Fall 2020 Info Session for Olympia Oaks and Village Park Residents

This Saturday at 10 AM – 11 AM

Olympia Place

The ARPS District will be holding an information session in the Olympia Oaks area at 10AM on Saturday, August 15th. Only residents of Olympia Oaks and Village Park apartments and those living at the entrance of Olympia Drive are invited to attend. Social distancing measures will be taken and families should remain 6 ft apart from each other. Face masks will be required for everyone over the age of 5 years old.

The Superintendent, Dr. Michael Morris along with the Director of Student and Family Engagement, Dr. Marta Guevara, school principals and School Committee members will share the plans for the Fall 2020 school year and answer your questions. Traducción al español estará disponible.

Posted in Parent News

Virtual Town Hall Sessions on Monday 8/17

There will be two virtual Town Hall meeting sessions on Monday, August 17th to discuss the district reopening plan that was submitted to DESE. The first session will focus on secondary students and the second session will focus on elementary students. To participate, please visit the link(s) at the designated time of the meeting you would like to “attend”.

Monday, Aug 17 9-10 AM Secondary Families (Middle and High School)

Or by clicking :Secondary Town Hall

4-5 PM Elementary Students

Elementary Town Hall

Additional information in the flyer below.Town Hall Mtg 8.17.20.pdf

Posted in Parent News

ARPS Metrics for Monitoring Conditions to Make Sure it is Safe to be Open

Copy/pasted from the 8.13.20 Joint ASC, PSC & RSC Agenda Packet.pdf

Overview of Metrics for September 2020 

✓ Fewer than 70 New Cases per 100,000 people (over seven day period in Hampshire/Franklin Counties*) 

✓ Less than 3% Percent Positive Testing rate (14 day overall combined average in all towns in Hampshire/Franklin Counties) 

Both metrics must remain below these limits for in-person schooling to proceed as proposed. ARPS is using the most conservative metrics being recommended and/or implemented. 

*Calculated with weighting of 0.7 for Hampshire County and 0.3 for Franklin County based on relative populations

Phasing

Same Metrics would apply to increasing the number of students and staff in schools with moving to the next phase, with one additional metric to assess trends: 

✓ Fewer than 70 New Cases per 100,000 people (over seven day period in Hampshire/Franklin Counties*) 

✓ Less than 3% Positive Testing rate (14 day overall combined average in Hampshire/Franklin Counties) ✓ Less than 33% increase from prior weeks’ data on both metrics (even if results are still below the cut-off) 

Current Status

< 70 new Cases Per Week, per 100,000 people 

● As of 8/10/20: 19.5 per 100,000 people ○ Hampshire: 24 ○ Franklin: 9 < 3% Positive Tests (combined, all Hampshire County cities and towns) 

● As of 8/5/20: 1.3% C

Current Status Summary: 2 out of 2 metrics remain below thresholds 

Safety Metrics: Guidance 

● New York State: 5% positive testing rate in region (14 day average). Schools will close if regional infection rate is greater than 9% (7 day average) 

● Centers for Disease Control: 5% positive testing rate in region (14 day average) 

● World Health Organization: 5% positive testing rate in region (14 day average) 

● New York City: 3% positive testing rate in city (14 day average) 

● Harvard Global Health Institute: 3% positive testing rate in the area; 1-10 new cases daily per 100,000 people (7-70 new cases per week per 100,000 people)

● Connecticut: fewer than 10 new cases daily per 100,000 people (less than 70 new cases weekly per 100,000 people) 

● Cambridge, MA: (need 2 of 3 to open): 5% positive rate + less than 25 cases per day (less than 150 new cases per week) per 100,000 people + Sewage Wastewater Monitoring (less than 100 RNA/ml) 

Posted in Parent News

ARPS Virtual Education Overview/ Draft Schedule

ARPS released a draft remote learning daily schedule: (From the Fall 2020 Planning website- https://sites.google.com/arps.org/school-return-fall2020/families?authuser=0)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jeO0_TH4Y0FAm-jBtKN40DnhA4APdnHm/view

Draft ARHS Remote Schedule

Teacher Planning
7:30 – 9:00
● Meetings with students, by appointment
● Family Collaboration and Communication


A-Period
9:00 – 10:20
● Combination of synchronous & asynchronous learning

B-Period10:30 -11:50
● Combination of synchronous & asynchronous learning


Lunch/Study Hall
12:00 – 1:00
● 30 minute lunch break
● 30 minute individual and/or small group work with teacher


C-Period
1:00 – 2:20
● Combination of synchronous & asynchronous learning

D-Period-Full Year
Distance Learning Course
(1.5 hours, flexible meeting times)

– Combination of synchronous & asynchronous learning
● Individual and small group meetings
● Teacher “Office Hours”
● Electives
● Support classes

Posted in Parent News

Mark Your Calendars

Please Note: ARHS Students-SATs scheduled for 8.29.20 are canceled. 

On 8/13/20, the Amherst and Amherst Regional School Committees voted to approve a new 2020-2021 School Calendar. Changes from the online version are listed below.

Aug 15- Fall 2020 Info Session for Olympia Oaks and Village Park Residents 10 AM

Aug 17- ARPS Secondary Fall Planning Town Hall 9-10 AM

Aug 31-Sep 15: All Teacher Professional Development 

Sep 7: Labor Day Sep 15: All Staff Orientation 

Sept 14- Fall Sports Tentative Start Date

Sept 28- Yom Kipper- Early Release

Oct 12: Indigenous Peoples Day (No School)

Nov 3: All Teachers Curriculum/Work Day (No School) 

Nov 11: Veterans Day (Observed) (No School) 

Nov 25-27: Thanksgiving Break

Dec 16: PreK-12 Early Release (12:00 secondary/1:20 elementary) 

Dec 21-Jan 1 : Winter Break 

Jan 6: Three Kings Day (No School)

Jan 18: MLK Holiday (No School)

Jan 27 & 28: MS/HS Early Dismissal (HS Exams) 

Jan 29: All Teacher Curriculum/Work Day (No School) 

Feb 15-19: Winter Break 

Feb 24: PreK-12 Early Release (12:00 secondary/1:20 elementary) 

Mar 10: PreK-12 Early Release (12:00 secondary/1:20 elementary) 

Mar 17: All Teachers Curriculum/Work Day (No School) 

Mar 24: PreK-12 Early Release (12:00 secondary/1:20 elementary) 

Apr 2: Good Friday (No School—Budgetary Reasons) 

Apr 14: PreK-12 Early Release (12:00 secondary/1:20 elementary) 

Apr 19-23: Spring Break 

May 12: PreK-12 Early Release (12:00 secondary/1:20 elementary) 

May 31: Memorial Day (No School) 

June 19″ Juneteenth Holiday

June 24: Last day of school (no snow days are included; all inclement weather days will be distance learning) 

Posted in Parent News

September 1st State Primary Election Information

What are the upcoming 2020 election dates?

  • The State Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, September 1st. View sample ballots
  • The State (Presidential) Election will take place on Tuesday, November 3rd
  • Polls will be open from 7:00am – 8:00pm on Election Day

Am I a registered voter & what is my party enrollment?

  • The deadlines to register to vote or change your party affiliation are as follows:
    • State Primary – Saturday, August 22nd
    • State Election – Saturday, October 24th  
  • You may register to vote or change your party enrollment online at: www.registertovotema.com
  • Unenrolled (independent) voters will need to choose which primary ballot type they want to vote on.  Voters who are registered in a political party (Democrat, Republican, Green-Rainbow, Libertarian) MUST take that party ballot type

Is my voter status “active”?

  • Per state law, voters must return their signed street list census forms annually to the Town Clerk’s office to maintain an active voter status. Inactive voters are still eligible to vote but will be required to complete additional forms and show an ID at the polls in order to vote. Check your voter status online at: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/VoterRegistrationSearch/MyVoterRegStatus.aspx

How can I vote in 2020 Elections?

  • Vote-By-Mail
    • Voting by mail is available to all registered MA voters for all elections in 2020. You do not need an excuse to vote by mail this year. Ballot return envelopes are postage paid and pre-addressed to the Town Clerk’s Office.
    • If a voter wants to deliver their ballot directly to Town Hall, there will be a new drop box dedicated solely for this purpose by the Main Street entrance of Town Hall
    • You can track your ballot
    • The deadline to submit a vote-by-mail application for the State Primary is August 26th at 5:00 pm
  • In-person Early Voting
    • State Primary: Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, August 22 – 28. The times are as follows: August 22nd 2:00pm – 8:00pm; August 23rd 11:00am – 3:00pm; and August 24 – 28 8:00am – 4:30pm
    • State Election: October 17 – 25
  • In-person Election Day Voting
    • If you have not requested a vote-by-mail application you can vote in person on Election Day or during Early Voting
    • Any voter who has returned a vote-by-mail ballot that has been accepted by the local election office CANNOT vote on Election Day

Interested in becoming a poll worker?

  • Help your community exercise their right to vote and play a vital role in election history! Please complete an election worker application

You can access a PDF version of this notice here. 

Questions? Contact the Town Clerk’s office at 413-259-3035 or via email at townclerk@amherstma.gov 

Pelham Information

Deadline to Register to Vote for the Primary Election:     FRIDAY, AUGUST 22

Town Clerk’s office open for registration during normal working hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 – 2 and Thursday, 9 – 1

And on deadline per MGL C. 51, §26, 28: SATURDAY, AUGUST 22:     2:00 pm – 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

EARLY VOTING

Early Voting by Mail is available now:  See attachment below for Vote by Mail Application

Deadline to apply to Vote by Mail:  WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26 at 5:00 p.m.

IN PERSON EARLY VOTING HOURS

Saturday, August 22, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 23, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 25, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 26, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 27: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

ALL IN PERSON EARLY VOTING WILL BE IN THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE- 351 AMHERST ROAD

Shutesbury Info

Here’s how:

Download and print a Vote By Mail application from the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website and mail the application to “Town Clerk PO Box 264 Shutesbury MA”

OR

Put your application in the black drop box in front of Town Hall

OR

Leverett Information

Fall 2020 Elections Voter Options Guide.docx

Posted in Parent News

9th Annual Fiddler’s Pantry Chicken BBQ

The Fiddler’s Pantry at Amherst South Congregational Church is once again raising funds for local nonprofits, including the Amherst Survival Center, at their 9th Annual Chicken BBQ on Tuesday, Aug 18. It is contactless take out only. They are following all CDC requirements in the preparation and contactless delivery of the meals. To reserve your chicken dinner and schedule a pick-up time, you can call 253-2977. Thank you for supporting this effort!

Posted in Parent News

Information Session for Families in the Southpoint Area This Saturday

August 8th at 10 AM – 11 AM

Hosted by Amherst Regional Public Schools

The ARPS District will be holding an information session to discuss the ARPS Fall 2020 reopening plan. in the green area at Southpoint at 10 AM on Saturday, August 8th.  Only residents living in the Southpoint, Mill Valley, Boulders, New Hollister, and Brooks apartments are invited to attend.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the plans for the upcoming school year.  . We are committed to providing information to all our families and are reaching out to you, to provide this opportunity in person to your community to do so. We hope to see you there.

Please note: Social Distancing measures will be taken and families should remain 6 feet apart.  Face masks will be required for everyone over the age of 5 years old.

Posted in Parent News

Covid- 19 Info Session with Local Medical Professionals

Join ARPS on Wednesday, August 12th for an information session with local medical professionals who will provide evidence based information around COVID-19. This will be an interactive live-stream event. To have the best chance at having your question(s) answered, we ask that participants send in their questions by Monday, August 10th using this link:  https://forms.gle/6YPyt2AHAgZiZKTH9&nbsp;

Meet the Team:

William Soares, MD MS – Emergency Medicine 

Lauren Westafer, DO MS MPH – Emergency Medicine 

Peter Everett, MD – Primary Care Pediatrician 

Estevan Garcia, MD MPA – Pediatric Emergency Medicine

To participate in the live-stream event follow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irTYamodn1M at 5:30 PM on 8.12.20. We hope to “see” you there.

To view the flyer:  COVID Info Ses 8.12.20.pdf 

Posted in Parent News

ARPS 2020-2021 School Opening FAQ

The District has created an FAQ regarding school opening.  It can be viewed here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tum92k8L_buI6EhK9_rchoqqb3KRkyI-/view

Posted in Parent News

School Committee Votes Hybrid Learning Model 4

The Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committees voted last night, August 6th to approve the submission of the fall 2020 plan to DESE. I have attached this document to this email. 

The ARPS School Reopening Plan is being translated and will be sent out next week in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Korean. If you would like support in accessing this document in another language, please contact Yahdira Torres at TorresY@arps.org

Thank you, 

Approved District Reopening Plan Fall 2020.pdf 


Hybrid model Phased in approach: Tentative schedules for when in-person learning phases would begin, to be determined by public health data. See School Committee Agenda Document pages 12-13 for more information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12mwVR9c4kIqQf4gD_FOUkMX0vpcvcx31/view

Posted in Parent News

Mark Your Calendars

Please Note: ARHS Students-SATs scheduled for 8.29.20 are canceled. 

Aug 8- Info Session at Southpoint 10 AM

Aug 12- Covid-19 Info Session with local medical professionals

Aug 15- Fall 2020 Info Session for Olympia Oaks and Village Park Residents 10 AM

Aug 17- ARPS Secondary Fall Planning Town Hall 9-10 AM

Aug 31- Sept 15- All Staff Orientation

Sept 7- Labor Day

Sept 14- Fall Sports Tentative Start Date

Sept 16- Earliest First Day of School

For the 2020-2021 school year, DESE has approved an additional 10 days of professional development for educators at the beginning of the school year and a reduction in the required number of days for students from 180 to 170 days. The revised ARPS 2020-2021 calendar needs to be approved by School Committee at a future meeting.

Posted in Parent News

Stop & Shop A+ Rewards – Sign Up Now!

Hey, Stop & Shop Shoppers – Great news! ARHS is once again participating in Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards fundraising program, which launches on August 7. Join over 2,400 ARHS parents, staff and alumni and help the ARHS PGO earn money – at no cost to you! Last year we earned over $8,500 for our teacher and student grants program.

All you need to do is call 877-366-2668 Option #1, give them your phone number, and let them know that you want to support ARHS (ID #05167). That’s it! If you’re a current A+ Rewards supporter you can also ask them to change your school selection to ARHS or add a second school, if you have kids at another ARPS school.

Each time you shop at any Stop & Shop (in person or online) using your Stop & Shop Card or phone #, you will earn A+ Points. These points become CASH for the ARHS PGO. Have relatives in New York or New England? Ask them to register and support ARHS, too!

Posted in Parent News

Summer Meals Continue in August

Summer meals are continuing in August and families can access grab and go meals at more than 800 sites in Massachusetts! Some may be eligible for additional support through programs like SNAP and WIC, or through other local food resources, especially as unemployment benefits run out.See link for additional details: https://meals4kids.org/sites/cnop/files/Food%20Resources%20for%20Families.pdf

Posted in Parent News

MCAS Moratorium Bill Hearing- Call for Testimony

A public hearing has just been announced for An Act responding to the COVID-19 emergency by instituting a moratorium of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.

Hearing details: The Education Committee will accept testimony via email only until Monday, August 10 at 5:00 p.m.

A summary of the bill is below: 

Section 1. Inserts the following new sections into Section 37, Chapter 69 of the General Laws:

Section 37(a). Places a four-year moratorium on the MCAS graduation requirement, as established in subsection (i) of section one D of chapter 69. The moratorium, including in all subsequent sections below, would be in effect for the academic years from 2020-2021 through 2023-2024.

Section 37(b). Places a four-year moratorium on the use of MCAS results in educator evaluations, including formative evaluation, formative assessment, or summative evaluation.

Section 37(c). Places a four-year moratorium on the use of MCAS results in school and school district accountability measures, as established in section 1J or section 1K of chapter 69.

Section 2. Requires the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to request a four-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Education of federal student assessment requirements. This would allow the state to suspend administration of the MCAS.

Section 3(a). Establishes a Special Commission to reassess the state’s approach to school and district performance, including school district goals, academic indicators, evaluation and testing. The legislation requires the Commission to consider potential performance indicators such as social, emotional and physical health, the arts and creative expression, and communication and social skills in addition to traditional academic indicators. The commission includes six members of the legislature, including the Education Chairs (who chair the Commission) and Speaker and Senate President (or their designees), as well as representatives of various education-related organizations. DESE will provide administrative support for the commission. The Commission must file its final report with recommended legislation no later than December 31, 2022.

Section 3(b). Creates a grant program enabling local school district task forces to develop alternative school and district models for goal setting, student assessment and evaluation.  The task forces will submit findings, reports and recommendations to the commission. The grant program will be funded from the 21st Century Education Trust Fund established in the Student Opportunity Act, with grants limited to no more than $15,000 per district.

Section 3(c). The local school district assessment task forces shall be set up in up to  25 school districts, with the requirement that grants be distributed throughout the state, including regional school districts, economically-disadvantaged districts, and districts with a high proportion of English-language learners. The task forces will include the school committee, local educators union, parents, educators and staff, and community members.

Section 3(d) Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to submit progress reports to the Commission.

Please email testimony to House Chair Alice Peisch at Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov and Senate Chair Jason Lewis at Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov.

Please use the subject line: Education Committee Testimony: S.2814.When submitting, please provide the Committee with your name, organization (if applicable), and phone number. Please feel free to CC Jo.Comerford@masenate.gov on your testimony or email me with any questions.

More information: https://senatorjocomerford.org/mcas-moratorium-bill-hearing/.

Posted in Parent News

Phase-In Proposals Powerpoint

Several people have reached out to request additional information about the Phasing-In Models before they complete the survey sent out to the ARPS community yesterday.  For more details, please see the Powerpoint that was presented to the School Committees on July 21.  It can be found at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1k8naY7hwWHY9ZbKpXN8Rua5Blewis-b8cLRvbx-nrKI/present?slide=id.p1 .

Varias personas se han acercado para solicitar información adicional sobre los modelos “Fases del Regreso a la Escuela” antes de completar la encuesta enviada a la comunidad de ARPS ayer.  Para más detalles, por favor vea el Powerpoint que se presentó a los Comités Escolares el 21 de julio.  Se puede encontrar en siguiente enlace: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1k8naY7hwWHY9ZbKpXN8Rua5Blewis-b8cLRvbx-nrKI/present?slide=id.p1 .

Posted in Parent News

Take The Phase-In Model Survey

To assist in planning for fall 2020, we are asking members of the ARPS community to share your thoughts about three potential “phase-in” models for opening schools for in-person instruction.  To complete the survey, please visit the link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XKVFBN7 . 
The deadline for completion is Sunday, August 2.

 

Para ayudar en la planificación para el otoño de 2020, estamos pidiendo a los miembros de la comunidad de ARPS que compartan sus ideas sobre los tres potenciales modelos de “Fases de Regreso a la Escuela” para la apertura de escuelas a la instrucción en persona.  Para completar la encuesta, por favor visite este enlace https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XKVFBN7.   La fecha límite para completarla es el domingo, 2 de agosto.

Posted in Parent News

Joint School Committees Meeting 8/4/20

There will be a joint Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committees meeting on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Posted in Parent News

Fill Out Your 2020 Census

The 2020 Census helps decide how much money our community will get for schools, childcare and early learning, health insurance and medical care, early intervention and home visiting programs, food assistance, foster care, housing assistance, and public transport. 

Amherst uses it for planning how many schools and classrooms it needs, and where health care services should be. The Census also decides the number of seats our state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and how many representatives we will have in our state legislature.

Please remember to answer your Census and to count all kids and babies at your address on the Census.

With an accurate count, our local programs will get more funding to serve your children today and over the next decade. The Census happens only once every 10 years. So, if all the children living at your address aren’t counted in 2020, they will have fewer services for the next decade and we can’t let that happen.

Count all kids on your 2020 Census form. Answer easily online in many languages at www.2020census.gov or by calling (844) 330-2020.

The Amherst Complete Count Committee is working to ensure an accurate count locally. We are working with ARPS to sponsor FREE additional Friday supper meals for the rest of summer at the school’s food distribution site. We will also have some summer activity kits coming soon to distribute. Both programs will include information on how to answer the Census and provide reminders to be counted.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Brianna Sunryd, Town of Amherst Communications Manager & Community Participation Officer, at info@amherstma.gov.

Posted in Parent News

Amherst BOH Order Re: Face Masks

Amherst Board of Health Emergency Order: Face Masks/Coverings in Part of the Town

Mandatory Face Mask Map_News

The Board of Health for the Town of Amherst has issued an emergency order making the wearing of face masks or face coverings in part of the Town, in order to protect public health and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Please see map of area below)

1. The Order:

All persons over the age of five must wear a face mask or covering (a “mask”) as described in Section 2 below when they are in any outdoor space accessible to the public that is within the COVID-19 Required Face Covering and Mask Area described in Section 3 below, unless one or more of the Exceptions in Section 4 apply.

The use of face masks or coverings by children between the ages of two years and five years is at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian.

Children under the age of two years must not wear face masks or coverings due to the potential risk of suffocation.

Within the Mask Area, masks must be worn at all times, and no matter what the distances are between one person and others.

Nothing in this order shall be construed to reduce or eliminate the requirement of maintaining safe distancing of at least 6 feet from other people, excluding members of the same household.

2. Definition of  ‘Face Mask or Covering’:

A Face Mask or Covering is anything that covers an individual’s nose and mouth including but not limited to cloth face masks, dust masks, scarves and bandanas.

3. The area in which the Order applies:

The COVID-19 Required Face Covering and Mask Area is a contiguous region in the Town center: starting at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Rt. 9/Northampton Road, north along Lincoln to Massachusetts Ave., then east along Massachusetts Ave. to North Pleasant St., then South along North Pleasant St. to Triangle St., continuing southeast along Triangle St. to Main St., then west along Main St. to Churchill St., south along Churchill St. to Spring St., west along Spring St. to Boltwood Ave., south along Boltwood to Rt. 9/College St., then west along Rt. 9 to the starting point at Lincoln Ave.  A map showing the area is appended.

4. Exceptions:  

This order shall not apply to

  • Persons seated at an outdoor service table at a restaurant providing outdoor service as permitted under State of Massachusetts COVID-19 Order No. 35.
  • Persons for whom a mask would not be safe because of any of the following conditions or circumstances:
    1. The face mask or covering affects the person’s ability to breathe safely; or
    2. The person has mental health or other medical diagnoses that advise against wearing a face mask or covering; or
    3. The person has a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask or covering; or
    4. The person depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe

5. Initiation and rescinding of the Order:

This Order shall be effective beginning on August 3, 2020 at 8:00 AM and shall remain in effect until the Board of Health gives notice that this Order is no longer necessary or the COVID-19 Massachusetts State of Emergency is suspended, whichever occurs first.

6. Enforcement:

The Board’s Health Agent and other agents designated by the Board shall have the authority to enforce this Order as necessary.  The designated enforcing authority may call on the support of the Amherst Police Department if necessary.

Whoever violates any provision of this Order may be penalized by a non-criminal disposition ticketing process as provided in M.G.L. c. 40 § 21D authorizing non-criminal disposition of violations of town regulations.

Nothing in this Order is intended to encourage residents to act as an enforcement authority for the Town of Amherst.  Residents should focus on their personal compliance and not take it upon themselves to approach people who may appear not to be complying.

7. Penalties

A person who violates any provision of this Order shall be subject to a penalty in the amount of fifty dollars ($50) for a first offense; one hundred dollars ($100) for a second offense; and two hundred dollars ($200) for a third or subsequent offense.  Each day or part thereof shall constitute a separate offense.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, agents and town officials are encouraged to educate offenders and to exercise their judgment on a case-by-case basis, including using their discretion to issue verbal or written warnings before determining that a finable offense has occurred.

Adopted July 27, 2020

___________________________________________________

Map showing boundaries of the  COVID-19 Required Face Covering and Mask Area:

Mandatory Face Mask/Covering Zone in Amherst Map

Posted in Parent News

Emergency Rental Assistance Available

Housing graphic Opens in new window

The Town of Amherst and the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund announce the availability of short‐term emergency rental assistance available for Amherst renters experiencing a loss or reduction of income due to COVID‐19. Rental assistance is available for up to 3 months.

The Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust has allocated $250,000 towards an emergency rental assistance program for qualified Amherst residents impacted by COVID-19. The program will be administered by Community Action Pioneer Valley and will provide a range of rental subsidies depending on unit size. For households earning 80% or less of the area median income ($47,850 for a one-person household to $68,300 for a four-person household), these subsidies provide up to $650 per month for a one bedroom apartment and up to $1100 per month for a three bedroom apartment. Proof of Amherst residency and income must be provided.

Eligible households:

  • Must be renters living in Amherst
  • Must have a documented loss or reduction of income due to COVID‐19
  • Must have insufficient income and/or assets to cover the rent for a 3‐month period. Households do not have to be currently behind in their rent or have a late notice.
  • Household annual gross income may not exceed 80% Area Median Income.
  • Household Size 1 person 2 person 3 person 4 person 5 person 6 person
    Income Limit $47,850 $54,650 $61,500 $68,300 $73,800 $79,250
  • Households will be selected by lottery. Preference will be given for families with children under the age of 18.
  • Households cannot be currently living in state or federal subsidized public housing; and cannot be a participant in a local, state or federal rental assistance program e.g. Section 8, MRVP or RAFT (with the exception of RAFT utility support). Households cannot be entirely comprised of full‐time college students (some exceptions apply).

For more information and to apply online by August 6th, please visit Community Action Pioneer Valley’s website at www.communityaction.us/amherstrentalassistance

On‐line applicants will be contacted via email and sent a secure link to upload verification documents to complete the application.

For questions, or to obtain a paper application, please contact Community Action Pioneer Valley at 413‐475‐1570.

Click here for flyer (Eng)

Click here for flyer (Esp)

https://www.amherstma.gov/civicalerts.aspx?AID=2672

Posted in Parent News

Talib Sadiq Named Interim Principal of ARHS

Dear ARPS Community:

I am pleased to inform you that Talib Sadiq has been appointed Interim Principal of ARHS for the 2020-2021 school year.  Mr. Sadiq has served as Assistant Principal at ARHS for the past two years, prior to which he served as Dean of Students and as a counselor at Amherst Regional Middle School.  Miki Gromacki, ARHS Assistant Principal, will continue in that role, and a process to identify a third administrator to fill Mr. Sadiq’s position for the year will be announced soon.

We are pleased that Mr. Sadiq will bring his expertise and his years of experience in the Amherst Regional Schools to his role as Interim Principal and know that ARHS students, families and staff will be well supported in the coming school year by Mr. Sadiq and Dr. Gromacki.  A national search for a permanent ARHS principal will be conducted over the coming months.

Sincerely,

Michael Morris, Superintendent

Posted in Parent News

*New* Free Friday Suppers for Families

ARPS School Nutrition has partnered with the Town of Amherst to inform people about the 2020 Census

We will be offering FREE suppers on Fridays for rest of the summer, thanks to a grant from the Amherst Complete Count Committee

Please note that you are in no way required to fill out the census in order to receive the free meals. These suppers are being sponsored by the Complete Count Committee to bring you resources on the 2020 census.

The rest of our meals program is running as usual. These meals are an added bonus from the Town of Amherst to give back to the community.

This week 7/24 we will be serving a black bean and quinoa salad, featuring 🥑AVOCADOS🥑 so be sure to pick them up with Friday’s meal delivery at all 7 of the ARPS meal delivery sites.

Posted in Parent News

ARPS School Return 2020 Website

The District has created a website full of information about the Fall 2020 Planning process. It contains survey results, planning guidance and meeting dates.

https://sites.google.com/arps.org/school-return-fall2020/home?authuser=0

Posted in Parent News

SAT Registration for Fall 2020

Dear Parent,

We know students are anxious about how the coronavirus crisis will affect their college application process, including taking the SAT. We’re committed to giving students as many chances as we can to show their strengths to colleges, while relying on the guidance of public health officials. As the coronavirus protocols continue to evolve, we’ll be sure to update our webpage with information. Be sure to check the websites of colleges Amanda is interested in to get the most updated information on their policies and deadlines.

This year, many test centers will have fewer seats because of social distancing guidelines and may encounter unexpected closures. If your teen can’t find a seat at a nearby test center for their preferred date, encourage them to check out other test dates.

Register Now

-The College Board
Posted in Parent News

Vote By Mail this Fall

1.    Complete a Vote by Mail Application; or use the pre-addressed paper application card that you may have received in the mail. 

2.    Deliver your application to your Town’s Town Clerk or return the pre-addressed paper application card that you may have received in the mail. 

3.    Vote when your ballot arrives;

4.    Return your ballot.

Applications must reach appropriate Town Clerk’s office by August 26 for the State Primary. Applications must reach the appropriateTown Clerk’s Office by October 28 for the State Election.

Apply early, in order to have enough time to return your ballot.

For more information on voting by mail, see the Secretary of Commonwealth’s page on Voting by Mail FAQs.

Posted in Parent News

Household Hazardous Waste Day 2020

Household-Hazardous-Waste

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Saturday, August 15, 2020, 9 AM to Noon

Fort River School

70 South East Street,  Amherst, MA

PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

· Open to all Amherst, Pelham, Shutesbury & Hadley residents. 

· Preregister between 7/6/20 and 8/7/20.  Register online 

· No latex/acrylic house paint will be accepted.

· A list of acceptable materials is available in the Transfer Station office and online.

· There is a per-household limit of 25 pounds or 25 gallons (or combination) of material.  Automotive oil & batteries are not included in this limit.  Larger amounts will be accepted by only by special advance arrangement (call 413-259-3049).

· A $20 participation fee will apply to Amherst residents (waived for Transfer Station sticker owners).  Non-Amherst residents will pay the full cost of the disposal unless the arrangement with their town government states otherwise.  Fees will apply for fluorescent bulbs ($1 per bulb). 

Posted in Parent News

Two Important School Committee Meetings Next Week

JOINT Meeting of the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committees 6:00 PM Monday, July 20, 2020

Virtual Meeting NOTES: This meeting will be shown via live-stream http://161.77.57.225/CablecastPublicSite/watch/2?channel=2 and on Amherst Media (Channel 15)

Members of the public who would like to submit public comments to the Committee can do so by sending an email message, or an audio or visual file of their public comments Chair Allison McDonald at McdonaldA@arps.org or by leaving a voicemail at 413-345-2949. Regardless of method, the comments need to be submitted by 3:00 PM on Monday, July 20 with the Subject listed as “Public Comment”. The message should also include their full name and town of residence. Public comments will be either shown on the screen for viewing or played at the meeting for no more than 3 minutes per comment. All public comments submitted will become part of the public record. If you have already submitted comments for the July 14th meeting they will be included into this meeting so there will be no need to resubmit them.

Agenda Items Include- Fall 2020 Priorities and Planning- Including a vote on Fall Framework Planning

Full agenda can be viewed: 7.20.20 Joint ASC, PSC & RSC Agenda Packet

JOINT Meeting of the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committees

6:30 PM, Tuesday, July 21, 2020

NOTES: This meeting will be shown via live-stream HERE http://161.77.57.225/CablecastPublicSite/watch/2?channel=2 and on Amherst Media (Channel 15)

Agenda items include a Presentation on Fall Planning (Health/Safety Measures, Academic Models & Schedules, Revised Physical Spaces, and Phasing Models)

Full agenda can be viewed: 7.21.20 Joint ASC, PSC & RSC Agenda

Posted in Parent News

Return of School Items/ Locker Items Pickup Dates

On July 22nd from 11:00am-3:00pm students can pick up items they left in their locker and can drop off books and Chromebooks that they have at home.

Students should enter through the gym entrance and wear masks. 

Also, for students in summer school, they can drop off their Chromebooks on August 5 from 9:00am-3:00pm

Posted in Parent News

Class of 2021 College Planning Summer Camp – Next Week

Four workshop sessions for seniors in the Class of 2021 in late July which will focus on several pieces of the College Admissions Pie!

Tuesday – July 21st – Building Your College List – Target, Reach & Likely School  9am-10:00am https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/arhs-college-planning-summer-camp-building-your-list

Tuesday – July 21st – Missed Your Junior College Planning Meeting – Catch Up! 5pm-6pm Overview of the college admissions process and Questions and Answers for students that didn’t sign up for a meeting. Here’s your chance!!! https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/college-planning-summer-camp-junior-planning-meeting

Wednesday – July 22nd – Diversity on College Campuses – A Conversation 10:30 am – 11:30am A look at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI), Historically Black College & Universities (HBCUs), & Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSi) https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/a-look-at-diversity-on- college-campuses

Wednesday – July 22nd – Common Application 9am- 10:00am https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/college-planning-summer-camp-common-application

Thursday – July 23rd – College Essay and Supplements 9 am – 10:30 am. Get started, polish, what do you need to ensure that you are not stressing about your essay in the fall? Get started, polish, what do you need to ensure that you are not stressing about your essay in the fall? https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/college-planning-summer-camp-college-essay

Posted in Parent News

ARPS COVID-19 Communication & Resources

Did you know that ARPS maintains a website complete with all COVID-19 Communications and a listing of resources for the community. It can be found at: http://www.arps.org/district/news/covid-19-communication-resources

Posted in Parent News

Amherst Survival Center is Open

The Amherst Survival Center- 138 Sunderland Road, Amherst

Onsite services open from 12-3PM M/T/TH/F

Free hot lunch. Free produce and bread. Free monthly full grocery shop- onsite pantry open, plus curbside pickup and delivery options.

The Food Pantry is available to residents of 13 towns including Amherst, Belchertown, Deerfield, Granby, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Deerfield, South Hadley, Sunderland, Ware and Whately and to those who are currently homeless.

No income cap. No W-2 needed. No citizenship requirements. Everyone is welcome. Whether you have been coming for years or have needed us before, we are your neighbors and we are here for you now. COVID-19 safety protocols have been implemented.

Posted in Parent News

Complete Your Census Today

The 2020 Census self response rate in Amherst is currently at 62.5%. We need this number to be much higher to ensure a complete count. Amherst is also at a very high risk of undercounting our young children, according to Census data.

Census workers will start in-person follow-ups to households that have not yet responded in August. So please take a few moments to invest in the future of your community, respond safely online (or by phone or mail) and be sure to count ALL in your household, even young children at www.2020census.gov

Interact with our Census Map here: https://bit.ly/3j6GDTV

Posted in Parent News

A Letter from Principal Jones

Dear ARHS Families,

This year was filled with many unexpected events that gave me a chance to reassess my priorities and reflect on what is truly important in my life. As a result of these reflections,  I have decided it was crucial to move closer to my family. An opportunity arose that offered both my wife and I a chance to bring this decision to fruition. So, it was with a heavy heart that I offered my resignation as principal of Amherst Regional High School effective July 24, 2020. This decision was extremely difficult in that I have created many great working relationships in the Amherst community. I have enjoyed working with all of you as well as our students, and the ARPS faculty and staff. I will miss all of you greatly and I know that the great things that are going on at Amherst Regional High School will continue. I wish all of you the best.

Sincerely,

Gene Jones

Posted in Parent News

Fall Planning Town Halls with the Amherst, Pelham and Regional School Committees

This Thursday, July 2, 2020

Join the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committees on Thursday, July 9 for a discussion of priorities for opening of school in the fall. ARPS staff, parents/guardians and community members are welcome! There will be two sessions with one focused on the elementary schools and one focused on the secondary schools.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Elementary Town Hall at 12:00 p.m.

Secondary Town Hall at 5:00 p.m.

Únete a los Comités Escolares Regionales de Amherst, Pelham y Amherst-Pelham el próximo jueves, 9 de julio, para una discusión sobre las prioridades para la apertura escolar en el otoño. ¡El personal de ARPS, los padres/tutores y los miembros de la comunidad son bienvenidos! Habrá dos sesiones, una centrada en las escuelas elementales y otra en las secundarias.

Jueves, 9 de julio de 2020

Reunión de Elemental a las 12:00 p.m.

Reunión de Secundaria a las 5:00 p.m.

Posted in Parent News

Student Locker Items Pickup and Chromebook/ Book Drop off Dates

On Tuesday, July 15th and Tuesday July 22nd from 11:00am-3:00pm students can pick up items they left in their locker and can drop off books and Chromebooks that they have at home. Students should enter through the gym entrance and wear masks. Also, for students in summer school, they can drop off their Chromebooks on August 5 from 9:00am-3:00pm.

Posted in Parent News

Class of 2021 College Planning Summer Camp – July 21st-23rd

Four workshop sessions for seniors in the Class of 2021 in late July which will focus on several pieces of the College Admissions Pie!

Tuesday – July 21st – Building Your College List – Target, Reach & Likely School  9am-10:00am https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/arhs-college-planning-summer-camp-building-your-list

Tuesday – July 21st – Missed Your Junior College Planning Meeting – Catch Up! 5pm-6pm Overview of the college admissions process and Questions and Answers for students that didn’t sign up for a meeting. Here’s your chance!!! https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/college-planning-summer-camp-junior-planning-meeting

Wednesday – July 22nd – Diversity on College Campuses – A Conversation 10:30 am – 11:30am A look at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI), Historically Black College & Universities (HBCUs), & Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSi) https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/a-look-at-diversity-on- college-campuses

Wednesday – July 22nd – Common Application 9am- 10:00am https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/college-planning-summer-camp-common-application

Thursday – July 23rd – College Essay and Supplements 9 am – 10:30 am. Get started, polish, what do you need to ensure that you are not stressing about your essay in the fall? Get started, polish, what do you need to ensure that you are not stressing about your essay in the fall? https://calendly.com/cuffee- grayd/college-planning-summer-camp-college-essay

Posted in Parent News

2020 AP Scores Are Coming This Month

Dear Parent,

If your child took an AP® Exam this year, they’ll get access to their AP scores between Wednesday, July 15, and Friday, July 17, depending on their location. Scores will be released at 8 a.m. ET on the AP Scores website, so students should make note of the local time in their time zone.

To help your child get ready for score release, encourage them to:

Sign in to their College Board account now to make sure they remember their username and password. If they’ve forgotten either one, they can recover them on the website. They shouldn’t create a duplicate account, as this may result in delays in score access. If they’ve recently changed their email address, make sure they check that their account is up to date.

Check the AP score access schedule to see what day their scores will be available.

•July 15–17: Get their scores on the AP Scores website. Note: If your child tested in June or submitted their exam responses by email, their scores may be delayed. If this is the case, they’ll be notified by email when the scores are available. Most scores should be available by late summer.
Additional Links

•Visit this website to find information about AP scores that’s specific to this year’s online exams.
•Follow @APforStudents on Twitter for score release updates.
•Learn more about AP credit policies and placement.
Sincerely,
Advanced Placement Program
Posted in Parent News

Schools Out! See You Soon

We made it! The school year officially is over! Mare and Becky, the editors at the ARHS PGO Parent News, want to wish each of you, and your families, a safe, happy and healthy summer.

Normally, this would be our “See you in the Fall” message.  Given the uncertainty and challenges facing ARHS and many unknowns surrounding student return in September, we will be continuing to send out our newsletter as needed over the summer as well as updating our Facebook Page (ARHS PGO) and website (arhsparentcenter.org)

Posted in Parent News

ARHS Staff Appreciation Luncheon- June 22!

StaffAppreciationCropWe know everyone is missing their friends and colleagues, and that includes our teachers and staff, who have dealt with a lot with the quick switch to distance learning this spring. 

School may be remote but the annual end of school Staff Appreciation Luncheon IS ON! The PGO will be treating the staff to a socially distanced outdoor luncheon catered by Wheelhouse Farm on Monday, June 22.

The luncheon will cost about $1,500 so if you are comfortable chipping in, donations of any amount are appreciated. You may contribute in one of three ways:

— Venmo (Ellen-Lindsey), 

— PayPal: (ebrout@yahoo.com or 415-518-7448)

— or make checks out to ARHS PGO and send to: Ellen Brout Lindsey, 288 Shays Street, Amherst 01002

We would also like to show a little love with student made signs to decorate the parking lot. Let Becky (beckydemling@yahoo.com) know if your student would be willing to contribute one.

We’ll also need a few volunteers to hand out lunches and clean up – please contact Becky at beckydemling@yahoo.com if you’re interested in lending a hand (masks required).

Posted in Parent News

Updated info on Chromebooks & Textbook Returns; Locker Clean out

ARPS IS staff will be collecting school issued Chromebooks at the front entrance of the high school Monday June 22nd and Tuesday June 23nd. Please plan to return your device at that time if you are not participating in summer services. If you are participating in summer services there will be additional collections after they end.
Also, students who have locks on their school lockers are requested to fill out this form so that personal locks do not have to be cut off of their locker.  Locker Clean Out Survey    Students must be logged into their ARPS Account to access the form. There is a place in the form to ask questions or provide relevant comments. Students’ items will be bagged and can be picked up on June 30, July 1 or July 2. 8:00am-2pm
We are requiring students to return their school-owned materials including Chromebooks, textbooks, materials, etc. The collection will be outside, be we require students to wear masks and stay physically distanced (6ft.) 

If you are participating in summer services there will be additional collections after they end.

Posted in Parent News

Free Summer Lunches

We are thrilled to announce that we will continue serving FREE MEALS to ALL children 0-18 through August 28!

If you’ve been receiving these meals at our 7 sites, please continue as usual. If you haven’t been receiving meals, please know that the program is open to ALL and we strongly encourage you to participate, whether it’s daily or every once-in-a-while.

We will be posting menus in advance, so check our Facebook: ARPS School Nutrition for updates

If you have any questions or requests, reach out on Facebook or Instagram, via email, or by phone

Posted in Parent News

Free ACT/SAT Tutoring For ARHS Students This Summer

Hello ARHS sophomores and juniors! This summer is a great time to prepare for SAT and ACT standardized testing. Members of the ARHS community, equipped with experience and success in these exams, are eager to help guide you through this confusing and stressful process! If you are interested in this free test-prep tutoring service or have any questions, please email: powickig@arps.org or kingstonb@arps.org. Thanks!
Posted in Parent News

Guidance News For Rising Seniors

Hello Rising Seniors-

You have negotiated a school year with a tremendous amount of upheaval both in terms of COVID 19, the George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (and countless others) protests and soul searching around Black Lives Matter, and negotiating physical distancing and, sometimes, social isolation. None of which would have been easy alone. We are all entering summer and looking towards the school year with a tremendous amount of uncertainty. I am thinking about you. Take care of yourselves and hang in there.

A Bit of Advice – Control What You Can

This New York Times Article is written specifically for juniors (now seniors). Control what you can!

Control what you can…

“Students can’t do anything this year about canceled tests, or how their high school is treating grades, or a missed track season,” said Hannah Wolff, the college and career-center specialist at Langley High School in Northern Virginia. “But they can get started on writing essays or compiling information for their applications. Students should concentrate on what they can still do.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/well/family/college-search-class-of-2021-coronavirus.html

Track Changes in Admissions Requirements

Those seniors (yes, seniors) applying to four year colleges should bookmark the admissions pages of the colleges on their list. This is the best way to learn of changes in each school’s admissions requirements. Make sure you complete the interest forms online as well (this way you’ll be on each school’s email list).

Fair Test is tracking the growing list of test optional schools – https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional. Here’s a great podcast on test optional schools – https://www.collegeessayguy.com/podcast-stream/test-optional-admissions-101-what-why-where-who.

Try To Do Summer This Summer

First decompress from the school year. Just stare into space for a while…

Do something interesting this summer – get a job, write a blog or make a podcast, read, volunteer, tele-interview people in your choosen career, take a summer community college class 2nd summer semester, get to know an elder virtually and check in all summer, rebuild your back porch steps, have a ” mini-summer camp” for kids in the neighborhood, find an internship (virtual is fine) with a local professor, professional, or non-profit organization. Here’s a link to MOOCs – a huge list of college classes – FREE OF CHARGE – check it out – https://www.mooc.org/.

Common Application COVID 19 Question

Common Application is going to have a short question related to your experience with COVID 19. Take notes or write about it, so you are ready to write about it in the fall. Doesn’t have to bare your soul, write as much as you feel comfortable.

SAT & ACT

Sign up for a fall SAT or ACT – it is still unclear if ARHS is going to offer the SAT in the building. Sign up for a nearby school, if ARHS is not listed. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, email Ms. Garrity now.

SAT – College Board – https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat

ACT – https://www.act.org/

Study – https://www.khanacademy.org/sat

Military Enlistment

If you are considering the military, reach out to recruiters with your parents/guardians now.

Research Community Colleges

Due to COVID 19 and the uncertainty of even the fall of 2021, I am going to strongly encourage seniors to apply to one of the local community colleges. Here’s the list, do your research:

Greenfield Community College https://www.gcc.mass.edu/admissions/

Holyoke Community College https://www.hcc.edu/admission

Springfield Technical Community College stcc.edu/apply/

Recommendations
If you didn’t do it already, reach out to teachers from 11th grade to request recommendations before this week ends! Look back in my previous emails to find the The Student Information Form.
Virtual College Admissions Stuff
College Vine
National Association of College Admission Counselors – track admissions
Virtual College Fairs

Class of 2021 College Planning Summer Camp – July 21st-23rd

Four workshop sessions for seniors in the Class of 2021 in late July which will focus on several pieces of the College Admissons Pie!
Tuesday – July 21st – Building Your College List – Target, Reach & Likely School  9am-10:00am
Tuesday – July 21st – Missed Your Junior College Planning Meeting – Catch Up! 5pm-6pm
Overview of the college admissons process and Questions and Answers for students that didn’t sign up for a meeting. Here’s your chance!!!
Wednesday – July 22nd – Diversity on College Campuses – A Conversation 10:30 am – 11:30am
A look at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI), Historically Black College & Universities (HBCUs), & Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSi)
Wednesday – July 22nd – Common Application 9am- 10:00am
Monday – July 21st – Missed Your Junior College Planning Meeting – Catch Up! 5pm-6pm
Overview of the college admissons process and Questions and Answers
Thursday – July 23rd – College Essay and Supplements 9 am – 10:30 am
Get started, polish, what do you need to ensure that you are not stressing about your essay in the fall?
Take Good Care of Yourselves This Summer,

Deidre Cuffee-Gray

Posted in Parent News

Summer School Course Addition- more PE!

Due to the overwhelming demand and our desire to not turn any student away from summer school, we are adding a section of PE during Session 2 to accommodate students wishing to also take a morning class. It will still run July 6-31, but will occur after 12pm.
Information about the meeting time of the second course will be in the registration form by Monday, June 22.
If you have already signed up for Summer School and wish to change your selections, it’s not too late to do so.
We will honor the most recent summer registration information.
You are also welcome to email gromackim@arps.org if you have any questions.
Posted in Parent News

School Committee Meets 6/25- Fall Planning

There is a joint meeting of the Amherst, Pelham, and Region School Committees on Thursday, June 25 at 6:30pm. It will be broadcast live on Amherst Media as well as streaming on: http://161.77.57.225/CablecastPublicSite/watch/2?channel=2

The meeting will begin the critical planning and work needed to be ready to go back to school in the fall amidst the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The agenda includes:

Superintendent’s Update;

Chair’s Update;

School Committee Announcements;

New & Continuing Business (ARPS Fall 2020 Planning, DESE Guidance for Fall 2020 Opening, Survey Results, Process to and Timeline for Decisions on Fall 2020 Model, Process for Engaging Public);

Adjourn ASC; Adjourn PSC; Gifts; Adjourn RSC

Submit public comment anytime before 3pm Wednesday by leaving a voice message at (413)345-2949 or by emailing mcdonalda@arps.org with the subject line “Public Comment”.

Posted in Parent News

Virtual Juneteenth Celebration Today At 4:00 PM

Town of Amherst Virtual Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth 2020

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

Friday, June 19th, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Channel 12 AmherstMedia
http://161.77.57.225/CablecastPublicSite/watch/1?channel=1

Schedule of Events

Reading of the Juneteenth Proclamation:  Read by Town Counselors 

Lift Every Voice and Sing:  Performed by Serita Whitney 

Bell Ringing Ceremony: Town Facilities Department  

Historical Look at African Americans in Amherst:  Provided by Cynthia Harbeson, Jones Library Archivist

Juneteenth Reparations Webinars:  Min. Ari Merretazon, Representative of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)

Discussion:  Amherst Author Sandy Darity and Kirsten Mullen discuss their newly published book “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century” 

Posted in Parent News

Recycle Your Textiles To Benefit ARHS

Many of us have been seriously spring cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recycle your old and tattered clothes, shoes, and linens and the Amherst PGOs can earn money — at no cost to you.

Bay State Textiles collects used clothing and other textiles. Stained shirts, single socks or sneakers, torn towels…just make sure they’re clean and dry. You can recycle boots, shoes, flip flops, stuffed animals, backpacks, pillows…anything that’s soft. 

Look for the large white donation bins in the parking lot at each Amherst school. The bins are still accessible while the schools are closed, and they are emptied every Friday. If a bin is full please don’t leave clothes outside the bin, but come back after Friday.

About 40% of the clothing that’s collected is still wearable and sent to developing countries. The rest is recycled and turned into fiber products and rags. The ARHS PGO gets paid by the pound so the more you donate, the more money we make!

Posted in Parent News

It’s Ok To Return Library Books Now @ The Jones

please-return-your-library-books-5Dear Jones Library Patron,

Thank you so much for your patience and for holding onto your library materials during these last 3 months. We’ve missed you.

We are happy to report that we are READY FOR YOU TO RETURN YOUR LIBRARY MATERIALS! You can begin returning your library materials to the Jones Library on Thursday, June 18!

Please read these instructions carefully. Nothing is quite the same as it was!

  • Where do I return my library materials?A new place! Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. please use the book drop at the BACK OF THE JONES LIBRARY next to the back entrance. We suggest you walk from the CVS parking lot off of North Prospect St., down the paved path to the back door of the library. You will see the book drop slot to the left of the door.The outdoor book drop near the entrance of the library’s driveway on Amity Street will be open: After 5:00 p.m. every day, Saturdays until 1:00 pm, and all day Sunday. This book drop will be locked at all other times.
  • Can I return materials to one of the branches?No. Please return all your library materials to the Jones Library for now.
  • Will my materials be checked in immediately?No. For staff safety, we will not touch your returned materials for at least 7 days. This means that items you return will remain checked out to you for at least 7 days. Thank you for trusting us to remove them from your record after the quarantine period. Remember, the Jones Library is fine free!
  • Can I donate items to the library during this time?No, please do not put any items in our book drops that are not library materials. We cannot accept any donations at this time.
  • Is it okay to put DVDs and CDs in the book drops?Yes. Thank you for either putting an elastic band around them, or for putting them in a sealed bag. We greatly appreciate your care in making sure all discs are accounted for before you return them.
  • Can I check out materials at this time?Not yet, but we are hoping to start lending sometime in July! Thank you for returning your materials now. Your returns will provide us with more great materials to lend out soon!
  • What if I have a question for a staff member?Please keep in mind that the library building is closed. Staff have been instructed not to come into close contact with patrons or other staff. Please do not knock on the library door. Please call us at 413-259-3090 and leave us a message, or send us an email at anayaa@joneslibrary.org.
  • I cannot easily get to the library for health reasons or because of physical limitations. How can I get my items returned?If you live in Amherst, please email us at anayaa@joneslibrary.org. We will arrange for someone to pick your items up for you. Please stay home if you are sick and take care of yourself!
  • Should I wear a mask when I return my library materials?Yes, thank you for wearing a mask if you are able to, and for following social distancing guidelines by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others who may be returning materials at the same time as you.
  • Can I return materials to the Jones Library that belong to other libraries that I borrowed through Inter-Library Loan or through the CW MARS system?Yes!
  • What can I do if I need to keep some library materials longer or if am out of town?Please email anayaa@joneslibrary.org for assistance.
Posted in Parent News

Women’s Right To Vote Celebrated 6/25

votes-womenThursday, June 25, is the anniversary of Massachusetts ratifying women’s right to vote!!!  In commemoration the League of Women Voters is sponsoring a walk, at noon on this day, from Kendrick Park to the Amherst Town Hall. 
Anyone and everyone is welcome to join. 
It will be fun to dress as a suffragette.  Wear white, a sash, straw hat, whatever suits, and definitely a mask.
     It’s a walk, not a parade.  A time of sunshine and good spirits…and social distancing.
     Hope to see you there
Posted in Parent News