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Grey Matters, May 12, 2014; Volume 2, Number 33

posted May 11, 2014, 1:53 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:08 AM by James Marcotte ]

A very happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there who deserve our appreciation today and every other day of the year.  My family and I spent Mother’s Day weekend in New York City, attending the wedding of my brother-in-law and his (now) wife.  The ceremony itself was quite small and limited primarily to extended family and a few close friends.  Towards the end, the Priest asked if those in attendance would commit to supporting Josh and Anna as they begin this stage in their lives together.  All but one of us answered, “we will” and then my youngest son, as it’s clearly his life’s mission to contradict everything, blurts out an emphatic “no!” that echoed throughout the church.  You may recall from last week’s Grey Matters that he is the one who planned to see where the Principal’s office is during his Kindergarten welcome day, in anticipation of getting sent there by his teacher(s) next year.

We have now completed MCAS testing for the year (hallelujah).  If your child missed any of his/her testing days last week, we will be holding make-up sessions during the first part of this week.  If you have any questions, please contact Assistant Principal Jim Marcotte at  Our students deserve a lot of credit and applause for their effort during our MCAS sessions, and we appreciate their approach to what can be a cumbersome and lengthy process.  

Our second annual Arts Happening festival is coming to RJ Grey on June 5th! This is a great event for students and families, including any younger siblings and relatives.  Arts Happening is an evening of arts and ice cream this year.  It will include on-going events which will include both musical and dramatic performances, creation of musical 'portraits', an opportunity to make art, and a fundraising Empty Bowls Ice Cream Social. All proceeds will go to the Acton Community Supper and the Acton Food Pantry. Bring your family to enjoy an evening filled with amazing arts and ice cream, while helping to feed hungry families in our area. For more information, visit the Arts Happening website by clicking here

Now that we are entering the second week of May, we can now see some of our end-of-year activities on the horizon - dances, field trips, and other special events.  As we get nearer to those events, we’ll be sure to send out more information and details to families.  Two events that I want to highlight right now is, first, our Spring band concert, which will be this Tuesday, May 13 at 7:00pm (in the RJ Grey auditorium).  Secondly, on Tuesday, May 20, the Spring chorus concert will be held, also at 7pm in the auditorium.  We hope to see many of you at each/both events.  For any questions regarding the events, please contact Mr. Hickey (Band) at, or Mr. Charig (Chorus) at  

Finally, I briefly made mention a few weeks ago of the date for the 8th grade “End of Year” dance, which is now scheduled for Friday, June 13.  I know it’s a month away, and I want to try and provide a bit more information at this time about the event - and do my best not to oversell or undersell the atmosphere that exists at this great end-of-year activity.  I mention the below thoughts because sometimes, during some bouts of excitement about the event, a few expectations may be discussed and generated within our student population that may be on the bit unrealistic/ambitious/fantasy-ish side-- and then they occasionally get re-articulated to parents as school guidelines. So below is a bit of guidance that I hope will help…..

We definitely make an effort (and with the help of parent volunteers, are always successful) to make this more than a “typical” or casual dance/celebration in terms of atmosphere -- we’ve got some great decorations, a photo booth, and an impressive spread of food (and it’s at night).  At the same time, we are not trying to create our own version of a Prom.  We want students to come excited and eager to spend an evening with their friends and classmates, and somewhat dressed up for the event.  They don’t, however, need to think about “coming with a date” (the overwhelming majority do not, and is not even on their radar), hair appointments, or special transportation.  We ask students who attend this event to dress a bit more formally than most would for a regular school day -- be it a dress or nice slacks, collared shirts (some choose to wear ties), and some form of khakis (in other words, not wearing jeans).  I’d try and get into more detail about clothing options, but then you’d discover how out of touch I am with current youth fashion trends.   Finally, if dancing is not your son/daughter’s “thing”, please assure them that it’s not a required activity for the evening, and many simply come and socialize with their peers.  As we get nearer to the end of school, we’ll send out reminders about buying a ticket.  

Have a great week, everyone.