Before School Coordinator & VELA Coordinator

Program Goals
The Vela Scholars Program has been structured to provide students with additional learning and enrichment opportunities beyond what might otherwise be available to them. By working with teachers, interns, community partners and other students in the classroom and beyond, we hope scholars will:

  • Increase core competencies and comprehension in mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies.
  • Engage in intellectually stimulating and personally interesting projects and activities.
  • Prevent loss of recently learned skills and knowledge.
  • Feel a greater connection to ARMS and the local community while assisting in the transition to middle school (for current 6th graders and students who are new to the district).
  • Have fun while learning.

Daily Schedule
The program meets weekdays from Monday-Thursday at the middle school.  The program will begin at 2:30 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. each day.  Homework support will start at 2:30 p.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. with enrichment classes to start at 3:30 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.   VELA is NOT held on early release days.  Enrichment activities will be directed by VELA staff, trained Amherst College interns and supervised by program staff.  These activities will vary from day to day and may include art and literature projects, mural painting, sports, group games, community service, trips to museums, and more.

Buses will be provided free-of-charge to all students in need of transportation who live within Amherst.  Once all registration materials are received bus routes will be set and approximate drop-off times will be communicated to each family.  We encourage any parents/guardians that can provide private transportation for their student to do so as this will help lower program costs and ensure that more students may participate.  Please note: There is NO VELA transportation on early release days. 

 Program Staff
The Vela Scholars program staff is comprised of a program coordinator, VELA support staff, VELA enrichment staff, Amherst College Interns, ARHS student volunteers, ARMS classroom teachers, ARMS counselors and UMASS volunteers. Please direct all questions, concerns, and communications to Carmen Cosme, Program Coordinator  call 413 362-1861.

Program Expectations

Vela Scholars are expected to:

  • Bring a positive and enthusiastic attitude to all activities
  • Maintain regular attendance and be on time
  • Demonstrate respect towards staff, scholars, and themselves
  • Follow all school and program rules (see the Student Handbook at

 Vela Scholar parents/guardians are expected to:

  • Encourage regular attendance
  • Review and respond to updates and communications from program staff
  • Recognize scholars for effort and progress
  • Attend Parent Workshops/Parent Presentations offered throughout the year.


VELA Application Spanish.pdf

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