Monday, February 27, 2017

#artcontinues Private Painting Party for Fort River Grown-Ups and Friends on March 9 at 6:30pm

Fun times just for grown ups! Be a kid again at this one-of-a-kind FUNdraiser!

Fort River parents, guardians, extended family, teachers, staff, and friends are welcome at our very own adults only #artcontinues Private Painting Party with retired Fort River art teacher Teri Magner on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30pm. Teri supplies paint, canvas, and everything you need for a successful evening of painting, laughs, and relaxation! The painting is Forest of Beech Trees by Gustav Klimt, original shown.

Attendance is capped at 45 and we expect the evening to sell out. Please purchase your tickets ASAP by completing the order form at the top of the flyer and sending it in to the Main Office with payment. Flyers will go home in backpacks and extra copies are available in the Main Office, or click here to print your own (only print page 2 - order form at top):

Checks should be made out to "Fort River PGO".
 Tickets are $35 per person. Email receipt of your order will confirm purchase and reservation; no paper tickets will be distributed. Check-in at event. No refunds available, however tickets may be transferable with advance notice. Please contact with questions.

The PGO is so fortunate to be able to co-host this evening with Teri in the beautiful new AmherstWorks space at 11 Amity Street in downtown Amherst. #artcontinues events are BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage); glassware is provided. Light snacks and desserts will be available with donations encouraged. All FUNdraising profit from ticket sales and donations will support curriculum and classroom needs at Fort River. 

#artcontinues is a labor of love that began in 2013, after Teri Magner retired from teaching art in the Amherst schools. Teri promotes art learning for all ages and all skill levels and also offers private painting or drawing events and fundraisers in the Pioneer Valley. You can schedule your own private event NOW! Learn more at #artcontinues and AmherstWorks are both members of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Other wine & painting classes may have wine and painting supplies, but what they lack is Teri. Her tried and true teaching methods are simply the best!” - Jane Mellor

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.
Espaňol 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.

Family Math & Pi Night on Tuesday, March 14 from 6:00 -7:30 pm

Fort River Elementary School Presents a Title 1 and PGO sponsored school-wide event

Family Math & Pi Night - Math is everywhere!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
6:00 -7:30 pm

Escuela Elemental de Fort River presenta un evento para toda la escuela patrocinado por Título 1 y PGO

Noche Familiar de Matemáticas y  Pi - ¡Matemáticas en todos lados!
Martes, 14 de marzo del 2017
6:00 -7:30 pm

Pie silent auction to benefit 5th grade Boston trip
“Play and Take” Math Games

la subasta silenciosa de torta en beneficio del viaje a Boston
del 5º grado Juegos de Matemáticas "jugar y tener" 

Pizza dinner and introduction in the cafeteria: 6:00-6:30
Math games and silent auction throughout school: 6:30-7:15
Grand prize raffle in the main lobby: 7:15-7:30

Cena de pizza y la introducción en la cafetería: 6:00-6:30
Juegos de matemáticas y la subasta silenciosa a través de la escuela: 6:30-7:15
Sorteo del gran premio en el vestíbulo principal: 7:15-7:30

*Buses will pick up Mill Valley @ 5:30, Rolling Green @ 5:40, and Colonial @5:50 and drop off after the event

* Los autobuses recogerán en Mill Valley a las 5:30 p.m., Rolling Green @ 5:40 p.m. y Colonial @ 5:50 p.m. y los regresará después del evento

Click here to volunteer or donate pies:


Coffee with the Principal on March 3 at 9 am

Please join your friends on Friday, March 3 at 9 am for coffee and informative conversation!

The Coffee will feature Assistant Principal Kris Griswold and the timely topic is Standardized Testing. What is the culture for testing at Fort River? How do teachers and students prepare? How can testing related stress be managed? What's up with computerized testing? Is it possible for standardized testing to be fun? (Believe it or not, at Fort River the answer is YES!) There will be ample time for questions.

PGO coffees with the Principal take place every month or so. The dates can be found on the PGO calendar which is on the right side of the blog home page. Some coffees may take place in the evening, depending upon community feedback. There will usually be a presentation for families and specifics will be available beforehand.

Your infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are always welcome at PGO Coffees! Families with future Amherst Elementary school children are also welcome and encouraged to attend. We are a welcoming community - join us! We hope to see you there!

TREASURE ISLAND on Saturday, March 4th at 1:30 and 4pm

On Saturday, March 4th at 1:30 and 4, audiences join fearless Jim Hawkins, the scurvy pirate Long John Silver, a gang of swashbuckling Ruffians, a flock of loyal seagulls and many more at Crocker Farm Elementary for a bold and boisterous treasure hunting adventure, when Missoula Children's Theatre and more than 50 local students present an original musical adaptation of TREASURE ISLAND. 

This original musical production is part of the Missoula Children's Theatre's unique international touring project and is presented locally by Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater. Tickets are $8/adults and $5/children and seniors, and are available at the door.

For more information, see, or call 413-259-9482.

Two one-hour shows at Crocker Farm Elementary School on Saturday, March 4th  at 1:30 and 4.

Come join us for a raucous and rollicking performance!

Questions? See us at our website
FaceBook at ALSCT (Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater):
or email us at

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Save the Date! Around the World at Fort River on April 27

Join us for "Around the World at Fort River" on Thursday, April 27 from 6 - 8pm in the cafeteria when the Fort River community will celebrate our diverse cultures and countries of origin.

Come and share some food, a poster display, photos, costumes, artwork or crafts, dance, music, a story, or a performance, or simply come to enjoy our diversity.

Sign up to participate in the office. Opportunities available for all!

6th Grade Graduation Meeting Fort River Library on Wednesday, March 1st at 6:30 pm

Attention 6th Grade Families!

Graduation is right around the corner, and it is time to plan a fabulous and fun send off for our kids!

A 6th grade graduation planning meeting will be held in the Fort River Library on Wednesday, March 1st at 6:30 pm.  Some of the activities to be discussed include decorations for the cafeteria and gym, memory boards, photo slide show, program and invitation, class gift, food for graduation and dance, and fundraising activities.

We hope that you can join us for this important and fun planning meeting.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact any of the following individuals to find out how you can volunteer.

Graduation Coordinator: Traci Hess
Room Parent – Austin: Suzanne Schilling
Room Parent – Sawicki: Jacquelyn Kang
PGO Co-President: Rebecca Kennedy

Link to flyer:

Pancakes for a Good Cause on March 25 at Amherst VFW Post 754

Save the Date! The Amherst VFW Post 754 is hosting a Pancake Breakfast to support the Healthy Snack Initiative by the Amherst Public Schools and PGOs. Come out support Healthy Snacks!

To assist with planning please RSVP here if possible:

For more information you may contact Victor Nuñez Ortiz 413-695-4838 or Thank you Amherst VFW for hosting this FUNdraiser!

Adults $8
Seniors $5
Kids 2-12 $4
Families $20

Happier FAMILY Comedy Show on April 15

Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, best for 5-12 year olds and their adults. 
Saturday, April 15th at 4-5pm 
at the Community Room (Suite 160)
Eastworks (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton). 

Tickets: $10/Adults, $5/Kids, Free/3 yrs and under. 
For more info:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Time to Send in Those Box Tops!

Does this look familiar? Do you have Ziploc baggies of Box Tops sitting in the junk drawer that you've been meaning to send in? NOW IS THE TIME! Get your kids involved - this is a great activity for winter break!

Did you know each Box Top coupon you clip and donate to Fort River School is worth 10 cents that will go straight towards funding events and materials to benefit our students and staff?  

How simple is that? It’s fun to involve your whole family and be sure to ask grandparents, friends, and neighbors to clip and share too! A collection container is always available in the main school office (it's a big jar right on the counter!)

Please keep a bag in your kitchen so it’s easy to collect the Box Tops you clip. Children can be taught at a very young age to identify, clip, and count Box Tops. 
Visit for a complete list of participating brands including: 
  • Annie's
  • General Mills
  • Ziploc
  • Progresso
  • Cascadian Farms
  • Pillsbury
  • Hefty
  • Kleenex
  • Scott
  • Betty Crocker
  • Yoplait
Please send any Box Tops that you have collected NOW! The spring deadline is coming up and they do eventually expire, so send in what you have and please keep clipping! So far this year Fort River has raised $298.20 with the Box Tops program. They really do add up - thanks so much for your support!!