2020.2.28 – Saxe Weekly

February 28, 2020

Dear Saxe Family,

As we enter the month of March, we continue to focus on our most important asset, our students. The Association of Middle Level Education has teamed up with several other organizations to declare March the official month to focus on students ages 10-15 and celebrate middle level education. The key messages to celebrate “Middle Level Education Month” are:

  • The importance of parents being knowledgeable about young adolescents and being actively involved in their lives;
  • The understanding that healthy bodies plus healthy minds equal healthy young adolescents;
  • The realization that the education young adolescents experience during this formative period of life will, in large measure, determine the future for all citizens; and
  • The knowledge that every young adolescent should have the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and aspirations, and post-secondary education should be a possibility for all.

New Canaan exemplifies what it means to provide the best education possible and Saxe Middle School is proud to be able to play a critical role in the overall educational journey that our students make. Thank you for your continued support! Feel free to check out #MLEM and more information/resources at:  http://www.amle.org/

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Health and Physical Education, World Language, Escape Room, Science, National Reading Month, Music, a Saxe Student Spotlight, Student Leadership, Recycling initiative, and more…

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

News Update:

Please note, we are continuing to monitor the global COVID-19 situation very closely. Please find Dr. Luizzi’s message that went out to the NCPS community, here. We will update any relevant information on our website and any time-sensitive information will be sent directly to you through our messaging system. Thanks.  

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

3.2: Board of Education Meeting

3.5: 8th Grade Transition Meeting – NCHS (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:

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.”

“It’s never too late to make a fresh start.”

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

“No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.”

Count your blessings, not your troubles.”

Departments and/or Grade Levels:


Students in French classes spent some time learning about Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras is a celebration that takes place between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. Here are some pictures of students learning about and discussing this celebration.


Grade 6 introduced their family members in Mandarin to wrap up the family unit.

Saxe Physical Education

Students in physical education classes have been developing and demonstrating a variety of skills that are helping to build communication skills, trust, cooperation, compromise, collaboration, teamwork, giving and accepting feedback through a multitude of activities. Over the past weeks students have had the opportunity to “stretch” their level of thinking, confidence, and positive mindset as they learned something new about themselves, their peers and discover what they are truly capable of. A variety of activities that students participated in to achieve these outcomes included Project Adventure, Dance, Badminton, and Basketball.

Health Education

The Saxe “Happiness Is…” wall continues to grow with positive messages during 5th-grade health education. Students have been building their health skill of self-management as they practice preventing the spread of germs. Simple every day habits can reduce the risk of getting sick such as; regular handwashing, drinking plenty of fluids, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and getting an adequate amount of sleep. Students identified some positive actions to take in order to build their mental/emotional health as they learned about the wellness triangle. While 7th-graders are practicing progressive relaxation and guided imagery strategies in order to help manage their levels of stress. It was quite obvious that at the end of this lesson students felt calm and relaxed.

Vacation Week

One of our students interviewed teachers, staff, and students about what they are doing during vacation week. Here’s what Mark Gumennyy found out. Enjoy!

Twenty-one people stayed home. Some of the things they did were read, watch TV (Daytona 500), visit the doctor, shop for a wedding dress, play basketball, and play pool. Nineteen people traveled. Some of the places they went to were Florida, Oregon, Indiana, Jamaica, Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Hawaii, Mexico, New Hampshire, Manhattan NY, Buffalo NY, and Sherman, Connecticut. The number of people who stayed home and the number of people who traveled is almost the same. I hope you had a great winter vacation!

Mark Gumennyy

G6 Science Project Share

This week, 6Blue and 6Red Science classes shared projects that were recently finished. This peer feedback is valuable for all!

Saxe Celebrates National Reading Month in March

Visit this interactive link to find out more! https://www.smore.com/5hna2

Escape the Classroom Activity

Seventh Graders on the Blue Team used their nonfiction reading skills during an activity in a class co-taught by Tara Thomas, Language Arts teacher, and Lauren Russell, Speech-Language Pathologist. Learning and fun go hand in hand!

Saxe halls are alive with the sound of music!

Darryl Johnson, a composer from California, came to work with Saxe students this week. The 6th-grade band students performed his piece titled “Zeros and Ones.” He also worked with 7th & 8th-grade student composers and together, they worked to create a four part composition.

Saxe Student Spotlight

One of our 5th-grade students, Cary Wang, is playing a piano concert this weekend at the Manhattan School of Music. Cary has had many accomplishments including being invited to perform twelve times at Carnegie Hall and winning many national and international piano competitions since the age of six. Recently, he won the Manhattan School of Music’s Annual Concerto Competition as the youngest performer. Besides piano, Cary plays cello with the Norwalk Youth Symphony and enjoys football, sailing, and swimming. Congratulations and best wishes, Cary!

Student Leadership

The Student Leadership Teams at Saxe work continuously to improve school climate at every grade level. After the “Start with Hello” initiative to improve inclusion- the 7th-grade SLT takes a break to work on a teamwork challenge. Next, they will be working on the 14 Days of Kindness… Stay tuned!

Continuously Improving Staff

During our professional learning session this week, staff continued their work on the important topic of emotional intelligence. Discussions were around approaching conflict effectively, the “Blueprint” template, reflection questions, and more. This work is inspiring and meaningful and there is nothing better than hearing/seeing students organically implementing these skills in their day to day lives…

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

Thanks to grade 7 Science teachers, Ms. Rovinelli and Ms. Bennet, who have collected 858 markers to be sent off to Crayola to be recycled. Thanks for coordinating an opportunity for students and staff to do their small part to help our environment, multiple times a year!

Schools Supporting Each Other

Mark your calendars! New Canaan High School Theatre Presents, The Jukebox Musical: MAMMA MIA! March 19th, 20th, and 21st at 7:00 PM in the New Canaan High School Auditorium.

Great advice from the daily calendar…

Real Life Mascot Sighting

One of our resident hawks oversees students at recess this week… Photo credit to Mr. Pearson.

Another great sunrise over Saxe this week…

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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