Saturday, May 23, 2015

PGO Planning Survey - Takes 3 minutes or less!

Please take this brief survey to share your feedback with the PGO. This input will assist with budget and event planning for next year. THANKS!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


On June 14th, the Fort River PGO will host a book fair at Barnes & Noble in Hadley.  On that day, our school will get 10% of the sales for everyone who mentions Fort River at check out, funds that we will use to help kick off our next school year.  Our goal is to raise $1200 for our classroom set-up grants for teachers and staff.

The theme for the day is “Travel the World in a Book” and we want to celebrate the wonderful cultural diversity we have at Fort River. Families are invited to share something from their heritage - a craft, a performance or a favorite story.  There will be multi-cultural story times and anyone who would like to come in to share a book in the store, either in the original language or in English, is most welcome.  We also welcome ideas for craft tables (such as origami) that would appeal to the customers at the store.

For more information on the story time schedule or if you have a craft or performance idea
, please contact Liz Larson (liz.fortriver@gmail.com230-3453)

Congressman James McGovern, State Representative Ellen Story, Amherst Town Manager John Musante to visit Fort River 6th Graders

During the month of April, as part of the English Language Arts/Civic Literacy unit, Fort River Elementary School (Amherst, MA) 6th grade students wrote letters to local decision-makers regarding issues that they cared about. As a direct result of the letter-writing campaign, Congressman James McGovern, State Representative Ellen Story, Amherst Town Manager John Musante and Fort River Assistant Principal Diane Chamberlain will visit the school and participate with students in miniature lobbying meetings. 

To prepare for these meetings, the Sixth Graders are working in small groups to create posters and presentations about a specific proposal they would like to make regarding a particular issue  (climate change, food insecurity, income inequality, immigration, the portrayal of women in the media, relationships between police departments and communities, healthier school lunches).

Volunteers Needed! Fun!

Please help recognize the awesome staff and teachers of Fort River!
On the day of the Staff & Teacher Appreciation Celebration, each staff member will receive a thank you card from the PGO, along with any personalized notes made by students. We need help collecting notes during lunch times. 

If you can sign-up for a lunch shift on Tues 5/26Weds 5/27 or Thu 5/28, please email Suzanne Schilling. All supplies will be provided and should be picked up (and returned after the lunch shift) at the PGO mailbox in the office.

Lunch times below - email by Friday, 5/22 to sign up.

Please indicate the grade and day you will be helping so enough supplies are available. 

As a reminder, all school/district volunteers MUST have an up to date CORI on file. Thank you!

Grade K (Cafeteria 2) 12:15 – 12:45
Grade 1 (Cafeteria 3) 12:15 – 12:45
Grade 2 (Cafeteria 2) 11:30 – 12:00
Grade 3 (Cafeteria 3) 12:45 – 1:15
Grade 4 (Cafeteria 1) 11:20 – 11:50
Grade 5 (Cafeteria 1) 11:55 – 12:25
Grade 6 (Cafeteria 1) 12:40 – 1:10

Staff & Teacher Appreciation Celebration

The annual Staff & Teacher Appreciation Celebration will take place at Amherst Brewing Company on June 5th. Please express your thanks to our amazing staff by making a contribution in their honor.

The PGO needs your help to keep this special tradition going.  Please complete the linked form and send your contribution to the office by Friday, May 29: Paper forms also went home with students. Thank you!


Every teacher will receive a personalized thank you note from the PGO the day of the celebration. If your child and family would like a little note to be included with their thank you gift, please send to the PGO mailbox by May 29.

You do not need to participate in the fundraiser to send in a note for any teacher or staff member.


La Celebracion Anual de Apreciacion a los Maestros y Personal tendrá lugar en Amherst Brewing Company el 5 de junio.

Por favor, expresa tu agradecimiento a nuestro increible personal haciendo una contribución en su honor.

El PGO necesita tu ayuda para que esta tradicion siga.  Envíe su contribución de cualquier cantidad a la caja PGO el 29 de mayo. ¡Gracias!


Cada maestro recibirá una nota personalizada de agradecimiento por parte del PGO el día de la celebracion.

Si su hijo y su familia les gustaría que una pequeña nota se incluyera con su regalo de agradecimiento, por favor coloquela en el buzón PGO el 29 de mayo.

Usted no tiene que participar en la recaudación de fondos para enviar una nota para cualquier profesor o miembro del personal.

Volunteers Needed! Call for Nominations for New PGO Officers

Every year, the PGO elects new officers - President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Blog Editor. These officers serve on the executive committee and help define the role of the PGO in enhancing the opportunities for our Fort River students and community. Each position is for a one year term. 

Below are brief descriptions of each position and the contact information of the current officer. If you are interested in standing for a position, please feel free to contact any of the below officers for more information. You may nominate yourself or another. Nominees will be contacted to confirm his or her willingness to stand for election.

President - Liz L.
Oversee the year-round activities of the PGO. Act as liaison with district and school administrators and other PGOs. Preside over executive committee and general meetings.  

Vice President - Becky S.
Assist the president in planning the PGO calendar of events, attending PGO meetings, making decisions with the executive board, and consulting with Fort River's principal. Work with staff on curriculum mini-grants.

Treasurer - Jessica S.
Plan and report the budget, oversee PGO's bank account including checks and deposits for events and support programs. QuickBooks knowledge/experience a plus but not necessary. 

Secretary - Dawn L.
Responsible for taking minutes at PGO Executive Council and general meetings. 

Blog Editor - Michele S.
Responsible for weekly updates of the PGO blog and occasional email campaigns to publicize school events.

We need your candid photos! Send to

The Fort River Yearbook is looking for pictures taken by you! Please take a look through your picture files and see if you can find a few good pictures of class and school events and send them to the yearbook committee.

You can send digital pictures of class and school events to the yearbook in two ways:

1) Forward digital photos to


2) Put digital photos on a CD and put it in the PGO mailbox marked for the yearbook (in the Main Office)

The deadline for sending photos to the yearbook is MAY 25. 

We also need a volunteer to take pictures of students and staff who missed picture day. Please contact Liz Larson ( if you can help out. Thanks!

Cambodian Heritage Celebration on Friday, May 29th at 1:30 p.m.

The annual Cambodian Heritage Celebration will take place on Friday, May 29, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. in the Fort River Elementary School Auditorium (70 South East St). The community is invited to attend this free event. 

Amherst, Pelham and Regional Public School students will showcase traditional Cambodian clothing while performing songs, stories and music. In addition, Cambodian food will be prepared and served at 1pm. For more information please call the Fort River Elementary School Main Office 413-362-1217.

Annual Spring Chorus Concert on May 26 at 7pm

The Fort River fifth and sixth grade chorus will present our annual spring choral concert on the evening of Tuesday, May 26th at 7 pm, at the Amherst Middle School auditorium.

Meet Your New Favorite Book! PGO Book Share June 1 through 5

The 2015 PGO Book Share will be held June 1- 5! Please remember to donate some gently used books so that there are plenty for all of the Fort River students! WE NEED MANY MORE DONATIONS!! A collection box is in the lobby by the office.   


Please sign up to help. The Bring-It sign up sheet is 
Any questions, call Mary Beth Meade 835-0239

If you would like to help during the time your child will be selecting books please see the schedule below.  

Grades 2, 3, 4, and 6 will be attending the event during their regularly scheduled library time. Other classes will visit as follows: 

1 (Rondeau): Wed, June 3 at 9
1 (Hickson): Wed, June 3 at 11:30
5 (Castronovo): Mon, June 1 at 10:40
5 (Sautter): Tues, June 2 at 1:35 

Cub Scout 500 Bike Rodeo at Fort River on June 1

The Cub Scout Bike Rodeo is being held at the Fort River on June 1st at 6:30pm - all are welcome. 

Boy Scout Troop 500 Open House

Boy Scout Troop 500 Amherst is having an Open House for prospective scouts and their families Tuesday, May 26 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the South Congregational Church, 1066 Southeast Street, Amherst.  Troop 500 has a 50+ year history in Amherst working with school-age boys (grades 6-12).  Troop activities are organized and run by the boys, including weekly meetings, monthly campouts, and projects in the community.  Our Scouts learn practical outdoor skills and develop leadership skills while having a lot of fun.  Troop 500 does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or sexual preference.  For more information, contact Scoutmaster Michelle Chandler at (413) 256-5412.