Welcome to the Backpack for February. Mid-term exams are history, as we start the second half of the year. In my house February brings thoughts of the rapidly approaching spring. However, reality and experience tells us that February and March can still bring plenty of snow and cold weather.

My husband, the eternal optimist, just checked his golf clubs and cleaned out his golf bag, preparing for a new season. However for fans of the Giants, Patriots and UConn basketball, the winter is far from over.

Regarding the school news for the month, school will be closed for Presidents Day on Monday, Feb. 18 and for the Winter recess from Tuesday, Feb. 19, through Friday, Feb. 22. Classes will resume on Monday, Feb. 25.

Auditions for the Solo and Ensemble concert will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 2:20 p.m. until 4 p.m. The Solo And Ensemble Concert will take place on Tuesday, Feb 12 at 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Parent Conferences will be held from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. by appointment only. To arrange an appointment for a conference with your child's teacher, please sign up in advance using the Amity Web site at www.amityregion5.org..

The Link Crew will meet on Feb. 6 from 7 to 7:30 a.m. in the Lecture Hall. The Amity Booster Club will meet on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at the high school.

The induction ceremony for the French, Latin and Spanish Honor Societies is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. prior to the induction ceremony. Parents, guardians and members of the Amity community are cordially invited to attend and to celebrate the outstanding academic accomplishment of our most talented foreign language students.

Counselors recently met with all Junior students to review post-secondary planning and course selection for the 2008-2009 school year.

Freshmen and sophomore students received their materials and instructions for course selection from their counselors on Jan 28. Students will be requesting course and course level recommendations from their current teachers.

Parents and students are reminded that course registration materials are due to be returned to their counselors no later than Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The National Math Test will be administered on Wednesday, Feb. 27, during the first, second and third periods. Testing will be in the school cafeteria.

There is no PTSA meeting for the month of February. A joint PTSA/PTSO meeting will be held on March 20. Read the March edition of the Amity Backpack for more details regarding this meeting.

Amity students are making ceramic bowls and soup for a "Soup and Bread" dinner for 200 people, to be held on April 10. All proceeds of this event will benefit the Community Soup Kitchen located in New Haven.

Tickets for this event are currently on sale. AA ticket can be purchased for a minimum donation of $10 per person. Several generous donors have already donated utensils, napkins and other materials.

If you would like to help make this event a success by donating a gift card to a local supermarket or by making a monetary donation, please contact Anne Eisner or Jim Clifford at the Amity High School. The telephone number is 397-4830.

The Republican and Democrat Presidential Primary in Connecticut will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Voters registered as Republican or Democrat voters are eligible to cast their ballots.

If you have any questions regarding this primary election, please contact your Town Clerk or Registrar of Voters.

That's the news for February. Happy Valentine's Day to my loyal readers. Spring begins on March 20. Because 2008 is a Leap Year, that's only 59 days away.

Karen Arnold is a resident of Orange.