la comunidad que está en el proceso de investigación de opciones educativas para el distrito escolar público de Amherst.

Nuestro subgrupo está explorando oportunidades de idiomas del mundo para nuestros estudiantes, con un enfoque en el potencial de nuestro distrito para comenzar una escuela especializada de K-6. De acuerdo a nuestra percepción del interés continuo de la comunidad, nuestra demografía actual de estudiantes de ELL (Aprendices del Idioma Inglés) y personal bilingüe, estamos particularmente interesados en determinar la viabilidad de crear un programa de inmersión doble en inglés / español para K-6. (Una escuela de doble idioma enseña materias en inglés y español, con el objetivo de que todos los estudiantes aprendan ambos idiomas). Nuestros objetivos para esta encuesta son:

  • Evaluar el interés en una opción de escuela especializada de doble inmersión K-6 de familias de habla inglesa y de habla hispana
  • Evaluar el interés en otros temas de escuela especializada
  • Evaluar el interés en la enseñanza del idioma español ampliado como parte de la programación regular (inmersión no dual) K-6.

Dedique un momento antes del 14 de noviembre a completar la encuesta en https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GFG7JNX para compartir sus pensamientos y opiniones.

¡Gracias por su tiempo!

Sinceramente,

The Magnet/Dual-Immersion Subgroup of the Enrollment Working Group
Andrea Battle (ARPS Grandparent)
Irene Dujovne (ARPS Parent)
Margaret Sawyer (ARPS Parent)
Miki Gromacki (ARHS Assistant Principal, ARPS Parent)
Phoebe Hazzard (Amherst School Committee Chair, ARPS Parent)

That Volunteer Opportunity May Require a Background Check

We welcome all talents and abilities! To learn more about fun, unique and exciting volunteer opportunities at Wildwood, visit our Volunteering and Contributing page

CORI Background Check: If school or PGO volunteer opportunities bring you into contact with students at Wildwood ES or on a field trip, you must have a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) check on file. This includes all field trip chaperones and classroom volunteers (e.g. grandparents, aunts & uncles, adult siblings). CORI checks must be done on individual volunteers every three years and are valid for all schools within our district. If you would like to check to see if you are current on your CORI status, please call Sasha in the Central Office at 362-1810.

To request a CORI check, bring your current driver’s license into the Main Office at Wildwood or to the district’s Central Office (located at the middle school) for photocopying and complete the required application well in advance of any volunteer obligations. Questions about the CORI process can be directed to the Wildwood Main Office or Sasha in the Central Office.

Members Sought for the Fort River School Building Committee

At their September 25th meeting, the Amherst School Committee approved the mission statement (available here) for the Fort River  School Building Committee.  The committee also voted to include the following voting members on the Fort River School Building Committee:
  • Fort River Principal or Designee
  • Fort River Teacher
  • Fort River Staff Member
  • Facilities Director or Designee
  • School Committee Member
  • Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Designee
  • Fort River PGO Appointee
  • Town Finance Representative
  • Community Member with Green Energy Expertise and Architectural Background
  • At-Large Parent/Guardian/CaregiverAt-Large Community Member #1
    At-Large Community Member #2

In addition, the committee voted to formalize their commitment to having a minimum of 50% of the voting membership of the School Building Committee composed of women and persons of color.

Community members are encouraged to complete the application available here for the following positions:  1) Community Member with Green Energy Expertise and Architectural Background; 2) At-Large Parent/Guardian/Caregiver; 3) At-Large Community Member (2 positions).

The deadline for applications is 12:00 Noon on Friday, October 13. All applications will be considered; however, preference may be given to women and people of color, parents/guardians/caregivers, and those with Amherst town government experience.

ARPS PGO Fall Public Meeting, Oct 19 at 3:15PM

The Amherst Regional Public Schools Parent Guardian Organization (ARPS PGO) is a Registered 501c3 Massachusetts Charity encompassing the individual PGOs of the Amherst Regional High and Middle Schools, Crocker Farm and Wildwood Elementary.

Our mission is to support the education of children within our schools through fundraising, supplemental programming and volunteer efforts.  We help build community by fostering relationships among the schools, parents, teachers and staff. 
 

All are invited to attend the ARPS PGO Fall Public Meeting

October 19, 2017 -3:15 PM at the Works

Agenda

  • Introductions
  • Voting on Officers for the 2017-2018 School Year
  • Individual School Updates
  • Taxes and State Filings
  • Group Fundraisers
    • Snack Pantry
    • UMACC (United Way)
    • Giving Tuesday
    • Florence Bank
    • Amazon Smile
  • Other Business not anticipated by the chair
  • Adjourn