Friday, October 28, 2011

School Pictures are Here!

School Pictures are HERE!  School Pictures were distributed to all teachers today. We hope you are pleased with the results! Retake day will be held on Thursday, November 3. If your child was absent or you are not satisfied with your photographs, please return the entire package to the photographer and they will retake your child's photo. PLEASE KEEP THE CLASS PICTURE. A new one will not be included with your retake package.

First PGO meeting of the year!

Please mark your calendars and join us for the first PGO meeting of the year on Wednesday, November 9 at 7pm in the Fort River Library. The PGO meeting agenda will be posted on the blog next week. Please note the time change and that the previously scheduled Math Curriculum Night which was to follow the meeting has been postponed until after the first of the year.

Get ready for Original Works!

The Fort River PGO is happy to be participating again in Original Works, a fundraiser where our kids can transform their artwork into individual full color products that can be shared with family and friends.  Items will be back in time for the December holidays.   Kids can create artwork for this at home or at the After School Art Session on Tuesday, November 8 (see below)  or use artwork already created.   The due date is November  15thThis program has been a hit with both parents and kids for many years.  There will be examples of products created in the past available to check out at the art session.  Contact Sue Borden at for more information.

After School Art Session with Multi-Arts
Students will have the opportunity to create their art in an after school art session being held with the Multi-Arts program on Tuesday, November 8, from 3:15 to 4:15 pm.  This session is sponsored by Catalina Arrubla, a former Fort River parent and director of the Multi-Arts program.  Catalina has volunteered supplies and staffing, but space is limited.  If your child is interested in attending please reserve a spot at   Transportation home will not be provided after this session, so please plan accordingly.   Volunteers willing to help supervise would also be welcome. 

Fort River Roasters Coffee Orders Due Tuesday Nov 1

Deans Beans Fort River Roasters Coffee and Hot Chocolate orders are due November 1!

Place your order by the 1st of every month for coffee and hot chocolate.  Coffee will be sent home with your child in approximately 2 weeks.  Feel good knowing you're supporting the Fort River PGO and your students.
Order forms have been sent home, or you can print them from the Ft River PGO website.
Make checks payable to: Ft River PGO

Classroom Potlucks

Many classes are planning potluck get-togethers to give families the opportunities to get to know each other better.  The 2nd grade potluck will be held next Thursday, November 3 in the cafeteria, while the 4th grade potluck will be held next Friday, November 4, also in the cafeteria.  Please contact your room parents for more information.  Bring a dish to share and enjoy the company!

The third grade potluck held this past Wednesday was very well attended, and families generously shared many tasty dishes. Kids and adults had lots of fun catching up, and many thanks go to the third grade classroom parents for organizing such a successful evening!

Yearbook Club

We are looking for donations of cameras for the yearbook club. If you have a used digital camera in good condition that you would like to donate, please contact Kathy Niedzielski, or 253-3201.

A reminder to take pictures of your child's class and forward them to the yearbook via CD or email Halloween pictures are always cute.

The next meeting of the yearbook club will be Wednesday, Nov. 2nd in the cafeteria from 1:30-3:00pm. The club will be viewing In-Design software and establishing computer files for photographs. Student members please bring your cameras and any pictures you have already taken.

Come to the Amherst College Halloween Carnival!

Looking for a kid-friendly activity for Halloween afternoon?  Student-athletes from Amherst College have put together a Halloween carnival for community children.   It will take place on Monday 10/31 (Halloween) from 3-8 pm at the Alumni Gymnasium at Amherst College.  More information, including contact email, is available here.

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Reminder of Early Dismissal Days

REMEMBER: Parent /Teacher Conference dates (Thursday, October 27th and Tuesday, November 1st)  are early dismissal days (1:20pm) for all students at Fort River.

Send in your Box Tops!

Please send in your Box Tops for Education.  Remember every Box Top is worth 10 cents for Fort River and they add up quickly to be a great fundraiser for the school.  Please turn yours into the school by Oct. 27th so that we make the fall deadline.  In case you forget there is a box in the front office.

Save Energy with WMECO!

The WMECO Energy-Saving Fundraiser is Back!  This week, your child came home with a packet of information on this year's WMECO fundraiser. Students sell energy-efficient lightbulbs and power strips to family and friends at an incredibly low cost, and 100% of the proceeds from sales go directly to the PGO. This is a wonderful opportunity to help the environment and raise money for our school, so be sure to review the information packet and order form!

Questions? Contact Whitney Lyman at 413.388.3338 or

Original Works is Coming!

The annual Original Works project, where our kids can transform their artwork onto individual, quality products that can be shared with family and friends, is coming soon. Information will be coming home with students next week. An after school art session will be held on Tuesday, November 8, so mark your calendars! The art session is a time when kids can work on their projects with materials and supervision. Hope you will join us!

Autumn Lantern Workshop

LSSE and the Amherst Public Arts Commission are sponsoring a lantern-making workshop for kids on Oct. 29 at the Bangs Center.  Contact LSSE for more information.  $5.00 donation requested.
This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stay Informed with Principal Colley!

Looking for an easy way to stay informed about happenings at Fort River? Check out Principal Colley's newsletters, which are sent home every two weeks and archived on the school website. You'll find links to those you may have missed below, and can also access them from the right-hand column of this blog.

September 16
September 30
October 14

Everyone is welcome to meet with our Principal at our monthly coffees. Have you taken the coffee survey yet? Let Ms. Colley know when you are available for coffee and conversation by clicking here now. Thanks for your input!

School Council Meeting

The Fort River School Council will meet on Thursday, October 20th from 5:00-6:30 pm in the main office. All parents and guardians of Fort River students are welcome to attend.

Learn to Skate!

The Skating Club of Amherst is accepting registrations for the upcoming Winter LEARN TO SKATE – Basic Skills program. Classes begin November 6, and are available for adults and children ages 4 and up.
Register by October 25, 2011.   For more information, visit, call Rita Leaman at (413) 253-6388 or e-mail questions to

This is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Amherst Youth Basketball League - Register now!

Amherst Youth Basketball League is open for registration! Families can save $10 if they register before Nov. 18th.  As always, fee reduction money (up to 50%) is available for qualified Amherst residents.  Visit for more information.

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fort River PGO Annual Appeal

We hope you received the PGO Annual Fund letter from Catherine McGraw last week. If not you can download it here. 

Please take a moment and consider giving a gift to support the work of the PGO. As a non-profit organization, the PGO relies on this community's generosity to fund all of its events and provide teacher support. You can donate online using the PayPal link on the top right-hand column of this page.  Please make your gift today!

Remember, if you would like to give your gift in honor of a staff member please use the form on the letter sent home and send in an envelope marked PGO to the main office. Or you may use Pay Pal and send an email to Liz Larson designating the staff member of your choice.

Thanks for your continued support!


CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information):
If your volunteer opportunities bring you into contact with students at school or on a field trip, you need to have a CORI on file. CORI checks must be done on individual volunteers every three years. All PGO volunteers should be CORI'd.

For the CORI check, bring your current driver's license into the Main Office for photocopying and complete the required application well in advance of any volunteer obligations.

More details are available on the district website at:

Questions about the CORI process should be directed to Paula Mangiaratti in the Main Office at 362-1200.

Original Works Coordinator Needed!

Are you creative and crafty? Do you love doing projects at home with your kids? 
The Fort River PGO is looking for an enthusiastic parent volunteer to coordinate a terrific community fundraiser - Original Works. Our previous coordinator, Catalina Arrubla, successfully ran this simple yet rewarding program for many years and has sadly "graduated" along with her child. 
Original Works is a time tested fundraising program that is easy to coordinate: just an hour or two playing and creating in a mini-studio at Fort River with kids, plus some paperwork, order collating, and distribution. Their programs build self-esteem by bringing each child’s creativity to life in products that can be shared and gifted to loved ones.
Please help us continue this dearly loved program by volunteering today! This would be great fun to do with a friend, or several! Contact Pam Rietkerk at

Join the Yearbook Club!

The Fort River Yearbook Club will be holding an information meeting after school next Wednesday October 12 from 1:30-2:30 in the cafeteria, for students in 4th-6th grades, and younger students with an adult.  Flexible participation depending on interests.  Page layout planning, photography, data entry, page layout designing, cover design and more. For more information, contact: Kathy Niedzielski, Yearbook Co-chair,