August 2022-Employee Newsletter

School. Family. Community

~A Message from the Superintendent~

August 31, 2022

Hello Team Amherst:
This is the first of our monthly newsletters that we will be publishing throughout the school year.  The purpose of these newsletters is to provide staff with information about the school division as well as links to information that we hope you will find beneficial.

As of today, the students have been back in school for two weeks.  I want to thank you all for a great opening of school.  As I visited schools over the past two weeks, I have been pleased to see all of the energy and positive interactions between our staff and students.  As part of the Team Amherst approach, we need to continue to foster positive relationships among each other, our students, our families, and the community.  As a school division we must ensure our students become life ready and productive citizens.
I will be visiting schools periodically throughout the school year to meet with staff and students in order to get a pulse on the state of the school division.  I am also scheduled to be in your buildings to conduct classroom visits once each 9 weeks throughout the school year.  These visits are non-evaluative and are designed to provide me an opportunity to be in the classrooms to observe our instructional practices and interact with staff and students.

On September 30, 2022 ACPS will hold our first Show UP Day as part of our #ShowUpAmherst initiative.  Each school in the division will hold an event designed to encourage students to show up to school.  After the initial Show Up Day, schools will have days throughout the year in which students will be acknowledged for being present that day.  The days will not be announced in advance so students will not know which day the school will be holding additional Show UP days.

As part of our Team Amherst approach, the school administration team will be hosting tailgates for staff and their families at three of the high school football games.  We hope the tailgates will provide us an opportunity to continue to build a sense of community and family among staff.  The tailgates will be held at the Outdoor Classroom space in the front of the high school from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.  We will host the two middle schools on September 23, the elementary schools on October 7, and the high school and Amherst Education Center on October 21.  Non-school based staff, such as maintenance and transportation specialists, can select which event they prefer to attend.  We will be sending out a survey prior to each event in order to get a count of the number of staff planning to attend so we can plan accordingly for the amount of food we will need to prepare.

We have some important financial information to share. This year’s state budget included a bonus for staff.  Full time employees will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 and part time employees will receive a one-time bonus of $500. Though we have yet to receive the funds for the bonus from the state, we intend to issue our bonus checks to staff in late November to early December.  We felt you would appreciate the additional funds to help with the holiday expenses. 

You may have also heard that ACPS will be transitioning to self-funded health insurance on October 1, 2022.  This move will present a cost savings to staff and the division.  Staff will not see any changes to their insurance coverage.  Staff will continue to be covered by Anthem and will be offered the same coverage plans. More information can be found below that specifically addresses our move to self-funded insurance.   

As we move into the fall season, there will be several festivals taking place in the county.  The Sorghum Festival will be held on October 1 at the Clifford Ruritan Club; the Garlic Festival will be held on October 8 and 9 at Rebec Vineyards; the Apple Harvest Festival will be held on October 15 and 16 at Amherst County High School; and the Amherst County Fair will be held October 20 – 23 at the county fairgrounds.  Please Show Up for your community and make an attempt to be present at some of these events.

I thank you for everything you have done thus far and will continue to do for our students. You have done a spectacular job and I am looking forward to seeing the growth in our students as we progress through the school year.  Remember to “Show UP” for each other and our students.  I encourage you to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.  You need to take care of yourself so you will be able to take care of your students.  Let us continue to build Team Amherst by working with and alongside our families and community to engage them in the education of our students.  It will take all of us working together to get where we need to be in June. Thank you again for a great opening of school. I am looking forward to building upon the momentum we have developed as we continue through the rest of the year.

What's Happening in ACPS!?


#ShowUpAmherst is an initiative in partnership with Amherst County Public Schools, Amherst County Public Schools Education Foundation, and IRON Lives to promote positive character for students, families, and the greater community. 
We all need to #ShowUp to support our schools, community and each other.

Click here to view the #ShowUpAmherst video!


What is Team Amherst? Team Amherst is the collaborative effort between school, family, and community to build positive relationships and support each other. As a school community, we must work together to ensure that our students become life-ready and productive citizens.

Health Insurance

Effective 10/1/2022 we will be changing the way we fund your health benefits from fully insured to self-funded. This change will be totally transparent with no disruption to our members that utilize these benefits. Anthem will still be our administrator and our provider network. Your ID cards and benefits will not change.
This change has considerable benefits:
-Reduced expected costs of approximately 7.5%. This is related to administrative costs savings and reduction in other fees.
-Ability to participate in prescription (Rx) saving options not available with fully insured plans.
-Plan design flexibility to better support our employees.

Savings related to good years of plan experience will now be retained and used to offset future projected cost increases, and to forgo possible benefit changes. Under the fully insured plan all surpluses were retained by the carrier (Anthem).

Health and Wellness

The physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our staff is incredibly important. Education is a rewarding and difficult profession and we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves so we are able to care for our students. As an employee, you have access to many wellness resources, click below to find out more! 

Click here to access a variety of wellness resources!

School Safety

School safety is a top priority in Amherst County Public Schools. Please remind your students that if they “see something, say something” to an adult. School safety is a collaborative effort between the schools, families, and the community. We need to continue to work together to provide for a safe and secure educational environment for students and staff.

Attendance Awareness Month

September is Attendance Awareness Month! Student attendance in school is vital to their academic success. We all know that quality in person instruction with a teacher is best for student learning.  Students who are chronically absent from school are not as successful as those who attend school regularly. 

Extracurricular Activities

Our students are actively involved in a variety of extracurricular activities throughout the division. Please show your support for our students by attending events, participating, or volunteering!

Community Events

Sorghum Festival

When: October 1, 2022
Where: Clifford Ruritan Club

More Information

Garlic Festival

When: October 8-9, 2022
Where: Rebec Vineyards

More Information

Apple Harvest Festival

When: October 15-16, 2022
Where: Amherst County High School

More Information

Amherst County Fair

When: October 20-23, 2022
Where: Amherst County Fairgrounds

More Information

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