Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PGO Coffee with the Principal & Special Guests Mary Lambert & Jen Smith, Oct 31st

Please join us for coffee with our principal &
special guests Crocker Farm learning specialists Mary Lambert (math) & Jen Smith (reading).



This Friday, Oct. 31th, 8:50-9:50,

in the Crocker Farm Community Room.

Small children are always welcome.

Organized by the Crocker Farm PGO.  Email: CrockerFarmPGO@gmail.com, &

Crocker Farm Winter Coat and Clothing Share -- Collection Starts Nov 3rd

Upcoming: Crocker Farm's winter coat & clothing share.  Our annual winter clothing collection starts next week.  Now is a great time to go through closets & find coats/jackets, snowpants, boots, mittens, scarfs, & hats that your family has outgrown or you no longer need. Please drop off clean items in good condition in the collection box in the CF lobby starting Nov 3rd through Nov 17th. All sizes (kids & adults) wanted.

Collected clothes will be available for the taking in the CF lobby on Tues Nov 18th & Wed, Nov 19th. All school & community families are welcome to come in on these days to pickup whatever they need. 
This year, Crocker Farm is working together with other ARPS schools to share warm winter clothes among as many students and families as possible, and we also have community partners such as the Amherst Lions Club assisting with the clothing collections.  Look for a flyer in backpacks soon with more details on the other collection & distribution sites & dates.  
Thank you!

AEF Trivia Bee Fundraiser Thurs Oct 30th

Come one, come all to celebrate the 20th anniversary AMHERST EDUCATION FOUNDATION TRIVIA BEE, Thursday, October 30, at Amherst Regional Middle School auditorium

Last year, AEF raised $8,000.00 at the BEE, with the team from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office emerging as the winner. They return this year along with a team of School Committee members, Select Board players, teachers, school staff, the As Schools Match Wits team, along with many others. Come on down to support our sponsors, play in a special audience trivia game, and enjoy the festivities. We promise an evening of raffles, goodies, and general hilarity.

The Amherst Education Foundation, Inc. is an independent, non-profit education fund committed to stimulating excellence, promoting equity, enhancing diversity and mobilizing broad community support for the public schools of Amherst, Leverett, Pelham, and Shutesbury.

 AEF's generous sponsors include: A.J. Hastings, Inc., Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, Amherst Club, Amherst Dental Group, Amherst Downtown BID, Amherst Office Park, Bueno y Sano, Daily Hampshire Gazette, DeMaio Orthodontics, Five College Realtors, Florence Savings Bank, Friends of the Amherst Historical Society, Friends of the Amherst Survival Center, Greenfield Savings Bank, Integrity Development & Construction, Inc., Jones Group Realtors, Jones Properties, Kuhn Riddle Architects, Office of the Northwestern District Attorney, Peter Vickery, Attorney & Counselor at Law, Pioneer Valley Driving School, Rao’s, Rigali & Walder Orthodontics, Robert L. Stern Financial Services, Rotary Club of Amherst, Seewald, Jankowski & Spencer, P.C., The Harp Irish Pub, The Pub, UMass University Relations

Suburban Basketball Tryouts - grades 5-8

(click to enlarge)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lasagna Dinner to Support the Award-Winning ARHS Chorale, Oct 27th

The ARHS Chorale Lasagna Dinner is the place to be!
The entire ARPS community is invited to support this annual event.
Monday, October 27 in the ARHS Cafeteria (21 Mattoon St)
Seatings are at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for Adults and $5 for students & senior citizens.
Tickets on sale at ARHS lunch and at the door.
Enjoy homemade lasagna, garlic bread, salad and desserts. The Chorale will sing too!
For more information, please contact Anita Cooper at coopera@arps.org.

Harvest Fest -- thank you!

It was great seeing so many families at our 3rd Annual Harvest Fest on Friday, & what a lovely fall day it turned out to be. The PGO is grateful for all the parents and others who helped make the event a success, and owe a big thank you to:
*event coordinator Heather Lord
*everyone who cooked soups, other warm hearty dishes, desserts, or provided other yummy foods *the children who prepared up the crafts table
*the creative parent who came up with the "fishing for apples" activity
*everyone who sang at the open mic
*the families who helped with setup or cleanup
*our school custodial staff
*the front office & other school staff for helping get the word out about the event
*and last but not least, all the families who joined for the Harvest Fest

 We feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful community, & we hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Amherst Ballet & Cinderella - at the Jones Library, Sat, Oct 25th

The Jones Library presents dancers from the AMHERST BALLET CO. performing excerpts from the classic fairy tale CINDERELLA.
Saturday, October 25, 2014, 11am
Jones Library, Woodbury Room 

Free and open to the public. 
For more information, please contact Sondra Radosh at 413-259-3091.             
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Class Parents 2014-2015

THANK YOU to everyone who has volunteered as a class parent for this yearWe now have class parents for all classes.

Class Parents 2014-2015

Mrs. McCloskey:  Ginny Hamilton & Dana Olivo
Ms. Pratt:  Phoebe Hazzard, Jennifer Restucci, Amanda Lawall

1st Grade:
Ms. Bartolini: Eva Fairchild
Ms. Donoghue: Melissa Giraud & Maria Kopicki
Mr. Lefebvre:  Allegra Osborne

2nd Grade:
Ms. Carson: Asha Kinney & Aneeka Henderson                    
Ms. Mattone: Wendy Bergoffen & Hallie Hughes                                                      

3rd Grade:
Mr. Hughes:  Tina Furcolo
Ms. Joyce: Mary Klaes
Ms. Robinson:   Katie Rubinstein        

4th Grade:
Ms. Coley:  Melissa Matos-Auerbach & Ada Matos
Ms. Moriarty: 
Allegra Osborne
Ms. Radtke:  Aline Lyra

5th Grade:
Ms. Donovan:  Kate Lambert              
Ms. Goodwin-Brown:  Stacey MacPhetres & Oingmiao Li          

6th Grade:
Ms. Harvey: Becky Demling, Heather Lord, & Isolda Ortega-Bustamante
Mr. Prather: Michelle Chandler & Micaela Giles
Ms. Teitelman: Vira Douangmany Cage & Rebecca Woodland   

Events at the Amherst Survival Center this Thurs (Oct 23rd)

It's a busy extended day at the Center and it's when we're celebrating Food Day... in addition to all of our regular services, 

Here's what else will be happening in the Amherst Survival Center:
(1) 11am-1pm Free Flu Vaccine Clinic from the Town of Amherst Health Department

 (2) 3-4:30pm Healthy Cooking Class with our friends from Whole Food Market Hadley
 (3) 3-4:30pm viewing of the documentary "A Place At The Table"

All are welcome!

Amherst Survival Center
web site: amherstsurvival.org/ 
138 Sunderland Rd., North Amherst, MA

Kids Monsters Ball Oct 25th

at Mount Holyoke College
A costumed dance party for parents and their children
3 to 4 p.m. at Abbey Memorial Chapel,
50 College St, South Hadley, MA
The Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra presents the “Kids Monsters Ball”, a costumed dance party just for parents and their children. Come costumed and dance to waltzes and polkas by Strauss and Chopin. 

In between, enjoy music from TV shows like Doctor Who and the Simpsons and  meet members of the orchestra who will introduce the children to the instruments that they play. 

Admission is $3 for all children, $5 for all adults. Accompanying adults for groups of 4 or more children enter for free. 

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1wbME1U or call the Mount Holyoke College Music Department at (413) 538 2306.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Upcoming Crocker Farm & ARPS Events

This week at Crocker Farm:
Wed, 10/22:  Early release day, 1:20 pm (LSSE afterschool program starts right after dismissal)
Fri, 10/24:  Early release day, noon, for parent-teacher conferences  (LSSE afterschool program starts right after dismissal)
Fri, 10/24:  3rd Annual Harvest Fest to celebrate the fall & the Crocker Farm garden.  Crafts, food, music, & more.  Suggested donation of $5-$10 per family.  Proceeds support the garden.   Event will start at 4:30 pm out near the garden.   (in the event of rain, we'll be in the cafeteria & start at  6pm, after afterschool ends).
Fri, 10/24:  Deadline for turning in BoxTops.  Please drop them off in the lobby or in the PGO mailbox.

Mon, 10/20:  ARPS Family Center workshop on Homework Strategies, ARHS Library, 7 pm (more info).
Tues, 10/21:  Amherst School Committee Meeting, ARHS Library, 6 pm (agenda here).  Agenda includes budget & enrollment updates, & discussion of the Superintendent's goals for the school year.
Thurs, 10/23:  Meeting of the Special Education Parents Advisory Council, 9 am.  Open to all community members.   Meet the SEPAC Board & staff members who help support students with IEPs & 504 plans.  (more info.)

Mon, 10/27:  Early release day, noon, for parent-teacher conferences  (LSSE afterschool program starts right after dismissal)
Fri, 10/31:  PGO Coffee with the Principal, 8:50 am.
Tues, 11/11:  Veterans Day, No School
Sat, 11/15: Crocker Farm PGO Bookfair Fundraiser at Hadley Barnes & Noble. 
Thurs, 11/20:  PGO Coffee with the Principal
November:  Winter Coat and Clothing Share.  Clothing donations accepted starting Nov 3rd.

SEPAC Community Workshop, 10/23


Meet Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)
When: October 23rd, 2014
Time: 9:00am – 10:00am
Where: Crocker Farm Elementary School, Community Meeting Room
This meeting is open to all community members!

We are fortunate to host this informal gathering and plan to do the following:
• Introduce you to some members of staff that help support your child on an IEP or 504C:
o Dr. Faye Brady, Director of Student Services
o Derek Shea, Principal of Crocker Farm
o JoAnn Smith, Student Services Administrator Coordinator
o Michelle Regan- Ladd, Early Childhood Coordinator
o Please note staff list may change based on availability.
• Learn more about how the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) supports families and on an IEP or 504c.
• We will share basic special education information to help you advocate for your child.

Multi-Arts Make Your Own Mask Workshop, Oct 29th

All children welcome
Come and create your unique mask for Halloween!
Whether you want to be silly or spooky, this fun workshop is an exciting way to make your imagination come to life.
Multi-Arts is offering a children's Make Your Own Mask workshop just perfect for Halloween! Multi-Arts, a local arts organization that has been empowering and inspiring young artists for over 14 years, is hosting a free mask making workshop, led by professional illustrator Titus Neijens.   Multi-Arts' innovative programming encourages creativity and instills a lifelong love of the arts with children. Especially in this age of consumerism, Multi-Arts' camps and workshops help children discover they can use their imaginations to invent and build designs that instills lasting pride and happiness.

Wednesday October 29, from 4-6 pm
at All Things Local Coop, N. Pleasant Street, downtown Amherst

Free of charge but donations are very much appreciated

For more information, contact:
Catalina Arrubla, Multi-Arts Director

Saturday, October 11, 2014

3rd Annual Fall Harvest Fest - Oct 24th

Save the date: 3rd annual Harvest Festival to celebrate the fall harvest & the Crocker Farm garden, Friday, Oct 24th, 4:30-6 pm. Hope to see you there!

 Fall food, crafts, music, & more.

 More details coming soon. 

Suggested donation of $5/person, $10/family covers everything. 
Proceeds benefit the Crocker Farm garden & future garden projects. 

Upcoming School Committee & Equity Task Force Meetings

Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Meeting,  10/14/2014
ARHS Library, 6 pm   (Note the earlier than usual start time)

The full agenda is posted here (regional SC agenda).  The agenda includes discussion and a vote on the life threatening allergies policy. 

School Equity Task Force, 10/16/2014
ARHS Library,  6 pm

The full agenda is posted here (equity task force agenda).  The agenda includes reports from subcommittees and the discussion of pending recommendations from the discipline disparity, and education and excellence subcommittees.

Ndaba Mandela Talk at Amherst College Oct 16th - Community Invited

Amherst College Careers In Education Professions and  Multicultural Resource Center will welcome Ndaba Mandela to Johnson Chapel on Thursday, October 16 at 7 pm.
The grandson of Nelson Mandela, Ndaba will discuss the intersections of young learners, teachers, and communities in his talk entitled, "Empowering Youth Through Education and Interconnectivity".
The community is invited to his FREE presentation. The Johnson Chapel can seat approximately 400. Please RSVP to Dr. Robert Siudzinski at rsiudzinski@amherst.edu

Amherst Youth Football League Games


Come watch the Pee-wees, Juniors, and Seniors PLAY!

Two More Home Games: 10/12 @ 12pm & 10/19 @ 12pm    

All home games played at the High School Field

* All proceeds from the home games benefit AYFL

(This is not a school or PGO sponsored event).

Amherst College Study Seeking Participants up to age 10

The Child Learning and Development Lab at Amherst College 
Do you have a child between 0 and 10 years of age? Professor Carrie Palmquist, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Amherst College, is conducting a series of studies at the Child Learning and Development Lab that investigate how children learn from others and about the world around them. Participation in a study takes no more than 30 minutes. If you want your child to participate, contact the CLAD Lab at 413-542-5670, email cladlab@amherst.edu, or visit bitly.com/cladlab to learn more and register your family! 

Child Learning and Development Lab (CLAD)
Amherst College
Director: Dr. Carolyn Palmquist, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9-5
(Not a school or PGO-sponsored activity)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bus Schedule Update - Starting Oct 14th

Updated Bus Schedule - Starting on Tues, Oct 14th, buses will arrive at bus stops 5 minutes earlier in the morning.

Note from Mr. Shea & Ms. Conklin:

Hi Crocker Farm Families,
As you may already know, our school day officially starts at 8:50am. Up to 100 of our 360 students like to eat breakfast each morning before going to class. Unfortunately, our buses are arriving at CF around 8:40am or later each morning, leaving insufficient time for students to pick up and eat their breakfast. In order to have all of our students ready to learn at 8:50am, buses will arrive at bus stops 5 minutes earlier starting next Tuesday October 14. For example, if your bus usually stops to pick your child up at 8:15am, it will now stop to pick your child up at 8:10am.

We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with this important matter.

Derek Shea, Principal
Sharri Conklin, Assistant Principal

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Babysitter Meet & Greet at UMass on Oct 9th

From Sally Linowski,  University of Massachusetts-Amherst

My office is hosting a meet and greet this Thursday, October 9th, for people looking for babysitters. It’s a great chance for students to make community connections and for community members to find babysitters! Feel free to pass this along to any parenting groups or friends you have as well. 

Sally Linowski, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Students, Community Education
Off Campus Student Center
314 Student Union
41 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003
Phone: 413-577-1005

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

School Directory - Last Call for Student Directory Forms

The PGO is still missing directory forms for about 40 students. The PGO sent out reminders to those families, asking for all directory forms to be returned by the end of this week (Friday, Oct 10th) if possible. The PGO is optimistic that we can have the directory out to all families by the end of Oct. Thanks for your help!

(If you didn't get a reminder form from us, your family is all set for the directory.  We will be circulating a draft copy of the directory for checking over before we send it to the printer.)

Volunteers Requested to Help with Fundraisers & More

The PGO is seeking volunteers to help with:

1)  Barnes & Noble fundraiser at the Hadley store.   The PGO is holding a Crocker Farm book fair fundraiser there on Sat, Nov 17th.  All day, the store will give us a % of register sales for people participating in our book fair (patrons say they are participating in the book fair when they check out at the register & we gets credit).

The Barnes & Noble book fairs for schools that do best are those fairs that have events on the book fair day to draw families to the store.  Last year, we had some parents and teachers/staff, reading children's stories.   This was a good draw for some families, mainly with younger students.  This year we would like to expand the events we have on the day of the book fair to attract more families.   We can have performances, we can have displays of school projects, or hands-on activities (legos, art, whatever) -- it's up to us!  Creative ideas for this are welcome and encouraged, especially if they are tables/projects you'd like to run yourself or know someone who would.   PGO can provide the materials for craft projects.

Closer to the day of the bookfair, we will also be seeking parents to help staff a table at the front of the store during the peak shopping parts of the day to tell people about our school & our bookfair & to hand out bookmarks/flyers with our book fair number for when they check out.  We'll be sending out a signup sheet in a few weeks. 

Justyne Ogdahl, who organized the book fair last year, will be helping organize it again this year.  Thank you, Justyne! If you would like to participate in organizing this great event, please let us know.

2) Valley Gives.  Valley Gives is a one-day online fundraiser to help non-profits in the Pioneer Valley, and the Crocker Farm PGO is participating this year for the first time, along with the PGOs at a number of other Amherst public schools.   ValleyGives will be on Wed, Dec 10th.  The Crocker Farm PGO is seeking someone to help us with our web site for ValleyGives, with pictures, a slideshow, etc. to best promote our school & encourage donations. 

3) Other photo project.  The PGO is seeking a volunteer to help with another photo and scrapbook project, related to the mosaic mural.   If you like making albums/scrapbooks and would like to help, please email us.

4) Snacks for the guidance office.   Our guidance counselor, Tara Luce, is still seeking donations of snacks to share with students as needed, including for students who don't have any snack.  Snacks can be dropped off anytime in the Crocker Farm office, or sent into school in your child's backpack.   Individually packaged items are preferred.   Requested snacks: pretzels, cheese crackers, cereal bars, Smart Food, fruit snacks.   Please nothing too sweet and please no Doritos/potato chips. 

Please email us at crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering for any of the above mentioned projects, or if you have other ideas or questions.   Thank you so much!  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

School Governance Council meeting Oct 10th

The Crocker Farm School Governance Council will be holding its first meeting of this school year on October 10th, at 7:30 am, at Crocker Farm.   Members of the public are welcome.

The School Council Governance Council is headed by the School Principal (Mr. Shea) and includes parents and teachers/staff.  

Massachusetts 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: http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/advisory/schoolcouncils/   (last updated 1994).  

SEPAC Elections Oct 8th

Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools
Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) 

Oct 8 2014 6:30 PM -- 7:30 PM

LocationLower Meeting Room, Bangs Center (Amherst)

 Positions to be filled:

Pelham: President
Amherst: President
Regional: President

All Three Districts (1 Position):  Vice-President, Treasurer, 2 Secretaries
In addition to these Board positions, SEPAC is looking for parent/family representatives from all of the schools.  These representatives are not elected.  Ideally, SEPAC would like to have at least one representative per school and there can be more than one.

The Amherst-Pelham Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is a volunteer organization of parents of children with disabilities in the pre- and elementary schools, middle and high schools, and in private/ out-of-district placement schools. SEPAC strives to learn more about special education, and to effect change as our knowledge grows; our goal is to help improve our children’s education as technology, research, and tested pedagogical theories progress. We aim to provide support, information, and advocacy to parents of children with disabilities.  

Coming Together Project

 Dear Friend,
“Coming Together: Understanding Racism, Working for Justice, Building Connections” is a local project seeking to bring people together to gain a deeper understanding of how race affects the Amherst area and our nation, make connections with each other, and lay the groundwork to create a more equitable, interconnected, and inclusive community. 

We invite you to join us for the first two events sponsored by the Coming Together project. 

A showing of Ken Burns’ film, “The Central Park Five” on Thursday, October 9th at The Jones Library – Woodbury Room -  at 7PM.   
“The Central Park Five” is a moving film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, that tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were convicted and sent to prison for the assault and rape of a white woman, that they did not commit.  After years in prison they were eventually freed and just recently won a settlement from NYC.  It’s a riveting tale of innocent young men scapegoated for a heinous crime, and serves as a mirror for our times.
​A talk by Barbara Love, “Love, Care and Racism: Coming Together in Amherst”, at the Unitarian Church  - social hall next to Bart’s, Monday, October 20th, at 7PM.  
Barbara Love is a dynamic, inspiring speaker who speaks all over the world on issues of racial justice. She is looking forward to addressing her local community here in the Amherst area where she lives.  She was a long-time professor in the Social Justice Program at UMass.  Dr. Love is deeply committed to including people of all racial backgrounds in striving together to have the community and the world we dream of.
Both events are designed to bring local people together to get to know each other, face the realities of contemporary racism, and create a healthier, more connected community.  Both are free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit what the local newspaper called our “sharp new website”: www.coming-together.org. We think there is something there for almost everyone.          
We invite you to join in our efforts in whatever way most interests you. You can e-mail us at ctamherst@gmail.com. We hope to see on October 9th  and/or October 30th.

Mari Castañeda
Sovann-Malis Loeung
Russ Vernon-Jones

Co-Facilitators for the Coming Together Project

(not a school or PGO-sponsored event)