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Grey Matters, January 27, 2014; Volume 2, Number 20

posted Jan 26, 2014, 8:27 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:12 AM by James Marcotte ]

My wife was in Philadelphia for the weekend to attend a wedding, and I was bracing myself planning to be on my own with our three kids.  The first time I had them for 2+ days on my own I commented to a friend that I had to “babysit the kids all weekend.” She politely pointed out that when it’s your own kids, you can’t really call it babysitting, it’s really just parenting.  This time around, my sister-in-law swooped in and offered to have them all sleep over at her place on Saturday night, giving me freedom a nice break.  Rest assured, I avoided any potential Justin Bieber-like moments, mostly a result of good judgment, but also due to the fact that I could never afford those moments either.  

Parents and guardians of 7th graders received an email and phone message from me last week regarding Project Wellness.  I hope all of you (7th grade families) have now had a chance to review the materials on the Project Wellness website (click here to visit) and complete the registration process for the event on March 19th.  I know at this point it feels like you’ve been somewhat bombarded with these reminders - please know that it’s to make sure our team of volunteers has the information they need to make the day a successful one for everyone (did I mention the website?).  If there are a few of you who still need some assistance, or have questions, please contact Kate Murray at  

We had our latest episode of “Poetry Fridays” last week, and our student reader was Sarika Chawla from 7 Gold.  Sarika selected Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which is also the name of Angelou’s autobiography. While you didn’t have the opportunity we had of hearing Sarika recite the poem, you can still read the poem by clicking here.  

An important Save The Date message to 8th grade families regarding the transition to the high school: On Wednesday February 12th at 7pm the high school will be hosting an evening for the parents of 8th graders. The goal of the evening is for parents to get an overall feel for the high school - including the class offerings available to ninth grade students. The night will begin in the high school auditorium with a welcome by principal Dr. JoAnn Campbell followed by a brief presentation by each department leader focusing on the classes available to ninth grade students. Immediately following the presentation parents may join department leaders in the East Commons where they will be available to answer questions.

By all reports our annual ski trip to Waterville Valley was a success and enjoyed by all who participated this past Saturday.  Thanks go to Elizabeth Broadwater and the other chaperones who made the trip possible.  It’s good that we have these trips (along with our weekly Ski Club) to remind us of the enjoyable aspects of the winter season, as the brutally cold air still hangs over and around us.  I think the Boston Globe was thinking the same thing (and perhaps heard of my desire to move to the West Coast), as they recently posted a number of classic photos of ice skating in New England, which you can view by clicking here.  

One other significant event that took place this weekend was the School Committee’s interviews with the finalists for the Superintendent position, which took place at the end of a process that involved community forums, site visits, and a whole host of other activities.  After interviewing each candidates, and discussing the information gathered during the search process, the School Committee voted to appoint Mr. Glenn Brand as the Superintendent of Acton-Boxborough effective July 1, 2014, pending contract negotiations.  Mr. Band is currently the Assistant Superintendent in Sharon, MA, and we look forward to welcoming him to our community.  I am sure the School Committee will provide additional updates and information throughout the Spring as part of the transition process.  

A quick update about our official RJ Grey Twitter account - we are now at 75 followers.  Some moderate growth since earlier this fall, and we hope that our loyal followers have found it to be useful and timely.  Sign up for our Twitter feed by going here.  As a point of comparison, the aforementioned Justin Bieber currently has 49,078,287 followers (which likely includes a few RJ Grey students).  Help us narrow the gap between us and the pop star whose arrest led MSNBC to interrupt an interview with a member of Congress so they could share breaking news of his legal woes. Much as I joke about our society’s fixation with these situations, let’s hope things settle down for Mr. Bieber.  Watching another young person spiral out of control is more sad than anything else.  

So we don’t end this week’s Grey Matters on a somber note about child pop stars- I wanted to highlight two successful and entertaining RJ Grey events - the Winter Chorus Concert and last Friday’s Summer in Winter social event.  Kudos to members of the chorus and Chris Charig for a wonderful performance, and thanks to the Student Council and Debbie Ahl (and the parent volunteers) for organizing a fun afternoon event that was attended by many students.  We hope to build on some of the momentum from the event on Friday and offer some additional activities later this Spring.  

Have a great week, everyone.