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Grey Matters, November 6, 2017; Volume 6, Number 10

posted Nov 5, 2017, 9:39 AM by Andrew Shen

Hi Everyone,

It was not too long ago when my feelings about Daylight Savings Time were heavily influenced by the fact that I had very young children, and where setting the clocks back by an hour on Sunday did not result in an extra hour of sleep. Instead, it involved wringing my hands and wailing wondering out loud to my less paranoid (and more resourceful) wife how we were possibly going to entertain our children for an additional hour when nothing was open.  While our kids are now older and no longer need as much immediate attention in the morning, our 6-month old black labrador retriever Bailey did not read the memo I sent her last night about pushing back her need to be let out and fed.  For similar and/or different reasons, perhaps many of you have also been reading with some interest the discussion and debate about whether Massachusetts should eliminate moving the clocks forwards and backwards twice a year, and stay on Atlantic Standard Time.  A commission just released their report on this topic and listed the

benefits of making a permanent switch to Atlantic Standard Time but noted that it would only make sense if a majority of Northeast states agreed to align their clocks with Massachusetts.  For a bit of history on this practice of turning clocks back (and forward in the Spring), you can read this article.  As for last week, I hope everyone had a fun and safe time on Tuesday with any Halloween-related festivities, both during and after school.  We had a great time welcoming students to school that morning and seeing the informal parade of costumes and outfits. Par for the course, we also had a number of staff members dress up as well.  Congratulations to 8th grade student Daniela Graffeo who won this year’s costume contest with her super creative Roller Coaster costume  (see photo to right).

Here’s some reminders that I’d like to bring to your attention this week:

  • There is no school for all students in the District this Tuesday, November 7.  Staff will be participating in professional learning during the day.

  • There is also no school for all students on Friday as it’s Veteran’s Day.  Many thanks to those in our community who have served, and continue to serve, in our military.  

  • Last Friday I sent an email to families of 8th grade students that provides some information for those whose children may be applying to private schools.  If you haven’t already, please take a moment to review that message.  

  • Thanksgiving Break is coming up and I know that many are looking forward to that annual holiday and the opportunity to spend it with family and friends.  The end of the Fall Trimester is the Tuesday after we return from Thanksgiving Break.  I want families to be aware of this timing so they can keep that in mind as they continue to support their students in having a strong finish to this first marking period.   

On Monday, I will be sending all families an email about the annual parent-teacher conference sessions that we offer during three dates in December and January.  That email will provide families with an overview of the conferences and some things to consider before signing up.  Please note that starting this year, one of the three conferences will be scheduled in the evening (January 4 from 5-8pm).   Our school recognizes that there are families within our community for whom mid-day conferences can present enough of a hardship and challenge that they would be unable to consider participation.  This may include parents/guardians who do not have as much flexibility with their respective work schedules, or have family responsibilities that are not easily adjusted. Our hope is that an evening conference will better accommodate and support the varied schedules that our families have to navigate.  While there will not be an early release from school on the day of the evening conferences, there will be an early release for students and staff on the following day (January 5). This Wednesday, families will also receive an email from us that includes the link to the form that you should complete if you wish to schedule conferences with some (or all) of your child’s teachers.  

Here’s an initial and exciting Save the Date! Announcement regarding our annual Junior High musical.  This year’s musical is Singin’ in the Rain, and performances will be from November 30  through December 4 (the week after we return from Thanksgiving). Performances will be at 7pm each evening, with an additional 2pm show on Saturday, December 2. The RJ Grey musical is not only a great annual event for members of our school community, but is always a wonderful event from other members of our larger Acton-Boxborough community.  Next week I’ll be sharing additional information about purchasing tickets.  

Now that Winter is soon approaching, it is time to think about dusting off those skis and snowboards. Ski and Board Club will start Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018. It will run for 6 weeks on Tuesdays (1/2, 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6). If your child would like to sign up for the club,​ have them ask for a Ski/Board Club packet at the main office for necessary documents and instructions, or use the documents listed here. You can also download the contents of the packet from our school website, which you can get to by clicking here.  Please direct any questions to the club advisor, Lynne Kondracki (

On November 20, our next Family Learning Series event will be one where we welcome back Chris Herren to Acton-Boxborough.  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. During Rebound: The Chris Herren Story, 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.  His visit to Acton-Boxborough in 2013 was a powerful event for those who attended and we’re looking forward to his visit next month. This event will take place at 7pm in the High School Auditorium, and is open to parents, caregivers and students.   

Finally, the RJ Grey community's annual Coats For Families Drive will continue through the month of November. This is the 22nd year of the Coat Drive here and it is an annual fall RJ Grey tradition. Good condition, wearable, winter coats and jackets for children and adults are dropped off in the box in the lobby. They will be taken to Anton's Cleaners by 7 Green where they will be cleaned free of charge. They are then delivered to agencies like the Salvation Army and Mass Coalition For The Homeless who get them to those who are in need of a good, warm winter coat. Please be a part of this very worthy cause. The box will be in the lobby during the month of November only. This community wide event is sponsored by the 7 Green team.

Have a great week, everyone.