November 17, 2022 

Good evening,

We have good news to share about Junior’s recovery. He is awake and responding to his family and friends. Thank you again for all of the support you’ve offered him and his family over the past two weeks. As we head into the season where gratitude is a frequent topic of conversation, we can certainly be grateful for continued good news.

While it is only November, some families are considering what ninth grade might look like for their children. I will always encourage our students to continue to attend school in Acton-Boxborough by attending ABRHS in grade 9. I taught Spanish at ABRHS starting in 2005 and I was an assistant principal there for four years prior to coming to RJ Grey in 2012. I’m married to an AB grad and have a whole set of in-laws who had great years at ABRHS. It’s a great school with a ton of dedicated teachers, many of whom I still consider friends. While some families use the fall to consider private schools or technical schools, please know that you’ll all hear from our high school starting in February about the transition process for next year.

Because there are deadlines and processes to follow when applying to technical or private schools, I want to highlight a few elements you'll need to know.

Technical high schools: The Town of Acton belongs to the Minuteman Regional School District. Our 8th graders who live in Acton and wish to attend a technical school apply to Minuteman High School. Minuteman has a process for reviewing applications and will offer admission to students from member towns based on set criteria. In December, we’ll have a chance to take a bus of interested 8th graders (from both towns) to Minuteman for a tour. Pay attention to our daily announcements for more details on this trip.

The Town of Boxborough does not belong to the Minuteman Regional School District. Boxborough students who wish to apply to Minuteman apply as non-resident members. Students from Boxborough also have the choice to apply to Assabet Valley Technical High School (Marlborough) or Nashoba Technical High School (Westford). In all three cases, the students apply as residents of non-member towns. Our counselors are helpful in talking through options with you or your child. If your child lives in Boxborough and wants to learn more about technical school options, please connect with their counselor. 

Private Schools: Students in either grade may be considering attending a private school next year. This is also a step that starts in the fall, so if you’ve considered applying to a private school, please click here to access information on our Counseling website related to Private School Applications.

Your child will often need recommendations from a counselor and several teachers. Below is a paragraph I’ve stolen from my predecessor, Mr. Shen, about seeking these recommendations: 

Our teachers and counselors are happy to support students in their applications, and take seriously the crafting of a recommendation.  With that in mind, we ask that families honor the request that teachers be approached about letters of recommendation at least 4 weeks in advance of when those letters are due.  In many situations, parents initially reach out to teachers on behalf of their child, which is perfectly fine.  It’s also important for the student to connect with their teachers first about their interest in private schools.  This is valuable for a few reasons.  First, hearing a bit more about the student’s interest in the schools to which they are applying gives the teacher a better sense of what might be useful to include in the letter.  Secondly, having a teacher find recommendation forms on her desk, or sent via email, without any prior explanation from a student or parent is never the ideal way to start the conversation about a recommendation. By no means are teachers and counselors expecting students to feel indebted to them for writing a letter, and forever genuflect whenever they enter the room. However, speaking directly to the teacher is, I think, central to showing an appropriate level of appreciation for this additional task the students are asking their teacher to complete on their behalf.  If you think your child may be a bit nervous with this task, you might encourage them to speak with the counselor, who can offer some tips and even help them practice.  Your child’s counselor is also, in general, a great resource for various aspects of the application process.

Our students have done a good job of adjusting to navigating the sidewalks on Rte 111 after school amid the ongoing construction. Some of you may have seen me standing seemingly in the middle of nowhere around dismissal time on several afternoons this week. I only had to remind a few students to head towards the crosswalk on Mass Ave - most did it on their own! While we seem to have the afternoon routines down, I write today about our morning traffic pattern. 

While I’m in the lower lot directing morning traffic, I don’t happen to notice that some families have been dropping their children off on the road that passes by our gym. Students are exiting cars in the middle of the road and then dashing across the driveway. The only safe places to drop off children in the morning is in the lower parking lot, or in the front circle after about 7:50 am. Please do not drop off students on Charter Road, on the driveway in front of our gym, or on Mass Ave. As a reminder to all, the official start of our day is at 8 am. However, 7:55 should be considered the latest that your child can be dropped off in order to be in their first period on time, ready to learn. The recent cold mornings have forced me to start my car a few minutes before I plan to drive it in order to let the defrost do its work. Please help us in making sure our students arrive safely and on time.

As we head into a short week for Thanksgiving,  I want to wish you all a very happy holiday. Thanksgiving tends to be one of my favorite holidays. There are no gifts to buy, my own travels to see anyone in my family extend no longer than 40 minutes, and I happen to love sampling lots of desserts. However you celebrate, I hope you have some enjoyable time with loved ones at Thanksgiving.

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

  • Wednesday, 11/23: Early Release at 11:10 am for Thanksgiving 

  • Thursday, 11/24, & Friday, 11/25: No School for Thanksgiving Recess

  • Thursday, 12/1: Oliver, Jr. Performance at 7 pm

  • Friday, 12/2: Oliver, Jr. Performance at 7 pm

  • Saturday, 12/3: Oliver, Jr. Performance at 7 pm

  • Sunday, 12/4: Oliver, Jr. Performance at 2 pm

  • Monday, 12/5: Early Release at 1 pm

Take care and have a great weekend,

Posted by jmarcotte On 17 November, 2022 at 5:22 PM  

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