December 16, 2021 

Good afternoon,

As I write this, we have just about made it through our first set of teacher conferences. I am breathing a small sigh of relief that the functionality of the whole process worked relatively well! We had a few glitches with Zoom permissions to start the day, so you have our apologies if that is the case and you couldn’t get into a meeting. Please reach out directly to that teacher if that was the case and they’ll find a way to connect with you. Connecting with families is important to us and if you didn’t have a chance to sign up for a conference, or if you want to share a bit more info than the 5 minutes allowed, please be in touch directly with your child’s teachers. We have additional conferences next Tuesday (12/21) and in the evening on January 6.

Last week, in this update, I shared with you a few statistics from our recent student survey. I shared that most students identified that they had an adult here at school, an adult at home, or a friend to whom they could go if they needed something. I’ll share again that I was pleased with the responses to this question, and I hope they only go up!

This week, our team took some time to process what we know about the recent school shooting in Michigan. We talked about many of the elements available to us through news reports. What sticks out to me through the reporting is that some students didn’t go to school on that particular day because they suspected something was going to happen. And yet, as far as we know, those concerns weren’t shared with the school. My potentially-too-optimistic take is that our students would tell someone they trust about this. And that adult would then take it seriously enough to call us. I’ve seen students and families report serious concerns to us, allowing us to respond to potentially dangerous situations. Just two weeks ago, a parent called our office to report an Instagram account that was designed to record our students doing inappropriate things. The subtitle on the account was “Don’t snitch.” We were able to put a stop to that behavior in the same afternoon because a parent among you called and let us know. I so appreciate that person’s attention to their child’s online activities and decision to report something that seemed wrong. 

Shortly, you’ll be receiving an email from Peter Light about a national TikTok trend. While I didn’t write the message above to directly coincide with the release of this statement, it’s another example of how students and you, our families, can communicate with us when you know something unsafe has the potential to take place. As a community, we all share that responsibility and I hope you see how important that is to us at RJ Grey.

On a much lighter note, we are headed into a vacation week! While I could certainly spend a day or two of the vacation getting some work done, I’m choosing to take the whole vacation off and hope to unplug from school. As a reminder, we do not give homework to our students over vacation weeks as we hope they benefit from the same opportunity to unplug. I wish you and your family a very restful and enjoyable holiday season. I’ll write again in the New Year! 

In the meantime, here are some upcoming dates that we should all be aware of:

-Friday, December 17: Formal Dress Day!

-Tuesday, December 21: early release at 11:10 am for parent conferences

-Thursday, December 23: early release at 11:10 am for the beginning of winter break (district-wide)

-Friday, December 24 - Sunday, January 2: School closed for vacation

-Monday, January 3: early release at 1 pm for professional learning

-Friday, January 7: early release at 11:10 am for time given back to staff for evening conferences the night before

Take care,
Jim Marcotte

Posted by jmarcotte On 16 December, 2021 at 4:41 PM  

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