May 5, 2022 

Good afternoon,

I hope you are all doing well. If you aren’t aware, this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. I follow many educational leaders on social media and I see the gifts, spreads of food, balloons, and daily treats that other principals have provided for their staff over the past four days. If I had to rate myself on a rubric, I would be “Unsatisfactory” for demonstrating my appreciation in this way. I do have the same sentiment these people have though, just without the catering bill to pay.  I continue to be so very appreciative of the teachers and staff who work at RJ Grey. I have asked you twice before in this column to please reach out and thank your child’s teachers. If you haven’t already done so, or even if you have, this is a good week to thank a teacher or someone who works in a school.

I have observed several teachers this week, and in our post-observation conversations about the lesson, I often ask questions that I’m wondering about, or I ask the teacher to fill in the gaps for me: what happened the day before, what was next in the sequence of activities? Having these lesson debriefs this week continues to remind me that our teachers are thinking of 100 things at the same time: planning for the student who has trouble reading to access the text you just handed out, making sure the two girls who are having an argument aren’t sitting in the same group, re-teaching something that you taught the day before that you know went right over their heads, remembering when class ends today because the schedule is different because of Math MCAS. The to-do list of every teacher is endless, and all of those tasks are in service of teaching our kids and making our school a really great place for kids to learn. If you haven’t done so yet, please thank a teacher or two this week!

I have several community-based announcements that I want to share with you today: one is RJG-based, one is AB-based, and the others relate to the summer!

Last week, I mentioned that we’ll be having a 7th grade celebration on May 20 from 7 - 9 pm. Music, food, fun, and some dancing will hopefully make for a fun night in the gym. 7th graders will be able to start purchasing tickets soon. This event, and the next one I’m going to describe, are just for RJ Grey students: friends from other towns will have fun at their own schools, I’m sure!  Towards the end of the year, we’ll also have our 8th grade celebration. This will take place on Friday, June 10th at 7 pm in our cafeteria. This is historically a really fun night for our 8th graders before they move on to high school. My wife went to RJ Grey many years ago and still affectionately calls this event “the semi,” as in semi-formal. We have moved past that understanding and while students do dress more nicely than they do for school, it is a low-key event where kids get together. No one needs fancy clothes, no one needs a “date,” and no one needs special plans for an after-party. We’ll talk more about this event to your students in the coming weeks. We are very grateful for the group of parents who will work with our PTSO and some of our staff to pull off this great night.

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If your child went to the Douglas School, I want to make sure you see this announcement: 

Calling All Douglas Elementary Alumni!


The C.T. Douglas Elementary School PTO is hosting a Farewell to Elm St Party on June 1st from 5pm-7pm. Our entire Douglas Community (alumni too!) is invited to party together and give Elm St. the send-off it deserves before we move over to the Boardwalk Campus. Picture warm weather, food trucks (BYO option too), yard games, and just plain hanging out with people…it’s going to be FUN! *Held rain or shine


RSVP HERE by May 15 as we need a headcount for our food trucks/vendors to prepare. Those who RSVP by the deadline will be entered into a gift card raffle announced at the party.

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If you are thinking about summer (we all are!), I want to share a financial resource that we’re aware of. The Doli Atamian Campership Program provides scholarships to summer camps and programs/classes for children in Acton and Boxborough based on family income. The application process is simple, and each child/student may receive up to $300 towards a summer camp program or activities/classes of the family’s choice. For more information about the Campership scholarship and an application form, go to or call 978-515-3227.

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Dear Families of Students Who Will Be Entering 6th-8th Grade Next Year:  


Minuteman High School is offering summer school enrichment programs for students entering grades 6-8 throughout July and August. Enrichment courses are optional classes intended for students to learn about subjects that interest them. 


Middle School Courses  

Click this link to register for summer courses

-Cost: The cost is $200 per 1-week enrichment course. 

-Transportation: School buses will be available for grade 6-8 students who live in one of Minuteman’s nine member towns: Acton, Arlington, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham, and Stow. Scheduling and route information will be provided after the registration process is complete. 

-Dates for Middle School Summer Enrichment Courses: 

--July 11-15, 8:30 AM-11:30 AM: Auto Mechanics, Plant Science/Horticulture, Cosmetology/Salon, Early Education, Environmental Science, Veterinary Science, Multimedia
--July 11-15, 12:00-3:00 PM: Cosmetology/Salon
--July 18-22, 8:30 AM-11:30 AM: Auto Mechanics, Cosmetology/Salon, Environmental Science, Veterinary Science, Multimedia
--July 18-22, 12:00 PM-3:00 PM: Cosmetology/Salon
--July 25-29, 8:30 AM-11:30 AM: Environmental Science, Veterinary Science, Public Speaking/Debate 


If you have any questions about summer school courses, please contact Cindy DeMaio, summer school coordinator and cosmetology instructor.  

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Here are some upcoming dates to be aware of:

-Monday, May 9: 8th grade Math MCAS Session 2

-Tuesday, May 10: 8th grade Science MCAS

-Thursday, May 12: 7th grade Math MCAS Session 1

-Friday, May 13: 7th grade Math MCAS Session 2

-Monday, May 16: School Council on Zoom,  7 pm

-Friday, May 20: 7th grade Celebration, 7 - 9 pm

Take care,

Jim Marcotte

Posted by jmarcotte On 05 May, 2022 at 4:43 PM  

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