Course Registration Information

Online Registration opened 2/15 and closes on March 5th at 8:00 AM.  Registration Assistance is available during lunch next week.  Verification forms will be sent home on May 7th and must be signed by parents/ guardians.

For anyone who was unable to attend last week’s evening coffee for parents and guardians on the ARHS Course Registration Process, the presentation can be viewed here:

 Course Registration Slideshow (English)

Course Registration Slideshow (Spanish

The presentation includes information about electives and other offerings as well as the process timeline.


Posted in Parent News

Seniors: Reality Fair

Dear Parents/Guardians of ARHS Class of 2018,

All ARHS seniors are invited to attend Reality Fair, a hands-on, financial literacy workshop sponsored by the Greenfield Community College Financial Aid Office and the UMASS Five College Federal Credit Union on Thursday, March 22nd.  Students will depart for GCC at 8:15 a.m. and return to school around 1:45 p.m.  The event is entirely free for our students and includes lunch.

We encourage all of our seniors to take part in this interactive and informative field trip.  The feedback from the students who participated the last two years was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic.  They said it was fun and educational and that we should “Ab-so-lutely!” take students again this year.

Permission slips were given to all seniors during advisory on Thursday, February 15th, but they can also be found on our website and attached to this email.  They are due back by Monday, March 12th.

Please call Ericka Alschuler at 362-1714 or Myra Ross at 362-1720 for more information.


Click here to view the handout.

Click here to view the Reality Fair Permission Slip 2018



Posted in Parent News

School Safety Letter from Principal Jackson

Dear ARHS Parents and Guardians,

Over the last day or so, I have received several emails from parents and guardians regarding the recent school shooting in Florida. Each essentially posed the same question: what does ARHS do to prevent such things from happening here? There was a very clear emphasis on prevention. The interest was not on how would we respond in the event of a school shooting. The focus, instead, was on what we do to increase the likelihood that something like this doesn’t happen here.

Below I summarize our work on the prevention front and, as well, review our response procedures.


A basic assumption has to do with signs – the belief that perpetrators have left a trail of clues that pointed to their troubled state and that, if only someone had noticed or paid attention, the violence could have been prevented. What follows from this is that the eyes and ears of the ARHS adults are our most important first-line defense.

ARHS is organized to pay attention. We have developed very strong reporting norms that apply to every adult in the building. The mantra is: ‘when in doubt, report’. Every year, in August, before students arrive, our counselors review with the entire faculty and staff their reporting obligations. This includes not only who to report to and how, if they observe or encounter a troubling situation, but, more importantly, what are the signs and indicators they should be alert to. An important category are students’ words or writings that reference suicidal ideation, an intent to self-harm or harm others or include any references to violence. These could be overheard, found in student papers or journals or even in a doodle that appears in a notebook. The training emphasis is this: ‘if it turns your head, has your attention if only in a mild way or otherwise leaves you with an ‘uh-oh; feeling, then you should refer this information to a guidance counselor or administrator. You shouldn’t try to interpret it or explain it way. Just refer’.

And this works. Every year, I add to my list of ‘great catches’ that faculty have made – situations where they’ve read the signs and signals of distressed students and didn’t hesitate to bring it to the attention of someone equipped to respond.

Beyond the eyes and ears of the adults, there are also organizational structures and routines that keep the school’s attention focused on students who are challenged or struggling. There are several groups that meet on a set schedule to develop and monitor intervention plans for these students. This work includes enlisting the support of outside providers and staying in close communication with parents or guardians.

Another important routine is our threat assessment protocol.  Several ARHS faculty members have been trained to assess if a student-issued threat is transient or substantive and, then, to determine an appropriate course of action. This work is conducted in conjunction with APD and, as well, actively involves families.

Lastly, there is also our anti-bullying and anti-harassment work. The heart of this is maintaining a school culture that promotes inclusion and acceptance. This is an affirmative agenda, one that extends beyond simply discouraging bullying and harassment. We have programming that supports this work throughout the school year. On our website, we also have an anonymous reporting function that allows anyone in the ARHS community to bring their bullying and harassment concerns forward. These reports prompt investigations by school personnel.


At the beginning of every school year, we conduct emergency response drills with the entire school. All students and adults are involved. APD is an active partner in these drills. They attend and provide us with feedback, These drills include lock down, shelter in place and even our response should we receive a tornado warning. We will refresh ourselves on these practices at the March faculty meeting.

Last year, we augmented our traditional lock-down and shelter in place procedures with the ALICE framework. ALICE encourages schools to be more active in their emergency response approach. Lock-down and shelter in place both have faculty, staff and students behind a locked doors. However, ALICE encourages schools to have as part of their emergency response plans options that include evacuation, barricading doors and distraction. We believe these measures complement well our traditional practices and align us with the best,current thinking in the emergency preparedness field.

This year, every desktop computer in the school was equipped with an app that allows direct, real-time communication with the Amherst Police Department. In any emergency, response time is the critical variable. If a threat were to occur, rather than having to communicate with the main office, which would, then, in turn, communicate with APD, faculty and staff are able to direct their concern immediately to APD. Like with 911, the communication can pinpoint the location of the sender.

Lastly, over the last few years, we have added two security measures to all our classrooms and offices. The first is that our Facilities department swapped out all classroom door locks to enable doors to be secured from the inside. And, they also installed shades on all hallway-facing classroom windows and doors.

I hope this helps. If you have thoughts about other measures worth considering, please forward them. If you just have further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you.

Mark Jackson,  Principal

Posted in Parent News

Juniors and Seniors: Mark Your Calendars

For Seniors:

March 1 – UMass FAFSA Deadline

March 22 – Reality Fair Permission Slips Due

Late March – HCC Foundation Scholarship Deadline

April 2 – ARHS Scholarship Application Deadline

April (TBA) – MEFA “after the Acceptance” program about comparing financial aid awards and making college decisions

May 1 – FAFSA filing deadline for eligibility for Mass grant, available only to Pell grant recipients – most significant for community college students

June 1 – Last day of school for seniors

June 8 – Graduation


For Juniors:

March 22 – Evening MEFA presentation on nuts and bolts of all aspects of the college admissions process for juniors and parent/guardians. ARHS library, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

April 9 – Springfield National College Fair; Young Building at Big E, W. Springfield (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.). Over 200 colleges attend. Register at to avoid filling out registration cards at each table!

April 26 – Teacher recommendation information distributed via e-mail to juniors.

May 3 – Evening meeting for juniors and parents/guardians. Current seniors will share their experiences in planning for college admission/financial aid. ARHS auditorium, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

May 5 – SAT  with Subject Tests @ Northamapton High School (Register by 2/6)

May 7 – 11 – Teacher recommendation request week – not first come, first served

June 2 – SAT @ ARHS  (Register by 4/4)

June 9 – ACT

July 14 – ACT

August 25 – SAT and Subject Tests @ ARHS


Posted in Parent News

Mark Your Calendars

February 28 – Early Release Day

March 7-10 – ARHS Musical- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

March 9 – Teacher Curriculum Day- No School

March 10 – March 13- Boys Ultimate Tryouts

March 13 – Last Day to Register for Spring Sports; Sports Info Night 6:30 pm

March 13 – National Latin Exam at ARHS

March 14 – Early Release Day

March 15 – All Choruses Concert 7 PM

March 19 – Spring Sports Begin

March 20 – All Orchestra’s Concert 7 PM

March 21 – All Band’s Concert 7 PM

March 27 – MCAS ELA Testing; 3 Hr. Delay for Non- Test Takers

March 28 – MCAS ELA Testing; 3 Hr. Delay for Non- Test Takers

March 28 – Jazz Workshop Concert 7PM

March 29 – MCAS ELA Testing; 2 Hr. Delay for Non- Test Takers

March 30 – Good Friday- No School

April 4 – Early Release

April 9 – P2 Grades Distributed

April 16 – 20 – Spring Recess- No school

May 23 – MCAS Math Testing; 3 Hr. Delay for Non- Test Takers

May 24 – MCAS Math Testing; 3 Hr. Delay for Non- Test Takers

June 6 – MCAS Sci/ Tech Testing; 2 Hr. Delay for Non- Test Takers

June 7 – MCAS Sci/ Tech Testing; 2 Hr. Delay for Non- Test Takers

Posted in Parent News

Interested in Registering for the Amherst Regional Public Schools?

ARPSPlease join us for information sessions for the Elementary and Secondary levels. Come meet our principals, the superintendent, and receive information about our schools and how to register!  These events are for both ARPS families with students transitioning to Kindergarten, 7th grade, and 9th grade, and families with children who currently do not attend ARPS (regardless any grade level). 

For rising Kindergartners & prospective K-6: Crocker Farm Elementary School Library on March 1st at 6:00 pm

For rising 9th Graders: Amherst Regional High School Library on March 6th at 7:00 pm.  There will be a session at 6:15 for parents/guardians whose children have IEPs

For rising 7th Graders: Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium Lobby on February 27th at 6:30 pm.  There will be a session at 6 PM for parents/guardians whose children have IEPs or ELL needs.

Please see the attached flyer for Information/Registration events at all school levels in ARPS. Please feel free to share widely!  To view the flyer,  click here.

Posted in Parent News

Seniors! You May Be Eligible to Vote in an Upcoming Local Election

Visit to register online. The process is simple if you have a RMV driver’s license. You are still able to register without a license by visiting Town Hall or by using this form:

More details about voting are available at

Registering to Vote
You may submit an application to register or pre-register to vote in Massachusetts if:

  • You are a citizen of the United States; and
  • You are 16 years old; and
  • You are not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.

If you meet the above requirements, you may apply online, by mail, or in-person. 

Registering online: 
In order to register to vote online, you must have a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you currently have a Massachusetts driver’s license or state ID card, you may use the online voter registration application to register, update your address, or change your party affiliation. Voter registration forms submitted online must be submitted by midnight on the date of the voter registration deadline.

Registering by mail:
If you do not qualify to register to vote online, or if you would prefer to register by mail, you may download the voter registration form by using the link provided in the box to the right. The form must be completed, signed, and delivered to your local election official. Voter registration forms submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than the voter registration deadline.

Registering in-person:
If you would like to register in-person, you may do so at any local election office, as well as the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. Voter registration is also available as part of every transaction at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and at certain public assistance agencies. Voter registration forms completed in-person are valid as of the day that they are signed.


Posted in Parent News