October 28, 2021 

Good afternoon,

I hope your homes have survived the recent stormy weather with little damage. I have seen quite a few tweets from districts near the south shore that have cancelled school today for the second day in a row. I am grateful that our little area west of Boston went pretty unscathed through the recent storms.

Today’s update includes several messages from people and groups outside of RJ Grey that I promised I would share in my weekly newsletter.

The first message is to highlight the request that came to you yesterday, from our Superintendent. If you didn’t see this message yet, please check your email from yesterday afternoon for a message from AB. The quick version of the request is that we anticipate needing to reduce the number of buses in our fleet by up to 7 buses in the next few weeks. In order to do this in an organized manner, we need to determine the exact number of riders we anticipate. Below is a portion of the letter from Mr. Light:

“We would like your help on a temporary basis while we work to hire additional staff and return to our normal routes.  If you are willing to opt out of bus transportation and drive your child to school, please complete the Bus Opt Out Form.  This will allow us to minimize our bus ride times as much as possible.  

  • Log in to your PowerSchool Parent Portal account here (or via our website under Families>Parent Portal). 

  • Follow the instructions here on how to complete the consent form for each one of your students.  If you need help completing the form, please reach out to your child’s teacher at the elementary or counselor at the junior high or high school.

We ask that you do this as soon as possible and no later than this Sunday, October 31.” 

Last week, I had the chance to meet with the two membership chairs of the Acton-Boxborough PTSO. The Parent-Teacher-Student Organization in grades 7 - 12 operates as a single organization, different from the elementary, where each school has its own PTSO. The PTSO has been generous to RJ Grey over the years: they help pay for our student planbooks every year, support our after school activities and dances, and have helped us financially with capital improvements including furniture in our cafeteria annex. I let Maria and Karen know that I would pass on information about their monthly meeting, as well as the request for donations. The PTSO asks for a $50 donation for the year. This avoids us asking anyone to sell wrapping paper, cookie dough or other fundraisers. My own daughters’ school PTO asked them to sell wrapping paper. The short story is that my wife and I will have wrapping paper for the next 5 years as a result. Please check out the PTSO site and support them financially, if you can, or attend a meeting if you’d like.

Finally, parents from our Project Graduation Committee reached out and hoped that I could share some information about how to become involved in this annual event. There is a blurb below about the event, but I wanted to share that as a former ABRHS teacher and assistant principal, I see the real value in this event and I hope you might consider giving some time to learn more and become involved. The high school is beautifully transformed into a fun, inclusive event space for students to be with each other safely on the night of their graduation. It takes an army of volunteers to pull this off - and it is quite magical when it happens! The event happens as a result of a ton of volunteers, generally the families of underclassmen (non-Seniors). Please read on and be in touch with the coordinators if you can play a role. Some kind, energetic souls will organize it when your students are graduating - if you’re able, they would appreciate your help now.

“RJ Grey Parents: we need you to JOIN PROJECT GRADUATION!


Project Graduation is an all-night, substance-free party for AB seniors on commencement night. As you may know, Project Graduation began in Maine over 30 years ago after one especially tragic commencement season in which 18 teenagers died in alcohol and drug-related incidents. It is a long-standing tradition in our school district, and since Acton-Boxborough’s first Project Graduation in 1989, well over 10,000 AB graduates have participated in the event and stayed safe on graduation night! 


After leading the charge for years, many of our current team will be graduating along with their children. We need new parent volunteers to keep this amazing, decades-long tradition going! Looking ahead, we are seeking new co-chairs as well as decoration and entertainment team leaders. Now is the time to join us and shadow current chairs. You'll have fun, and together we will continue to keep kids safe. Grab a friend or make a new one with Project Graduation. Please send us an email to learn more. We'll announce our kick-off meeting in November, and then have monthly meetings starting in January. We can't wait to welcome you to ABRHS and Project Graduation!”

Jennifer Mabardy & Jennifer Philion

AB Project Graduation 2022 Co-Chairs

[email protected]


Here are some upcoming dates at RJ Grey:

-Friday, October 29: Halloween Dress-up Day;

-Monday, November 1: School Picture Retake Day;

-Monday, November 1: Early Release at 1 pm;

-Tuesday, November 2: No School - Professional Learning Day

-Thursday, November 11: No School - Veterans’ Day

-Monday, November 15: Early Release at 1pm

That’s it for this week - I hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

Take care,


Posted by jmarcotte On 28 October, 2021 at 2:52 PM  

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