2020.9.11 – Saxe Weekly

September 11, 2020

Dear Saxe Family, 

As we close our first “official” week of school together as an entire learning community (physical and virtual learners united), we have worked through many “firsts”: 

First #1: Welcome back “cohort-X”!

First #2: Welcome back “cohort-Y”!

First #3: First day with “cohort-X” in the building and remote learners at home!

First #4: First Wednesday 3-hour schedule!

First #5: First day with “cohort-Y” in the building and remote learners at home!

This has the potential to make your head spin as we are operating in an environment that has literally never been explored before. I could not be more proud of the professionalism of our staff and the adaptability they have demonstrated. Each “first” is important for our students and sets up the experiences that follow and our staff wants nothing but the best for all of them! From what I have seen, they have delivered and this is what makes Saxe Middle School a special place to work, learn, and grow. I also want to thank you all, the Saxe community, for your patience and understanding as we have continued to evolve, learn from our experiences, and produce the best product possible for all. We are better/stronger together. 

Shifting gears, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge today’s important date in our country’s history. While our students were not even born yet, for most of us reading this, we remember this date like it was yesterday and the memories of that fateful day are forever ingrained in our memories. I was just beginning my second year teaching at Riverside Brookfield High School in Riverside, Illinois. I recall the day (it was a beautiful morning in IL that day as well), my students, their reactions, and the moments that unfolded over the following hours, days, weeks, and months. It is our job to “Never Forget” and share what this date meant to us who lived through it. We recognized 9.11 in our morning announcements, on our daily slideshow, and tastefully in the 7th-grade class meeting, all of which you may see below. 

In a way, and in a much slower manner, the days that we are living through now will remain fixed in the memories of our students/children. From the rapid transition in how we lived, to living through quarantine, to slowly returning to semblance of normalcy, and through whatever the coming months hold, we are again living through history. As evidenced by the celebrations that took place to wrap up the 2019-20 school year, we are committed to not letting these circumstances allow us to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at remembering 9.11, grade-level meetings, new staff (again), fun fitness, Saxe Spirit, safety measures, recess, Masks of Saxe, Dogs of Saxe, and more…

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School 

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

9/14 – Cohort X in school, Cohort Y remote

9/15 –  Cohort X in school, Cohort Y remote

9/16 – Cohort Y in school, Cohort X remote (½ Day)

9/17 – Chort Y in school, Cohort X remote

9/18 – No School, – Rosh Hashanah

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” — Harry S. Truman

“Americans never quit.” — Douglas MacArthur

“When Americans lend a hand to one another, nothing is impossible. We’re not about what happened on 9/11. We’re about what happened on 9/12.” — Jeff Parness

 “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

 “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

“The greatest glory in living, lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela

Remembering 9.11.2001

From our Daily Slideshow

From Dr. Ferreira’s 7th-grade class meeting:

Below is the message that was shared this morning after our arrival

Back again for this week – the latest, updated Saxe Middle School 1-Second Everyday! “Life is made of seconds.” 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 2020-21 school year. Enjoy! 

Grade Level Meetings

Thursday and Friday featured grade-level meetings with each administrator leading a brief presentation via Zoom for all of their students and staff. The focus was the Saxe “Five Cs” (Community, Caring, Celebrating, Communication, and Commitment), with this year’s focus being on COMMUNITY. Check out each administrator’s presentation below:

Grade 5 – Dr. Clapp

Grade 6 – Mr. Gusitsch

Grade 7 – Dr. Ferreira

Grade 8 – Mr. Bedard

New Staff

Ray (Kenneth) Kepler

6th Grade Science Substitute

College(s) attended: George Mason Univ. 

Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia

Hobbies: anything outdoors, woodworking, crossword puzzles

Other States you’ve lived in: New York, Japan, Okinawa, South Korea

Favorite Memory of Quarantine: Walks with my kids

Favorite Sports Team: That Washington football team

Favorite Genre of Music: 70’s and 80’s rock

Allyson Tolmich 

SPED Teaching Assistant

College(s) attended: Keene State College 

Hometown: Norwalk, CT

Hobbies: hiking, cooking, writing, camping 

Other States you’ve lived in: New Hampshire 

Favorite Memory of Quarantine: Making home cooked meals with family 

Favorite Sports Team (if you have one!): none

Favorite Genre of Music: rock, pop, country, almost anything!!

For a look at the rest of our new staff at Saxe, please check out the profiles included in the 9.4 Saxe Weekly.

Health and Physical Education 

Check out the Family Fitness calendar for the month of September! Thanks to our Health and PE department for helping us all stay active, healthy, and well. 

Social Studies: Grade 5 in the spotlight

As a part of their US Government and Civic Responsibility unit, the green team classes of Mr. White and Mrs. Berry (Ms. Schang) engaged in a simulation. Leading us into Constitution Day next week (September 17), students simulated the work of the Second Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation. The simulation highlighted why there was a need for a new Constitution that truly represented the country as well as states’ needs.

Students vote on the Coat of Arms that best represents their group. 

Our “X” cohort and online class is involved as well.

Hybrid learning in action

Saxe Spirit

First Remote Learning Day Photos!

Around Saxe

Photos of our 6th Grade students working on the positivity walkway!

One-way Hallways

As part of our safety measures, our “center line” is helpful in designating our one-way hallways to help reduce crossing traffic. Our students have been great about following directions to help us all stay safe!

Social distancing in style… We love our Saxe Hawks logo 6’ space markers!


It is a challenge not having equipment (no sharing) at recess, but our students have been creative (added benefit!).  

Students taking in some fresh air during a mask break in one of our fine courtyards (students resumed social distancing following the photo)

Saxe Theatre News

Calling all 5th and 6th Grade Theatre Lovers: We are working on plans to safely offer a theatre program this year – Keep a lookout for an update next week!

Saxe 2019 Production of Frozen JR.

We get by with a little help from our friends… It helps when the NCEA union president maintains a sense of humor! Thanks for putting a smile on our face, Ms. Birdsall…

Masks of Saxe

We have seen some great masks since we returned! Here are a couple…

Dogs of Saxe

We love to see our #DogsOfSaxe accompany their humans to school…

The sun rising on our important messaging…

Have a great week!

* A special thanks to Lauren Sherwood 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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