Thanksgiving Break Next Week

Just a reminder that there is no school Wednesday, Nov. 22- Friday, Nov. 24 in recognition of Thanksgiving.

Per, Superintendent Morris, no homework or professional work will be given, completed,or required by students and teachers over the Thanksgiving Break. Long range projects will not have a due date of November 27th.

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ARHS Field Hockey Recognized

amherst hurricanes logoA shout out to the Field Hockey team!!!  They are the winners of the MIAA Sportsmanship Award this year!!!  The award will be presented to a group of players, and their coach, this Saturday at Worcester Poly Tech.  GO CANES!

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Women’s Rights Club Feminine Hygiene Products Drive

The ARHS Women’s Rights Club is running a TAMPON AND PAD drive all month! All donations will benefit the Amherst Survival Center so that hygiene products can be available to all that need it!

Look for the signs and boxes located at the school to donate what you can.

Donations should be in sealed boxes or packages. Drive will be up until the end of the month.

We hope that this drive will bring more awareness to a natural part of human experience as well as an important public health need.
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Mark Your Calendars

November 17 – Deadline to register and pay for winter sports
November 22-24 – No School – Thanksgiving Break
November 27 – High School Winter Sports Start
November 30 – December 2 – Theater Company Presents Henry IV
December 13 – Early Release Day
December 14 – Philharmonia, Jazz and Symphony Band Combined Concert
December 17 – Bomba Fundraiser for Puerto Rico
December 20 – Symphonic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Chorale Combined Concert
December 22 – Early Release Day
December 23 – January 1 – Holiday Break
January 5 – 7 — Cabaret Variety Show
January 15 — No School – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 16 – 19 — Exams Week
January 22 — No School – Teacher Curriculum Day
January 23 — Semester 2 Begins


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Jones Library Film & Discussion Series: “13TH”

13thJoin us on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Woodbury Room for the next event in this ongoing film and discussion series that may educate, touch your heart, and inspire you to action to help dismantle racism.

This month’s screening of 13TH is a powerful documentary which explores the history of race and the criminal justice system in the United States by Ava DuVernay, the director of the feature film Selma. The final half of the film will be screened, as the first half was screened and discussed at the October meeting. After the discussion, work will continue in small working groups to advance anti-racism action projects that have been undertaken.

Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

This film series is co-sponsored by the Jones Library and Coming Together.  More information about Coming Together can be found at

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Starlight’s Youth Theatre Spring Musical Registration

Starlight’s Youth Theatre invites you Sunday, November 19th, to join our Spring programming with a registration day at Maple Ridge Community Center. Get to know your director and cast members by learning some music and movement from the show.

Register to reserve your spot with a $50 deposit and pick up materials at the workshop so you can go home and start listening to these amazing musicals!

For more info about cost, rehearsals and performances visit our website.

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Message Regarding Last Week’s Power Outage

I should’ve provided the ARHS community with an update about the power outage we experienced last week. My apologies. What follows is a summary of the day’s events.

Early morning power outages are not uncommon. And most are resolved with, literally, a flip of a switch. So, early Monday morning, I wasn’t that concerned when I arrived to school. We had people promptly working on the problem and I assumed that there would be quick resolution.

Around 6:45 or so, I received word that the problem was not at all routine. Our own equipment, rather than the electrical company’s, had malfunctioned and repairing it would take most of the day.

At this point, our buses were already on the road and students would start arriving by 7:15. So, our thinking moved on to how to ensure students’ safety and make the best of the day.

Here, it is important to note that the school has a back-up generator. So, hallways and stairwells have light, allowing for safe transitions. Classrooms, however, do not.

As students entered the building, all administrators, guidance counselors and deans were deployed throughout the building to ensure that students arrived to class safely. All window-less bathrooms were locked and students were directed to those that had natural light. And we began setting up a land line to establish phone communication.

With everyone in their A period class, I visited approximately 10 second floor classrooms. Without sunlight – the day was completely overcast – all the classrooms were completely dark. I had difficulty identifying students who were sitting in the back rows.

Generally, I would rather have everyone in school. Not having internet access or having to eat sandwiches for lunch are not reasons to stay home.

But, however much I would have preferred the day to be a lesson in resourcefulness and adaptability, safety is always the overriding concern and it was clear we couldn’t maintain it. So by 8:15 or so, my discussions with superintendent turned to figuring out how to mobilize the bus companies to take students home. Noon was the earliest both of the companies could return the buses to the high school, which is what ultimately determined our dismissal time. Lastly, we were able, prior to dismissal, to provide all students with sandwiches for lunch.

I hope this helps. If you have other questions or concerns, please let me know.

Thank you


Mark Jackson


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