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Welcome to the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools

The Amherst Regional Public Schools are located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. The area is rich in cultural, recreational and academic activities and opportunities. Our mission is the academic achievement of every student learning in a system dedicated to social justice and multiculturalism.

The school system educates a diverse population of approximately 3000 students, including native speakers of more than 25 languages. Three elementary schools are located in the town of Amherst and one in the town of Pelham. Our middle school and high school are located in the town of Amherst, and draw students from the towns of Amherst and Pelham, as well as Leverett and Shutesbury. The central office for the district is located in the middle school building at 170 Chestnut Street in Amherst. ​

“The School Committees’ policy of nondiscrimination extends to students, staff, and the general public with whom it does business. The Amherst-Pelham Regional District, the Amherst Public Schools, and the Pelham Elementary School do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, homelessness, political party, or disability in admission to, access to, employment in, or treatment by its programs and activities.”

The schools have had five weather-related cancellations.  This means the last day of school is currently Monday, June 22nd.  Watch this space for updates as the winter continues.
Welcome to the ARPS TechTalk page. Check here for news, information and tips on technology in our schools. These tips will come from many sources, including the IS staff, tech integration teachers, technology support staff and faculty. If you have a tip you's like to share, email it to me at jchamp@arps.org.

Google Apps Tip - Force Make a Copy: As we move closer to implementing Google Apps, we will begin offering some tips on making life with Google easier. I found this fantastic (and easy) tip that forces users to make a copy of a shared document, instead of editing the original. http://bormannbytes.com/2015/02/21/makeacopy/

Youtube Closed Captioning (CC): Youtube CC can be a great tool for increasing reading and understanding. By turning on the closed caption feature the captions come on making it a text to speech feature. This feature exposes students to new vocabulary and printed text while watching the video. Youtube CC It also has the ability to translate if you have students or families whose primary language is not English. Here is a video on how to do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjlMFHY3cX8

Using Tech to start the day: Start your students’ day from the moment they enter the room with a looped PowerPoint! One slide gives directions for preparing for the day, the second has a puzzler. Transition each slide with a simple fade, then click on the “Slide Show” tab and set up the show by looping the presentation. You’ve got time to take attendance and do what you need to do while they get to work!

Laptop Users: Syncing Files for off line availability
This tip applies only to staff using a laptop assigned to you. This does not work if you use a laptop from one of the carts.

When you are at school on the network:
1. Open Computer->H: drive
2. Right-click on Documents and select Always available offline
3. Repeat for Desktop, Favorites and Start menu.
4. Refresh screen (F5). Those folders should now have a green circle with yellow and white curved arrows. 
5. The sync center icon will probably appear in the right corner of the task bar. If it's spinning, it's still syncing.  
Your files will now be available for you to use at home. 

GroupWise Attachments: 
When you open an attachment and have plans to edit it, you should always save it in your H:drive first. BUT, if you forget to do that and you edit it and save it, where does it go? There is a folder in your My Documents named GroupWise.  Take a look in that folder for all attachments that you have edited.  Hooray, they are not lost!

Save files to the network, not the desktop - Using the H: Drive:
Get in the habit of opening your H: Drive in Windows Explorer just as you start up your computer each day. The H: drive is your arps.org network folder. It is the place where you should keep all your files.
Here is a quick procedure: 
1.Start up
2.Open Windows Explorer (the folder icon on the taskbar (in the lower left if you keep your taskbar at the bottom of the Desktop))
3.In Windows Explorer, in the left panel, scroll down to the H: Drive (it's got your username on it)
4.Open it and look for all your files in My Documents.
5.Move/Save all your files to this same H: drive 

What's Happening

Exit Data Summary Report

Beginning in 2010, the district began asking  families to complete an exit survey when they withdraw so staff will have an understanding of why students leave the schools.  A summary of the data from 2010 through April 2015 is available here. 

PowerSchool Upgrade over Spring Break

The IS department will be upgrading PowerSchool to the latest version, PowerSchool 8, over the spring break. This version brings a number of changes and improvements to PowerSchool. Expect PowerSchool to be down most, if not all of the week from April 21st to 24th. There will be a number of aesthetic changes, as well as some improvements in functionality. User login credentials should be unaffected. If you have questions, please email them to the IS Department.

Thanks,

Jerry Champagne
Director of Information Systems


New look for the ARPS web site coming soon


The ARPS and school websites will soon be getting a new look. The new style will be something called a responsive style. This means the site will automatically adapt to the device being used to view it, be it a 60" display to a 4" smartphone screen.

New Feature: TechTalk

We have a new feature called TechTalk. It can be found on the tab above. There you can find technology tips, news and tutorials. Check back frequently. If you have a tip to, please email it to me at jchamp@arps.org.

2015-2016 School Calendar Approved

The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee has approved the calendar for the 2015-2016 school year.  The first day of school for students in grades 1-12 will be September 2, 2015 and for Kindergarten students it will be September 4.  Click here to view the full calendar.

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ARMS PGO Announces New ARMS Educator Award

Thanks to the Amherst Regional Middle School PGO, there is a brand new opportunity to honor the amazing educators who work at Amherst Regional Middle School and who shape the lives of our children during these special years.   The ARMS Educator Award will honor an educator who embodies the ARMS core values and demonstrates their commitment to supporting their colleagues, their students, and their community.   Nominations can be made by parents, by other teachers or staff, and by students. Click here for information about the award and to submit your choice for the award. The deadline for nominations is April 15th.


Proposed ARMS Schedule Change Presentation

On Thursday, January 29, ARMS, ARHS and District administrators presented information to the Regional School Committee regarding master scheduling and the proposed changes to the Middle School schedule.  The full presentation is available here

Communications of school closings or delays

Based on feedback from families, the district will now send an email to families when there is a school cancellation or delay. We will still be updating the snow line (362-1898) with this information as well as informing local television and radio stations so that there are multiple ways for families to learn about the status of the school day.

ARHS Math Curriculum Review Update

On Wednesday 1/21 a meeting was held to present the math department's curriculum recommendation for the 2015-16 school year and potential course titles. Please click here to see the presentation.

Please click here for more information about the ARHS Math Curriculum Review. Once there you can view presentations, handouts, and feedback from the community.

If you have questions please contact Dr. Ian Stith at stithi@arps.org or Jane Mudie, ARHS Math Department Head, at mudiej@arps.org. 

ARHS Math Curriculum Review Update

On Wednesday 12/17 a meeting was held to present potential new Math course sequences for ARHS. Both an integrated course sequence and a traditional course sequence were presented. Participants were asked for feedback. Please go tohttp://www.arps.org/academics/teaching_and_learning/current_curriculum_work

for more information about the ARHS Math Curriculum Review. Once there you can view the presentation, handouts, and feedback from the community.

The next presentation will be on Wednesday (1/21) 6:30 – 7:30 in the ARHS Library. This is change of date from the original 1/14 meeting. The purpose of this meeting is for parents/guardians to see the recommended math course sequence and curriculum for grades 9 – 12.  

Nominations Sought for Dr. Norma Jean Anderson Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Dr. Norma Jean Anderson Civil Rights and Academic Achievement award.  More information about the award criteria and the nomination process can be found here

 



Town and Schools Launch Amherst Together, An Initiative for Community Engagement and Mobilization

(July 18, 2014)   Amherst Town Manager John Musante and Superintendent of Schools Maria Geryk today announced the hiring of Amherst resident Carol Ross, an outstanding candidate for the newly created position of Media & Climate Communications Specialist for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, the Amherst Public Schools and the Town of Amherst.  She will work to launch Amherst Together, an initiative that will serve as a foundation for building equity in Amherst through community collaboration. The effort aims to bring together a wider range of Amherst community interests to develop a collective vision for serving the whole.

"The key to Amherst Together is to research, identify, develop, and implement successful strategies for achieving equity by developing opportunities for communication and collaboration," says Musante. 

Ms. Ross has deep roots in the Amherst community.  She was raised and lives in Amherst, graduated from Amherst schools, and is a parent of an Amherst public school student.  She has a BA from UMass and professional experience as an author, photographer, human resources generalist, producer, documentarian and community organizer.  Ms. Ross’s work uses art as a tool for social impact and public discourse and is nationally recognized and locally celebrated.  She has eight years of public and educational sector human resources experience with expertise in cross-cultural engagement and conversation facilitation designed to stimulate profound thinking.  She is currently a member of the Superintendent’s Equity Task Force and the Town’s Human Rights Commission.  

Superintendent Geryk said, “It didn't take us long to realize that a collaborative effort was imperative. The same issues we are facing in our schools are also prevalent in our town. Ms. Ross’s background, her thoughtful approach and her ability to articulate and synthesize current climate issues to project positive outcomes is unparalleled.  I believe she is the right individual to assist us in bringing Amherst Together and to achieve our goals of fostering a healthier climate of civility, inclusivity and respect in the community.”

2014.07.18 Press Release Town & Schools Launch AmherstTogether.pdf

Nominations Sought for 2015-2016 ARPS Community-Building Award

The annual ARPS Community-Building Award honors two Amherst, Pelham or Amherst-Pelham Regional School District employees who "have helped to foster a sense of belonging among students and have helped to build bridges of understanding and acceptance among them."  Awardees for the 2014-2015 school year were Tara Luce, Crocker Farm Counselor, and Peter Crouse, Transportation Coordinator.  Nominations for 2015-2016 will be accepted at any time until June 30, 2015.  More information about the award criteria is available here and nomination forms are available here.
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