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Grey Matters, March 31, 2014; Volume 2, Number 28

posted Mar 30, 2014, 11:01 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:09 AM by James Marcotte ]

There’s a story circulating online about a middle school student whose research about type fonts may be an opportunity to save money and conserve resources.  14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani, a middle school student living outside of Pittsburgh, has released his research findings that had started out as a modest science fair project. Click here for CNN’s coverage of the story.   In the Journal for Emerging Investigators, Mirchandani presents data suggesting that using the font Garamond instead of the more typical fonts used by organizations that do a lot of printing (Times New Roman, for example) would substantially reduce printing costs. I’ve lately been using Calibri for my documents (including Grey Matters), but I’ll switch over to Garamond as a nod to Mr. Mirchandani’s entrepreneurial spirit.  


Assuming that Monday goes fairly smoothly, we will have survived the month of March again.  Hallelujah.  A friendly reminder to 8th grade families that the portal (via PowerSchool) to register for 9th grade classes closes today, March 31.  Please be sure to complete the registration process if you haven’t already.  Also, a parent asked me for an update about our scheduled last day of school.  If we don’t have any more snow days, our last day will be Wednesday, June 18th (a half day).  


Tryouts for our baseball and softball teams are well underway, but Spring track has not yet begun.  Students interested in participating in the track program need to attend a meeting scheduled for this Thursday, April 3 at 2:30pm in the RJ Grey auditorium.  At that meeting, the coaches will share with students information about the program, and answer questions.  Track is a “no cut” program, so all students are welcome to participate (we have averaged well over 200 students the past few years).  While all students are welcome, the infamous Green Form is still required in order to participate - students need to make sure they have that form to bring to the coaches by Monday, April 7 - which is the first day of practice.  


We have our next installment of the Second Step curriculum scheduled for this Tuesday.  7th grade groups will be participating in a discussion about various types of harassment, specifically sexual harassment, and including a dialogue about some of the challenges with identifying the line that separates humor and harassment.  8th grade sessions will include conversations and exercises about de-escalating tense situations, addressing moments when we ourselves feel angry or stressed, and brainstorming some strategies for managing those circumstances effectively. 


A quick note and reminder that annual town meetings for Acton and Boxborough are soon approaching.  Acton’s town meeting begins Monday, April 7 in the high school auditorium.  Boxborough’s begins on May 12 in the Blanchard gym.  For those interested in reviewing school budget-related materials that were developed by the District, please visit the District’s website, which is http://www.ab.mec.edu.  


Finally, I wanted to share with everyone the poem that was read last week in our latest edition of Poetry Fridays.  Mr. Malloy selected the poem, “The Moon Exactly How It Is Tonight”  (click on the title to read) by slam poet Taylor Mali.  A former teacher, Mr. Mali studied acting with members of The Royal Shakespeare Company and has used those dramatic skills to perform and teach poetry throughout the world.  


Have a great week, everyone. 


Cheers,

Andrew
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