Jackson Street PTO

 After school

There are two programs after school ends at 3:00 pm.  The YMCA offers an afterschool program until 6:00 pm, while the HOLA program (Hands-On Learning Afterschool) offers a variety of classes until 4:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays here at JSS.  To learn more about afterschool with the Y, please go to http://www.hrymca.org/school-age-childcare/about-sacc.  Information about HOLA will be sent home starting in late September.

All school assemblies

Each month there is an all-school assembly, usually with a theme (such as Honesty, Friendship, Respect), with a specific grade level presenting each assembly.  Parents and guardians are warmly welcome.  The specific date and time are published in the weekly newsletter and on the PTO website.


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Big Y

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Book Leveling

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Breakfast is available in the cafeteria each school morning starting at 8:30.  Breakfast costs $1.25 or may be free or at a reduced price (30 cents) for qualifying families. There is no breakfast on days with a delayed opening.

Buddy Day

Incoming kindergartners are invited to a “Buddy Day” in June before they start kindergarten.  Children visit a kindergarten classroom for an hour, while their parents meet for coffee and have a chance to see the school and ask questions.

Box Tops

JSS participates in the Box Tops for Education program.  Families are encouraged to clip and collect Box Tops from household products that have them – each one earns 10 cents for our school.  A parent coordinator collects them twice a year and sends them in and JSS receives a check.  Look for information in the newsletter or to find out which products are eligible, visit http://www.boxtops4education.com.


Class Placement Form

Each spring you will be given a Class Placement Form to fill out with information about your child, their learning style and any other information the school should know, and submit it to the school office.  The information you provide helps the school as they choose the best teacher/classroom for your child for the next school year.

Code of Conduct

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This background check form is required for all adults who volunteer in the school.  If you are interested in volunteering (and we love and appreciate any volunteering from our families!), we will provide you with the form – simply fill it out and give it, with a copy of your driver’s license, to our school office..  The office of VINS (Volunteers in Northampton Schools) processes the forms and your CORI certification is good for three years.  If you have already had a CORI check for volunteer work at another school, that CORI is good for JSS as well.

Coffee and Tea Sales

JSS sells a special Jackson Street blend of Dean’s Beans coffee and several custom blends of Tea Guys teas.  The products are all organic, fair-trade and locally roasted or blended, and the profits benefit JSS.  Order forms are available in the school office or we can email one to you. You can order any month or place a regular order.  For more information or to order, contact elhorn@mindspring.com.

Coffee Hour

1st and 3rd Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 10:00, there is a coffee hour for parents (and other guardians, grandparents, etc.) in the Family Center, located off the lobby, across from the cafeteria.  Free coffee, tea and snacks are provided, and it is a good opportunity to catch up with other parents.  Ms. Agna, our principal, usually drops by, and there are sometimes special guests or speakers.

Cultural Arts

A division of the PTO that handles field trips, guest artists/speakers/performers and other special events that enrich our school.  If you are interested in volunteering for Cultural Arts, we would love to have you!


 Delayed Opening

School is occasionally delayed two hours (10:50 start time) for teacher Professional Development, or for inclement weather. This year delays are scheduled for Oct. 22 and March 11, while weather delays are announced via radio, TV, online and via recorded “robo calls.”

Direct Donation

Through Florence Savings Bank, community supporters (and any other adults) can arrange to have a donation to JSS PTO automatically made each month.  A form about this program is in the back-to-school folder.


You will receive a directory form in the back-to-school folder – fill it out with any information you wish and submit it to your child’s teacher or the school office.  In October each family will receive a printed school directory.  This is a good way for students and families to reach each other for play dates, parties, coordinating school pick-up’s and drop-off’s, etc.


 Election Day Bake Sale

School is closed each Election Day (the second Tuesday in November) as JSS is a voting location.  Because so many people pass through our building that day, it is traditionally a good opportunity to sell baked goods and other foods as a school fundraiser.  We welcome food donations and volunteers.


English Language Learners - students whose first language is not English.

Electronics Recycling

In May JSS hosts an Electronics Recycling event at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School.  Anyone can bring old electronics (computers, TV’s, small appliances, etc.) and pay a small fee to recycle them responsibly.  JSS shares the profits with the recycling company.  A win-win:  good for the environment and good for our school!


Educational Support Professional – those amazing, indispensible people who work at JSS and provide services and support to students and teachers in so many ways.


 Families with Power

An organization of parents of color who support each other and our school.  Former teacher Mary Cowhey is their advisor.

Family Center

Located off the school lobby, across from the cafeteria, this room provides a couch, table and chairs as a place to take a break when you stop in at the school.  1st and 3rd Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 the Family Center hosts a coffee hour for parents and guardians.

Family Dinners

In Fall and Spring, there is a Family Dinner for each grade.  Families, grade-level teachers and Ms. Agna gather in the cafeteria for dinner (pizza, salad and cookies);  after dinner the children go the library for an educational video while caregivers and teachers discuss curriculum, how the school year is going and other topics.

Farmer’s Market

In June, students host a farmer’s market, selling plants they have grown in the JSS garden and other garden items.

Field Day

Held the first Friday in June (with a rain date of the next Friday), this is a day of outdoor fun – games, races and sometimes a water slide! – for all students.  Adult volunteers make it possible.

Field Trips

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Fifth Grade Graduation

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Fine, Fine School

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Florence Savings Bank

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Fluoride is administered weekly to students in grades 1 through 5 with parental permission.  Adult volunteers work with the school nurse to provide the liquid rinse.

Folder Stuffing

In late August adult volunteers spend a morning assembling Back-to-School folders, including information from the District, the school, and the PTO.

Francophone Friends and Family Club

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Free Book Fair

An annual event, usually held in May or June.  Each child may choose a free book, and students and families have the opportunity to purchase donated, gently-used children’s books for a nominal fee.



JSS is fortunate to have a thriving school garden.  Classes spend time in the fall and spring learning in and caring for the garden, and students, faculty and parents volunteer to take care of the garden year-round, including a Garden Work Day, a Harvest Festival, a Farmer’s Market and a summer watering/weeding schedule.

Garden Work day & Harvest Festival

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Giving Tree

In December there is a Giving Tree in the lobby – families who are able are asked to hang new winter mittens, gloves, hats and scarves on its branches, and place food donations below.  Before the Christmas break, the donations are brought to the Northampton Survival Center.

Goodbye/Tardy Table

Caregivers who walk their student into the lobby are asked to bid their child goodbye at this table in the lobby and allow them to walk themselves to the classroom.  If a student arrives at school after 8:50 am, they will be asked to sign in at the Goodbye/Tardy Table.

Grad Assembly

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Green Team

A group of Caregivers dedicated to helping JSS become more environmentally friendly.  The Green Team has been instrumental in making recycling and composting standard in the cafeteria, shifting from plastic to metal silverware and more.

Growth Mindset

JSS promotes the idea of a growth mindset:  “When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter.”


 Hand On Learning Activities (HOLA)

This is JSS’s very popular after-school learning and fun program.  Several times each year you will receive a schedule of offerings, everything from Legos to a school newspaper to soccer to fairy houses to cooking, which take place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:15 to 4:30 for seven weeks.  Prices are kept reasonable and scholarships are available.  Look for information coming home and in the newsletter.

Holiday Store

In December we host a holiday store in the lobby to sell JSS items (mugs, water bottles, t-shirts, etc.) as well as assorted toys and crafts for holiday gift giving.  The tables are staffed by volunteers and all proceeds benefit the JSS PTO.

How Schools Work

This is a program to help caregivers who are new to the United States and/or the school system navigate their child’s education.


 Indoor Recess

On rainy, snowy or bitterly cold days, the school may opt to keep the students in their classrooms for recess.

International Walk/Bike to School Day

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John F. Kennedy Middle School – Northampton’s public school for grades 6,7 and 8.

JSS Gazette

A school newspaper, written, edited and produced by students in the HOLA afterschool enrichment program.


 Kindergarten Playground

The smaller playground with the playhouse in the front of the school.

Title (Grants)

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 Let`s Talk

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Lock down Drill

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Lost & Found

Lost items are kept on a table in the lobby, to the right of the school office. 

Love Your Family Dinner

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 Mark Your Calendar

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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.  A set of standardized tests which Mass. public school students take starting in third grade.


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Monday Morning Meditation

Ms. Agna, our principal. Begins each Monday with a Monday Morning Meditation over the P.A. system, beginning our week in a calm, contemplative way.

Morning Math Club

A great program, usually held two mornings each week

Movie Nights

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Ms. Agna Playground

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 Nature`s Classroom

A special program which our 5th graders participate in each October.  Students spend three nights/four days in Becket, MA learning about nature and science and building teamwork and friendships. 


Every Friday families receive the JSS Newsletter. Families are encouraged to read it weekly, as it contains the most up-to-date news and dates for school events.  Caregivers can opt to receive a paper copy in their child’s backpack, receive it by email or both. 

Northampton Education Fund (NEF)

A non-profit organization created to fund projects and programs that expand educational opportunities, foster creativity, and enhance academic experiences in Northampton's public schools. The NEF also works to broaden community support for our public schools.


Northampton High School

NHS Key Club

A high school service club.  The Key Club is a wonderful friend to JSS, providing free childcare at events, running sports clinics and other great opportunities for our students.

Northampton Public Schools Action Committee

A coalition of parents, teachers and community members that is building solidarity across our district to build a vision of what is possible for our public schools and to address the local impacts of issues such as high-stakes testing, charter school funding and other corporate education reform policies that have a great effect on our schools and our children. Our members are comprised of teachers, parents and concerned community members, and represent all six schools across our district.  For more information:  https://northamptonpublicedaction.wordpress.com


 Open House

An annual event, held in late September or early October, in which families come to the school to tour their student’s classroom, explore the school, collect information about the PTO and school happenings and have their family picture taken.

Outdoor Classroom

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Families may opt to receive the weekly newsletter and other documents via email rather than in paper form.  A form to request this option is in the back-to-school folder.  (While striving to be as green as possible, we remind caregivers that some forms, such a permission slips, will still come home on paper).


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Parking Lot

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An acronym for Peanut Butter, Jelly, Tuna and Macaroni & Cheese, these are food items we collect in June to donate to the Northampton Survival Center.  These staples can help fill in the summer nutrition gap for families whose children rely on school meals during the school year. 

Picture Day

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Playground Committee

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Principal`s Fund

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Progress Reports

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The Parent-Teacher Organization.  All parents, guardians and teachers are automatically members and there are no dues.  The PTO meets the second Wed. of each month at 6:30 pm in the library, and offers free childcare and snacks during the meetings.  The PTO strives to support the teachers and enrich the offerings in the school.  There are countless ways to volunteer with the PTO – we welcome any time, ideas or contributions you have.




 Recycling/Reuse Bin

The two yellow bins at the front of the school (next to the cafeteria doors).  Anyone may place unwanted items (clothing items not suitable for Goodwill, books, videotapes, old sheets and towels. etc. – please see sign on bins for specific restrictions). The bins are emptied by a company when full and our school receives ten cents per pound.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

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Occasional, recorded calls from our principal or the school superintendent about news or events.


 Savings Makes Sense

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School Committee

The governing body of the Northampton Public Schools, comprised of elected representatives from each ward and at-large.  Meetings are held at 7:15 PM on the second Thursday of each month in the Mark E. Warner Community Room at JFK Middle School, 100 Bridge Road, Florence.   

School Council

A representative group of parents, staff and community members who meet monthly with Ms. Agna to discuss issues in the budget, curriculum and general climate, workings and culture of the school.

School Sprouts

This is a garden education program that comes to JSS.  All grade levels receive several sessions of School Sprouts visits each fall and spring.

Science Night

This is a annual event supported by PTO where community members and students bring in hands-on science experiments to inspire young learners about Science.

See Hear Feel Film

An educational program through Amherst Cinema that helps third graders develop the visual and written literacy skills needed to think critically about the images they see every day.

Sign Up Genius

the JSS PTO uses this web-based sign-up system to reach out to volunteers for school events.

(SOS) Book Fund

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All JSS students typically attend a “Special” each day:  Art, Music, Library and Physical Education (2 x per week).  The schedule varies by grade.


Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)  advises the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities. SEPAC members meet regularly with school officials to participate in planning, development and evaluation of the school district's special education programs. 

Spring Concert

This annual event, usually in mid-March, is a wonderful showcase of all JSS students singing, under the direction of music teacher Kim O’Connell.  All families are invited.

Stop & Shop

Families who shop at Stop & Shop can link their store card to JSS – there is no cost to you, and a portion of your purchases will be donated to JSS.

Student Teachers

We are fortunate to have a number of student teachers each year, from Smith College and other local colleges, who work in our classrooms, helping teachers and students alike.

Swing into Spring

This annual silent auction and celebration, typically held the last Friday in March at the Garden House at Look Park, is our biggest fundraiser of the year.  With a great array of donated items and services available for silent and live auction, delicious snacks, music and a cash bar, it is a great night of fun for parents and faculty, and raises valuable funds for JSS.  Planning for this event begins several months before, and volunteers are greatly appreciated.



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Teacher / Staff Appreciation

We can never thank our teachers and staff enough, but we have two annual events to show them in small ways:  a teacher appreciation luncheon in January, and a teacher appreciation breakfast in May. 

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 Valley Gives

A 24 hour e-philanthropy event to encourage residents in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties to contribute to their favorite nonprofit organizations via www.valleygivesday.org – a new web-enabled and mobile giving platform. 

Variety Show

This annual event is one of the most fun nights of the school year.  Students in all grades entertain with singing, dancing, gymnastics, piano, guitar, comedy, film, yo-yo-ing – a huge variety of talents.   Information about auditions and rehearsals will go home in the spring.


Volunteers in Northampton Schools.  A wonderful nonprofit that helps place volunteers in all Northampton public schools.  For more information:  https://sites.google.com/site/northamptonvins/

Visiting Days

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Volunteer Coordinator

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Volunteer Tea

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 Walking Program

Parents help run this great program, where students can choose to walk during recess twice a week.  Their mileage is recorded on cards, and milestones are rewarded with small prizes (and sometimes announcements over the PA system!)

Walking School Bus

Most Friday mornings, Ms. Agna joins families on the bike path or in Hampshire Heights to walk to school.  Check the newsletter for this week’s plan.


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Week of the Young Child

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Wooden Structure

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