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Grey Matters, January 20, 2014; Volume 2, Number 19

posted Jan 19, 2014, 6:37 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:12 AM by James Marcotte ]

Late last week a friend of ours relayed a scene she witnessed where her daughter (age 9) and son (age 6) were playing together and decided to role play a scene between a mother and her child.  Child: “Mama, will you take me to the playground?” Mom: “Sure.  It’s right over here.  Ok, you play.  I’ll be sitting here texting.”  Our friend said I could mention this moment as long as we all agreed that the scene was more of a commentary on modern parenting in general, and not on her in particular….

A few reminders and notes about upcoming events and deadlines:

  • Our RJ Grey winter Chorus concert will be this Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm in the auditorium.  Students participating in the concert should confirm with Mr. Charig plans for that evening.  Parents can contact Mr. Charig at  

  • Most students will be participating later this week in some form of a math mid-year assessment (we’re reaching the 90 school day mark).  If your child has perhaps not made mention of this (slim chance, I know), you might want to ask him/her about it and check in.  Teachers undoubtedly will have different extra help sessions scheduled to support students.  

  • Our ImprovBoston event for 8th grade students was postponed last week due to an unforeseen issue for the performance group.  We have re-scheduled the program for February 4.  MARC, however, did come last week to present to our 7th grade students and we hope that students found it engaging and useful.  

  • There are two community forums this week for the public to engage with finalists for the Superintendent position.  Marie Altieri will be on Tuesday, January 21, and Brett Kustigian will be on Thursday, January 23.  Community forums for both candidates will be at 7pm at the RJ Grey library.  The School Committee will then interview all three candidates (individually) on Saturday, January 25 starting at 9am.  

The registration process for Project Wellness is under way for 7th grade families.  I hope most of you have had a moment to visit the Project Wellness website and begun a conversation with your 7th grader(s) about workshop options for the day.  The Project Wellness website can be reached by clicking here.  If you have any questions, please contact Kate Murray at  

At the end of last week we sent out mid-trimester interims for the Winter Trimester. As a  reminder, “Interims” is the term that we use for what others might call “progress reports”, or “warnings”.  If you do receive one, please read the comments carefully and consider using it as a way to begin a dialogue with your child.  If there is information that you would like clarified, please contact the teacher and begin a dialogue with him or her.  The Winter Trimester does not close until the end of February, so there is plenty of time for students to use this feedback to make adjustments.  

This Friday, January 24, our Student Council is sponsoring a “summer fun in winter” activity in the gym from 2:30 - 4:00.  This will feature a volleyball tournament, limbo contest, hula hoop contest, prizes, summer music, and, most importantly food.  While students who want to participate in the volleyball tournament need to sign up in advance, there is also a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy - including the food, music, and limbo and hula hoop contests.  General admission is $2.00, and all students who attend are encouraged to come dressed for summer (well, within reason of course - swim trunks might be a bit of a stretch).

A message from the Yearbook organizers: “The R.J. Grey Junior High yearbook is offering you the chance to send your love, pride and congratulations to the graduating 8th grade R.J. Grey student in your life.  You can select one of two advertisement formats to relay a message that your 8th grade student will cherish forever.”  For instructions, please click here.  

I wanted to include another friendly reminder about the Kevin Breel event at the high school on Thursday, February 6 at 7pm.  Kevin Breel is a 20-year old who struggles with clinical depression and he uses his passion for stand-up comedy to talk engage adolescents and families in a conversation about mental health issues.  This event is sponsored by the AB United Way and the PTSO.  You can download a flyer for this event by clicking here.  

There is no school today because it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  My daughter’s first grade teacher has an elaborate unit about Dr. King, and much to the delight of her history teacher mother and former history teacher father (yes, our children are doomed), she’s been soaking it up and wanting to learn more.  While many of his quotes utilize words and phrases that are beyond her comprehension at this point, it’s been fun “translating” some of them in ways that are accessible to her.  I thought I’d end this edition of Grey Matters with a short quote we looked at the other night - from a speech Dr. King gave in 1959 about the integration of schools:  

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights.  You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”  

Have a great week, everyone.