June 6, 2024 

Good evening,

I hope you are all doing well. Earlier today, our staff sought some support from the Acton Police Department to help with a student situation; this is something we do fairly regularly throughout the year. I’ve heard a few stories late this afternoon that some number of students interpreted the police presence as something significant affecting the whole building. While respecting the privacy of any student involved, I assure you that today’s student situation was isolated and does not impact the safety of our school. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

We’ve been really busy at RJ Grey over the past few weeks, so much so that I missed writing to you last Thursday. I know you’ll forgive me! Many of our 7th grade families came to the Civics Fair held yesterday at RJ Grey. Our 7th graders have spent time this spring researching an issue that they deemed important as part of our study of Civics. Many interviewed community members, did research, and came up with interesting questions and some solutions for things like traffic safety, teen mental health, climate change, and other important topics. I was impressed by every student I chatted with about their work. We are all proud of the work of our students and teachers who made this whole event come together. As I write this message tonight in my office, our Empty Bowls event is happening in the cafeteria. I hope some of you got some ice cream, heard our Select Choir sing, and maybe even created some art! The spring is a busy place at RJ Grey, but events like both of these serve as the culmination of a year of hard work by our students and staff and we are glad to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrating, earlier tonight, I spoke at the School Committee about the educators who are retiring from RJ Grey this year. On the last day of school, we will have a school-wide assembly and I will speak about our retirees to our current students. I am always so proud of our students when they give an overwhelming response in recognition of their retiring teachers. We have four retirees this year. If you know them, I’m sure they would welcome a warm email from you!

Ms. Joanne Chadwick is retiring from being one of our Nurses and the Nurse Leader for the District. Joanne helped all of us navigate the return from Covid. She has helped lead the Health Office at RJ Grey for many years by greeting your students, listening to what ails them, and making good plans for their care. I am going to miss Joanne’s humor and positivity at RJ Grey!

Dr. Rick Cowen is retiring from his role as School Psychologist where he has worked for twenty years. Dr. Cowen has worked with hundreds of students and families over the years and has supported all of them along the way. His work with teachers and administrators has always been collaborative and focused on student wellbeing. We wish the best for Dr. Cowen as he retires from our school!

Ms. Jennifer Vacca is retiring from 8 Blue as an English teacher. She began teaching at RJ Grey in 1993 and has taught thousands of students over the years. As a department leader and veteran teacher, she has worked to prepare curriculum for all 8th graders and has helped students foster a love of reading literature. She and colleagues created the annual Trivia contest each March where students compete in small teams! Her work at RJ Grey will be remembered for a long time and we wish her the best in her retirement!

Mrs. Carol Watson has taught both French and Spanish at RJ Grey since 2010. Carol is known for getting her students up and moving in class, and maybe singing and dancing, too. Carol has helped many students develop proficiency in speaking a world language and has inspired many to go on to study French or Spanish in college. Carol has led our Spanish Club at times over the years and has been a coach for the Alpine Ski team at AB. We have huge shoes to fill when Mrs. Watson retires this year, and we wish her the best of luck!

This will be my final Eye on the Junior High message of the year. I hope you have enjoyed these brief snapshots into the daily life of our school. If you are sticking with us for another year, I’ll connect with you again in the fall. If your child is moving on to high school, I wish you and your child the best! I have the pretty amazing privilege of being the principal of a pretty amazing school. Thank you for your support over this year - I deeply appreciate it!

Upcoming Dates

  • Fri, June 7: ABRHS Graduation on Leary Field

  • Thurs, June 13: 8th grade field trip to Canobie Lake Park

  • Fri, June 14: 7th grade field trip to Mel’s Funway Park

  • Mon, June 17: No School due to Eid al-Adha

  • Tues, June 18: Last day of school, RJ Grey Dismissal at 11:10 am

Take care and have a great summer!

Posted by jmarcotte On 06 June, 2024 at 7:37 PM  

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