2017-2018 School Calendar

The 2017-2018 School Calendar has been approved by the School Committee, key information:

  • School will start on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 for students in grades 1-12.  Preschool and Kindergarten start on Tuesday, September 5.
  • There will be no school on the day before Thanksgiving.
  • Winter break will begin with an early release day on Friday, December 22.  School will reopen on Tuesday, January 2.
  • The projected last day of school, including five snow days, is June 21, 2018.  One weekday is deducted for each snow day not used, with the earliest possible last day of school being June 14, 2017.
  • Please note that schools are required to provide 180 days of instruction.  While the five snow days built into the calendar are typically adequate to cover closures, any days schools must be closed beyond that must be made-up per Massachusetts Department of Education regulations.  Whenever possible, such days are added to the end of the school year.

Shop at Amazon?

Doing any online shopping through Amazon this weekend or any other time of year? Did you know you can earn money for the Wildwood with each Amazon purchase. Enroll in passive fundraising to earn money for Wildwood while you shop!

AMAZON SMILEamazonsmile
Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-4510327 for your Amazon shopping and Wildwood will earn 0.5% of your purchases.

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.

Kids, Art & Nature Programs at the LSSE

Watch the magic that unfolds in the studios of Deborah Bazer and Lahri Bond and their young students – Lumps of clay turn into swimming pools and horses, superheros emerge from newspaper and glue, and fantastical stories fill the air. This year, the Kids, Art, and Nature programs start July 10 and take place all-day, Mon.-Fri. through the week of Aug. 21. They’re a great opportunity for kids to explore nature through a variety of themes and artistic media. View Flyer

ARPS Special Education Services Family Survey

Dear Parents/Guardians of Students with Special Education Services,

This year the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Districts have hired an independent consulting firm, Public Consulting Group, to conduct a survey of our special education services. All parents/guardians of students who are currently on an IEP are asked to provide feedback through an anonymous survey. Please know that your feedback will help to improve special education services across the district. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. If you have more than one child currently on an IEP, we ask that you complete a separate survey for each child. Please access the survey online until May 26th at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3532203/Special-Education-Parent-Guardian-Survey

If you have any questions, please check in the main office at your child’s school or call the Student Services Office at 413-362-1834. Thank you in advance for your time and invaluable input.

Sincerely,
Dr. Michael Morris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Queridos Padres/ Guardianes de Estudiantes con Servicios de Educación Especial,

Este año Amherst, Pelham y los Distritos Escolares Regionales de Amherst-Pelham han empleado a una empresa de consultoría independiente para conducir una evaluación completa de nuestros servicios de educación especial. Se le está pidiendo a todos los padres/guardianes de estudiantes que están actualmente en un IEP que provean su opinión a través de una encuesta anónima. Por favor sepa que su opinión ayudará a mejorar los servicios de educación especial a través del distrito. La encuesta debería tomar aproximadamente 15 minutos para completar. Si usted tiene a más de un niño actualmente en un IEP, pedimos que usted complete una encuesta separada para cada niño. Por favor, tendrá acceso a la encuest a en línea hast a el 26 de m ayo Español:

Español: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3532203/Spanish

Inglés: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3532203/Special-Education-Parent-Guardian-Survey

Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor valla a la oficina general de la escuela de su niño o llame a la Oficina de Educación Especial al 413-362-1834. Gracias de antemano por su tiempo y colaboración inestimable.

Sinceramente,
Dr. Michael Morris

Sugarloaf Youth Track League

Ages: 6-14

Dates: Thursday 5/25, 6/1, 6/8 and Friday 6/16, 6/23, 6/30

Time: 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Location: Amherst Regional High School Track

Price: $49

Boys and girls of all abilities will be placed on a team and can compete in both relap and individual events. First night for Team Assignments & Orientation: Thursday, May 25 at 5:00 p.m. Arrive on first night to group teams, meet coaches & run an informal series of practice races. Meet dates are 6/1, 8, 16, 23, 30. Rain date is 6/27.
Meets at : Amherst Regional High School Track, 21 Mattoon Street, Amherst.
For more info please visit our website at www.lsse.org

Contact Sydney Henthorn, Sugarloaf Track League Director at shenthorn20@gmail.com or

Chris Johnson, Sports Director at LSSE, (413)259-3144 or johnsonc@amherstma.gov

11th Annual Latino Achievement Night (LAN)

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 6:30 p.m
Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School Auditorium

Under the direction of Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Morris and Director of Family and Student Engagement, Dr. Marta Guevara and in keeping with the Social Justice Commitment of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools, the 11th Annual Latino Achievement Night aspires toward equity in opportunity, inclusion, respect and community-building in and out of the classroom. All families, friends, staff and
community members are invited to attend.

The Latino Achievement Night was envisioned over 12 years ago by the members of the Latino Student Achievement Initiative. This group, comprised of district students, staff and community members, came together to explore ways to increase the academic achievement of students of Latino heritage. A series of recommendations was formulated to address this critical issue and strengthen the district’s’ efforts to support at-promise students. A resulting step was the creation of a community event celebrating the achievements of Latino Students paralleling the customs of Latin American countries.

All students of Latino heritage will be celebrated in this event and those in transition
years (K, 6, 8 and 12) will be highlighted for their academic achievement, leadership,
community spirit, progress and/or effort. The evening’s program will include spoken
word, music and dance presentations by students and staff of the Amherst/Pelham
Elementary Schools and the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle/High School. In
addition, ARHS Seniors will be presented with a traditional graduation stole to be worn
over their robes at the graduation ceremony in June.

The evening’s featured speaker will be Dr. Carmen Cosme. Dr. Cosme obtained her PhD
in Hispanic Languages and Linguistics from the Dept. of Languages, Literatures and
Cultures at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is currently the VELA
after-school program coordinator in our Middle School.

Please contact Mildred Martinez at 413 362-1871 with any questions or concerns.

26th Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament – May 13, 14

Come see hucks, bids, scoobers and maybe even a Callahan!  Don’t know what these are? Come find out!  On May 13-14, more than 30 of the top Ultimate frisbee teams in the country — including six teams from Amherst Regional High School and Amherst Regional Middle School — will compete in the 26th Amherst Invitational Ultimate Tournament.  Games run 9am-5pm on Saturday and 8am-4pm on Sunday at both ARHS and ARMS fields.  Championship games start at 1pm on Sunday near the ARHS track.  For more information, stop by the information tent at the Amherst Regional High School (21 Mattoon Street, Amherst, MA) or visit us at https://www.facebook.com/amherstinvitational/.  Admission is free!

Seeking summer garden volunteers!

Our elementary school gardens need your help to have a healthy summer growing season! Families are invited to join Leila Tunnell (Brookfield Farm educator) and Jennifer Reese (school garden coordinator) for an on-site garden volunteer training at your school this June. In the session (under an hour) you’ll  become familiar with the garden space, learn about the plants we’re growing, and learn how to access and use the garden tools. As one of the garden caretakers last summer, I (Jennifer) can attest to the fact that the “work” is fun and kid-friendly. My then 4-year-old, 7-year-old, and I did all that we needed to do in 1-2 hours per week. Families who help care for the gardens are also welcome to harvest (conservatively) from the gardens as crops become ready.
 
Sign ups for summer weeks will take place at the orientation sessions. Volunteers will also be asked to sign a liability waiver, per district protocol.
Please RSVP here if you plan to attend a session so that we can plan accordingly. Thank you!
 
Orientation sessions: 
Crocker Farm: Saturday, June 3rd10-11 am
Fort River: Sunday, June 4th10-11 am
Wildwood: Sunday, June 4th1-2 pm
Questions or comments? Please contact Jennifer Reese (reesej@arps.org) or Leila Tunnell (ltunnell18@gmail.com).

Post-Building Project Presentation, 5/5

Please join us on Friday, May 5th from 12:00-1:00pm in the Green Room at Wildwood School for a  Post-Building Project Presentation with Interim Superintendent Michael Morris

Dr Morris will discuss the post-school vote challenges that our school districts face – Financial, Enrollment, and Infrastructure – followed by a question and answer period.

If mornings work better, Wildwood families are welcome to attend the same presentation by Dr Morris at Crocker Farm Elementary School on Friday 5th May from 9:00-10:15am.

View Flyer in Spanish

View Flyer in English

 

MCAS Testing Dates

MCAS testing has begun. Remaining test dates as follows:

  • ELA MCAS: Grade 6 on May 2.
  • Math MCAS: Grade 5–May 11, 12; Grade 6–May 18,19; Grades 3 and 4–May 23,24.
  • Science MCAS: Grade 5–May 16 and 17.

Valley Gives & Brown Envelope Fundraiser, May 2

The 4th annual Valley Gives Day is THIS WEEKvalleygives-2

This 24-hour online giving day allows people throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond to support hundreds of local nonprofits, including our very own Wildwood School. Don’t delay, support Wildwood PGO today!

Donate via brown envelope or online at: https://valley-gives.org/designee/wildwood-parent-guardian-organization

With your help the PGO can continue to support our students in ways that are as diverse as the population we serve. We strive to ensure that all children have what they need to thrive while also providing our amazing educators with basic tools for their classrooms. With your help the PGO can continue to support our students in ways that are as diverse as the population we serve. But we can’t do it without you! Check it out:

  • $850 ensures every 6th Grade student can participate in the Morse Hill field trip
  • $700 pays for a visiting author
  • $500 supports Art room clay supplies for the year
  • $200 will pay for a Sewing Machine for the Art Room
  • $125 supports a Staff Appreciation Breakfast
  • $120 buys Soil Testing probes for a 2nd Grade Soil Investigation science unit
  • $100 Pays for Moby Max curriculum software licenses for 5th Graders
  • $100 Can assist the school to submit mini grants for unique learning opportunities for children
  • $50 Will help every child to attend class field trips in the community
  • $20 Contributes to teacher classroom supplies so all children have access to pencils and paper
  • $10 helps to ensure that each child can have a snack every day

Our school will be stronger with help from you. Please donate what you can today and dig deep this spring. Thank you!

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.

Museum Passes Available for FREE at Jones Library

Looking for something to do over the break? Borrow a museum pass.

Our local libraries make regional museums accessible to their patrons! Borrow a museum pass and get out and visit one of these many community resources. Some of these passes allow free admission and others allow discounted admission. The number of adults and children admitted varies from pass to pass.

Be amazed at the community-based educational opportunities waiting for you and your family!

For more info about activities at the library, visit: www.joneslibrary.org/

Amherst School Building Project Update

March 30, 2017

To:       The Amherst Public School District staff and administration and the Amherst community,

From:  Phoebe Hazzard, Amherst School Committee Vice-Chair and Dr. Michael Morris, Interim Superintendent

While the proposed new schools building project failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in Tuesday’s referendum vote, our district will continue to move forward and plan for ways to ensure that our schools remain the best teaching and learning environments possible for our students and staff. There is no question that there was a wide range of opinions and feelings about the project in our small community. But the rigorous and passionate debate leading up to the vote reinforced how deeply our community cares about our elementary schools. And, the activity around the referendum has sparked an upswell in civic involvement, with many district parents now engaging as elected participants in our local democratic system.

Though provocative, the conversation around the proposed building project has also made our community increasingly aware of persistent issues that educators, administrators, and school committees have been grappling with for years, particularly the challenging physical environment of the Fort River and Wildwood buildings, uneven socio-economic distribution of our families, lack of affordable preschool, and fiscal challenges. Our educators work every day to provide our children with outstanding educational experiences despite a challenging teaching environment. These problems remain unresolved, and as we move forward we must be committed to continuing to consider how to address them in the most fiscally responsible and timely manner possible.

The Amherst School Committee will hold its next public meeting on April 25th at 6:00 p.m., at which we will likely discuss next steps. Interim Superintendent Dr. Morris will move forward with requests for the town to fund the outstanding capital repairs needed at Fort River and Wildwood, beginning with $500,000 to replace the Wildwood boiler. The district will also request $115,000 to conduct a site and building assessment at the Fort River School to inform discussion about the future potential of that site.

As we begin this next chapter, we’d like to express a sincere thank you to the members of the School Building Committee for their hundreds of hours of work on the proposed school buildings project.

Statement from School Committee Chairs Regarding Superintendent Search

On Tuesday, March 21, the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee and the Union 26 Committee, meeting jointly, unanimously decided to postpone the search for a permanent superintendent of schools until fall 2017.  The committees will name an interim superintendent to serve for the 2017-2018 academic year, with a permanent superintendent to start on July 1, 2018.  Dr. Michael Morris has served as interim superintendent during the current academic year.

The committees deliberated about how best to proceed with the search for a new district superintendent following the news last week that the search firm hired to conduct the process on behalf of the district had inappropriately requested criminal background information from applicants. The committees had a thorough and deliberate discussion in which members balanced multiple issues, including the desire for a new educational leader, confidence in the current search firm, resources expended to date, the timing of the search, and the strong need to have a permanent superintendent who has the full confidence of the community and the committees.

The committees strongly believe that postponing the search until fall 2017, which would follow the typical calendar for superintendent searches, gives our district the best opportunity to ensure a better pool of qualified and diverse candidates than if we restarted the search immediately.  The committees also intend to work closely with the district’s human resources staff and Ray & Associates, the search firm, to ensure that a new search would adhere to all Massachusetts employment and discrimination laws, as well as achieve a standard of excellence that we expect for a search of this importance.  We are committed to bringing regular updates to the committees and the public as we restart the search process during the next few months.

Our committees have expressed how deeply they value input from the community in matters related to the governance of our school district, and continue to be interested in the full participation of the community. We hope that the volunteers who stepped forward to help with the screening of candidates and the broader search will continue to be interested in participating when we pick up this process again in the fall.

We are grateful to interim superintendent Dr. Morris and the district leadership team for their support during this search process. The committees will continue to work with our interim superintendent and other district leaders to ensure that we have a stable, robust educational plan in place for the next school year. We also will continue to work closely with our talented and dedicated educators, principals and other staff to ensure the continued success of our students and schools.

———–

El martes, 21 de marzo, el Comité Escolar Regional de Amherst-Pelham y el Comité de la Unión 26, reunidos conjuntamente, decidieron por unanimidad aplazar la búsqueda de un superintendente permanente de escuelas hasta el otoño de 2017. Los comités nombrarán a un superintendente interino para servir en el año académico 2017 -2018, con un superintendente permanente para comenzar el 1 de julio de 2018. El Dr. Michael Morris ha servido como superintendente interino durante el año académico actual.

Los comités deliberaron sobre la mejor manera de proceder con la búsqueda de un nuevo superintendente de distrito tras la noticia de la semana pasada que la firma de búsqueda contratada, para llevar a cabo el proceso en nombre del distrito, había solicitado de manera inapropiada información de antecedentes penales de los solicitantes. Los comités tuvieron una discusión minuciosa y deliberada en la que los miembros han equilibrado múltiples cuestiones, entre ellas el deseo de un nuevo líder educativo, la confianza en la empresa de búsqueda actual, los recursos gastados hasta la fecha, el momento de la búsqueda y la fuerte necesidad de tener un Superintendente que tenga la plena confianza de la comunidad y de los comités.

Los comités creen firmemente que posponer la búsqueda hasta el otoño de 2017, que seguiría el calendario típico de las búsquedas de superintendentes, da a nuestro distrito la mejor oportunidad de asegurar una mejor reserva de candidatos calificados y diversos, que si volvemos a iniciar la búsqueda inmediatamente. Los comités también tienen la intención de trabajar en estrecha colaboración con el personal de Recursos Humanos del Distrito y Ray & Associates, la firma de búsqueda, para asegurar que la nueva búsqueda se adhiera a todas las leyes de empleo y discriminación de Massachusetts, así como lograr el nivel de excelencia que esperamos para una búsqueda de esta importancia. Estamos comprometidos a llevar actualizaciones periódicas a los comités y al público mientras reiniciamos el proceso de búsqueda durante los próximos meses.

Nuestros comités han expresado lo mucho que valoran el aporte de la comunidad en los asuntos relacionados con la gobernanza de nuestro distrito escolar, y siguen interesados en la plena participación de la comunidad. Esperamos que los voluntarios que se ofrecieron para ayudar con la selección de los candidatos y la búsqueda más amplia sigan interesados en participar cuando retomemos este proceso de nuevo en el otoño.

Estamos agradecidos al superintendente interino Dr. Morris y al equipo de liderazgo del distrito por su apoyo durante este proceso de búsqueda. Los comités continuarán trabajando con nuestro superintendente interino y otros líderes del distrito para asegurar que tengamos un plan educacional estable y robusto establecido para el próximo año escolar. También continuaremos trabajando estrechamente con nuestros talentosos y dedicados educadores, directores y demás personal para asegurar el éxito continuo de nuestros estudiantes y nuestras escuelas.

PGO Awarded Grant

The Amherst Regional Public Schools PGO has been awarded its first Florence Bank Customers Choice grant award!  The ARPS PGO is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit encompassing the PGOs from Crocker Farm, Wildwood and Amherst Regional Middle and High Schools.
The award of $947 will be shared equally by the schools.
Thank you to Florence Bank for their generous support and to everyone who voted for us in support of our schools.

SEPAC Meeting 3/20

Please consider attending an informal meeting to connect with others. A light dinner will be provided, so an RSVP would be helpful! 
When:  Monday, March 20th 6:00pm-7:00pm
Where:  Amherst Regional Middle School, Professional Development Room
From 6:00 pm-6:30 pm:  We will have an opportunity to connect with some candidates running for school committee.
From 6:30 pm-7:00 pm:  We will continue to explore ways we can support each other in the community.  Dr. Brady and SEPAC board will also be in attendance.
Again, please RSVP if possible to sepac@arps.org or 413-687-4255.
____________________________

Invitación de la Junta Consultiva de Padres de Educación Especial

Por favor, considere asistir a una reunión informal para conectar con los demás. Se ofrecerá una cena ligera, por lo que una confirmación de su asistencia sería de gran ayuda!

Cuándo: Lunes, 20 de marzo 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
Dónde: Amherst Regional Middle School, Salón de Desarrollo Profesional

De 6:00 pm -6:30 pm: Tendremos la oportunidad de conectar con algunos candidatos que corren para el Comité Escolar.

De 6:30 pm-7:00 pm: Continuaremos explorando maneras en que podemos apoyarnos mutuamente en la comunidad. El Dr. Brady y la junta de SEPAC también estarán presentes.

Una vez más, por favor confirme su asistencia si es posible sepac@arps.org o 413-687-4255.

Meet your town candidates – March 18

Meet Your Precinct Town Meeting Candidates on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Amherst Regional Middle School. The meeting will give Amherst residents the opportunity to meet Town Meeting Candidates and learn their views on issues facing Amherst.

Precincts 1-5 candidates will be present from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Precincts 6-10 candidates will be present from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Town Meeting Coordinating Committee and moderated by the League of Women Voters of Amherst.

Meet School Committee Candidates @ PGO Meeting, 3/1

Meet the Candidates for School Committee at the next Wildwood PGO Meeting

Date: Wednesday, Mar 1st, 2017
Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm
Location: Wildwood 
Library


Agenda:

  • 6:00pm – Meet other parents, hear about what the PGO has been doing and learn about ways to take part.
  • 6.30pm – Candidates for Amherst School Committee, Peter Demling, Bob Greeney, Eric Nakajima and Jennifer Page will introduce themselves to the Wildwood community and answer your questions, in preparation for the town-wide election on March 28th.
  • 7-7.30pm – Meet & Greet

Amherst Open Space and Recreation Plan- Input Needed

The Town of Amherst needs your help in updating it’s Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP). The updated plan will be used to guide the Town’s decision making regarding the use, management, and acquisition of Amherst’s valued open spaces, conservation areas, parks, and recreational resources over the next seven years.

Three ways to provide input:
1. Take a survey
2. Attend a public meeting (listed below)
3. Provide comment on the current OSRP (Sections 6 – 9)

Public Meetings
1. February 22nd7pm, Town Room, 2nd Floor, Town Hall (Con Com Mtg)
2. February 23rd7pm, LSSE Office, ARMS (LSSE Mtg)
3. March 1st7pm, Glass Room, Lower Level, Bangs Center, 70 Boltwood Ave

Please visit the Town’s website to complete the survey, to review the current OSRP and for more details on how you can participate at: https://www.amherstma.gov/629/Open-Space-Recreation-Plan