Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! And welcome back to school. We're so thankful for all the great stuff that's been happening at school so far this year and can't wait for a great second half. With our second PGO Meeting of the year, the CF MLK Day celebration, Wednesday Clubs and the first Movie Night of the year, January is sure to be an exciting month.
2010 has been a year of great progress and change for CF- with everything from Redistricting to the new playground.  Thank you to all of you who volunteered to help make those efforts successful.   We also wish to thank everyone who has donated their time or money to the PGO.  Your support makes CF a stronger school.
Again, Happy New Year to all. Here's hoping our kids and our whole school community have a great 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday Clubs

We hope you've seen the Wednesday Clubs Session 1 packets in your child's backpack this week. We are excited to be offering a great slate of clubs including LEGO, Winter Adventure, Knitting, Big Art, Futsal Soccer & Computer Animation. Please take a look and fill out your registration forms with your child! *****REGISTRATION FORMS ARE DUE BACK TO SCHOOL NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5th, 2011***** (If for some reason you didn't see the Wednesday Clubs info or you need an extra copy, send an email to Erika at & we'll get a packet out to you.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter vacation dates

There will be no school from Friday, December 24, through Sunday, January 2. School begins at the regular time on Monday, Jan. 3.

On Thursday, Dec. 23rd, dismissal time is the same as usual: 3:05.

Stay safe and warm and we'll see you in the new year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thank you, thank you

This is a two-fold thanks. One thank you is to the bakers who helped fill our bus and van driver appreciation bags with delicious treats.
The drivers were very happy to receive such a nice surprise and they (and we!) wanted to pass along thanks. You're wonderful bakers, Crocker families!

The second thank you is a huge one. Crocker dad Chris Garner organized his entire Amherst College men's tennis team to teach CF kids how to play chess.
This club started in November, continued twice a week, and ended today. It was hugely popular and a wonderful gift to our students. Thank you very, very much Chris and the Amherst College men's tennis team.

Thank you all.

Wednesday Clubs

On Monday we'll be sending home information about the first session of Wednesday Clubs so keep your eyes peeled for the detailed packet in your child's backpack. The correct dates for the first 5-week session are:

* SESSION 1: January 19, 26, February 2, 9, 16 (Wednesday afternoons from 1:20 – 2:30 PM)

Please get in touch if you are interested in being a Session 2 or 3 club leader or know someone who’d be great. Micaela ( or Erika ( Thanks!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paying for school lunches

Can I pre-pay for my student’s lunch online? Yes, will set you up so you can take care of this piece of business from your computer. There is a small fee for processing, but for the convenience (oops ran out of checks or no cash on hand) this online resource is a really good deal. Plus like powerschool, you can view your account balance so you can stay ahead of the game.

A call for nominations

Earlier this month the PGO invited parents and guardians to nominate a teacher, administrator or staff member of the schools for the new Dr. Norma Jean Anderson Award, which recognizes a school employee who “promotes the ideals of a just and respectful community built on compassionate relationships.”  This is a great opportunity for families at Crocker to have input, show support, and affirm the importance of respect and equity in our children's education.  Please take a moment to nominate an inspiring person in our school.  Nominations are being accepted until December 28.  See the attached link for more information.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Art Fun for the Holidays

ETTA’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Show & Sale
Affordable Local Art: Jewelry, Ceramics, Ornaments, Photos, Prints, Felt Art, Paintings, Art Gift Baskets and More.
Opening Receptions: Sat. Dec. 11, 5-7 & Sun. Dec. 12, 1-5 Featuring Live Music & Baked Goods
Weekdays Dec. 13-23, 11-4 ( & Sat. Dec. 18 & Sun. 19, 1-4)

Take a Holiday Break - FUN Classes for Kids at ETTA

Drop + Shop (Dec. 20-23)
Drop your children off for creative play while you shop
$18 - 3:30-5:30pm: Explore Art Materials - All Ages welcome 5+ (Pre-Registration required).

Winter Art Madness “For Families” (Dec. 27-31)
Come make art as a family, or let your child create and play with the ETTA family of artists while you work or relax! Collage, Clay, Cartooning, Painting & More.
$55 per day, Mon – Fri, 9-3. (Sign-up for the full week @$45 per day - Save $10 per day!) Extended day 3-5 add $18 - All ages welcome 5+. (Pre-Registration required)

Call 413-230-3272, email: or stop by 534 Main St., Amherst

Bakers Needed for Bus and Van Driver Appreciation Day!

The next call for baked goods will be Monday, December 13th (this upcoming Monday) as we say thanks to all our amazing bus and van drivers with some yummy treats.  Donations of baked goods can be left in the office that day.  We will wrap and distribute them on Tuesday.  Can you bake for our CF bus and van drivers?  Please email the PGO at

Thank you, thank you, and Happy Weekend!!


Winter Clothing Share article from Amherst Media

Jo, an intern at Amherst Media (formerly ACTV) wrote a lovely article about Crocker Farm's Winter Clothing Share that took place on Monday. Here's a taste:

On December 3rd, Todd Cromack drove to Crocker Farm School with a pick-up truck loaded with bags full of donated coats, hats, jackets and gloves for those in need of the proper New England weather gear. Cromack, a silver-haired, benevolent member of the Amherst Lions Club organized the Lions Club component of the the Crocker Farm/Amherst Lions Winter Clothing Share, in conjunction with Erika Zekos and Micaela Henry of the Crocker Farm School Parent Guardian Organization who manned the school’s coat drive.

Read the rest of the article & see photos at Amherst Media's website.

Free Family Show

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nominations Invited for 1st Annual Norma Jean Anderson Award

Members of the Amherst elementary and regional school community are invited to nominate a teacher, administrator or staff member of the schools for the new Dr. Norma Jean Anderson Award.  The award will recognize a school employee who “promotes the ideals of a just and respectful community built on compassionate relationships.”  The award is presented as “part of the on-going work to remove systemic privilege based on race and class in our schools”.  It is presented by RaDAR (Race and Discipline Action Rights), a local group that is committed to promoting social justice and excellence in the schools.

This is the first year of what will be an annual award.  It will be presented at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast in Amherst, January 15, 2011.

The late Dr. Norma Jean Anderson was a dean at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a leader in addressing issues of educational diversity, opportunity and access.  She was instrumental in mentoring over 300 graduates from the School of Education.  She was a long-time community advocate for justice and equity.  She was a co-founder of the NAACP chapter in Amherst and of Hope Church in Amherst.

Nominations should be sent to RaDAR in care of Reynolds Winslow at:   They must be received by Noon, December 28th.

Those interested in making a nomination can obtain more information from Reynolds Winslow, Jackie Wolf (, Russ Vernon-Jones (, or at

Press contact persons for more information related to this press release:
Russ Vernon-Jones   -  413-687-4080
Jackie Wolf   -  413-549-2958
Reynolds  Winslow  -  413-549-2770

Monday, December 6, 2010

Amherst Youth Basketball

The deadline to sign up for Amherst Youth Basketball is Wednesday, Dec.8th! Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the fun. Teams are being formed right now. The first event of the year is next Saturday, Dec. 11th with a pre-season Jamboree (for those who sign up by 12/8). Look forward to seeing you on the court this winter!

Registration form and flyer with more information are attached.

You can still register online at!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District Proudly presents an Anti-Bullying Education Forum

Parents and Guardians are encouraged to attend a community discussion regarding the Massachusetts Anti-
Bullying Law.  Learn what measures of prevention, protection and education our schools are instituting to address bullying and cyber-bullying.

Chose to attend one of the following sessions:
Dec. 14 Fort River School Library  from 7:00 p.m.—8:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 ARMS Auditorium from 7:00—8:30 p.m.

These forums are free and open to all parents and guardians.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tonight - Merry Maple Celebration!

Friday December 3, starting at 4:15pm on the Amherst Town Common

Schedule of Events (times are approximate):
4:15 - Hayrides by Muddy Brook Farm
4:30 - Amherst Regional School 7th Grade Chorus (front steps of Town Hall)
4:45 - Tree Lighting!!! (Town Common)
5:30 - the UMass Minuteman Marching Band parade reaches the Town Common with Santa! Sing-a-longs and loads of fun for everyone!
6:30 - Visit with Santa at the Amherst History Museum (short walk to 67 Amity Street)

Will include the Annual Toy Drive Drop Off by the Amherst Survival Center. You are invited to bring NEW and UNWRAPPED toys, clothing, sporting equipment, books and games for infants through teens to the common and help local kids in need!

Holiday Appreciation Gifts in Honor of Special Teachers & Staff

Join the Amherst Education Foundation (AEF) in celebrating our teachers and supporting our schools!

Click here or check your child’s backpack for the flyer on how to make a holiday gift to AEF and honor teachers and/or staff. Your honored teacher or staff person will get a personalized gift card letting them know of your thoughtfulness. General end of year contributions to AEF are also welcome and appreciated! Last year, AEF gave over $40,000 to the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools to support teachers in all 8 schools to enhance the educational experience of our children. For more information, visit

(click on the image to print)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Boy Scouts Christmas Tree Sale

The Boy Scouts' annual Christmas Tree sale is in Kendrick Park in North Amherst.

The sale will run through December 24th or until we run out of trees. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 4-8 PM, Saturday-Sunday 9-5 PM. This is our major yearly fundraiser and goes a long way towards supporting programs for Amherst Boy Scout Troops #500 and #504 and Hadley Troop #550. As always, we will have very high quality trees at reasonable prices (6-8 ft trees are $35 and 8 ft-plus trees are $40). Wreaths are available as well ($11 for single variety, $15 for tri weave styles).

New Winter Farmers' Market at ARMS

Amherst Regional Middle School Farmers Market opening this Saturday 12/4

Who: 25 local farmers and producers

Where: Amherst Middle School, 170 Chestnut St., Amherst

What: A brand new Winter Farmers Market

When: Every Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (starts December 4th )

Why: Because the market will be warm and cozy and have lots of great food!

Have you heard? There is an exciting new Winter Farmers Market at the Amherst Middle School. The grand opening is this Saturday, December 4th . There will be an unbelievable selection of delicious local food. Over 25 farmers and food producers have joined together to offer everything from beautiful baby salad greens and bok choi to artisanal cheese, sweet and crunchy carrots, grass fed lamb, pork, and beef. The list is too big to fit on this page -- Apex Orchard’s famous apples (have you tried their Honey Crisp?!?). Sidehill Farm’s luscious yogurt. El Jardin’s sourdough breads fresh out of the oven. Atlas Farm, Stone Soup Farm, Red Fire Farm, and Simple Gifts will have their wonderful veggie selections. Winter Moon Roots with their carrots, beets, and psychedelic watermelon radishes. Bug Hill Farm's Black Currant Cordials.....And if it gets cold, Balky Farm has hats, gloves, and mittens knitted from their own sheep wool!

Because local food is always a cause for celebration, we are making it a festive event with free music from Darlingside. There will be prepared local delicacies served by the Turkish Kitchen, Tom Hidas's (formerly of Amber Waves restaurant) curried veggies, and the Black Sheep Deli. Live music too. Don’t miss it!!!

If you'd like to sign up for the Winter Farmer’s Market newsletter follow the link below. This will keep you up to date on special events at the market, tasty new recipes, music, and more. We will also let you know about snow closings through this list. We will never share your name or this list with anybody else.

To find out about the Amherst Winter Market, just follow these 2 easy steps:

1) Go to: and write your email address and name.

2) Once you have registered, you will get a confirmation email. Just hit
“Reply” and “Send” and you will receive market updates.

Thanks for joining us at the Amherst Winter Market…and for eating local all year round!

What is happening this Friday?

There will be no school for students in Amherst but it is not a curriculum day and teachers and staff will not be paid that day. However you can expect MOST of them will be showing up to work since the business of schoolwork must get done.

Why is this not a paid day? Last spring as part of a community-wide effort to support shrinking budgets, the teacher’s union put forward a ‘give-back’ that would support the successful passage of the Prop 2½ override. There are many benefits including no mandatory study halls at the high school and sparing many programs. Plus it resulted in an FY11 budgetary savings of more than $335,000.

Another benefit is knowing all of the adults in our community support our schools and the services that make Amherst a great place to live. So thank you teachers and staff at our schools. We appreciate your work on our kids behalf.