2019.12.13 – Saxe Weekly

December 13, 2019

Dear Saxe Family,

As we approach the upcoming holiday break, I am continually reminded of the incredible dedication of our staff here at Saxe, the creativity and intrigue of our charges, and the great support of our school community. We are fortunate to have the ingredients that make up the wonderful education, opportunities, and experiences in each of our grades. Whether it is in the classroom, an activity area, a special area, a common space, or even during any “unstructured” time, our students are continually learning and developing into terrific, well-rounded people.

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at some of our EI work, Social Studies, Science, World Language, Geography Bee, building community, a look back at Veteran’s Day, recess, Saxe News, and more…

Wishing you all a fine weekend. Enjoy!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

12.16: Board of Education meeting

12.17: Saxe Choir Concert – 7:00pm

12.18: Saxe 7/8 Choir Concert Snow Date

12.19: Saxe 7/8 Choir Concert Snow Date

12.20: Spirit Day – Pajama Day -Holiday Break begins – Enjoy, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

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

EI in Action

We saw much of our Emotional Intelligence work come to life this week. The Grade 7 Purple Team held their December Town Hall meeting and recognized each student on their team, as nominated by their peers, with living one of their Charter words. In addition, there were a few students who received a nomination for living all five of the Charter words. These students received a special “Charter Champion” Certificate of Excellence signed by their teachers and counselor. Below are a couple of examples and photos from the “ceremony”. Also noteworthy, our Professional Learning sessions and Connections lessons this week were grounded in this important work as well.

We also find positive messages throughout our building. Below are just a few that brighten people’s day and reinforce the power of positivity!

Real-life Experiences

This is Jack Karczmit, a fifth grader in Ms. Devine’s class. His expository essay about Spiga, a restaurant here in New Canaan, was posted for all of their customers to see. This experience really authenticated the assignment for him. Very exciting!

Geography Bee

Students working hard at the 3rd Annual Saxe Geography Bee Prelims! Results will be released individually to those who participated, and the top 10 finalists will be announced Tuesday (12/17)!

Social Studies

This month students are exploring concepts such as conflict and unity, cultural diffusion and change, challenges and opportunities as well as challenges and compromises in their social studies units. Students examine content through these lenses working to hone skills in inquiry including sourcing, argumentation and speaking and listening.

Our seventh graders were hard at work this Thursday. Here are a few moments. These students are closely reading and annotating an article. They are also color coding their work, highlighting evidence of opportunities and challenges found in the text.

After reading multiple sources, students start to pull together and synthesize evidence to answer the unit essential questions. Sometimes other questions emerge. Sometimes more information is needed or evidence needs to be clarified.

Students show their progress in understanding in multiple ways. These students are working independently to create a visual that represents a couple of the questions in the unit inquiry.


Currently, students in Ms. Collins’ grade 5 science class are learning about mixtures in their Matter and its Interactions unit. Students just finished drawing models of their chromatography experiment.

Students in Ms. Rende’s science classroom were observing a phenomenon during the introduction to their Matter and Its Interactions Unit.

Ms. Veach’s Grade 5 science students are using the Phases of the Moon online simulation (Gizmos) to deepen their understanding of how the orbits of earth, moon and sun together with the rotation of Earth, cause observable patterns.

World Language

The World Language Department has benefited greatly from not only access to technology but also the different software the district has purchased to support student learning. Here are students using an online resource to learn different vocabulary. The site allows students to “race” each other making the process fun!

Sometimes our collaborative work involves paper and a die! Either way, the kids love it.


7th-Grade finished the country and language unit. Each student picked a country to research. The research topics are the country’s flag, official language, local food, architecture, etc. Students’ teamwork made this world map happen! Special thanks to Alexa Saridakis, an 8th grader who volunteered to decorate the bulletin board!

Over the course of two weeks, 8th-grade students worked to create a school uniform outfit. Students presented each piece of clothing that was used to make these lovely uniforms!

Latin students have been working on developing a sense of story and storytelling. Here are Grade 8 students, sitting in front of the fire, sharing a story. Grab a hot chocolate and join them!

Spreading Holiday Cheer

6th-grade Blue Team students spent the period being elves. These elves made holiday cards for hospitalized kids which will be sent next week.

Veteran’s Day Follow Up

Holiday Cheer Arrives for Troops in Okinawa Japan! The November 11th school-wide Veterans Day Celebration allowed Saxe students and staff to connect in multiple ways with our community. Students wrote over 300 letters thanking both veterans and active duty servicemen and women. Our local branch of MOM’s (Moms of Military) packed letters and donated magazines, from the Saxe library, off in care packages. So glad to see these smiling faces. Connecting with the community pays dividends across continents!


Whether it is indoors or out, our students are fortunate to have the opportunity to benefit from some unstructured time to be active, socialize, or even relax during the lunch/recess block, all-year long. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our PTC who have supported so many options for our students to choose from during this time! Below are just a few pictures from this week…

Saxe News

The Saxe News crew was out and about getting some great footage for the final episode of the 2019 calendar year! Stay tuned for some exciting action next week…

Sights Around Saxe

There was cold, snowy weather, wildlife, and a full moon this week. Below are some of the sights from around Saxe…

One of our resident hawks keeps a watchful eye over the campus from the antenna over the middle of the building…

Snow covered the recently trimmed trees in one of our courtyards. Can’t wait to see these bloom in the spring!

The holiday spirit is all around us and makes for some joyous moments throughout the day!

Have a great week!

Saxe Resources (live links)

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

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

Twitter: @SaxeMS

The Saxe Weekly: SaxeMS.com

Saxe Middle School

Celebrating Our Learning Community Through Caring, Communication, & Commitment

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