January 22, 2015 

JANUARY 22, 2016
Friday, January 22
           Talent Show- 6:30
            Game Night- 7:30
Tuesday, January 26
            Public Forum: LES Budget Review &  Discussion- 7:45-8:30am
Monday, February 1
            School Committee Meeting- 6:00pm






Recognizing that evening meetings are difficult for parents, the School Committee will offer a Budget Forum on Tuesday, January 26th from 7:45-8:30 a.m. At that time, we will go through the proposed budget and answer questions.  Childcare will be available, and children may also have a school breakfast (breakfast begins at 8:30). 


Liberty Tax in Amherst (voted Best of the Valley 2014 & 2015) has a special offer for friends of Leverett Elementary School: Any new client who files their taxes at Liberty in Amherst by February 13 will receive $50 and LIBERTY TAX WILL DONATE an additional $25 to LES for our FIELD TRIP FUND! See card attached and please be sure to tell them before you file that you are a friend of LES! Thank you and please help spread the word!



As this Friday Post goes to press, teachers are in the midst of preparing report cards. It is something in which LES teachers invest a great deal of time and thought, wanting to be sure that the report card is an accurate portrayal of the child’s learning. The work on report cards actually began in December, when we met to review the software changes that have been made recently in the report cards, which are prepared electronically. After the teachers prepare the report cards, they are given to me for review. While this is a time-consuming task, it is one that I enjoy, because it offers me a defined glimpse into each child’s progress. While it is rare for me to suggest an actual change to a report card, the drafts often acquire a plethora of sticky notes containing my questions and comments to teachers. It is my chance to ‘wonder’ about each child and his or her learning, looking through a different lens than I do in my myriad daily conversations with teachers. We are constantly communicating about children, curriculum, field trips—the list is never ending!

In my role as building administrator (though I prefer ‘Senior Learner’), communication is at the heart of what I do. Technology has made communication both easier and more challenging. It is easier to ‘chat’ with each other, but it can make us more impatient to get very speedy answers. I can leave my office to spend an hour visiting classrooms and come back to find a dozen or more emails have arrived during that time. If I have other meetings, or have a child needing my attention, some of those emails sometimes don’t get my full attention until the end of the school days. That is why we remind parents that if a communication is time-sensitive, a phone call is the surest bet!

Home-school communication has many different purposes. Making sure that parents know what their children are learning and doing is very important. In looking at the classroom blogs recently, I realized that we can do better as a school at keeping that information current, and including a wider range of information. Beginning in February, we will set aside one teacher meeting each month to updating classroom blogs, and to sharing other ways that teachers are communicating with parents and caregivers.

And, speaking of sharing information, just a reminder that coming up on Tuesday, January 26th, from 7:45-8:30 a.m. will be an informational session on the proposed FY17 school budget.  Superintendent Jennifer Haggerty, Director of Finance and Operations Aaron Osborne, and representatives of the School Committee will be on hand to give an overview of the proposed budget and to answer questions. Light refreshments will be served, and childcare will be provided. We hope that many parents will be able to attend!

                                                -Margot Lacey




Thursday, March 24 (snow date- Tuesday, March 29)- Middle School Orientation  6:30-8:30pm

Tuesday, March 22
            Introduction to the Special Education Program at the Middle School  6:00-7:00pm

Information about the upcoming orientation and registration steps for middle school was sent home with all 6th graders last week.  If you did not receive this information, please contact Kate or Ms. Bull.   We t to keep everyone informed about the important steps in this transition!




We are looking for a few good kitchen subs.  We occasionally need someone from 10-1:30 to chop vegetables, serve lunch, and run our fancy-pants dishwasher. We move fast and generally have a pretty good time. Stop by the office and talk to Kate.  



(Items listed here are not school sponsored)

With Jai Fuller at The Yoga Center Amherst 

Kids yoga is a playground that bridges the gulf between inner self and outer self. These classes draw on practices from Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga and Awareness though the body to support kids in developing self awareness, (mind and body), self regulation, perseverance, and compassion. And they are super fun! Kids will learn that yoga is play, and play is yoga.

8 Fridays, Feb. 5th - April 1st
(no class Feb. 19th)
4:15 - 5:15 pm

 $100 for the series/ $15 drop in or use a parents class pass

Sacred Intentions for 2016
A Gathering at Doors of Light in Leverett, MA to bring forth and share your sacred intentions for the New Year.
Hosted by Diana Catherine Bella
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 
5:00-6:30 PM
By donation

Individual Sacred Life Counseling Sessions  are also available by appointment
Contact Diana at 413.687.7748 or [email protected] for more information


Grades: Preschool through Grade 6

Dates: January 30, February 6, (tentatively February 13), February              20, February 27, March 5, March 12, (tentatively March                   19)  (Six games per team; tentative dates are for makeup purposes.)

Times: Saturdays 9 AM - ?

Where: Swift River School Gymnasium

Cost: $15 per child; $30 cap for families (cost covers tee shirts)

To sign up, go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1lIfnXMsqSB0kaCOz9cfz0ZKNFirOMQ0SNNwdDMr1M6Y/viewform?usp=send_form

Participants must bring their own shinguards!

Interested in volunteering, coaching, or refereeing?*

Please contact Johanna Fitzgerald

email: [email protected]

Phone/Text: 978-727-9249

*If you are over 18 you must complete a CORI form at the SRS Office if you haven’t done so already.


The Happy Valley Children’s Chorus will be putting on  “Make Way for Ducklings: A Musical” this spring.  We are seeking young singers ages 4-10 to work together on this classic story and bring it to the public in a new format.  Rehearsals will be Mondays, 4-5:00 PM, March 7th through May9th, at the First Congregational Church of Amherst at 165 Main Street. Contact director Dorothy Cresswell at [email protected] for more information or to register your child.

My name is Willa Hartl and I have been babysitting for 5 years. I am a freshman in high school and I have experience babysitting ages 4 mos to 10 year olds. I love playing with kids inside or outside.  I am looking for jobs after school or on the weekends. I am free every day except Thur. I charge $10 an hour. My phone number is (413)801-4585  and my email is [email protected] ,but texting or calling me is best! References available. I would love to hear from you.

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