Happy Summer!

downloadThe Editors of the PGO blog would like to wish everyone a very happy summer! We will “see” you again in the fall. First day of school is Wednesday, 8/30/17!

Becky, Mare, and Jennifer

Posted in Parent News

ARHS Receives Check from Stop & Shop A+ Rewards Program

IMG_20170615_091435070.jpgARHS received $12,993.29 through the Stop & Shop A+ Rewards Program.  All funds support PGO student and staff grants.  Thanks for all who participated in this program.

(In the photo: Malou Hafner, of the ARHS PGO, and Principal Mark Jackson accepting the check from Michael Crowner of Stop & Shop.)

Posted in Parent News

Tidbits for Juniors (Rising Seniors)

  1.   If you are a high achieving first generation college applicant, a student of color or a low income student, who takes primarily honors and AP classes, you might want to look at:


It is a list of special fly-in programs offered by many liberal arts colleges and some universities.  The programs are free.  Applications are required for these programs, which are designed to help you learn about colleges and help them learn about you!  It’s a great way to figure out what you like.

If you are a very high achieving student with almost all honors and AP classes and with a family income under $60,000, you might want to apply to colleges through the highly competitive Questbridge program, which offers full scholarships to many of the country’s most selective colleges.  They have a late September deadline. Go to questbridge.org for complete information.  If you are seriously thinking about Questbridge, tell or e-mail me, your recommending teachers, and your counselor ASAP.

Remember, the summer is the best time to write application essays.  You will not be a happy camper if you leave this chore for the fall.  Besides, many of you will need to write additional essays in the fall.  The Common Application and Coalition Application essay prompts are in the link below.

If you plan to take the September 9 ACT or the August 26 or October 7 SAT, you might want to register soon, before you forget about school for a while.  The registration deadlines without a late fee are August 4 for the ACT and July 28 for the August and September 8 for the October SAT.  You can register late for the ACT until August 18 and late for the August SAT before August 8.  If you qualify for a fee waiver, see Mrs. Cappelli before June 28.  Unused fee waivers will expire in August!

Remember that demonstrated interest is increasingly important to colleges for admissions purposes.  Visit, visit, visit!  Interview!  Get the name of your admissions counselor at colleges you will apply to and stay in touch.

I expect that most of you have secured your teacher recommendations.  Don’t forget the last step – naming those teachers in Naviance.  Go to colleges/letters of recommendation/ and select your teachers from the dropdown list.  Unless you will be applying to colleges for which you might want to send different recommendations, you should select “for all colleges” for each teacher you select.  You can amend this later if necessary.  You might want to put a quick thank you to your teachers in the Notes section.  Remember – if you decide to apply to a college early (November deadline), you need to let your teacher know ASAP so the recommendation will be ready on time.

In the next few months you may begin to receive mailings or e-mails from honor societies, Who’s Who, National Society of High School Scholars and various other organizations who say they can get you scholarships and other advantages.  Allegedly there is currently one going around from Vector.  Some of these are scams outright and some are just benign businesses that will not hurt you except in the wallet.  By and large, ignore them, unless you want to put your name in their publications and purchase them.  Colleges are not impressed by membership or participation.

The 2017-18 Common Application (commonapp.org) will go live on August 1.  If you are inclined to begin in July, the current form is supposed to convert to the new one on August 1, if you choose the correct application year when beginning the application.  They say it will work!  There will be no Common App access between July 24 and August 1.

The Coalition Application (www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/), which is an alternative application for about 100 mostly elite institutions, will be available to you in July.  UMASS will not be accepting that application, so if you plan to apply to UMASS you will need to use the Common Application.  It’s your call as to whether you want to do the other one as well.  Only three institutions, the Universities of Maryland, Florida, and Washington (state) will use this application exclusively.  All other members will use the Common Application as well as the Coalition Application.  As members of the Common Application, they are required to treat all applications equally in the Admissions process.

Research shows that at least 20 hours of preparation for standardized college admission tests can improve your scores significantly.  Most of you will have 20 hours available for this purpose in the summer.  In addition to the free test prep available through Khan Academy for the SAT and through the Method Test Prep link on your Naviance home page, Method Test Prep offers a few additional paid options, some of which are extremely affordable.  See their links on the next page.

Have a relaxing and productive summer.
Myra Ross, College Advisor



Posted in Parent News

Mark Your Calendars

August 1st – Deadline to register & pay for fall sports

August 19th – Football begins

August 23rd – Fall sports information night @ 6:30 p.m. ARHS Cafe for Parents/Guardians/Athletes

August 24th – All other fall sports begin

Posted in Parent News

Raising Kids Who Embrace Race

embraceraceREGISTER HERE to join this FREE, online, community conversation on TUESDAY,  June 27 at 5:30 pm PT/ 8:30 pm ET.

Why We Gather. EmbraceRace is about building a strong and nourishing community of practice for parents, guardians, teachers and other caregivers who want to help raise a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race. In this session we — Andrew (Grant-Thomas) and Melissa (Giraud) — will talk about the Big Picture of race in the United States that led us to launch the community. We’ll highlight the goals derived from that Big Picture and describe some of the work, both current and upcoming, we hope will help us all move toward those goals. We see EmbraceRace both as a provider of information and support in the race-and-raising-kids space and as part of a larger movement for racial and social justice. We think there’s a lot at stake in whether, how, and how well we collectively do this work. Let’s talk about it!

We invite anyone raising and mentoring kids to join us for this conversation. Register now to attend online on June 27th at 8:30 pm ET.Registering also ensures that you will receive the after-event recording and resources whether you attend live or not.


8:30 to 9:10 pm ET: Andrew Grant-Thomas and Melissa Giraud share the racial “big picture” that motivated them to form EmbraceRace and outline the shape that’s taken so far.
9:10 to 9:30 pm ET: Their presentation will be followed by time for feedback and questions; please come to participate.

Melissa Giraud and Andrew Grant-Thomas are life partners, partners in EmbraceRace, and co-parents to two girls, ages 6 and 9.

Melissa is the first-generation American, biracial (black/white) daughter of a French Canadian mother and Dominican father, (the island of Dominica, not the Dominican Republic). She’s often seen as white but just as often gets the “what are you?” question or look. Professionally, Melissa has been most interested in supporting learning and life outcomes for underserved students and families, especially immigrant girls and girls of color. Those driving concerns have shaped her work as an educator, NPR producer, education technology strategist, foundation consultant, and now as a co-founder of EmbraceRace.

Andrew is a long-time racial justice guy, a black man of Jamaican origins in the United States, born on the 4th of July. He’s grateful to have been able to do work meaningful to him alongside people whose examples inspire him. He understands that, in myriad and sometimes unwitting ways, the most fortunate people in the US have built their good fortune largely on the backs of the least fortunate, just as the United States has built its cultural, economic and military preeminence largely on the backs of people outside our borders. He believes race has played a prominent role in both cases.

Did you forget to register?  Please forward to your networks!

Posted in Parent News

ARHS Graduation 2017

Posted in Parent News

ARHS Class Council Elections in the Fall

Principal Mark Jackson has decided to postpone the Class Council elections until the fall.  The reason is as follows: “Right now, we are up against the end of the school year. Exams and moving on to summer are the current priorities. In my judgment, the elections are too important to occur at a time when everyone is distracted and energy is running low. It’s hard for me to imagine that candidates can focus on preparing and running their campaigns and, just as importantly, that the student body, in the interest of making an informed choice, can attend to the candidates and their various platforms.

September is the time of the school year when everyone is refreshed and focused. Here, both candidates and voters can devote the right amount of time and attention to making the elections a meaningful exercise in school government.

Beyond this year, I would like to make September elections the norm.

At the beginning of the next school year, Ms. Haygood will inform the school community of the details and deadlines for the elections.”

Posted in Parent News