Monday, June 12, 2017


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 need MANY, MANY MORE 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 or by by emailing Rebecca Kennedy at or Tim Hope at

South Amherst Community 4th of July Picnic

on Tuesday, July 4th

Don't miss Amherst's longest running Independence Day tradition! The morning kicks off with a parade - awards given for best decorated tricycle, bicycle, and best costumes. There will be many fun and friendly games and competitions throughout the morning. Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy a wonderful community celebration. Free lemonade! Free watermelon! Free ice cream!

Click here for printable flyer and please spread the word!

AR[T]HS Show through June 12

Amherst Regional High School’s AR[T]HS exhibit showcases juried work from all of the Art Department’s areas of study: Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Digital Photo, 2D & 3D Foundations, Printmaking, Art Portfolio and Sculpture.

AR[T]HS will be on display at The Eli Marsh Gallery, 105 Fayerweather Hall, Amherst College, from June 8th-June 12h. Gallery hours are from 9 am to 5 pm, every day, Sat & Sun 10-4pm.

This is the ninth annual “AR[T]HS” exhibit hosted by the ARHS Art Department and showcases the artwork by more than 200 students. It is a great way for future students to learn about the art electives. Seeing examples of nearly every assignment in every class gives students a great sense of what is offered at ARHS. The student work is guaranteed to take your breath away!

Attention 6th Grade Families: Fall Sports Registration Open Now

Online fall sports registration is now open. Ensure a smooth start to the fall season by registering NOW. Current sport physical forms should be on file with the school nurse before the first day of tryouts. Please call the nurse's office at the high school at 362-1743. Questions for middle school registrants please contact the middle school nurse at 362-1975.


You’ll need to set up an account with FamilyID,  if you don’t already have an account.  Any technical questions with this program please call the 888# at the top of the FamilyID screen. They are very helpful.

By submitting registration forms electronically you and your child are acknowledging that you have both read the documents and you will adhere to the MIAA/Amherst High School policies on these forms. By registering electronically you are fulfilling the signature requirements of registration.

Payment is due right away.  Payment is required to try out/practice/participate.  If there is a financial hardship, please contact Rich Ferro, the Athletic Director at

Payment can be done online or you can drop off your payment or mail to:

ARHS Athletics
Amherst Regional High School
21 Mattoon Street
Amherst, MA 01002
ATTN: Sports Registration
VERY IMPORTANT: Clearly write your child's name and sport in the MEMO of the check when you pay. 

HIGH SCHOOL - Football begins Friday, August 18th.  All sports other sports begin tryouts on Thursday, August 24th.  

MIDDLE SCHOOL - Middle School sports will begin the Tuesday after Labor Day.
Wednesday, August 23rd is Fall Sports Information Night for athletes and their parents/guardian.  Time:  6:30 p.m. in the High School Cafeteria.  Meet the coaches, get schedules, find out about practice schedules, etc.  Hope to see you there!

See for game times and to set up alerts for changes.  

Need specific sport information?  Please reach out to the coach.  Contact information for the coaches can be found under the high school “Sports” tab under the "Coaches contact Information" tab. 

Deadline for registration & payment is August 1st.

"Ready, Set, React" UMass Chemistry Demo Show on June 16

"Ready, Set, React" Chemistry Demo Show 

The Department of Chemistry invites students and their parents or guardians to our 4th Annual Chemistry Demonstration Show. There will be exciting explosions, colorful chemistry, and cool experiments! 

Click here to see the opening of last year's show!

Friday June 16, 2017 
7:00-9:00 pm 

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Integrated Sciences Building Room 135 
661 North Pleasant St 
Amherst MA 01373 

FREE and open to the public (not a university or school sponsored event).

To RSVP or to inquire for more information, please email website:

Monday, June 5, 2017

More Donations Needed for 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!

Mr. Lott is 2017 Winner of Roger L. Wallace Excellence in Teaching Award!

The Roger L. Wallace Excellence in Teaching Award Committee has announced that the recipient of this year's award is Stephen Lott, third grade teacher at Fort River. Mr. Lott was selected for this prestigious honor by a vote of his colleagues from across the elementary schools. Congratulations Mr. Lott!

Notes from the Music Room

Congratulations to Ms. White on her upcoming retirement! The final Chorus Concert last week caps an incredible career and was a cherished evening for everyone in attendance. Fort River students rose to the occasion, delivering a magical performance. Ms. White shared these updates in the recent Principal Newsletter:
Thanks to special funding opportunities, we have been very fortunate to have some fabulous artists come to work with our music classes.  I would like to thank both the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Amherst Education Foundation for funding the concert given by the band, Klezamir, on April 28th.  The entire school had prepared for this concert of Yiddish music and culture. The upper grades watched a film about the history of Klezmer, learning how klezmer music has spread throughout the world. Students learned the Israeli dance, Zemir Atik, which they danced at the concert.  Younger grades read the book, "Kugel Valley Klezmer Band," and learned to sing and dance to "Tumbalalaika." The entire school got up and danced to the infectious music, and a good time was had by all! 
I also want to thank the Amherst Education Foundation for funding our district-wide Culture Bearers Project.  Through this grant we were able to bring wonderful artists to each of our district elementary schools.  At Fort River, in addition to hearing Klezamir, students learned about the Yoruba tradition of the talking drum from artist, Champion Bakare.  Children learned to dance and sing, "Kakilambe," a traditional piece of the Baga People. Tashina Bowman and Donovan Riley Robinson came and taught the students how to drum, sing and dance this song of harvest celebration. Fifth and sixth grade classes were treated to an exceptional live jazz concert by the Jeremy Turgeon Quintet.  The entire school community was treated to an evening of beautiful Latin American dance by Grupo Folklorico Tradiciones at our Cultural Heritage Night. In addition, AEF funding enabled us to procure new teaching materials for the Cambodian Afterschool program which happens at all three elementary schools. 
Thanks to AEF and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, it has been an exceptional year for musical performance and education at Fort River!

Thank you, Mrs. White, Music Teacher
 ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫  ♫  ♫ ♪ ♫  

Off the Shelf - News from Fort River Library

Congratulation to Ms. Ludington on her upcoming retirement! She will be dearly missed by all students and staff in the library. Over her 20 year career at Fort River she has helped many thousands of children find books that they LOVE. Here is a recent update that she posted in the June Principal Newsletter:
Dear Families and students,
For those of you who don’t know, this is my last year at Fort River. Being the Fort River Librarian has been the best job I could have ever imagined for myself. The Fort River administrators and my colleagues throughout the building have ALWAYS been superior professionals to work with and wonderful, interesting individuals to know.  It has been so rewarding to teach so many children over my 20 years at Fort River. Watching students grow as readers AND as individuals, has certainly been a highlight of my career!
Please take a look at the link for the MCBA Mashup booklist for summer reading suggestions. Many of the librarians find great books for our own reading off of these lists.
This list of books was created for Amherst and Union 28 students by the school librarians. It’s based on the state MCBA list with some modifications.
This padlet was created by Heather Lobenstein, the librarian at Shutesbury Elementary School.
Happy Summer, Happy Reading,
Fran Ludington, Librarian

More Field Day Volunteers Needed


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 or by by emailing Rebecca Kennedy at or Tim Hope at

Sixth Graders Lobby Lawmakers

The 6th grade team does a tremendous job teaching students about civic engagement and encouraging activism. An exciting visit last Friday by local, state, and federal lawmakers celebrated the culmination of their work! Check out the media coverage of their lobbying efforts:

From the Mental Health Team, "Current Events: Making Kids feel Safe"

In our 24/7 news world, the news can be upsetting for adults and kids. It has become nearly impossible to shield kids from distressing current events. Kids get their news from family, friends, teachers, and of course the internet. But the news can stress them out. What kids see, hear, or read might not always be age-appropriate.

Here are some tips:
Tips for all kids:
  • It’s normal to be concerned
  • Consider your own reactions - try to model confidence and assurance
  • Stress that your family is safe
  • Answer questions without giving too many additional details
  • Try to keep your schedule as normal as possible
  • Look for signs of more than normal stress and reach out for help if needed
Tips for kids under 7:
  • Keep the news away - take a break from listening or watch when the kids aren’t around
  • Stress that your family is safe
  • Be together, emphasize the positives
  • Pay extra attention to your kids
Tips for students 8-12
  • Carefully consider your child’s maturity and temperament
  • Be available for questions and conversation
  • Be honest, calm and factual
  • Talk about- and filter-news coverage
  • Find solace in action
From Fort River’s Mental Health Team:  Ruth Killough-Hill, Ana Encarnacion, Dr. Pat Schumm, Dr. David Rutherford, Melanie Collins, Jessica Rudnick, Miguel Aquino

2017 ARHS Graduation To Be Live-Streamed

Amherst Regional High School is pleased to announce that this year’s Graduation Exercises from the Mullins Center will be live-streamed for those who may be unable to attend in person.

You can access the live-stream by following the link below:

You can also access the live-stream from the School District Web Site here:

Please find the most current information available here in English and Spanish.