Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Band and Orchestra Concert on June 6

The Fort River Band and Orchestra Concert will be on Tuesday, June 6 at Fort River. The evening concert begins at 6:30pm and will last approximately one hour. Students should arrive at 6 pm to tune up and warm up. 

There will be a daytime concert at 2 pm and students will be released from class at 1:15 pm to tune up and warm up. All students should remember to bring their instruments on Tuesday.

Thank Teachers with a Gift to AEF

a message from Amherst Education Foundation:

The school year is almost over, and now is the time we begin thinking about how to thank our teachers for a terrific year. What better way to thank them than to give a gift in their name to the Amherst Education Foundation? AEF has provided more than $400,000 in grants to our public schools over the last 24 years.

“I have had the good fortune to be honored by parents and members of the Amherst community through their “STARS in our Schools” donations to AEF.  When making their donations, parents and relatives have commented specifically that they see their children singing with joy and self confidence and that they have an appreciation for music of different world cultures. It is deeply satisfying to know that what we do in the schools gets carried out into the community.”

- Fort River Music Teacher Anne Louise White

AEF provides an easy way for you to make a meaningful donation to your child’s teacher(s) by going to www.amhersteducationfoundation.org and clicking on “Stars in Our Schools.”  You can donate to more than one teacher in one easy transaction! Or send a check with a note identifying the teacher(s), the school, and who is giving the donation to our mailing address at: PO Box 1363, Amherst, MA 01004.

In order for your teacher to receive a star, please make your donation by June 15.

ARMS Science Club in the News

The ARMS Science Club, under the direction of Team Y Science Teacher Jennifer Welborn, was featured in the Amherst Bulletin and Daily Hampshire Gazette last week. The club is modeled on UMass Amherst’s Integrated Concentration in Science program and is co-facilitated by a Fort River parent. UMass students serve as mentors. To read the article, click here: http://www.amherstbulletin.com/Amherst-middle-schoolers-asking-complex-questions-at-science-club-10268014

Field Day on June 14


Field Day is a school wide event that allows the entire school to get outside for sun and fun. It is a highlight of the entire year for students, staff, and families! In the morning, students will participate in field day activities together in multi-aged groups to build school unity across grades. 

We will need lots of parent volunteers to make field day a huge success. Parents can volunteer as an activity station worker or a group leader; parents can also help set up or clean up. Volunteers can sign up at http://frpc.pleasebringit.com/public/l5SYxUf+Qt4 or by by emailing Rebecca Kennedy at rbershadker@yahoo.com or Tim Hope at timothylhope@outlook.com

Bus/Van Driver & Crossing Guard Appreciation Breakfast on June 7

Bus/Van Driver & Crossing Guard Appreciation Breakfast

It's time to join the families of Fort River for an appreciation breakfast to say thank you to all of our drivers and crossing guards for everything they do to get our kids to and from school safely.

Sign up on Please Bring it to donate and help:

Thank you for making this a special morning for our safety professionals!

Summer Ultimate League of Amherst

from SULA:

Join us for another exciting summer of Ultimate Frisbee. This league is geared for people who want to enjoy the thrill and excitement of ultimate Frisbee, regardless of experience level. All levels of ability will be welcomed to join. All players will be assigned their own team in this fun and competitive league! Register at LSSE.org and then sign up at SULADISC.COM

Price: $45 (Save $10 if you sign up before June 2nd!)
Time and Location: All Sessions start at 6:00 PM at Plum Brook Recreational Area

Junior SULA: Tuesdays, June 27th—August 8th

· Session A, Activities for Kids (Ages 7-8)
· Session B, Elementary Division (Ages 9-11)
· Session C, Middle School Division (Ages 12-14)

Adult SULA
  • Session A, Recreational Co-Ed (Ages 14+), Thursdays, 6/22—8/10
  • Session B, Competitive Co-Ed (Ages 15+), Wednesdays, 6/21—8/9
  • Session C, Women Only (Ages 13+), Mondays, 6/19—8/7

This Week at the Jones Library

updates from the Jones Library staff: 

As May draws to a close, we have some changes in hours coming up.  

The library will be closed for the Memorial Day weekend, and summer hours will begin the first week of June.  

The library will be closed on Sundays for the summer, and earlier evening hours will have the library closing at 8:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting on June 6th. For more information, visit our online calendar. Click here for Kids' Room schedule.

Monday, May 22, 2017

PGO Meeting On May 23 at 6:30pm

General PGO Meeting
Tuesday, May 23

Please join the PGO Board for a short and sweet evening meeting to review plans for the end of the year and to brainstorm ideas for the 2017-2018 school year. All current and future Fort River parents and guardians are welcome! The budget, fundraising goals, and volunteer needs will be discussed. 

Summer Activities for Children

Click for PDF catalog of summer activities prepared by ARPS Office of the Superintendent. These are not School or District sponsored events/camps. 

Amherst LWV Young Readers Day on July 26

The League of Women Voters Amherst is sponsoring a "Young Readers Day" at the annual book sale this summer on which all children who come will receive one free book. The 2017 Book Sale will be held at the Fort River School on South East Street.
Here are the important dates:

June 30 - July 18: Book donations at Fort River School ONLY
July 25: Children's Day for Summer Academy students at Crocker Farm School
July 26: Young Readers Day at Fort River School
July 28-30 (Friday-Sunday), 9-4: Sale open to the public
August 4-6 (Friday-Sunday), 9-4: Sale open to the public

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon Donations Needed

The Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon will take place at the High Horse on Wednesday, June 7th. Please express your thanks to our amazing staff by making a contribution in their honor. Fort River teachers and staff will be invited and be treated to a hearty meal and tasty dessert at the luncheon.

The PGO needs your help to keep this special tradition going. Let's honor the wonderful Fort River staff by giving them a real celebration! Click here for the contribution form or to send a special message to staff.

Please send your contribution in any amount to the PGO mailbox in the office by Wednesday, May 31st (cash or Say Thank You to Fort River Staff!


¡Diga gracias al personal de Fort River! 

El Almuerzo de Apreciación del Maestros y del Personal tendrá lugar en el High Horse el miércoles, 7 de junio. Por favor, exprese su agradecimiento a nuestro personal increíble haciendo una contribución en su honor. Los maestros y personal del Río Fort serán invitados y serán tratados a una comida abundante y postre sabroso en el almuerzo.

El PGO necesita su ayuda para mantener esta tradición especial. ¡Honremos al maravilloso personal del Fort River dándoles una verdadera celebración! Haga clic aquí parael formulario de contribución o para enviar un mensaje especial al personal.

Por favor envíe su contribución en cualquier cantidad al buzón PGO en la oficina para el miércoles, 31 de mayo (efectivo o cheque pagadero a Fort River PGO).

Sugarloaf Youth Track League

Sugarloaf Youth Track League begins this week!

Ages: 6-14
Dates: Thursday 5/25, 6/1, 6/8 and Friday 6/16, 6/23, 6/30
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: Amherst Regional High School Track, 21 Mattoon Street, Amherst.
Price: $49

Boys and girls of all abilities will be placed on a team and can compete in both relay and individual events. First night for Team Assignments & Orientation: Thursday, May 25 at 5:00 p.m. Arrive on first night to group teams, meet coaches & run an informal series of practice races. Meet dates are 6/1, 8, 16, 23, 30. Rain date is 6/27. 

For more info please visit our website at www.lsse.org

Contact Sydney Henthorn, Sugarloaf Track League Director at shenthorn20@gmail.com or

Chris Johnson, Sports Director at LSSE, (413)259-3144 or johnsonc@amherstma.gov

SEPAC Presents Post-Building Project Presentation on May 24

SEPAC invites you to take part in the upcoming Post-Building Project Presentation with Interim Superintendent, Dr. Mike Morris. All are welcome.

Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Time: 5:00 -6:30pm
Location: Amherst Regional Middle School, Professional Development Center
RSVP: sepac@arps.org or 413-687-4255

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Auditions for the Hampshire Young People’s Chorus on June 6

Does your child love to sing?  
The Hampshire Young People’s Chorus (YPC), an award-winning youth choir, will hold auditions on June 6 for new members for the 2017-2018 year.  
YPC offers children the opportunity to experience choral singing in a comfortable and encouraging atmosphere.  Healthy vocal technique and fundamental music skills are taught through singing a wide range of music from many styles and traditions.  The choir’s roster includes more than 45 children in two age divisions – Concert Choir (grades 3-6) and Chamber Singers (grades 6-10).  
Rehearsals take place on Tuesdays in Amherst.  For more information, please visit www.hampshireypc.org or call the director, K.C. Conlan, at 413-530-9337.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fort River Spring Chorus Concert on May 31 at 7pm at ARMS Auditorium

The Fort River Spring chorus concert will be held on Wednesday, May 31st at 7 pm at the Amherst Middle School auditorium.  The chorus will include the 4th, 5th and 6th grades! 

A message from Ms. White:

Dear families of our Fort River fourth, fifth, and sixth graders, 

You are cordially invited to our Spring Concert which will feature fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. Xinef Afraim will guest conduct several songs that he has taught our chorus. We will also feature Nigerian dance and drumming taught by Tashina Bowman and Donovan Riley Robinson. And we will be joined by parent and master drummer, Champion Bakari. It promises to be a fabulous evening of music! 

Please have your student arrive by 6:45pm that evening. Concert attire for students: white blouse, dark slacks or skirts. 

Thank you,
Anne White

Job Panel for Teens on May 25 at Amherst Survival Center

JOB PANEL FOR TEENS (ages 15-21 years)

For Release:               Immediate
Contact:                      Tracey Levy, Program Director 549-3968 ext 102

Amherst, MA – In collaboration with the Amherst Regional Public Schools Vocational Services and the Collaborative for Educational Services, the Amherst Survival Center will sponsor a Job Panel for Teens on Thursday, May 25 from 5:30-6:30pm. The Job Panel will include employers from the area and a teen who has successfully landed employment. This is part of the Amherst Survival Center’s job search support program, and the third event of its kind for teenagers in the community. 

The panel will include a guest speaker who is a manager at a local store who hires teens and other experts who can share with teens what employers look for when hiring youth and common mistakes to avoid while applying for jobs. The panel will also include a student who has successfully landed and kept a local job. The panel will answer questions and offer helpful hints about how to find a job.

No jobs will be offered at this event, but it is an opportunity to find out information and get support. 

The Amherst Survival Center offers a light dinner on Thursday evenings from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Participants are welcome to join the center for dinner, and then attend this event.

“The Amherst Survival Center provides a series of programs that support community members to seek and find employment, including a weekly one-on-one service on Thursdays from 11:30am-1pm. All are welcome to use the service, the public computers at the Center, and shop in the Community Store for clothing needed for employment. “This is the third time we’ve organized this event specifically for youth, and we’re excited to be offering this kind of information support for them. There continues to be a need to support teens in this area,” said Tracey Levy, Program Director at the Center. 

The Amherst Survival connects residents of Hampshire and Franklin Counties to food, clothing, healthcare, wellness, and community, primarily through volunteers. There is also a session of its free walk-in health clinic on Thursdays from 4:30-5:30pm.

The Amherst Survival Center is located at 138 Sunderland Road, in North Amherst, on the #33 PVTA bus route.

Jones Library | Film & Discussion: Three Short Films from Brave New Films

Join us on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 7 pm in the Woodbury Room for the next in this ongoing film and discussion series that may educate, touch your heart, and inspire you to action to help dismantle racism.

This month showing is an excellent three-part series from Brave New Films that explores the many ways black Americans face racial bias. These short, but powerful films – Racism is Real; Black Protests vs. White Riots; and Prison System by the Numbers – explore the effects of racial bias on the lives of black Americans and the ways in which racism impacts American society as a whole. The film will be followed by a brief discussion and then an opportunity to continue work on some local anti-racism action projects.

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 http://www.coming-together.org/.

11th Annual Latino Achievement Night (LAN) Friday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m at ARMS Auditorium

Under the direction of Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Morris and Director of Family and Student Engagement, Dr. Marta Guevara and in keeping with the Social Justice Commitment of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools, the 11th Annual Latino Achievement Night aspires toward equity in opportunity, inclusion, respect and community-building in and out of the classroom. All families, friends, staff and community members are invited to attend.

The Latino Achievement Night was envisioned over 12 years ago by the members of the Latino Student Achievement Initiative. This group, comprised of district students, staff and community members, came together to explore ways to increase the academic achievement of students of Latino heritage. A series of recommendations was formulated to address this critical issue and strengthen the district’s’ efforts to support at-promise students. A resulting step was the creation of a community event celebrating the achievements of Latino Students paralleling the customs of Latin American countries.

All students of Latino heritage will be celebrated in this event and those in transition
years (K, 6, 8 and 12) will be highlighted for their academic achievement, leadership,
community spirit, progress and/or effort. The evening’s program will include spoken
word, music and dance presentations by students and staff of the Amherst/Pelham
Elementary Schools and the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle/High School. In
addition, ARHS Seniors will be presented with a traditional graduation stole to be worn
over their robes at the graduation ceremony in June.

The evening’s featured speaker will be Dr. Carmen Cosme. Dr. Cosme obtained her PhD
in Hispanic Languages and Linguistics from the Dept. of Languages, Literatures and
Cultures at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is currently the VELA
after-school program coordinator in our Middle School.

Please contact Mildred Martinez at 413 362-1871 with any questions or concerns.

ARPS Special Education Services Family Survey

Dear Parents/Guardians of Students with Special Education Services,

This year the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Districts have hired an independent consulting firm, Public Consulting Group, to conduct a survey of our special education services. All parents/guardians of students who are currently on an IEP are asked to provide feedback through an anonymous survey. Please know that your feedback will help to improve special education services across the district. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. If you have more than one child currently on an IEP, we ask that you complete a separate survey for each child. Please access the survey online until May 26th at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3532203/Special-Education-Parent-Guardian-Survey

If you have any questions, please check in the main office at your child’s school or call the Student Services Office at 413-362-1834. Thank you in advance for your time and invaluable input.

Dr. Michael Morris

Queridos Padres/ Guardianes de Estudiantes con Servicios de Educación Especial,

Este año Amherst, Pelham y los Distritos Escolares Regionales de Amherst-Pelham han empleado a una empresa de consultoría independiente para conducir una evaluación completa de nuestros servicios de educación especial. Se le está pidiendo a todos los padres/guardianes de estudiantes que están actualmente en un IEP que provean su opinión a través de una encuesta anónima. Por favor sepa que su opinión ayudará a mejorar los servicios de educación especial a través del distrito. La encuesta debería tomar aproximadamente 15 minutos para completar. Si usted tiene a más de un niño actualmente en un IEP, pedimos que usted complete una encuesta separada para cada niño. Por favor, tendrá acceso a la encuest a en línea hast a el 26 de m ayo Español:

Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor valla a la oficina general de la escuela de su niño o llame a la Oficina de Educación Especial al 413-362-1834. Gracias de antemano por su tiempo y colaboración inestimable.

Dr. Michael Morris

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week May 7 - 12

Tuesday, May 9, is National Teacher Day, and this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Show your teachers some extra love this week!

Climate Change Film "Before the Flood" on May 16

The Leonardo DiCaprio documentary "Before the Flood" examines how climate change affects us and what society can do about it. Learn more at https://www.beforetheflood.com/

Tuesday, May 16
ARMS Auditorium
Doors open 6:30 to main lobby-gallery
Movie: 7:00-8:40

Refreshment sales will support the ARMS 7th Grade Environmental Action Group. Rated PG for thematic elements, some nude/suggestive art images, language and brief smoking.

Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.  - BAN KI-MOON, Secretary General, United Nations