Grey Matters, March 2, 2020; Volume 8, Number 26 

Hi Everyone, 


Over the February Break our family came across some bistro chairs at Marshalls/Home Goods that we thought would look good around our kitchen island. The problem was that they only had three of them left, and we needed four. So I spent the rest of the afternoon driving around Middlesex County to a number of other Home Goods, Marshalls and TJ Maxx locations to find one more of those bistro chairs - and I experienced success in Natick! The adrenaline from that victory was short-lived since we realized shortly after I got home with the chairs that we should have first measured the height of our island countertops and then would have realized that these chairs were too tall.  So the search is still on for new chairs for the kitchen. Rest assured I will not be making that same mistake when it comes to upcoming furniture purchases we have planned for RJ Grey. As part of our District’s multi-year capital improvement plan, we’re looking forward to updating student furniture in our classrooms, starting with the chairs that they sit in. Our hope is to identify chairs that offer more comfort and flexibility for students, including those students who might benefit from chairs that have a bit more give and movement for the fidgety amongst us (count me as one of them). In addition, we received helpful feedback about the importance of finding chairs that have wire baskets underneath the seat as a place to store Chromebooks when they aren’t in use.  We’ve gotten a few samples, including the two in the above photo, and ordering a few more. My hope is to find a way to get our students involved in providing feedback about each of the chairs - maybe placing them in a common space like the Library or Cafeteria and asking them to share their impressions on which ones they prefer. We are operating on a budget, so a few of the more space-age models that I have come across are fun to dream about but aren’t really available to us. Nevertheless, I still think we’ll find ourselves with chairs that improve our classroom spaces. We will probably purchase around 250-300 chairs this summer, and then continue with this effort over the next few years. For those of you who have also seen the two large screen monitors in our main lobby area where we have a running slide show of school activities and student work, we’re excited to also be installing more of those monitors in different areas of the building so we can continue to expand our ability to showcase and celebrate our students throughout the day.  


Here are a few updates and reminders about the next few weeks.  


The Winter Trimester closes on Friday, March 6 and report cards will be emailed to families on or around March 19.   


Last week the Superintendent’s Office sent all families a letter to provide an overview of the information we have regarding the coronavirus and how the situation is being monitored.  You can review that letter by clicking here


Don’t forget that the R.J. Grey Junior High yearbook is offering you the chance to send your love, pride and congratulations to the graduating 8th grade R.J. Grey student in your life.  You can purchase one of two advertisement formats to relay a message that your 8th grade student will cherish forever. Ads must be submitted by Wednesday, March 11. Please click the link for submissions guidelines and instructions. Please contact Marc Lewis (mlewis@abschools.org) with any questions.  

 

This year, we will be celebrating National World Language Week during the first week of March.  The goal is to bring awareness to the importance of foreign language study through the celebration of languages and cultures.  At RJ Grey, we will be observing NWLW on a small scale. During morning announcements students will be greeting the RJ Grey community in a variety of languages, and at the end of the week, students will read a poem for Poetry Friday. Monday through Thursday, these students will also read a trivia question and students who would like to answer the trivia questions can pick up ballots from the World Language teacher on their respective teams, and can enter their completed responses in the ballot box that will be located on the table by the main office by 1:30 (Grey Block) each day. The student with the first correct response drawn randomly from the box will win a pulsera (bracelet) that was handmade in Central America. Many thanks to the World Language Department for organizing these efforts.  


Our Spring sports season is around the corner.  We need a little bit more time to finalize the schedule for tryouts and sign ups for our Spring sports programs - Baseball, Softball, Volleyball and Track. There are still tryouts for baseball and softball, tryouts for the girls volleyball program, and track continues to be a “no-cut sport.”  In other words, any student interested in participating on the Track team is welcome to join. Those tryouts and meeting times will be up on the website in the next few weeks and we’ll include mention of it in our daily announcements. In the meantime, please note that families must register on FamilyID for EVERY SEASON that their student plans to participate in a sport. If your child already participated in a Fall or Winter sport and wishes to participate in a Spring sport, they must still register for their Spring sport on FamilyID. Also, this season payments will be made via check to your coach, as there will not be an online option to pay this Spring.  


In terms of participation in the track program, we plan to continue providing an option for students (and families) who are interested in the track program, but not prepared to commit to the full practice and meet schedule.  Not attending each practice or meet, as you can imagine, can create some challenges given the need to organize and schedule things like relays teams, practice plans, and logistics for away meets.  With this in mind, we offer students the choice to sign up for one of two options: (1) students who can commit to at least three practices per week, including all home meets, should sign up for the Blue TeamPlease note that the two non-practice days for students on the Blue Team needs to be the same from week to week.  (2) Students who wish to travel to away meets (in addition to home meets) and be eligible for relay teams and field events can sign up for the Gold Team.  Gold Team members are expected to attend all practices and all meets, without exception (unless the student is sick and absent from school).  It is entirely up to the student (and his/her family) to choose the best option that makes the most sense for him or her.  Please note that the participation fee is the same for either option. The above options will be explained to everyone at the first Track meeting (date forthcoming) so they can make an informed decision.  Remember that all important information about Spring sports can be found at our school’s Athletics page.  


As we enter March we have another RJ Grey Artist of the Month.  Congratulations to Kirthivarsha Sivakumar of 8 Red. When asked “What are some things that influence/inspire/inform the artwork you like to make?” she replied, “What inspires me to make art is nature. I like to express it’s beauty from my hand and onto the paper to show others how nature can be very beautiful. Congratulations to Kirthivarsha and you can click here to view her art work (also on display in our school lobby).  


Finally, a friendly and important reminder to 8th grade families that I sent all of them a letter last Thursday that provides a detailed overview of the 9th grade registration process.  I would encourage you to review the materials linked to the letter, and initiate a conversation with your child about plans for next year. You can access the text of the letter by clicking here


Have a great week, everyone. 


Cheers, 

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Posted by ashen On 05 March, 2020 at 2:46 PM  

 
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