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Grey Matters, May 22, 2017; Volume 5, Number 33

posted May 21, 2017, 11:24 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 18, 2017, 11:07 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

On Friday morning we informed families of a serious motor vehicle accident that involved one of our 8th grade students, and I know it was difficult news for everyone to digest and that each of us has spent time between then and now thinking only the best of thoughts for and about the student and her family.  The student’s family was kind enough to check in with me this morning and is comfortable with my letting everyone know that their daughter is in stable condition and is making improvements each day.  It was the best news I’d heard in a long time, and I would imagine that this offers many of you a chance to exhale a sigh of relief.  Many friends throughout the community have already offered numerous expressions of support to the family, of which they are most appreciative.  While their attention is clearly focused on their daughter’s ongoing recovery and healing, they also wanted to make sure that other students who are worried know that their classmate is receiving excellent care and getting better.  Please feel free to share this update with your children, and we’ll do the same on Monday.  

We have much to share regarding the progress of our RJ Grey community garden, including our very first harvest last week.  The mustard greens, lettuce, arugula, and spinach were harvested by students in Ms. Rimpas’ health class and then members of 7 Green helped put together a number of salad options that were eagerly consumed by students and staff alike.  Those salads were also available as part of the lunch options in the cafeteria on Friday, serving as our very first “farm to table” endeavor at RJ Grey.  We continue to think about different ways the garden can be incorporated into the curricular and extracurricular programs at our school, and excited about involving a wider range of students in both the care of the garden and the consumption of the food that’s grown (I am looking forward to the carrots that aren’t quite ready yet).  Later this summer we will be entering Phase II of our garden plan that involves additional raised beds and an Eagle Scout project that will focus on developing other areas of the courtyard.  The elaborate pergola that Ms. Spalding and I have been fantasizing about will eventually find a place in our plans, but we both know that we might have to wait a bit for that.  

Here’s a couple of updates and reminders for families:

  • Thanks to those families who have submitted their field trip permission form and payment for the end-of-year field trips to Kimball’s (7th grade) and Canobie Lake (8th grade).  These are daylong trips scheduled for the second-to-last day of school.  If you still need to send it in, please make an effort to do so this week.  If any families would benefit from some financial assistance for this final field trip, please don’t hesitate to contact Jim Marcotte at  

  • Next Monday is Memorial Day and there will be no school that day. Enjoy the long weekend!  

  • The Spring Chorus and String Ensemble concert is this Tuesday evening at 7pm.  

  • Another reminder about our fourth annual Empty Bowls event.  The Empty Bowls event will take place this year on Wednesday, May 31 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.  This is an evening of art, singing and ice cream! Students will showcase their art and singing talents and invite families to a charity ice cream social.  There will be an art show, Select Choir performance, a silent auction, and of course the charity ice cream social.  This event is open to the whole community.  

The Student Council elections were held last week to determine next year’s President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.  We first want to thank and applaud every 7th grader who ran in the elections.  It’s not easy at any age to put yourself out there, let alone plan and deliver a speech to over four hundred classmates. The 7th grade class listened to incredibly thoughtful speeches by each of our candidates, including speeches that offered snapshots of the candidates’ interests and backgrounds, speeches that used humor, and ones that folded in quotes on leadership by John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford.  We’re lucky to have had thoughtful candidates as part of this year’s election.  Congratulations to next year’s Student Council officers: Treasurer Michael Cai, co-Secretaries Ashley Dawn and Balaji Ganapathi (there was a tie!), Vice President Michael Hu, and President Tycho Dickerson.

Finally, at the risk of creating unwanted competition for myself, I thought I’d share the news that Italy’s department of Infrastructure and Transport is “giving away 103 run-down castles and farmhouses in remote areas and historic sites” with the condition that the new owner invest in renovating the property into something that benefits tourism.  I’ve already got the sketches of a business plan scribbled out, and it might involve hosting small school groups of students and/or teachers. And gelato. It’ll involve gelato as well.  Click here to check out more on this fun opportunity.  

Have a great week, everyone.