January 6, 2022 

Good evening, everyone:

I hope you all had a nice holiday season and a chance to visit friends and family over the break. My family and I had a good week together. We saw some immediate family over Christmas and otherwise stuck close to home. We played several games of Hedbanz and Rack-O, watched Home Alone about 12 times, and collectively took about 10 Covid tests. We have thus far survived without anyone in my home getting Covid this winter. I know that’s not the same for all of you. I hope that for whoever has it, their symptoms are easy and lead to a quick recovery.

I know that many of you have experienced the virus recently because we regularly get updates from you - thank you for being so direct and quick with sharing with us when someone has symptoms or has a positive test. That’s very important to us all. You have likely gotten an email from me this week saying that your child has been in a class with a positive case. This is a shift in our practices. Our former way of contact tracing was to narrow in on seating charts and inform only those contacts who were in the immediate area of a positive case. That was not sustainable for our staff, and as a district, we’ve shifted a bit. It’s remarkable that one student can come into “contact” with up to 100 other students over a day or two just by nature of being in the same class at some point during the day. So please know that we’re committed to finding the right balance with keeping you informed, without overdoing it. Aside from notifying the families of all students in specific classes, we are paying special attention to the close contacts within 0 - 3 feet who are currently unvaccinated. We approach those students differently and more immediately and we’re in contact with those families.

When we started the week on Monday, I reminded the students about our strategies for combating Covid, including wearing masks, avoiding crowds, and making smart decisions. They’ve been great this week - so thanks for supporting us in that effort. As we all continue to work through this, I continue to be thankful for our students who are respectful, caring, and helpful. 

And while our students are awesome - our staff might edge them out a bit in being even better. We all met on Zoom on Monday morning and I reviewed some changes in our practices. They all responded gratefully for our efforts to keep our students and ourselves safe. And while this is only the first week back, and we should be refreshed, we’re exhausted! Back in the fall, I took the opportunity during one of these messages to ask you to reach out and thank a teacher. This week is another good opportunity to do so. If you haven’t thanked one of our teachers recently, sending them a quick email would be most welcome.

And finally, the biggest champions of the year are our school nurses. Mrs. Doherty, Ms. Nimz, and Ms. Chadwick each spend time in our Health Office during the week. Without them and their careful attention to detail, and their caring demeanors, we’d be in a different place right now. They continue to help us navigate the world of Covid while dealing with other ailments and concerns. They are a really great team and help make the our work at RJ Grey this year safe and sustainable.

Here are some upcoming dates to be aware of:

-Monday, Jan 17: No School for Martin Luther King Day

-Monday, Jan 24: Early Release (1pm) for Professional Learning

-Friday, Jan 28: Hawaiian Shirt Day

Take care,
Jim Marcotte

Posted by jmarcotte On 06 January, 2022 at 5:55 PM  

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