Grey Matters‎ > ‎Grey Matters 14-15‎ > ‎

Grey Matters, May 4, 2015; Volume 3, Number 32

posted May 3, 2015, 11:21 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:40 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

You might have seen all of the news stories this weekend touting the past few days as a “packed sports and special event-filled weekend.”  That was certainly the case, though I was a little surprised that the national media was somehow aware of the Shen Family Google Calendar, and felt that it was newsworthy.  I sit here at our dining room table with Melisa recovering from 3 baseball games, 4 soccer games, one birthday party, an outing to Roller Kingdom, and attendance at Hayden’s school’s annual school auction.  Melisa and I are currently jockeying for who has to gets to take our daughter to her baseball practice tonight.  Come to think of it, pick-up and drop-off services to and from all of your child’s sporting events would have been one auction item that would have received a monthly mortgage-sized bid from me.  We, and our kids, survived despite the fact that our travel accommodations were slightly less luxurious than the one utilized by Tom Brady and friends for their trip to the Kentucky Derby (click on the link to see a slideshow of this year’s hats) and then the heralded Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match in Las Vegas.  No private plane for the kids, just my Ford Explorer that probably still has Cheerios stuck underneath the booster seats, and several bags of earthworm castings in the trunk that we bought for our mulch beds.  We also had another loose tooth finally break free, and so I also spent some of my time on the sidelines researching on my phone the current “going rate” that the Tooth Fairy offers, only to discover that there’s actually an annual survey conducted on this!  

One final reminder that the next round of MCAS testing is this week.  Here’s the schedule:

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

If your child is absent for any of his/her testing dates, we will make arrangements with them to participate in the make-up sessions scheduled for early next week.  Please remember to encourage/facilitate a good night’s sleep before each MCAS session, and make a point of getting your kids to eat a little something in the morning.  

Later on this week, we will be taking the annual 8th Grade class photo.  This is a panoramic photo that we take outside on the hill by the football field.  Order forms will be distributed to 8th grade students later this week/early next week.   If you have any questions or need any sort of financial assistance for either the field trip and/or class photo, please contact Jim Marcotte at  Please know that we are very committed to never letting finances interfere with any student’s ability to fully participate in these school events, and want everyone to enjoy these moments without having to think twice about potential financial impact.  

I provided a “save the date” last week for our end-of-year 8th grade dance, which is scheduled for Friday, June 19th.  I also want to provide 7th grade families with their own “save the date” for a 7th grade dance that we are planning for Friday, May 29th.  We haven’t had a 7th grade Spring dance in a few years, mostly because we hadn’t had a lot of success with attendance in previous years.  We think there’s reason to think that this year might be different, and so we’re working with the Student Council to plan this event (stay tuned for details).  

Back to the 8th grade End-of-Year Dance/Celebration - I’m going to wait a few weeks before I offer some reminders and notes about how we view the event (we want to make it special, and it’s not our intention to make it a mini-Prom).  For now, I’d like to pass along some information from Judy Nolan, the RJ Grey parent who (thankfully) is again coordinating the planning of the event.  Given that we usually have at least 350 student attend, we rely heavily on the many volunteers who help make the event a special way to end the year.  Parents or guardians of 7th and 8th graders are needed for the following jobs:

  • Set Up after school on June 19th (20 people needed)

  • Clean Up (15-20 people needed)

  • Drink Donations (2 liter bottles of soda and jugs of water)

  • Food Donations (Desserts and Appetizers)

Similar to past years, it would be great to see parents of 7th graders volunteer to "pay it forward" this year so that parents of eighth graders can focus on their own children's participation in this important event. You'll also get a preview of what your child will be able to enjoy next year! Please contact Judy Nolan at  if you can help with any of the jobs.  Thank you!

We had a wonderful turnout to last Thursday evening’s information session about next April’s Washington DC trip through the Close Up Foundation.  Thank you to those who have expressed interest in the trip, and the many who have already submitted an initial deposit.  For those who are still interested, please rest assured that there are still spaces available (we will include up to 150 students).  Marc Lewis, Social Studies teacher on 7 Green, is coordinating this trip, and would the best contact for those who have questions and would like to learn more.  You can reach him at  

On a more sobering note, I would imagine most of you have seen and read updates about conditions in Nepal after the significant earthquake that took place a little over a week ago.  You won’t be surprised to hear that we have students, families, and RJ Grey staff who are interested in organizing some efforts to collect resources and funds that can be sent to Nepal to support relief programs.  I have been working with an RJ Grey family that has offered to facilitate the collection of materials and supplies that can be sent to Nepal, and I know of at least one team that is beginning to develop some student-led fundraising efforts.  Please stay tuned for information on these plans as they become more defined - we’ll post updates in our Daily Announcements.  

Finally, our latest installment of Poetry Fridays was a nod to Earth Day, which was recently held on April 22 and 45 years after the first Earth Day was celebrated, an estimated one billion people in 192 countries took part.  Last Friday’s poem was about the home we all share, and is entitled, “Look it Over” by poet Wendell Berry.  Click here to read the poem.

Have a great week, everyone.  Rumor has it we might finally hit 80 degrees.  Fingers crossed.