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Grey Matters, June 15, 2015; Volume 3, Number 38

posted Jun 14, 2015, 11:13 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:37 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

I spent a good deal of time this past winter wondering how many of our students (mostly male) could get through the day only wearing shorts.  I apparently was not the only one, as several articles like this one appeared online throughout the winter season.  Last Friday night, I spent most of the evening wondering how our students attending the 7th grade dance were able to function, and in fact enjoy themselves, in the sweltering heat - some of them decked out in pants, long-sleeve shirts, and even some sport coats. Whatever coping mechanisms they have at their disposal that older people do not, the 250 (maybe closer to 300) students who attended the event seemed to really enjoy spending some time together, as we near the end of the school year.  This was the first 7th grade dance that we’ve planned in a few years, having struggled to generate interest in the past.  Here’s hoping that the success of last Friday’s dance will generate some momentum into next year and beyond.  

The success of any event such as Friday night’s dance hinges on the dedication and hard work of some RJ Grey staff and parent volunteers.  This dance, and next week’s 8th grade dance, wouldn’t be possible without the work of Debbie Ahl, 8th grade English teacher and Student Council advisor.  Tina Connors graciously took on the task of organizing parent donations and staffing the food tables during the event, and we are enormously grateful for her efforts.  Thank you to Tina, and Sangeertha Ulman, Jennifer Mabard, Carol Zeroual, Meg Danisewich-Martin, and Sandra Fullica for spending the evening with us and making sure everyone stayed hydrated. And thank you to the many parents (see list here) who donated food and drink for the dance.  

The 8th Grade End-of-Year Dance/Celebration is this Friday at 7pm!  This event is held in our (transformed) cafeteria and students enter through the side door (you’ll see it); so parents who are dropping kids off can pull right up to the front of the school.  When picking kids up after the dance, we would suggest parking in the lower parking lot and either waiting in the car, or coming up to the entrance to meet your kids (your options probably depend on the degree to which your child allows you to be seen in public with them).  

A few friendly reminders about the next two weeks:

  • Does your child have an RJ Grey Library book or old textbook buried under some laundry?  Teachers will begin the process of collecting textbooks and other learning materials, so anything you can do to help unearth these items would be greatly appreciated (and save you some money)

  • The end-of-year field trips are on June 24th.  7th graders will be dismissed at the regular 2:06pm time and can take the buses home.  8th graders will return from Canobie around 4pm, and there will be a second run of the bus routes that take place between 4pm and 4:20pm (or you can come and pick them up).  

We just completed our second full year of all-school daily Silent Reading. While I don’t think we reached a 100% approval rating from the students about having silent reading, we hope that many found those that time every morning at 9:58am to be not only a nice change of pace from the rest of the day, but also developed some additional comfort with/enjoyment with pleasure reading.  A recent study suggested a continued decline in the number of kids who indicated a love of reading for fun, particularly after they reach the age of eight.  For those of you whose children might be open to some continued pleasure reading over the summer, two resources for you: (1) our RJ Grey Library website includes a number of links to book lists and search engines that provide suggestions based on specific interests; and (2) the High School has released its updated Summer Reading List (click here to view) that it encourages all of its students, including rising 9th grade students (those are your kids, 8th grade parents!), to look at if they’re stuck for suggestions.  Please note that the High School does not have any required summer reading for 9th grade English, but they do want to encourage students to find something to enjoy and read.  Please note that any book on their list that has an asterisk (*) is a title that will be discussed in an informal, teacher-led book group in the fall.  They also want to note that a number of the titles on the list are ones that families could read together.  

Finally, those of you who drop your children off at school in the mornings may have noticed another guest appearance by Mr. Brian Crossman, Minuteman Tech teacher, this time filling in for Mr. Marcotte.  Since a few of you had the opportunity to have a quick conversation with Brian about Jim’s whereabouts, I hope you all noticed the mischief in his eyes when he told you that Jim was participating in a candlepin bowling championship tournament that day.  I suppose the truth (a family commitment) was too boring for Brian.  Everyone’s a comedian.

We’ve got 7.5 days left until Summer!  Not that anyone in our outside the school building is counting.  

Have a great week, everyone.