Monday, April 25, 2016

SEPAC Event: "Raising a Happy Child" on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 pm in ARMS Auditorium ... Open to All!

Meet the Architects at the Fort River Parent/Child Forum on Thursday, May 5th at 5:15 PM

The Amherst Elementary School Building Project is hosting a school building design forum for Fort River families AT FORT RIVER SCHOOL on May 5th! Pizza provided! Please bring your children to meet the architects of our new elementary school. 

The building team wants to hear from YOU and YOUR KIDS! Your voice matters! Please make every effort to attend this special event at Fort River.

The Fort River Parent/Child Forum will take place on Thursday, May 5th at 5:15 PM in the Fort River Cafeteria. Pizza! Planning! 

Violin Lessons Offered by Fort River Parent

🎼🎻🎶  Violin lessons offered by Fort River parent Carolyn Walker. 

Private lessons for students of all abilities and levels, ages 5 to adult 

Songwriting lessons for students with prior music experience 

Fort River Alumni part of ARHS’s JETS Engineering Club Teams that win BEST IN STATE!

Alumni News! Reposted from ARHS PGO:

Congratulations to the JETS Teams!

imagesThis has been an outstanding year for Amherst Regional High School’s JETS Engineering Club. The club entered five teams (40 students, grades 9-12) into the national Test of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAM+S) and won Best in State at both the 9th/10th grade and 11th/12th grade level. All six teams finished in the top 10% nationally.

Our top finishing 11th/12th grade team consisted of seniors: Brody Lynch, Liam Brandt, Michael Kamlarz, Jonathan Hosea, Solomon Rueschemeyer-Bailey, Dennis Shen, Nathaniel Corp, and Jacob Kaplan.

Our top finishing 9th/10th grade team consisted of: 10thgraders John Dinsmore, Alvaro Borrell, Doug Eveleigh, Aleksa Kosanovic, Alexandra Patton, Eric Thompson-Martin, Nathan Ji, and 9th grader Tim Demling.

ARHS has competed in the TEAM+S competition since 1989. TEAM+S is a national high school academic competition formally sponsored by the Junior Engineering Technical Society and recently taken over by the Technology Student Association. More than 1,000 teams of students compete every year in a fun and fast-paced competition that inspires creativity, teamwork, critical thinking and valuable insight into the world of engineering.  The theme of this year’s competition was “Engineering the Tools of Innovation.” It challenged students to use their engineering and design skills to address pressing issues currently faced by computing and information technology industries.

Hillside Pizza Fundraiser for 5th Grade

In addition to the Tag Sale, the 5th Grade will host a Hillside Pizza sale this week! All orders are due by THIS Friday April 29th (forms should be in backpacks on Monday 4/25.)

Pizzas will be delivered Wednesday, May 4th after school.  

Anyone interested in purchasing a pizza can contact a fifth grader, complete and send in an order form, or send an email to  

Please help the 5th Grade raise MUCH NEEDED funds for their trips to Boston and New York! There are only two classes in the 5th Grade so they really need our support. 

Valley Gives Day is May 3, 2016

Please remember Fort River on May 3rd!
ValleyGives Day is May 3, 2016. It is a 24-hour event promoting philanthropic giving in the Pioneer Valley.

Valley Gives is hosted by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Since 2012, Valley Gives has engaged over 24,000 donors, together raising $5.8 million for over 550 nonprofits throughout the Pioneer Valley!
During Valley Gives 2014 (most recent since the event was skipped in 2015) 14,000 donors supported 463 organizations with $2.6 million raised!

Fort River Community Event on Saturday, April 30: Tag Sale, CarWash,Cake Walk

This Saturday! 🎉🎈🎊✨ tag sale! 👚👟📚👒👗 car wash! 🚗💦🚙💧🚕 cake walk! 🍰🍴🎂 🏃🏽

Join us for a Fort River Community Event on Saturday, 4/30: Tag Sale, Car Wash, Cake Walk!  See flier for details. 

We are seeking cakes from around the world for the first annual Fort River Cake Walk!  If you can contribute a home-made or store-bought cake, please contact Nicole via email by Thursday, 4/28.

Tag Sale items from the school community welcome - drop off items to the 5th grade quad any day after school beginning Monday 4/25.

Thank you for your support. The small 5th Grade really needs support from our community! All funds support field trips for the 5th and 6th grades. See you there!

Town Manager Search: Finalist Interview Schedules and Call for Community Input

from Select Board Member and Chair, Alisa Brewer:

Join us in selecting the sixth Town Manager of Amherst!

Each Town Manager finalist will spend an entire day in Amherst, beginning Monday 04-25-16:

Maria E. Capriola, Mansfield CT Assistant Town Manager, interview day Monday 04-25-16


William J. Fraser, Montpelier VT City Manager, interview day Tuesday 04-26-16


Paul Bockelman, Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) Director of Administration and Finance, interview day Wednesday 04-27-16

10:30 am: Attend a very brief Q & A focused on senior citizens in the Bangs Center at 10:30 am

3:00 pm:  Participate in a Community Q & A in the Town Room at 3:00 pm

6:00 pm: Watch Amherst Media's live coverage of the formal interview by the Select Board

The Select Board encourages our entire community to consider what characteristics, skills, and experiences they hope for in our new Town Manager, and to continue to provide that input via email to  Written comments will be accepted through the end of business on Friday April 29, 2016.  

Please see attached Press Release and Interview Schedule.  All materials, including finalist resumes, are available online at the Town Manager Search 2015-2016 section of the Select Board page of the Town website or

Thank you for spreading the word!

Take care,


~Alisa V. Brewer

member, Amherst Select Board 2007-, chair 2015-

member, Amherst & Amherst-Regional School Committees, 2002-2007

member, Amherst Representative Town Meeting, 1999-

avbrewer can be found or try BrewerA

Trivia Night at the Jones Library on May 5

The Jones Library invites area trivia buffs to at our monthly Trivia Night, hosted by Mark “Harpo” Power, on the first Thursday of the month, from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm.  The next Trivia Night will be held on Thursday, May 5, 2016 in the Woodbury Room.  All trivia aficionados are invited to join in the fun and support the Jones Library!

Bring friends and family as a team, or form teams on the spot, with a maximum of five per team. There will be two rounds of 15 questions each, and there will be prizes for the top teams.  Doors open at 6 pm, and the event starts promptly at 6:30 pm.  There is a suggested donation of $5-$10 per person to participate.  All proceeds benefit the Jones Library.  Refreshments will be served.
Open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

Coming Together Film Screening & Discussion: "Just a Piece of Cloth" at the Jones on May 12

 From Coming Together: 


Join us on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Woodbury Room for the next film in this ongoing film and discussion series that may education, touch your heart, and inspire you to action to help dismantle racism.  A facilitated discussion will be held after the screening.


Just a Piece of Cloth is a documentary that unravels stereotypes perpetuated by the mainstream media about Muslim women.  It is a film about Muslim women, the hijab, and other issues of Islamophobia and racism.  A facilitated discussion will follow the screening.


Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223


This film series is co-sponsored by the Jones Library and Coming Together.  More information about Coming Together can be found at


Money Smart Week® Comes to the Jones Library

Amherst, MA – Libraries have long been advocates for reading and literacy for the people in their communities. Another community need now being addressed by libraries in an annual campaign is financial literacy and money management. Money Smart Week®, a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances, will be observed with programs at the Jones Library during the week of April 23 – 30, 2016.

On Tuesday, April 26 at 7 pm, gain a better understanding of cred at a workshop called Understanding Credit. This workshop is a primer in learning about the wise use of credit. It will help you understand your credit report, explain how credit scores are determined, and give you tips to improve your score. You will also learn what to look for to find the best credit card! This program is co-sponsored by UMassFive College Federal Credit Union.
On Thursday, April 28 at 10:30 am, the weekly children’s story hour will have a special focus on money and saving.

Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign to promote financial education across all age groups. Launched in 2002 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the program is now active in more than 45 states through national partnerships with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Cooperative Extension and the American Library Association.

For more information, visit
All programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.


Come watch 32 teams compete in the 25th Annual Amherst Invitational, one of the oldest and most prestigious youth Ultimate Frisbee tournaments in the world.  And it all happens right here in Amherst, the birthplace ofUltimate!  Games will take place at both ARHS and ARMS fields, with the finals on Sunday afternoon at ARHS.  Free admission and awesome layouts!



Congratulations to our Fort River teachers Amy Chang and Anne White who were both awarded grants for programs that will benefit ALL elementary students in Amherst!
Of the fourteen applications, totaling $133,000 in requests, AEF awarded five grantees a total of $35,400! 
  • Champion Course for Elementary Math Coaches: This grant funds math coaches to attend math intervention courses targeting underperforming students of color and lower socioeconomic students in grades 3-6 at the three Amherst elementary schools. 
    Grant Applicant: Fort River Math Coach Amy Chang. AEF Grant: $5000
  • The Culture Bearers Project: This grant creates cultural enrichment programs at all four elementary schools by bringing in visiting artists to involve students in performing and learning.
    Grant applicant: Fort River Music Teacher Anne White. AEF Grant: $5400
  • ARHS Digital Music Lab: This grant pays for hardware and software for two new classes for students to compose, analyze and perform music. The new classes provide access to music to students who are not in other music programs and enables students using similar technology at ARMS to continue their music education. 
    Grant Applicant: ARHS Performing Arts Director John Bechtold. AEF Grant: $10,000 
  • 21st Century Biology: Building Biotechnology into the ARHS Curriculum: This grant pays for the purchase of electrophoresis equipment and pipettes, enabling the innovative inclusion of gas electrophoresis technology into all eleven high school biology classes. 
    Grant Applicant: ARHS Biology Teacher Michael Cardozo. AEF Grant: $10,000
  • Access to Technology for Students with Special Needs: This grant enables the purchase of fifteen laptops and external mice to benefit 100 Special Education Students at ARHS. 
    Grant Applicant: Rebecca Herskovitz. AEF Grant: $5000
These grants will positively impact the education of students throughout the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District. We are so proud to be supporting our teachers and staff in their efforts to provide a first-rate educational experience for our children.

Friday, April 15, 2016

History Lesson: ARHS Graduate and Supreme Court Chief Justice

Published by Baer Tierkel in the ARHS PGO Newsletter:


I was walking down North Pleasant Street today and noticed a handsome bronze plaque in a border stone commemorating Supreme Court Chief Justice Harlan Stone.  It seems that he was a graduate of Amherst High School, Class of ’90 (1890, that is).  Stone was the first Justice in history who had never before held elected office.  He was nominated by fellow Republican (and former Noho mayor) Calvin Coolidge, and had served as Silent Cal’s Attorney General.  In what would be an unheard of bit of bipartisanship today, he became one of the liberal “Three Musketeers” on the court with Justices Brandeis and Cardozo responsible for upholding much of Democratic President Roosevelt’s New Deal.  ARHS Graduate Chief Justice Harlan Stone, w00t!  And that my friends, is your ARHS history lesson for the day.  That is all

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Odyssey Bookshop Children's Writing Contest

It’s that time of year again! 
The Odyssey Bookshop proudly presents its 23rd Annual Children’s Writing Contest. We hope you will encourage the young writers in your life to enter--they could win gift certificates to the Odyssey Bookshop! 

Follow the link to find an informational sheet including the rules for this year’s contest, as well as downloadable entry forms.

Monday, April 11, 2016

4th Grade Immigration Play on May 9th

Attention 4th Grade Families:
Immigrant Journeys
Stories of immigration to North America in the 1800’s
In the Fort River cafeteria
Presented by 
the Fort River Fourth Grade

Dental Van at Fort River this Thursday, April 14

This is a reminder that the Dental Van is coming to Fort River!  The in-school dentist will be at our school on Thursday, April 14th. To take advantage of this convenient opportunity and have your child see the dentist at school, please fill out and sign the enrollment form that came home and return it to the school with your child.

Thank you,

The Smile Program...the mobile dentists

Sunday, April 10, 2016

DUE WEDNESDAY! Change a Light! Change the World! Fundraiser Provides 100% of Funds Raised to Fort River!

Orders due this Wednesday, April 13th for this easy, high yield frundraiser.  In partnership with Eversource, Fort River will keep 100% of the money spent on residential energy efficient supplies (light bulbs, powered strips, etc.)

Click the link for easy access to the order form:

Thank you for your participation and support! The money raised will support Field Day as well as the purchase of playground games and equipment for recess.

PGO Coffee with the Superintendent: Update on Principal Search Process

Please join your friends Friday, April 15 at 9 am for coffee, donuts, and informative conversation! 

The tentative topic is the Principal Search Update and Process Overview and we hope to welcome special guest Superintendent Maria Geryk. Please click here to read an overview of the process.

Monthly PGO coffees take place on or about the 15th of each month. The dates can be found on the PGO calendar which is on the right side of the blog home page. Some coffees will take place in the evening. There will usually be a presentation for families and specifics will be available on the blog, FB, and Twitter.

Please share with your friends and neighbors! Your infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are always welcome! Families with future Amherst Elementary school children are also welcome to attend. We hope to see you there!

Author Event on May 7 at the Odyssey Book Shop

An invitation from local author Anna Alter:

Sprout Street Neighbors Community Art Show and Raffle

Calling all kids in Western Mass who love to read and draw! Join me and The Odyssey Bookshop for a celebration of community and the Sprout Street Neighbors books. We're inviting children from all over Western Mass to make artwork inspired by their community, which we'll show at the store during Children's Book Week. One student will win a school visit from me for their classroom!
The details: Our show will be on May 7th from 2:00-4:00. All children's art will be on display, snacks will be served, and I'll be there to read and draw with the kids. Come join us to celebrate this wonderful community we're part of!
To participate: Just follow the DIRECTIONS and send in kid's artwork with the APPLICATION. The Odyssey is offering DISCOUNT COUPONS if you buy the books for the project, feel free to download those as well. Happy drawing!
Questions? Feel free to email me or Niki Marion at the Odyssey.

Family Film Series at Amherst Cinema - Guaranteed Fun!

Like this program? 
Become a Member and show your support!
$5 general admission!
Parents, different films will be appropriate for different ages. We recommend as a helpful resource in determing what's right for your child.

Pim & Pom: The Big Adventure

Saturday, April 16 at 10am
Feline friends Pim & Pom must fend for themselves when they are separated from their beloved owner, in this charming animated adventure based on the long-running Dutch comic strip.

Looney Tunes Revue

Special vacation week run!
Monday, April 18 - Friday, April 22 at 2pm daily
A collection of eight timeless Looney Tunes shorts from the 1940's and 1950's, including DUCK DODGERS IN THE 24 1/2th CENTURY, ONE FROGGY EVENING, and many more!

Batman: the Movie

Saturday, May 21 at 10am
Kaaapowie! Holy feature film, Batman ... one based on the tongue-in-cheek, campy 1960's television series. Mad Science of Western New England presents "The Science of Superheroes" to start off the morning.

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Saturday, June 18 at 10am
Shaun is a sheep who doesn't follow the flock - in fact, he leads them into all sorts of scrapes and scraps, turning peace in the valley into mayhem in the meadow.

Lost and Found

Message from Ms. Finocchio:

Our "Lost and Found" has collected a GREAT deal of clothing! Clothing will be on display this Wednesday - Friday from 1:25- 4:00 in the foyer. Come by and see if you can find your long lost coat, mittens, or boots! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Sustainability Festival on April 16th

10 AM – 4 PM

Join us for a day of family fun, education and entertainment. The Sustainability Festival is in its seventh year and is bigger and better than ever! 

There is literally something for everyone with over 100 vendors of renewable energy, energy efficiency product suppliers, advocacy groups as well as sustainable crafts and artisans!

Schedule of Stage Performances:

10 AM – Piti Theatre Company – “Innocenzo”
11 AM – Valley Women Drummers
Noon – Incus
1 PM – Carrie Ferguson
2 PM – Chris Scanlon
3 PM – The Connotations

Demo Workshops:

10:00 AM – “Growing, Sprouting and Saving Bean Seeds” – David Lovler
11:00 AM – “Vermi-composting” – Brandon Curtin
Noon – “Constructing Your Own Solar Oven” – Scully Wilhelm
1 PM – “Making Natural Deoderant & Biochar Facemasks” – Erica Clark-Tramantozzi & Mariana Lachiusa
2 PM – “Gardening with Mushrooms” – Willie of Fungi Ally
3 PM – “Beekeeping: Getting Started” – Henry Wilhelm 

Be sure to bring your clean, used, dry clothing and textiles for the annual Textile Drive sponsored by the Amherst Recycling and Refuse Management Committee! The drop off will be located on Boltwood Avenue across from the Lord Jeff Inn.

A Special Note: We dedicate this year’s festival to the memory of our beloved former Town Manager, John Musante. He truly believed that sustainability and energy efficiency were the “right thing to do” and we thank him for his leadership that led Amherst to become a Green Community, as well as his many other lasting legacies. – Stephanie Ciccarello, Sustainability Coordinator

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Yearbook Photos Needed

We need your fun photos! 

If you have taken photos at school events (concerts, performances, field trips, etc.), please consider submitting them for inclusion in the Yearbook!

All students will receive a FREE yearbook at the end of the school year!!! Of course, it's actually not "free" - the PGO supports a small, hardworking volunteer yearbook team and pays for publication out of the annual budget. Thanks to our generous community, the PGO can continue offering a yearbook to every Fort River child at no additional cost. 

Submit photos by email to 

Include a contact and the grade/class. Photos with groups of children are preferred. Please do not send photos from events not related to school activities. 

Thank you for your help! 

Multi-Arts April Break and Summer Camps

From Multi-Arts:

Our children are our world's future scientists, leaders, researchers, artists, engineers and much more.

At Multi-Arts children develop their own critical view of the world around them in a fun and joyful environment.  We have done it for 16 years and we are proud to continue! 

Multi-Arts offers daily artistic exploration with an extensive team of 7 professional artists and highly educated assistants.  

Registration for Multi-Arts SUMMER CAMP is open. 

Please, check the dates and select the weeks of your choice. 

Also, you are welcome to sign up for our APRIL BREAK CAMP:

Check our Counselor in Training program for your TEENS!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Update on Principal Search Process and Request for Volunteers

Letter from Superintendent Maria Geryk about Principal search process:

April 5, 2016

Dear Fort River Families:

As you know, Ms. Finocchio will be leaving her position as Principal of Fort River School as of June 30th.  She has done a wonderful job during her time here, and I know our Fort River families join me in wishing her the best as she moves back to eastern Massachusetts.  Fort River is fortunate to have an outstanding Vice-Principal, Diane Chamberlain, and exceptional faculty and staff who will provide stability and support during this time of transition.

The district has now posted the Principal position and will soon begin the hiring process, which starts with the appointment of a Screening Committee.  The Screening Committee will consist of three parents/guardians, three members of the Fort River staff, and two Central Office administrators.  The role of the Screening Committee is to review all applications, conduct initial interviews, and recommend finalist candidates to me.  The timeline for the screening and selection process is as follows:

STEP I:  Screening Committee Review of Applicants—Complete by April 25, 2016

Screening Committee members must be available to come to Central Office to review the candidate pool and participate in a meeting at which semi-finalist candidates will be selected.  

STEP II:  Screening Committee Interviews—Week of May 2, 2016 

Members of the Screening Committee must be available to participate in semi-finalist interviews during the week of May 2.  At the end of the day on Friday, May 6, the Screening Committee will meet with me to review the candidates and make a recommendation about which candidates to invite for finalist interviews.  The formal role of the Screening Committee ends with this recommendation.

We hope to invite finalists to Fort River School during the week of May 16, 2016.  During these visits, finalist candidates will spend a day at Fort River touring the school and observing classrooms.  Each candidate will meet with students, teachers, administrators, and me.  There will also be evening public forums so parents and guardians can meet and provide feedback about each finalist.  The goal is to select and announce the new Fort River Principal to the community by May 27, 2016.

If you are interested in serving on the Screening Committee, please contact Kathryn Mazur, Human Resources Director, by April 8, 2016.  She can be reached by telephone at 413-362-1803 or by email at  


Maria Geryk, Superintendent of Schools


5 de abril del 2016

Estimadas familias de Fort River:

Como saben, la Sra. Finocchio dejará su puesto como Principal de la Escuela de Fort River a partir del 30 de junio. Ella ha hecho un trabajo maravilloso durante su tiempo aquí, y sé que nuestras familias de Fort River se unen a mí deseándole lo mejor cuando se mude de nuevo al este de Massachusetts. Fort River tiene la suerte de tener una excelente Vice-Principal, Diane Chamberlain, y una facultad y un personal excepcional que proporcionaran estabilidad y apoyo durante este tiempo de transición.

El distrito ha publicado la posición de Principal y pronto comenzará el proceso de contratación, que se inicia con el nombramiento de un Comité de Selección. El Comité de Selección estará compuesto por tres padres / encargados, tres miembros del personal de Fort River, y dos administradores de la Oficina Central. La función del Comité de Selección es revisar todas las solicitudes, realizar las entrevistas iniciales, y recomendarme los candidatos finalistas. La línea de tiempo para el proceso de selección y la selección es el siguiente:

PASO I: Revisión de los Solicitantes por el Comité de Selección-Completado para el 25 de abril 2016 

        Los miembros del comité de selección deben estar disponibles para venir a la oficina central a revisar la lista de candidatos y participar en una reunión en la cual se seleccionarán los candidatos semifinalistas. 

PASO II: Entrevistas del Comité de Selección -Semana del 2 de mayo 2016 

       Los miembros del Comité de Selección deben estar disponibles para participar en las entrevistas de los candidatos semi-finalistas durante la semana del 2 de mayo. Al final del día, el viernes 6 de mayo, el Comité de Selección se reunirá conmigo para revisar los       candidatos y hacer una recomendación acerca de cuáles candidatos se deben invitar a las entrevistas de finalistas. La función formal del Comité de Selección termina con esta recomendación.

Esperamos invitar los finalistas a la Escuela de Fort River durante la semana del 16 de mayo del 2016. Durante estas visitas, los candidatos finalistas pasarán un día en Fort River recorriendo la escuela y observando los salones. Cada candidato se reunirá con los estudiantes, maestros, administradores, y conmigo. También habrá una noche de Foro Público, para que los padres y encargados puedan reunirse y proporcionar comentarios sobre cada finalista. El objetivo es seleccionar y anunciar el nuevo de Principal Fort River a la comunidad para el 27 de mayo del 2016.

Si usted está interesado en servir en el Comité de Selección, por favor, póngase en contacto con Kathryn Mazur, Directora de Recursos Humanos, antes del 8 de abril del 2016. Se le puede contactar por teléfono al 413-362-1803 o por correo electrónico a


Maria Geryk, Superintendente de Escuelas

Change a Light Change the World! Green Energy Fundraiser

Information came home last week in your child's backpack about this awesome fundraiser! In partnership with Eversource, 
Fort River will keep 100% of the money spent on residential energy efficient supplies (light bulbs, powered strips, etc.)

Students attended an Assembly on Wednesday, March 30 to learn about easy ways that we can all help to protect our planet Earth. 

Forms and payment are due by April 13. Click the link for easy access to the order form:

2nd Annual International Festival on the Town Common - April 9

Students, residents and visitors to the Amherst Common on April 09, 2016 will be able to join in one of the biggest event in Amherst for the spring 2016 as well as celebrate and raise awareness of the colorful cultural diversity within our community. Everyone will be given the opportunity to achieve the dream of traveling around the world in one day with our collaborative cultural booths, contemporary performances, exclusive souvenirs and handmade goods from your favorite countries, as well as enjoying our local vendors’ authentic food. Exclusively, there would be more activities for kids such as the petting zoo, arts and crafts provided by Amherst Family Center and UMass Craft Center. 

There is no entrance fee. Hours are from 1:00 p.m., to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 09, 2016 

For more information, please visit and or contact

Monday, April 4, 2016

ARPS Forming Food Services Visioning Group - Looking for Parent & Community Participants

ARPS is seeking a couple of parents from each school to serve on a Food Services Visioning Group. The group will begin meeting this summer. See details and contact information below.

From the ARPS Finance Director, Sean Mangano

March 31st, 2016

Good afternoon,

Food services are more complex than ever with various trends/movements rising to the surface: organic, buying local, nutritional standards, GMOs, service delivery... The district is forming a visioning group to identify goals and priorities and set a clear direction for the food service program. 

The group will include parents, School Committee members, community members, Wellness Committee members, and teachers.

I envision four or five meetings during the summer and fall with a recommendation to school committee in the winter.

Please email me if you would like to participate.
Thank You.
Sean Mangano


Principal Finocchio Announces Departure from Fort River

Last Friday Principal Finocchio announced that she would be leaving Fort River on June 30th of this year. We are extremely sad to see her go and wish her the best! We will share any details about the search for her replacement as they become available. 
Announcement from Principal Finocchio:
April 1, 2016
Dear Families, 
I write this letter to inform you that as of June 30, 2016, I will be leaving the position of principal of Fort River Elementary School.  At this time, I need to relocate back to Eastern Massachusetts to be with my family.  
It is not without sadness that I leave Fort River. Fort River School and the Amherst community will always be special to me.  I feel fortunate and privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as principal for the last two years. It has been an honor to experience strong partnerships with the students, staff, and families in the community.  Although I am leaving Amherst, the fond memories and learning experiences I have had here will stay with me always. 
I am very proud of the achievements and growth our students have made and I know the good work will continue. I am eager to hear about the continued success of our students. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, your children and this outstanding community. To say the very least, I will miss the Fort River School!  
Bobbie Finocchio

1 de abril del 2016
Queridas familias,
Escribo esta carta para comunicarles que el 30 de junio del 2016, estaré dejando mi cargo de Principal de la Escuela Elemental de Fort River. En este momento, necesito reubicarme de nuevo al este de Massachusetts para estar con mi familia.
No es sin tristeza que dejo la Escuela de Fort River. La Escuela de Fort River y la comunidad de Amherst, siempre serán especiales para mí. Me siento afortunada y privilegiada de haber tenido la oportunidad de servir como principal durante los últimos dos años. Ha sido un honor experimentar alianzas firmes con los estudiantes, el personal y las familias de la comunidad. A pesar de que estoy dejando a Amherst, los recuerdos y las experiencias de aprendizaje, que he tenido aquí permanecerán conmigo siempre.
Estoy muy orgullosa de los logros y el crecimiento que nuestros estudiantes han alcanzado y sé que el buen trabajo continuará. Estaré ansiosa por escuchar sobre el éxito continúo de nuestros estudiantes. Gracias por la oportunidad de servirles a ustedes, sus hijos y esta comunidad excepcional.  ¡Lo mínimo que les puedo decir es que extrañare La Escuela de Fort River!
Bobbie Finocchio

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 Talent Showcase on May 6th! Apply now to be included in theshow!Deadline April 15

Your student is invited to participate in the annual Fort River Talent Showcase! * Please Note! *  Students of all ages are encouraged to participate - this is a change from prior shows. 

The 2016 Talent Showcase will take place on Friday, May 6, at 6:30 PM in the Fort River gymnasium. Bus transportation will be available and schedules will be released prior to the show. A rehearsal will be held immediately after school on May 4.

Proceeds will benefit the 6th Grade Class Graduation and the Fort River PGO. All money raised will stay at Fort River. We will be asking for a suggested donation for adult admission to the show and all kids will attend for free! 

An application packet, including a permission slip, was sent home with students last week. Applications are due by April 15. The documents are also linked here: