Eye on the Junior High



Recent Posts
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 

Good afternoon,


Happy October to all of our RJ Grey families! I hope those who celebrate Yom Kippur had a good holiday yesterday. I got to drop my own kids off at their school yesterday morning in the rain. Their school’s process is that the adult has to park the car, get out of the car, and walk with the students to the school. I patted myself on the back for our own drop-off process that allows caregivers to remain inside the car!


This past Monday was one of our early release days for students. Some of you might wonder what we do when we dismiss our kids at 1 pm. The answer is that we do a variety of things! This week, our staff met with an instructor from Lesley University in a session called, “Helping Traumatized  Children Learn.” This first of three sessions was eye-opening for many of us. While the research doesn’t focus on AB or our kids, other research studies over the years inform us that large amounts of our students, families, and staff have experienced trauma. Trauma can be defined as a response to a stressful experience where one’s ability to cope is overwhelmed. Many of our students may have experienced trauma. We’re going to spend some time this year working to assess how we can make RJ Grey a more trauma-sensitive school. There are likely some minor things that would benefit all students, but will be highly impactful for students who have experienced trauma. If your child needs some support that they’re not currently getting, potentially related to trauma, I’d invite you to please reach out to your child’s counselor to  begin a dialogue.


You’ll hear from me in a separate email with specifics about our Back to School Night next Thursday. Our first period begins promptly at 7pm. I suggest you arrive a bit earlier than that to find a parking spot. There will be some spots here at the Junior High, but we know that many families will need to park in the Parker-Damon lots or the High School lots. I hope to see lots of you on Thursday night!


While it’s still a few weeks away, Halloween is approaching. At RJ Grey, we will allow students who want to, to dress in costumes on Monday, October 31. We don't allow weapons or masks. Over the next few years, we want to use a culturally responsive lens to examine the the traditions and celebrations we have at school. In considering these traditions, some schools have moved away from some of the traditional celebrations like Halloween, and others are doing some work to look at these practices.  At the Junior High, dressing in costume has been a tradition here for a long time. On average, I’d say about 40% of students choose to dress up. We don’t have parties or other events related to Halloween, but there is some sense of joy that comes with seeing a clown, a roller coaster, and a giant dinosaur walking through the halls at passing time. I’m not certain that we’ll always host this tradition, but we will this year.


Here are some upcoming dates that will be helpful for you to know:

  • Monday, 10/10: No School - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • Thursday, 10/13: RJ Grey Back to School Night

  • Monday, 10/17: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Monday, 10/24: No School, Diwali

  • Monday, 10/31: Halloween Dress Up Day


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Oct 06, 2022 at 4:10 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you are doing well and that your children are telling you lots of positive things about their days spent at RJ Grey. I had a long day at work yesterday and came home after my youngest two were already in bed. I discovered my preschooler’s artwork laying on the kitchen island. I share this to remind you that even when your current middle schoolers were in preschool, maybe even then they described their school day simply. “Things” is how Annabelle described her artwork to her teacher. If your own kids are answering, “Nothing” when you ask, “What did you do today,” we’re in good company! 


We are doing “things” here at RJ Grey. Today we had our iReady Math assessment. Last year was our first year giving the iReady in both Reading and Math. We found that the time spent assessing in those subject area classes was an unfair burden to place only on those subject areas. So instead, we set a schoolwide schedule that allows for all students to take the diagnostic assessment at the same time and then proceed through a shortened version of their typical schedule. We did our iReady in Reading last week. We’ll repeat this process in the winter and spring. 


I had written to our 7th grade families a few weeks ago about joining our School Council. I’m happy to report that two reps put their names forward. With only two interested parties, there was no need for an election. Chidhi Arunachalam has volunteered in several capacities in the district over the years, as he has a 7th grader and 12th grader at AB. He works in software development and is excited to join the School Council. He’ll join Boris Klebanov, the father of a 7th grader at RJ Grey. Boris has a deep understanding of math and math education. These new members will join me on the School Council, along with Kerry Lewis and Brian Andrew Smith as our 8th grade parent reps. Liz Walker and Anthony Zeese are both RJ Grey teachers, rounding out the council. Our meetings are open to other families who want to join. We’ll meet on Zoom on the dates below, the link is on the School Council page of our website. You are welcome to log in and join whenever you’d like.


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Monday, November 7, 2022

Monday, January 9, 2023

Monday, February 6, 2023

Monday, March 6, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023

Monday, May 8, 2023


We are closing out the last week of September. To think that the start of school was only about one month ago seems shocking! I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot this month and that your students have really settled into life at RJ Grey. We’ve had a choppy month with picture day, two fire drills, and other once-a-year type procedures. I’m hoping to get into a rhythm where school days are predictable and deep learning can take place. I hope you’ve learned about your child’s experience this year, reported in words more exciting than “things.” As for me and our admin team, your kids have been great and we’re pleased to be working with them every day.


Here are some upcoming dates that will be helpful for you to know:

  • Monday, 10/3: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Monday, 10/3: Helping Your Family’s Emotional Health: Do’s and Don’ts As We Move Forward Webinar with Lynn Lyons, 7 pm

  • Wednesday, 10/5: No School - Yom Kippur

  • Monday, 10/10: No School - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • Thursday, 10/13: RJ Grey Back to School Night


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Sep 29, 2022 at 3:26 PM
  

Good afternoon,


We avoided the significant downpours today at both our morning arrival and afternoon dismissal. I consider that a win! I hope you were as lucky with today’s weather.


Tomorrow is school picture day at RJ Grey. All students and staff have their picture taken, whether or not they choose to order a picture package. We use these pictures in our computer information system to have accurate photos of students. If you would like to order pictures online, please go to mylifetouch.com and enter the Picture Day ID: EVT8B9J9P.  Students may also bring in a check with the order form to give directly to the photographer.  Picture packages will be distributed to students in a few weeks, before the November 7 retake day.  Students who miss the initial picture day or those who would like a retake may have their picture done again at that time.  


One note of reminder if you are a person who drops off your child in the morning: as you enter our campus and come to drop off at RJ Grey, please stay on Charter Road until you take a left directly into the drop-off line. Turning in near the tennis courts and driving through our lower lot impacts our ability to keep everyone moving. Thanks for your help with this. And thanks to everyone who does it correctly for your patience when I ask you to wait to bring in another car. 


While some of you may have older students, many of you, I imagine are first-time Junior High parents. I have two requests: Please consider helping out at Project Graduation and please join the AB PTSO (info below on both). Both are amazing organizations made up of volunteers who assist the JH and HS in important ways.


Project Graduation: Introducing PG'23!

Every year on graduation night, the whole senior class comes together for an all-night substance-free celebration. The idea was born in Maine in the wake of teen fatalities on graduation night. At AB, we have a decades-long tradition of keeping our community's kids safe on what is one of the most memorable occasions of their lives. But we need parents of all grades to keep it going. And although graduation for the AB Class of 2023 is months away, believe it or not, the planning starts now!

 

We are looking for a few leadership volunteers. Check out all these opportunities! (Parents of seniors, you get the night off during the main event, but we could definitely use your help getting there!) 

 

PG Co-Chair: We have one fantastic chair! Now we need one more :)

• Treasurer: Are budgets your bag? This is a behind-the-scenes position.

• Sign Up Genius: We're pretty sure you're a genius. Can you put our volunteer needs in an online sign-up sheet?

• Minute to Win It: Are you a game night guy or gal? Last year's volunteer has all the details and games for this year's June 2 celebration. We just need someone to coordinate! 

 

Let us know via email. And look for our kickoff meeting coming soon!

 

Meredith Frost 

AB Project Graduation 2023 Chair

[email protected]

https://www.abprojectgrad.org

 

PTSO

My wife just hastily filled out the wrapping paper sales form for our daughters' school PTO. At RJ Grey and ABRHS, our PTSO does not do fundraisers in the form of cookie dough sales or wrapping paper. Our PTSO does ask for financial support from families, as well as interested members to volunteer. The money raised through the PTSO supports work at both the JH and High School. This year, I anticipate the PTSO supporting us with funds to cover the cost of student planbooks that we give to any interested student. We are also purchasing t-shirts for all students with our new Revolution logo. The PTSO and student council will help make that possible. I just met with three leaders of our PTSO this afternoon. They are all very committed to our schools and our students. If you haven’t already contributed this year, I’d invite you to do so.  Check out their website to learn more. You’ll also get to connect with them on our Back to School Night on October 13th.


We had another 25-minute advisory meeting yesterday (September 21). In most rooms, teachers led a protocol called a “Community Circle.” This process allows for deliberate and efficient conversations. My group talked about, among other things, their favorite ice cream flavors (4 chose Cookie Dough as their fav...including me). The Community Circle is a practice that we want our students to get used to in case we want to talk about something more serious later in the year. My group found it helpful to get to know more about each member of our group. I started them off with this youtube video to see if they could guess why I was playing it. Two students knew it! Shout out to their families for exposing them to some great music!


That’s it for now - remember that we do not have school on Monday due to the Rosh Hashanah holiday.


Here are some upcoming dates that will be helpful for you to know:

  • Friday, 9/23: School Picture Day at RJ Grey

  • Monday, 9/26: No School - Rosh Hashanah

  • Monday, 10/3: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Monday, 10/3: Helping Your Family’s Emotional Health: Do’s and Don’ts As We Move Forward Webinar with Lynn Lyons

  • Wednesday, 10/5: No School - Yom Kippur


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Sep 22, 2022 at 4:36 PM
  

Good evening,


We are nearing the end of our first 5-day week of school at RJ Grey! I hope your child continues to adapt and feel confident about their school year. Below are several pieces of information that I’d like to share this week.


Yesterday, as we knew the high school was in a shelter-in-place situation, and after we considered our junior high response, I texted my own parents. Knowing that my mom reads this weekly column and keeps an eye on the news for any AB-related items, I figured I should reach out. I knew that the helicopter I was hearing circling above our campus would prompt them to wonder if I was safe when they saw the mid-day news or a Facebook post. I let them know that our school was safe, as was the high school. Any parent, no matter the age of their child (40, in my case), will always hope that their child is safe at school. At RJ Grey, safety is our most important goal. We did postpone our ALICE drill that was scheduled for today. We’ll wait a few weeks and run our drill at that time. 


I addressed our students today as part of our morning announcements with the following message: “If you heard from your family about a situation at the high school yesterday, I want to reassure you this morning that everyone here at RJ Grey is safe. Everyone at the high school is safe. At times, we will hear about information that causes us concern. It's the adults' job to follow a process to make sure everyone is safe at school. If you ever have information to share because you've heard something, or you saw something on social media...you have to connect with one of your trusted adults. This might be a teacher, your counselor, an advisor, or a family member. We rely on each other to stay safe - thank you for your help with this.”


Speaking of social media, we’ve learned that the Be Real app has caught on with some of our students. This new app informs users to take a picture of whatever they’re doing at a specific moment in time. Everyone (worldwide, I imagine) using the app is prompted to take a picture during the same 2-minute window. I predict that those 2-minutes will at some point collide with the 396-minutes of our school day. While I appreciate that a streak might be important - students don’t use their phones in school. If you know your child uses this app, please pass along the message that using it during the school day is not allowed.


We will be hosting our Back to School Night on Thursday, October 13th, starting at 7 pm. This year will be our first in-person event of its kind since 2019. We are excited to invite you to our building to meet many of your child’s teachers and sit in their classrooms. We’ll email each family a specific schedule (your child’s schedule divided into 10-minute classes) on or around October 7th. Please mark your calendars and join us!


Finally, I hope to use this column to highlight some of the work of our Advisory program. While we have growing pains, as there would be with any new program, we are happy with our Advisory program thus far. This week marked our first 25-minute advisory session. In general, on Mondays and Fridays, we meet for a quick 10-minute check-in. On weeks with 5 school days, we meet on Wednesdays for 25-minutes. Across our building, all Advisories did some activity related to The Dot by Peter H Reynolds. This children’s book sparked a quick discussion in Advisories about what mark each of us can leave on our school community. Each student then got a chance to make their own “dots.” As we build in simple lessons like this, we have a few goals: connections with peers, connections with an adult, and a chance to work on a Social-Emotional skill. During September, we are focusing on the theme of Belonging and in this case, Social Awareness. Helping our students realize their impact on our community is a big deal for us. Many walls of our school are now decorated with some good looking "dots!"


Here are some upcoming dates that will be helpful for you to know:

  • Monday, 9/19: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Friday, 9/23: School Picture Day at RJ Grey

  • Monday, 9/26: No School - Rosh Hashanah

  • Monday, 10/3: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Wednesday, 10/5: No School - Yom Kippur


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Sep 15, 2022 at 7:16 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you enjoyed a nice Labor Day weekend. While Monday and Tuesday provided us with lots of needed rain, the preceding days were perfect weather days to wrap up a great summer. Next week will be our first 5-day week at RJ Grey. It’s only then that we start to feel what it’s really like to be back in school. From our current perspective, it’s been a great return! Our students seem happy to be here, they are excited to be learning and seeing friends and classmates. I’ve seen them interacting with their teachers in classes, having fun in Advisory, and being full of joy (mostly) in our hallways. And with the return of our fall sports tryouts and practices this week, there’s an after-school energy that is exciting, too. 


We’ve been intentional about our lunch routines this year. When we returned to school last year, out of the hybrid-remote model Cafeteria Rules we had in 20-21, we were caught off-guard by our need to be explicit about expectations for how to behave in shared spaces - hallways, lunchrooms, etc. This year, we were ready! Over several days, and with more specific reminders to individuals, we’ve reiterated expectations (pic at right) for how to use our lunchrooms. Next week, we are going to review some procedures that will allow students to eat outside if they choose. I’m hoping for a continuation of the cooperative behaviors we’ve been seeing.


As a reminder to everyone, all students are entitled to one free breakfast and one free lunch every day. We are seeing many students take advantage of this - and some choose to get one lunch free and buy one! My own children returned to school recently and every day I hear exciting reports of what they ate for lunch. It is the little things in life that keep us entertained, I suppose!


Here are some upcoming dates that will be helpful for you to know:

  • Monday, 9/19: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Friday, 9/23: School Picture Day at RJ Grey

  • Monday, 9/26: No School - Rosh Hashanah

  • Monday, 10/3: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Wednesday, 10/5: No School - Yom Kippur


Take care,
Jim

Posted by jmarcotte  On Sep 08, 2022 at 4:12 PM
  

Good afternoon,


If you’re wondering why you’ve received this email message today, it’s because you are currently subscribed as a recipient of the Daily Announcements and Eye on the Junior High message series at RJ Grey Junior High School. I will not feel bad if you choose to “unsubscribe” by clicking the button at the bottom of the email you received. And if you are in the right place, Welcome! Please stay and read these weekly messages which will generally come out on Thursday afternoons.


We’ve now been back to school for four days - an excellent four days! After the first two days, I woke up on Wednesday morning grateful that we had moved past the two prior days of mixed-up, choppy schedules. Whenever we get the chance to return to our predictable schedules, our daily rhythm just seems to flow better here at RJ Grey. The next few weeks will have lots of random events and interruptions to our days, including safety drills, picture day, and other items, but we’re happy to have our feet beneath us and ready to move forward with building our Joyful, Inclusive Community of Engaged Learners.


The return of students to school is always an exciting time for us. Before we even managed to have our students return, we had a major shift in our Admin team at RJ Grey. We hired one new assistant principal last spring after we found out that Mr. Lawrence had accepted a principal position in another middle school. And we found out later in the summer that Ms. Boege had accepted a curriculum coordinator position in another town, too. I have tried to not take each of these departures personally, as each presented a great opportunity for their continued professional growth.


We have lucked out with our recent hires of assistant principals who are truly great additions to our leadership team and the daily life of RJ Grey. Because they both work primarily with students, families, and teachers, I want to make sure to introduce them to you.


Mrs. Kelly Doherty is joining us as the Assistant Principal responsible for working with 7th graders. She has experience as an assistant principal at the elementary and high school levels. She was a math teacher and digital learning teacher, along with being a department leader for many years. Kelly has hit the ground running, getting to know the 7th grade students and all of our teachers. She’s been a great addition to our school. Kelly can be reached by email at [email protected].





Mr. Jun Wei (Anthony) Zhang is also joining us as an Assistant Principal. Anthony will work with our 8th grade students, families, and teachers. Anthony recently earned his degree in ed leadership while working as a 7th grade English teacher in Massachusetts. Anthony grew up in New Jersey and after college, joined Teach for America which brought him to the Bay State. We are thrilled that he stayed in the area and has joined our school community. If you need to reach Anthony, you’ll find him at [email protected].




Our Fall Athletics programs get going next week. Please check out
this doc with tryout/sign-up info. If you have questions about a particular sport, please reach out to the coaches listed, or to our JH Athletic Director, Jon Duclos ([email protected]).


With every August/September, comes a level of excitement for people who work in schools. We hope that our excitement for school and learning has been made apparent to your children. If school hasn’t hit the mark for your child yet, that’s okay. Change, whether it be to a new grade or new school, can be difficult for some students. If the return to school seems like a real struggle after another week or so, I invite you to reach out to your child’s teachers or counselor. We’d like to hear what you’re seeing at home so that we can partner together on how to help.


Here are some upcoming dates that will be helpful for you to know:

  • Friday, 9/2: No School

  • Monday, 9/6: No School - Labor Day

  • Monday, 9/19: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Friday, 9/23: School Picture Day at RJ Grey

  • Monday, 9/26: No School - Rosh Hashanah


For now, enjoy the long weekend. We’ll see all of our students again on Tuesday, September 6. 


Take care,
Jim


Posted by jmarcotte  On Sep 01, 2022 at 9:09 AM
  

Good afternoon,


I broke my streak with this message series! I was really good at getting this message out on Thursday evenings all year, until the very last week. The last few days of school were a whirlwind and I didn’t find the time to close out this year’s Eye on the Junior High with a final message. You may not have noticed - but I did!


It actually works out well that I can comment on the final events of the school year to you now! The 8th graders had a fun trip to Mel’s Funway on June 17th. As one of the chaperones, I saw that our kids represented themselves and our school well and seemed to have a great time using the facility. The weather was perfect and the cheeseburgers were good, too.


Our last day of school featured our annual Tug-of-War Competitions! This fun event pits homeroom against homeroom in our bracket-style competition. Shout out to Ms. McGovern’s homeroom for winning the 7th grade trophy and to Mrs. Macey’s homeroom for winning the 8th grade trophy. We also distributed our yearbooks to those students who ordered one earlier in the year. We are aware that some families thought they had ordered or missed the emails about ordering altogether. We have several takeaways that we hope will make this process smoother next year.


The last event of our school year was a school-wide assembly at the high school (the only facility that can hold our whole school)! Our Select Choir sang two pieces, the winner of our Last Verse poetry contest read her poem, and we acknowledged several students who represented our values of Joy, Community, and Engagement throughout the year. We also awarded our Good Citizenship Awards to two students who were voted by the staff as wonderful contributors to our school community throughout the year. The end-of-year assembly is always a great event for us and I’m glad we were able to do it in person again.


I’m shutting down the Eye on the Junior High until the start of next year. My family and I have a few beach vacations planned, where we’ll be able to be together and enjoy a different pace than the rest of the year provides. I hope you have something fun planned for these next two months. If your child is moving onto high school and you hope not to continue to receive these messages next year, feel free to Unsubscribe at the bottom of the email you received. Otherwise, even if you don’t have a student at RJ Grey next year, feel free to stay connected to us.


We will welcome our 7th graders on Monday, August 29th, and our 8th graders will come back on Tuesday, August 30th. Until then, I wish you a great summer!


Take care,


Jim Marcotte



Posted by jmarcotte  On Jun 30, 2022 at 1:15 PM
  

Good afternoon,


This is the penultimate edition of Eye on the Junior High for this school year. If you remember the first issue of this series, back in September, I commented that I changed the name of this message series to not be confused with our former principal’s series. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this update as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Being a principal this year has brought about a lot of changes for me, but most significantly, I have started to develop my “voice” as a principal. Assistant principals have voices, too…but usually used for different purposes. Thanks for being readers this year!


I have two RJ Grey staff members to recognize and thank in this week’s message. And then I’ll share a poem written by one of our students.


For the first recognition: Mr. David Lawrence has been with us at RJ Grey for the last five years as an assistant principal. David is currently the assistant principal for the seventh graders. He is entering his final weeks at AB before he moves on to be the middle school principal in the Dover-Sherborn school district. David has shown us over the last five years that he cares deeply about our students and he enjoys getting to know them as well as he can. He cares about the instruction in our classrooms and wants it to be the best it can be so that our students learn. In that regard, he has worked with teachers over his five years to improve the teaching and learning experience. We wish Mr. Lawrence well as he transitions to his new role…where I know he will find his principal “voice” very quickly.


Secondly, I want to write briefly about our only retiring teacher. Ms. Kellie Carter is currently the 8 Red Social Studies teacher and Social Studies Department Coordinator. Kellie is not acting like a soon-to-be retiree. She continues to give her all to her students on 8 Red and to her colleagues, every day, which is the way she’s always operated. Kellie started work at RJ Grey in 1997; she’s taught Social Studies in both 7th and 8th grades, and for a time, was an English teacher when RJ Grey had a half-team. She’s served on a ton of committees and has advised the Current Events Club, along with the Model UN club, among other things. In her role as Department Coordinator, she has helped her department plan responses to various and sometimes tragic world events. It has always been important for our social studies teachers to help students think critically, and our world has given us all plenty of things to think deeply about. Kellie is going to travel through Europe, spend time with grandkids, and catch her breath in the early days of retirement. Our students and our staff are going to miss Ms. Carter dearly. When the history of RJ Grey JHS is written, there will be a few special pages written about Ms. Carter.


Finally, I want to invite you to read a poem that was shared with students today as part of the morning announcements. Lucia Sabatelli is an 8th grader who entered a poem into our 8th grade Last Verse poetry contest. Another participant will share their poem at our end-of-year assembly. Lucia read her poem from my office this morning over the PA. I hadn’t read it ahead of time, so I got to enjoy it “live.” I asked Lucia to share it with me and I also asked if I could share it in this newsletter. She agreed. I hope you enjoy it:


Growth and Goodbyes

If only the walls of RJ Grey could talk

For then they would erupt with joy 

If only the echoing of my steps

Could match the beating of my heart

Filled with a yearning for new experiences

Yet encased with a melancholy for what once was

What trials, what tribulations

Once frustration, now learning

Growth

And although my feet will not walk these halls anymore

I will carry the halls with me

The lessons, the learning, the courage

Afterall,

RJ Grey has granted me such

So I will bask in the warmth of this final farewell

For there are no new beginnings

Without saying goodbye

~ 


Here are some upcoming dates to be aware of:

-Friday, June 10: Great East Music Festival

-Friday, June 10: 8th Grade Celebration, 7 - 9 pm

-Friday, June 17: 8th grade trip to Mel’s Funway

-Monday, June 20: No School due to Juneteenth holiday

-Tuesday, June 21: End of year assembly, early release at 11:10 am



Take care,


Jim Marcotte



Posted by jmarcotte  On Jun 09, 2022 at 4:03 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful Memorial Day Weekend! On Monday afternoon, my family joined some neighbors for a cookout and it didn’t seem real that we had to return to school the next day. Last weekend felt like one of those great summer weekends - more of those to come shortly, I know.


I wanted to preview a little about our last day of school, coming up in just under three weeks. Our last day of school is Tuesday, June 21. We’ll release at 11:10 am that day. Our students will arrive in the morning and will receive their yearbooks and have some time to look at them. We’ll also have our annual Tug-of-War competition where homerooms compete against each other for the all-important plastic trophy! We’ll then head to the high school for our end-of-year assembly. We’ll recognize some student achievements, we’ll recognize our retirees, and end the year as a community, which has been an important part of our focus this year.


When our assembly ends, we’ll leave the high school and walk back towards RJ Grey where your children will either board a bus, meet up with you for a ride, or be with friends to begin their summer. As a reminder, there is no school on Monday, June 20th in honor of the Juneteenth holiday.


If you know that your child will not be with us on one of the last days of school, feel free to start communicating that directly with our Main Office. You can email us at [email protected] and let us know the days your child will miss. That will help you by not having to call your child in absent on those particular days. If your child won’t be here starting prior to June 16th or so, please be very clear with them that they have to return to their Chromebook, library books, textbooks, or other loaned items before they depart for the summer. When returning their Chromebooks, we need students to return the device, the charger, and if in 7th grade, the stylus. Teachers will check off that those elements are all returned so that we can be ready for distribution again in the fall. Thank you for your help with this important task.


Lastly this week, I wanted to point out an email you received from the district at the end of May. The email directed you to a School Climate family survey about our Acton-Boxborough schools. I’d like to make a plug for you to please complete the survey about your experiences at RJ Grey. I haven’t completed the parent version, but I have completed the staff version. Knowing the questions that I answered, I am hopeful that you’ll take the time to complete the survey as I anticipate that your responses will help inform our work next year. So please, if you haven’t already done so, please spend some time providing some feedback about your RJ Grey (and other AB schools) experience. The survey closes tomorrow evening (Friday, June 3) at 5 pm.


Tomorrow marks our ABRHS Graduation! Congratulations to any families who have a graduating Senior. Our kids have all been through a lot in the past few years. Getting them to the finish line was likely not an easy task. I hope you have a great ceremony and celebration with your kids!


Here are some upcoming dates to be aware of:

-Friday, June 3: High School Graduation on Leary Field

-Friday, June 10: Great East Music Festival

-Friday, June 10: 8th Grade Celebration, 7 - 9 pm

-Friday, June 17: 8th grade trip to Mel’s Funway

-Tuesday, June 21: End of year assembly, early release at 11:10 am



Take care,


Jim Marcotte



Posted by jmarcotte  On Jun 02, 2022 at 4:39 PM
  

Good afternoon,


Spring has arrived. The recent bright sunny days make the light coat of pollen over everything just a bit easier to deal with. I hope you’re looking forward to the unofficial start of summer this weekend with Memorial Day. Last year we bought a 15-foot Intex pool. It’s one of those that comes together quickly with PVC poles and a vinyl liner. I pulled it out of the garage last weekend to discover some pumpkin seeds and a 2-inch hole. I’m imagining some kind of small animal must have made himself comfortable over the winter. A quick trip to the hardware store for a vinyl patch made it possible to get the pool up and we’ve been slowly filling it over the week. My kids, who don’t feel cold in the water, will likely get to take the first swim this weekend. I hope you have some fun plans, too.


I wrote to you all on Tuesday night with our plans for how we planned to talk about the shootings in Texas. As always, your kids were great. When I sit in my office and make announcements, I don’t get the immediate feedback that teachers get when they’re face-to-face, so I never know how our messages on serious topics land for our kids. Our teachers reported back that they took our messaging seriously and I know some teachers asked them throughout the day to share, or write any of their fears, wonderings, or hopes coming out of the situation. I still remain sad thinking about it all while remaining committed to keeping RJ Grey as safe as it can be. That’s the work for all of us, so thank you for your partnership in this.


Turning to happier thoughts - we had a great seventh grade celebration last Friday. We sold about 340 tickets - I’m not positive all of those students came, but we had a great turnout. All of the chaperones and I were happy to see kids just having fun. I talked to the attendees at the start of the event and reminded them that our goals of Joy and Community were being represented by the particular event they were a part of and I reiterated our expectations for what their behavior should look like. They rose to the occasion and there was a lot of joy and community that night. Events like this only come together with the support of our PTSO and our staff. To start, I’d like to thank the parent volunteers who took on the important job of setting up and staffing the snack and drink tables. Megan Connor, Deb Datta, Diane Randolph Jones, Barbara Miranda, Durga Nirgudkar, and Dara Sweetser all volunteered their time and energy and the kids greatly appreciated it. And thank you to all of you who dropped off boxes of Doritos, desserts, and other snacks and drinks. You contributed to a great event!


I’m putting in a plug for our AB Summer School options. They have some classes that are appropriate for our students. If you’re interested, please see the info below and check out their website:


Summer School Registration

Join us this summer at the AB Summer school!  Summer School 2022 dates are Monday, June 27th - Friday, August 5th for six-week classes and Monday, June 27th - Friday, July 22nd for summer physical education classes.  A full range of Enrichment, Remedial and Test Prep courses include: English, Creative Writing, Math 7, Math 8, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math Counts, SAT Prep, Science Research, & Physical Education.  Course offerings and other information can be found on the AB Summer School website.  Email [email protected] with questions!  


We are certainly closing in on the end of the school year. I hope it winds down well for all of you and your children. Have a great long weekend!


Here are some upcoming dates to be aware of:

-Monday, May 30: No School, Memorial Day

-Thursday, June 2: RJ Grey Choral Performance

-Friday, June 3: High School Graduation on Leary Field

-Friday, June 10: Great East Music Festival

-Friday, June 10: 8th Grade Celebration, 7 - 9 pm

-Friday, June 17: 8th Grade trip to Mel’s Funway

-Tuesday, June 21: End of year assembly, early release at 11:10 am



Take care,


Jim Marcotte



Posted by jmarcotte  On May 26, 2022 at 4:52 PM
  
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 
 
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.