September 15, 2022 

Good evening,

We are nearing the end of our first 5-day week of school at RJ Grey! I hope your child continues to adapt and feel confident about their school year. Below are several pieces of information that I’d like to share this week.

Yesterday, as we knew the high school was in a shelter-in-place situation, and after we considered our junior high response, I texted my own parents. Knowing that my mom reads this weekly column and keeps an eye on the news for any AB-related items, I figured I should reach out. I knew that the helicopter I was hearing circling above our campus would prompt them to wonder if I was safe when they saw the mid-day news or a Facebook post. I let them know that our school was safe, as was the high school. Any parent, no matter the age of their child (40, in my case), will always hope that their child is safe at school. At RJ Grey, safety is our most important goal. We did postpone our ALICE drill that was scheduled for today. We’ll wait a few weeks and run our drill at that time. 

I addressed our students today as part of our morning announcements with the following message: “If you heard from your family about a situation at the high school yesterday, I want to reassure you this morning that everyone here at RJ Grey is safe. Everyone at the high school is safe. At times, we will hear about information that causes us concern. It's the adults' job to follow a process to make sure everyone is safe at school. If you ever have information to share because you've heard something, or you saw something on social have to connect with one of your trusted adults. This might be a teacher, your counselor, an advisor, or a family member. We rely on each other to stay safe - thank you for your help with this.”

Speaking of social media, we’ve learned that the Be Real app has caught on with some of our students. This new app informs users to take a picture of whatever they’re doing at a specific moment in time. Everyone (worldwide, I imagine) using the app is prompted to take a picture during the same 2-minute window. I predict that those 2-minutes will at some point collide with the 396-minutes of our school day. While I appreciate that a streak might be important - students don’t use their phones in school. If you know your child uses this app, please pass along the message that using it during the school day is not allowed.

We will be hosting our Back to School Night on Thursday, October 13th, starting at 7 pm. This year will be our first in-person event of its kind since 2019. We are excited to invite you to our building to meet many of your child’s teachers and sit in their classrooms. We’ll email each family a specific schedule (your child’s schedule divided into 10-minute classes) on or around October 7th. Please mark your calendars and join us!

Finally, I hope to use this column to highlight some of the work of our Advisory program. While we have growing pains, as there would be with any new program, we are happy with our Advisory program thus far. This week marked our first 25-minute advisory session. In general, on Mondays and Fridays, we meet for a quick 10-minute check-in. On weeks with 5 school days, we meet on Wednesdays for 25-minutes. Across our building, all Advisories did some activity related to The Dot by Peter H Reynolds. This children’s book sparked a quick discussion in Advisories about what mark each of us can leave on our school community. Each student then got a chance to make their own “dots.” As we build in simple lessons like this, we have a few goals: connections with peers, connections with an adult, and a chance to work on a Social-Emotional skill. During September, we are focusing on the theme of Belonging and in this case, Social Awareness. Helping our students realize their impact on our community is a big deal for us. Many walls of our school are now decorated with some good looking "dots!"

Here are some upcoming dates that will be helpful for you to know:

  • Monday, 9/19: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Friday, 9/23: School Picture Day at RJ Grey

  • Monday, 9/26: No School - Rosh Hashanah

  • Monday, 10/3: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Wednesday, 10/5: No School - Yom Kippur

Take care and have a great weekend,

Posted by jmarcotte On 15 September, 2022 at 7:16 PM  

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