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

Virtual Summer Arts Camp

Deerfield Academy Summer Arts Camp (DASAC) has shifted to a virtual camp this summer – and we’ve got a few spots left!  Serving Valley teens and pre-teens for 30 years, DASAC is a progressive, wacky, and joyous summer program for the visual and performing arts.  We have two 3-week sessions this summer, and a lot of flexibility in our programming for our currently-enrolled roster of over 130 campers for 2020.  Run by ARPS Performing Arts Director John Bechtold, DASAC is a creative haven for many of our students here in Amherst and beyond.  Learn more at: bit.ly/dasac2020info – and be in touch ASAP to get one of the last spots!

Posted in Parent News

Letter to the ARHS Community

Parents and ARHS Community,

Over the past several days we have witnessed violent and non-violent reactions to the death of Mr. George Floyd. The recent events of a world pandemic, unemployment, isolation and now the death of Mr. Floyd have amplified what has been pervasive in our country. Not one group is to blame for what we are upset about, however it is an opportunity to address the sickness of racism. Whether it be microaggressions or overt bigotry we must be non-violent and work within the current systems in our society as we bring understanding and peace through dialogue and action. 

I could recall many instances of racial prejudice that have been directed towards me in the past and even currently as we speak. But I take the high road and I do not look for the patronizing responses that could be given. However, I have always subscribed to what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated when he said, “Racism is a sickness unto death”, and that death is a metaphor for our souls, our actions, and our mere existence as a people worldwide. I am hopeful that we have the capacity to come together not just as a one-time experience, but create sustainable change where every day we see each other for who we are and not based on a certain race or color. Now is the time ARHS Community! and we must have courageous conversations and be able to call out in a positive manner when negative politics, racism, and hate raises its ugly head. We can be a part of the solution! As a school community we are here to support your child as we move forward.

Best,

Gene T. Jones, Principal

Amherst Regional High School

Posted in Parent News

Joint Statement from Town of Amherst Officials

We are haunted by the searing vision of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on a subdued man’s neck, as other officers watched the man die. We witnessed Mr. George Floyd’s pleas for help be ignored by the very people who are trained to help and assist. We are haunted, too, by the knowledge that this was not an isolated incident in our country. The number of names and similar experiences is unconscionably long, and an undeniable part of the history of this nation.

First, we extend our collective condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family and friends and to all who grieve his death. We offer our thoughts to the countless members of our community who have been personally impacted as well.

Second, we condemn the actions of the police officers involved. The Amherst Town Manager, Police Chief, and School Superintendent have joined with the chair of the Human Rights Commission and the leadership of the Town’s two police unions – the Amherst Police Patrol Officers Union and Amherst Police Supervisors Union – to denounce in the strongest possible terms the actions and inactions by these police officers that resulted in Mr. Floyd’s death.

Third, we feel compelled to say affirmatively and with real compassion that violence like this is yet another blow to black and brown people—particularly African-American men—who too often are told by our culture that they do not matter. It confirms the lived experience of black men – nationwide and, yes, in our own community. This is a wrong that needs to be righted, and white Americans need to join those who have been carrying this burden and do the heaviest lifting to right it.

As public officials, this tragedy makes us reflect on our own practices, behavior, and attitudes. We question whether we are doing enough, are we vigilant enough, have we fostered a true culture of respect and honesty? We strive to remain ever thoughtful in our work – as public officials and police officers – to ensure that all members of our community feel part of Amherst and feel protected, listened to, and served by their public servants. We try to do this through training, listening, and learning, and by maintaining an attitude of humility and service.

As public officials, it is our duty to use our legal and moral authority to protect all members of our community no matter their race or color or where they fall on the power spectrum. It is our duty to foster a community free of fear, intimidation, and violence – a community in which people are not targeted or hurt unnecessarily by law enforcement – and provide equal protection under the law.

We know we can do better as a country to confront the systemic racism that has brought us to this place of fear and distrust. We can advocate for the criminal justice system to take a firm stand against officers who use excessive force. Those of us who are white can demonstrate that protecting and promoting the rights of black and brown people in our community is integral to securing the well-being of our entire community.

We know many of the young people in our community have seen this video and other similar news and are trying to process these traumatizing events with their families. However, the current public health situation makes it that much more difficult as they are unable to connect with friends, extended family, or school staff in-person. As such, Amherst Regional Public School counselors and Family Center staff will be available to support students in the coming days and weeks.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, we reaffirm our commitment to the larger goals of social justice and will focus on how we can deliver on the promise of good and fair public safety protection. Police and Town leadership will be meeting with community groups during the week. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions and are prepared to listen. We will work with our community leaders to determine the best ways for us to engage in this important mission as we continue to move forward.

Paul Bockelman, Town Manager

Scott Livingstone, Chief of Police

Dr. Michael Morris, Superintendent of Schools

Matthew Charity, Chair, Human Rights Commission

Amherst Police Patrol Officers Union

Amherst Police Supervisors Union

Contact: Amherst Town Manager’s Office | townmanager@amherstma.gov | (413) 259-3002

Declaración Conjunta del Pueblo de Amherst

31 de mayo de 2020

Nos atormenta la visión de un policía de Minneapolis arrodillado en el cuello de un hombre sometido, mientras otros oficiales lo veían morir. Fuimos testigos de las súplicas de ayuda del Sr. George Floyd, ignoradas por la misma gente que está entrenada para ayudar y asistir. También nos obsesiona el hecho de saber que este no fue un incidente aislado en nuestro país.  El número de nombres y experiencias similares es inconcebiblemente largo, y una parte innegable de la historia de esta nación.

Primero, extendemos nuestras condolencias colectivas a la familia y amigos del Sr. Floyd y a todos los que lloran su muerte.  Ofrecemos nuestros pensamientos a los innumerables miembros de nuestra comunidad que también han sido impactados personalmente.

Segundo, condenamos las acciones de los oficiales de policía involucrados.  El Director Municipal, el Jefe de Policía y el Superintendente de Escuelas se han unido al Presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos y al liderazgo de los dos sindicatos de la policía del pueblo, el Sindicato de Oficiales de Patrulla de la Policía de Amherst y el Sindicato de Supervisores de la Policía de Amherst, para denunciar en los términos más enérgicos posibles las acciones e inacciones de estos oficiales de policía que resultaron en la muerte del Sr. Floyd.

En tercer lugar, nos sentimos obligados a decir afirmativamente y con verdadera compasión que la violencia como ésta es otro golpe a las personas de raza negra y morena, en particular a los hombres afroamericanos, a quienes nuestra cultura les dice con demasiada frecuencia que no importan.  Confirma la experiencia vivida por los hombres negros – a nivel nacional y, sí, en nuestra propia comunidad. Este es un error que debe ser corregido, y los estadounidenses blancos deben unirse a los que han estado llevando esta carga, y hacer el mayor esfuerzo para corregirlo.

Como funcionarios públicos, esta tragedia nos hace reflexionar sobre nuestras propias prácticas, comportamiento y actitudes. Nos preguntamos si estamos haciendo lo suficiente, si estamos lo suficientemente vigilantes, si hemos fomentado una verdadera cultura de respeto y honestidad.  Nos esforzamos por permanecer siempre atentos en nuestro trabajo – como funcionarios públicos y oficiales de la policía – para asegurar que todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad se sientan parte de Amherst y se sientan protegidos, escuchados y servidos por sus servidores públicos.  Procuramos hacer esto a través de la formación, la escucha y el aprendizaje, y manteniendo una actitud de humildad y servicio.  

Como funcionarios públicos, es nuestro deber usar nuestra autoridad legal y moral para proteger a todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad sin importar su raza o color o donde caigan en el espectro de poder.  Es nuestro deber fomentar una comunidad libre de miedo, intimidación y violencia – una comunidad en la que las personas no sean objeto de ataques o heridas innecesarias por parte de las fuerzas del orden – y proporcionar la misma protección bajo la ley.

Sabemos que podemos mejorar como país para enfrentar el racismo sistémico que nos ha traído a este lugar de miedo y desconfianza. Podemos abogar por que el sistema de justicia penal adopte una postura firme contra los agentes que utilizan una fuerza excesiva.  Los que somos blancos podemos demostrar que la protección y la promoción de los derechos de las personas negras y morenas en nuestra comunidad es integral para asegurar el bienestar de toda nuestra comunidad.

Sabemos que muchos de los jóvenes de nuestra comunidad han visto este video y otras noticias similares, y están tratando de procesar estos eventos traumáticos con sus familias. Sin embargo, la situación actual de la salud pública lo hace mucho más difícil, ya que no pueden conectarse con sus amigos, su familia extendida o el personal de la escuela en persona. Por ello, los consejeros de las Escuelas Públicas Regionales de Amherst y el personal del Centro de Familia estarán disponibles para apoyar a los estudiantes en los próximos días y semanas. 

Después de esta tragedia, reafirmamos nuestro compromiso con las metas más amplias de justicia social y nos centraremos en cómo podemos cumplir con la promesa de una protección de seguridad pública buena y justa. La policía y los líderes de la ciudad se reunirán con grupos de la comunidad durante la semana. Agradecemos sus pensamientos y sugerencias y estamos preparados para escuchar. Trabajaremos con los líderes de la comunidad para determinar la mejor manera de participar en esta importante misión a medida que continuamos avanzando.

Paul Bockelman, Director Municipal

Scott Livingstone, Jefe de Policía

Dr. Michael Morris, Superintendente de Escuelas

Matthew Charity, Presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos

Sindicato de Oficiales de Patrulla de la Policía de Amherst

Sindicato de Supervisores de la Policía de Amherst

Posted in Parent News

ARPS Counselor’s Corner Session Today

We would like to invite all families to this week’s session of Counselor’s Corner. This session’s topics will be around behavioral support, building/maintaining routines, and may also include discussion around summer related strategies for your child and families. This session will be facilitated by Kris Serwecki & Jessica Askew. Join us by following THIS LINK at 2:15 PM on Friday, June 12th to view and participate in questions. Additional details are within the flyer. 

We hope you are able to “attend”. 

Counselor’s Corner 6.12.20.pdf 

Thank you, 

Posted in Parent News

ARHS Listening Circles for students in Grades 9 – 11

Hello ARHS students and  families,

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, and the resulting rallies and protests around the world and in Amherst regarding police brutality against Black people and people of color, the ARHS counseling team will offer virtual affinity group listening circles for ARHS students in grades 9 – 11. An affinity group is a group that brings together people of shared identities. The affinity groups will be ALANA (or African American, Latin American, Asian American, Pacific Islander & Native American students), males of color, and white allies. While we are offering a limited number of groups at the close of the school year, we realize we cannot wait, and must provide a space for as many ARHS students to have this conversation in school space. 

We are offering a variety of times for students to gather virtually. The affinity groups will meet this Thursday, Friday and Monday and times for each group will be specified in the email.Please encourage your ARHS student(s) to check ARPS email boxes for a Google sign up form. [https://forms.gle/2VBjL24LADkbn4Rz9] Space in the listening circles is on a first come first serve basis.

Please contact Assistant Principal Talib Sadiq with questions – sadiqt@arps.org

Hola ARHS Estudiantes y Familias,

Tras el asesinato de George Floyd a manos de la policía de Minnesota, y las manifestaciones y protestas resultantes en todo el mundo y en Amherst con respecto a la brutalidad policial contra los negros y las personas de color, el equipo de counselera de ARHS ofrecerá círculos de escucha de grupos de afinidad virtual. para estudiantes de ARHS. Un grupo de afinidad es un grupo que reúne a personas de identidades compartidas. Los grupos de afinidad serán ALANA (o estudiantes afroamericanos, latinoamericanos, asiáticoamericanos, isleños del Pacífico y nativos americanos), hombres de color y aliados blancos. Si bien estamos ofreciendo un número limitado de grupos al final del año escolar, nos damos cuenta de que no podemos esperar, y debemos proporcionar un espacio para que tantos estudiantes de ARHS tengan esta conversación en el espacio escolar.

Estamos ofreciendo una variedad de veces para que los estudiantes se reúnan virtualmente. Los grupos de afinidad se reunirán este jueves, viernes y lunes y las horas de cada grupo se especificarán en el correo electrónico. Por favor, anime a su (s) estudiante (s) de ARHS a revisar las casillas de correo electrónico de ARPS para obtener un formulario de registro de Google. [https://forms.gle/2VBjL24LADkbn4Rz9] El espacio en los círculos de escucha se da por orden de llegada.

Tienes preguntas?Llama a Assistant Principal Talib Sadiq con preguntas –sadiqt@arps.org

Posted in Parent News

Virtual Tours of All ARPS Schools Now Available

Since students who will be moving to a new school in the 2020-2021 school year cannot have the in-person tours typically offered each spring, they can now see their new school buildings through a virtual tour.  There is a link below for each of the schools in the district.  As of today, the principals have narrated many of the images in the elementary school tours, and this feature can be turned on by clicking the “gear” icon and then “turn narration on.” All images are 360 degree photos that are interactive with a mouse or touchpad.  The principals are currently working on narration for ARMS, ARHS and Summit Academy, but the unnarrated images are available at the links below. Check back soon for the narrated version!

Crocker Farm

Fort River

Pelham

Wildwood

Amherst Regional Middle School

Summit Academy

Amherst Regional High School

Posted in Parent News

ARPS Fall 2020 Planning

On Wednesday, June 3rd, Superintendent Morris presented the school committee with the district;s considerations and options for Fall 2020 Planning. If you missed it, here is the link to the slideshow: http://www.arps.org/sites/default/files/Fall%202020%20Planning%20%28final%29.pdf

Posted in Parent News

Post High School Transition and Special Education Webinar Recording

Last week, local Social Service agencies hosted a discussion and info session on Transitioning to adult services during Covid-19 and School Closures. Here are the Autism Connections/Family Empowerment presentation.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wAZ2RxDckCwj_QjDAwE8VOF10F5BfPrV/view?usp=sharing

Should anyone still have questions and feel they would benefit from more conversation, please feel free to sign up for our Coffee and Conversations which allow for individuals’ to speak to one of our Specialists.  Should you be interested in registering for one of these 30 minute free consults, please use the following to link to sign-up:

Sunday mornings between 9:30-11:00am –  https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eh4n9d4kd80a6ce6&oseq=&c=&ch=

Thursday mornings between 9:30-11:00am

Thursday evening between 8:30-10:00pm

Posted in Parent News

Mark Your Calendars

June 12th- Listening Circle – ARHS

June 12th- ARPS Counselor’s Corner 2:15 PM

June 15th- Listening Circle – ARHS

June 18th- Last Day of Distance Learning

June 22nd- ARHS Staff Appreciation Luncheon (raindate June 23)

All other school events are canceled

The 2020-2021 School Calendar can be found: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14ghyclplwRnUE3WpCn1Ampqzr8qe1cnS/view?usp=sharing

Posted in Parent News

Youth For BLM March And Speak Out

**Not School Sponsered**

Friday, June 12 from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

March begins at the ARHS Football field.

https://www.facebook.com/events/571431013805396/

This event is being led by and for black and brown youth of Western Mass who are needing to share their experiences and stories of racial bias, micro-aggressions, misunderstandings and stereotypes of black youth and of the Black Lives Matter movement.

This event is specifically for the black and brown youth of Western Massachusetts. Respectfully adult and ally voices will not be the focus of this demonstration.

Posted in Parent News

Governor Baker’s Class of 2020 Commencement Address

In partnership with WGBH, Governor Charlie Baker delivered a commencement address to the Class of 2020 as part of a celebration for graduating seniors from 668 public and private schools across the Commonwealth.

https://www.wgbh.org/massachusetts-commencement-2020#:~:text=In%20partnership%20with%20WGBH%2C%20Governor,private%20schools%20across%20the%20Commonwealth.

Posted in Parent News

Summer Job and Career Skill Building Programs for Teens

The MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center (MassHire FHCC) provides employment and training opportunities for In-School and Out-of-School youth and young adults ages 14-24 in collaboration with our community partners in the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions.  To learn more about youth services, ask to speak with the Youth Programs Coordinator at the Career Center.  Let us help you:

  • Explore career goals and available jobs
  • Assess your interests and skills
  • Learn about available jobs and get help with searching and applying for jobs
  • Career Center Job Search Workshops (resume and cover letter writing, online job search, Financial Education)
  • Connecting with Career Center services, partner youth services, and other community resources to assist with education, training, and employment

Contact:

Anitra Ford, Youth Programs Coordinator

MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center

One Arch Place

Greenfield, MA 01301

413-774-4361 x 368

https://www.masshirefhcareers.org/youth-programs/

Career Skills Workshops / Meet the Pro

Free Career Skills Workshops are available to all Amherst High School Students through Connecting Activities and The Collaborative for Educational Services. Matt Rigney is hosting this series of  workshops which will include topics like resume writing, cover letters,  interviewing, and much more. There are also  “meet the pro” sessions where students can hear directly from professionals in different fields. The Career Skills workshops happen live on Wednesdays at 4:00 pm and the Meet The Pro sessions happen live on Thursdays at 4:00 pm.

If students are interested in attending the live workshops, they should contact Matt directly by emailing him at mrigney@collaborative.org. If they cannot attend the workshops live, students can access past sessions on the CES website anytime here:   https://www.collaborative.org/programs/alternative-education/school-work/stemwork/career-skills-workshop-series.

Posted in Parent News

AEF Stars in Our Schools

As the end of the school year nears, we reflect on how proud we are of all our teachers, staff, students, and parents and their resilience in adapting to the unforeseen and unique challenges they faced this year. With that in mind, the Amherst Education Foundation (AEF) is excited to announce our Spring Stars in Our Schools fundraiser. Let our teachers and staff know how much you appreciate their dedication, hard work, and expertise! 

Please make your gift by Friday, June 19 and let us know if there is a teacher or staff member in Amherst, Pelham, Shutesbury, or Leverett that you would like to honor, and we will send them a recognition card. 

Now, more than ever, we are asking the community to come together and help AEF continue to provide grants to our schools that support the enrichment of their educational programs. We will not be hosting a spring event so we are counting on Stars in Our Schools to raise the funds we need to continue making grants next year. Your support is critical to our efforts and we can not achieve our mission without you!


Simply click below for the online form to recognize teachers and staff.

https://www.amhersteducationfoundation.org/stars-in-our-schools

Posted in Parent News

Be Counted! Participate in the Census Today

Every 10 years, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the federal government undertakes a census of the U.S. population to determine the allocation of seats held by each state in the House of Representatives. An accurate census count is also vital to obtain federal funding for projects in Amherst and the region. 

Each home received an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail—in March.

Why It Matters

Did you know?

• Amherst is the 9th hardest city/town in Massachusetts to count.

• Historically, the decennial census has undercounted immigrants, communities of color, renters, low-income people, and children. It’s about representation

• Census totals will determine the number of congressional seats Massachusetts will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and the number of western MA representatives who will serve in the state Legislature.

• Data will be used to redraw boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts.

It’s about $$.

• $675 billion in federal funding, $16 billion for MA—$$2,372 per person per year will be distributed based on the census count. If you are not counted, the town won’t get that funding!

• An undercount in Amherst will mean fewer dollars for public services like education, transportation, housing and health care

If you have not responded, there is still time to do so!

3 ways to participate:

• Online

• By phone (Below are phone numbers for help in specific languages)

• By mail

The U.S. Census Bureau is a nonpartisan government agency. When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics. You will NOT be asked about your citizenship or your social security number, or for any financial information.

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

For more information, please visit lwvamherst.org

Information provided by the League of Women Voters- Amherst

Posted in Parent News

What’s Open

Here is the updated list from the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce on what area businesses are open and how to contact them:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MSBFnv08nc7yap2TmBgmyLyUfzEwLixoc1updNS8jxU/edit?usp=sharing

Posted in Parent News

Recreation & Summer Activities in Amherst

This is an update on Town of Amherst activities this summer. Please note that all activities, if they are happening, will be different than they have been in previous years. We will put in place precautions to minimize the likelihood of spread of COVID-19, but it will take a community effort of conducting ourselves responsibly for this to be a safe summer. We thank the Town staff who are taking on other duties to ensure the facilities that can be opened with proper social distancing will be opened with adequate staffing.

Camps: There will be no LSSE summer camps. Given COVID-19 related concerns and the complexity of keeping campers and staff safe as defined by the Governor’s guidelines, LSSE’s municipal day camps in Amherst will not be operating this summer. Instead, LSSE staff will focus on operating the Mill River and War Memorial pools.

Resource: https://eeclead.force.com/resource/1591618751000/Min_Req

Town Pools: Town pools will be open. The Department of Public Works has been working to ready our pools for use this summer. Our goal is to open both Mill River and War Memorial Pools by July 3rd. Hours will be limited. LSSE has developed plans to safely manage these facilities and users will be required to follow specific safety protocols. For instance, those using the pools will need to arrive in their bathing suits, as changing spaces will not be open. Bathhouses at Mill River and War Memorial will be for bathroom use only. Social distancing on the pool deck will also be in place.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-public-and-semi-public-swimming-pools/download

Puffer’s PondPuffer’s Pond will be open. Conservation staff, supported by other Town departments, will open the main beach at Puffer’s Pond.  The North Beach area will be closed. To achieve social distancing on the beach, the number of parties/individuals allowed on the beach at one time will be limited. Attendants will be present to provide guidance and monitor usage. Watch for an announcement on the Town’s web site with more details. Trails around the Pond will remain open.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-coastal-and-inland-beaches-phase-ii/download

Playgrounds: Town playgrounds are now open.  Playgrounds are open. Residents using these structures should wash hands frequently and follow social distancing protocols of wearing masks and/or maintaining six foot distance from non-household members. The Town will not be sanitizing equipment and surfaces between uses.

New Spray Park and Playground at Groff ParkThe New Spray Park and Playground  will be open in the near future. Therenovation ofGroff Park is nearing completion and we anticipate opening in mid- to late-July.  We will be staffing the new facility to provide guidance and information to users. Please see our web site for updates and current information about an official opening date.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-playgrounds-spray-decks-and-outdoor-fitness-areas/download

Recreation Fields and Team SportsRecreation Fields are closed to organized team play. The Town’s recreation fields remain closed to organized team play but we anticipate that they will open for limited use soon.  For now, groups of 10 or fewer may use the fields but no scrimmages or games are authorized until the Town receives more guidance from the StateAll summer sports programs including Adult Softball are cancelled. LSSE will be looking at offering various sports clinics during the summer that are held outside and limited to 8 children at a time.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/outdoor-adult-sports-supervised-youth-sports-leagues-summer-sports-camps/download

Cherry Hill Golf CourseCherry Hill Golf Course is Open. Cherry Hill Golf Course opened after the Governor gave permission for golf courses to open. We have reassigned full-time staff to the golf course and will not be hiring part-time staff this year. The Governor’s order has strict rules of how golf courses may operate.

Independence Day Fireworks and Celebration. Independence Day fireworks and celebration are canceled. Please observe this important holiday safely.

Posted in Parent News

Class of 2020 Parade Today

Friday, June 5, 2020 beginning at 3:15 PM

Seniors and your families are invited to decorate their vehicle and join their classmates for a celebratory pre-graduation parade through the streets of Amherst. Please depart from your elementary school at the times listed below. Proceed to the start point for a 3:15 PM departure!

All other community members are invited to watch the procession as it makes it way through town. Signs and noise makers are welcome. Please wear masks and practice physical distancing!

The parade will have a police escort- please follow this route:

  • At 3:15pm START ON MAIN STREET, at the intersection of Northeast Street and Southeast Street. 
  • DRIVE UP to downtown past the Emily Dickinson Museum.
  • TURN RIGHT ONTO EAST PLEASANT STREET. Drive through town to the Rotary.
  • At the ROTARY CONTINUE ON EAST PLEASANT STREET. 
  • TURN RIGHT ON CHESTNUT STREET toward the Middle School. 
  • TURN RIGHT TOWARD THE HIGH SCHOOL where there will be much fanfare in the parking lot.
  • EXIT via TRIANGLE STREET, either right or left.

SAFETY:  In order to comply with the law and stay safe, please:

  • Wear a face mask when outside of your vehicle
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from people who are not members of your household
  • Obey traffic laws
  • Do not exit your vehicle at any time
  • Take only one vehicle per household in the parade
  • Parade onlookers should maintain social distancing with 6′ between, and should not approach the vehicles for safety.  
  • Traffic flow for the general public will be slow during this parade. 

After the parade, families and community members are invited to watch the virtual graduation ceremony on Amherst Media community television at: http://161.77.57.225/CablecastPublicSite/watch/1?channel=1

View the parade flyer, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FMG3CgzZfyvFFb0GG-E1uwAA6iybfaOe/view?usp=sharing

The downtown Amherst business community has been very supportive of ARHS Class of 2020 Seniors and their graduation.  Please consider supporting the many downtown restaurants which are open for curbside take out or delivery. 

Posted in Parent News

Class of 2020 Graduation Airs @ 6:00 PM

At 6:00 PM today, the Class of 2020 graduation ceremony and parade will be available on:

Amherst Media – channel stream for channel 15.
YouTube link:
Posted in Parent News

SEPAC Meeting 6/5

Please join us virtually at our next meeting:

Friday, June 5, 9-10:30am

via Google Hangout:

use the link: https://meet.google.com/wjk-sgms-vqw

or join by phone: +1 402-295-5292 PIN: 833435933#

Please RSVP to sepac@arps.org with your phone number, so if we run into technical difficulties, we can attempt to address them and keep you informed; however, an RSVP is not required.

At this meeting we will vote for our 2020-2021 SEPAC Board.  The seats are uncontested.  Catherine Lodge and Heather Sheldon are nominated to serve jointly as co-presidents.  Sarah Weirich is nominated as secretary.  There were no nominations for vice-president and treasurer.  Please come give an “Aye!” to help make it official and to provide us encouragement as we look forward to next next year.  

As this is our last meeting of the 2019-20 school year, we will spend time choosing which events we would like to sponsor in the 2020-21 school year.  Please let us know by email or by attending the meeting if there are events from years past or ideas for new events you want to see make it onto our calendar for this coming year.  Examples of events that SEPAC has sponsored include: STARS to Special Education, Autism Awareness Night, Basic Rights Workshop, Meet & Greet SEPAC and Special Education Staff, Behavioral Interventions Techniques Workshop, and Introduction to Assistive Communication Devices.

At our last meeting we heard from Dr. Faye Brady about the district’s plans during school closure to notify all special education families concerning each child’s “remote service plan” which address goals as outlined in student IEPs. Dr. Brady also let us know that plans for extended school year are not settled as there are still many unknowns in terms of safety for reopening schools. IEP meetings are being held remotely, but there is a backlog and priority is being given to students who are transitioning to new schools in the fall. 

Through this closure, SEPAC will endeavor to continue to fill our role in advising the district about matters concerning our special education students.  Please email us at SEPAC@arps.org with any questions or concerns that you think SEPAC should be aware of. We will remain in contact with the Student Services office.

We are wishing all our district families much love, but especially our families for whom the school closure presents unique challenges.  Wishing you love, and patience, and strength.
Sincerely,

Heather Sheldon and Catherine Lodge, SEPAC Co-Presidents

____________________

Email: sepac@arps.org

Website: www.arps.org/sepac


Posted in Parent News

College Essay Boot Camp

If you signed up for the Personal Statement Boot Camp and haven’t heard back, here’s what you need below: If you didn’t sign up but want to work on your essay, register at this link and use the information below.

The week of 6/8 – 6/12  & 6/18 Writing Center Coordinator, Amanda Lewis is going have an essay prompt week you can join us then if this doesn’t work.

Posted in Parent News

Webinar for Parents of Adult Disabled Students

This webinar is for parents and family members of young people with an intellectual or developmental disability, and provides an overview of the legal consequences of reaching the age of emancipation at 18.

Discussion will include a description of the range of decision-making options and an introduction to basic federal and state services and benefits. Topics covered include basic eligibility issues, transition from educational settings to adult services, common misconceptions, prioritization for services and supports and appeals.

Frederick M. Misilo is the Chair of the firm’s Trust and Estate Department. His practice focuses on all aspects of estate planning including the areas of elder law, special needs estate planning, estate and trust administration, guardianship, and adult service advocacy. Attorney Misilo also serves as President of The Arc of the United States, the nation’s largest and oldest community-based civil rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Mr. Misilo is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Florida.

Reserve your spot HERE.
IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION YOU CAN SUBMIT IT IN ADVANCE WHEN YOU REGISTER.

If you have trouble logging on the day of the event, please email us at familyempowerment@pathlighthgroup.org>

Posted in Parent News

News for Class of 2021

Class of 2021,

First of all, I want to acknowledge that we are in the midst of a pandemic, Distance Learning 2.0, physical distancing, and political and personal unrest in this nation are a lot weighing on our collective psyches. These are stressful times, and it super important to take care of your emotonal selves.

No doubt, you have gotten communication from The College Board regarding in home testing and strong encouragement to register for summer and fall testing. This with the message encouraging “flexibilty” from college admission offices. My guess this that for some you who either want to take the SAT or ACT again, or for the first time, that this nerve-wracking and I wanted to give a quick bit of information to take it down a notch.

Test – Optional 

Colleges are aware that there are fewer testing dates. Many have determined to become test-optional, a few (Hampshire College and the University of California System [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/us/university-california-sat-act.html]) have determined not to use standardized testing for their admission process. An organization Fair Test does an incredible job of tracking this (https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional). Additionally, I think it is a great idea to bookmark the schools you are interested in, sign up on admissions information pages to get up to the minute information.

There are many, many, selective colleges that are test-optional.

Holistic Admissions 

Many schools that continue to use standardized tests for their admissions process are clear that the SAT/ACT is one piece of their admissions pie. Meaning that your scores are not the only piece or the main piece of your application. It one Saturday for around two hours and fourty five minutes. Some of us are great test takers, some of us are far better students, and community members, who have great “college ready” skills. (https://www.collegeessayguy.com/blog/what-is-holistic-review)

Score Driven Admissions

It must be said that some schools continue to require the SAT/ACT and it drives a good portion of the admissions process.

Essay or Writing Portion for SAT and ACT

Fewer and fewrer schools require the essay or writing portion of the SAT or ACT. It is a good idea to look on admissions pages for the requirment for the schools that you aspire to. Common Application’s GRID is a good place to start as well (https://app.commonapp.org/ca4app/application-requirements/PublicFile?fn=ReqGrid.pdf)

Registering for the SAT or ACT

You’ll need an account to register for the test and here are links and the published test dates for both organizations.

SAT https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/dates-deadlines

ACT http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration.html

Fee Waivers 

If you qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch you are eligible for a fee waiver. Becuase we are not in the building, you can request a fee waiver from Crystal Garrity, our wonderful Guidance Secretary. She will check your eligibility and provide you with a code to register. Her email is (garrityc@arps.org).

If you have additional questions. please do not hesitate to contact me by email (cuffee-grayd@arps.org). This college admisson process is complicated already, COVID 19 has made it even more complicated, and I am here to support you.

Junior College Planning Meeting

If you have not scheduled your Junior College Planning Meeting, please use this link to do so. I have remaining time this month to meet with you. Even if you are unsure as to whether you’ll apply to college in fall, I’d like to meet with you think about planning for Life After ARHS.

Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Counselor, Deidre Cuffee-Gray

phone - 413 362-1720
email - cuffee-grayd@arps.org
(email is best these days...)
------

Posted in Parent News

Mark Your Calendars

June 5- ARPS SEPAC Virtual Meeting 9 AM

June 5- Juniors will be notified of teachers’ recommendations decisions

June 5- Graduation Car Parade through Towns 3:00 PM – 4:40 PM (Not school sponsored)

June 5th- Graduation Ceremony Video premiere – 6:00 PM

June 18th- Last Day of Distance Learning

All other school events are canceled

Posted in Parent News

Amherst Educators Solidarity Rally to be held Sunday

Amherst Educators are coming together for a Solidarity Rally to show our support of our students, families, and colleagues.  We will have live speakers, educators will join together in taking the Black Lives Matters At School Pledge together, and we will end with an 8 minute and 46 seconds kneel of silence.  Please join us. 

We are asking all participants to wear masks and respect the 6-foot social distance models.  Please bring your own signs if you wish. This is a non-school sponsored event.

Rain or Shine. Sunday June 7, 3 pm on the Amherst Town Common.

Posted in Parent News

Teen Programming Survey@ Jones Library

Let us know what virtual teen programming you would like to see at the Jones this summer by filling out our quick and easy survey!  Teens (ages 11-17) who fill out the survey (and who include their full name and email address) will be entered into our weekly raffle drawing for a $5 gift card to Antonio’s pizza. Parents and caregivers can fill out the survey, too. Follow along with Joneslibteens on Instagram to learn more about our teen programming.

Posted in Parent News

LSSE Virtual Summer Programs

We hope you are all staying healthy and are getting ready for summer. With so much uncertainty surrounding camps, school and activities for kids, we couldn’t wait to share these super fun virtual options with you!

Whether your kids are into Art or Science there’s something for all interests. The other cool thing is that your fees cover all the kids in the household, the only thing you’d need to purchase separately are supplies. When registering: Use code AMHERST

Check out the fliers attached and register with the links below:

Mad Science No-Contact Summer Programs

    ART-Ventures Virtual Art Programs   

For further information, contact Marion Jordan, 413-259-3186; LSSE, 413-259-3065; Fax,  413-259-2407

Sign up for programs, view account information and more through your Registration Account!  www.lsse.org

 

Posted in Parent News

Ben Levy Receives ARMS Educator Award

The Amherst Regional Middle School Educator Award for 2019-20 will be awarded to English teacher Ben Levy. The award, given by the Amherst Regional Middle School Parent Guardian Organization (ARMS PGO), is based on three main criteria: student support, collaboration with colleagues, and contributions to the ARMS community.
Levy, heading into his eleventh year of teaching at ARMS, was nominated by ARMS parents as well as staff. In the nomination comments, he was lauded for his work both in the classroom and in the broader school community.
In the classroom, he encourages thoughtful debate and uses art and music to illustrate points about the material under discussion. One nomination said, “Ben tells stories and shows videos that are so memorable that students remember them years later.”
Along with the curriculum, he advocates for his students’ social and emotional well-being. “He is frequently in touch with parents and guardians and finds ways to connect with students who are struggling with their academics,” said a nominator. He provides daily mindfulness practice in the classroom, something he has shared with other staff.
In the school community, Levy “is a level-headed planner, always finding ways to make new ideas work. Ben is a problem-solver,” according to a nomination. These ideas can take the form of team-wide projects in collaboration with other teachers, or improving systems like the parent-teacher conference process, or leading MCAS training for staff. He makes slideshows for his team and uses humor to communicate messages clearly. Levy also “masterminded” the Active Bystander curriculum, which covers real issues that students encounter such as bias, bullying and speaking out on injustice. Students, both current and former, have mentioned the importance of these lessons.
Summing up Levy’s value, one nomination said, “ARMS is a better place with Ben here. Ben has worked hard to help make ARMS a place where students not only become better writers and readers, but also develop as thoughtful, considerate, and respectful young adults.”
Ben Levy is the sixth recipient of this award, administered annually by the ARMS PGO. Students, parents, and ARMS staff were invited to submit nominations in February. Levy was one of eight eligible staff members nominated. A vote was held among fellow staff members, and three finalists were chosen. The final selection was made by the PGO’s Educator Award Committee. Mr. Levy will receive a certificate and a $500 award from the ARMS PGO, and his name will be engraved on the Educator Award plaque in the library of the middle school.

El Premio al Educador de la Escuela Intermedia Regional Amherst para 2019-20 se otorgará al
maestro de inglés Ben Levy. El premio, otorgado por la Organización de Padres Guardianes de la
Escuela Intermedia Regional de Amherst (ARMS PGO), se basa en tres criterios principales: apoyo
estudiantil, colaboración con colegas y contribuciones a la comunidad ARMS.
Levy, en su undécimo año de enseñanza en ARMS, fue nominado por los padres y el personal de
ARMS. En los comentarios de nominación, fue elogiado por su trabajo tanto en el aula como en la
comunidad escolar en general.
En el aula, alienta el debate reflexivo y utiliza el arte y la música para ilustrar puntos sobre el
material en discusión. Una nominación decía: "Ben cuenta historias y muestra videos que son tan
memorables que los estudiantes los recuerdan años después".
Junto con el plan de estudios, aboga por el bienestar social y emocional de sus estudiantes. "Él está
en contacto frecuente con los padres y tutores y encuentra formas de conectarse con los
estudiantes que están luchando con sus académicos", dijo un nominador. Brinda práctica diaria de
atención plena en el aula, algo que ha compartido con otro personal.
En la comunidad escolar, Levy “es un planificador equilibrado, que siempre encuentra formas de
hacer que las nuevas ideas funcionen. Ben es un solucionador de problemas ”, según una
nominación. Estas ideas pueden tomar la forma de proyectos de todo el equipo en colaboración con
otros maestros, o mejorar sistemas como el proceso de conferencia de padres y maestros, o dirigir
la capacitación MCAS para el personal. Hace presentaciones de diapositivas para su equipo y usa el
humor para comunicar mensajes con claridad. Levy también "ideó" el currículum de Active
Bystander, que cubre problemas reales que los estudiantes enfrentan, como prejuicios, intimidación
y denuncia de injusticias. Los estudiantes, tanto actuales como anteriores, han mencionado la
importancia de estas lecciones.
Resumiendo el valor de Levy, una nominación dijo: “ARMS es un lugar mejor con Ben aquí. Ben ha
trabajado duro para ayudar a hacer de ARMS un lugar donde los estudiantes no solo se conviertan
en mejores escritores y lectores, sino que también se desarrollen como jóvenes adultos reflexivos,
considerados y respetuosos ”.
Ben Levy es el sexto destinatario de este premio, administrado anualmente por ARMS PGO.
Estudiantes, padres y personal de ARMS fueron invitados a presentar nominaciones en febrero.
Levy fue uno de los ocho miembros del personal elegibles nominados. Se realizó una votación entre
los miembros del personal y se eligieron tres finalistas. La selección final fue realizada por el Comité
de Premios Educadores de PGO. El Sr. Levy recibirá un certificado y un premio de $ 500 del ARMS

PGO, y su nombre estará grabado en la placa del Premio al Educador en la biblioteca de la escuela
secundaria.
Póngase en contacto con armspgo@gmail.com por cualquier pregunta.

Posted in Parent News

Joint School Committee Meeting Wednesday- Fall 2020 Planning


There is a joint meeting of the Amherst, Pelham, and Region School Committees on Wednesday, June 3 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. Discussions will include research about and experiences with distance learning, the CDC guidance around reopening schools and implications for the Districts, possible models for reopening schools in the 3 Districts, and next steps. The decisions and work will be challenging and we hope many in the community will join and engage with the conversations beginning next week.

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

AR[T]HS 2020 Exhibition Now Open

The Art Department at Amherst Regional High School is proud to present AR[T]HS 2020, an exhibit of outstanding student artwork from the 2019-2020 school year. This juried exhibit – now in its 12th year – includes work from all of the Art Department’s areas of study: Foundations of Art, Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Photography, Printmaking, Digital Photography, and Advanced Studio Art. AR[T]HS 2020 includes both work done at school as well as work completed via distance learning. The show can be seen using this link: AR[T]HS 2020

Traditionally held at the Eli Marsh Gallery at Amherst College, the coronavirus crisis made an onsite exhibit impossible this year, necessitating the move to a virtual show. We know how difficult this spring has been for all of our students, especially the senior class. The impact on the Art Department has been no exception. We are so very sorry that our student artists did not get to experience seeing their work exhibited in a beautiful gallery space with a festive opening reception this year. 

Please enjoy this year’s fabulous exhibit and appreciate all the love, labor, and creativity that went into each of these works, and to so many others not in the show – including works abandoned in progress with our sudden departure from school and final assignments never begun that students were looking forward to doing.

We sincerely hope to see you all in person at next year’s opening!

The ARHS Art Department: Jeff Stauder, Hannah Hartl, Ben Sears, & Lee Larcheveque

Posted in Parent News

Updated Special Education summer info reminder – Reply needed by Friday May 29th

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This letter is to update you on the planning underway for summer special education instruction and services for your child(ren) for this upcoming summer.

Last week, on May 21st & 22nd you received messages from our office with a form to complete about summer offerings we are planning. 

We now have information from the Public Health Director of Amherst that based on the CDC guidelines it is not advisable to hold summer programming in the schools. The resources, training and protocols that would need to be put into place to prevent the spread of COVDI-19 is not possible before the start of summer programming.  For this reason, summer services will continue as remote services.

As indicated on the form you received, we need your response Friday, May 29th. If you have not had an opportunity to respond yet, please click here to access the form:  Special Education Summer Services Response.

We did receive some questions and wanted to answer those here so you have the information needed to send in what instruction and/or services you want your child to receive this summer.  Here are some answers to questions that we are receiving:

We do need you to complete this form to let us know if you child will be accessing instruction or services this summer.

– Summer services are being offered to all students with IEPs this summer regardless of whether or not ESY (Extended School Year) is in the IEP.  Our decision to offer summer services for all students with IEPs is to address the challenges faced by many during this time of school closure.  Specifics are:

– If your child has not previously had extended school year services because the Team did not find that your child substantially regresses during the summer months.

– Despite that fact, the District is offering services over this summer as a result of the Mandatory School Closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The District believes that such services could assist your child as he/she transitions into the next grade after having experienced a disrupted 2019-2020 school year.

– If your child has had extended school year services in prior school years because the Team found your child substantially regresses during the summer months.

– While the Team may not have had the opportunity to make that determination this year as a result of the Mandatory School Closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the District is offering your child services over this summer.  The extended school year services that are being offered are more than those offered in the past because the District believes that this amount of services not only will prevent substantial regression for your child but  could also assist your child as he/she transitions into the next grade after having experienced a disrupted 2019-2020 school year.

We thank you for your partnership always and especially during this time.  Our Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) has been in routine contact with us and we are also hearing directly from some families.  Your input and suggestions continually help us while we walk this journey with the health, safety, and best interests of your children in the forefront of our decision making.

Wishing you all our very best. 

Hoping you all stay well.

Faye Brady

Director of Student Services

JoAnn Smith

Student Services Administrator

Posted in Parent News

Parent Resources Available

ARHS Counselours have created a website full of resources for parents and caregivers of our high school students. In it you will find the contact information of all of the counselors in the school as well as links to resources and materials on parenting strategies, managing stress, mindfulness, coping skills, and fun family activities. 

Check it out at: https://sites.google.com/arps.org/arhs-parent-resources/home

Posted in Parent News

Juniors: From the College Counselor (deadline today for recs!)

Teacher Recommendations

Tomorrow is the last day to request teacher recommendations. Please see below for expectations and materials for teacher recommendation requests!

Juniors will be notified of teachers’ decisions by June 5th

Parent & Guardian Surveys in Naviance

Reminder to Parents and Guardians to activate Naviance Accounts (February 11th Email) and complete parent/guardian surveys

—-

Junior College Planning Meetings

Use this link to set up a Junior College Planning Meeting with Ms. Cuffee-Gray – https://calendly.com/cuffee-grayd/junior-college-planning-meeting

Info on Teacher Recommendations:

Next year, most of you will prepare applications for colleges, technical schools, scholarships, jobs or military service.  In support of these applications the high school is often asked to provide written recommendations for you in addition to academic records.  Because these recommendations are often needed in the fall, before senior year teachers will know you well, you should ask teachers from your junior year to prepare recomemndations for you.  Teacher recommendations are kept in Naviance.  Recommendations will be forwarded with each application you submit.

YOU MAY BEGIN ASKING TEACHERS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS beginning Monday, May 18, through Friday, May 29.  This is not a first come, first served contest.  Teachers will consider all requests they get before May 29 to be on-time requests.  They will respond to you by Friday, June 5th.  

If you are uncertain as to whether a particular teacher would be a good choice for you, try asking whether s/he would be able to write a recommendation that would be helpful to your candidacy.  

Your responsibilities in this process are described below: 

  • Ask two teachers from different departments if they would be willing to write recommendations for you.   Select teachers who know you well (even if you did not earn your highest grades in their classes).  Junior-year teachers are much preferred by colleges.  
  • If your recommendations will be used for competitive college admission, it is generally recommended that they be written by academic teachers: typically, one from an English, social studies or foreign language teacher, and one from a math, science, or engineering teacher.  If you are applying to a specialized program (e.g. arts, exercise physiology, business, etc.),  it makes sense to request a third from a teacher who has worked with you in that area.
  • Do not ask for more than two academic recommendations (not including the exceptions listed above).  If we learn that you did, all teachers involved have the right to cancel any agreement they make with you.

Again, you may wish to ask for an additional recommendation from a teacher in the arts or physical education, etc. if you are thinking about entering one of those fields. 

To make a request, you must:

Email your teachers with  the subject line:  TEACHER RECOMMENDATION REQUEST (YOUR NAME)

  1. Email each teacher from whom you will be requesting a recommendation.  Use the subject line:  TEACHER RECOMMENDATION REQUEST (YOUR NAME).  Some teachers may require additional information.  Be sure to ask what else they may need from you before they will agree to write a letter.  Pay close attention to each teacher’s instructions and be sure to do what they expect by their deadline.

       If you feel nervous about what to write in the request email, ask a friend, a parent or guardian,  and/or your counselor for support. Attach the completed Student Recommendation Information Form to each Recommendation Request

  1. Student Recommendation Information Form:  Attach a completed copy of your Student Recommendation Information Form to each Recommendation Request.   Be thorough in your responses.  Teachers can write a better letter if they know more about you.  You will also want to email a copy to your Guidance Counselor.  Many teachers will require a meeting with students and/or written information beyond the student Information form.  Be sure you know what teachers will require of you before they write your recommendation.  If you do not fulfill teachers’ requirements, there may not be a recommendation when you need it!

       Check the appropriate spot FERPA Waiver at the top of the form

  1. Be sure to check the appropriate box on the Student Information Form to indicate whether or not you are reserving your rights to see your letter as per the FERPA Act of 1974:

“Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, a student may waive his or her right of access to letters and statements of recommendation received during the college application process which are used for admission and subsequent counseling purposes.”

A few colleges and universities have indicated that more credence is given to recommendations written when access rights have been waived; other institutions have indicated that they make no such distinction. Waiving or retaining your right of access is a personal decision, which should be made by each student and their family.  Note that some ARHS teachers require that students waive their rights of access.  

Have a Plan B for your teacher recommendation requests

  1. Be considerate with your requests.  The writing of student recommendations is a courtesy from your teachers and counselors.  Teachers may have a limit on the numbers of requests they accept so be sure to ask during the recommendation request week.  It may not always be possible to get your first choices.

        Enter your teacher recommendations in Naviance only AFTER a teacher has agreed to write for you

  1. After teachers agree to write for you, go into Naviance and under colleges/letters of recommendation, select your teachers from the dropdown list.  Naviance allows you to individualize recommendations by college.  Most of you will want both of your recommendations to go to all colleges.  Choose “all colleges” and amend it later if needed.  A Naviance request without an in-person conversation with a teacher is not a sufficient request.

      Make an appointment with you guidance counselor, or the college and career advisor for a school counselor recommendation

  1. Make an appointment to meet with your counselor this spring, if you intend to apply early, or next  fall. This should be at least three weeks before your first application is due, to discuss this recommendation.  All counselor recommendations are assumed to be confidential.  

  2. Open a Common Application account.  Write your user name and password in a secure and accessible place for future reference.  Then complete the Education section and the FERPA waiver section of the Common Application (you have to add one college or university to be able to complete this task.  The confidentiality status on your Recommendation Confidentiality Form and on your Common Application must match. 

  3. Then go to “Colleges/ Colleges I’m Applying to” in Naviance Family Connection and enter the e-mail address you use for the Common Application.  This will link your Common Application and Naviance so we can submit your transcript and recommendations.  

  4.  It will be your responsibility to see that your teachers upload your recommendations to Naviance in the fall.  Our internal deadlines for receiving teacher recommendations are Monday, October 19 for students with first deadlines on or before November 1, Monday, November 2 for students with first deadlines on or before November 15, and Monday, December 7 for students with first deadlines of January 1 or 15.   The guidance staff cannot “chase down” missing recommendations; that is your job.

Say thank you and remember to let your teachers know the decisions for the schools you applied to!

Your final task will be to extend your gratitude to your teachers and counselor for having taken the time to craft a letter on your behalf.  After you have made your college selection next year, write a thank you note.  Be sure to tell them about the choice you made.  

Attachments:
STUDENT RECOMMENDATION INFORMATION FORM.docx
student teacher recommendation packet CL2021 Final.pdf
Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Counselor, Deidre Cuffee-Gray

Posted in Parent News

SAT Registration Now Open

Dear Parent,

Your teen is now able to register for fall SAT® administrations.

All students can register for the November or December administration at this time. Students who registered for (and didn’t cancel) the June SAT and current high school juniors and seniors with no previous SAT score can register now for the August, September, or October SAT before those test dates become available to your teen. If your teen prefers to register for the August, September, or October test dates, please check back for available seats starting at 8 p.m. ET on June 3.

For students who are eligible for a fee waiver, don’t forget to accept the benefits before registering.

Adding Capacity Throughout the Summer
Together with our members and local communities we’re working hard throughout the summer to add more test centers and available seats. We typically update our systems on Tuesdays and Thursdays by 12 noon ET, so keep checking to see if something new has opened in your area. We’ll also provide updates periodically via email and social media when we add new test center capacity. We may have limited capacity in certain areas due to public health restrictions, so if your teen can’t find a nearby test center with availability, be sure to check other dates.
Upcoming SAT Dates
August 29, 2020
September 26, 2020
October 3, 2020
November 7, 2020
December 5, 2020

Register Now


Supporting Students Through the Covid-19 Pandemic

Our top priorities are your teen’s health and safety. Please note that as the covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we will monitor the situation and will let you know if circumstances change closer to the test dates. We’ll regularly update our webpage with more information.

Many colleges have announced flexibility this year with their testing requirements. Be sure to check the websites of colleges your teen is interested in to get the most updated information on their policies and deadlines.

For any questions, please call Customer Service at 866-756-7346.

Sincerely,

College Board
Posted in Parent News

Juniors- Get Your College Essay Done!

Subject: Registration for college essay boot camp (w/ action item for you)

Hi ARHS Juniors!

This June, we’re excited to offer students the chance to join a one-week college essay boot camp delivered by Ethan Sawyer, AKA the College Essay Guy.

ARHS students can join his summer essay boot camp from June 1st – 5th at no cost.

Quick info on College Essay Guy:

Ethan wrote the current bestselling book on the personal statement, College Essay Essentials

He’s well-regarded in the college admissions field and is considered one of the go-to resources on college essays

His website has hundreds of free resources for applying to college

He has a cool podcast!

This syllabus maps out what Ethan will cover during the boot camp.

This 1-minute trailer gives a sneak peek into the boot camp and the Choose Your Own Adventure Essay Tool:

And yes, Ethan’s five-year-old daughter painted two of his fingernails Carolina blue.

Can’t make the boot camp? Session recordings will be available to all who sign up. 

Here’s how to register for the boot camp:

A.) Go to this registration page.

B.) Enter your name and email.

C.) You’re done! Put the date and time in your calendar, and keep an eye on your email with next steps and instructions for accessing the live webinar.

The live boot camp sessions will be held on June 1st, 3rd, and 5th. You can join for either the 10:00-11:30am Pacific Time session OR 4:00-5:30pm Pacific Time session (whichever fits your schedule).

Thinking of you all,

Your Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Advisor

Sincerely, 
Your Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Counselor, Deidre Cuffee-Gray

Posted in Parent News

Support the ARHS PGO Through AmazonSmile

amazon-smileIs your household doing any online shopping through Amazon? Did you know you can earn money for the ARHS PGO with each Amazon purchase. Enroll in this passive fundraising to earn money for the Amherst/Amherst Regional School PGOs while you shop!

AMAZON SMILE
Shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/46-4510327 and Amazon donates to Amherst Regional Public Schools Parent Guardian Organization.

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

Posted in Parent News

Final Email for Seniors from the College Counselor

Class of 2020!

I didn’t have the opportunity to see you this week as you pick up diploma folders, don and doff cap and gowns, line up your decorated cars, strike a fabulous pose, and dance through your awsome Class of 2020 signs on the Commons.

Sadly, a significant back injury is slowing me down.  That reality doesn’t make me any less greatlful for having had the opportunity to have met you this year. You have made my first year at ARHS a delight. I have truly had fun working with you.

If you get stuck along you know you can email your school counselors, Ms, Garrity, Ms. Tracy and/or me. if you end up in a pickle find us. We care for you and, in these extraordinary circumstances in this era of COVID 19 the entire ARHS school community is rooting for you. Do not ever hesitate to come back and ask for help.

Here’s a poem my advisor stuck in my sweaty palm nearly thrity eight years ago at my own high school graduation somewhere off in Connecticut. It’s in my office. Just doesn’t get old…

Arguably, it was a guy named Max Ehrmann wrote it. But that is actually up for debate…

No matter what, if you hold on to a line or two for the rest of your life, you’ll do okay.

Be Well.

With  Great Care,

Your Friendly Neighborhood College & Career Advisor – Ms. Cuffee-Gray 

DESIDERATA

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Posted in Parent News

Updated Graduation Info for Seniors

Senior activities culminate on June 5th

On Friday, June 5th our community will celebrate our 2020 ARHS Graduates with a parent sponsored Senior Car Parade at 3:00 PM – 4:40 PM.

1. Professional photographs from Wednesday’s celebration will be available to purchase at the following address:

Commencement Photos/GradImages

1348 Main StreetTewksbury, MA  01876

978-851-5924

www.gradimages.com 

2.  By 1pm on Friday, June 5th the link to livestream the ceremony for people who cannot access Amherst Media will be available on the Amherst Public Schools website and on the Amherst Media website and Facebook Page.   The link to access the ceremony on local channel 15 is http://161.77.57.225/CablecastPublicSite/watch/2?channel=2 

Posted in Parent News

Seniors: Deadline Extended for Stanley Koplik Certificate of Mastery

The Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery provides a four-year tuition credit to Massachusettspublic universities. The Koplik is awarded to students who at a minimum, have one score on thetenth grade MCAS in the Advanced category and the other two scores in the Proficient category, and who fulfill additional criteria. To receive the Koplik tuition credit, you must godirectly to a Massachusetts public university or community college in September directlyfollowing graduation from high school. The credit is good for eight consecutive semesters,provided that you maintain a 3.3 GPA.

If you are member of the graduating class of 2020 and received an eligibility letter and application last spring, you still have time to apply for this scholarship, as the deadline has nowbeen extended.Application forms and instructions, as well as additional information about the award areavailable at http://www.doe.mass.edu/scholarships/mastery/. Completed applications should be emailed to Cathy Tracy at tracyc@arps.org by June 15 th for submission to the state. If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible, Mrs. Tracy can confirm that for you.

 ******** IMPORTANT: If you submitted an application to Mrs. Tracy prior to the school’s closing,please contact her at the email address (tracyc@arps.org) to ensure your application packet is complete.

Posted in Parent News