A RPS U p d at e D ecem b er 15, 20 17 A M essage f r om M ich ael M or r is, Su per in t en den t of Sch ools
I am ver y pleased to repor t that the School Committee has approved the 2018- 2019 School Calendar. It is included on the next page of this update. Based on feedback from families and staff, we felt it was impor tant to finalize the calendar earlier than we have in past year s to help with future planning. One item of par ticular note is that the teacher s' cur r iculum/work day typically scheduled in March has been moved to November 6, which is election day. This will ensure that students are not in the schools when people are coming to their polling places to vote.
Last Saturday, December 9, a group of high school students involved in leader ship activities attended the "I'm so College" day at UMass, a progr am sponsored by the Student Br idges Progr am. Students are invited to the campus for a college focused and positive family event compr ised of a resource fair, college positive and skills workshops, activities, and a talent show. "I'm So College" has become a resource for the students and parents in Holyoke, Spr ingfield, and Amher st over the year s, and the ARPS Family Center has par tnered with Student Br idges to br ing this oppor tunity to our high school students.
As par t of their ar ts integr ation project, seventh gr ade students in ar t this semester at ARMS worked together to create a mur al of the Connecticut River entitled "Connecticut River from Source to Sea." Each student painted a section of the r iver for the mur al, which is exhibited above the locker s at ARMS. Visiting ar tist B.Z. Reily and ARMS ar t teacher s Kr isten Ripley and Elena Betke- Br unswick guided students through the process. The panels were installed this week and I saw students who were incredibly excited to see their work on display. The ARPS core values of Equity, Social Justice, Continuous Improvement, Collabor ation, Excellence, and Respect for Diver sity are exemplified through our dedicated employees. The Shining Star award is an award that is presented to any employee throughout the distr ict who exemplifies our core beliefs as shown through their inter actions with students, families, colleagues, and the community. It will also be offered to those who go above and beyond the scope of their duties. This employee recognition is a great oppor tunity to acknowledge staff from each school, depar tment, or progr am who make our workplace better each day. For the fir st ever Shining Star Awards, the distr ict had the oppor tunity to acknowledge 13 individuals. Each staff member was awarded a small trophy and a descr iption of why they were nominated as a Shining Star. We would like to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication they have shared with the distr ict. Have a nice weekend,