2020.6.5 – Saxe Weekly

June 5, 2020

Dear Saxe Family,

As we round the final turn on the 2019-20 school year, we have much to reflect on, be proud of, and grateful for. If you told me in February that we would be finishing the last three months of school from our (insert room from your house, here), I may have wondered what you were talking about. We are all living through something that no one has experienced before. To adjust on the fly and experience distance learning in the manner that we did, is nothing short of amazing. I was impressed on a daily basis with the collaboration, creativity, and authentic learning experiences that continued to happen as we all navigated these unchartered waters. All I can say is, “thank you” to everyone who has played a part in making this all happen!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at end of year events, saluting our Saxe custodial crew, a moving tribute to grads, Challenges in Art, Social Studies, celebrating our 8th-graders, Saxe Spirit, Saxe Trout release, June Family Fitness Partners calendar, and more…

Please remember, Monday is a “distance learning day off”. So, enjoy this edition of the Saxe Weekly and have a great long weekend!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

6.8 Distance Learning day-off

6.9 8th-grade Promotion Parade

6.12 8th-grade promotion video; last day of e-learning

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

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Only when normal things are not normal anymore, do we realize how special normal things are.”

– Unknown

“Don’t be discouraged by what you’re going through, your time is coming, where you are is not where you’re going to stay.” – Unknown

Although the world is full of difficulties, it’s also full of overcoming them. – Helen Keller

“Focus on the step in front of you, not the whole staircase.” – Unknown

End of Year Events

Below is a list of our important end of year dates/events. 8th-grade families, please check your email for specific details on the parade. We look forward to seeing you and saluting our 8th-graders!

Specific details on supply and material drop-offs will be mailed out Tuesday morning. Information on other events will be sent out early next week as well…

Saluting Saxe’s Custodial Crew!

Thank you to our Saxe Hospitality Team for recognizing our hard-working and ever-smiling custodial crew. We are so fortunate to have the best in the biz…

Here are just a couple of shots that show their great work:

Tribute to Graduates

Congratulations to Saxe 8th-grader, Emerson Culliss, and her sister, Elle for creating this truly inspiring tribute to the class of 2020. Thank you for putting this positive message out for all to enjoy!

Challenges in Art

Although our school year came to an abrupt halt we are happy to share the efforts of our Challenges in Art students. Congrats to all involved, these are some impressive works of art!

Grade 6 Social Studies

In their current unit, Globalization and Changing Cultural Landscapes, sixth graders are learning about the story that data tells as they explore the concept of globalization. Students recently researched the origin of items in their house and then created choropleth maps to show the distribution of their origin around the world. Below are some examples of student data and maps.

Grade 7 Social Studies

Grade 7 social studies students completed their China: Globalization and Power unit In May. Students researched an issue facing China today. To synthesize learning and to transfer understanding in new ways, all classes engaged in either creating podcasts or discussions via Zoom in a Socratic Seminar format. It is hard to capture the excitement and learning but here are a few samples. First is a website of podcasts showing some of the topics of discussion. Below is a picture of a class discussion via Zoom!

Locker Belonging Pickup Update

Next week we have 7 Green and 7 Blue picking up their locker belongings. We will also have a make-up day for those who were unable to pick them up on the original day.

Here is the email sent out to all parents today:

Dear Parent(s):

If you were unable to come to Saxe to pick up your child’s locker belongings, we are going to have a make-up day on Thursday, June 11th between 7:30 am and 12:00 pm.

Please make sure to have your child’s name AND team color visible in the front passenger-side dashboard. Grade 7 and 8 parents will pick up belongings at the Main Entrance of Saxe and Grade 5 and 6 parents will pick up at the Lower Division Entrance.

If for some reason you cannot make it there on Thursday, don’t worry! We will have another make-up day in the upcoming weeks.

8th Grade Celebration Video Information

In celebration of 8th-graders, we are preparing a special video that will be shared on the morning of Friday, June 12th. The videographer is preparing a special ending to the video that involves each 8th-grader. While we are not going to reveal exactly what it is, it involves each 8th-grader reading saying the following phrase:

“I am the Saxe Middle School class of 2020. I am the future.”

If you would like to participate, please video record yourself saying the phrase and drop it in the folder shared on this email. Some tips to keep in mind:

  • If recording on an iPhone, use the camera on the back of the camera.
  • Choose a location with good lighting.
  • Try and secure a steady shot if using a cell phone camera.

Please submit your recordings no later than Tuesday, June 9th.

Student Videos (Phrase)

Some Serious Saxe Spirit!


Saxe Trout Release

It is exciting to announce that this is the tenth year for Saxe students to raise trout in the classroom! Over the course of the ten years, we are excited to share that our students have raised and released more than 4,000 trout into the Silvermine River.

Hundreds of eggs were delivered by Trout Unlimited on January 7th this year. For several months, the trout eggs have been slowly developing into fry. From October to March, the Saxe Fish Club met on Tuesdays to help monitor and maintain the tank. Since March, they have been growing and developing with the help of Robert Tonucci (Saxe Custodian). Mr. Tonucci fed the trout daily and did water/filter changes as needed. Saxe students and staff are truly grateful for his support! This year, we raised about 250 trout until they were big enough to survive on their own. On Tuesday, June 2, they were full of energy and ready for release into the Silvermine River (Norwalk). Ms. Veach, Mrs. Poidomani, Michael & Matthew Poidomani helped Milton Butcha (from Trout Unlimited) release the trout into the river. The students and staff at Saxe are very grateful to Melinda Meyer (Science Coordinator) for her support and to the school for funding this exciting project. We look forward to raising more fish in the future to add to the 4,000 fish already released!

Schools Supporting Each Other

On Monday, June 1, SLOBs (Service League of Boys) will kick off a month-long “Father’s Day Car Wash” project in partnership with the New Canaan Moms Facebook group. By washing cars, SLOBs will raise funds for a new New Canaan High School Scholarship to honor a student for outstanding service to the community.

Our goal is to wash at least 100 cars! The more cars we wash, the more money we will raise for the scholarship! New Canaan Moms will graciously match money raised up to $4,000.

The “Father’s Day Car Wash” will be a high-profile project for SLOBs. New Canaan Moms will be posting regular features about the club on their Facebook page throughout the month of June. They will also be promoting the car wash and taking orders from residents and collecting money.

More information about SLOBs can be found by using this LINK.

June Families as Fitness Partners Calendar

Thank you to our Physical Education teachers for continuing the focus on the whole-child and making fitness part of the family routine! You are welcome to access or print your own copy, here.

8Green Spirit – Character Day!

Thanks to Officer Deak for continuing to check-in on Saxe!

One of the best views 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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