Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Harvest Fest - This Friday, Rain Location

Because of the cold & rainy weather expected for this Fri, the PGO has decided to hold the Harvest Fest in the cafeteria starting at 6 pm, instead of out at the school gardens a little earlier.  We will be starting at 6 pm, because the afterschool program is using the cafeteria earlier.

We hope that this change does not inconvenience anyone.  We will still have lots of yummy food & fun.
Hope to see you there.

The online signup is still open if you would like to contribute food or otherwise help with the event.  Here's the link.  You can also just show up & help or Friday. 

Class parents still needed for 3rd, 4th, & 5th grades

The Crocker Farm PGO is still looking for class parents for a few classes for this school year. 
* Ms. Perkins (3rd grade)
* Ms. Coley/Ms. Dougherty (4th grade)
* Ms. Goodwin-Brown (5th grade)
* Mr. Hughes/Mr. Borrell (5th grade)

Class parents work individually with their child's teacher to determine the best way for them to help the class.  If you are interested in being a class parent for one of these classes or for another class, please email Amanda, the PGO's Class Parent coordinator, at amandalawall@gmail.com, or otherwise contact the PGO.   Thank you. 

Thank you too to all the people who have already signed up to be a class parent or to volunteer with the PGO in other ways.  If you have been meaning to signup to volunteer & haven't yet, you can access our online volunteer signup form here. 

Crocker Farm School Governance Council - seeking parent members, nominations due Oct 8th

This form can also be downloaded here 
The state-mandated Crocker Farm School Governance Council helps prepare the School Improvement Plan for Crocker Farm and helps establish educational goals for the school. The School Governance Council meets regularly with Principal Derek Shea and is comprised of parents/guardians, teachers/staff, and the Principal. There are three parent/guardian vacancies on the Council this fall.

New parent/guardian representatives will be elected at the Crocker Farm Curriculum Night on Thursday, October 15, 2015. If you are interested in serving on the School Governance Council, please fill out the form below and return it to the Crocker Farm main office or email it to Cathy Aldrich (aldrichca@arps.org) by Thursday, October 8th. Candidate information will be available to the Crocker Farm School community prior to the election at Curriculum Night. Questions about serving on the School Governance Council or the election process can be directed to Principal Derek Shea (SheaD@arps.org).

2015/2016 Crocker Farm School Council Nomination Form
Phone Number(s)
Child(ren) at Crocker Farm 
Statement of interest (2-3 sentences)

Upcoming Public Forums on Regionalization, School Consolidation, & More

The Amherst schools are asking some big questions right now about what our schools for the near & longer-term future? Should the three Amherst elementary schools be consolidated into two? Should the MS & HS be combined into one building? & does Amherst want to extend the current regional district for MS & HS (which includes Pelham, Leverett, & Shutesbury) to the elementary schools as well?

There are a number of upcoming public forums to discuss each of these topics, & ARPS families & community members are invited to attend. Childcare will be available at all the upcoming public forums and listening sessions, & transportation & translation services are available upon request (by calling 362-1823).  The first forums will be held Tues, Sept 29th, at 3:30 & 7:00 pm at the ARMS auditorium, & will discuss the Wildwood building study & possible elementary school configuration. The forum will be recorded & will play later through Amherst Media for those who cannot attend in person. More information about the Wildwood/elementary reconfiguration study & these other topics, including documents with the most Frequently Answered Questions and the district's answers, is available on the school district's web site, www.arps.org.

Click to enlarge

Also, recently, a League of Women's Voters (LWV) member Joan Temkin hosted Superintendent Maria Geryk, Assistant Superintendent Mike Morris, & ARPS Human Resources Director Kathryn Mazur in a televised discussion about the possible MS-HS consolidation & the possible elementary school consolidation.  The 40 minute program was produced by Amherst Media and the recording can be viewed here.

One other upcoming opportunity for Crocker Farm families to learn more about the Wildwood study & elementary school options being explored:  Crocker Farm will be holding a Coffee with the Principal next Friday, Oct 9th, which will focus on this topic.  Special guests at the Coffee will include Assistant Superintendent Mike Morris & School Committee member Katherine Appy.  The Crocker Farm monthly Coffees with the Principal are organized & hosted by the Crocker Farm PGO (email: crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com).

Special Education Workshop for Parents - Oct 5th

The Federation for Children with Special Needs will be conducting a workshop in Amherst next week, hosted by the schools' SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee). 

The workshop: 
Basic Rights in Special Education: Provides a basic understanding of the complex special education laws and procedures.
Date/Time: October 5th, 5:30-7:30 pm
The workshop is free and open to all.

Web link:  http://fcsn.org/ptic/event/basic-rights-in-special-education-amherst-2/

Girls Try Hockey for Free Day, Sat, Oct 10th

Girls Try Hockey for Free Day
 Saturday, October 10, 2-4 p.m.
UMass Mullins Cent er Community Rink

To register: www.amhersthockey.org
More info: skolfield@engin.umass.edu

Coming Soon: Try Hockey for Free Day Nov 7 (Boys & Girls)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Crocker Farm Fall Harvest Fest - Fri, Oct 2nd

Crocker Farm 4th Annual Fall Harvest Fest &
Potluck Picnic For Families
Friday October 2nd, 5:00-6:30 pm
Fall Food, Crafts, Families, FUN!
Held at the Crocker Farm gardens behind the school.
Please contact the PGO to help with food, crafts, set up & clean up, or signup online here at our web site or this direct link: http://tinyurl.com/np726se
Rain Time/Location:  In the event of rain, this event will be start at 6 pm in the cafeteria
(because of afterschool, we can’t use the cafeteria until then).
Event coordinated by the Crocker Farm PGO:  www.crockerfarmpgo.blogspot.com,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

PGO letter to Crocker Farm families

The full letter including attachments & forms is here.  It will be going out in backpacks this coming week.  

September 2015
Dear Crocker Farm Families,

We hope you are all enjoying the beginning of fall, and that your children are now settling into their new classes. We are writing today to say hello, and to introduce ourselves.

All Crocker Farm families are automatically part of the Parent and Guardian Organization (PGO)
. The PGO’s mission is to enhance our children’s education and social experience at Crocker Farm by:* Planning events that bring us together as a school community
Sponsoring fundraisers to raise money for special school events, field trips, teacher mini-grants, and supplies for our school, and by
     * Finding ways to support and show our appreciation of our teachers and staff.

The PGO’s blog is a good source of information for the latest news on the PGO and school-related events. You can subscribe at www.crockerfarm.blogspot.com to receive emails (usually 1-3 emails per week) containing the newest posts. The PGO is also on Facebook (Crocker-Farm-PGO). 

The PGO is always seeking volunteers to help us with our various activities throughout the year, and many of our events would not be possible without volunteer help. If you are interested in volunteering, please return the PGO volunteer form or email us at crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com. There are many ways to volunteer and even helping for just an hour or two can make a BIG difference.  We are currently especially looking for volunteers to serve as class parents. We are also still seeking additional members for the Crocker Farm PGO Board.

The PGO is currently hard at work producing this year’s student directory for families. If you have not yet returned the student directory form that went home in backpacks, please do so as soon as possible. If you would prefer, you can complete an online version of the directory form at the PGO blog, www.crockerfarmpgo.blogspot.com. Many thanks to the families who have already returned their directory form! 

The PGO has regularly scheduled monthly coffees with the Crocker Farm principal, Derek Shea, and the assistant principal, Sharri Conklin.  All parents and guardians are welcome to attend.  These coffees are generally held on a Friday at the start of the school day. We plan to hold some evening coffees as well. The next PGO coffee is scheduled for Friday, October 9th, and special guests Assistant Superintendent Mike Morris and School Committee member Katherine Appy will attend and discuss the current Wildwood elementary school building study, the outcome of which could impact elementary students at all three Amherst elementary schools.  You can learn more on the district web site, www.arps.org.

The PGO is holding a back-to-school evening potluck picnic for all school families on Friday, October 2nd.  More details coming soon.  We hope to see you there. 

Thank you. We look forward to a great year together.

2015-2016 Crocker Farm PGO Leadership Board
Tracy Zafian                                                            
Eva Fairchild 
Ginny Hamilton
Amanda Lawall
Alicia López                               

Carta del grupo de padres en Crocker Farm

El boletín completo del PGO está aquí

                                                                                                                            Septiembre de 2015
Queridas Familias de Crocker Farm,
Esperamos que estén disfrutando del comienzo del otoño, y que sus hijos se han acostumbrado a sus nuevos salones. Le escribimos para darles saludos y para presentarnos.

Todas las familias de Crocker Farm automáticamente son miembros de la Organización de Padres y Guardianes (la PGO). El objectivo de la PGO es enriquecer a la educación y a las experiencias sociales de nuestros hijos en la escuela Crocker Farm. Esperamos lograr esta objetivo con:
* planificar actividades que unen a la comunidad escolar
* Encontrar maneras para apoyar y mostrar nuestro agradecimiento a los maestros y al cuerpo administrative
* Patrocinar eventos para recaudar fondos para eventos escolares especiales, salidas educativas, pequeños subsidios para los maestros, y materiales escolares.

El blog de la PGO es una buena fuente de información sobre las últimas noticias de actividades escolares y de la PGO. Se pueden suscribir en www.crockerfarm.blogspot.com para recibir mensajes de correo electrónico (1-3 mensajes semanales) con las últimas entradas en el blog. Las noticias de la PGO también se pueden conseguir en Facebook (Crocker-Farm-PGO).

La PGO siempre está en busca de voluntarios para ayudarnos con nuestras varias actividades durante el año, y muchas de nuestras actividades no tendrían éxito sin estos voluntarios. Si tienen interés en ser voluntarios, favor de devolver el formulario de voluntario de la PGO que se envió a sus casas con sus hijos. También se puede mandar un mensaje por correo electrónico a crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com. Hay diferentes formas de voluntariado; una hora o dos de ayuda hacen una gran diferencia. Hay una gran necesidad de voluntarios para servir cómo padres o madres de clase. También buscamos miembros adicionales para la junta directiva de la PGO.

La PGO está actualmente elaborando el directorio anual de estudiantes para sus familias. Si todavía no han devuelto el formulario que se envió con sus hijos en sus mochilas, favor de devolverlo lo más pronto que les sea posible. Si no se rellena el formulario y no tenemos su permiso para publicar su información de contacto, no les podemos incluir en el directorio. Muchísimas gracias a las familias que ya han devuelto el formulario del directorio.

La PGO tiene una hora de café mensual con nuestro principal, Derek Shea, y con la principal asistente, Sharri Conklin. Todos los padres y guardianes son bienvenidos a asistir al café. Por lo general el café está programado el último viernes de mes a principios del día escolar. También estamos planificando otras horas de café por la tarde. La primer hora de café será viernes, 9 de octubre. Durante este café, los invitados especiales, Mike Morris, superintendente asistente de las escuelas, y Katherine Appy, miembro de la comité escolar, hablarán sobre el estudio de la construcción de la escuela primaria Wildwood, que puede tener un gran impacto en los alumnos actuales y en el futuro de las tres escuelas primarias de Amherst. Hay más información sobre este estudio en el sitio web del distrito de las escuelas, www.arps.org.

La PGO está organizando en pícnic para celebrar el regreso a la escuela por la tarde en 2 de octubre. Más detalles que vienen pronto.

Gracias. ¡Estamos entusiasmados por otro año juntos! 

Junta de Liderazgo de la PGO 2015-2016
Tracy Zafian
Eva Fairchild
Ginny Hamilton
Amanda Lawall

Alicia López

Crocker Chronicles for September 2015

You can view the whole Chronicles including community announcements here:

September 18, 2015

Dear Crocker Farm Families: We hope your transition back to school has been smooth. It’s been
wonderful to see your children back at our school. As usual, lots happening in the Crocker Farm
Community. We want to highlight a few areas for you.

School Climate
Our teachers, working in conjunction with our counseling team, Dr. Amy Baver, our new School Psychologist, Ms. Toby Bobbitt, our School Adjustment Counselor and Ms. Tara Luce, our Guidance Counselor are working with students to review the norms, values and expectations that allow our children to feel socially, emotionally and physically safe in school. Teachers are reviewing classroom expectations as well as other important areas of our school such as buses, cafeteria, hallways and playgrounds.  For example, our counseling team have assumed complete responsibility for the daily operations of our lunch room. During this thirty minute period, they have implemented a system where:students have been initially assigned a lunch table with peers from their classroom
* students earn “mixing it up” with other tables based on demonstrating positive lunchroom behavior
* students are bringing playing cards, chess boards and books to use after they finish eating
Thank you to our counseling team and to our students for making our lunch room a more enjoyable place to

Wildwood Building Project
As you may know, in 2013, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) approved Wildwood Elementary School to enter into an “Improvement Building Project” Process. Fast forward to Fall 2015, and the Wildwood School Building Committee, under the leadership of Michael Morris, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, are actively overseeing the progress of this project. We encourage all Crocker Farm community members to become informed and active in participating in this project. Particularly as one of the possible scenarios involves changing Crocker Farm into a PreK through Grade 1 school. Several forums and meetings are scheduled. Please see the important dates posted below. Here is a link to the building project website: http://www.arps.org/news/wildwood_school_building_committee

New Staff
Over the last three years, we have recruited, hired and retained seven classroom teachers. Several of you have participated in hiring process of these individuals. This year, we are happy to welcome five new professional staff members to our school community. Dr. Amy Baver is our new School Psychologist. Johanna Bradbury is our new ELA Intervention Teacher. Erin Casioppo is our new Special Education Teacher. Blanca Osorio-Castillo is our new ELL Teacher. Kate Perkins is our new 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher. To learn more about these new staff members, please follow this link:

Professional Development
At our early dismissal on Wednesday, September 16th, our entire staff, PreK-6, participated in a preliminary training on Restorative Practices. The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) is working with our district to share information and train staff. The IIRP states that “the fundamental premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.” We look forward to sharing more on this topic and how we intend to utilize this framework in our school community.

Topics For The Future
Google in our school - Run for Fun - Fall Assessments - Chrome Books - Family Conferences

Please feel free to contact us to share your positive experiences, your concerns, and your insights,
Derek Shea (Principal) and Sharri Conklin (Assistant Principal)

"Las Crónicas" de Crocker Farm septiembre de 2015

boletín informativo entero aquí 

18 de septiembre de 2015

Queridos Familiares de Crocker Farm: Les deseamos una transición suave al horario escolar. Ha sido maravilloso ver a sus hijos en nuestra escuela. Como es nuestra costumbre, hay una gran variedad de actividades y noticias para compartir. Aquí les destacamos algunas noticias:

El Clima Escolar:
Nuestros profesores, trabajando en conjunto con nuestro equipo de asesoramiento, Dr. Amy Baver, nuestra psicóloga dentro de Crocker Farm, la Sra. Toby Bobbitt, nuestra aconsejadora de ajuste escolar y Sra. Tara Luce, nuestra orientadora están trabajando con los estudiantes para revisar las normas, los valores y subrayar las expectativas que permiten que nuestros hijos se sienten socialmente, emocionalmente y físicamente seguros durante sus horas escolares. Los maestros están revisando las expectativas de cada aula así como otras areas importantes de nuestra escuela como autobuses, cafetería, pasillos y patios. Por ejemplo, nuestro equipo de consejería ha asumido responsabilidad completa por las operaciones diarias del comedor. Durante este periodo de treinta minutas, han implementado un sistema lo cual pide que:
· Los estudiantes inicialmente tienen asientos asignados para almorzar con un compañeros de su clase
· Los estudiantes pueden ganar la oportunidad de “mezclar a su mesa” después de demostrar su comportamiento positive durante almuerzo
· Los estudiantes traen naipes, tableros de ajedrez y libros, lo cual utilizan después de que terminan de almorzar

Proyecto del edificio de Wildwood
Como Ustedes saben, en 2013, la autoridad de edificio de escuela de Massachusetts (MSBA) aprobó que nosotros entremos al proceso de “Proyecto de construcción de mejoramiento.” Adelantar a 2015, bajo el liderazgo de Michael Morris, asistente del superintendente de escuelas, supervisan activamente el progreso de este proyecto. Animamos a todos miembros de la comunidad de la granja de Crocker a ser informado y activo en participar en este proyecto. Particularmente como uno de los escenarios posibles implica cambiar la escuela de Crocker Farm a una escuela exclusivamente a una escuela Pre-K hasta primer grado. Varios foros y reuniones están programados. Consulte las fechas importantes publicadas a continuación. Aquí se encuentra el sitio del web del proyecto: http://www.arps.org/news/wildwood_school_building_committee

Personal Nuevo
En los últimos tres años, hemos contratado siete maestros. Varios de Ustedes han participado en la sección de estos individuos. Este año, nos alegra dar la bienvenida a cinco miembros nuevos de nuestra comunidad escolar. Dr. Amy Baver es nuestra psicóloga nueva, Johanna Bradbury es la nueva maestra de aprendizaje de lenguaje, Erin Casioppo en la maestra nueva de educación especial, Blanca Osorio-Castillo es la nueva maestra de aprendizaje de inglés como segunda lengua y Kate Perkins es la nueva maestra para tercer grado. Para obtener más información sobre estos nuevos miembros de nuestra comunidad, por favor siga este enlace:http://cf.arps.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_927419/File/latest%20news/snazzy%20biographies%20for %20staff.pdf

Desarrollo Profesional
Durante los días en que los niños salen temprano de la escuela, nosotros hacemos entrenamiento profesional. El 16 de septiembre participamos en un entrenamiento preliminar en las prácticas restaurativas. El instituto internacional para las practicas restaurativas (IIRP) está trabajando con nuestro distrito para intercambiar información y capacitar al personal. El IIRP afirma que “la premisa fundamental de las practicas restaurativas es que las personas son más felices mas cooperativos y productivos y más propensos a hacer cambios positivos cuando personas en posiciones de autoridad hacen cosas con ellos, en lugar de a ellos o para ellos.” Esperamos compartir más información sobre este tema y como pretendemos utilizar este marco en nuestra comunidad escolar.

Temas Para El Futuro Google en nuestra escuela – manuales de ejecución para la diversión – evaluaciones – chrome books – conferencias entre maestros y familias

No dude en llamarnos para compartir sus experiencias positivas, sus preocupaciones y sus ideas,
Derek Shea (Principal) y Sharri Conklin (Asistente al Principal)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Teachers & Lead Staff at Crocker Farm

Want to know more about the 5 new teachers & lead staff at Crocker Farm?  You can read their brief bios here.

* Amy Baver, School Psychologist
* Johanna Bradbury, Reading Specialist
* Erin Casioppo, Special Education Teacher
* Blanca Osorio-Castillo, ELL (English Language Learners) Teacher
* Kathleen Perkins, Third Grade Teacher

Crocker Farm PGO Seeking Class Parents & Other Volunteers

The PGO's volunteer signup form will be going home in backpacks soon.  You can access the online version here.   There are many ways that parents & families can volunteer at Crocker Farm, & even helping for an hour or two makes a BIG difference.

The PGO is currently specifically looking for volunteers for:
* Class parents for K-6th grade classes.  Parents, guardians, grandparents are welcome to sign up.  Each class parent works with their child's teacher to determine how best to help.   Class parents can be involved with helping in the classroom and/or planning potlucks or other special activities for events.  Please contact Amanda, this year's PGO class parent coordinator, at amandanlawall@gmail.com if you are interested in being a class parent.

* Coordinators for the upcoming back-to-school family picnic & harvest festival.   This year, the PGO is combining these two events into one, to be held on Friday, October 2nd, in the early evening.  The coordinators will help with arranging the activities & food for the event.  Please contact the PGO at crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com if you'd like to help coordinate this event, or if you'd like to volunteer for a specific activity (music, crafts, games, other).