Friday, December 20, 2013

Lost & Found -- Please check if you think your child is missing something

The PGO has uploaded pictures of many of the lost & found items at the link HERE.

We didn't have time to take close-up pictures of ALL the lost & found items (there are too many of them!), but we did at least show all the winter coats & other warmest gear.    

We'd LOVE to see as many items reunited with their owners as possible.  If you see your child's clothing here, please come in & retrieve it at Crocker Farm (tables are out near the cafeteria) or let the PGO know ( 

Unclaimed items will be donated to the Amherst Survival Center.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The Coffee with the Principal (and special guest Amilcar Shabazz, CF dad, School Committee member by day, and superhero by night) date really and truly is tomorrow.  This Friday.  December 20th.  8:45-9:45 am.

Apologies for any date mix-ups in previous PGO publicity.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Call for Nominations - Norma Jean Anderson Civil Rights and Academic Achievement Award 2014


• Nominee must be a current employee of the Amherst or Amherst-Pelham Regional School Districts as a teacher, administrator or staff person in the year the award is presented.

• The person nominating must be a student, parent, community member,teacher, staff or administrator of the Amherst and/or Amherst-Pelham Regional school districts.

• Provide a statement (see below)..Provide a nomination statement of 1-3 pages explaining how the nominee works with students, parents, teachers and/or colleagues in some of the following areas:

(Specific examples are encouraged.)
• educating to undo the pernicious effects of prejudice and discrimination in our schools;
• assisting students of color and students from families with lower incomes to reach their highest educational potential in all areas of education;
• helping to ensure our schools are safe environments where all students feel accepted and respected;
• sharing with colleagues the skills and information for creating a classroom where the unique strengths and talents of all students are enhanced; and
• working with parents and community members as well as fellow teachers, administrators and staff in promoting a school district free of racism, prejudice and discrimination.

Please send nomination by January 6, 2014, to RaDAR, c/o Reynolds Winslow, via email at,
OR mail to Reynolds Winslow, 31 Richmond Way, Chicopee MA 01022

The final selection of the award recipient will be made by the RaDAR Committee. The award will be presented at the Martin Luther King Jr Breakfast at the Amherst Regional Middle School on January 18, 2014.

Crocker Farm & ARPS Events -- This Week & Upcoming

This Week @ Crocker Farm
Food drive in the Crocker Farm lobby -- through Thurs 12/19 (link)

Mon, 12/16:  School Governance Council Meeting, 3:45 pm (link)

Mon, 12/16:  Winter Chorus Concert, 6:30 pm
Tues, 12/17:  Winter Chorus Concert, 9:30 am
(snowdate for both:  Wed, 12/18)

Fri, 12/20:  PGO Coffee with the Principal, 8:50 am (link)
Fri, 12/20:  Box Tops Drop Off Deadline
Fri, 12/20:  Last day of school until January 2014

This Week @ ARPS
Tues, 12/17:  Amherst School Committee Mtg, 7 pm, ARHS (link)

Upcoming @ Crocker Farm
1/2:  School reopens
1/3-1/4:  Ski, Skate, and Snowboarding Sale, with Amherst Lions Club (link)
1/15:   Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast & Concert (1:30 pm)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Coffee with the Principal this Friday!

Questions about the school district's budget?  
A terrific new idea to propose to the School Committee?
Want to know if there really is a special School Committee handshake?

We'll have a special invited guest at our next Coffee with the Principal!

 Plus?  We'll have eggnog.  What more could you want?

School Governance Council Meeting -- Mon 12/16 -- All are Welcome

Crocker Farm School Governance Council

Date:   Monday, December 16, 2013     3:45 pm

1. Welcome/Connections (brief announcements and recognitions)

·         Introductions

2.  Dialogue/Decisions:

Agenda Topic/Item
  • 2 members to be alternates for 
  • Voting for a Vice-chair
  •  Goals of the School Governance
  • Topic suggestions for future meetings.
3. Wrap Up (brief summary of meeting, especially decisions, action items and evidence to be examined at next meeting)
The School Council Governance Council is headed by the School Principal (Dr. Tesauro) and includes parents and teachers/staff.  

Masschussetts State Law outlines 4 primary responsibilities for School Councils: 
 School councils are to assist principals in: 
  1. Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
  2. Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
  3. Reviewing the annual school building budget
  4. Formulating a school improvement plan
source:   (last updated 1994).  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ski & Skate Sale - Jan 3rd & 4th -- Amherst Lions Club & Crocker Farm PGO

The Amherst Lions Club will be using proceeds from the Ski & Skate Sale towards purchasing a DaVinci Sight Machine for visually impaired students in our schools.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Crocker Farm PGO Meeting this Fri morning

The Crocker Farm PGO is meeting this Friday (12/13), 8:45 am in the community room to plan upcoming events including the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and the Ski and Skate Sale, both held in January.    All are welcome!   If you can't attend, but have ideas to share, please email or contact one of the PGO officers.  

Crocker Farm Food Drive Starts Tomorrow

Friday, December 6, 2013

Valley Gives Day -- Amherst Education Foundation

 The Amherst Education Foundation (AEF) is a local non-profit education fund whose mission is to  "to support Amherst area public schools in providing a challenging and enriching educational experience that maximizes the learning potential of every student and prepares them to succeed in the 21st century."

Valley Gives Day (12/12/13) is an excellent time to support AEF and this important mission. 

Valley Gives Day -- Family Outreach of Amherst

Valley Gives Day will be held on 12/12/13. 
One organization participating: ARPS partner Family Outreach of Amherst (FOA)
An important message from FOA: 
Family Outreach of Amherst (FOA) is excited to be participating in Valley Gives Day on 12/12 this year! As you may know, FOA has a new partnership with the Amherst schools and opened a satellite office at the family center located in the Amherst Regional Middle School. Our caseworkers work with families from every school in the district who may have issues with housing, food insecurity, or other problems that could keep a student from reaching their full potential.
FOA receives NO FUNDING from the school district and relies on our generous community to continue to do this important work. Making a donation will allow FOA to keep our caseworkers helping families become strong and thrive.
Valley Gives Day, 12/12/13, will be an exciting day--be sure to keep an eye out for email and Facebook updates. If you haven't already, please like us on Facebook:
Here is the link to the FOA Valley Gives page:
Join us on 12/12/13!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Merry Maple Celebration - Friday, Dec 6th

Time: 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Event Description:
The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce kicks off the holiday season downtown with the lighting of the Merry Maple on December 6, 2013. People of all ages look forward to the lights, food, and festivities of this Amherst tradition as our community joins together to listen to the festive music of the Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus and the Minutemen Marching Band. There will be hayrides, cider donuts, arts and crafts for kids in the Town Hall... and an appearance by Santa Claus himself!

And don't forget to come downtown again on Saturday, Dec. 7 for Greeting Card Day!

  4:00-6:00 Hayrides by Muddy Brook Farm pick-up (at the Town Common)
  4:30 -5:30  Craft Room with Face Painting and kids' crafts (at the Town Room in Town Hall)

4:30 - Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus
              (front steps to Town Hall)

4:45 - Tree Lighting!!!  (Town Common)

5:30 - 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)

Cider, Donuts, and water provided by Atkins Farms Country Market

Sponsored by



Northampon Toy Exchange this Fri & Sat

City of Northampton
For immediate release:  September 25, 2013
Contact:  Susan Waite 413-­587-­1059,

The Third Annual Holiday Toy Exchange will be held on December 6 and 7, 2013 at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, Northampton. Toy donations will be collected Friday evening and early Saturday and will be available to the public free of charge at 10am Saturday morning. This event has become an important source of holiday gifts for residents on tight budgets; it also increases the lifespan of consumer goods which are discarded long before their usefulness wanes.

Donations of clean, gently used, working toys and sports equipment will be accepted from the public from 5-8 PM on Friday, 12/6 and 8-9 AM on Saturday, 12/7. The following items are sought: musical instruments; action figures/dolls; sports equipment & bicycles; books, games & puzzles; model kits & building toys; arts/craft kits & creative learning toys; cars & trucks; outdoor toys & structures; stuffed animals; electronic toys; video games & DVDs; and baby & preschool toys. Collected toys will be available to donor parents and those referred by community agencies on Saturday, 12/7 from 9-10 AM and to the general public from 10-Noon. Participants are asked to leave children safely at home in the care of others during the Saturday pick-up portion of the event. At the close of the event, all remaining items will be donated to the Salvation Army for reuse and recycling.

This year, the Reuse Committee will also accept donations of clean and gently-used infant, toddler, and outerwear: coats, hats, snow pants and mittens/gloves. Clothing will be used by local school children with the remainder going to the Salvation Army.

Northampton Winter Craft Fair - Benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters

Shop for a cause at
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County's
Northampton Winter Craft Fair
This Weekend!                                                                                                
Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December 8th, 2013
9:30AM - 4:30PM
Enjoy a fun-filled day and support local children while doing your holiday shopping at the 33rd annual Northampton Winter Craft Fair the weekend of December 7th and 8th at Northampton High School!
The fair will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission to the fair is $3, with the proceeds going to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, a program of the Center for Human Development (CHD).
The fair will feature one-of-a-kind handmade crafts from 90 juried artisans, delicious food from Nancy Jane’s Catering, a fabulous silent auction on Saturday and plenty of FREE parking. On Sunday, there will be live acapella musical entertainment provided by the Northamptones starting at 1pm.
The fair will also feature a children’s book sale with hundreds of pre-loved children’s books at bargain prices. The book sale, impeccably organized by children’s book illustrator, Diane deGroat, is a treasure trove for children, families and teachers.
On Sunday there will also be the 10th annual Hot Chocolate Run to benefit Safe Passage.  After the race come inside to warm up with amazing holiday shopping at our Winter Craft Fair. What a great way to support two local organizations!
This high quality fair is one of the oldest and best established in New England. Don't miss out on all the great holiday shopping! 
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, a program of the Center for Human Development, has been providing one-to-one mentoring relationships to local children in need of positive adult influence for over 35 years and has impacted the lives of many, many children and families in our community. At the moment there are close to 180 children on the waiting list in need of a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Please visit our website at
Click here to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.
 (This is not a PGO or ARPS sponsored event). 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Crocker Farm & ARPS Events -- This Week & Upcoming

This Week @ Crocker Farm
Sun, 12/1:   CF PGO Gift Wrapping Fundraiser at Hadley Barnes & Noble until 6 pm (link)
Mon, 12/2:  Deadline for CF PGO Dean's Beans Holiday Orders (due in the office) (link)
Thurs, 12/5:  Intervention Reading Night, event for families whose children receive reading intervention, 6 pm (link)
Fri, 12/6:   Last day for winter coat & clothing donations in Crocker Farm lobby 
Sun, 12/8:   Benefit Zumbathon for MiTerra Workers, 1-3 pm, Crocker Farm (link)

This Week @ ARPS
Tues, 12/3:  Joint Regional, Amherst, & Pelham School Committee Mtg, 7 pm, ARHS (link)
Tues, 12/3:  SEPAC Meeting with Dr. Faye Brady, 6:30 pm (link) Next SEPAC Mtg on Jan 7th
Thurs, 12/5: Regional School District Planning Board (RSDPB) Mtg, 7 pm, Town Hall (link)

Upcoming @ Crocker Farm
Food & can drive starts the week of December 9th

Mon, 12/16:  Winter Chorus Concert, 6:30 pm

Tues, 12/17:  Winter Chorus Concert, 9:30 am
(snowdate for both:  Wed, 12/18)

Fri, 12/20:  PGO Coffee with the Principal, 8:50 am
Fri, 12/20:  Box Tops Drop Off Deadline
Fri, 12/20:  Last day of school until January 2014