2019.3.22 – Saxe Weekly

March 22, 2019

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

“We can’t control what others say about us but we can control what we choose to believe.”

“A great attitude becomes a great mood. A great mood becomes a great day. A great day becomes a great year. A great year becomes a great life.”

“Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.”

Dear Saxe Family,

Happy Spring! We have made it through the time change and the days are getting longer as we look ahead to warmer weather and more outdoor activities. The action has definitely not slowed down at Saxe; quite the contrary… This week, we take a look at Pi Day, Innovation space, EI, International Day of Happiness, World Down Syndrome Day, Shark Tank, Music, Math, Odyssey of the Mind, Board of Education, and more…


Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

3/29 NCHS Ram Jam Fashion Music Festival

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

Pi Day

Last week, 7th-grade students participated in Pi Day on March 14th (3.14). Mrs. Kalunian, Mrs. Ryerse, and Ms. Kiley held a t-shirt design competition where students had the option to create their own t-shirt in the spirit of Pi Day. Math is fun!

The Innovation Space was a bustling hub of activity this week!

Grade 5 Monday Meeting: Regulating Emotions

As a school, we have been working to identify emotions that belong in each quadrant of the Mood Meter. During Monday Meeting, our 5th-graders have been plotting emotions in one of the four quadrants of the Mood Meter. Recently, we have begun to discuss that there is a time and place for each of the four quadrants. It is important to know when it is a good time to be in each quadrant, to recognize which quadrant you are in, and how to move out of that quadrant, if need be. Students have been exploring that sometimes we want to feel more of an emotion, other times less of an emotion, and sometimes we want to feel the same. They have learned that we regulate our emotions through our thoughts and actions to feel more, less or the same of that feeling. During this week’s lesson, the students focused on ways to regulate emotions in the red through the use of a scene from the movie “Inside Out”.

After, students worked together to brainstorm thought and action strategies to move out of the red. These will be visible resources in their classrooms! In the coming weeks, they will work on strategies to move from the other three quadrants, as well.

Saxe Health Teacher Michael Tiscia

Last Saturday, health teacher Michael Tiscia (assistant coach) helped lead the NCHS Boys Basketball team to the Division IV state championship with a win over Granby 55-39. Saxe Middle School congratulates the entire NCHS Basketball Program. Love the pants, Mr. Tiscia!!

Emotional Intelligence

Assistant Principal Steven Bedard and teachers Bonnie Pils, Ashley Walsh, Brett Gillan, and Andrew Fusci attended an Emotional Intelligence conference at Yale University, Center for Emotional Intelligence. We look forward to the crew sharing with our entire staff!

Around Saxe…

International Day of Happiness

Wednesday was the 1st day of Spring. It was also the International Day of Happiness! Below is a video and message from a couple of our counselors that demonstrate the positive community that we always strive to foster at Saxe!

This quick video was shared with Saxe staff to spread a little joy for all who had a moment to watch. Enjoy…

And, the follow-up message:

“This made me think about how great our school is because of how HAPPY our students are!”

One data point that demonstrates how wonderful our school is and how happy our students are is the feedback we get from new students. This year was no exception, below are two new students’ feelings about Saxe:

A Lower Division student is likely going to be moving. He told his parents that he’s “happy to move back, but just wishes that he could take Saxe and all the teachers and students with him!”.

An Upper Division student said that she liked her previous school, but stressed how great Saxe is because “she loves coming to school EVERY day because EVERY day is fun!”.


World Down Syndrome Day

Here is a short video that was shared with staff to learn more:

Here are a few pictures of the day!

Miss Goodman’s PE class rocking it for World Down Syndrome day with Andrew 🙂


“Shark Tank”, Saxe Style

Saxe was recently featured on the CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPPS) website for the “Hatched” (i.e., Shark Tank) experience that students participate in during 7th-grade workshop. It is a featured story in response to a request for PK-12 Innovative Educational Practices. Congratulations to Science Coordinator, Melinda Meyer and Science teachers, Ms. Bennett, Ms. Loper, Ms. Rovinelli, & Ms. Walsh! Please feel free to check out the full story below.

Feel free to read more, here…


Each year Saxe Music tries to participate in the Connecticut Music Education Association’s Western Region music festival. This festival comprises the best music students from participating schools in Fairfield County. Concert band, jazz band, and chorus students audition. They live audition in December, are chosen, and then have the festival in March with a couple of intensive rehearsals with prominent conductors. This year we had 3 from chorus and 5 from band qualify. Here is a picture of our participants from Saxe!

Saxe Math

The Saxe Fairfield County Math League team traveled to Newtown on Thursday evening for a competition. This was their first away competition since most are held in-house. Students enthusiastically cheered each other on as they completed math problems. Saxe Math Specialists and Coaches, Nicole Graham and Linda Santoro, hold practices throughout the year from October to April. The team is open to any interested students in grades five through eight. Saxe will proudly host the final competition in April when teams from all over Fairfield County will join us to compete for the annual trophy. Scores from all of the competitions throughout the year will be added to determine the winning district. We wish our mathematicians good luck and good thinking!

Odyssey of the Mind

The Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind state tournament was held on Saturday March 16th with about 125 teams from all over CT state participating. We had 8 teams from Saxe (also 1 from South, 1 from West, and 1 from NCHS) that competed across 5 problem-solving categories. These teams have worked hard since October preparing for their long term problem solution as well as spontaneous challenge problem. Three Saxe teams (and 1 NCHS team) will advance to the World Finals in Michigan from May 22nd -25th!

Here are the results from the competition:

In the Technical problem category, the Saxe team coached by Sundaram and Krishnan placed 1st in Division 2 with 6th graders: Chloe Chan, Arnav Chaudhary, Elizabeth Cheng, Atma Krishnan, Slade Logsdon, Charlie Place, Ryan Ross.

In the Classics category, the Saxe team coached by Teredesai placed 2nd in Division 2 with 7th graders: Sahil Teredesai, Alexandra Gelvin, Andrew Reed, Keira Duggar, Ike Morales, Kathryn Xia and Nathan Trepanier (King Sch).

In the Performance category, the Saxe team coached by Colthup, Cañas-Bierman and McNamara placed 2nd in Division 2 with 7th graders: Ruby Bierman, Cooper Colthup, Avery Cotton, Charlotte McGeary, Adrian McMahon, Bernadette McNamara (St. A’s) and Áine Stevens.

Additionally, a special mention to:

The Saxe team coached by Malhotra for placing 3rd in the Vehicle category in Division 1 with 3rd-5th Graders: Ananya Malhotra, Daniel Vindas, Siya Sukhani, Arihanth Pharshy (South Sch) and Sachi Malhotra (West Sch).

The Saxe team Coached by Haussler for winning the Jill Riggles Award for best spontaneous performance in Classics Division 2 with 7th Graders: Charlotte Walter, Elizabeth Doak, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Lauren Eno, and Rani Joshi

Congratulations to all the participants and their coaches for their accomplishments!

NCPS Community…

More Music

Here are performers from the NCPS Student Recital at the New Canaan Inn this week. What great performances and a terrific collaboration across all levels!

Left to right: Davie Chochran (NCHS), Mrs. Rosen (Music Teacher Saxe), Alyssa Khoo (NCHS), Emily Meng (2nd, South), Amy Meng (6th, Saxe), Allison Stiles (4th, East), Michael Wang (5th, Saxe), Eddie Li (7th, Saxe), Mr. Zhou (Music Teacher East), Ellie Ivanov (5th, Saxe).

The next NCPS recital is scheduled for May 30th at 3:30 p.m.

Learn More about EI

Dr. Susan Bliss, Ph.D., NCPS Student Support Coordinator, will be presenting to Saxe parents on April 10, from 9:30-10:30 at the Saxe Middle School Auditorium. The title of her presentation is “Raising the Emotional Intelligence of Your Children.”

The talk will cover:

  • The importance of Emotional Intelligence in our children’s lives
  • The Emotional Intelligence initiative at Saxe Middle School- Charter and Mood Meter
  • Helping your child to build self awareness and awareness of others (empathy)
  • Helping your child to increase their ability to manage emotions
  • Helping your child to build resilience and learn to solve their own problems

A touch of spring throughout the 5th-grade hallway!

Saxe has begun its transition for the Spring Musical. Mark your calendars for April 5th & 6th!


NCHS Ram Jam

The first annual NCHS RAM JAM is scheduled for March 29th @ 7:00 pm in the NCHS auditorium. Join us in supporting the NCHS senior class Lip Sync, perform live music and strut the catwalk. All proceeds will go to help fund Post Prom – it will be an evening that we will not forget! If you are interested in attending, please click here to purchase tickets.


A Special “Thanks”

Saxe Middle School would like to sincerely thank recently retired BOE member, Hazel Hobbs, for her years of service to the New Canaan Public Schools and an amazing career in education. Thank you for all that you have done for all of us, Hazel!

Please feel free to check out a recent article from New Canaan Advertiser, here.

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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