October 5, 2023 

Good afternoon,

Thank you to everyone who joined us last Thursday for Back to School Night. I was in a virtual meeting with principals from around the state a few weeks ago. The question posed to us was, “Describe a time when you’ve witnessed joy in your school.” I listened to others talk about students, and not wanting to repeat their answers, I said that our annual Back to School Night is always filled with joy! I hope you got a good feeling about how your child spends their days by spending a few hours with us last week.

Next week, our teachers will work on determining which student would benefit from an Interim Report. At RJ Grey, we use interims at the halfway point of each of our trimesters. Not all students receive interim reports. We tend to send them specifically when a grade is below a  C-, or other habits including homework completion or studying could use some improvement. The first trimester is always a challenging one to gauge who needs to receive an interim. At this early point in the year, there aren’t a ton of grades yet. But teachers tend to err on the side of caution and alert families when they see something that feels like it could be improved. 

It is important to acknowledge that for some of our students, this year will be the first time they receive letter grades in their classes. Whether their previous schools issued standards-based report cards, or had no report cards, I want to share a bit about how things work at RJ Grey. Our teachers design assessments to measure a student’s learning of a particular topic, concept, unit, etc. There will be quizzes, some tests, some writing assignments, speaking assignments and other ways for kids to show their teachers what they’ve learned. A single grade on an assessment will not make or break a term grade for a student. At this early point in the year, there may only be one or two assessments. If one poor grade triggers an interim, all hope is not lost! Our teachers spend time writing a narrative to accompany the interim report so that you can know what has caused the low grade, and how it can be improved. If you receive an interim report for your child, and if you have questions, please be in touch with the teacher directly.

If you are like me, October is one of your favorite months. I’m not used to weather quite this warm in October, however. At the end of October is Halloween. For many years, the Junior High has celebrated Halloween by giving permission for students to dress in costumes at school. Last year, when all of the AB elementary schools moved away from having students dress up at school, we continued for one more year and allowed our students to dress in costume. We are now coming in line with the District practices of not dressing in costume at school. We very much appreciate that our adolescents still want to have fun and join friends in some of their favorite Halloween traditions, so I encourage you to keep those celebrations alive for your children outside of school. My own kids were the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus last year. I’m sure this year’s costumes won’t compete, but I know they’ll still have fun dressing up and going around the neighborhood with friends and cousins. I wish your family fun celebrations, too.

I want to highlight more than just by an attached document that there is a community-wide event on October 15, starting at 2 pm. The New England Walk Against Hate, sponsored by Congregation Beth Elohim Acton and the Anti-Defamation League, New England is an event that intends to join the AB Community in a one-mile walk and rally against antisemitism, racism, and all forms of bigotry. If you are interested in participating, or volunteering, please click the link above. As RJ Grey and other schools work to combat the uptick in bias incidents we’ve seen in the last few years, this is an important community-wide show of support. I hope I see you there!

Finally, if you have not already done so, please remember to activate your ParentSquare Account!  ParentSquare account emails were sent Monday 9/18 to the email address we have on file for you in PowerSchool.  Creating your ParentSquare account will allow you to personalize how you get communications from us and use the ParentSquare App.  If you did not receive an email to activate your account or need help, please contact  [email protected].

The following updates have been approved by our Superintendent’s office for distribution:

Upcoming Dates

  • Monday, October 9: No School, Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • Friday, October 13: Pajama Day

  • Tuesday, October 17: School Council Meeting, 7 pm in Library

  • Monday, October 23: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Monday, October 23: Round 1 of PE/Health classes end

Take care and have a great long weekend!

Posted by jmarcotte On 05 October, 2023 at 5:37 PM  

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