Eye on the Junior High



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Good afternoon,


We kicked off MCAS season this morning with our 8th graders who took Session 1 of the English Language Arts test. They’ll continue working tomorrow on Session 2. The remainder of the ELA MCAS sessions are listed below. I was the MCAS administrator at RJ Grey for many years. The tracking required, the details, and the preparation for giving the exam to more than 800 students over 5 days, plus make-ups, is mind-boggling. Ms. Broadwater is the assistant principal in charge of MCAS this year and her work on this enormous undertaking has made me proud! And our kids have made me proud, too. While not their favorite day of the year, most of today’s test-takers tried really hard and gave it their best effort. I also appreciate that we only had a few students absent today - this means fewer make-ups! All in all, it was a good start to this ongoing series of assessments.


On Monday evening, I joined our Superintendent and Director of Equity and Inclusion at a meeting at Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton. We had been invited by Rabbi David to a meeting with members of the congregation in light of some of the issues of anti-semitism that we shared with you in the winter. The Boston Globe published an article just last week about how the rise in anti-semitic incidents soared in Massachusetts in 2022. We got to hear about the experience of several AB students and families, past and present. The questions from the community at CBE focused on our experiences as school leaders dealing with issues of hate and bias. There were questions about what we’re seeing in our schools and how we might be able to make progress in reducing and eliminating these issues. The congregation was warm and welcoming to Peter, Jen, and me, and to other members of the RJ Grey admin team who attended. I really appreciate the invitation to connect with the CBE community on this important issue. 


On Tuesday evening, I attended a meeting with the district-based Leadership Coalition to Eliminate Hate and Bias Speech. This coalition of educators, students, and families has begun its work to determine how we might reduce the use of hate and biased language in our schools. While I believe RJ Grey does a lot to work with students about understanding, appreciation, and celebration of differences, we are committed to doing more. This spring and summer, we’ll continue to work in conjunction with the district to make our schools an even safer and supportive community for all of our students and families. The commitment to making AB a better and safer place for everyone, displayed by people at both of these meetings, is impressive. I’m excited about the work that we can all do together.


There is another caregiver education presentation with Cartwheel Care coming up on Wednesday, April 5 from 7 - 8 pm. This session’s topic will be: ADHD & Executive Functioning: Symptoms and Strategies. Click here for the flyer with more information and to register for the webinar.


Finally, Minuteman High School has asked us to let you know that they have some interesting summer enrichment offerings that you might wish to check out. Click here for some details.


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Friday, 3/31: MCAS ELA Session 2 for 8th grade

  • Monday, 4/3: Library closed to students after school

  • Monday, 4/3: RJ Grey School Council Mtg on Zoom at 7 pm

  • Tuesday, 4/4: MCAS ELA Session 1 for 7th grade

  • Wednesday, 4/5: MCAS ELA Session 2 for 7th grade

  • Wednesday, 4/5: Webinar: ADHD and Executive Functioning

  • Friday, 4/7: No School, Good Friday


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Mar 30, 2023 at 4:22 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you are all having a good week. The change in the weather pattern is noticeable - my office windows are open right now and it definitely is making me realize we’re almost into a true spring! 


Earlier this week, on Monday night, my wife and I, along with our three daughters attended (part of) the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Garden. My wife is a long-time fan and has seen him live more than 25 times. In the last 13+ years of us being together, I have become a fan too...I’ve seen him a measly 7 times, I think. When tickets became available for this week’s show, I thought she was crazy to even consider bringing our young kids to a concert…on a Monday night…in March…that starts no earlier than 7:45 pm. But my arm was twisted enough that we did it. 


As a super fan, my wife just couldn’t imagine not letting our kids (who know most of the words to lots of his songs) see him before he retires. He’s 73 and still plays for close to three hours. My kids and I left the show well before the end. On my quiet drive home because they were sleeping, I was wondering about the three of them - who will they adore as a performer some day? What will really get them excited in life? What will they do 25+ times and still be joyous about? Your kids are older than mine, and I bet you wonder that too. As you are raising young adults, I hope you’re starting to see some glimpses of what really makes them happy, what really makes them excited and passionate. I hope you encourage them to pursue that thing that they truly just love! If it’s The Boss, please let me know and we’ll compare notes! And I’ll be clear to share that we all made it to our respective schools on time the next day!


We issued trimester 2 report cards yesterday, so if you didn’t receive one, please check your email. Please reach out to me if you still cannot locate it. As we we enter the final third of the year, this is a good time for students to hit reset on some habits that might have emerged over the winter. Please have conversations with your children if there are report card comments or grades that came as a surprise. And if you have questions, please reach out directly to the teacher to seek additional information as necessary.


For current 8th grade families, this is a reminder that the Parent Portal closes on Monday, March 27. Please head to the Portal to select high school courses that were recommended by 8th grade teachers, and pick some electives too. For current 7th grade families, our Portal opened today for 8th grade courses. You’ll log in and help select Grey Block classes, along with approving the recommended math level. We’ll roll out similar info to 6th grade families in the next month or so.



Finally, our district has approved us advertising an event to support the work of the AB United Way. Please check it out if you’re interested in participating.


Stroll, Walk, Run - West Acton 5K & Fun-Run - Sat, May 13 at 10 AM

 

Moving together to move our community forward! All are welcome at this family-friendly run/walk event to support Acton-Boxborough United Way's mental health initiatives. Let's come together as a community (rain or shine!) and enjoy the power of connection.

 

Yankee Timing will be there to provide professional race timing to all participants, and medals will be awarded to the top finishers in each age group. But don’t let that intimidate you — you can go at any pace… run or walk, stroll with neighbors, or mingle with new friends. It’s all about having fun together!

 

Get the kids involved in giving back to the community with a One-Mile Fun Run! They'll be cheered along the route with bubbles and noisemakers. Fun prizes for the fastest and most spirited!

 

Fabulous run t-shirts for the first 250 registered. Sign-up now to ensure you receive your preferred size.

 

Register Today! https://runsignup.com/Race/MA/Acton/ABUW5K


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Monday, 3/27: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Thurs, 3/30: MCAS ELA Session 1 for 8th grade

  • Thurs, 3/30: Team Trivia Event after school

  • Friday, 3/31: MCAS ELA Session 2 for 8th grade

  • Monday, 4/3: Library closed to students after school

  • Monday, 4/3: RJ Grey School Council Mtg on Zoom

  • Tuesday, 4/4: MCAS ELA Session 1 for 7th grade

  • Wednesday, 4/5: MCAS ELA Session 2 for 7th grade

  • Friday, 4/7: No School, Good Friday


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Mar 23, 2023 at 5:00 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I am very hopeful that we experienced our final weather-related interruption of this school year. The snow day on Tuesday was a welcome interruption for my family. As we returned to school on Wednesday, I heard stories from many staff members who live west of here, making me grateful to have shoveled only a few, albeit wet, inches of snow. However your kids spent their snow day, I hope it was fun!


I’ve spent part of each day this week in our classrooms. This is in due in part to our teacher evaluation process, but also to get a handle on what our students are doing in school each day. I’ve observed Phys Ed, Spanish, and some social studies classes. On each occasion, I’ve found myself engaged in what our kids are studying and enthralled with how our teachers are teaching it. This week I’ve learned about the Harlem Renaissance, a bit about Confucianism, a brush-up on how to conjugate -ar verbs in Spanish, and a primer on how to properly hold a hockey stick in Phys Ed. Even this brief overview makes it apparent to me that our kids are exposed to a lot each day. So when your kids say that school was fine, or they did nothing, don’t believe them! They’re doing a lot and learning a lot each day!


Some of you were likely able to attend the March 1st webinar with Cartwheel Care: Mindful Media Engagement: Positive Relationships with Screen-Based Technology. If you weren’t able to attend and you are interested in seeing the content, the webinar has been placed on our district website along with a number of associated resources: Families/Mental Health Resources for Families/Cartwheel Care 2022-2023 Webinar Series


Finally, our Superintendent’s Office has approved this flyer to share. ABCares, in conjunction with other community partners is sponsoring a gun buyback event. Thanks for spreading the word about this event to help keep our students and families safe. 


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Monday, 3/20: Parent Portal opens for ninth grade course recommendations

  • Friday, 3/24: Trimester 2 Report Cards emailed home

  • Monday, 3/27: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Thurs, 3/30: MCAS ELA Session 1 for 8th grade

  • Thurs, 3/30: Team Trivia Event after school

  • Friday, 3/31: MCAS ELA Session 2 for 8th grade


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Mar 16, 2023 at 4:04 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I had a meeting in another building this afternoon and considered walking to it without wearing my jacket. The bright sunshine was giving me the false sense of what the actual temperature was outside. We’re making progress towards spring, but I am glad I wore my jacket...we’re not quite there yet! As spring inches closer, we approach the beginning of our spring athletic season. We have baseball, softball, volleyball, and track teams. Our tryouts begin on March 21 and are staggered, so please check out the schedule here. The most thing to remember is to sign-up on Family ID and make sure we have your child's current physical exam on file prior to tryouts. We don’t allow students to try out or participate without a current physical exam, so if you need to, please work on that soon to avoid any disappointment. 


Last week, representatives from ABRHS came to speak to our 8th graders about life at the high school. Since then, our 8th grade counselors have (or will) visit 8th grade classes to talk in more detail about the high school schedule, course sign-ups and other pieces of info about ABRHS. The portal for 8th grade families will open on March 20, where families and students will select high school courses for next year.


As spectators of the assembly described above, our RJ Grey staff was disappointed in the behavior of some of our 8th graders during the assembly. Yesterday, during Advisory, we brought the grade together again to talk about how we expect students to behave in situations like an assembly. I noted to our students that I was especially disappointed that some of them behaved poorly in front of our guests. I shared that in my own family (hi, mom - a frequent reader of this column), my sisters and I were always expected to behave better when around guests than when we were just with our parents. I have the same expectation for my own daughters. In our Assembly, Part II, our students demonstrated excellent behavior and showed us exactly how we know they can behave. We took advantage of the time together and we reviewed expectations related to timeliness to class, use of cell phones, appropriate use of language, and other items that have become noticeably more lax in these winter months. The third trimester of 8th grade (which starts next week) is often a time of celebration and excitement. We were happy to be able to review our expectations that will allow for all of our students to be able to enjoy their last trimester before heading off to ninth grade. 


Tomorrow is Sports Jersey Day at RJ Grey. For some of our kids, every day is sports jersey day! Whether they dress the part or not, we’re excited for a festive day, leading into our after school basketball tournament.


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Friday, 3/10: Sports Jersey Day

  • Friday, 3/10: Student Council March Madness Basketball Tournament, 3 - 4:30pm

  • Monday, 3/13: End of Trimester 2

  • Monday, 3/13: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Tuesday, 3/14: Orchestra Concert


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Mar 09, 2023 at 5:05 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you and your family had a nice February vacation. The early part of last week was warm enough that my family and I spent some time walking on the beach at Plum Island. And then of course we had snow this week to snap us back into the reality that it’s still winter! However you spent your week, I hope it was enjoyable.


Our Ski and Board Club wrapped up this week after quite a long season. With an early January cancellation due to no snow and rainy conditions, and a week where Wachusett had no power, we owe a great deal of thanks to our chaperones for pushing through six weeks of fun. Ernie Camposano served as our lead advisor and was joined by RJ Grey staffers: Anastasia Koulopoulos, Karen Dudziak, Allison Paul, Nancy Perry, and Ingrid Joyce. They were joined by some parent chaperones, too: Josh and Rebecca Bregman, Mike Plate, and Barry Yaceshyn. This particular club is a huge undertaking but one that all of the participants enjoy. Thank you to everyone who helped pull it off.


We are approaching the end of Trimester 2 on Monday, March 13th. We’ll then issue report cards about 2 weeks later. If you know your child has any work to catch up on, please check in with them about the upcoming end of term. 


With the spring coming quickly, we are also approaching the season where we administer MCAS tests. At RJ Grey, students in both grades take MCAS tests in English Language Arts and Math. And our 8th graders take a Science/Technology Engineering assessment, too. Below are the dates when we’ll be doing testing this spring. I thank you in advance for helping to make sure your child is present on these days. We will always do make-ups for students who miss tests, but they then end up missing other classes as a result. So if you’re forced to make orthodontic appointments or physicals during the school day this spring, I’d ask you kindly to avoid these dates:

  • Thurs 3/30 and Fri 3/31: 8th grade ELA

  • Tues 4/4 and Wed 4/5: 7th grade ELA

  • Thurs 4/27 and Fri 4/28: 8th grade Math

  • Tues 5/2: 8th grade Science and Technology/Engineering

  • Thurs 5/4 and Fri 5/5: 7th grade Math


Next Friday, we’ll host an after school March Madness basketball tournament for interested students. We have a request for some assistance with snacks for the event. Please check out this info from our PTSO volunteers, who help coordinate events like this: The RJ Grey Student Council will be hosting a basketball tournament at the school on Friday, March 10th from 3:00 - 4:30pm. The PTSO is looking for donations of snacks and drinks and a few parent volunteers to set up and work the snack tables. If you are able to donate snacks, drinks, or a little of your time, please sign up via the SignUpGenius link. If you have any questions, please contact Durga at [email protected] Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/xtcfvGY


Finally, our Superintendent’s Office has approved this flyer to share: AB Girls Lacrosse Clinic


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Monday, 3/6: Library closed after school for staff meeting

  • Monday, 3/6: RJ Grey School Council Meeting on Zoom, 7 pm

  • Wednesday, 3/8: District-wide Pan Choral Concert

  • Friday, 3/10: Student Council March Madness Basketball Tournament, 3 - 4:30pm

  • Monday, 3/13: End of Trimester 2

  • Monday, 3/13: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Tuesday, 3/14: Orchestra Concert


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Mar 02, 2023 at 5:12 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I heard from one teacher earlier this week (Monday), who was excitedly talking about her trip to the Caribbean next week. As of Monday, she already fully packed her suitcase! If that doesn’t tell you that some of us are ready for vacation, I’m not sure what will. If you are headed away on a trip, or if you’re staying close to home, like my family, I hope you have a great week.


Tomorrow (Friday) is our annual Blue and Gold Day at RJ Grey! Many years ago, this day coincided with the last home basketball game, and the school would wear blue and gold to support the teams. Our basketball season wrapped up last week, and has done so for the entire 11 years I’ve been at RJ Grey. However, the day has remained as one of the more fun, school-spirit oriented days in our year. Each grade level will have an assembly, complete with performances from our band, orchestra, and chorus, and cheerleaders. And we’ll have a game of musical chairs, too. I’m anticipating fun assemblies tomorrow leading into a good week away! Please encourage your students to wear some blue and gold tomorrow…maybe they’ll wear their Revolution t-shirts we distributed in the fall.


Earlier this week, our assistant principal, Mr. Zhang asked if he could use one of our bulletin boards in the cafe annex area. Not having a complete picture of why, I said sure! Turns out, he wanted to find a way for our students to offer thoughts on what they view as “What’s Awesome about RJ Grey.” His Advisory group helped him assemble the board this week.  



I zeroed in on some of the answers and wanted to share a few with you here:

  • The teachers at RJ Grey are really nice, helpful, and encouraging.

  • I love RJ Grey because most of the time I have a lot of fun.

  • I love RJ Grey because all my friends are here.

  • I like RJ Grey because I get to see my friends everyday. It is a comfortable space and I feel safe in this school. Learning at RJ Grey I would say is a privilege.

  • RJ Grey is amazing as there are so many kind people and they are willing to be your friend.

  • I like my teachers because they ask me if I’m okay when I’m not doing well, and they help me with my work and they are very kind to me.

  • I love that my teachers are great and always smiling.

  • Thank you for putting up with us, even though we are hard to handle.


Hearing from our kids about some of the simple and positive things they think about RJ Grey is refreshing and serve as a reminder that RJ Grey is a great place to learn and work.


If you joined us for the first in the series of Cartwheel webinars, we are pleased to announced the second session: Positive Relationships with Screen-based Technology. Through our partnership with Cartwheel Care, the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District invites you to join us as we explore research-based strategies to support healthy media use for yourself and the young people you care for and work with. Media educator and researcher, Sarah Krongard, Ph.D. will review a framework for mindful media literacy, strategies for integrating media and technology to support prosocial development, and a Q & A session on media challenges and concerns. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 1 at 7 pm. Please see this flyer for info on how to register.


Finally, our Superintendent’s Office has asked us to share information about Open Door Theater’s production of The Spongebob Musical. Please see this flyer for performance dates and ticket information.


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Monday, 2/20 - Friday, 2/24: Schools Closed for February Vacation

  • Monday, 2/27: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Wednesday, 3/1: Webinar: Positive Relationships with Screen-Based Technology

  • Thursday, 3/2: ABRHS info session for 8th graders (during the school day)

  • Monday, 3/6: Library closed after school for staff meeting


Take care and have a great week,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Feb 16, 2023 at 4:09 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you are doing well today. I wanted to point out that this week is National School Counseling Week! At RJ Grey, we are so grateful for the hard work that our school counselors and psychologists do on a daily basis. As we wrap up our SOS program this week, and counselors gear up for upcoming course registration season, I wanted to publicly thank them for their work. Ms. Bell, Dr. Cowen, Mr. Duclos, Ms. Eagle, Ms. O’Brien, Ms. Stoodt, and Mrs. Van Vleck all serve our students, families, and staff well with the social-emotional support they provide on a daily basis. If you have already connected with your child’s counselor this year, or if you haven’t, please reach out and thank them for their work.


Speaking of social-emotional support, several weeks ago, AB offered a webinar for families, in partnership with Cartwheel Care, called Youth Mental Health in a Digital World. I missed the chance to see it live, so if you’re like me, you might want to check out the recorded version of the 45-minute webinar. You can find the video and description by clicking here, which will bring you to our District’s Mental Health Resources page. 


Another partner we rely on regularly is the Acton Food Pantry. Several years ago, we joined forces with them to make sure that we had snacks available for kids who might need something during the day, or at home. The Acton Food Pantry has asked us to share their Amazon Wishlist with our families. If you are able and interested, you can click on the list here and select something you’d be willing to donate to the Food Pantry. Any product you purchase will be shipped directly to the Food Pantry, with our students being the ultimate recipients. We’re grateful for our ongoing connection with the Food Pantry. Thank you, in advance, for your help.


Finally, next month we’ll start to advertise for teaching positions that will be available for the 23-24 school year. That process usually yields lots of applicants for the licensed teaching positions we will have available across our schools. For today, as a more immediate need, we are searching for responsible adults who’d be interested in working in our schools (RJ Grey, specifically) as day-to-day substitutes. As a college student, I spent several winter vacations and days in May subbing in local schools near where I lived. It was a great way for me to work in schools, knowing I’d become a teacher after graduating. We had a good stretch over December and January where we had several college-aged subs working with us. With those individuals now back at school for the spring semester, we have a need for other members of our community to sign up to sub! We pay $100 per day, we provide you a schedule of classes to cover, and we offer as much support as you need. Most days, with the availability of 1:1 devices for our students, you are monitoring students as they work on an assignment left by the classroom teacher. If you have a bit of time on your hands and want to be around some great kids and awesome teachers, please consider working with us. Feel free to reach out to me directly to learn more or to fill out an application.


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Thursday, 2/9/23: 9th grade curriculum night at ABRHS, 7 pm

  • Monday, 2/13/23: Early Release, 1 pm

  • Friday, 2/17/23: Blue and Gold Day

  • Monday, 2/20 - Friday, 2/24: Schools Closed for February Vacation


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Feb 09, 2023 at 8:00 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you are all doing well. Several of you stopped in the drop-off line this morning to make sure  I would be bundled up for the cold weather coming our way. I will, and thank you for your concern! I ask that you make sure your own children are prepared for the incoming cold temperatures, too. As much as we work to make sure our heating system keeps us warm and comfortable, I anticipate a few cold spots tomorrow, including in our cafeteria. The wall of windows that lets in lots of natural light becomes our enemy when the temperatures get pretty low. I hope you all stay as warm as possible through these next few days. 


This week, we started our annual SOS lessons in the 7th grade. SOS stands for Signs of Suicide. I taught the lesson to Ms. Davis’s homebase on Tuesday morning. It’s only on rare occasions nowadays that I get to teach full class periods. My class was great - they were all interested in the topic, asked great questions and had thoughtful responses. The main focus of our SOS work is to have students remember a simple acronym, ACT: Acknowledge, Care, and Tell (a trusted adult). I find that the acronym is universal to lots of situations but is highly applicable to a situation when an adolescent is concerned about a friend who might be feeling depressed, upset, or in the worst case, suicidal. We talk with students about the differences between sadness and depression, we alert them to warning signs for depression, and we ask them to think about who a trusted adult is for them. While we hope all RJ Grey students have at least one trusted adult at school (80% report they currently do), we know that almost all of them are more likely to have someone they trust in their homes. One of the vignettes presented in the SOS video is between two middle-school aged boys. And while one of the boys is resistant to talking to his own mother because she has so much going on, the friend offers up his mom as someone who could help. Please know that many of you may be a trusted adult for kids who aren’t even in your own family! Kids certainly know who they can trust, so please be open if a student needs to talk to you about something important.


Our counselors view the student responses after the lesson and have follow-up conversations with students who either asked to speak to someone, or whose answers prompt us to want to learn more. We’ve now delivered the lesson to 7 Red and 7 Green, with 7 Blue and 7 Gold next week. If you think it would be helpful to connect with someone regarding your child’s emotional needs, please be in touch with your child’s counselor. If you don’t know who that it is, please reach out to me and I’ll connect you.


In other news, I ask all families who drop off their child in the morning to recommit to our expected traffic pattern. I have heard reports of families dropping off students on the driveway in front of our gym. This results in slowing down other cars, but more dangerously, it forces students to cross over the lane of oncoming traffic. Please always drop off in the lower parking lot, or if after 7:50 am, in the front circle.


Finally, I wanted to remind our 8th grade parents and guardians about the upcoming evening presentation at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (Thursday, February 9th from 7:00 - 8:30 pm). At this presentation, the high school administration and department leaders will share information about the curriculum and student life at ABRHS. High school students will also share their experiences in activities and athletics. At the end of the presentation, there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions. The high school will come to talk to our 8th graders in early March, so this evening is set aside for just the adults.


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Monday, 2/6/23: School Council Meeting at 7 pm on Zoom

  • Tuesday, 2/7/23: 7 Gold SOS Lesson

  • Thursday, 2/9/23: 7 Blue SOS Lesson

  • Thursday, 2/9/23: 9th grade curriculum night at ABRHS, 7 pm

  • Monday, 2/13/23: Early Release, 1 pm

  • Friday, 2/17/23: Blue and Gold Day


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Feb 02, 2023 at 3:57 PM
  

Good afternoon,


Last Friday afternoon, we hosted our Summer Fun in Winter event in our gyms. Several hundred students attended, played in volleyball games, cheered on their friends, had drinks and snacks, and appeared to have a great time! During the hybrid year, we canceled this event. And while we tried to have it last year, our Covid numbers were pretty high in January, so we put it off. It was great to see a large group of Junior High students having fun, being active, and enjoying being together this year. We’ll host a similar event, this time with short basketball games, in March. We owe a special thanks to Debbie Ahl, our student council advisor, and to our PTSO for help with recruiting some parent volunteers. Additionally, thanks to all families who dropped off food and drinks to keep our kids nourished! Your contributions were greatly appreciated!


Second trimester Interim Reports were emailed home today. If you didn’t receive an email from us, your child has not received an interim at this point. Interim Reports tend to point out areas where a student could benefit from some more focus, studying, or homework completion. Please take a close look at the Interims and have a conversation with your child about the comments. If there is anything that could be clarified by the teacher, please feel free to reach out. We have over a month (March 13) before the end of trimester 2 when we’ll again issue Report Cards. Students have plenty of time to bring up a grade or improve a habit before then.


This morning, I emailed our 8th graders about an opportunity to express interest in serving as student board members of ABSAF.  The Acton-Boxborough Student Activities Fund does fundraising to benefit RJ Grey and ABRHS student activities. If you think your child might be interested in applying to be part of the board, please encourage them to check their email and follow the instructions there.


Finally, we made a few announcements this week, asking students to remember to bring their fully-charged Chromebooks to school every day. We’ve recently had a challenge with running out of loaner devices before noon each day. When I was in middle school, I had to remember to bring my lunch, backpack, homework, and other items. I appreciate that making sure to charge a device is an issue that students only in this current generation face. Yet, their day is significantly impacted by not having a device ready to use throughout their day. If you think your child might be one who would benefit from some reminders to charge their device each night, I appreciate your help! With a limited number of loaners to give, we do expect students will start to face the natural consequence of not having a device to use in class. This won’t be the end of the world by any means, but I appreciate your support as much as possible.


Our Superintendent’s Office has approved the distribution of this flyer, which promotes a Robotics and Coding opportunity for girls in grades 4 - 7. Please check it out if interested!


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Monday, 1/30/23: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Tuesday, 1/31/23: 7 Red SOS Lesson

  • Thursday, 2/2/23: 7 Green SOS Lesson

  • Monday, 2/6/23: School Council Meeting at 7 pm on Zoom

  • Tuesday, 2/7/23: 7 Gold SOS Lesson

  • Thursday, 2/9/23: 7 Blue SOS Lesson

  • Thursday, 2/9/23: 9th grade curriculum night at ABRHS, 7 pm


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Jan 26, 2023 at 4:43 PM
  

Good afternoon,


If you’re my age or older, and you grew up around here, I bet you share the sentiment that there was no better feeling than a snow day! Waking up and finding out there was no school by listening to the radio, and in later years seeing it on TV was a thrill. It was only surpassed once or twice in my school career by a “no school” call the night before! I make no projection about how tomorrow’s weather could impact our school day. That role gets reserved for Mr. Light. But on the eve of some inclement weather, I hope you’re prepared with your shovel and other gear.


We are anticipating hosting our students for Summer Fun in Winter tomorrow afternoon.  I have my Hawaiian shirt ready to go, having last worn it just about one year ago for last year’s Hawaiian Shirt Day. Representatives from ABSAF will be attending the event, ready to sell some of their AB gear. If your child would be interested in purchasing an AB bucket hat, please see this flyer for more details about the cost and how to pay.


You may have heard that Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools have partnered this year with Cartwheel Care to provide outside-of-school mental health support to our students. The new partnership with us and Cartwheel has been really great. As part of our relationship, Cartwheel is sponsoring 5 webinars for caregivers this year. The first will take place on Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm. The topic, Youth Mental Health in a Digital World is relevant and important to all of our students. I encourage you to join the webinar next Wednesday. Please click here to see more details and the link to register.


Finally, I am previewing for all 8th grade families that you’ll be hearing from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School soon about their 9th grade Transition Night. Please mark Thursday,  February 9th in your calendar for an in-person evening event at ABRHS.  Keep your eyes open for an email message to your inbox with more details.


Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Friday, 1/20/23: Hawaiian Shirt Day and Summer Fun in Winter activity after school

  • Tuesday, 1/24/23: Last Day of Semester 1, Exploratory classes change on 1/25/23

  • Wednesday, 1/25/23: Winter Orchestra and Chorus Concert, 7 pm

  • Wednesday, 1/25/23: Youth Mental Health in a Digital World Webinar

  • Monday, 1/30/23: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Tuesday, 1/31/23: 7 Red SOS Lesson

  • Thursday, 2/2/23: 7 Green SOS Lesson


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Jan 19, 2023 at 4:32 PM
  
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