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Grey Matters, March 23, 2015; Volume 3, Number 27

posted Mar 22, 2015, 12:02 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:50 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

Those of you who had kids here at RJ Grey prior to this year are probably familiar with my annual pilgrimage to my local BJ’s warehouse store to purchase juice boxes and breakfast bars so we can provide them to students prior to each MCAS testing period.  I would make four to five trips each Spring, and stroll through the store with a cart that ends up looking like this:


Inevitably, someone passing by (or the cashier) would ask me if I was a survivalist stockpiling food for armageddon, or some other comment/question that was basically a variation of, “who is this lunatic?” As much as I enjoyed those moments, we have made arrangements this year for our Food Services department to help us order our juice and breakfast bars for students, saving me from odd looks and a potential herniated disc.  So please assure your kids that we will again have some snacks for anyone who may not have had a chance to grab a bite to eat before coming to school on MCAS days.  

MCAS testing indeed begins this week.  Tuesday is for 7th grade students only (the Long Composition), and then Wednesday and Thursday is for 8th grade students only (with Friday being a makeup day for students who were absent).  Please encourage students to get a good night’s rest, and to eat something in the morning.  

8th grade families: the portal to begin registering for classes at the high school for next year is now open (Monday, March 23).  Here is a link to the Power School Parent Portal.  If you end up having difficulty accessing the portal, please contact Jeanne Potter at the High School by emailing her at  Please know that this process is not like those summer camp registrations where you have to log-on at the very first second that the portal is open in order to secure a coveted spot.  My wife and I have done that each of the last three years for our town’s summer recreation program, and it’s like the two of us are coordinating a covert military operation, with sweat running down our foreheads and yelling to each other, “I’ve got access! I’m in!” and then five seconds later, when the system randomly kicks one of us out, saying another word that can’t be included in this newsletter.   

Another reminder about our Spring sports program.  The schedule is now set and posted for tryouts and sign ups for Baseball, Softball, and Track. Those interested in trying out for softball have tryouts starting this Thursday afternoon.  Please remember that all students must have a “Green Form” in order to participate, and can be downloaded on the Athletics page of our website.   There are still tryouts for baseball and softball, and track continues to be a “no-cut sport.”  In other words, any student interested in participating is welcome to join.  

Finally, a friendly reminder that Winter Trimester report cards were sent home with students last week.  If for some reason your child’s copy got lost in transit, let me know and we can help you out.  Remember, if your child doesn’t intentionally run his or her report card through the washing machine, he or she is already a much more honest, or at least brave, middle schooler than their Principal.  On a related note, the New York Times recently posted an article on studies trying to link body language and lying.  While the article itself was mainly about TSA security strategies at the airport,it also included an interesting study that had videos of individuals making statements, and asking participants to determine whether the subjects were lying or if they were making true statements. If you’ve got a few minutes, it’s an interesting little test that you can try out.   

Have a great week, everyone.