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Grey Matters, May 28, 2018; Volume 6, Number 36

posted May 28, 2018, 5:16 AM by Andrew Shen

Hi Everyone,


It’s my hope that during this Memorial Day long weekend you each found yourself benefiting from a bit of extra sleep on at least one of the three days, and was also able to avoid the long stretches of holiday traffic that experts predicted would be worse than previous years.  On the subject of sleep, the Journal of Sleep Research just released a report last week that suggested that the idea of “catch up” sleep has some validity, where sleeping in on the weekends (or whatever might be your day(s) off) allows you to reduce the sleep debt that you may have accrued during the week.  To be sure, this report should not be interpreted as an endorsement of a model where sleep deprivation during the week (and in our case, on school days) is fine as long as you sleep in on the weekends. But it might nevertheless be something to consider as a short-term strategy to combat challenges we face in terms of busy weeks and schedules.  Longer term, let’s continue to reflect on what a more appropriately balanced schedule might look like for adolescents, and adults, which would be a great complement to our upcoming plans to shift school start times at the Junior High and High School next year by at least 30 minutes. In the next few weeks a number of us will be part of conversations and planning for the change in morning drop-off procedures and re-orientation of traffic patterns that will be required now that buses will first stop at the Junior High and then makes it way down to the High School, and will be happening later in the morning.  A more immediate issue I’d like to ask families to keep in mind is the increase we have seen recently in students being dropped off outside the front of the school right at 7:30am (when Homeroom begins) or shortly thereafter. As you can tell from my comments above, I am sympathetic to the daily challenges of an early school start time and excited for next year’s push to 8:00am. At the same time, and in the meantime, I would ask families to make an effort to help their children get to school a bit before the start of Homeroom. It’s certainly of benefit to the student to start the day a bit more grounded with a few calm moments before the first class period begins.  Also, a challenging byproduct of this increase in late(r) drop-offs is a bit of vehicular chaos where many cars and children are jousting in and around the relatively small and narrow front entrance of our school. If you find yourself needing to drop a student off at the front, please make sure they only get out onto the sidewalk, rather than letting them weaving in and around oncoming traffic. I will always be the first to acknowledge that morning drop-off on our campus is tedious and time consuming, and I also know that none of us wants an accident involving students to serve as a reminder to exercise extra patience and caution while coming to and from school.


Here’s some reminders and updates for students and families:


     Our Yearbook advisor Mr. Lewis has ordered several extra copies of this year’s Yearbook

that will be available to purchase by students and families who may have forgotten to

order one during the original window.  Stay tuned for details of how to purchase.  


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).  If you still need to send it in, please make an effort to do so this week.  Within

the next week we will begin reaching out to families for whom we do not have a record

of their plans for that day.  


If your child is not planning to be at school during the last day(s) of the school year, we

would appreciate it if you let us know so we can plan accordingly and account for

students during those days.  You can send an email to Katy Frey (kfrey@abschools.org)

and it would also be helpful if you let your child’s team teachers know as well.  


     Don’t forget about the Empty Bowls event on Monday, June 4 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.   

The money raised from this event will be donated to the Acton Community Supper and

Acton Food Pantry.  The ice cream social is $5 per person with a $20 family maximum.  

The rest of the event is free and we hope many of you are able to carve out some time

to join us.  


Here are two important follow-ups to last week’s information about the End-of-Year 8th Grade Dance/Celebration scheduled for the evening of Friday, June 22.  First, parents or guardians of 7th and 8th graders are needed for the following jobs: set up after school on June 22nd; clean up after the dance; food and drink donations.  In past years, 7th grade Parent/Guardian Volunteers "pay it forward" so that parents of 8th graders can focus on their own children's participation in this important event.  Please sign up if you can help us with setup/cleanup activities or with food donations by following this link to a Sign Up Genius:  8th Grade Celebration Help.  If you have questions, contact Carol Chytil at carol.chytil@gmail.com.

Secondly, I mentioned last week that there will be a cohort of students who will be eager to attend the event with a special someone (I can’t believe I just used that term), and have plans to go with a date.  What we’ve noticed in recent years is a temptation by our students to replicate the “promposal phenomenon” - where high school students have taken to planning elaborate and very public ways of asking someone to accompany them to the prom.  The Washington Post recently published 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, any “asks” and invitations that are intended to be more public in nature (i.e. in the hallways and classrooms at RJ Grey) are not something we would encourage in a middle school setting, or at least while at school.


High school graduation is this Friday, June 1.  For those RJ Grey families who also have graduating seniors, a big congratulations to your graduate and to you as well.  Enjoy the moment (once you’ve actually found parking on campus for the ceremony). Fingers crossed for good weather.


Finally, we had our most recent edition of Poetry Friday at the end of last week, and it was a continuation of students from Ms. Bryan’s 7 Blue English class reading original poems that they wrote as part of their class’ most recent poetry unit. Kudos to Irene Tsitlenko, Karynna Yeh and Estella Harmon for sharing their poems with us last Friday.  


Have a great week, everyone.  


Cheers,

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