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Grey Matters, June 8, 2015; Volume 3, Number 37

posted Jun 7, 2015, 10:27 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:38 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

Those of you who attended last Friday’s high school graduation ceremony for Acton-Boxborough seniors are already aware of what a great event it turned out to be, and all of us there were grateful that the rain showers we experienced earlier in the week decided against an encore performance that night.  I’ve always had an appreciation for the significance of high school graduation through the lens of my role as an educator.   As my own children start to navigate their journey through school, I am starting to better appreciate the significance of this accomplishment from the perspective of a parent, and why this ceremony is such a joyous and emotional event for families.  

Admittedly, graduation also served as a reminder of how, for adults, time feels like it accelerates as our children get older.  It was a fairly surreal moment for me to watch and listen to senior Tim Manning deliver a student reflection as part of the ceremony, when it feels like it was only a very short time ago that, as an RJ Grey student on 8 Orange, he was presenting to his teachers and me an idea that that involved a letter-writing campaign he wanted to promote on his team.  That he and many of his classmates are a lot taller now, and that some also have full beards, also disrupts my memories of them from only four years ago.  I will also acknowledge that the graduation ceremony also served as an unexpected reminder that the students can’t get older without the rest of us getting older too.  It didn’t help that earlier in the day, I came across an article that pointed out 1980s movie character icon Ferris Bueller took his famous “day off” thirty years ago to the day.  That movie, of course, also gave us the legendary Mr. Ed Rooney, who made the role of school principal look oh-so fulfilling.  

The 7th grade dance is this Friday night (June 12th, 7pm), we’re look forward to spending a fun evening with everyone.  If you have any questions, please contact Jim Marcotte at  And of course, there’s the 8th grade end-of-year celebration/dance, which is Friday, June 19th at 7pm.  A friendly reminder that only current RJ Grey 8th grade students are allowed to attend, and students must have been at school that day to attend the evening event - if there are any unique circumstances, send me an email and we can figure it out. 

Last week, I made brief mention of textbook “obligations”, and I wanted to provide a little bit more information at this point.  Over the next two weeks, teachers will begin collecting textbooks, library books, and other materials that need to be returned.  Students who still owe textbooks are provided a form that details what is still missing, and the potential replacement costs.  Students must meet their textbook obligations in order to attend the end-of-year field trips!  Please work with your children on locating textbooks that might be hidden under piles of laundry, and avoid replacement fees (some of which can reach $75 for a textbook).

A very important note about our end-of-year field trips on Wednesday, June 24, regarding transportation home at the end of the day: 7th grade students will return to RJ Grey before the 2:06 dismissal, and can take the bus home during the “regular” time (or be picked up).  Our 8th graders will be returning from Canobie around 3:45pm.  Please note that our District’s buses will return to do a second run for our 8th grade students. However, because they are finishing their elementary routes, some buses will pick students up at 4:00pm, and others may start these second runs closer to 4:20-4:30pm.  We will stay with the students in the auditorium until their buses arrive, or families are welcome to make other arrangements to pick their children up after we return.  We just want everyone to be aware of the timing.  For any questions, please contact Jim Marcotte at

If it wasn’t already circled and highlighted on your family calendars, the last day of school is Thursday, June 25.  It is a half day that concludes with an all-school assembly at the high school auditorium. Please note that we aren’t able to invite parents to this assembly, and this event is for students and staff only.   Students will then be dismissed from the high school and will get on buses that are lined up outside the high school entrance at 10:45am, or they can be picked up by parents in the JH or HS parking lots.

Dr. Brand’s office has asked the school principals to make families aware of a subject that will be discussed at this Thursday’s School Committee meeting.  I am attaching a letter (click here) that Dr. Brand has written with JD Head, our District’s Director of Facilities and Transportation.  The letter summarizes the District’s current policies and procedures involving the practice of issuing bus passes (primarily at the elementary level, but also here at the Junior High), and the changes to that policy that are being proposed.  The proposed changes (and the impetus behind the proposal) will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting, and then a vote will likely be scheduled for the next School Committee meeting (which is likely June 25).  For those who have an interest in this topic, please take a moment to review Dr. Brand’s letter.  

Finally, we had our last round of Everyday Leaders last week, bringing our total number of students recognized through this effort to a little over 60. Congratulations to Andy Guthlein, Olivia Maas, Matthew Fleming, Isabel Maas, Nico Michaelidis, Joseph Park, Sebastien Kerr, Tommy Cullen, Victor Sun, Maria Rofail and Jon Heatley for their selection.  

Have a great week, everyone.