Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Public Forums for Middle School Principal Finalists

The 3 finalists for the position of Amherst Regional Middle School Principal will visit the district on Thursday, April 1, 2010 and will spend the day on site at the Middle School in a variety of settings. Each candidate will begin his/her day with a building tour, followed by meetings with staff, students, elementary and secondary administrators, and Central Office administrators.

The public forums will be held in the Middle School library on the evening of April 1 at the following times:
* Karsten Schlenter 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.
* Michael Hayes 7:15 - 8:00 p.m.
* Paul Goodhind 8:00 - 8:45 p.m.

We invite all members of the community to attend the forums and provide input into this very important decision for our school district. For more information about the search, see

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wildwood Families Skate

Calling all current and future Wildwood families!

The Wildwood PGO is hosting ice skating at the Mullins Center at UMass this Saturday, April 3, from 2-3:50pm. This event is free and includes rental skates. Please come to this fun event!

Also, there will be a bake sale to help Crocker Farm raise money for a new playground. If you'd like to contribute to this effort, please bring a baked good to sell.

El Wildwood PGO te invita a patinar en el Mullins Center de la universidad de UMASS este Sabado el 3 de Abril, de 2-3:50. Este acontecimiento es gratis y incluye alquilar patines.

¡Por favor vengas a patinar con nosotros para pasar un gran tiempo!

Tambien, se va a vender postres para ayudar a Crocker Farm construir un nuevo patio de recreo. Si quieres ayudar con esta meta, por favor traigas postre para vender.

Si tienes preguntas, llamas a Andrea Coleman Baird (413) 256-8050 or or Taryn LaRaja 549-7979

Kindergarten registration

(Click on either image to enlarge.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Playground T-Shirts Now Available

Show your support for the new Crocker Farm playground by purchasing one of our fabulous "I helped build the Crocker Farm playground" t-shirts! Each shirt costs just $10 and thanks to our generous sponsors every penny of your purchase price goes towards the ever growing playground fund. We have sizes to youth XS to adult XL.

To order your t-shirt, please contact the PGO at or call Becky at 230-3306 or Lucy at 253-9331.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Math Night Fun

Thanks to Ms. Mattone & all her assistants for putting on yet another great Family Math Night this week!

Congratulations Ms. GB and Ms. Guiteau!

Some good news from Mr. Morris:
Two Crocker Farm teachers, Alice Goodwin-Brown (grade 5) and Sandra Guiteau (grade 6), were the recipients of Excellence in Teaching Awards from the Grinspoon Foundation! Both are outstanding professionals and I am proud to mention that our school had two recipients of the award in the same year, a very rare event.

Calendar Check-in

Here are a few upcoming PGO and school events for your calendars! It's not everything, but we'll add to it as more events and opportunities arise.

2: Good Friday - No School
7: Crocker Java Coffee Orders Due
8: PGO Meeting (6:30 - 7:30pm)
15: One World Festival (6:00 – 8:00pm)
16: Coffee with the Principal (8:30 – 9:00am) Guest Maria Geryk
16: Trash Free Lunch Day
19 - 23 - Spring Vacation
28: Free Book Pick up (3:00 - 3:35pm)
30: Movie Night (6:00-8:00pm): The Tale of Despereaux

3 - Scholastic Book Fair Student Preview Day
4 - Scholastic Book Fair Student Shopping Day
5 - Scholastic Book Fair Student Shopping Day & Evening Fair (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
5 - Crocker Java Coffee Orders Due
7 - Coffee with the Principal
13 - PGO Meeting 6:30 - 7:30pm Community Room
25 - Mr. Morris' Birthday!
31 - Memorial Day - No School

2 - Crocker Java Coffee Orders Due
4 - Coffee with the Principal 8:45 - 9:30am Community Room
5 - Tag Sale (all day)
10: Goodbye Assembly
10 - PGO Meeting 6:30 - 7:30pm Community Room
16 - Last day of school

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Earth Hour

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. the world will send a powerful message that climate change is a priority that must be dealt with now.

By turning off non-essential lighting for one hour, hundreds of millions of people across the globe will show their support for lasting action to protect Earth’s natural resources, environment and climate, now and into the future.

Learn more about Earth Hour at

Is your child going to the middle school next year?

If so, this event is for you.

Parents are looking ahead to the middle school, add this function to your calendar: The next ARMS Family School Partnership Coffee with the Principal is April 8th from 7-8 pm in the MS Professional Development Center. The topic for the evening will be the MS Needs Assessment that was presented by consultant Dr. Barry Beers and the ARMS School Improvement Plan. This important discussion about the direction of the middle school welcomes your participation. Please add your opinions and preferences to the conversation.

In addition to great conversation and coffee, a yummy dessert will be provided!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Go Kids Art Go!

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Election Day Bake Sale Results

The Election Day Bake Sale earned just over $400 yesterday! This money will be added to the ever growing playground fund- which now stands at $11,500. Thanks to Jenn Chylack who organized the sale, all of the fabulous bakers who loaded the table with tempting sweets and Jenn, Lucy, Erika and Becky for working the table.

Math Night Tonight

You + Your Kids x Math Games = FAMILY MATH NIGHT !

6:00 - 7:15 PM in the Crocker Farm Cafeteria. See you there!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Election Day / Bake Sale

The annual Crocker Farm Election Day Bake Sale will be held tomorrow in the pre-school lobby from 7 - 1PM and 5 - 7PM. All proceeds from this sale will benefit the CF Playground Initiative. If you are able to bake or lend a hand during the sale, please contact Jenn Chylack at

Irregardless of where you stand on the issues, please remember to VOTE in this important town election!

6th Grade Middle School Orientation Tonight - Monday, March 22

Sixth grade families are reminded that the Middle School will be holding an orientation session this evening for parents/guardians, beginning at 7:00 pm. Please plan to attend so you can hear about all the great things in store for your rising 7th grader! This is the rescheduled date from the February 24th postponement.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Dance-a-Thon was a HUGE SUCCESS!

A sincere thank you to everyone who attended, donated, and danced (or sponsored a dancer) at Friday night’s “Dance for the Playground” dance-a-thon! We were fortunate to have representatives from Wildwood, Fort River, Crocker Farm, the ARHS Dance Theater Ensemble, CF Staff, ARPS administration and a couple of Amherst's civic leaders strutting their stuff on the dance floor. Everyone helped raise an astonishing $5,000 for the playground! This moves our playground total to just over $11,000.

The night could not have been successful without our bakers and food table volunteers who kept the almost 200 people fed and hydrated. DJ (and CF dad) Benny Black kept the party rocking with great tunes.

The "I helped build the Crocker Farm Playground" T-shirts were received enthusiastically. Look for details on how to get yours later this week!

All student pledge forms with outstanding pledges will be returned on Monday to students. Please collect those final pledges and return them in your child's backpack. Questions? Please contact the PGO at

Thanks again,

Anastasia Morton, Lucy McMurrer, Sue Bernier, and Becky Demling
CF Dance-a-Thon organizers

Friday, March 19, 2010

LWV annual book sale

Donate Books for League of Women Voters Book Sale

Collection of used books for the annual League of Women Voters book sale will begin March 24, with collection sites at 479 West Street, Unit 8; Hadley Stop & Shop; the Jones, North Amherst, and South Amherst libraries; and the UPS store on University Drive. The sale will take place April 30, May 1 and 2 under the tent on the Amherst Town Common.

Earth Hour

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. the world will send a powerful message that climate change is a priority that must be dealt with now.
By turning off non-essential lighting for one hour
—Earth Hour—
hundreds of millions of people across the globe will show their support for lasting action to protect Earth’s natural resources, environment and climate, now
and into the future.
Learn more about Earth Hour at


****STEPPED UP****
Ms. Guiteau's 6th grade class stepped up and is now doing the container recycling on top of paper recycling!
Thank you, Ms. Guiteau’s class!

6 th graders are bringing the food waste to our new compost structure outside every lunch period. In April, they will “train” the 3 rd graders!
Thank you, 6 th graders!

Lucy Robinson, a retired Preschool teacher, stepped up and helps monitor and clean-up after breakfast on Wednesdays!
Thank you, Lucy!

Ervin Pejo, a UMass Commonwealth College senior, stepped up and helps monitor and clean-up after breakfast on most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Thank you, Ervin!

If you want to help Crocker Farm STEP UP, please contact
Ricci Mastroianni at
We are still looking for after lunch time clean-up!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Final call for Math Night sewing volunteers!

Math Night is just next week and we're still looking for someone with a little sewing knowledge who can help out.

The teachers working on Math Night need a volunteer who knows how to sew.

This year at Math Night, each family will decorate a fabric square to be made either into a quilt or a banner. This is where the sewing expert is needed. Can you help create the quilt or banner?

We already have one parent volunteer for this project but we need another. If you can help, please email us at

Dance A Thon this Friday!

Please join us in the cafeteria this Friday, March 19th for the CF "Dance for the Playground" Dance and Fundraiser! Anyone can dance- just by coming you show your support for the new playground. We will have Sibies Pizza, delicious baked goods, and drinks for sale. DJ Benny Black will spin some age-appropriate tunes and rumor has it that Mr. Morris will strut his stuff on the dance floor. Admission is free but all donations are welcome. We hope to see you there. Questions? Call Becky at 230-3306 or email the PGO at

Save the Date - One World Festival April 15

click on images to enlarge to full page

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coffee with the Superintendent at Middle School

Meet the newly appointed Interim Superintendent of Schools Maria Geryk on Friday, March 19th at 1:30 pm in the Superintendent's Office at the Amherst Regional Middle School.

Take this opportunity to chat with the person who will continue the work of leading our schools. Join us Friday to ask questions and hear more about her vision for the future of our district. The entire community is welcome to this coffee co-hosted by the ARMS Family School Partnership.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hello to all Crocker Farm bakers!

The PGO will be holding a bake sale on the next Election Day (Tuesday, March 23). If you are interested in contributing something delectable, please call the bake sale coordinator Jenn Chylack at 253-5489. We'd love to have a great selection to offer the hungry voters!

If you have the time, we also need some help in staffing the bake sale table throughout the day. We are hoping to staff the table in two-hour shifts, but any time you have available would be very much appreciated. Again, please let Jenn Chylack know if you are able to help out any time between 7:30 am to 1:00pm or between 5:00pm to 7:30pm.

Next Tuesday promises to be an exciting and important day for Crocker Farm. Thank you in advance for your support!

Eighth Annual Family Outreach of Amherst “Salute to Families”

Unexpected Gifts: Balancing Wellness and
Creativity in the Face of Mental Illness

Join us for a compelling evening with writer David Lovelace, author of the critically acclaimed memoir,Scattershot: My Bipolar Family. Mr. Lovelace will explore the relationship between creativity and mental illness and the effect of
bipolar disease on his family.

Thursday March 25, 2010
7:00-9:00 pm
Cole Assembly Room
Converse Hall
Amherst College

Moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winner
Madeleine H. Blais

A reception and book signing will follow the program
Underwritten by:
Sponsored by:
• The Amherst College Creative Writing Center
• Amherst Books
• Family Outreach of Amherst
401 Main Street, Suite 12

Unexpected Gifts: Balancing Wellness and Creativity in the Face of Mental Illness
Tickets available at the door or call 413/549-5999 for reservations
$25 Benefactor
$10 General, $5 Seniors and Students

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You still have time...

...if you haven't yet turned in your dance-a-thon form! Even if you don't get your form in, gather your pledges and come join us anyway on this Friday night, March 19th. There will be pizza and baked goods for sale and a DJ to spin your favorite songs. Doors open at 6, final song ends at 8:30.

See you on the dance floor!

Friday, March 12, 2010

No School Monday March 15

Have a great weekend and don't forget - no school on Monday! It's a Teacher Curriculum Day so we'll see you again on Tuesday March 16th.

And don't forget to "spring forward" by setting your clocks an hour ahead on Saturday night. Daylight Savings Time officially begins at 2:00 am on Sunday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Multi-Arts raffle for the playground

Multi-Arts is pleased to announce a raffle with all proceeds benefiting the Crocker Farm Playground Initiative. Raffle ticket costs $15 for 1 or 2 for $20. The winner will receive a free Multi-Arts camp session (up to a $585 value) good for summer 2010. The raffle runs until May 4th.

For more information, please contact Multi-Arts at or email us at

Open letter to all Amherst businesses

March 2010

Dear Business Owner,

The Crocker Farm Elementary School community is seeking donations from local businesses to build a new playground! Our equipment is almost 20 years old, out of code, and in disrepair. Please help us change all that.

Our goal is to raise $40,000 this spring 2010 and build a lively outdoor space in July. Our new playground will provide a place for the whole community to gather. Town sports, sledding on the hill in winter, after-school programs, scout troop gatherings, summer schools and camps all use playground space on a regular basis.

We welcome any size donation and in whatever form is easiest for your business: cash, check, or PayPal. For donations of $300 or more, you will receive engraved recognition on our playground plaque.

Please donate to the Crocker Farm playground initiative today. Donations may be made to:
Crocker Farm PGO
Crocker Farm Elementary School
280 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002

For tax-free donations, please make checks out to:
Amherst Education Foundation
attn. CF Playground
P.O. Box 2237
Amherst, MA 01004

For online donations, please visit the

Please feel free to contact us at with any questions. Thank you all for your support!


Becky Demling & Lucy McMurrer
CF Parent Guardian Organization co-chairs

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

School Committee Candidate Forums

There are 2 opportunites to meet the School Committee Candidates on Thursday March 11: Meet all 5 of the candidates for the 2 open seats on the Amherst/Amherst Regional School Committee, learn about their views and strengths, and ask the questions you want to know. Elections are March 23.

12:00 - 1:00 pm is a School Committee Candidate Forum hosted by the ARMS Family School Partnership. At the middle school.

At 7:00 pm is the League of Women Voters Candidates Night. Meet the candidates from 7:00-7:30. At 7:30 candidates running for Town wide office will give statements and answer written questions from the audience. To be held at the middle school. The program will be taped and broadcast on ACTV several times before the election.

Amherst Education Foundation Challenge!

BREAKING NEWS: The Amherst Education Foundation has been challenged! Please join your community in support of our schools and help AEF meet an exciting challenge. We are trying to raise $10,000 by midnight on Monday, March 15 in order to qualify for a $5,000 matching challenge grant.

We are about half way towards meeting our goal. Please make a gift of any amount before midnight on Monday!!

You can get more information about the great projects your donation will help support in 2010 at AEF’s website and you can give online there, too! But don't put it off--we need your help TODAY to meet the challenge. Thank you!

PGO Meeting Thursday

The PGO will have its March meeting Thursday the 11th from 6:30 - 7:30 pm in the Community Room. Kids are welcome (free childcare in the Cafeteria). See you there!

Planning Ahead?

ARPS has published the 2010-2011 calendar. Find it here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Parent guardian privileges at the library

Did you know that if you are a parent or guardian of a CF student, you can check out books from our school library just like your child can? So come on by and see if there are any books your family might like to read. Crocker Farm's wonderful librarian Susan McQuaid always has good recommendations.

Happy reading!

Bullying Film/ Discussion tomorrow.

Let's Get Real: A Film about Bullying will be shown at the Clapp Laboratory, Hooker Auditorium on the Mt. Holyoke Campus in South Hadley on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 at 4:30 PM. Following the screening, there will be a Community Conversation with Academy Award Winning Filmmaker, Debra Chasnoff, moderated by WGBY's Jim Madigan. The movie is geared towards students in grades 6 - 12, parents and teachers and examines issues that lead to taunting and bullying, including racial differences, perceived sexual orientation, learning disabilities, religious differences, sexual harassment and others. It is part of The Respect For All Project. Admission is free! This event is sponsored by Mt. Holyoke College and is not affiliated with ARPS.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dance-A-Thon Forms Due!

Please remember to return your Dance-a-Thon sign up sheet to your school as soon as possible to help the PGO with planning. Dance-a-Thon Pledge Sheets will be sent home on Monday, March 8th. Bring those with you, along with all your pledge money, to the dance on Friday, March 19th, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. This will be the largest playground fundraiser Crocker Farm is planning and we need everyone's participation to make it a success! Don't like to dance? Just join us, listen to good music, and enjoy our pizza and dessert tables! For more info, please call Becky at 230-3306 or Lucy at 253-9331.

Family Fun Night @ ARMS

Dear 6th grade families:
Check out this wonderful opportunity for your family to visit Amherst Regional Middle School.

Come join us THIS FRIDAY (March 5) from 6:00-8:00 for Family Fun Night. Here’s what you’ll find:

* Great food! We’ll be serving an inexpensive pizza dinner and delicious home baked goodies at our bake sale;
* Great entertainment! Dramatic and musical performances bystudents in the ARMS after school clubs;
* Great raffle prizes! Gift certificates to restaurants, movie theater, hair salons, itunes; jewelry; toys; and more!
* Great chance to support FSP! Proceeds from this event will support the Family School Partnership (the PTO of the middle school). What do we do with all that money? FSP supports programs that will enrich your student’s middle school experience through: Scholars-in-residence (authors and artists visit ARMS and work directly with students); After school clubs (Art Club, Latin Club, Girls Eye View photography club, Engineering Club, Rock and Roll Club, and many more). Teacher grants (to support special projects such as the school garden, class trips, special classroom supplies etc); Principal coffees (parent meetings with the principal to share ideas/concerns/questions); Community events (just like Family Fun Night!)
* Great opportunity to check out the middle school! Find out about after school clubs, FSP, meet other families, and enjoy fun food and entertainment.

So, come have fun, learn about ARMS, and help our school! We hope to see you and your family there!! Forward this to other 6th grade parents that might want to learn more about our school!
The Family School Partnership Family Fun Night Committee

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Coffee with the principal Friday morning

Please come join us in the Community Room at 8:45 to talk with our very own assistant principal Mr. Smith! Among other topics, Mr. Smith will discuss anti-bullying issues. We'll have coffee, snacks, and toys for any small children coming as well.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Final Day of Wednesday Clubs

Just a reminder: tomorrow is the final day of Wednesday Clubs. Hope you had as much fun as we did!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Family Health and Well-Being Fair!

This is a family event at Crocker Farm from 6:30-8:00. There will be stations on healthy eating, emotional health, fitness, yoga/meditation, and media. Come and have fun at the fair!

Amherst Education Foundation Challenge!

The Amherst Education Foundation is excited to announce a great opportunity to support our students, teachers and schools!
There's much more info and an opportunity to donate at

(click on the image to see a full sized view)