Monday, February 27, 2012

Please Join Us - Math Curriculum Update & PGO Meeting

Please join us for a Math Curriculum Update & PGO Meeting

8:30am, Wednesday, February 29 in the FR Cafeteria

Math Coaches Ann Kornblatt and Polly Wagner will give an update on the math curriculum; changes, improvements, and new initiatives. Immediately following (9:15-10:00) will be a short and sweet PGO meeting where we will share information on upcoming programs, events, and volunteer opportunities. We really want to get new folks involved, so if you haven't attended a meeting in a while, or if you've NEVER attended a meeting, we hope you will come!

The updated PGO budget for the year can be viewed here.

Detailed notes of the Math update will be posted on the blog for folks who are unable to attend a morning meeting and we hope to have a similar evening session this Spring.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Yearbook Club

The yearbook club will be meeting Wednesday, February 29th from 1:30-3:00pm in the computer room. Join us to input class portraits and sort through candid pictures. Contact: Kathy Niedzielski at for more information.   Remember to send in your photographs to or put a CD in the PGO mailbox.

Friday, February 17, 2012

POSTPONED: Public Forum on Amherst Regional School District

UPDATE 2/29/12: The Regional School District Planning Committee (RSDPC) public forum scheduled for tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Amherst Town Hall has been canceled in anticipation of the winter storm.  The forum will be rescheduled at a later date. 

On February 29 at 7 p.m. the Regional School District Planning Committee ( RSDPC) will hold a public forum in the Town Room at Town Hall. The committee was formed to consider whether Amherst should join with one or more towns in a regional K-6 district. The forum’s purpose is to gather community thoughts and questions regarding a possible change to the governance structure of our schools.

The information gathered at the forum will be used to identify community concerns and questions. This will assure that the RSDPC considers matters important to Amherst. In the Fall, the committee will hold a second forum to present its findings.  For those unable to attend the forum on the 29, the committee has a website with additional information and email address where community members can send questions and concerns.  The website is:

Camps during February Break


LSSE still has a few spots available in Funology vacation camp next week. Call Stacey Lecuivre, Program Director, at 259-3191 or to register. The camp runs Tues.-Fri., Feb. 21-24, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m., at Wildwood School.

By popular demand: we just opened a One Day sign up option for next week's camp. For a fee of $60 your child can enjoy next week a day in the art, making puppets, drama, dance, mime & yoga. Limited spaces available. Check out the fabulous faculty that will work with your child at Thanks to our wonderful donors, we have financial aid available for anyone who is in need. Please contact us if you are interested in applying for our financial aid! Call 413-584-7951 OR email

Attention service members and families: Thanks to AFGE Local 218 at The Northampton Veteran's and to CBOC children of military can participate FREE of charge in our Tuesdays with the arts. (Space limited, first come first served).

ART Works!
FEB. Vacation classes- Multi-Media Arts and Theater: Feb. 21: Tues.-10-3:30; Wed. 9:30-12:30 & Feb. 24: Friday- 10-3:30. All ages. Call: 413-256-1205 to register. $30 per day or discount for all three. Taught by Ezzell Floranina and guest teachers

Girl Scouts Celebration

All current and former Girl Scouts (that means you, too, Moms!) are cordially invited to a Promise Circle to celebrate the 100th birthday of Girl Scouting. Let's renew our promise together on Sunday, March 11, at 2:45 pm on the Amherst Common. A reception will follow at Grace Episcopal Church, 14 Boltwood Ave. Girls, bring your moms – moms, bring your daughters - wear your old sash – sing “Make New Friends and Keep the Old” - there might even be s'mores!  Questions? Contact Sarah Marshall at

This is not sponsored by the FR PGO

LSSE Spring Youth Sports

Sign up now for LSSE Spring Youth Sports!  You can also go to for more information.

These programs are not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Friday, February 10, 2012

PGO Meeting and Math Curriculum Update

Please join us!  8:45am Wednesday February 29

Come join us in the Cafeteria for a special visit by Math Coaches Anne Kornblatt and Polly Wagner to give an update on the math curriculum; changes, improvements, and new initiatives. Immediately following (9:15-10:00) will be a short and sweet PGO meeting where we will share information on upcoming programs, events, and volunteer opportunities. We really want to get new folks involved, so if you haven't attended a meeting in a while, or if you've NEVER attended a meeting, we hope you will come!

WANTED: New Leadership for the PGO


You should receive a letter home on Friday letting the community know that the PGO needs new leadership for the next school year. Click here for a copy of the letter (Spanish version here).

If you are interested in finding out more please contact Pam Rietkerk at or Michele Spirko You can come to the March 2 Friday Coffee with the Principal to talk informally about these opportunities.

Fort River Book Closet - Book Lovers Needed!

The Fort River BOOK CLOSET
A Critical Volunteer Opportunity!

Did you know that Fort River has a Book Closet with over 10,000 books? Did you know that dozens of books go in and out on a DAILY basis to support the Teacher's College Reading Workshop classroom model that the district has embraced for literacy instruction? Book Closets are used in a different way from a Library--while Library books are organized by subject and author, Book Closet books are sorted by "Just Right Levels" and offer readers many choices at each level. Fort River, Crocker Farm, and Wildwood ALL have Book Closets and each have serious issues in terms of space, organization and the need for improved infrastructure so they can be used more effectively by our teachers. 

This month the PGO's of our three elementary schools are applying for a $25,000 grant from the Rotary Club which would support acquiring materials needed to update and improve these closets, but will require many hours of volunteer labor to sort and level books (this means to determine a reading level and label). WW and CF are lucky to have volunteers who recently sorted and leveled their entire inventory. FR is in desperate need of a few book-loving volunteers who would work with ELA Coach Linda Castronovo to prepare for this major upgrade of our Book Closet. 

This is an opportunity to do something for Fort River that will really make a difference for our students and teachers. The grant does not support sorting and leveling of books and must be done prior to accepting an award. Please consider helping out and support Reading at Fort River!

Contact Pam Rietkerk ( or Linda Castronovo ( if you are interested in getting involved in this very important project.

Send in your Box Tops!

The PGO still needs your BOX TOPS!  Earn cash for Fort River every time you shop for groceries. Clip Box Tops from hundreds of your favorite products. Each Box Tops coupon is worth 10¢ for your school—and that adds up fast! Click here to see a list of participating products.

The collection box is in the Front Office.  Have your child drop them off in the office any time. This is one way relatives can help support your child’s school. Every Box Top clipped will help Fort River School continue to provide quality education for our kids!

Did you know that you can earn Box Tops just by shopping online??  Learn more at It’s easy, free and you’ll learn about new ways to help our school earn the extra cash it needs.  Thanks for helping Fort River!

Back to Events List.

Fort River Jumpathon for American Heart Association / Jumpathon de Fort River

Fort River Jumpathon for the American Heart Association
Feb 16-17


Diana Spaulding is once again coordinating the FR Jumpathon--all students in grades 1-6 will be participating and have the option of fundraising for the American Heart Association.   A few parent volunteers are needed in each time slot to help organize donations, keep track of prizes and count money. All parents are invited to come in and jump with their children!  Click here to sign up online for a volunteer slot.

Here is the schedule of grades:

                     Thursday 2/16           Friday 2/17

8:50-9:35      Leaver/Lamdin          Leaver/Wallace

9:45-10:30    Pablico/Cantillo         Pablico/Davis

10:40-11:25  Robinson/Chang        Robinson/Keins

12:40-1:20    Griswold/Sautter       Fournier

1:30-2:10      Eigner-Lott               Bhowmik

2:20-3:00      Hickson/Prince

Thanks for your participation. This is a super fun event and we hope you can join the kids!  Click to sign up for a slot in your child's time slot:

Jumpathon de Fort River de la Asociación Americana del Corazón

Diana Spaulding, una vez más la coordinadora de el Jumpathon FR - todos los estudiantes en los grados 1-6 van a participar y tener la opción de recaudar fondos para la Asociación Americana del Corazón.
Se nesecitan algunos padres voluntarios para ayudar a organizar las donaciones,y para hacer un seguimiento de los premios y conteo de dinero. Todos los padres están invitados a venir y saltar con sus hijos!

Este es el horario de los grados participantes:

                        Jueves 02/16         Viernes 02/17

08:50-09:35     Leaver / Lamdin       Leaver / Wallace

09:45-10:30     Pablico / Cantillo      Pablico / Davis

10:40-11:25     Robinson / Chang     Robinson / Keins

12:40-01:20     Griswold / Fournier  Sautter

01:30-02:10     Eigner-Lott              Bhowmik

02:20-03:00     Hickson / Príncipe

Haga clic aquí para registrarse en el horario de su hijo/a:

Gracias por su participación. Este es un evento súper divertido y esperamos que usted pueda unirse a los niños!

Amherst Baseball

Amherst Baseball registration starts next week, for children aged 5 and up.  Information is available at

This is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Amherst College Kids' Night Out - Sat. Feb. 11

This Sat, Feb 11:  Kids in grades K-5 are invited for a night of fun sports activities coached by Amherst College student-athletes, followed by pizza and a men's hockey game. The cost is $25/child.
Proceeds will benefit Easter Seals Massachusetts and the Amherst College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Registration begins at 5:15 p.m. at Alumni Gymnasium in the Friends Room, which is located above the varsity basketball courts. Parents can pick up their kids at the conclusion of the hockey game, which should be around 9:30 p.m.
For more information, please contact Claire Bennett at

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Youth Baseball Coaching Clinic - March 11

The Amherst College Baseball staff is running a clinic for youth baseball coaches on March 11.  Click the flyer below for more information.

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Arbor Day Poster Contest

courtesy Rebecca Fricke
In conjunction with the Sustainability Festival on Saturday, April 21 on the Amherst Town Common 10am-2pm, the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee is seeking artwork for a Poster Contest to celebrate Arbor Day.   All 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students enrolled in Amherst-Pelham Public Schools are invited to participate. 

THEME: “Trees...a renewable resource for a sustainable future”
Deadline: March 15, 201. Contest details can be found at

All posters will be exhibited at Amherst Sustainability Festival on April 21 2012.  For any inquiries please email APSTC member Linzy Rodrigues on or call Hope Crolius, Chair, Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee at 413-461-6832.

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spanish Translator Needed! Para traducir en español!

Spanish Translation -Parent Volunteer Needed!

The PGO needs a parent volunteer willing to regularly translate PGO blog updates and communications for our spanish-speaking community. If you are interested, please contact Pam Rietkerk at or call 256-2605.

Se nesecitan padres voluntarios! Para traducir en español

El PGO Nesecita un padre voluntario que este dispuesto a traducir en español periodicamente para la comunidada del habla español esto seria actualizado para el PGO blog ,si usted esta interesado favor de comunicarse con Pam Rietkerk al 256-2605 o puede comunicarse a

Many Thanks!

MANY THANKS to the members of our community who brought in delicious treats for the staff on the teacher work day last Friday. We heard loud and clear that they were really surprised and most appreciative of the show of love and support from parents. Thanks for so much participation!

Yearbook Club

The yearbook club will be meeting Wednesdays, February 8th and February 29th from 1:30-3:00pm in the computer room. Join us to input class portraits and sort through candid pictures. Contact: Kathy Niedzielski,  Remember to send in your photographs to or put a CD in the PGO mailbox.

Fort River Book Swap--Week of April 9th – 13th

We need your BOOKS for the Fort River Book Swap!!  The Book Swap will take place during the week of April 9.  Every student will choose books to bring home without spending a dime!!  The number of books they receive depends on your donations.
Please donate your gently used books for ages K-6. Donate as many books as you like and keep in mind that we always have a shortage of books for 5th & 6th grade. Adult level books are often great for the older kids, but please be sure they are appropriate. Reference books, dictionaries, thesauruses are also welcome.

Collection boxes with be near the Library entrances and outside the Main Office. We will collect books through the last week of March, but the sooner we have your books the better!

THANK YOU!   Volunteers are needed for sorting, setting up, and working the Swap. Contact Libby Stanforth:  This is a fun event and many hands make light work!

Vacation Camps

From LSSE:  Create a rainbow, bend water and build a volcano!  The impossible becomes possible with fun, exciting science experiments during a week of “Funology.”  The February vacation camp, sponsored by the Amherst LSSE Department, will be held Feb. 21 to 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Wildwood Elementary School.

Science becomes exhilarating and easy to visualize with demonstrations featuring common household items. LSSE Afterschool Program Director Grace Marczuk leads experienced staff to explore basic scientific principles.  Children should bring a healthy lunch and two snacks each day. Free tuition is available for income- eligible Amherst families.  For information call Stacey Lecuivre at 259-3191, email: or visit:

From Multi-Arts:
Who said February vacation is cold and dull?? Come warm up with Multi-Arts & make winter fun!  Invent your character, make your own puppet, explore a spick-and-span yoga, do art and… come dance!!  Visit for more information.
Check out our latest video now! 

These events are not sponsored by FR PGO.

LSSE Winterfest

Come to Cherry Hill Golf Course on Sat. Feb. 11 from 1-6 pm to enjoy Winterfest 2012!

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Simply Music Group Piano Lessons - Sign up now!

Group piano lessons start this Thursday afternoon at the Amherst Red Barn Music School.  Click here for more information or contact Jeff Olmsted at or 586-0165.

This is not sponsored by the FR PGO