PGO fundraiser ends this coming Tuesday

The ARHS PGO’s One Ask, Please Give! MAROON ENVELOPE FUNDRAISER to support our Student and Teacher Grant Program ends on Giving Tuesday, 11/30. Your gift in any amount will fund grants for art, science and other classroom supplies outside the school budget; yearbooks and field trips for students eligible for free and reduced lunch; visiting speakers; and student-led clubs.

Please consider donating anything from $5 to $500 – you can Venmo @ARHS-PGO or donate by credit card or check. Thank you for helping us reach our goal!

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Superintendent’s update from 11/19

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

I want to recognize that this week, November 13-15, is Transgender Awareness Week, which GLAAD notes is “a week when transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the community by educating the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community.” The activities of Transgender Awareness Week precede Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed on November 20 as a way to commemorate all of the transgender people lost to violence each year. At ARPS, we stand proudly with the transgender members of our community as allies and friends.

Next week will be a short one with only two school days before the holiday break. Before you head into the holiday, I want to remind you that the State Mobile Vaccine Clinic is happening after school on Tuesday, November 23.  It takes place from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Amherst Regional High School gym and is open to all students age 5 and up, as well as to all adults.  If you or your child needs your first or second dose, or if you are an adult who needs a first, second, or booster dose, please sign up here. We are thankful that the state is making the vaccine available to our community members at all of our schools. In addition to vaccines, the CDC has issued guidance on how to have the safest possible holiday travel and gatherings, which can be found at this link.

Finally, based on guidance from Amherst Health Director Jennifer Brown and ARPS Nurse Manager Robbin Suprenant and the broad availability of vaccines for the K-12 student population, ARPS will be ending the Test and Stay program for unvaccinated students who are identified as a close contact to a COVID-positive person.  As a result, unvaccinated students found to be a close contact will be required to follow standard quarantine protocols.  The only exception is that Test and Stay will remain in place for children in the preschool population who are not old enough to access the vaccine at this time. This change will begin on January 3, 2022 when we return from the winter holidays. 

Best wishes to everyone for a safe, restful break!

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For seniors: a few quick tips for college applicants

From Ms. Garrity’s email before break:

Naviance has a new (and frustrating) feature called “One and Done” where it sends your transcript and school info to every school on your Common App list all at once, instead of individually. It does NOT send your teacher recs automatically. If you’re getting emails from schools you have later deadlines for saying these recs are missing- they are NOT. I will be sending them, along with your updated transcripts, closer to your deadline listed. Also, you will be unable to remove schools from your list if any information has been sent; if you need to get a college off your list, please email me the name of the school and I can manually remove it.

PLEASE take a few moments now that Powerschool has reopened to review your Q1 grades and check for any mistakes. If there is a mistake, please contact your teacher immediately AND let me know there is an error so I know not to send your grades to colleges until it’s fixed! In the meantime, you can ignore all emails from colleges saying “your senior year grades are missing.” 

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Mark your calendar

Nov 29: First day of winter sports practice
Dec 8: Early Release Day
Dec 24-Jan 2: Winter Break

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Message from the principal about drop-off

Hello,

During the past few weeks when families are dropping their children off in the morning, some people have been blocking the buses from pulling off and double parking during the drop-offs. This is creating an unsafe situation for those students and unnecessarily delaying the buses. Please drive past the barricade near the gym entrance before you stop to let your children out of the car. Thank you for your help with this. Take care

Talib Sadiq

Principal

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Superintendent’s update from 11/12

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

This week’s vaccine clinics for students ages 5-11 at Crocker Farm, Fort River and Wildwood were hugely successful!  The second dose clinics for those who were vaccinated this week are scheduled on November 30 for Wildwood, December 1 for Crocker Farm and December 3 for Fort River.  Families will receive a confirmation email from the Health Department a week before the follow-up clinics, which will take place at the school sites with each students’ appointment at the same time as the first doses.  

We scheduled this week’s clinics at the schools, at the end of the school day, in order to assist families in accessing this service for their children with as few barriers as possible. Of the 152 students who received the vaccine, a large percentage were from historically underserved communities, including 52% who qualify for subsidized lunch, 29% English Language Learners, 29% students with special needs, and 72% who identify as students of color.  Thank you to Interim Amherst Health Director Jennifer Brown and her staff for their assistance in providing access to the COVID-19 vaccine for our 5-11-year-old students.  Thank you also to all of the wonderful ARPS staff members who provided encouragement and support to the students receiving their vaccinations and to State Representative Mindy Domb for being on-site to cheer on our students.

While a number of students were able to be vaccinated this week, we know that many families who want to access the vaccine were not able to.  I am pleased to share that another clinic has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 23 from 3-5:30 p.m.  This clinic will be provided in partnership with the state of Massachusetts Mobile Vaccine Clinic and will be held in the gym at Amherst Regional High School.  The great news is that it will be open to ANY STUDENT OR STAFF MEMBER from the age of 5 or older who needs first, second or booster doses!  You can sign up for this clinic at this link.

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Support the ARHS Grants Program for Giving Tuesday

The ARHS PGO’s One Ask, Please Give! MAROON ENVELOPE FUNDRAISER is already halfway to our goal. This is a month-long initiative to support our Student and Teacher Grant Program. We promise that this will be the ONLY ASK the PGO will make until spring ’22 graduation and teacher appreciation events.

Our goal is to raise $3,000 by #GivingTuesday to fund grants for art, science and other classroom supplies outside the school budget; yearbooks and field trips for students eligible for free and reduced lunch; visiting speakers; and student-led clubs.

Please consider donating anything from $5 to $500 – you can Venmo @ARHS-PGO or donate by credit card or check. Please give now so we can reach our goal by #GivingTuesday, November 30 and enrich our high school in ways most needed. Thank you for helping us reach our goal!

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Sign your student up for pooled COVID testing

It’s not too late to have your student participate in the free, weekly COVID testing program provided by the state. If you would like to give consent for your student to participate, you can do so at this link.

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Athletics update

Good luck to both the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams who will be running in the all-state championship meet at Wrentham this Saturday, after qualifying by placing 4th (girls) and 6th (boys) at their statewide divisional meet last weekend!

Congratulations to the boys’ soccer team, who ended their season with a 1-0 loss to Canton in the quarterfinal round of the Division 2 state championship last weekend.

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For seniors: post-ARHS planning info

A reminder that November 21 is the deadline for submitting requests for school information (recommendations, transcripts) in Naviance for December 15 college application deadlines.

FEELING STUCK? Pop Up College Application Support (In Person) – Room 303
Monday, November 22nd 3:40-4:15  (Intended Audience – Seniors)
December and January Deadlines? Make sure you know what you need to do. Learn about building a list of 6-8 colleges, Target/Reach/Likely-Foundational-Safety schools, Naviance and Common Application. Get smart about the process.

Learn About Allied Health Careers at STCC on November 30th
STCC’s Allied Health Careers Exploration Night will be held in-person on Tuesday, November 30th from 4:30pm-7:30pm  in Building 20 on the STCC campus.

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Mark your calendar

Nov 19: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARMS
Nov 23: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARHS
Nov 24-28: Thanksgiving break
Dec 8: Early Release Day

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Superintendent’s update from 11/5

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

The great news came out this week that both the FDA and the CDC have approved COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11.  This is the essential next step in protecting the health of our young students and increasing protection from COVID-19 for everyone.  Municipalities, including the Amherst Board of Health, have received limited supplies of vaccine doses for this age group, and we will be sharing more information about the availability of those doses for our students next week.  In the meantime, pharmacies have received much larger supplies and are already taking appointments for the 5-11 age group. The state has listed available appointments for this age group on their vaccine website.

On the topic of vaccines, I want to remind our ARPS families that December 1 is the exclusion deadline for students to be up-to-date on their mandatory vaccines in order to attend school.  If your student is missing any of their required vaccines, you would have already received messages from your school nurse.  Please remember to submit the required documentation to your school nurse ASAP, and no later than November 30.  If you need assistance in obtaining any of the required vaccines, please remember the following resources:

  • You can receive vaccines from your own medical provider through a nurse’s appointment rather than a doctor’s appointment.  These are typically much easier to schedule on short notice.  Local health practitioners have been notified of the ARPS vaccine exclusion date and are prepared to help families reach compliance by the deadline.
  • Local pharmacies provide many vaccines, at no charge, in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Amherst Health Department offers a COVID-19 vaccine clinic every Thursday from 3:00-6:00 p.m. for anyone aged 12 or older.  They are available to members of any of our surrounding communities.
  • The John P. Musante Health Center, located in the Bangs Community Center in Amherst, is a free clinic open to anyone without health insurance.
  • The only exception for vaccine compliance is through a medical or religious exemption.  A request for a medical exemption must come from your child’s doctor and must indicate that the vaccine(s) is medically contraindicated.  Religious exemption requests must be submitted annually, in a paper copy, and must be signed and dated by the parent/caregiver.  Emails or verbal requests are not acceptable for religious exemptions.

Thank you to everyone for helping to keep the ARPS community safe!

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PGO Fundraiser

The ARHS PGO launched the One Ask, Please Give! MAROON ENVELOPE FUNDRAISER last week and has already raised close to $1,000! This is a month-long initiative to support our Student and Teacher Grant Program. We promise that this will be the ONLY ASK the PGO will make until spring ’22 graduation and teacher appreciation events.

Our goal is to raise $3,000 by #GivingTuesday to fund grants for art, science and other classroom supplies outside the school budget; yearbooks and field trips for students eligible for free and reduced lunch; visiting speakers; and student-led clubs.

Please consider donating anything from $5 to $500 – you can Venmo @ARHS-PGO or donate by credit card or check. Please give now so we can reach our goal by #GivingTuesday, November 30 and enrich our high school in ways most needed.

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Winter coat drive underway

Thank you to everyone who has already dropped off winter coats for our students. Today is the final day for collection at our downtown locations (Jones Library Children’s Room, Chamber of Commerce, Greenfield Savings Bank on University Drive), but a collection box will remain in the ARHS lobby for your donations. Please bring any new or used-but-like-new coats to the box in the ARHS lobby.

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Athletics update

Reminder: Winter Sports Night November 16th at 6pm in the High School Gymnasium! For more information about winter sports please attend this event. Hope to see you there! Also, please see winter sports registration information here. 

Congratulations to the boys’ soccer team, who advance to the round of 8 in the state tournament after their 3-1 win over Plymouth North Wednesday night.

Congratulations to girls’ volleyball, who ended their season with a hard-fought loss to Melrose in the state tournament.

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Mark your calendar

Nov 16: Winter Sports Night
Nov 19: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARMS
Nov 24-28: Thanksgiving break
Dec 8: Early Release Day

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Coat drive continues next week

We are still collecting new or used-but-in-excellent-condition winter coats in sizes from S-XL, so that all our students can stay warm during outdoor activities as winter comes to Amherst. Collection boxes will be out through Friday, Nov. 12 at the following locations:
ARHS lobby (you may come in to drop off a coat)
Jones Library Children’s Room
Amherst Chamber of Commerce
Greenfield Savings Bank on University Drive

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PGO Fall fundraiser

The ARHS PGO is excited to launch the One Ask, Please Give! MAROON ENVELOPE FUNDRAISER, a month-long initiative to support our Student and Teacher Grant Program. We promise that this will be the ONLY ASK the PGO will make until spring ’22 graduation and teacher appreciation events.

Our goal is to raise $3,000 by #GivingTuesday to fund grants for art, science and other classroom supplies outside the school budget; yearbooks and field trips for students eligible for free and reduced lunch; visiting speakers; and student-led clubs.

Please consider donating any amount; you can Venmo @ARHS-PGO or read more and donate by credit card or check. Please give now so we can reach our goal by #GivingTuesday, November 30 and enrich our high school in ways most needed.

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Superintendent’s update from 10/29

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

I have a few important updates to share with ARPS families and staff this week.  At their meeting on Tuesday, the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee voted to accept Amherst sixth grade students at Amherst Regional Middle School.  This was the final step necessary to begin planning for the transition of Amherst sixth graders from the elementary schools to ARMS starting with the 2023-2024 school year.  Between now and fall 2023, there will be extensive planning, both educationally and operationally, to ensure a smooth, positive change for our students.  We look forward to working with all stakeholders as this important change is implemented.

In order to provide a smoother transition between semesters, there has been a change in the calendar for the current 2021-2022 school year.  The change is in January to the High School exam dates (which are half-days at ARMS and ARHS) and the teacher curriculum/work day (which is a full day off for students at all grade levels).  The new dates are January 19 & 20 for high school exams and January 21 for the teacher curriculum/work day.  The updated calendar is included below.

There is also a letter below from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11.  While there are still a number of steps necessary before the vaccine is fully approved for this age group, we hope to see the same high level of interest in vaccines for these children as our community has shown for vaccines for children ages 12+. The high vaccination rate in our school community has had a significant, positive impact on the health and safety of students and staff members, so we will share more information on this critical topic as it becomes available.

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Changes to daily schedule

You may already have heard from your student that, based on feedback from students and teachers, the school made some minor changes to the daily schedule. The new schedule, which took effect at the start of second quarter on Nov. 3, has a lengthened “+” block at the end of the day that allows students to get extra help in subjects where they need it.

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Changes to January exam schedule

Semester 1 exam half days have been shifted to January 19th and 20th and the teacher work day to January 21st. There will be no school for students on January 21st.  Semester 2 will begin on January 24th. Here is a link to the revised calendar for the year.

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“Stress Less” group for students

The first round of “Stress Less” group for students has been very successful, and the school is starting a second round in November. This new group starts November 9th and runs for 7 weeks, and there is still room for a few more students.

The aim is to boost skills in managing mild/moderate anxiety. This is an educational group – not therapy. Students will learn ways to identify and cope with stress and anxiety, and they will build a “coping toolbox.” The group will meet weekly on Tuesdays starting Nov. 9, and the time will rotate so students will not miss the same class each week. Obviously if there is a test in class, they don’t need to come to the group.

If your student is interested, they can contact School Social Worker Hannah Caruso.

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ARPS Biliteracy Program

As a way of celebrating multilingualism and supporting students to strengthen the languages they speak at home, as well as new languages that they are learning, the district offers a program called the Seal of Biliteracy. The sign up form for students is here and the sign up form for parents and volunteers is here.

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For seniors: post-ARHS planning info

Important upcoming dates:

November 5UMass early action deadline; all supporting documents due Nov 5
November 6SAT; ARHS; registration deadline Oct 8 w/ no late fee (Oct 26 w/ fee waiver or late fee)
November 7thNEACAC College Fair; VIRTUAL; 1:00-3:00; Register Link 
November 11Request for school portion of application (transcripts, recommendations) must be in Naviance for December 1st college deadlines
November 14NACAC Virtual College Fair – National – Register

Click here for all the information in Ms. Cuffee-Gray’s Nov. 3 email to seniors.

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Athletics updates

It is championship season for Fall Sports! Congratulations to all the teams who’ve participated in postseason play, including:

Girls Soccer– traveled to Northampton High School last night for the preliminary round of the state tournament
Boys Soccer– on Saturday November 6th boys will travel to Silver Lake Regional for the first round of 32 in the state tournament.
Volleyball– after making it to the Western MA finals, where they lost to Longmeadow, they defeated Chelsea High School this week in the preliminary round of the state tournament and will travel to Melrose for the first round of 32 in the state tournament
Congratulations to 10th grader Piet Hartman, who was the top finisher from Western Mass in the Division I state golf tournament, finishing in 8th place.

All game schedules and times can be found here.

Don’t forget to sign your student up for Winter Sports; the season starts November 29.

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Mark your calendar

Nov 9: School picture retakes
Nov 11: Veterans’ Day (no school)
Nov 16: Winter Sports Night
Nov 19: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARMS
Nov 24-28: Thanksgiving break

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Winter Coat Drive starts next week

As the weather grows cold, we want to make sure all ARHS students have a coat they can wear for outside activities (including lunch). The PGO is collecting clean coats in good to excellent condition in sizes that would fit high schoolers. New coats are also welcome if you would like to buy and contribute them!
Coats can be dropped of the weeks of Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 at designated dropboxes in the following locations:

  • Main lobby of the high school (parents will be allowed to enter the school to drop off coats)
  • Jones Library in the children’s room
  • Amherst Chamber of Commerce downtown
  • Greenfield Savings Bank on University Drive
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Superintendent’s update from 10/22

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

I am pleased to share that the state vendor who is working with our District to implement pooled testing still plans to begin the program here next week.  Although we have not yet received all of the necessary supplies from the vendor, we are hopeful that those supplies will arrive in time for them to meet the timeline they have given us.  As of now, their planned schedule for next week is as follows:

  • Tuesday (10-26-21) Test at ARHS/Summit Academy & Wildwood
  • Thursday (10-28-21) Test @ ARMS & Fort River
  • Friday (10-29-21) Test @ Crocker Farm & Pelham

If you gave consent for your child to participate in pooled testing, they will be among the students called to the nurse’s office to be tested.  However, each child will have to give verbal consent prior to taking the test, and no child will be forced to participate if they choose not to.  We will notify parents/guardians if their child chooses not to take the test as scheduled.

For those who may still be interested in consenting to pooled testing (either staff members or students), the link to sign up is https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=Amherst-Pelham

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AP Exam information

Click here for all the logistical information (in both Spanish and English) about AP exams that will be offered at ARHS this year. Note that, to avoid a late fee, students must register for any AP exams they plan to take by November 15, even if this is for a course they are taking second semester. The information sheet explains all of this and more, and tells you where to direct any questions.

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For seniors applying to college (and their families)

This week Ms. Garrity shared the following useful tips, especially for students who might have received a message from a college they’re applying to, saying that they are missing a part of their application:

Never be afraid to check in with your admissions rep. There is usually a specific representative for our region. If you think something might be missing, call the admissions office and ask for that rep’s contact info. Not only will it give you some relief, but speaking to the rep shows that you are on top of things and they’ll be more likely to remember your name when reviewing your application. (Note: the applicant should be the one to call and email, not the parent.)

Colleges are slower than you think. Really. They’re not looking at your applications as soon as you submit. Most of the time, they won’t even download your application materials until 2-4 weeks after the deadline. There are some exceptions of course, but often if your portal says you have materials missing, it just means it hasn’t been downloaded from their system yet. If you’re still seeing things missing after 3-4 weeks, check with Miss Garrity and she will call and check on the status.

Check to see who sent the email saying your items are missing. Was the email from the general admissions email? Did it come as a “no-reply” email? If so, this is likely a generic email automatically sent to applicants. Check that you’ve done what you need, but don’t stress. If it came directly from an admissions officer, feel free to forward the email to Miss Garrity, who can check on the materials and communicate with the admissions rep.

Some colleges have weird procedures. We’ve run into issues with some colleges in past years. Salem State, the CUNY Schools, and Canadian Colleges have all been known to send increasingly worrisome emails about missing materials, but then give us a really hard time about updating portals and confirming they’ve received our submissions when we send things again.

Be kind to admissions officers, to us, and to yourselves! Remember that we are still in a pandemic and dealing with the shared trauma that comes with that. Trauma like that, even if you don’t feel it in your heart, can have effects on our memories, our attention to detail, and our patience with others. Take a breath when you feel the panic rising up, and know that we’re here to help.

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Mark your calendar

Oct 29: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARMS
Nov 1: End of Quarter 1
Nov 2: No school (Teacher curriculum work day)
Nov 3: Start of Quarter 2
Nov 9: School picture retakes
Nov 11: Veterans’ Day (no school)
Nov 16: Winter Sports Night
Nov 19: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARMS

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Necesitamos voluntarios para traducir este mensaje cada semana

Si Usted desea ayudarnos por favor, mándeme un email: arhspgonews@gmail.com

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Virtual coffee with the principal Wed. 10/27

Our first virtual coffee with Principal Sadiq will take place via Zoom next Wednesday, Oct. 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm. You may join the meeting via this link; note that you do NOT need to have the Zoom app installed on your device but can join from a browser. Please also continue to share any topics you want to make sure are discussed by entering them in this (anonymous) form.

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Superintendent’s update from 10/15

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

I am pleased to report that the District has had a period of 15 days without a positive COVID case, and I believe that the hard work and diligence of our students and staff in following our COVID safety protocols has helped make that possible.  While we know there will be new cases as the year progresses, we will continue to follow those protocols in order to keep the case numbers as low as possible.

One of our COVID safety protocols is to have bus windows open when students are being transported.  Providing this increased ventilation on buses is critical to helping prevent COVID spread, and DESE has encouraged all districts to maintain the open-window practice in all but the most severe weather.  As temperatures continue to drop, this will mean that the bus rides will be much colder for our students.  Please keep this in mind and have students dress warmly, in layers, even if the outside temperature isn’t extremely cold.  We encourage anyone who may need assistance in providing warm, winter clothing for their children to reach out to our ARPS Family Center at 362-1871 or, if you prefer, contact your child’s teacher, Assistant Principal or Principal.  Help is available for anyone who needs it.

I am also pleased to report that pooled COVID testing is slated to begin in the elementary schools during the week of October 25 and at the secondary level the following week, according to the testing vendor.  Testing will be administered by the vendor’s staff.  As noted in last week’s newsletter, in order for any staff member or student to participate in pooled testing they must register and give consent at https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=Amherst-Pelham.  For questions about the testing program or about signing up, please reach out to your school nurse.

Finally, the dates have been set for our on-site vaccine clinics for students aged 12 and over.  They will be held on the afternoons of Friday, October 29 and Friday, November 19, in the Middle School gym.  Other logistics are still being finalized and will be shared as soon as possible.

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COVID vaccine clinics 10/29 and 11/19

In partnership with the Town of Amherst Health Department, there will be COVID vaccine clinics held in the Amherst Regional Middle School gymnasium on Friday, October 29 and Friday, November 19. These clinics will accommodate first, second and booster shots and are open to all students age 12 and older, as well as all ARPS staff.  Sign up is required at this link: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/townofamherst.

En asociación con el Departamento de Salud de la Ciudad de Amherst, habrá clínicas de vacunas COVID en el gimnasio de la Escuela Secundaria Regional de Amherst el viernes 29 de octubre y el viernes 19 de noviembre. Estas clínicas se acomodarán a la primera, segunda y refuerzo de vacunas y están abiertas a todos los estudiantes de 12 años de edad y mayores, así como todo el personal de ARPS.  Es necesario inscribirse en este enlace: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/townofamherst.

Em parceria com o Departamento de Saúde da Cidade de Amherst, serão realizadas clínicas de vacinas COVID no ginásio da Escola Média Regional de Amherst na sexta-feira, 29 de Outubro e sexta-feira, 19 de Novembro. Estas clínicas irão acomodar a primeira, a segunda e as vacinas de reforço e estão abertas a todos os estudantes com 12 anos ou mais, assim como a todo o pessoal da ARPS.  A inscrição é obrigatória neste link: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/townofamherst.

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MCAS information for the Class of ’23 (juniors)

Students in the Class of 2023 who have not yet taken MCAS or who need to re-test in one or more subject areas should plan for the following dates:

Math:  November 9th and 10th  

English/Language Arts: November 16th and 17th 

The exams will be administered during A-period so students who need to take the MCAS should arrive promptly and report to their designated rooms, which will be available on November 4.

Students needing MCAS will automatically be scheduled to take the exams. Passing MCAS is a graduation requirement for the Class of 2023.  

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For seniors: post-ARHS planning updates

Keep an eye out for a brief help session with Ms. Cuffee-Gray and Ms. Garrity during D+ Period on 10/21. We’ll have passes you can pick up on the 19th.

Some helpful videos
Teacher Recommendations in Naviance – LINK
Matching Common Application and Naviance – LINK
Signing Up for College Admissions Visits – LINK
Adding Colleges I’m Thinking About in Naviance  – LINK

Important Dates for Seniors – LINK

Senior Life After ARHS (College Planning Focused) Handbook – LINK

Click here to set up an appointment with Ms. Garrity for help with Naviance and the Common App

Lunching With Ms. Cuffee-Gray
Tuesday 1st
Wednesday 2nd
Thursday 3rd
Come find Ms. Cuffee-Gray to get questions answered

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Winter sports registration is open

Visit this link for information about winter sports and a link to registration through FamilyID. Winter Sports Night, an information session for families, will be held on Tuesday, November 16 from 6-7 pm in the ARHS gymnasium.

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Mark your calendar

Oct 27: Coffee with the Principal (virtual)
Oct 28: AEF Trivia Bee
Oct 29: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARMS
Nov 1: End of Quarter 1
Nov 2: No school (Teacher curriculum work day)
Nov 3: Start of Quarter 2
Nov 9: School picture retakes
Nov 11: Veterans’ Day (no school)
Nov 16: Winter Sports Night
Nov 19: COVID Vaccine Clinic at ARMS

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Ski sale sponsored by the Amherst Historical Society

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Virtual coffee with the principal Wednesday Oct. 27

The virtual coffee with Principal Sadiq will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, Oct. 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm (note that earlier announcements mistakenly said Tuesday–apologies for that!). You may join the meeting via this link; note that you do NOT need to have the Zoom app installed on your device but can join from a browser. Please also continue to share any topics you want to make sure are discussed by entering them in this (anonymous) form.

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Superintendent’s update from 10/8/21

For a pdf version of the ARPS Update, please click here.

Para obtener una versión de la actualización de ARPS en español, haga clic aquí.

Para uma versão do ARPS Update em português, clique aqui.

At their meeting on Tuesday, the Amherst School Committee voted unanimously to move Amherst’s sixth grade students from the Amherst elementary schools to Amherst Regional Middle School, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year.  The next step in the process is for the Regional School Committee to vote on whether to accept sixth grade students to the Regional District.  They will be discussing the matter at their next meeting on Tuesday, October 12.  We appreciate all of the input and feedback we have received from stakeholders, which has been very positive in favor of making the move at a slower pace than was originally discussed.  If approved by the Regional School Committee, this year’s Amherst Public Schools fourth grade students will be the first to attend sixth grade at ARMS, allowing time for a thoughtful, well-planned transition to the new grade configuration. 

On Wednesday, the District hosted an information session on topics related to COVID-19 and vaccinations with Peter Everett, MD; William Soares, MD; and Lauren Westafer, DO, MPH, MS.  We appreciate these local medical professionals taking time from their busy schedules to share their expertise and answer questions from our families and staff members.  For those who were unable to attend, the taped session is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFcFZutrZgQ.  As a reminder, we also shared information this week on how families can provide consent for their children to participate in COVID testing at school.  The link is https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=Amherst-Pelham for anyone who still wishes to sign up.  For questions about the testing program or signing up, please reach out to your school nurse.

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Senior photos

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For seniors: Financial aid resources plus link to other planning information

Information Regarding Financial Aid
Great Support for Completing the FASFA – October 18th
https://www.mefa.org/events/fafsa-festival-october-18  – RSVP

Understanding the FAFSA

What to Know About the CSS Profile

Click here for more information on upcoming events and deadlines related to post-ARHS planning.

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Mark your calendar

Oct 16: PSAT for 10th and 11th graders
Oct 20: Early Release Day
Oct 27: Coffee with the Principal (virtual)
Oct 28: AEF Trivia Bee
Nov 1: End of Quarter 1
Nov 2: No school (Teacher curriculum work day)
Nov 3: Start of Quarter 2

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Free COVID testing now available through the Town of Amherst

The Amherst Health Department is now offering free COVID testing for asymptomatic individuals ages 4 and older, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For more information about testing, including how to pick up free tests at the Bangs Center or the Jones Library, visit the town website.

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Amherst Education Foundation’s 27th Annual Trivia Bee

Join us on Thursday, October 28 at 6:30pm for our 27th Annual Trivia Bee hosted by State Representative Mindy Domb and Tony Maroulis! It will be a fun night for you to gather around the laptop and play some trivia with your family, friends, and the Amherst community. We will also be holding a raffle full of great prizes! The Trivia Bee is our largest fundraiser of the year and we look forward to seeing you there! Sign up to play and purchase raffle tickets at bit.ly/triviabee2021

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Newsletter reminders/updates

Haga clic aquí para ver los artículos del boletín en español

If you don’t wish to receive this newsletter, please click the “Unsubscribe” button at the bottom to be automatically removed from the mailing list.

If you received this from a friend and would like to be added to our mailing list, email us and ask to be added to the list.

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Oct. 27 Coffee with Principal Sadiq

On Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 6-7 pm the PGO will hold a virtual coffee for parents/guardians with Principal Talib Sadiq. We will send out the link for the virtual meeting closer to the date. If you know what questions or topics you would like to discuss during the coffee, please feel free to share them with us via this (anonymous) form. If you prefer, you can just send your questions/topics to the PGO at our email address.

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Information on COVID testing program from the school nurses

Note: this information was sent via email 10/6/21
Thank you for your continued support as we strive to provide the safest possible environment in all of the Amherst, Pelham and Regional schools. Health and safety of students and staff is a top priority to support a successful school year of learning and growth.

Please note that the 2021-22 testing program is with a new partner and requires new registration and consent. ALL participants of last year’s testing programs MUST re-register and provide consent, which can be done by clicking here.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the COVID-19 testing program has three components:

  • Symptomatic Testing for students and staff who show symptoms of COVID-19 at school,
  • Routine COVID Safety Checks to prevent the spread of the virus undetected among students and staff who are not showing symptoms,
  • Test-and-Stay for students and staff who may have been exposed while in school but are not showing symptoms.

Each of these is a quick, non-invasive nasal swab that is collected by a school nurse or trained health provider. Unlike COVID-19 tests of the past, these are not uncomfortable and are easy to administer. Students only participate with permission from a parent or guardian.

Additional information on the three parts of our testing program, how they are conducted, and what they are used for is outlined below:

Symptomatic Testing is used when a student or staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19 during school. Individuals should not come to school if they are feeling sick while at home. Some symptoms of the virus look identical to other illnesses like the cold or flu, and this test tells us whether a symptomatic student has COVID-19 or not. This is a rapid test with results available in 15 minutes. If a student has minimal symptoms, tests negative and is well enough to participate in classroom activities then the School Nurse can clear them to remain in school.

Routine COVID Safety Checks minimize disruption to learning by helping us catch potential spread of the virus before it starts. Routine safety checks (pooled testing) are administered at the beginning of each week. All students PK-12 are eligible to participate. Samples are collected at school in groups of 10 and sent to the Broad Institute Lab. All the samples in the group are tested for COVID-19 together. In most cases, it will take less than 24 hours to receive safety check results. Students can continue to come to school while awaiting safety check results; they do not need to quarantine while awaiting results. If a safety check test is positive, the students in the group will take individual rapid tests to determine next steps.

Test-and-Stay allows students who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 while at school to stay in school if the student is not showing symptoms. Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school, these students will take a daily rapid test while they remain in school as long as they are not symptomatic. Students participate in “test-and-stay” for at least five days, but not more than 10 days.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must be isolated at home for the CDC-recommended ten days since symptoms appeared or ten days from the date of a positive test before returning to school. The student must also be without a fever for 24 hours.

As noted above, to participate in the program you must complete the registration and consent.  If you have additional questions regarding the program, please contact the building-based nurse or Robbin Suprenant, Nurse Manager.

It is our hope that these measures will work together to keep our schools safe and your students in school.  Thanks again for your support during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Amherst-Regional Public Schools Nurses

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