2020.4.3 – Saxe Weekly

April 3, 2020

Please note: This week is a “two-for”! It was brought to my attention yesterday that there was a technical issue with the message/link for the Saxe Weekly last Friday. There was a lot of great coverage from the week that you will want to check out. We took a look at our student support team, school counselors, tips to navigate our e-learning environment, a student & pet video chat, student work stations, Latin, Mandarin, Saxe staff professional learning, Saxe spirit, amazing piano music, and more. Please check out the 3.27 Saxe Weekly, with all of the great photos from week 2 of e-learning, here! Now, back to this week…

Dear Saxe Family,

With the third full week of e-learning complete, we continue to find our stride, learn, and make adjustments and improvements. While this is challenging for all of us, we are modeling what we ask our students to do and be every day. Being flexible, adaptable, collaborative, and resilient. True life skills. I mentioned in the morning announcements this morning that the days are long, but the weeks are flying by. We have all matured throughout this process and will continue to do so. No one said it was going to be easy, but what we are doing has been for all of the right reasons. Thank you for your role in helping us be the best that we can be, together!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at LOTS of Saxe Spirit, 5 Days of Kindness, Dogs of Saxe, Creativity, Art, Music, Fitness, Special Education, a newborn baby, the latest 1 second everyday, and much more…

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

4.9: Thursday Professional Learning – ½ day schedule

4.10: Good Friday – No school

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

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“We are one day closer to everything being back to normal again.”

“Laughter is like a windshield wiper, it doesn’t stop the rain but it allows us to keep going.”

Today I will: control my thoughts, focus on what I’m grateful for, take care of myself, and take steps towards accomplishing my goals.”

“Be strong now because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever.”

“Today I will not stress over things I can’t control.”

“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.”

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!

“5 Days of Kindness”

As we adjust to the new normal, it is important to try and regain as much normalcy as possible. Each year we participate in the “14 Days of Kindness” in an effort to spread positivity and kindness. This year we have adjusted things slightly. Today, we launched “5 Days of Kindness”. We hope everyone can find a few minutes each day to complete an act of kindness and bring happiness to someone’s day.

Day 1, Friday, April 3rd

Say “Thank You” to 3 people.

Day 2, Monday, April 6th

Write to someone who has made a difference in your life and tell them how your life is better because of their actions.

Day 3, Tuesday, April 7th

Do something unexpectedly nice for someone.

Day 4, Wednesday, April 8th

Tell family members you love them.

Day 5, Thursday, April 9th

Send a kind message to a classmate outside of your friend group.

Saxe Spirit

Our inaugural order of Saxe Hawks merchandise arrived this week and the excitement (for humans, and dogs!) was through the roof! Thank you to our fabulous PTC who helped coordinate this order. There are sure to be more opportunities to order in the near future… Thank you to everyone who shared their spirit photos!

The epitome of Saxe spirit! Thank you to Sophia Sibilia for creating and sharing…

Photo Fun!

This week Mrs. Caffrey’s classes learned about the origins of April Fool’s Day. Then students took a break from computer-based work and used their creative thinking skills constructing some very clever optical illusions.

E-Learning Showcase

While we know there is great learning going on in every subject, Art was strongly represented in the category of “shared work” this week. Enjoy some of the great submissions!

And this great photo captured by B. Holland on one of the nice days we had this week!

Music Moves Minds

Thanks to Chorus teacher, Ms. Sagerstrand, for encouraging students to check-in with the mood meter before and after listening to their favorite song. Both energy and pleasantness were markedly higher afterward, which demonstrates a good tool to practice using as a meta-moment!

Families as Fitness Partners

Thanks to our Physical Education department for providing a great way for our families to get active and “be well”, together!

Saxe “Did You Know?”

Our Physical Therapist, Mrs. Antonacci, invented a clothing line, Progressive Crawlers, which are designed to help babies maintain proper posture when learning to crawl. She has been selected for the 2nd round on “Shark Tank” and we wish her all the best!

Helping Hands

The “Helping Hands” Club is back in virtual action! Ms. DeRobertis, Ms. Pallisco, & Mrs. Wronski are supporting students through virtual activities that promote socialization between typical peers and students with disabilities. Watch for more on this in the near future!

Autism Awareness

Saxe Staff Celebrated Autism Awareness Month via Zoom by wearing blue on April 2nd!

Our special education staff connects with students during lunch:

Learn Computer Science with Scratch Class Virtual Lessons

Calling all students interested in STEM- we are happy to provide “scratch class” virtual lessons to supplement your e-learning. Feel free to check out our webpage to learn how to open a Scratch account, the different lesson plans available, and see some examples of completed projects: https://www.ncps-k12.org/Page/6575

We will be updating the page with new tutorials two to three times per week.

You can also join the “STEM” google classroom (CODE: r2cquf6) to get notifications when new lessons are created and to ask the instructor questions.

This course introduces fundamental computer science principles applicable to all programming languages in an engaging drag-and-drop interface. As students have progressed throughout many lessons, they often begin working on independent projects related to animation, music, video games and other various subjects.

To learn more about Scratch, please visit their about page: https://scratch.mit.edu/about

For more specific questions about the Scratch programming language, please visit the Scratch Wiki: https://en.scratch-wiki.info

Teacher News:

Congratulations to 5th-grade teachers, Mrs. Helmich! Her son, Hudson John Helmich, was born on March 31 at 4:54 am. He is 8 lbs and 1 oz and is 22 inches long. Congratulations to her and her family!

Hands-on Learning

6th-grader, Henry Stein, got some hands-on life skills training with his expert mason Grandpa this week. Quality family time, meaningful learning experiences, and a great end product!

Check out the “2020-way” to move a wheel barrow!

The beautiful magnolias are in bloom on campus!

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

Saxe Weekly: Weekly “Features”

1st week ELA, Math

2nd week Science, Social Studies

3rd week World Language, VPA, Tech

4th week Health/PE, Counseling, Special Education

5th week all/any

Note: anyone is invited to include a submission on any given week outside their “featured” week


  • Please have all submissions in by 10:00 a.m. on Friday
  • Less is more; pics w/quick notes; lengthier info should include a quick description and a link to “more info”…

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