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Grey Matters, April 3, 2017; Volume 5, Number 28

posted Apr 2, 2017, 4:02 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 18, 2017, 11:06 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

Not that looking out the window would tell you this, but the next season of Major League Baseball arrives this week.  Which means it’s time to check out stories that highlight the new food offerings at ballparks around the country.  Here’s a great summary from BravoTV that comes with high resolution photos of options such as the hot dog you can buy at a Cleveland game that is topped with bacon, macaroni and cheese and…..Fruit Loops (seriously, check out the picture in the article).  And then when you travel to Pittsburgh you can swap out the Fruit Loops for Cracker Jacks (also mixed with mac ‘n cheese on top of a giant hot dog).  As the BravoTV article accurately notes, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”  Closer to home, and with a healthier focus, the Junior High’s Iron Chef Cooking Club hosted its first ever Italian-themed family dinner event last Friday evening, serving 55 family members a full meal that they prepared.  Complete with music and table settings, those in attendance were treated to a full (and filling) dining experience courtesy of their kids.  Many thanks to Deb Rimpas (Health teacher) and Kirsten Nelson and Jean Tibbets (Food Services), and of course the students in the Cooking Club, for pulling off what will hopefully become an annual event.  My guess is that the American Heart Association would much prefer Cheez Whiz, peppers and onions-- being offered at Yankee Stadium this season.  

Here’s some reminders from our calendar and a few other items:

  • We have an early release for students this coming Thursday, April 6.  Dismissal is at 10:40am and normal bus routes will be available for transportation home.  Please note that students will not be able to stay in the school building after dismissal.  The Library is being used for professional learning and there will not be supervision available during that time.  

  • April Break starts on Friday, April 14th.  Good Friday falls on that date, so the last day of school before the break will be Thursday, April 13th (and it will be a full day)

  • This month’s Challenge Success newsletter from Acton-Boxborough focuses on the topic of growth mindset.  If you’ve got a few moments, click here and check out some of the resources that are highlighted in that newsletter.  

We have MCAS starting on Monday (tomorrow) with 8th grade students on 8 Gold and 8 Red taking the English Language Arts portion.  Here is the link to the MCAS schedule for our school this Spring.  We hope you will encourage your kids to get a good night’s sleep before they are scheduled for an MCAS test day.  Well, we hope you encourage a good night’s sleep every night, but maybe place additional emphasis on it knowing they’ll be taking some assessments that are longer than what they typically experience.  A good breakfast always helps, and we will have some snacks and water for everyone to have before the testing begins.  For students who are absent, we have make up periods scheduled and we will connect with those students at that time.  

One more note for current 7th grade families: the registration form for your child’s 8th grade year has been mailed home.  Please review this form, which indicates a math level recommendation and confirmation of current world language choice.  It also asks you (and your child) to indicate interest in any of the Grey Block electives for next year.  When doing so, please be sure to note that some of the electives do have class size limits and are not guaranteed, which is why we need you to potentially indicate more than one choice.  These forms are due to your child’s homeroom teacher by this Friday, April 7.  Those families who might be entertaining an override request for math levels must submit that form by not later than Thursday, April 13.  Please know that we can not accept override requests after that date.   

Finally, we’re looking forward to the 8th grade Spring dance scheduled for this Friday evening (April 7) from 7pm to 9pm.  Please note that this is not a formal dance, nor even a semi-formal dance.  That’s a more accurate description of the end-of-year event we host for 8th grade students in June.  I’ve heard that there’s some interest and excitement by students for this upcoming dance, which is great.  We want to celebrate that enthusiasm and we also want to make sure everyone has a clear understanding that this is not an event that requires “coming with a date.” Quite frankly, it doesn’t even require dancing.  It’s a social event where music and the option to dance are a central feature, but certainly not a requirement.  Please know that we are not trying to discourage students from attending the dance together, and happy for those who might be at that place. Our students are certainly at an age where for some of them dating, romantic feelings, and matters of the heart are an area of intense interest. For other kids, this particular aspect of puberty does not currently play as prominent a role, with some being completely oblivious or unphased by it.  With that in mind, we are trying to strike a bit of a balance of providing an appropriate space for students to navigate this arena of teenage romance, but not have other students unintentionally develop the impression that dances and social events must involve a romantic angle.  Some of our parents and guardians with older children may be familiar with the recent “promposal phenomenon” - where some (a lot of?) high school students have taken to planning elaborate and very public ways of asking someone to accompany them to the prom.  The Washington Post actually wrote a short history of the promposal given how entrenched its become in teen culture.  While we may have some RJ Grey students who are eager to deliver their own mini version of a promposal, the “asks” that are more public in nature are not something we would encourage in a middle school setting, or at least while at school. In terms of the dance itself, we’ll take care of the planning for what happens between 7pm and 9pm.  The logistics and plans for before and after the dance we leave in the capable hands of our parent community. We’re excited for our students to attend, and for a good time to be had by all.  

Have a great week, everyone.