Monday, February 27, 2017

Deadline to Register to Vote in Amherst Annual Election is Wednesday, March 8

Amherst will hold the Annual Town Election on March 28th. Every election has a deadline of 20 days prior to the election by which one must register to vote in order to be eligible to vote in that election.  Any person who is a Massachusetts resident and a United States citizen and will be 18 years old as of the next election is eligible to register to vote.

In order to vote in the Town of Amherst you must be a registered voter in the Town of Amherst and you must vote in the precinct in which you are a registered voter.

Massachusetts residents can apply online by visiting and clicking the “Massachusetts Register to Vote Online” button to access the online application system.  Any Massachusetts resident who has a valid identification card issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles will be able to use the online system to apply to register to vote, update their address, or change their party enrollment.

Massachusetts residents who do not have identification issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles can still complete an application online which they can print, sign, and mail or hand-deliver to their local election official.

You can check on your voting status by going to  You can register online or in person at Town Hall. You will need a photo ID or last 4 digits of your SS#.

AEF Celebrates Music in our Schools on March 18


AEF is thrilled to announce its spring fundraiser: Music in our Schools!
Saturday, March 18, 2017
6 - 9 pm

Emceed by Performing Arts Department Chair John Bechtold and State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, the evening will be filled with tributes, performances, and wonderful food and drink.

AEF will be giving a special award to ARMS Chorus Director Dave Ranen and lifetime achievement recognitions to all of our district’s music educators, past and present, who have taught for more than 20 years in the schools.

AEF has invited all music educators to be our guests at our event, and is pleased to announce that we will be joined by Fort River Music Teacher Anne White, Crocker Farm Music Teacher Eleanor Lincoln, Wildwood Music Teacher Jacob Brownell, ARHS Chorale teacher Todd Fruth, and retired Band Leader Sue Dunbar. The list is still growing!

Proceeds will support AEF's 2017 excellence grants, with a portion going directly to the ARPS music program.  Tickets can be purchased online at: or by clicking here.

The event will be held at:  Marriott Center, Campus Center, 11th floor, UMass-Amherst, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA.

Amherst Charter Commission Workshops

Amherst residents will have an opportunity to respond to the specific proposals for changing Amherst government that the Amherst Charter Commission has developed in response to input from many residents, Amherst town staff, elected officials and committees, as well as perspectives and beliefs of the individual commissioners.  The first round of “listening workshops” sought broad input on any and all topics of concern and passion to participants.  This round of workshops seeks input on very specific proposals coming out of Commission deliberations, proposals focused primarily on executive and legislative functions as well as on public participation.

All workshops will be held in the Jones Library Woodbury Room (basement of the Jones library).  They are scheduled for different times of day in hopes there will be a time that is convenient for most people.  Modest refreshments will be serviced. 
  • Feb. 28, Tuesday, 1 – 3
  • March 30, Thursday, 7 – 9
  • April 5, 10 – 12
  • April 11, Tuesday 7 – 9

EmbraceRace Parenting Conversation on Tuesday, February 28 at 9 pm.

shared at the request of local non-profit EmbraceRace:

An *EmbraceRace conversation, Parenting in the Age of Trump, will occur on Tuesday, February 28 at 9 pm.  We will be joined by child psychologist Allison Briscoe-Smith. Many parents and educators from around the country have already signed up and submitted questions.

Register now to join or to receive the recording after the event.

*EmbraceRace is an online community of discussion and practice about raising and caring for kids, all kids, in the context of race. We'll have a web site, podcast, FB page, and other platforms, all forming an interactive community of support for those of us – parents, teachers, counselors, grandparents, day care providers, aunts and uncles – trying to raise kids with healthy racial sensibilities. Kids are very welcome too!

EmbraceRace is not only for parents! It's for anyone who has a role in the lives of children or anyone who might have useful information, insight, questions, concerns, or experiences to share w/them - about race, for example. In other words, the community is meant for a great many of us!

Transgender Students Rights Unchanged

from the Office of the Superintendent:

Transgender students in the Amherst-Regional Public School Districts will not see any change in their protected rights based on the revocation of a federal directive regarding locker rooms and restrooms.

Massachusetts law, guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, established District practices, and local bylaws permit pupils to use facilities consistent with one’s gender identity.

Our schools will remain welcoming and inclusive places for all students.

ARHS Presents “Anything Goes”! March 2nd-4th

March 2nd-4th, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm; Matinee, March 4th, 2 pm

With a timeless score from Cole Porter, Anything Goes is one of the great musicals that propelled Broadway into its golden age.

Join us on the deck of the SS America as it sails from New York to England with a ship full of separated lovers, excitable sailors and NYC’s not-so-infamous Public Enemy #13.

Replete with bright comedy and soaring music, over 130 ARHS student cast, crew and pit orchestra members will give you at least that many reasons to come.  Come see the school’s largest performing arts production of the year!

Purchase Tickets Online Here.

Please note: ALL TICKETS ARE GENERAL ADMISSION. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to curtain. Tickets are $10 for students and staff and can be purchased online via the Performing Arts website or by cash or check in the cafeteria the week of the show.  Students on free/reduced lunch can buy tickets at reduced prices by contacting Mr. Bechtold.


Presented in November 2016 to the Fort River Community


To All of OUR students, we value, respect and love you.  
We carry you in our hearts when you are with us and when you are not.
Fort River is your school. Fort River is OUR school.  We all belong here.  

To students from Mexico, Puerto Rico, El Salvador,  Ecuador,  South and Central American countries:
You and Your families are important to our community.
Espa┼łol es bienvenido aqui.
You are loved.

To OUR undocumented families and students
In this school, there are no walls.  You belong here.
You are loved.

To OUR Students from, Cambodia, China, Korea, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Russia, and all other countries,
In Our school, your culture, language and customs are respected and vital in our community.
You are loved.

To OUR Black Students
In Our school, YOUR lives matter..
You are loved.

To OUR Muslim students and students of Middle Eastern descent,
In Our school, you and your  beliefs are important to our community.  All faiths belong here.
You are loved.

To OUR students with different abilities and ways of learning
We teach all students. We all learn in different ways and in Our school, we are happy because you’re here.  
You are loved.

To OUR students who  live with Two Moms, Two Dads,  or who live with Grandparents or other caregivers:
In Our school, we know love makes a family.  All families have a place in our school.
You are loved.

To our transgender or questioning students
We will care for you as you learn about yourself and who you are.
You are loved.

To OUR Male and Female students
You are respected. We support you in becoming kind, sensitive and powerful, and to see each other as equals.
You are loved.

To ALL students:
You are cared for by all teachers and staff at Fort River.  You are loved.
We will get through this day, this year, this world together.
We will respect each other and learn from one another.
You are a beloved part of this country and community.