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Grey Matters, April 6, 2015; Volume 3, Number 29

posted Apr 5, 2015, 10:55 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:41 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

For those who celebrate Easter, I hope your holiday activities this weekend proved meaningful for you and your family.  For everyone, I hope the long weekend and the day of warmer weather on Friday gave all of you some sense that Spring will eventually present itself for us to enjoy.

Right now at RJ Grey, we’re in a bit of a transition period and there isn’t too much to share, except for one item at the end that may be of particular interest to 7th grade families.  We just completed the first round of MCAS testing last week, so these next two weeks before April Break will be an opportunity for us to try and get back into a more typical school-day rhythm.  Tryouts and preparation for Spring sports are well under way - the last set of tryouts is for the baseball program, and takes place this Monday thru Wednesday at 2:15pm in the gym. Keeping our fingers crossed for the snow to melt and then enough warm weather so the fields get dry and our athletic endeavors this season don’t end up looking like this muddy scene from the Elephant Nature Park.  

In case you haven’t circled the week with a giant red marker, our April Break is scheduled for the week of April 19, so two weeks from now.  I assume those of you with plans to head somewhere more tropical are waiting until the week before break to send along my invitation to tag along with your family.  When we return from break we’ll have one week of our “typical schedule” and then we enter Round 2 of MCAS testing, which focuses on the Math portion (and for 8th graders, the Science assessment as well).  Here’s the schedule (which, remember, is still a month away):

Monday, May 4

7th grade Math MCAS, part I

Tuesday, May 5

7th grade Math MCAS, part II

Wednesday, May 6

8th grade Math MCAS, part I

Thursday, May 7

8th grade Math MCAS, part II

Friday, May 8

8th grade Science MCAS

A friendly reminder that the Discovery Museum is hosting a great event on Monday, April 13th with columnist Frank Bruni.  Mr. Bruni will be in the RJ Grey auditorium, giving a talk entitled “From Diapers to Diploma: A Healthier Way to Navigate Your Child’s Path to College.” For more information about this event, and for the link to reserve a seat, you can view this event flyer.  

Finally, I wanted to share some exciting news about plans that we are making for next year.  I am very pleased to announce that next spring RJ Grey is offering a trip to Washington, DC for 7th and 8th grade students interested in traveling to our nation’s capital during the week of April Break. We will depart RJ Grey early Sunday morning for a flight to Washington, spend four days there as part of the Close Up Foundation’s Washington Middle School Program, and return to Acton on Wednesday night. In DC, students will visit the famous monuments, memorials and museums that connect the ideas of our Founding Fathers to how our country works today, as the trip focus on the ideas of active citizenship that are a central focus of our 7th grade social studies curriculum. Some of the highlights of the trip include a visit to the National Air and Space Museum, a walking workshop of Capitol Hill, a mock Congress debating timely political issues, and an afternoon at Arlington Cemetery and the National Archives.

Up to 150 students will be able to participate in this program. We will first offer spots to our current 7th graders and then in September open remaining spaces to our newest class of students, as well as those who may not have signed up this Spring. If you are interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity (financial cost, logistics, and programming) for your child, please considering attending an informational session at the junior high school on the evening of April 30 at 6pm in our Library. There you will hear from a representative from Close Up and meet some of the school chaperones who will be accompanying our students. We are very excited about offering this opportunity and hope to see you on the 30th.

Have a great week, everyone.