2020.6.12 – Saxe Weekly

June 12, 2020

Dear Saxe Family,

Well, this is the last official Saxe Weekly for the 2019-20 school year. I believe it is fair to say that this has been a unique year. It has often been challenging and difficult, but we all persevered and got through it, together! Throughout the most recent months, we saw students and staff exhibit life skills that we teach because we know they are important. In this case, they were necessary. Flexibility, adaptability, problem solving, communication, and collaboration, to name a few. Throughout, we tried to infuse some celebrations and keep spirits high. In the end, we are different people than we began this school year and I believe we will look back at the latter portion of the school year as one of tremendous growth. The phrase, “Onward & Upward” has never been more true than now…

A huge thank you goes out to our NCPS Leadership, parents (especially our fabulous PTC), the terrific community of NC, our teachers, staff, and curriculum leaders, our counselors and mental health team, our secretaries, our custodians and campus monitors, my administrative colleagues, and last and most definitely not least, our students! This experience has been the quintessential example of teamwork and I could not be more proud to be part of such an amazing team. Thank you, all!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at our retirees, the latest one-second everyday, Saxe Class of 2020, Mandarin, a creative quarantine creation, material/supply return, yearbook pickup, Music, Art, Spirit Benches, and more.

Have a wonderful weekend, and we hope to see many of you over the course of the next week as we head into the summer recess. Enjoy!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

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

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Almost anything will work again after you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott

“It’s okay to look back on the past, just don’t stare.” – unknown

“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.” – L. R. Knost

“The 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change, You must make the Choice, to take the Chance, if you want anything in life to change.” – Unknown

Back again for this week – the latest, updated Saxe Middle School 1-Second Everyday! “Life is made of seconds.” Enjoy!

Congratulations and Best Wishes to our Retirees!

There is no higher honor than the commitment to serving children and teaching them not only content but lessons in life! This year, we congratulate and thank our retirees for the countless lives they have touched and the contributions they have made to our tremendous learning community at Saxe. We salute you:

Ms. Jean Caffrey Saxe Challenge

Ms. Mary Calabrese Main Office Secretary

Ms. Karen Pierce Grade 6 Science/Math

Thank you and best wishes!

We also thank Lower Division School Counselor, Ms. Samantha Bachman, for her service to Saxe students over the past four years. Ms. Bachman will continue serving children full-time through her counseling practice. Thank you and best wishes, Sam!

Note: Thank you to our wonderful Faculty-Senate for sharing these great slides to honor our staff!

Celebrating our Saxe MS Class of 2020!

It was not a traditional Promotion ceremony, but it was a great way to celebrate our Saxe 8th-graders. The Saxe Promotion Parade took place on Tuesday and included over 50 staff members cheering on each team as they passed through the campus parade route. As they circled through the front loop, Dr. Ferreira and Mr. Gusitsch congratulated each student and distributed a small gift bag with a letter from each of them, an “Onward and Upward 2024” magnet, and a small gift from the PTC (thank you!) which also helps support local businesses. It was a wonderful experience and we could not have asked for a better day!

If you are interested in reading the letters that students received from Dr. Ferreira and Mr. Gusitsch, you may find them by clicking on their name(s).

Grade 8 Promotion Video

As a gift to our 8th-graders, a video was produced to recognize each student and pay tribute to the Saxe Class of 2020. The premiere was released to 8th-graders today, to great reviews, and the final cut will be released to everyone early next week. In the meantime, here is a quick sneak preview:

Grade 8 Hype Speech

Mr. Tiscia harnesses his inner Herb Brooks (‘80 “Miracle on Ice”) and delivers an impassioned speech to the Saxe Class of 2020!


Saxe in the News

Check out the recent article in the New Canaan Advertiser about the 8th-grade Promotion Parade!


Alexa (Grade 8) and Olivia (Grade 7) offered a cooking show in Mandarin! Check out the following video clip.

Grade 6 practiced using the classroom object vocabulary to describe our virtual Mandarin classroom!

Virtual group pictures of the last day of Mandarin class. We will miss you and happy summer!

Creative Quarantine Creation

Thank you to Bradford Benton for submitting this amazing engineering marvel based on a real roller-coaster. This surely took some time, patience, skill, and perseverance – congrats on a job well done!

Saxe Return of Material Information and Dates

Upon arrival to Saxe on June 17th/18th (general schedule listed below, specific times were emailed by grade), you may park in the Lower Division loop or adjacent parking lot. You will access the cafeteria through the Lower Division entrance and follow the marked path. Once you are “checked in” by a staff member at the cafeteria entrance, you will be directed to the location of your child(ren)s grade-level. Books will be dropped off on the table that is labeled with your child(ren)s team. Instruments will be dropped in the designated music area and placed on the wood benches under the windows in the designated area: New Canaan Music, Creative Music, and Saxe Music. Upon returning items, you will exit the cafeteria through the east door and exit the building using the staircase on the north end of the bridge (across from the faculty dining room). The map below outlines the route and the path will be clearly marked.

The district technology team will be set up outside the Lower Division entrance to return all technology and assistive technology supplies. Please place any/all chargers, cords, headphones, or adapters in a Ziploc bag with your device(s) and have your child’s name clearly written on the bag. There will be a staff member at this station to assist you.

Please note the following details to ensure proper safety protocols are followed:

  • Please mind the spacing markers on the ground prior to entering the building.
  • One parent and/or child from each family will be allowed into the building for returns. Masks must be worn by anyone entering the building.
  • Please adhere to your scheduled return time. Families with multiple children at Saxe may choose the assigned time block that works best for you to return items.

To assist in being safe and mindful of appropriate social distancing, after you have returned your items, please return directly to your vehicle and exit the campus using the South Avenue exit. If you have any questions, please contact: lisa.jarosik@ncps-k12.org or david.gusitsch@ncps-k12.org.

Please check your email for your 15-minute time slot to arrive at Saxe. The times below are general dates and times.

8th Grade

Wednesday, June 17th: 8:00 – 12:00

7th Grade

Wednesday, June 17th: 12:00 – 4:00

6th Grade

Thursday, June 18th: 8:00 – 12:00

5th Grade

Thursday, June 18th: 12:00 – 4:00

Note: lighter red is lower level; darker red is upper level (paths do not cross)


Thank you to Ms. Rosen and her 6th-grade Band students! And, thank you to Mr. Petrakopoulos for his help putting this great video together.

Pomp and Circumstance

It’s been an annual tradition that the 7th-grade orchestra plays Pomp and Circumstance for the 8th-Grade Promotion ceremony and is something the orchestra students look forward to and appreciate. We believe you will too! Thanks to Ms. Dorfman and all of her students for providing this special piece and contributing to the great experience for our Saxe Class of 2020!


Enjoy this amazing group performing, “Somewhere over the rainbow” by our 8th-grade Orchestra!


Lean On Me

In early May, some 8th-grade trumpeters mentioned an interest in playing “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers. Within a week the idea was born to create a “virtual ensemble”. Congratulations to Mr. Kibbey and all of his students on a job well done! What an appropriate selection for all that we have been through… Be sure to check out the video as there are some flashbacks of the good old days when actual concerts happened (hugs, handshakes, and close seating included!).

Challenges in Art

Please take a moment to watch this wonderful display of amazing art by our students.


Saxe Spirit Benches

Congratulations to Ms. Beatman and the Spirit Bench Club who met virtually throughout the quarantine period and then planned a safe physical experience to transform the benches in front of our school. They turned out amazing, they scream “spirit”, and are something to be truly proud of! Thank you to all involved.

Here is a great picture of Alie Hanson working hard on painting one of the spirit benches!

Speaking of spirit, no one has more spirit than our main man, Andrew! #SpiritMVP

Saxe Yearbooks

Yearbooks are in! And, they turned out great… Thanks to Mr. Lepisto and his team for producing a great product even under the circumstances. 8th-graders picked up their books today and everyone else will be able to grab theirs during the material/supply drop-off next Wednesday and Thursday.

NCHS 2020

Saxe is supporting our NCHS grads! Check out the light poles around campus as they are adorned by members of the NCHS Class of 2020. They are ready for when the NCHS parade travels through on Monday. We look forward to seeing many of you pass through or line the Saxe portion of the parade route!

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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