2020.1.24 – Saxe Weekly

January 24, 2020

Dear Saxe Family,

This week was filled with reminders of how much we have to be grateful for at Saxe Middle School. Our winter choral concert was a wonderful display of talent and dedication, and a reminder of the importance of the arts in the overall experience of our students. “Warmer” weather allowed our students to have the option of celebrating some much needed outdoor time during recess. Learning took place in many different formats and locations throughout the whole building. All of this occurs in a remarkably supportive community that values the work and devotion of our first-class educators. The end result is a well-rounded experience for our students as we strive to not only provide the best education possible, but also produce fine, upstanding people. Thank you to everyone who makes this winning equation a reality on a daily basis!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at World Language, Digital Citizenship, Empowering Our Lunch Hour, Special Education, Health and Physical Education, School Counseling, our Saxe SRO, Music, student teachers, 500 wins for Coach Bulan, upcoming events, trout, the latest 1-Second Everyday, and more.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

1.27: Daytime Open House: Gr. 8 Red/9:15, Gr. 7 Red/11:45, Gr. 6 Blue/12:30

1.28: Daytime Open House:: Gr. 8 Green/9:15, Gr. 7 Purple/11:45, Gr. 6 Red/12:30

Gr. 5/6 Band Concert, 7:00 PM

1.29: Gr. 7/8 Band Concert, 7:00 PM

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

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“The time is always right to do what is right.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Small steps turn into miles.”

“You don’t need a new day to start over. You just need a new mindset.”

“If you never try, you’ll never know.”

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 2019-20 school year. Enjoy!

SRO in Action

Officer Deak visited Mrs. Devine’s fifth-grade class to hold a discussion that served as an extension to their digital citizenship lessons, focusing on cyber safety. Students enthusiastically asked questions and shared their thinking on the subject.

World language

Chinese New Year is January 25, 2020. To celebrate this special day, seventh and eighth-grade Mandarin students visited fifth-grade classrooms to share what they’ve learned about writing in characters!

Mandarin Students celebrate the Year of the Rat

Jigsaw Puzzle Collaborative Learning: students do research and teach the class on the origin of the Lunar New Year and how people celebrate this most important festival in the Chinese speaking world.

Students learn the art of paper cut and make lucky symbols to decorate the classroom.

Grade 6-8 Digital Citizenship

As quarter 2 comes to a close, students in grades 6-8 Digital Citizenship courses are completing performance tasks that ask them to engage in higher-order thinking and apply their skills and knowledge from the course.

These 7 graders created a class rubric to use to evaluate web platforms. They are using it to collaboratively analyze and evaluate a platform of their choice.

In grade 6, students create a PSA (public service announcement) to teach peers about what they have learned. These students put theirs in lesson format entitled “Which me should I be?” They engaged their fellow students in interactive learning activities that asked them to evaluate different scenarios and the choices they might make in that situation.

Empower Your Lunch Hour!

Calling all tech enthusiasts, makers, and creators! The Media Center is offering an optional pilot program for grade 5 students during their lunch and recess block. Opportunities for integrative experiences provide high and low tech making and themes will change monthly, with specific weekly activities. This month kicked off Create Art! Pointillism painting in the Library and Pixel Art in the Design Center started week one and we moved onto string art, Spirographs, coding to create these digital spirographs and the old fashioned pen and paper method in week two. This week we have set up different “walls” around the Library for some Graffiti Art and we’ll wrap up the month with sculpture, clay and Tinkercad sculpture.

Students join our “Empower Your Lunch Hour” Google classroom and gain access to our book collections, online activities and information about activities or artists to supplement what we’ve rolled out.

This new lunchtime concept has encouraged real engagement and exploration on the part of the students and it’s one more way students can choose to spend their lunchtime here at Saxe. The Media Center continues to offer lots of activities during all four grades lunch periods.

Any students interested should come to the Library or Design Lab to sign up and find out more. See you in the Library!

Special Education

Students made aromatherapy rice sock buddies in physical therapy sessions this week to assist with calming/breathing strategies that fold into our zones of regulation.

You can find the steps to make your own sock buddies, here:

Physical Education

Students in physical education classes are building on their physical skills in a variety of activities such as; hand-eye coordination, serving, volleying, rhythmic movement, transitioning from offense to defense and using tactics within a team. As students participate in these activities they are being emotionally intelligent by representing their “best self”. Through cooperating, giving and accepting feedback, compromising, problem-solving and celebrating their success and the success of other students are feeling the “joy” in PE.

Health Education

Students in health education enjoyed using the Saxe Design Lab with Mr. Petrakopoulos. Students were learning how to design a social media advertisement that would portray a positive message around the benefits of deciding to be drug-free. Students have some of the most creative ideas!

School Counseling – Start with Hello Week is Coming!

The Student Leadership Teams met last year to develop a school-wide school climate goal for Saxe. They decided to work on improving our already great school by helping more students feel Included.

“Start with Hello” is a national, student-run program that focuses on educating students on the importance of reaching out to classmates – and making connections. The program was developed through Sandy Hook Promise. This week, brief “Town Halls” were held for each grade level, where student leaders presented to their peers on the importance of increasing inclusion throughout the school. Next week will be the official start of “Start with Hello” week, which will include short activities throughout the week to help students to get to know each other better. A special thanks to Mr. Lepisto, Mrs. Risoli, Dr. Clapp, Mr. Bedard, and Dr. Bliss for their help in the “Start With Hello” week!

Saxe 5-8 Winter Orchestra Concert

Another great performance by our talented orchestra and directors. Congrats to all involved!

Student Teachers

This week Saxe welcomed two student teachers. Austin Ekstrom joined 7 purple and will work with Ms. Rovinelli’s science students and Saxe intern Kirsten Link is working with Lindsay Martin with 8th-grade math students.

Austin is a 2016 graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. Currently, he is pursuing his teaching degree at Sacred Heart University. He has been a part of the New Canaan Public Schools since the start of this school year. He comes to us from the high school where he filled various instructional roles. Austin had a wonderful rapport with students at the high school. He knows and cares for them as individuals and will support their academic needs.

Kirstin is currently enrolled in Sacred Heart University’s teacher preparation program. She has been a part of the math department since the start of this school year, pushing into various classrooms, thereby becoming familiar with the strategies and tools used to establish positive relationships with students. She has also served as a teaching assistant during math intervention periods and has facilitated small group learning and supported students one-on-one as well.

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.

Around Saxe

Congrats to Coach Rich Bulan on 500 Hockey “Wins”! What an amazing accomplishment and we are proud to have Mr. Bulan as part of our staff here at Saxe. Check out the full story, here.

Positive Quote from the Saxe Secret Buddy calendar

Trout Club trout have begun making their way from their eggs to the “real world”…

I’m pretty sure this shot saw “nothing but net!”

A patriotic moment captured during the Pledge…

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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