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Grey Matters, February 13, 2017; Volume 5, Number 23

posted Feb 12, 2017, 12:53 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 18, 2017, 11:06 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

It feels like it’s been two weeks between this Grey Matters and the last Grey Matters with so much having happened in the interim.  Last Sunday’s Super Bowl was certainly an interesting way to start the week.  I may not have been a fan so dejected by the score that I started to do laundry during the 3rd quarter when the score was 28-3, but I will admit that I started bracing myself for the pall that I assumed was going to hang over the greater Boston area for a bit of time if we lost the game.  Instead, the Patriots pulled off an incredible victory and I was gifted with a highlight video that I have now watched a few dozen times during my morning runs on the treadmill (and I’m still not tired of it).  The late night celebration did make for a long day on Monday, especially since our District had the event with Dr. Josephine Kim that evening in the High School Auditorium.  We’re thrilled that over 200 parents (and a few students) joined us for the event despite being equally spent from post-Super Bowl celebrating.  Then there was the parade on Tuesday where I’m going to assume that at least a few students in the Commonwealth may have risked having their own Ferris Bueller moment by attending the parade during a “sick day” and risked an unplanned appearance on local television.  We of course ended the week with the first snow day of the year, along with a two-hour delay the following morning.  I personally think that one snow day per year isn’t the worst thing in the world, and actually might be a nice interruption to our regularly scheduled programming.  When we start entering the world of multiple snow days within a short period of time, that’s when I get a little cranky and start to wonder if our children can survive being within such close proximity to each other for another stretch of time.  That’s why this evening’s likely snowstorm is not my favorite bit of recent news.  Dr. Brand will obviously be monitoring the situation and will provide any updates when it’s appropriate.  That may or may not happen by the time you all receive/read this edition of Grey Matters, so stay tuned later this evening or early tomorrow morning for any news about plans for Monday.  

Here’s a couple of reminders (mostly repeats) for this upcoming week:  

  • Don’t forget that the R.J. Grey Junior High yearbook is offering you the chance to send your love, pride and congratulations to the graduating 8th grade R.J. Grey student in your life.  You can purchase one of two advertisement formats to relay a message that your 8th grade student will cherish forever. Ads must be submitted by Monday, February 27th. Please click the link for submissions guidelines and instructions. Please contact Vicki Weeks ( with any questions.  

  • February Vacation starts at the end of the school day on Friday, February 17.  Please note that February 17 is a full day and will end with our annual Blue & Gold Assembly (more on that below).  If your family has travel plans that will involve taking your kids out before this date, please take a moment to inform the Main Office ( and your child’s teachers.

  • Weather permitting (so stay tuned to updates), the Chris Herren event will be on Monday night at 7pm in the High School Auditorium. Chris Herren is a former professional basketball player who grew up in the Boston-area, and whose personal and professional life was consumed by substance abuse for several years. Mr. Herren will tell of his descent into addiction, recover, and new mission of sharing his story with the goal of reaching young people and helping them make smart decisions when it comes to substance abuse and use. This event is recommended for parents, guardians and students 6th grade and older.   

  • Please remember that the High School’s Information Night for 8th Grade Parents/Guardians has been re-scheduled for Monday, February 27th at 7pm in the High School Auditorium (the Monday we return from Break).  

Last Friday all families should have received a letter from Dr. Brand regarding our District’s upcoming efforts to bolster existing preventive measures in the area of mental health (click here to review the letter).  Along with the proposed addition of a Late Start Day on March 10 (so staff can participate in a training that morning), we are also in the process of finalizing plans for our counselors and health education staff to deliver the Signs of Suicide lesson to all 7th grade students in late March.  My focus right now is on confirming some important logistics within the next few days and then send all 7th grade families a separate follow up letter that includes details of our plans and an important consent form that needs to be returned to the school.  That letter will also include confirmation of a date when we plan to hold an evening information session for any parent/guardian who would like a preview of the lesson and video that is used as part of the discussion.  

On Friday, we will enter the break by having our annual Blue & Gold Day assembly, which has traditionally served as a celebration of school spirit, and where we gather as a whole school (which only really happens a few times a year).  For the past few years the assembly has involved RJ Grey staff participating in various competitions that involve challenging mind, body and soul.  A few of these events have revealed the more competitive sides of our teachers, and with me cowering on the sides hoping we avoid injuries.  Some of you think I am exaggerating but that’s because you didn’t witness Ms. Frey dragging Mr. Harvey across the gym floor a few years ago.  As usual we’ll be sure to post the best photos of the event on our Twitter feed, and it will make for a great start to the February Break.  An important reminder that there will be no homework assigned for vacation period.  We hope that everyone uses this time as an opportunity to disconnect from school and devote time to other interests.  Safe travels to those who are using the break as a chance to get away.  

Have a great week, a great February Break, everyone.