Miki Lee Gromacki Sherry Balzano, Counselor (Kp-Rh)
Diane Chamberlain Myra Ross, College Advisor
Rich Ferro, Athletic Director Lisa Zephyr, Student Support/Guidance Counselor
Amherst is a college community with a population of 34,874 located in the Connecticut River Valley87 miles west of Boston, 23 miles north of Springfield. Amherst is the home of Amherst College, the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire College, with Mount Holyoke College and Smith College nearby.
Amherst Regional High School is a four-year comprehensive regional school serving the towns of Amherst, Pelham, Leverett, and Shutesbury. ARHS is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Enrollment is 1,077 with a senior class of 285. The student body is culturally diverse with a population that includes 63% Caucasian, 7% African-American, 9% Asian, 13% Hispanic, 8% Multi-Racial, and includes native speakers of 29 languages. The student-faculty ratio is 12 to 1. Masters or doctoral degrees are held by 88% of the faculty.
Amherst Regional High School's Core Values and Beliefs
The high school administration, faculty, and staff believe: 1) in promoting high achievement for all students; 2) in working from research-based best practices that promote student achievement; 3) that an education in diversity and social justice is essential for all members of our community. We believe that these values help us to recognize our civic responsibilities and the potential we share to make a positive difference in and beyond the school.
The Amherst Regional Public School system is a founding member of the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), an unprecedented national coalition of multiracial school districts that have come together to study the disparity in achievement between white students and students of color through intensive research. The Network was established to discover, develop, and implement the means to ensure high academic achievement of minority students.
88 Credits (grades 9-12), which include:
16 English credits (including 2 Oral Communication and 8 Literature)
12 Social Studies credits (including 4 of U. S. History)
8 Laboratory Science credits
8 Mathematics credits
2 Physical Education credits
2 Health Education credits
A fully enrolled student at ARHS takes a minimum of 22 credits each year. This includes study in five major academic subject areas plus physical education, health education, or elective courses.
ARHS operates on a trimester system. A typical student schedule includes three core subjects for two trimesters and four core subjects for one trimester plus one or two electives each trimester. In addition to a variety of required and elective courses in the core academic areas of mathematics, sciences, social studies, English, and world languages (we offer 4 modern languages and one classical language after the discontinuation of Russian last June), students can choose from nearly one hundred course opportunities in business education, family and consumer science, computer science, art, technology education, and music and the performing arts. All of these course offerings are college preparatory. At ARHS, the junior/senior English elective titled Journalistic Writing (formerly Journalism) is not a production class, but rather a writing class dedicated to improving composition skills.
Advanced Placement offerings are available in Calculus (AB & BC), Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish, European History, Biology, Physics, Environmental Science, and English Literature and Composition. Advanced Placement credit in English is awarded after the successful completion of two AP English literature electives. Students who enroll in two honors literature classes—including one classic and one contemporary—over the course of their junior and senior years and successfully complete the Advanced Placement Project and Portfolio in both, will receive an AP designation on their transcript.
In Mathematics, ARHS students can choose a traditional course sequence which includes Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry, or the Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) sequence. IMP courses are organized around central questions or themes and challenge students to solve a variety of routine and non-routine problems that develop mathematical concepts and habits of mind. Both sequences are offered at the college preparatory and honors levels, and both sequences prepare students for the study of calculus.
Alternative Learning Programs (ALP) permit students to propose independent studies or alternative projects to meet individual course and department goals. This work is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor and may involve academic activities, volunteer experience, local college courses, vocational exploration, or work experience either on or off campus. Credit is given for these experiences.
Amherst Regional High School students may take classes at Greenfield Community College or Holyoke Community College and will be considered dual enrollment students. Students may be enrolled both part-time at GCC or HCC and Amherst Regional High School or full-time at GCC or HCC. All credits earned will be used to fulfill ARHS graduation requirements.
Qualified upper-grade students may enroll in afternoon courses at local 4-year colleges (typically Amherst College or the University of Massachusetts/Amherst) to pursue advanced studies. The interface with the trimester schedule is difficult. Amherst College classes are free for ARHS students. Students must apply to individual professors for pre-approval in April of the preceding year. UMass classes cost more than $1,300 each and are cost prohibitive for many students. At both institutions students are allowed to register at the beginning of each semester if space is available. Students are expected to request official transcripts from these colleges to be sent to any post-secondary schools to which they are applying.
Students at ARHS are able to extend their learning outside of the classroom into the community. The Experiential Education Program, which includes a seminar, supports students in internships, community service activities or teaching assistantships. A Work Study Program is also available to students. Credit is given for these experiences.
Members of the class of 2013 have been subject to mandated directed study requirements during their years at ARHS. In 2009-10, as freshmen, students were required to register for two directed studies among their fifteen course blocks. No student was permitted to pre-enroll in more than thirteen blocks of classes. Some students were able to replace the directed study with an elective or Alternative Learning Program.
All academic courses at Amherst Regional High School are college preparatory. Courses designated as Honors are characterized by an accelerated pace, an intensive examination of content, or both. Honors courses demand substantial independent work, extensive use of supplementary materials, and sophisticated analysis and synthesis of information and ideas. Courses designated as Advanced Placement are courses that are similar to Honors courses in level of challenge and expectationsbut that follow the college-level AP curricula established by the College Board.
Grade Point Averages and Class Rank
An unweighted grade point average is computed for all Amherst Regional High School students. It includes grades for all courses completed by the end of the preceding trimester. All graded courses taken at ARHS are included, with the following exceptions:
1) Physical Education classes; 2) ALPs which do not have a written curriculum or are not graded by an ARHS teacher; 3) Courses taken outside of ARHS (including college classes); and 4) Courses designed to provide academic support. Courses transferred from other high schools or taken outside of ARHS (including college or university courses) are not included in a student’s GPA.
When reporting to colleges, the High School reports a student’s individual unweighted GPA. Amherst Regional High School does not provide individual or decile rankings.
The courses that are included in a grade point average are graded on a 4.0 scale.
Awards/Special Distinctions in 2012
Advanced Placement Information
Amherst Regional High School encourages students to take AP courses but does not require them to take the AP exams.
154 students (24% of juniors and seniors) took at least one AP exam in 2012.
89% scored 3 or higher
24 AP Scholars, 5 AP Scholars with Honors; 6 AP Scholars with Distinction
Each year a number of ARHS students receive awards and distinctions in a variety of areas. Examples from 2011-12 include:
Art: 14 students were awarded Gold Keys and 11 were awarded Silver Keys in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards competition. 2 students were accepted to the Massachusetts Art All-State.
Mathematics: 1 ARHS student earned a certificate of merit in the Math Olympiad, 3 ranked as team members, and 3 ranked honors in the American Mathematics Contest, one of whom was invited to participate in the American Invitational Mathematics Competition.
Music and Performing Arts: 1 ARHS student was named to National Honors Orchestra; 2 students were named to All Eastern U.S. Orchestra, and 6 students were named to Massachusetts All-State musical ensembles. The ARHS Chorale won a Gold Medal Superior Rating at the MICCA festival, and the Hurricane Singers won the "Overall Best Ensemble" Award on the WGBY Together in Song television series.
Science: 7 ARHS Varsity JETS Teams finished in the top 20% nationally; Varsity Jets finished 11th nationally in their division. Junior Varsity JETS finished 1st in state, 1st nationally in their division and 5th overall nationally. The Science Olympiad team placed 16th out of 42 teams in MA, not competing in 1 event, and had 6 bronze medal winners.
World Languages: Russian: 2 Gold Medals were awarded at the Advanced Level, 1 Gold Medal and 1 Silver Medal at the International Level, and 2 gold medals, 1 Silver Medal and an Honorable Mention at the Intermediate Level in the National Russian Essay Contest; 1 Silver medal was awarded at the Advanced Level and 3 gold medals and 2 silvers medals at the Intermediate Level at the 36th Annual New York Olympiada of Spoken Russian. Latin: ARHS students received 8 Maxima cum laude Silver Medals, 5 Summa cum laude Gold Medals, 9 earned Magna cum laude and 6 cum laude in the National Latin Exam.
Sports: ARHS varsity teams reached the Western Mass Finals in Division I Tennis and Volleyball. The Ultimate Frisbee teams are the reigning Massachusetts and Northeastern Champions, with the girls ranked #1 and the boys #2 in the US. The Hurricanes Swim Team placed fifth at States. The Girls Cross Country team ranked 7th and Boys ranked 6th in the State, and the Varsity Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams won Western Mass Titles.
(Includes testing for all students, including English Language Learners and students who have Individualized Education Plans)
PSAT Class of 2013 Class of 2012 Class of 2011 Class of 2010 Class of 2009
National Merit Semifinalists 6 6 1 9 1
National Merit Commendations 22 13 17 20 19
Percentage of Class Taking PSAT 67 63 74 71 71
Three students in the class of 2013 were named Outstanding Participants in the National Achievement Scholarship Program.
SAT Data for the Class of 2012:
209 students (85% of the class) took the SAT exam. The middle 50% critical reading scores were 490-660 (mean score 590). The middle 50% mathematics scores were 510-660 (mean score 600). The middle 50% writing scores were 500-650 (mean score 580).
ACT Data for the Class of 2012:
114 students (42% of the class) took the ACT exam. The average English score was 26.1. The average Math score was 26.2. The average Reading score was 26.1. The average Science score was 25.1. The average Composite score was 26.
Follow-Up Study of ARHS Graduates (As of October 1, 2012)
2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
Number of Graduates 248 270 285 286 285 323 290 322 310 299 345