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Grey Matters, May 1, 2017; Volume 5, Number 31

posted Apr 30, 2017, 7:22 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 18, 2017, 11:08 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,


This (photo to right) is Bailey.  She’s an 8-week old black Labrador Retriever who will be joining the Shen household, including our 5-year old Golden Retriever, over the Memorial Day weekend.  What that means is that I have about four weeks to identify volunteers amongst the RJ Grey community to participate in the Shelter-a-Principal program which is intended to provide yours truly some alternate living arrangements for the next three to six months.  Yes, isn’t Bailey adorable and cuddle-worthy, and what cute eyes and paws she has.  Yes, won’t all of the kids love playing with her and making her part of our family.  But let’s all acknowledge that those endearing qualities are intended to distract us from all of the destruction and havoc that these little guys can create within a single day.  I weep in advance for my likely-to-be-pooped-on rugs and carpets, and my running sneakers that will probably get eaten when I forget to put them away.  For the moment I take solace in knowing that Bailey is a much preferred alternative to our youngest son’s original plan for our family to get a Bernese Mountain Dog, a breed of dog that typically grows to around 100 pounds.  


This week we return to MCAS testing for our 8th grade students.  Here is a link to the schedule.  We are moving to the Mathematics portion at the beginning of the week, with 8 Gold and 8 Red scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, and 8 Green and 8 Orange on Wednesday and Thursday.  On Friday, all 8th grade students will take the Science & Technology portion of the MCAS.  The Math MCAS is computer-based (like the English Language Arts assessment), and Science & Technology will be paper-based.  7th grade students will take the Math portion of the MCAS early next week.  Students who are absent on days where they are scheduled to participate in MCAS testing will be scheduled for make-ups during the following week.  A friendly reminder to please help your child get some nourishment in the morning before they leave for school.  


For 8th grade families, a very brief “save the date” for the annual End-of-Year Celebration for 8th grade students.  It will be held the evening of Friday, June 16th, so mark it on your calendars.  In next week’s Grey Matters, I’ll share a bit more about the event, and also the role that families play in making it a great event to finish off the year (and one’s time at RJ Grey).  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, June 9th.  We resurrected the 7th grade Spring dance a few years ago, and it’s continued to be a great event and we’re looking forward to holding it again this year.  Stay tuned for more details later this month.   


One last reminder for our 7th grade families about  our plans to offer a school trip to Washington, DC during the April Break next April 2018.  Up to 150 students will be able to participate in this program, and we will first offer spots to our current 7th graders and then in September open remaining spaces to our newest class of students, as well as those who may not have signed up this Spring. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity (financial cost, logistics, and programming) for your child, please considering attending an informational session at the junior high school this Wednesday at 6:30pm in our auditorium.  This meeting will be led by Marc Lewis (7 Green Social Studies) and a representative from the Close Up organization.  


A quick save the date for our families about the upcoming Spring One Act Plays being performed by students participating in our Stageworks program (after school drama club at RJ Grey), on Thursday, May 11 and Friday, May 12.  More details will be forthcoming early next week.  


I wanted to make sure all families had an opportunity to review the letter that was sent to the AB community from the Superintendent’s office regarding the recent Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”  If you have not read the letter, I would ask you to consider taking a few moments to do so and you can access a copy of the letter by clicking here.  The letter outlines a number of concerns that educators and mental health professionals have about the show, and is consistent with the messaging that many schools and organizations are sharing across the country.  It also includes a number of resources that families can access not only about discussing the show and what is and isn’t included, but also resources that provide mental health assistance in general.  Here are two articles from the Washington Post and the Boston Globe that provide overviews of the conversations that are emerging, and recommendations that parents and guardians should consider.  


Finally, this past week I met with our fifth group of Everyday Leaders, who joined me for some pizza and conversation, as the students caught me up on how the school year has gone, and we exchanged ideas about our school schedule and ways it could look different.  Congratulations to the following students whose teachers included them in this cohort of Everyday Leaders: Ben Wang, Grete Busse, Abby Giffen, Parth Lagu, Margeaux Matz, Mia Buonomo, Sydney Collett-Callahan, Paul Charisse, and Jordan McAuliffe.  


Have a great week, everyone.  


Cheers,

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