2019.2.8 – Saxe Weekly

February 8, 2019

*Quote(s) that resonated with us this week:

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”

“Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.”

“Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give.”

“Sometimes it’s better to be kind than to be right.”

“If you want more kindness in the world, put it there.”


Dear Saxe Family,

The Saxe 14 Days of Kindness just wrapped up Day 10 and the positive feel around the building is noticeable. While we strive to be kind and be well all year, this time is a nice reminder to focus on the simple things in life that make a huge difference. Feel free to have a conversation with your child(ren) about their favorite day or other ideas for us to consider in the future.

This week we take a look at the Saxe Student Improvement Team, Emotional Intelligence, Spanish, Physical Education, local and global community involvement, recycling, and much more. We also have the latest 1-Second Everyday, a new episode of Saxe News (with a great “outro”), and some News Channel 12 coverage.

Enjoy and have a great week!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

2/14 Happy Valentine’s Day

2/15 No school for students (staff PL), have a great February break!

Want to check out the weekly from last week? Click, here.

Back again for this week – the latest Saxe Middle School 1-Second Everyday! “Life is made of seconds.” Check out a few seconds from each day of the 2018-19 school year (so far), showcasing so much of what makes Saxe Middle School great. This is a recurring, bi-weekly feature. Enjoy!

Pro tip: want to enjoy it more? Set your youtube playback setting to play at .75 speed

Student Improvement Team

We are proud of our Saxe students who volunteered to participate in a presentation to the Saxe faculty on Thursday. They shared school climate data as well as the work they have been doing this year as student leaders. Firsthand accounts from students truly had a meaningful impact on our teachers. Thank you to Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Lepisto, and Dr. Bliss for coordinating and of course, all of our students who bravely stood in front of 100+ teachers to present. They stepped up to the challenge and knocked it out of the park!

Emotional Intelligence

Here are some of our students learning about the Mood Meter and labeling emotions. This has been an important ongoing plan in educating the whole child and providing a well-rounded education in/across all disciplines.


Students in Ms. McMahon’s sixth-grade class are using new language to talk about their homes. Where would you prefer to live?

Students in Mrs. Milositz’s eighth-grade class are starting a unit on describing their childhoods called “The Way We Were.” We are learning new vocabulary, along with the imperfect tense. We are lucky to have Miss DeBlasi student teaching with us!

Students in 8th Advanced have completed the “Passport to Fun” unit and are preparing to read the novel “El Viaje de Su Vida”. Students will apply their prior grammar and vocabulary to interpret the next as they also discover new vocabulary and grammar concepts within the text. In this photo, students in Mrs. Vavricka’s 8th advanced class are discussing themes of the book in Spanish and moving to various corners of the room based on their own feelings and opinions. Students enjoyed actively listening and responding to each other in the target language and predicting central themes of the novel.

Moot Court

On Thursday, Mrs. Caffrey’s 8th-grade classes held their first Moot Court, an activity that simulates a landmark Supreme Court case. Students analyze facts of a case, research the relevant law, prepare written submissions, and present oral arguments. Students were definitely prepared and dressed to impress as they presented!

Saxe Physical Education

Students in grades 5-7 in Miss Goodman’s class have been cooperating, collaborating, and compromising as they create a dance to present to their peers. Students have been taking advantage of practice time in class to work together with teammates to improve and practice their dance. They have been providing each other with support and feedback through this process. Presentations began today and continue into next week before break. 8th-graders are designing a dance video to share with their peers which is an opportunity to use technology while being creative and adding in special effects both in and outside the classroom. During Project Adventure in Mr. Arcamone’s class, students exhibit responsible social behavior by cooperating with classmates, demonstrating inclusive behaviors, and supporting classmates. While at the same time, working in their stretch zone to accomplish physical tasks like the Centipede depicted below. In Mr. Thompson, Ms. Warren, and Mrs. Hendry’s classes, students are working on movement skills and concepts, using basketball and volleyball skills to build their physical literacy.

Innovation Night

Innovation Night link/information is here.

Around Saxe

Thanks to Ms. Breznen for putting up new library boards and Ms. Ryan and her students for putting up a kindness board for the 14 days of kindness!

Saxe News

Check out the latest Saxe News! This week, the team covers copiers, bells, and an epic outtake of “Africa” by Toto! (after the credits, enjoy). Thanks to Mr. Petrakopoulos and the Saxe News team for another great show:

Saxe in the News

This week, we welcomed The Reverand Evalyn M. Wakhusama, Founding Director of the Nambale Magnet School in Kenya, to Saxe. Current NCHS juniors Johnny Renda, Megan Rigione, and Shea Smith were on hand to deliver a check to Ms. Wakhusama to put towards solar panels for hot water at her school. They began working with the Nambale Magnet School while they were students at Saxe. This is part of a larger plan to create a more sustainable community and we are proud that our students are such great advocates who act locally and globally! Thanks to Ms. Birdsall for her ongoing motivation and providing such amazing opportunities for our students. Feel free to check out a quick news clip from Channel 12 below. Enjoy!

And, a couple of pics:


Here are our amazing 6th-grade student leaders loading up all the donations they collected for the Malta House in Norwalk. It was wonderful to see the excitement of the kids as they prepared to deliver the baby supplies they have been collecting for the expectant mothers at the Malta house, and the families housed there. It was so rewarding to see the recipients of the donations. It made our hearts warm to know that Saxe students were doing something good for others and it was a great experience for our students. Thank you to Ms. Reynolds, Dr. Bliss, and all of our students for making this possible!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Thank you to Ms. Bennett and Ms. Rovinelli for coordinating the collection of markers to contribute to the Crayola Colorcyle program. In less than a month, they have collected 509 markers to send to Crayola to be recycled. These include “deceased” (as some of our students like to call them) markers, dry/erase markers, & highlighters. Congrats and thanks for thinking about our environment and leading by example!

Friendly Reminders

If you need to contact your child during the school day, please call the main or division office. This helps us minimize the urge for students to check their cell phone that is supposed to remain tucked away safely in their locker. If your child is not feeling well, our professional nursing staff are “at the ready” to evaluate any student and communicate with parents. Thanks for your continued support!

A new slide for our slideshow this week:

We were fortunate to have some great weather this week!

The week was also the celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Pig!

Have a great week!

* A special thanks to Mary Calabrese for the continuous stream of positive, optimistic quotes!

Saxe Resources:

Website: https://www.ncps-k12.org/saxe

Twitter: @SaxeMS

PTC: http://www.saxeptc.org/

Weekly: SaxeMS.com

Saxe Middle School

Celebrating Our Learning Community Through Caring, Communication & Commitment

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