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Acton-Acton-Boxborough Regional PTSO Newsletter
Volume 22, No. 4April 2010
In This Issue
Homework - from our Back Issues
PTSO College Search Panel
Feedback from "Navigating the Course Selection"
Project Graduation
RJGJHS Updates
ABRHS Class Plays
Quick Links...
Looking Through our Back Issues - Homework
One of the considerations about choosing classes with your student is thinking about the amount of homework that each course will bring.  In November 2007, our PTSO Newsletter focused on the role of homework for junior high and high school students, describing some of the national trends in this area and some studies about whether homework is helpful or not.  Articles from ABRHS and RJ Grey described how each school sees the role of homework, and helpful advice for parents/ guardians about how to support students in getting their homework accomplished.

"Surviving the College Search"
A Panel of ABRHS Seniors and Their Parents
Wednesday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.
ABRHS Room 215 E


Are you worried about how you and your child will navigate the college search process successfully? Are there alternatives that you should consider? Panel members, representing a range of experiences and decisions, will share their stories and answer questions. Students and parents/guardians are welcome.
Sponsored by the PTSO and ABRHS
Counseling Department

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Lamplighter Now On the Web

The school district's quarterly publication, The Lamplighter, is now posted on the school district website, but is no longer mailed.  The current issue is posted now (ab.mec.edu).

Welcome to our much delayed March-April newsletter!  Our chairs received so much feedback from our forum on "Navigating the Course Selection Process" that we wanted to take the time to respond thoughtfully to your concerns.  With some help from Dr. Alixe Callen, ABRHS Principal, our chairs put together some responses to your questions and provided some links to some helpful documents.  We'd like to continue to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to share.
By the time we got the information together, I was focused on getting ready for Acton's Town Meeting.  I'm pleased to report that the budgets that were approved by Acton's Town Meeting (and which will be presented to Boxborough's Town Meeting, which begins on Monday, May 10) did not have to put into place some of the drastic staffing cuts that we outlined in our January issue.  This was largely as a result of the fact that state revenues are now expected to be slightly better than what was originally planned.  The school district's publication, The Lamplighter, has information about the budget, and the budget books are posted on the school website as well.  Take the time to see what's in the budgets and the other information provided.
We'll be getting ready for our College Search Panel, which will take place on Wednesday, May 12.  See more details below.
Thank you for your interest in news from our regional schools!
Mary Ann Ashton, Editor
From the Chairs
Your Feedback about "Navigating Course Selection Process"
By Julie McKinley and Chris Renzi
Nearly 300 parents/guardians attended two forums on "Navigating the Course Selection Process" to learn about course selection at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in February.  Principal Alixe Callen, Counseling Department Leader Stephen Hitzrot, and other department leaders and counselors were on hand to present information to parents about the best ways to guide students through the process of choosing the right courses.  If you'd like to view the slides from the evening, you can click here.  Your feedback about the forum was very helpful, and the high school will consider some changes to the process, which we describe below. [Read more]
Everything You Need to Know About Project Graduation
Project Graduation is the all night, alcohol and drug free party held on graduation night for ABRHS seniors. Project Graduation features live entertainment, games, crafts, food and more as the high school is transformed by a surprise theme.
Please plan to support this worthwhile event!
Project Graduation is funded solely through the generosity of parents, neighbors and businesses in Acton and Boxborough. Business sponsorships are available (see abprojectgrad.orgfor details). Checks can be mailed to Project Graduation, c/o Roberta Gongwer, 13 Capt. Forbush Lane, Acton 01720.
There are two local stores sponsoring fundraisers. Shop at CambridgeWear on Thursday, May 6 from 10am-8pm and shop at Roche Bros. on Friday, May 14 from 4-7pm. You can also order Roche Bros. gift cards for future purchases. Details on how to get gift cards delivered to your door are coming soon!
Project Graduation LogoVolunteers are needed to help on-site at the event in June. Will you help at a games table, chaperone, pitch in for setup or breakdown? Email abprojgrad10@gmail.com for more details.
Families of ABRHS juniors traditionally contribute dorm room essentials to create "Junior Trunks" that are raffled off at Project Graduation. Robyn Harding is coordinating and can be reached at abprojgrad10@gmail.com. 
Sheila Hanrahan and Laurel Dickson-Bull
2010 Co-Chairs
RJGJHS Updates 
The RJ Grey Community celebrated Blue and Gold day on the Thursday before February vacation.  The very successful assembly included a great band concert, a wonderful sneak peak for the Seussical production and an outstanding choral show.   We also were treated to the first annual staff obstacle course organized by our Student Council.  Be sure to ask your son or daughter about it - they gave us quite a performance![ ]
Proscenium Circus Presents Class Plays on May 8
This annual evening of friendly competition pits the classes against each other in a battle for bragging rights and the winner's trophy. Plays are 30 minutes in length, directed and produced entirely by students. At the end of the evening, the judges recognize the best individual performances and outstanding technical achievements, and award the winning play. The 2009 winner was the sophomore play, "Drop Dead, Juliet," directed by Ashley Ayoob and Katy Early.  For up-to-date information, visit abdrama.org.
Anti-Bullying Initiatives
With bullying concerns in the news, parents might be interested in this description of RJ Grey's anti-bullying initiatives, which was contained in a packet of information for the School Committee on February 4, 2010. [Read more]
Enjoy the week of vacation, and we'll see you in May!