March 30, 2023 

Good afternoon,

We kicked off MCAS season this morning with our 8th graders who took Session 1 of the English Language Arts test. They’ll continue working tomorrow on Session 2. The remainder of the ELA MCAS sessions are listed below. I was the MCAS administrator at RJ Grey for many years. The tracking required, the details, and the preparation for giving the exam to more than 800 students over 5 days, plus make-ups, is mind-boggling. Ms. Broadwater is the assistant principal in charge of MCAS this year and her work on this enormous undertaking has made me proud! And our kids have made me proud, too. While not their favorite day of the year, most of today’s test-takers tried really hard and gave it their best effort. I also appreciate that we only had a few students absent today - this means fewer make-ups! All in all, it was a good start to this ongoing series of assessments.

On Monday evening, I joined our Superintendent and Director of Equity and Inclusion at a meeting at Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton. We had been invited by Rabbi David to a meeting with members of the congregation in light of some of the issues of anti-semitism that we shared with you in the winter. The Boston Globe published an article just last week about how the rise in anti-semitic incidents soared in Massachusetts in 2022. We got to hear about the experience of several AB students and families, past and present. The questions from the community at CBE focused on our experiences as school leaders dealing with issues of hate and bias. There were questions about what we’re seeing in our schools and how we might be able to make progress in reducing and eliminating these issues. The congregation was warm and welcoming to Peter, Jen, and me, and to other members of the RJ Grey admin team who attended. I really appreciate the invitation to connect with the CBE community on this important issue. 

On Tuesday evening, I attended a meeting with the district-based Leadership Coalition to Eliminate Hate and Bias Speech. This coalition of educators, students, and families has begun its work to determine how we might reduce the use of hate and biased language in our schools. While I believe RJ Grey does a lot to work with students about understanding, appreciation, and celebration of differences, we are committed to doing more. This spring and summer, we’ll continue to work in conjunction with the district to make our schools an even safer and supportive community for all of our students and families. The commitment to making AB a better and safer place for everyone, displayed by people at both of these meetings, is impressive. I’m excited about the work that we can all do together.

There is another caregiver education presentation with Cartwheel Care coming up on Wednesday, April 5 from 7 - 8 pm. This session’s topic will be: ADHD & Executive Functioning: Symptoms and Strategies. Click here for the flyer with more information and to register for the webinar.

Finally, Minuteman High School has asked us to let you know that they have some interesting summer enrichment offerings that you might wish to check out. Click here for some details.

Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Friday, 3/31: MCAS ELA Session 2 for 8th grade

  • Monday, 4/3: Library closed to students after school

  • Monday, 4/3: RJ Grey School Council Mtg on Zoom at 7 pm

  • Tuesday, 4/4: MCAS ELA Session 1 for 7th grade

  • Wednesday, 4/5: MCAS ELA Session 2 for 7th grade

  • Wednesday, 4/5: Webinar: ADHD and Executive Functioning

  • Friday, 4/7: No School, Good Friday

Take care and have a great weekend,

Posted by jmarcotte On 30 March, 2023 at 4:22 PM  

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