Have A Great Summer!

cartoon-sun-with-sunglasses-stock-illustration__k1933757The 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, August 29, 2018!

Becky, Mare, and Jennifer

Posted in Parent News

Join the ARHS Parent Guardian Organization

The ARHS Parent Guardian Organization is a volunteer group of parents and guardians, and we invite you to join us!  What do we do? We create this newsletter, administer a grant program for staff and students, host events with Principal Jackson and others, and raise funds to make all of these things possible! There are tasks to fit every schedule and skill set, including opportunities to help coordinate events, serve on our grants committee, represent the ARHS PGO at district-wide meetings, and more! If you would like to volunteer please by contacting us at www.arhspgochair@gmail.com. Have a great summer!

Posted in Parent News

Fall Sports Registration Now Open

amherst hurricanes logoOnline fall sports registration is now open. Ensure a smooth start to the fall season by registering NOW. Current sport physical forms should be on file with the school nurse before the first day of tryouts. Please call the nurse’s office at the high school at 362-1743. Questions for middle school registrants please contact the middle school nurse at 362-1975.

DEADLINE TO REGISTER & PAY: Deadline for registration & payment is August 1st.

REGISTRATION: https://www.familyid.com/organ izations/search?query=amherst
You’ll need to set up an account with FamilyID, if you don’t already have an account. Any technical questions with this program please call the 888# at the top of the FamilyID screen. They are very helpful.

By submitting registration forms electronically you and your child are acknowledging that you have both read the documents and you will adhere to the MIAA/Amherst High School policies on these forms. By registeringelectronically you are fulfilling the signature requirements of registration.

PAYMENT: Payment is due right away. Payment is required to try out/practice/participate. If there is a financial hardship, please contact Rich Ferro, the Athletic Director at ferror@arps.org

Payment can be done online as well at https://unipaygold.unibank.com/
NOTE: FamilyID and UniPay Gold aren’t linked, they are two totally separate programs. So FamilyID will always show that you have not paid.

VERY IMPORTANT: Clearly write your child’s name and sport in the MEMO of the check when you pay. You can drop off your payment or mail to:
ARHS Athletics
Amherst Regional High School
21 Mattoon Street
Amherst, MA 01002
ATTN: Sports Registration

HIGH SCHOOL – Football begins Friday, August 17th. All sports other sports begin tryouts on Thursday, August 23rd.

MIDDLE SCHOOL – Middle School sports will begin the Tuesday after Labor Day. Wednesday, August 22nd is Fall Sports Information Night for athletes and their parents/guardian. Time: 6:30 p.m. in the High School Gymnasium. Meet the coaches, get schedules, find out about practice schedules, etc. Hope to see you there!

SCHEDULES: See http://miaa.net/schools/pu blic/AmhPelA2 for game times and to set up alerts for changes.

SPORT SPECIFIC INFORMATION: Need specific sport information? Please reach out to the coach. Contact information for the coaches can be found under the high school “Sports” tab under the “Coaches contact Information” tab.

Posted in Parent News

Key Information About the 2018-2019 School Year Calendar:

2018-2019 School Calendar

  • School will start on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 for students in grades 1-12.  Preschool and Kindergarten start on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
  • There will be no school on the day before Thanksgiving.
  • Winter break will begin with an early release day on Friday, December 21, 2018.  School will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.
  • The projected last day of school, including five snow days, is June 21, 2018.  One weekday is deducted for each snow day not used, with the earliest possible last day of school being June 13, 2019.
  • Please note that schools are required to provide 180 days of instruction.  While the five snow days built into the calendar are typically adequate to cover closures, any days schools must be closed beyond that must be made-up per Massachusetts Department of Education regulations.  Whenever possible, such days are added to the end of the school year.
Posted in Parent News

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: http://blog.collegegreenlight.com/blog/college-fly-in-diversity-programs/

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.

  1.   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.
  2.  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.  Many of you will need to write additional essays in the fall so getting ahead of the game is a good idea.  The Common Application and Coalition Application essay prompts are at the end of this e-mail.
  3.  Remember – your task is to find at least one foundation school – a college that you like, can afford and to which you know you are admissible.  It would be great to find two or three of those.  Of course, beyond that you should apply anywhere you would like to attend!
  4. Plan your fall testing schedule ahead of time.  If you plan to take the September 8 ACT or the August 25 or October 6 SAT, you might want to register soon, before you forget about school for a while.  The registration deadlines without a late fee are August 3 for the September ACT, July 27 for the August SAT and September 7 for the October SAT.  You can register late for the September 8 ACT until August 17 and late for the August SAT before August 15.  If you qualify for a fee waiver, see Mrs. Cappelli before June 26 or get one in the Main Office after July 1.  Unused fee waivers will expire in August!
  5. It would be a good idea for you to do a lot of test prep in the weeks immediately preceding the summer ACT and SAT.  When you are in summer mode, it’s harder to get your adrenaline going for tests.  I’ve heard that across the country, last year’s August SAT scores were lower than for other tests likely because of the summer mode phenomenon.  If you are going to take a summer test, be sure to be on the top of your test-taking game by test time!
  6. Remember that demonstrated interest is increasingly important to colleges for admissions purposes.  Visit, visit, visit!  Get the name of your admissions counselor at colleges you will apply to and stay in touch.
  7. Set up interviews at colleges you would like to learn more about.  Read their websites for information about how to go about making these appointments.  To prepare, think about your interests and skills and about some of the activities you would like to participate in.  familiarize yourself with the college via the website and other materials you may have, and develop a couple questions about things that matter to you.  If the college is not nearby, arrange for a local alumni interview.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.  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.
  10. The 2018-19 Common Application (commonapp.org) will officially go live on August 1.  If you are applying to four-year colleges, you will almost certainly use this form.  UMass accepts it.  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.
  11. The Coalition Application (www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/), which is an alternative application for more than 140 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 Coalition App as well.  The Universities of Maryland, Florida and Washington (state) will use this application exclusively.  Likely all other members will accept the Common Application as well as the Coalition Application.    As members of the Common Application, colleges are required to treat all applications equally in the Admissions process.
  12. 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 khanacademy.org/satfor the SAT and academy.act.org for the ACT, 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 affordable.  See their links on the next page.
  13. Mark your calendars:  The FAFSA and CSS Profile (financial aid forms) will open for completion on October 1.  On Tuesday, October 2, there will be an evening financial aid informational presentation here at ARHS.   Thursday, October 25 will be FAFSA Night at ARHS.  Bring your completed 2017 tax return and some other information and leave with a completed FAFSA.  You will receive more information about all of this in the fall. For now, put these dates on your calendar and plan to attend.

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

Posted in Parent News

Fee Waivers for August SAT & September ACT

If you plan to take the August 25 SAT or the September 8 ACT, register online before you forget.  If you qualify for a fee waiver, see Mrs. Cappelli before June 26.

Unused fee waivers will expire in August! 

Posted in Parent News

Ceremony Celebrates Mural That Honors Amherst’s Cambodian Community

cambodiancommcelebrationTo celebrate the unveiling of a new mural that honors Amherst’s Cambodian community, over 100 people gathered at the high school for a Friday night ceremony, blessing and traditional dancing.

Recently graduated senior Augusta Fricke spent nine months working on the mural for one class period per day as part of an independent study. She designed the mural with input from a community of Cambodians, as well as scholars and teachers with ties to the community.

“I grew up with a lot of Cambodian students in our classes,” Fricke said. “When I was doing all the research for what to put in, I read a lot about what it’s like to be Cambodian-American from a younger generation.”

Read the full article on the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Posted in Parent News