November 18, 2021 

Good afternoon,

It’s about 70 degrees outside my office window at the moment, reminding me that not that long ago we were enjoying warm weather and the relaxed pace of summer. We’re quite far removed from that pace here at RJ Grey, but things continue to go well. 

If you didn’t see my email yesterday about Parent/Teacher conferences, please check your inbox for an email from me some time around 7 am yesterday (11/17/21). If you need some additional information, or need me to resend an email, I’m happy to do so - please just email me.

As my messages come out on Thursdays, I’m going to take next week off from sending a message due to it being Thanksgiving. I’m hopeful that this Thanksgiving feels more typical for us all, compared to last year when we were in a surge of Covid cases. My wife, who is an educator, and I were being super cautious about Covid last year. It felt too risky for us to be out and about, with three small children and our work in schools. Instead of being tempted by both of our large extended families to join for Thanksgiving dinner or dessert somewhere, we escaped! We rented an AirB&B on the Cape and had a few great days by ourselves with our kids. We walked on the beach, I picked up a fully prepped Thanksgiving meal from Roche Bros in Mashpee, we rode our bikes, and we had a great time just being away. This year we’ll return to visiting both sets of our family at scaled down versions of a traditional Thanksgiving.

Since the beginning of the month, my family has had a plastic table cloth-style tree hanging in our kitchen. Each night, or as regularly as we think of it, our kids fill out a leaf with something they’re grateful for. We’ve had their dance teacher a few times, their school teachers, some of their aunts and uncles, grandparents, and good friends from school. We had a favorite TV show appear once. It’s a nice thing to stop on occasion and practice gratitude with them. 

As I continue into my fifth month in this Interim Principal role, there are a huge amount of things for which I’m grateful, so here are just a few:

I’m grateful for your children! They make our days full of life, excitement, and joy. They’re kind, helpful, and generally happy. I recognize that life in a middle school can be chaotic at times, but our kids make this a pretty great place to be most days.

I’m grateful for our staff - teachers, assistants, counselors, custodians, cafeteria workers, and others. I haven’t yet come upon a group of people who just go with the flow as much as these people. Everyone just seems to get that, at times, the ground beneath us doesn’t feel quite solid, but they keep moving forward with patience, flexibility and a positive attitude. I will be forever grateful to our staff for how they put our students first and keep doing the hard work in a year that has many challenges.

I’m grateful for you - our parent and guardian community. You are so supportive of us. I’ve gotten several nice emails over the year about our school; you wave at me in the morning at drop-off; you send your kids to school ready and eager to learn; you contribute to our PTSO and other organizations; and you speak up on behalf of your kids and others when you see something that could be better.

Lots of people I know work in schools - my wife, my sister, several cousins, family friends, and former colleagues who now work elsewhere. I continue to be grateful for the supportive and affirming environment that we’re able to create and maintain at RJ Grey - I know it doesn’t exist everywhere. So while I might be most grateful for some good turkey and stuffing next Thursday, the things above are pretty important and meaningful, too.

Here are some upcoming events at RJ Grey:

-Wednesday, November 24: Early Release for Thanksgiving (11:10 am)

-Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26: No School for Thanksgiving

-Monday, November 29: Early Release for Professional Learning (1 pm)

-Monday, December 6: RJ Grey Coat Drive Begins

-Monday, December 13: Early Release for Professional Learning (1 pm)

-Thursday, December 16: Early Release #1 (11:10) for Parent/Teacher Conferences

-Tuesday, December 21: Early Release #2 (11:10) for Parent/Teacher Conferences

-Thursday, December 23: Schools close for vacation (reopen January 3, 2022)

I wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Take care,


Posted by jmarcotte On 18 November, 2021 at 4:45 PM  

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