2019.4.26 – Saxe Weekly

April 26, 2019

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

“It’s not the hours you put into your work that counts, it’s the work you put into those hours.”

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”

“Take care of the Earth. Good planets are hard to find.”

“Success is dependent on effort.”

“Don’t ruin a good today because of a bad yesterday.”

Dear Saxe Family,

I hope everyone had a great first week back from April Break. The change of pace from a break is a great opportunity to take care of “self” and spend time with those you hold most dear. The pace quickly ramps back up for the final stretch of the 2018-19 school year and there is much to be excited about. This week, we take a look at Spring Open House, World Language, a visiting author in LA, Social Studies, STEAM, Administrative Professionals Day, Saxe clean-up, our SRO, NC Color Run, PTC, and more…

Enjoy and have a great week,

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

4/27 NC Color Run!

4/29 Spring Open House (info below)

4/30 Spring Open House (info below)

5/1 NCPS BeWell Wellness Expo (staff)

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

Saxe Spring Open House

Thanks to the many parents who have come out to attend our Open Houses! Below are some pictures from a few of the sessions.

Fifth Grade World Language Choice

Fifth graders recently attended presentations regarding their language choice for sixth grade. Beginning in sixth grade, students at Saxe are able to continue their study of Spanish or switch and begin their study of French, Latin, or Mandarin. These choices should be made carefully as students are not allowed to switch their language until they transition to High School. These classes are filling up quickly. If you have not done so, please choose your first and second choice for language study. You should have received an email with a link. If you did not, please copy this link into your browser. FYI it may not work on a smartphone.


Upcoming Author Visit for 6-8th Grade!

The Saxe PTC and Saxe Middle School are excited to welcome local author Kristen Ball to Saxe! She will present to all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and will lead Writing and Language Arts activities designed specifically to enhance the Saxe curriculum. Using her experience in service learning and global travels, Kristen has the unique ability to teach important themes from Language Arts and Social Studies, while expanding students’ thoughts and ideas about the wider world. Ask your middle schooler about this fun and interesting series of discussions and activities!

Dates of Kristen Ball’s Visit:

6th grade: 4/29/19 and 4/30/2019

7th grade: 5/6/2019 and 5/10/2019

8th grade: 5/13/2019 and 5/16/2019

Kristen Ball is an educator and a life-long advocate of service learning and global studies. In 2005, she was awarded a scholastic grant and became the first Westerner to live in Sauri, Kenya. As a pioneer in developing the School-to-School partnership through Connect to Learn, Kristen and her students have kept alive the cultural exchange with students and teachers in East Africa. Her 2018 novel, A Calf Named Brian Higgins draws on her experience in Africa, and brings the hardships and challenges of rural Kenya to life for young readers. She holds degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University and Boston College. Photo credits above from Amazon.com Stay tuned for photos from the sessions starting next week!

Grade 5 Social Studies

Our fifth graders are currently in their US Government and Civic Responsibility Unit. Below, students closely read a few different texts about the Constitution and the foundation of our government. Citing specific evidence, they compare and contrast each text (corroboration) and discuss why they might differ. These are crucial Civics skills to develop as these young citizens learn what it means to be an informed citizen.

Students are also analyzing the Bill of Rights, its import. and why it was necessary to add it to the Constitution. This might make a great discussion at home.


Ms. Birdsall worked with some 5th-grade teachers to provide an experience for students to make creative creature creations with Tinkered this week. This project has crossed multiple disciplines (Math, LA, Art, SS, Science…) We are looking forward to seeing the final 3D printed products!

Student Wellness and School Safety

Thanks to our terrific panel of professionals who partnered with our PTC to host the annual, “School Safety and Student Wellness at Saxe” presentation. The focus was on managing student transitions with attention to emotional and physical safety. If you are reading this, you understand the tremendous amount of developmental changes that take place in these middle school years. We affectionately say that our children are, “under construction” during this phase of life. This is why we put such a strong focus on educating the whole child and providing a well-rounded educational experience (cognitive, affective, psychomotor, social). Below are a few pics of our panel from the presentation. Thanks to all who came out to attend!

Around Saxe

Administrative Professionals Day

We could not be more fortunate to have such an amazing team of professionals who help keep our system running at an optimal level. They do it with experience, grace, and smiles and we could not be luckier to have each of them. Thank you to all of our Administrative Professionals! Below is a nice poem shared by our Saxe Hospitality Committee:

They have certain know-how

And incredible finesse.

Along with special talents

For performing under stress,

They are perceptive,

And act with tact.

They seem to have a knack

For getting things so organized

And keeping them on track.

They manage to take care of

Twenty billion things a day.

We can’t thank them near enough

Believe me –


Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

In celebration of Earth Day and “Clean Up Your Mile” Week, Saxe KidsCare grabbed gloves and bags to pick up the trash around our school grounds. What a fun and satisfying way to enjoy the spring sunshine, while helping the Saxe community and our shared planet. Thanks to Ms. Taylor and her leadership…

Today the 7th-grade Improvement Team cleaned the playground. Thanks to Mr. Lepisto for coordinating!

Building Community

Thank you to our School Resource Officer for providing an opportunity for students to find out more about New Canaan, the Police Department, and life in general with his monthly luncheons. Yesterday, 6th-graders had the opportunity to break bread and chat it up with Officer Deak. Also, another big “thanks!” to our PTC for sponsoring…


As we continue our state testing, please remember to encourage your children to get a good night rest, eat well, and possibly pack a snack to replenish any depleted stores. We are proud of how well our students do on these tests and appreciate your support in partnering to maximize their performance!

Daytime Open House

You are invited to attend a Daytime Open House during the weeks of April 22 – April 30, 2019. You may find the schedules and specific more details, below:

Grade 5

Grades 6-8

We look forward to seeing you here!

NC Color Run

This is truly going to be a true community event!


The 3rd Annual NC Color Run

Saturday, April 27 at NCHS

9:00 AM: Kids’ Color Dash (.8 miles)

9:30 AM: NC Color Run/Walk (5k)

Please join your administrators and teachers at the 3rd Annual Color Run! Don’t miss this fun town-wide event and support deserving NCHS graduates pursue their dream of continuing their education at a higher level! Click HERE to register (online registration closes April 26). Individual $35, Family $130, Ages 5 and under are free! Click HERE to make a donation to the NCHS Scholarship Fund.

Walk to School Day


Saxe lower division is partnering with South Elementary and the Town of New Canaan to encourage students and families to begin walking or bicycling to school to promote healthy lifestyles (and maybe even reduce traffic in the Saxe, HS, & South campus areas). For anyone wanting to participate who may live outside of “walking distance” from campus, the Center School Lot (South, Maple, Main) has been designated as a drop-off area. We hope students will wake up a few minutes earlier, have a hearty breakfast, and join in the fun with friends or families to help us kick off this initiative on the morning of Friday, May 3 for the 8:20 school start! More detailed information may be found, here.

Speaking of walking/biking to school, thanks to our terrific Saxe PTC for helping support our riders! We now have several additional “parking” spots for our students who opt to ride their bikes to school.

The first “customers” on Day 1!

Proud to have many students start the day with a nice ride…

In case you were wondering, spring actually did arrive this week! Here are some spring shots from this week…

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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