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Grey Matters, March 27, 2016; Volume 4, Number 27

posted Mar 20, 2016, 8:32 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 24, 2016, 5:25 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

I need to apologize because I am fairly certain that my recent behavior is the reason we are expecting some

snow this evening.  Or for those who have been yearning for more snow, “you’re welcome.”  Last week I began to make comments about maybe opening up our family’s pool a little earlier this Spring, and then we ordered my daughter a portable basketball hoop that we planned to assemble next week.  I should have heeded the advice of Ms. Frey who has in her capacity as Executive Director of Office Affairs passed along to me many nuggets of wisdom, including “when you say things out loud, people can hear you.”  I get the feeling I’ve done and said out loud too many Spring-related things, and tonight’s snowfall is Mother Nature’s way of humbling me.  In my defense, signs of Spring have been everywhere these past few weeks.  As a few of us prepare for this April Vacation’s trip to Washington DC, we came across articles that (unfortunately) noted that the sprouting of the cherry blossoms was expected to be several weeks earlier than first predicted due to the warmer weather we’ve all experienced.  So I am sending this edition of Grey Matters on a Sunday afternoon with a friendly suggestion to monitor the progress of tonight’s storm, and be prepared to receive any updates about the status of school for tomorrow.  My guess is that with the current projections for this storm in terms of timing and intensity, any decision about a possible school delay or cancellation would be made early Monday morning (rather than Sunday night).

Here’s some quick reminders and notes for this week:

  • Not sure about tomorrow, but there is definitely no school this Friday, March 25 as it is Good Friday.  

  • Winter Trimester report cards were sent home with students last Friday.  If for some reason your child’s copy got lost in transit, let me know and we can help you out.  Here’s my annual reminder: 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.

8th grade families: the portal to begin registering for classes at the high school for next year is open tomorrow morning - Monday, March 21.  Here is a link to the Power School Parent Portal.  8th grade students were given a blue sheet (click here for another copy) along with their report cards that provided some additional reminders and notes about the registration process for High School courses.  If you end up having difficulty accessing the portal, please contact Jeanne Potter at the High School by emailing her at  An important reminder: 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.  You have some time to review the course recommendations, and then to complete the registration process. To be sure, it’s important to finish the required steps some time next week and please remember to read carefully the directions for potential override requests (should you plan to pursue that route).  

For parents and guardians of current 7th grade students, we haven’t started the registration process of 8th grade lasses, so you haven’t missed anything.  You’ll likely receive materials at the end of this month about recommended math levels, and the form that you are asked to complete that summarizes world language enrollment, math level, and your child’s Grey Block elective requests.  Once the form goes out, I’ll send out a reminder in that week’s Grey Matters (which will be in the next week or two).  

MCAS testing begins next week.  On Monday the 28th, and Tuesday the 29th, 8th grade students will be taking the English Language Arts (ELA) portion of the MCAS.  7th graders are scheduled to complete the ELA portion on Thursday the 31st and Friday the 1st (of April).  If your child is absent on any of his/her scheduled MCAS days, we have make-up times scheduled for the start of the following week.  For the evenings before an MCAS session, please encourage students to get a good night’s rest, and to eat something in the morning.  

Finally, another reminder about our Spring sports program.  The schedule is now set and posted for tryouts and sign ups for Baseball, Softball, Girls Volleyball and Track.  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 the new Girls Volleyball program is also a tryout sport.  Track continues to be a “no-cut sport.”  In other words, any student interested in participating is welcome to join (and must attend the after school meeting scheduled for next Monday, March 28th).  

Have a great week, everyone.