2020.1.17 – Saxe Weekly

January 17, 2020

Dear Saxe Family,

We have much to be grateful for, and proud of, here at Saxe. That is the fun part of putting this weekly newsletter together. We are able to capture and share a snapshot of many of the wonderful experiences that occur here on a daily basis!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at World Language, Art, Science, Shark Tank, Music, Connections, ICT, Saxe staff and alumni, 6-8 Open House, Charter, our latest Saxe News episode which focused on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and much more…

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

1.20: MLK Day – No School

1.21: Welcome back! Board of Education meeting

1.22: Grade 5 – 8 Orchestra Concert

1.24: End of 2nd Quarter (Grades 6 – 8)

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

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

“Don’t ruin a good today by thinking about a bad yesterday.”

“Positive thinking……positive outcome.”

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

“When things change inside you, things change around you.”

Saxe News

As we head into the Martin Luther King weekend, the latest episode of Saxe News features Dr. King. Thanks to Mr. Petrakopoulos and the Saxe News team and a “special thanks” to Mr. Kenny Sullivan for his leadership in this episode. Enjoy!


We all know that managing our emotions is important, but we also recognize that this can be challenging. So how do we get better at it? Just like most other skills: practice! Monday was our latest Connections block where students were engaged in thought and discussion around strategies to be one’s “best-self”. It was a great opportunity to connect with our small groups and work on these important skills…

Congrats and “farewell” to Custodian, Tony I

While he is not leaving NCPS, Tony Iannone will be assuming the role of day-shift custodian at East elementary. We are happy for Tony, but we will certainly miss him here at Saxe. Thank you for your years of service here at Saxe… Congrats and best wishes, Tony!


Grade 5 students in Ms. Adrian’s class created multimedia presentations using Google Slides and Adobe Spark to share what they read in their book clubs. The class took part in a gallery walk that allowed students to see all finished products.

World Language

Grade 8 Spanish students used their presentation skills to share details on different trips they have made (or wish they had made). The visuals are spectacular but the language OUTSTANDING!

World Language: Mandarin

Grade 6 utilized what they have learned to introduce themselves, greet people, and find out someone’s last name and full name to make an acquaintance.

Grade 6 to 8 recognized the charter words in Mandarin and they had fun coloring them!

Art Department

The Saxe Art Department invites you to stop by the main lobby to see a sample of work created by some talented 7th and 8th-grade students! Work includes collages, portraits, watercolor paintings, ceramics, and more. A special THANKS goes out to the PTC for purchasing the brand new glass display cases. More student art from 7th and 8th-grade will be on display in the upcoming month. Stay tuned! Congratulations to the artists on a job well done.

Grade 5 Science

Students in Miss Collins’ Grade 5 science class are currently creating nanoscale molecules to explain their thinking about how molecules move during chromatography. This week students will be evaluating various types of models for accuracies and inaccuracies

Grade 6 Science

Students in Miss Collins’ Grade 6 science class recently conducted a lab on convection currents to better understand tectonic plate movement.

Grade 7 Science

This quarter, 7th-grade science students participated in their “Shark Tank” unit. They were tasked with identifying a real-world problem and developing a product that solves their problem. On Wednesday and Thursday, student groups presented their projects to their peers and a panel of New Canaan Public School employees who ultimately decided whether they would invest in their company.

Grade 8 Science

This week Grade 8 students are working with Vernier motion sensors to create and analyze motion graphs.

Choral Concert

Congratulations to Ms. Sagerstand and Mr. Leckie on another terrific choral concert! 5th and 6th-grade students wowed the crowd with a few wonderful songs each and then finished with a combined rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock”. Thanks and congrats to accompanist Mr. Gergle, and our VPA Coordinator, Mr. Sneath as well. Our school and community are so fortunate to have such a rich Visual and Performing Arts program!

Officer Deak got in on the action with high-fives all around as well…

Ongoing School Start Time Discussions

Saxe is grateful that Dr. Luizzi, Dr. Correnty, and Ms. Pianka visited this week to provide updates and answer questions about the ongoing school start time conversation.

Celebrating Saxe Alum – Sachi Krishna

We recently recognize Saxe Alum, Sachi Krishna, for her work that began, and her ongoing support of, Saxe Middle School! Please read more, below.

During high school, Sachi had 3 years of laboratory research experience. She started in the Ballabh Lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and worked there for 2 years. Her work was focused on reducing intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in the brains of premature infants and resulted in publishing her first paper. She then worked in the Nolan Lab at Stanford University School of Medicine over the summer of 2019 to use Co Detection by IndEXing (CODEX) technology to analyze cellular neighborhoods in apoptosized thymus cells and completed her second paper focused on bispecific antibodies in multiple myeloma. Now in college, she works at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in the Regev Lab, understanding synaptic transmission using optical technology and in situ barcoding.

Sachi’s desire to pursue science was fostered in her 8th-grade STEM class, taught by Ms. Vivian Birdsall. The two have remained close, and this relationship continued through high school, during which time she started the Science Team in NCHS that also works with STEM students in Saxe, and continued when she was as a senior intern in the STEM department working with 5th-grade students on 3D printing and video presentations. This award is a culmination of her work over the years. Congratulations and thank you, Sachi!

Parent Resource – Capti

“At Capti Voice we understand that parental engagement in education offers numerous benefits. That is why we created collatorial for parents to learn more about!”

Department Meetings

The Saxe Language Arts department assembled in the Design and Innovation space during their latest department meeting…

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: Grade 6-8 Daytime Open House

You are invited to attend a Saxe Daytime Open House for your child(ren) during the week of January 27th – February 4th, 2020. The schedule doc (here) has more detailed information and depicts the specific day, date, and time for each respective grade/team. We look forward to seeing you here!

8th Grade NCHS Honors Testing

The Performance Task Assessments for Honors classes will take place on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 28th: Honors English
  • Monday, February 3rd: Honors Science (Honors Geophysical, Biology and Honors Biology)

Snow Date/Make-up Date: Wednesday, February 5th after school

Testing will be held in the cafeteria at Saxe beginning immediately after school until approximately 3:15pm for English and 3pm for Science. Students may register using the link 2020 NCHS Honors Performance Task Registration. A confirmation will appear once the registration is completed. More detailed information about the performance tasks can also be found on the 8th Grade Transition page. As always, please contact your School Counselor should you have any questions.


Each year, NCPS holds an event where students in grades 2 through 12 can showcase their passion for innovation, problem-solving, and technology. In the past, it has been called “Tech Night” or “Innovation Night”, this year, the event is called : I3: Ideas, Integration, and Innovation.

We are challenging students to use their creativity, innovation, and design thinking to address a problem or need in the world around them. Students can identify a problem in one of several different areas and work (either individually or in a team) to design an innovative solution. Since the process that innovators follow is as important as the product, students will be charged with following a plan so they can share the steps they took to identify, plan, and solve the problem.

For more details/information, please click, here.

Renewing the Charter

Last week, all fifth-graders met as a color team to renew their commitment to their school charter (linked here). Each student made one commitment to be more respectful and one commitment to be safer. Those commitments were turned into the new “Respect & Safety” displays in the Saxe lounge area (outside the cafeteria). Thanks to Dominic and Tommy who helped Dr. Clapp put this message of commitment together for the whole school community to see!

A few more worthy Art pics…

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

The Saxe Weekly: SaxeMS.com

Saxe Middle School

Celebrating Our Learning Community Through Caring, Communication, & Commitment

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