October 26, 2023 

Good afternoon,

Our students, with your support, continue to rise to the challenges we present to them. As you know, we held a Food Drive yesterday for the Acton Food Pantry. I hope many of you have some remaining items left in your cupboards because from the looks of it, we collected most of the food available in Acton and Boxborough! We purposely had the donations come through our Advisory groups as one small way to orient our Advisories into thinking about “community” more often. We are very pleased with our donations, and I’m sure the food pantry will be, as well. Thank you for your support!


It’s hard to believe we’re already at the end of October! At the beginning of each month, our assistant principals take a look at absence and tardy totals for all of our students. If they see a trend towards absences or tardies that seems important, you will receive a somewhat formal letter alerting you to your child’s current attendance status. This letter is a requirement from DESE. I ask that anyone who receives this letter receives it as intended - it is solely a heads up! We are not sending a letter intending to assign blame or question parental decision related to illnesses, funerals, or other important items that interrupt typical school attendance. We will send letters even if we know your child was out for several days for legitimate reasons. If you receive a letter and have a curiosity about why, please be in touch with the assistant principal, or feel free to share background info if you feel it is relevant to how we best work with your student.

Throughout the last year or so, and in different settings, I’ve talked about attendance - at 6th grade family night back in April, at staff meetings, and through this column on previous occasions. There is somewhat of a “magic number” for us in schools. DESE and therefore schools, look at 10% as an important threshold. Students whose absences exceed ten percent in one year are deemed “chronically absent” by DESE. Ten percent of our school year is only 18 days! And 18 days is only about 2 days per month - so for some families, I think this could creep up without realizing a pattern. We are working on lowering our chronically absent rate - it’s part of our School Improvement Plan. And more than that, we want to make sure kids are in school because being here is how we can help them learn content, how to read and write more clearly, how to think critically, and how to create community with their teachers and peers. So, if at the beginning of November or any future month, you receive a letter alerting you to absences, please take it for what it is - a heads up! But be in touch if you have any questions or need some assistance with getting your child to school on a very regular basis.

We hosted four assemblies last week where representatives from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School spoke to 8th graders. Each 8th grade team was a great audience and showed a great amount of respect for their presenters. Ms. Dean and her team talked to students about types of classes they can take at ABRHS, along with community service opportunities, athletics and activities, and counseling supports available to students. Normally, we arrange for students to meet with the high school later in the spring. This year, we wanted to make sure students had a chance to learn about the high school around the same time they might be considering private or technical school options. 

I want to thank our Student Council for organizing to have AB Revolution T-shirts for all of our 7th graders. The back of the shirt displays “Class of 29!” Last year, our current 8th graders (Class of 28) received these same t-shirts. These are just a small nod to our efforts to promote community and school pride! I have been happy to see many of these t-shirts being worn this week.

Upcoming Dates

  • Friday, November 3: Quarter 1 (Grey Block classes) ends

  • Monday, November 6: Library closed after school, Staff Meeting

  • Tuesday, November 7: Election Day

  • Thursday, November 9: No School for Students: Professional Day

  • Friday, November 10: No School: Veterans Day

  • Wednesday, November 22: Early Release for Thanksgiving (11:10 am)

  • Thurs/Friday, Nov 23 and 24: No School for Thanksgiving Holiday

Take care and have a great weekend!

Posted by jmarcotte On 26 October, 2023 at 1:19 PM  

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