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Good afternoon,


I hope many of you were able to see Oliver, Jr. last weekend. I was very impressed with all of our singers, dancers, and actors. Singing with a British accent is quite a challenge, I’m sure! And I was equally impressed with the seamless set changes, costume changes, and lighting sequences. All of our students who worked on the crew were an instrumental part of the production. Thanks to all the families who supported their kids with learning lines, juggling pick-up after long rehearsals, and providing support for the show. 


This is the season of giving at RJ Grey! Last week, I commented on the Coat Drive, sponsored by the Student Council. Bring any used coats in good condition to RJ Grey through December 15. We also are a drop-off site for Toys for Tots. This drive asks for new, unwrapped toys to be delivered through December 16. And finally, 7 Gold is sponsoring a Canned Food Drive through December 14 to benefit the Acton Food Pantry. If supporting any of these drives is available to you and your family, we welcome your donations!


We have wrapped up Trimester 1 at RJ Grey. Not all classes operate on a trimester, but all of our team-based classes have closed grades for the first ⅓ of the year. We also recently changed trimester-long Grey Block Elective classes. Teachers have submitted grades and we now spend a few days double-checking grades and comments before emailing report cards next Wednesday, December 14. For some of your students, this may be their first time receiving “grades.” RJ Grey operates on a system where we issue letter grades (A-, B+, etc.) for our team-based classes. We tend to give a Pass or Fail to our off-team classes (Phys Ed, Art, etc.). If you have questions when you see your child’s report card, I’d ask you to start by talking with your child. If you have other questions beyond what your child might be able to answer, I encourage you to connect with the individual teacher. 


And finally, grading leads me to think about family communication. I wrote to families back in September about our plans for family communication this year. In most other years, I’d spend this week writing about the three upcoming early release days to allow for parent conferences. This year, we chose to prioritize time spent in school for full days, over early release days to allow for 5-minute parent conferences. However, we still have a goal of strong communication with families. If you would benefit from hearing more from a teacher, please reach out to the teacher. While our teachers do a great job of connecting when they see challenges, they often cannot get to all of you even with a bit of good news. If you are seeking some feedback, please be in touch. If you sense more of a global issue, it might be appropriate to set up a team meeting. A team meeting is a 20-minute block of time during the school day when a family can meet with the 4 or 5 team teachers and the counselor for your child. While team meetings are necessary for some students, they are not necessary for many. If you are concerned about your child and are interested in a team meeting, please reach out to Christina Pharo ([email protected]) to learn when the next available meeting could be.


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

  • Wednesday, 12/14: Last day of PE/Health for Rotation 2

  • Wednesday, 12/14: Trimester 1 Report Cards emailed home

  • Friday, 12/16: Formal Dress Day at RJ Grey

  • Monday, 12/19: Early Release, 1 pm

  • Friday, 12/23: Last day before vacation, 2:36 dismissal

  • Tuesday, 1/3/23: Schools reopen after vacation


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Dec 08, 2022 at 2:04 PM
  

Good evening,


I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends. Before we left for the holiday last Wednesday, we hosted two assemblies in our gym. Our chorus, band, and orchestra all played. We had turkey drawing contests and a relay race, and we had some great student council members as our MC’s. All in all, it was a great way to spend part of that early release day. One 7th grader asked me, “Mr. Marcotte - do we ever do this again? It’s so fun!” The answer is yes, traditionally before February vacation we have Blue and Gold Day, complete with a similar assembly. I hope your students had a good experience at this event. 


Our annual musical opened last night. Oliver, Jr has shows tonight and tomorrow night at 7 pm and on Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets will be sold at the door if you don’t already have yours. If you’d like to see a Behind the Scenes video about the production, please check out this video, produced by Acton TV. The student performers, the crew, the musicians, and our staff advisors all deserve a huge thank you for their months-long commitment to this show. Please check it out if you can!


If you do come to see the musical this weekend, or anytime through December 16th, please consider bringing a gently used coat for a donation. Our Student Council is beginning our annual Coat Drive at RJ Grey. There is a bin in the center of our lobby - feel free to bring gently used coats and we’ll take care of the rest!


Finally, if you or someone you know is interested in learning more about being a special education assistant at RJ Grey, we have a few openings. Please be in touch with me to learn more!


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

  • 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

  • Tuesday, 12/6: Field trip for interested 8th graders to Minuteman High School

  • Wednesday, 12/14: Last day of PE/Health for Rotation 2

  • Wednesday, 12/14: Trimester 1 Report Cards emailed home


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Dec 02, 2022 at 3:51 PM
  

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,
Jim






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

Good evening,


I hope you are doing well. This version of Eye on the Junior High is going to be pretty short since I shared several announcements by email yesterday afternoon. 


I wanted to let you know that we’ve set our dates and times for upcoming Basketball tryouts. If your child is interested in trying out for a team, please check out the details in this doc. If this is your first time having an athlete at RJ Grey, please pay attention to the requirement for having a current physical exam on file in our Health Office. Every year, we disappoint students and families by not letting a student try out without proof of a recent physical on file. In yesterday’s email, I noted that we were looking for a Cheer coach. We received a positive lead on an interested party today, so we are hopeful that we’ll be able to proceed with a season.


Please make plans to attend our school musical this year: Oliver Jr! The show will run on December 1, 2 and 3 at 7 pm; we’ll have a matinee on December 4 at 2 pm. Each year, I am amazed at both the talent and the commitment that our performers and crew bring to each production. Tickets are available in our Main Office leading up to the show. I hope you make plans to join us!


Finally, Happy Veterans Day to all, and most especially to those who have served or are serving. I appreciate the sacrifices the individuals and their families make.


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

  • Monday, 11/14: Early Release at 1 pm

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

  • Thursday, 11/24 and Friday, 11/25: School Closed for Thanksgiving Recess


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Nov 10, 2022 at 7:04 PM
  

Good afternoon,


Thanks for forgiving the delivery of this message on a Friday rather than my typical Thursday afternoon or evening. As you know, we had a lot to work on yesterday and I knew this message was one I could put off for a bit.


Your kids continue to amaze us. They are so empathetic, compassionate, and responsive to the needs of their peers and adults. We saw lots of displays of compassion and friendship yesterday. We encouraged kids who needed it, to check in with their Counselor or a trusted adult. And today in our short Advisory period, we talked about Junior in the context of when something happens that affects our whole community, we’ll use Advisory to make space to talk. I can only speak to my own Advisory at the moment, but the ten of us all jotted down some things we do to take care of ourselves or others when we’re feeling sad or upset. Everyone had the chance to think and write and several of us shared our answers. Creating community, even in tough times, is one of our goals. If you need to connect with someone about your own child, please be in touch with me and I can connect you with your child’s counselor.


I have found myself choking up at times over the past 24 hours. Anytime yesterday when I had to say out loud, “all the family wants right now is your prayers,” my eyes welled up and my voice cracked. And you might be the same. As uncomfortable as it is, my body reacted physically to the emotion I was feeling. While it’s not my go-to style to be emotional, I’m pretty okay that lots of staff saw that in me yesterday. I hope it showed them it’s okay to be affected by hard things. When you’re talking with your kids about tough stuff, I encourage you to be vulnerable and show emotion as it comes. As parents, we are our kids’ best teachers. They learn from us how to show emotion, how to be happy or sad, and how to react when someone they care about feels a certain way. 


Several of you have asked how you can be helpful to Junior’s family. In my early calls with his family, they have not asked for anything. By next week, we may be more ready to share ways that people can help. For now, continuing to think of and pray for the family is what they’ve asked for.


I want to preview the next few weeks a bit! Next Tuesday, November 8, is the statewide Election Day. Typically, AB holds our professional learning day on Election Day. Not this year, however. The School Committee set the calendar last year that included a Professional Day on November 10. So, we do have school on Tuesday (8th), but not on Thursday (10th)…or Friday (11th) due to Veterans Day. On November 10, our staff will be working on connecting with some families and then working together on curriculum. On Monday, November 14, we have a 1 pm early release. Our staff will continue its work with Lesley University on the effects of Trauma in our classrooms. And on Wednesday, November 23rd, we’ll release at 11:10 am for the Thanksgiving holiday. I know it’s a bit choppy, as has been the school calendar all fall.


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

  • Monday, 11/7: School Picture Re-takes

  • Monday, 11/7: School Council Meeting on Zoom

  • Tuesday, 11/8: State Election Voting in the RJ Grey Gym

  • Thursday, 11/10: No School for Students - Professional Learning Day

  • Friday, 11/11: No School - Veterans Day

  • Monday, 11/14: Early Release at 1 pm

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


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Nov 04, 2022 at 12:14 PM
  

Good evening,


We returned to an outdoor lunch option today for the first time in quite a while. With a recent stretch of rain, preceded by some chilly temps, we jumped at the chance to get outside today for some fresh air. It’s not going to last much longer, so we’re glad we had the chance today.


You may have noticed some new gear coming home with your children! One of our goals last year was to start folding some RJ Grey gear into the mix. Pride in your school is an important part of middle school life, I think! In my first year as the principal, that didn’t emerge as one of the things we ended up accomplishing. But when our District came up with a new logo for our mascot, Revolution, it seemed like a great way to recognize that change and give our students something they might look forward to wearing. The idea of putting Class of 27 or Class of 28 on the back came from our Student Council. We are very happy to be able to provide these shirts free of charge to all of our students this year. Our Student Council and our PTSO generously contributed to the purchase of these t-shirts. We’ve already seen a bunch of students wearing them this week! Big thanks to Ms. Ahl, our Student Council Advisor for her work on this.


A sign that we’re getting close to the end of October is that our fall sports teams are wrapping up their seasons. I was fortunate to catch both races in our Cross Country meet on Tuesday afternoon. It was a foggy, wet afternoon but all of our runners did a great job of powering through their laps of the lower fields. I was really proud of their work and determination. Thanks to all of our coaches who committed a ton of hard work to make our fall season a success. 


Our winter season gets going after Thanksiving - we’ll have announcements starting in November about tryout dates. We offer basketball for both boys and girls. We have always offered a Cheer team, too. At the moment, we do not have anyone available to coach Cheerleading. If you know someone who might be interested and has experience with Cheerleading, please be in touch with Mr. Duclos, our JH Athletic Director. If you child didn’t play a fall sport, please be aware that anyone trying out for a sport must have a recent physical exam on file with our health office. There are often several families scrambling on the day of tryouts to line up a physical. If your child plans to try out, please make an appointment soon to avoid any disappointment later. 


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

  • Monday, 10/31: Halloween Dress Up Day

  • Monday, 11/7: School Picture Re-takes

  • Monday, 11/7: School Council Meeting on Zoom

  • Tuesay, 11/8: State Election Voting in the RJ Grey Gym

  • Thursay, 11/10: No School for Students - Professional Learning Day

  • Friday, 11/11: No School - Veterans Day

  • Monday, 11/14: Early Release at 1 pm


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Oct 27, 2022 at 8:28 PM
  

Good afternoon,


If you’re a regular reader, you might have noticed that I didn’t post a note last Thursday. I had planned to but with Back to School Night that night, time got away from me. I hope you found something else to read last week.


I saw many of you last week at our first in-person Back to School Night in quite a while. I recognized many of you from your older children, from 6th grade parents' night or from your cars in the morning drop-off line. There are many students I know by sight and name, and then I make a natural connection to who their morning chauffeur is. And then there are those adults who I only know by the make and model of their vehicle. A dad called the school this past summer, and as we talked, he referenced seeing me in the parking lot every morning. I asked if he drove a certain car and his “yes” helped me picture the person on the other end of the line immediately. If you were able to join us last week, I hope you had a good experience. Our teachers work hard to put together succinct presentations to give you some info about themselves, a bit about their class and content area, and likely an emphasis on how to support your learner, or where you’ll find the homework doc for their team. I hope you could feel some of the excitement and care that our teachers bring to their work every day. While our staff was a bit tired on Friday morning, the general consensus is that BTSN went well. We all appreciated the large number of you who came out to see how your children experience their days at RJ Grey.


This week, our first trimester Interim Reports went out by email to families. 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. If you have questions or are looking for additional feedback based on an interim, please be in direct contact with your child’s teacher(s). 


Last year, in this column, on at least two occasions, I asked the readers to reach out to their child’s teachers if there was a good reason to thank them or relay that their child was excited about learning something in class. I told my wife about the times I wrote about that request. This year, she has emailed my own kids’ teachers to say thank you for teaching them. She got great responses from all of them. So while my kids are only in elementary school, I know our teachers appreciate it when they hear good things from you. If you’re able, and when the time is right, please don’t be shy about reaching out with a quick note to one or more of our staff members. Your support matters a lot!


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

  • Monday, 10/24: No School, Diwali

  • Monday, 10/31: Halloween Dress Up Day

  • Monday, 11/7: School Picture Re-takes

  • Monday, 11/7: School Council Meeting on Zoom

  • Tuesday, 11/8: State Election Voting in the RJ Grey Gym

  • Thursday, 11/10: No School for Students - Professional Learning Day

  • Friday, 11/11: No School - Veterans Day

  • Monday, 11/14: Early Release at 1 pm


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Oct 20, 2022 at 4:15 PM
  

Good afternoon,


Happy October to all of our RJ Grey families! I hope those who celebrate Yom Kippur had a good holiday yesterday. I got to drop my own kids off at their school yesterday morning in the rain. Their school’s process is that the adult has to park the car, get out of the car, and walk with the students to the school. I patted myself on the back for our own drop-off process that allows caregivers to remain inside the car!


This past Monday was one of our early release days for students. Some of you might wonder what we do when we dismiss our kids at 1 pm. The answer is that we do a variety of things! This week, our staff met with an instructor from Lesley University in a session called, “Helping Traumatized  Children Learn.” This first of three sessions was eye-opening for many of us. While the research doesn’t focus on AB or our kids, other research studies over the years inform us that large amounts of our students, families, and staff have experienced trauma. Trauma can be defined as a response to a stressful experience where one’s ability to cope is overwhelmed. Many of our students may have experienced trauma. We’re going to spend some time this year working to assess how we can make RJ Grey a more trauma-sensitive school. There are likely some minor things that would benefit all students, but will be highly impactful for students who have experienced trauma. If your child needs some support that they’re not currently getting, potentially related to trauma, I’d invite you to please reach out to your child’s counselor to  begin a dialogue.


You’ll hear from me in a separate email with specifics about our Back to School Night next Thursday. Our first period begins promptly at 7pm. I suggest you arrive a bit earlier than that to find a parking spot. There will be some spots here at the Junior High, but we know that many families will need to park in the Parker-Damon lots or the High School lots. I hope to see lots of you on Thursday night!


While it’s still a few weeks away, Halloween is approaching. At RJ Grey, we will allow students who want to, to dress in costumes on Monday, October 31. We don't allow weapons or masks. Over the next few years, we want to use a culturally responsive lens to examine the the traditions and celebrations we have at school. In considering these traditions, some schools have moved away from some of the traditional celebrations like Halloween, and others are doing some work to look at these practices.  At the Junior High, dressing in costume has been a tradition here for a long time. On average, I’d say about 40% of students choose to dress up. We don’t have parties or other events related to Halloween, but there is some sense of joy that comes with seeing a clown, a roller coaster, and a giant dinosaur walking through the halls at passing time. I’m not certain that we’ll always host this tradition, but we will this year.


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

  • Monday, 10/10: No School - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • Thursday, 10/13: RJ Grey Back to School Night

  • Monday, 10/17: Early Release at 1 pm

  • Monday, 10/24: No School, Diwali

  • Monday, 10/31: Halloween Dress Up Day


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Oct 06, 2022 at 4:10 PM
  

Good afternoon,


I hope you are doing well and that your children are telling you lots of positive things about their days spent at RJ Grey. I had a long day at work yesterday and came home after my youngest two were already in bed. I discovered my preschooler’s artwork laying on the kitchen island. I share this to remind you that even when your current middle schoolers were in preschool, maybe even then they described their school day simply. “Things” is how Annabelle described her artwork to her teacher. If your own kids are answering, “Nothing” when you ask, “What did you do today,” we’re in good company! 


We are doing “things” here at RJ Grey. Today we had our iReady Math assessment. Last year was our first year giving the iReady in both Reading and Math. We found that the time spent assessing in those subject area classes was an unfair burden to place only on those subject areas. So instead, we set a schoolwide schedule that allows for all students to take the diagnostic assessment at the same time and then proceed through a shortened version of their typical schedule. We did our iReady in Reading last week. We’ll repeat this process in the winter and spring. 


I had written to our 7th grade families a few weeks ago about joining our School Council. I’m happy to report that two reps put their names forward. With only two interested parties, there was no need for an election. Chidhi Arunachalam has volunteered in several capacities in the district over the years, as he has a 7th grader and 12th grader at AB. He works in software development and is excited to join the School Council. He’ll join Boris Klebanov, the father of a 7th grader at RJ Grey. Boris has a deep understanding of math and math education. These new members will join me on the School Council, along with Kerry Lewis and Brian Andrew Smith as our 8th grade parent reps. Liz Walker and Anthony Zeese are both RJ Grey teachers, rounding out the council. Our meetings are open to other families who want to join. We’ll meet on Zoom on the dates below, the link is on the School Council page of our website. You are welcome to log in and join whenever you’d like.


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Monday, November 7, 2022

Monday, January 9, 2023

Monday, February 6, 2023

Monday, March 6, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023

Monday, May 8, 2023


We are closing out the last week of September. To think that the start of school was only about one month ago seems shocking! I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot this month and that your students have really settled into life at RJ Grey. We’ve had a choppy month with picture day, two fire drills, and other once-a-year type procedures. I’m hoping to get into a rhythm where school days are predictable and deep learning can take place. I hope you’ve learned about your child’s experience this year, reported in words more exciting than “things.” As for me and our admin team, your kids have been great and we’re pleased to be working with them every day.


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

  • Monday, 10/3: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Monday, 10/3: Helping Your Family’s Emotional Health: Do’s and Don’ts As We Move Forward Webinar with Lynn Lyons, 7 pm

  • Wednesday, 10/5: No School - Yom Kippur

  • Monday, 10/10: No School - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • Thursday, 10/13: RJ Grey Back to School Night


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Sep 29, 2022 at 3:26 PM
  

Good afternoon,


We avoided the significant downpours today at both our morning arrival and afternoon dismissal. I consider that a win! I hope you were as lucky with today’s weather.


Tomorrow is school picture day at RJ Grey. All students and staff have their picture taken, whether or not they choose to order a picture package. We use these pictures in our computer information system to have accurate photos of students. If you would like to order pictures online, please go to mylifetouch.com and enter the Picture Day ID: EVT8B9J9P.  Students may also bring in a check with the order form to give directly to the photographer.  Picture packages will be distributed to students in a few weeks, before the November 7 retake day.  Students who miss the initial picture day or those who would like a retake may have their picture done again at that time.  


One note of reminder if you are a person who drops off your child in the morning: as you enter our campus and come to drop off at RJ Grey, please stay on Charter Road until you take a left directly into the drop-off line. Turning in near the tennis courts and driving through our lower lot impacts our ability to keep everyone moving. Thanks for your help with this. And thanks to everyone who does it correctly for your patience when I ask you to wait to bring in another car. 


While some of you may have older students, many of you, I imagine are first-time Junior High parents. I have two requests: Please consider helping out at Project Graduation and please join the AB PTSO (info below on both). Both are amazing organizations made up of volunteers who assist the JH and HS in important ways.


Project Graduation: Introducing PG'23!

Every year on graduation night, the whole senior class comes together for an all-night substance-free celebration. The idea was born in Maine in the wake of teen fatalities on graduation night. At AB, we have a decades-long tradition of keeping our community's kids safe on what is one of the most memorable occasions of their lives. But we need parents of all grades to keep it going. And although graduation for the AB Class of 2023 is months away, believe it or not, the planning starts now!

 

We are looking for a few leadership volunteers. Check out all these opportunities! (Parents of seniors, you get the night off during the main event, but we could definitely use your help getting there!) 

 

PG Co-Chair: We have one fantastic chair! Now we need one more :)

• Treasurer: Are budgets your bag? This is a behind-the-scenes position.

• Sign Up Genius: We're pretty sure you're a genius. Can you put our volunteer needs in an online sign-up sheet?

• Minute to Win It: Are you a game night guy or gal? Last year's volunteer has all the details and games for this year's June 2 celebration. We just need someone to coordinate! 

 

Let us know via email. And look for our kickoff meeting coming soon!

 

Meredith Frost 

AB Project Graduation 2023 Chair

[email protected]

https://www.abprojectgrad.org

 

PTSO

My wife just hastily filled out the wrapping paper sales form for our daughters' school PTO. At RJ Grey and ABRHS, our PTSO does not do fundraisers in the form of cookie dough sales or wrapping paper. Our PTSO does ask for financial support from families, as well as interested members to volunteer. The money raised through the PTSO supports work at both the JH and High School. This year, I anticipate the PTSO supporting us with funds to cover the cost of student planbooks that we give to any interested student. We are also purchasing t-shirts for all students with our new Revolution logo. The PTSO and student council will help make that possible. I just met with three leaders of our PTSO this afternoon. They are all very committed to our schools and our students. If you haven’t already contributed this year, I’d invite you to do so.  Check out their website to learn more. You’ll also get to connect with them on our Back to School Night on October 13th.


We had another 25-minute advisory meeting yesterday (September 21). In most rooms, teachers led a protocol called a “Community Circle.” This process allows for deliberate and efficient conversations. My group talked about, among other things, their favorite ice cream flavors (4 chose Cookie Dough as their fav...including me). The Community Circle is a practice that we want our students to get used to in case we want to talk about something more serious later in the year. My group found it helpful to get to know more about each member of our group. I started them off with this youtube video to see if they could guess why I was playing it. Two students knew it! Shout out to their families for exposing them to some great music!


That’s it for now - remember that we do not have school on Monday due to the Rosh Hashanah holiday.


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

  • Friday, 9/23: School Picture Day at RJ Grey

  • Monday, 9/26: No School - Rosh Hashanah

  • Monday, 10/3: Early Release at 1 pm for Professional Learning

  • Monday, 10/3: Helping Your Family’s Emotional Health: Do’s and Don’ts As We Move Forward Webinar with Lynn Lyons

  • Wednesday, 10/5: No School - Yom Kippur


Take care and have a great weekend,
Jim






Posted by jmarcotte  On Sep 22, 2022 at 4:36 PM
  
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