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Grey Matters, March 24, 2014; Volume 2, Number 27

posted Mar 23, 2014, 10:51 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:09 AM by James Marcotte ]

In just a bit, I am going to devote a few lines to thanking the volunteers who were instrumental in this year’s Project Wellness.  Right now, I am going to focus on the fact that if Project Wellness had been scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday, I would have suffered a full blown panic attack this morning when I logged on to and read the headline, “This Week’s Storm Could Be a Big One”.  I think many of you are at the same place I am - I’ve complained all winter long, but now the will and energy to fret and moan has left me, and my body and soul have surrendered to whatever forces are making it so that I will be forever directing morning traffic in my snow pants.  On a more serious note, if the storm evolves into something that delivers plowable snow, be sure to check for updates on television and online news sites (and the early morning phone call).  

Ok, now I am going to make quick mention of Project Wellness.  We had cooperative weather, and even more cooperative parents and students.  Thanks to our 7th grade families for spending the day with us, and we hope you found parts or all of the day a worthwhile experience.  Like I said in my opening comments at Project Wellness, the event is like planning a wedding for 800+ guests.  That can’t be done without the commitment and hard work of several people.  Our team of volunteers was led by Kate Murray, and included Kristen Fitzgerald, Christine Doucette, Joan McCaffrey, Anne Marie Sweeney, Julie Agapite, Jen Mabardy, Anne Noeth, and Torri Horovitz.  Similar to so many other successful events in Acton-Boxborough, it’s the involvement and commitment of our parent community that allows us to offer great opportunities for students.  

Those following and/or enjoying the NCAA college basketball tournament are probably aware that all none of the bracket entries for Warren Buffett's $1billion competition survived the weekend of endless upsets (including a few to my delight, but I will not share in case one or more of you happens to be an alum/rabid fan).  Our very own March Madness “Battle of the Books” has reached the finals, and the two remaining competitors are Hunger Games and Eragon.  If you’d like to cast a vote along with our students, go to the RJ Grey Library website by clicking here.  

We have three days of MCAS and PARCC testing this week (weather pending, ugh).  Monday and Tuesday are 7th Grade English Language Arts testing days, along with PARCC testing for the 7th graders involved in the pilot.  The small cohort of 8th grade students involved in PARCC testing will be participating on Monday and Wednesday.  I am on my way to BJ’s later today to replenish our juice box and breakfast bar supply, perhaps the same clerk will be at the register and I’ll really make her start to wonder about my purchases.  A friendly reminder to please encourage students to get a good night’s sleep (which we should encourage every night, of course, so I do feel a bit silly emphasizing it for just MCAS/PARCC).  

8th grade families: the portal to begin registering for classes at the high school for next year is now open (Monday, March 24). Please refer to this document (click here) for reminders and contact information for questions you might have.  Everyone can view the Program of Studies (i.e. course descriptions, requirements, etc.) by clicking here.  You can access the high school’s directions for the online registration process by clicking here.  Please note that if you need assistance with accessing the parent portal, you should contact Jeanne Potter at the high school by emailing her at

Another friendly reminder that the Kevin Breel evening event is this Thursday, March 27 at 7pm in the High School auditorium. I will be there, perhaps you are also planning to attend.  Click here for a downloadable flyer for the event.  You may recall that the PTSO and the AB United Way has been working with Acton-Boxborough to bring Mr. Breel to our community so he can share with us his stories and reflections about depression.  For those parents who are wondering whether Mr. Breel’s message and delivery would be a good fit for their child, you might want to view his TED Talk which can be accessed on Youtube by clicking here.  

Finally, I want to make quick mention (to the horror of the 1989 middle school version of me) that Winter Trimester report cards were distributed to students last week.  I am sure all of you had a chance to review your child’s report card. If your son/daughter did follow in my footsteps and accidentally sent his/her report card through the washing machine (perhaps similarly hoping a “D” would fade and look like a believable “B”), let me know and I’ll work with the main office to generate another copy.  

Have a great week, everyone.