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Grey Matters, April 23, 2018; Volume 6, Number 31

posted Apr 22, 2018, 8:27 AM by Andrew Shen

Hi Everyone,

Welcome back from what was hopefully a restful and meaningful April Break for you and your family.  For those of you who traveled to more tropical climates to enjoy warmer weather, you must be kicking yourselves for wasting all that money on airfare and hotel reservations since those of us who stayed got to enjoy a full week of sunny 80-degree weather.  Of course, if those of you who went away watched any footage of last week’s Boston Marathon, you are well aware that my previous statement comes from a place of pure fantasy (and at this point, from a place of total irritation).  For those who ran the Marathon last week, I bow down to you and what you battled in terms of the cold and driving rain.  It must have been quite the experience to be running and seeing Noah and his Ark floating by alongside you.  In a show of solidarity, I too ran 26 miles last week, though admittedly spread out over five days, indoors, in a temperature-controlled gym, on a treadmill.  While my family didn’t go anywhere exciting this past week, we used the time to complete a few tasks that have been on our family to do list for so long they’ve started to take root, and I also carved out time to read a number of articles that I now want to pass along to all of you should you share some interest in the subject matter.  First, as a nod to our District’s plans to change the start times for the Junior High and High School next school year, I wanted to share this report about the results of a study indicating that a later start to the day resulted in more sleep and better moods for teenagers.  Speaking of moods and teenagers, here are two articles for those who, like me, may find themselves reflecting on how best to communicate with their teenage child.  It’s a good thing none of you were guests at my house last week since there were a handful of moments where I had out-of-body experiences as I watched myself (in what felt like slow motion) respond to situations that would not get me nominated for Parent of the Month.  One of those moments involved a five minute lecture, the full contents of which I won’t repeat but did include the following words and phrases: “That XBox”, “respond to my question”, “are you kidding me”, and “will throw that machine in the pool.”  With that image in your mind, check out this CBS article about a new book by Wendy Mogel entitled, Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say it, and When to Listen” which offers guidance on improving how you communicate with your kids.  The second article is from the New York Times online and whose title gives you a good preview of its focus: “Why Teenagers Become Allergic to Their Parents” and also offers some interesting food for thought for those of us in the throes of parenthood.

Here’s some calendar-related reminders for you to keep in mind as we return from the Break:

We begin MCAS testing for 7th grade students this week, starting this Tuesday and

through the remainder of the week.  Testing this week will focus on the English Language

Arts (ELA) portion of the assessment.  Here is the MCAS schedule if you’d like to review

it.  Please encourage/help your 7th grade students have a healthy breakfast before

coming to school and feel free to send them with a little something (i.e. breakfast bar,

muffin) to start the day.  

For current 7th grade students: students who are interested in running for one of next year’s Student Council officer positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary) should begin the process for “pulling papers” and the election process.  Nomination forms will be available starting tomorrow --- Monday, April 23 and are due Friday, April 27.

RJ Grey’s StageWorks theatre program is preparing for its Spring Play performance of

“Zink: The Myth, The Legend, The Zebra.”  Performances will take place on Thursday,

May 10 and Friday, May 11 at 7pm in the Dragonfly Theatre here at RJ Grey, with tickets

being sold at the door ($8 for adults, $5 for students).  

This week is a busy one in terms of our engagement with current 6th grade families whose children plan to join us at RJ Grey in September.  We have our Curriculum Night scheduled for this Wednesday evening, and then we have a day (Thursday) where we offer tours to parents and guardians; and then on the following Monday, the PTSO is hosting an event where families can engage directly with current parents to discuss the transition process and the strategies, advice, and reassurances that our parents are most equipped to offer to incoming families.  If you have friends and/or neighbors who are joining the RJ Grey community for the first time this Fall, please encourage them to attend some of these programs, as we look forward to welcoming them (and their children) to our school.  

Finally, I’m also looking forward to some warmer weather this week and checking on the growth of the plantings in our RJ Grey Garden.  On the Friday prior to break, students from various classes lent a helping hand with our first planting of “cold weather crops”, specifically spinach, arugula, carrots, kale, and lettuce, all of which will be harvested before the end of the school year.  It’s always nice to see many of our students getting some dirt between their fingers during the school day. The RJ Grey Garden would not be possible without the green thumb and enthusiasm of Anne Spalding.  For those who don’t already know Anne, she’s my administrative assistant and office manager and spent a good portion of this past week making sure our plantings survived the less-than-friendly weather (and snow!).  Many thanks to Anne and the teachers who assisted in coordinating the garden activities before the break.

Have a great week, everyone. Welcome back.