October 6, 2022 

Good afternoon,

Happy October to all of our RJ Grey families! I hope those who celebrate Yom Kippur had a good holiday yesterday. I got to drop my own kids off at their school yesterday morning in the rain. Their school’s process is that the adult has to park the car, get out of the car, and walk with the students to the school. I patted myself on the back for our own drop-off process that allows caregivers to remain inside the car!

This past Monday was one of our early release days for students. Some of you might wonder what we do when we dismiss our kids at 1 pm. The answer is that we do a variety of things! This week, our staff met with an instructor from Lesley University in a session called, “Helping Traumatized  Children Learn.” This first of three sessions was eye-opening for many of us. While the research doesn’t focus on AB or our kids, other research studies over the years inform us that large amounts of our students, families, and staff have experienced trauma. Trauma can be defined as a response to a stressful experience where one’s ability to cope is overwhelmed. Many of our students may have experienced trauma. We’re going to spend some time this year working to assess how we can make RJ Grey a more trauma-sensitive school. There are likely some minor things that would benefit all students, but will be highly impactful for students who have experienced trauma. If your child needs some support that they’re not currently getting, potentially related to trauma, I’d invite you to please reach out to your child’s counselor to  begin a dialogue.

You’ll hear from me in a separate email with specifics about our Back to School Night next Thursday. Our first period begins promptly at 7pm. I suggest you arrive a bit earlier than that to find a parking spot. There will be some spots here at the Junior High, but we know that many families will need to park in the Parker-Damon lots or the High School lots. I hope to see lots of you on Thursday night!

While it’s still a few weeks away, Halloween is approaching. At RJ Grey, we will allow students who want to, to dress in costumes on Monday, October 31. We don't allow weapons or masks. Over the next few years, we want to use a culturally responsive lens to examine the the traditions and celebrations we have at school. In considering these traditions, some schools have moved away from some of the traditional celebrations like Halloween, and others are doing some work to look at these practices.  At the Junior High, dressing in costume has been a tradition here for a long time. On average, I’d say about 40% of students choose to dress up. We don’t have parties or other events related to Halloween, but there is some sense of joy that comes with seeing a clown, a roller coaster, and a giant dinosaur walking through the halls at passing time. I’m not certain that we’ll always host this tradition, but we will this year.

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

  • Monday, 10/10: No School - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • Thursday, 10/13: RJ Grey Back to School Night

  • Monday, 10/17: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Monday, 10/24: No School, Diwali

  • Monday, 10/31: Halloween Dress Up Day

Take care and have a great weekend,

Posted by jmarcotte On 06 October, 2022 at 4:10 PM  

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