2019.9.20 – Saxe Weekly

September 20, 2019

Dear Saxe Family, 

As you will see from the number of entries this week, there was a lot of excitement in and around Saxe! We take a look at Connections, the Design Lab, Social Studies, Latin, Science, our new staff, the Saxe Sensory Path, the cafe, the 2027 Charter, the PTC Welcome Back Coffee, and more…

Enjoy and have a great weekend, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

9/26 Grade 5 “Bonding Fun Run@ 1:00pm; Grade 6 Open House @6:45pm

9/27 Red and Black Spirit Day; Celebrate Saxe Kickoff

Want to check out the “Saxe Weekly” from last week? You’re one click away, here.

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“You may take a lot of wrong turns before you find the right path.”

“Life is like a rollercoaster. You can either scream every time there’s a bump, or you can throw your hands up and enjoy the ride.”

“You get what you work for…..not what you wish for.”

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”

“Focus on what you want, not what you fear.”

Back again for this week – the latest, updated Saxe Middle School 1-Second Everyday! “Life is made of seconds.” Check out a few seconds from each day of 2019 (so far), showcasing so much of what makes Saxe Middle School great. This is a recurring, bi-weekly feature. At the end of the year, we will have a full version that includes every single day of the 2018-19 school year. Enjoy!

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


This week we kicked off our newly instituted Connections program with great success. We received positive feedback from staff, parents, and most importantly, students. This will be yet another terrific way to have every student at Saxe have an opportunity to learn from, and build a positive relationship with, a trusted adult in the building. Thank you to everyone who was involved in growing this from concept to reality.

One of my favorite student reflections: “What I like most about Saxe is the teachers because they are so nice.”

Design Lab

The Saxe Design Lab is back up and running, and we continue to make exciting improvements. The room is freshly painted and the updated, functional furniture has arrived. Tech Integrators, Mr. Petrakopoulos and Mrs. Pacelli, are leading the way with video creation, virtual reality, 3D printing, and other innovative experiences. This makerspace is open to all teachers and students who want to extend and deepen their learning outside of the classroom, and learn through the design process. Ms. Veach recently brought her 5th-grade science students in to learn about the Design Lab, and participate in STEM challenges and we look forward to more classes experiencing this exciting space soon!

Social Studies

To kick off their year-long inquiry into world regions and geography, grade 7 students are exploring some of the concepts in their first unit while playing the game of Catan. They will then apply these concepts and the skill of shared inquiry as they learn about the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain.

World Language: Latin

6th grade Latin students celebrating the “Dies Lustricus,” the naming day ceremony to celebrate our new Roman names. In Ancient Rome, this day was the naming day for a baby. Each student made a bulla, which is a lucky locket that all Roman children wore.

Magistra Mykytenko’s class



Magister Hearty’s class


Eight graders got to see some DNA first hand as they did a wheat germ extraction lab. Students reviewed the parts of a cell as they learned how warm water, isopropyl alcohol, and soap can be used to break down the barriers that normally protect the DNA inside a cell. They have learned about DNA’s molecular structure in class over the past few weeks, so this lab is a fun, hands-on way to see actual, extracted DNA.

New to the Saxe Family

We welcome our newest members of the Saxe Family and thank them for the role that they play in providing the best for our students!

Amy Albright, Lower Division Nurse

Gina DeVoto, Grade 7 Math Teacher

Zachary Dove, Special Education Teaching Assistant

Christina Gencarelli, Special Education Teaching Assistant

Lindsey Heron, Library Assistant

Jordan Hensley, Library Secretary

Kristen Link, Math Intern

Karen Pausig, Lower Division Counselor

Rob Santoro, Grade 7 Math Teacher

Hsuan-Hui Smith, Mandarin Teacher

Vanessa Visners, Special Education Administrator

Saxe Mascot

We have received over 100 nominations to name the official Saxe mascot! We will have a small sub-committee meet next week to move the finalists forward to be voted on by our Saxe community. Stay tuned!

Saxe Sensory Path

Thank you to Ms. Hund for taking the lead on this new addition to our school!

We are excited to introduce a Sensory Path to Saxe’s “Bridge Street” Hallway. The intention of this sensory path is to encourage and facilitate proprioceptive, kinesthetic and bilateral movements during the school day to promote brain and body readiness for learning. There are multiple sections of this path including an animal section with a motor sequence including bear crawls, frog jumps and crab walks, a “move” section with a sequence of brain-building exercises, a “recharge” section with a sequence of energizing yoga poses, and a “mood” section with empowering mindfulness activities. The animal and move sections are great for a student who is fidgeting or having difficulty staying seated. The recharge section will help a student who is low energy or a student having difficulty focusing. The mood section can help a student who is frustrated, anxious or feeling down. This path can be especially useful for a student with sensory processing difficulties, ADHD or anxiety, but all students (and staff members) may benefit from the regulating effects of these intentional sequences during the school day. (Staff: please check it out and get your brain and body ready to learn!).

Here is a recent article on a sensory path “up the road” in MA:


And, a TED talk on the effect of incorporating movement into the learning process at school & at home:

The REAL reason children fidget — and what we can do about it | Angela Hanscom | TEDxPortsmouth

Saxe Cafeteria

Below are some pictures of recent hot lunch options at Saxe. Sweet & Sour Crispy Chicken Tempura, Sauteed Mixed Vegetables, Asian Scallion Rice, and more. We are fortunate to have such dedicated, talented staff to provide for our Saxe community!

Class of 2027 “Charter”

Fifth-graders have been busy crafting their charter, one of the five EI anchor tools (for more information about EI and anchor tools follow the link here). Notice their charter (below) is incomplete, as we need an original student image to represent and reflect their charter. So, Dr. Clapp is seeking renderings for the class of 2027 charter by this Monday (submit in the LD office, please).

Building Community

Saxe SRO, Officer Deak, with his first lunch bunch of the school year. Students have an opportunity to hear a little about each other, discuss what makes Saxe great, and what we can do to continue to improve. There is nothing more important that student voice and choice!

Saxe PTC Welcome Back Coffee

Thank you to all of our wonderful PTC members and everyone who came out to the Saxe PTC Welcome Back Coffee at Waveny this week! There was excitement, spirit wear, food, beverages, and great messages delivered by Dr. Luizzi, Dr. Clapp, and members of our PTC…

A beautiful week of weather to be outside!

Have a great week!

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

Saxe Resources (live links)

Website: https://www.ncps-k12.org/saxe PTC: http://www.saxeptc.org/

Twitter: @SaxeMS Weekly: SaxeMS.com

Saxe Middle School

Celebrating Our Learning Community Through Caring, Communication & Commitment

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