2020.10.9 – Saxe Weekly

October 9, 2020

Dear Saxe Family, 

After welcoming back our 5th and 6th-grade students the past couple of weeks, we could not be more excited to welcome back the remainder of our learning community by the end of next week. Another great reason to Celebrate Saxe! As you saw in Dr. Luizzi’s message to the community yesterday, 7th-grade will return on Monday and 8th-grade will return on Thursday. As the professional learning that takes place on Wednesdays has proven to be invaluable, we will continue with early dismissals for our students on Wednesdays. You may find the full calendar and the latest updates on the Charting our Course Forward website.   

We have received some inquiries about remote learning as we complete our onboarding for all grade-levels and it is worth noting that remote learning is still an option for families who have chosen to do so. In the event a student needs to be remote for temporary reasons, we have posted  guidance regarding attendance and the temporary remote learning option that is available to students/families who would otherwise be participating in person at Saxe. Please take a moment to review the guidelines and language that will help us all remain safe, well, and in school.  

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the 2020 Celebrate Saxe campaign! We have so much to be grateful for and your participation is what allows us to dream big and provide the best learning experience possible for our students. You will see much of what we have to celebrate in the Saxe Weekly where this week, we take a look at: information on our return to full in-person learning, drop-off reminders, Saxe safety, Math, our Saxe Hawks mascot, an exciting 80 yard touchdown, tech reminders, Saxe Leadership Team, Cafeteria offerings, an Open House archive, Masks of Saxe, the latest one-second everyday, Celebrate Saxe, and much more… 

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School 

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

10/12 – Welcome Back Grade 7, full time! Grade 8: Cohort X in school, Cohort Y remote

10/13 – Grade 8 Cohort X in school, Cohort Y remote

10/14 – Grade 8 Cohort X in school, Cohort Y remote (½ Day for all students)

10/15 – Welcome Back Grade 8, full time!

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” Golda Meir

Without rain, nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms of your life. -Anonymous 

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” –Abraham Maslow

Saxe Hawks

After making its debut earlier this week to kick-off Celebrate Saxe, the Saxe Hawk “left the nest” and traveled around the building today. Check out the fun video and thanks to our mascot for bringing the Saxe Spirit to life!

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! 

Student Dropoff Reminders

As we return to full capacity at Saxe, below are a couple of tips for parents that will help make the a.m. drop-off process be as efficient as possible:

  • Please try to stay within the drop-off window beginning 20 minutes prior to the start of the school day (traffic picks up after 7:15 for upper division and 8:05 for lower division)
  • Please be sure to drop your child on the sidewalk that runs along the building leading up to the lower division entrance
  • It is a long “runway” and you are welcome to drop your children anywhere along that stretch of sidewalk (extra steps are also encouraged!)
  • Whenever possible, please pull all the way up to allow cars behind you to enter/drop
  • As you enter the parking lot, please prompt your child to have everything ready to depart your car 
  • After you drop your child, please follow the loop back to exit on Farm Rd. 

Celebrate Saxe

There is still time to donate to this great cause! 100% goes to PTC grants, programs, and initiatives. Your contribution makes a difference in the quality of your child’s education and experience at Saxe. In past years, Celebrate Saxe has allowed us to fund a variety of incredible things including:

Multiple classroom libraries

Bike racks

New band instruments 

Slab rollers for the art room

Science equipment for labs and STEM classes

Supplies for afterschool clubs like Trout club aquariums and rocket simulation software

Giant maps

Many other grant requests from our inspiring teachers

Our latest purchases including outdoor tents and water bottle filling stations

This year’s funds are more crucial than ever, considering the novel needs our school is facing.

There is still time to donate by using this link: Celebrate Saxe

For more information and some great Celebrate Saxe videos, please visit the Saxe PTC Celebrate Saxe website at https://www.saxeptc.org/copy-of-celebrate-saxe-1.

Safety First

We continue to reinforce the importance of wearing masks, keeping socially distant, and washing/sanitizing hands frequently. Our students are doing a great job and we appreciate you reinforcing these messages when you are at home or out and about in the community. 

Math Department

Sixth graders in Mrs. Sanborn’s class are working collaboratively through Nearpod to use the greatest common factors to solve real-world problems. Students shared their mathematical ideas and insights with each other. 

Sixth-grade remote and at home learners in Mrs. Sanborn’s class were working in Zoom breakout rooms to discuss the rules they uncovered for adding integers. Students shared their literary and metacognitive response with each other while listening to other perspectives from their classmates. 

On the 7 Purple Team, students in Miss DeVoto’s class worked in breakout rooms. Each group had some classmates at home and some in the classroom. They were adding rational numbers (including fractions and decimals) and writing rules for adding positive and negative numbers. Students collaborated on strategies to solve difficult problems with fractions or decimals. Perseverance, collaboration and productive struggle is at the heart of understanding mathematics. 

On 8 Red, students in Ms. Link’s Algebra class were able to collaborate with each other on a jamboard to write and solve word problems! Students were able to join breakout rooms to connect with students at home in order to figure out how to discuss how to solve the problems. They were then able to all use the collaborative space on Jamboard to write out how they went out solving the problem to share with the class! 

Around Saxe

There were many great opportunities to get outside this week. 

Grade 5 Mystery Readers

Today, Mrs. Devine and Mrs. Line welcomed two mystery readers to join the their homerooms via zoom and read to our students during workshop class. Jack Vincent’s mom read to Mrs. Devine’s homeroom and Mrs. Pharshy’s mom visited Ms. Line’s class. This was the first of a series monthly mystery reader visits that will take place on our team. 


Our library staff has been doing a great job of promoting exciting, and timely, books all around the building. 

Grade 5 “Wednesday Meeting” 

During this week’s Wednesday Morning Meeting, grade 5 students and teachers took a deep dive into their new charter words (SAFE, HAPPY, RESPECTED, INCLUDED, & CALM). They explored what these emotions look like, sound like, and feel like when they are in school, in town, or on the internet.  By exploring more concrete definitions of these words, we hope to learn how to evoke them when we are not feeling this way (that next week’s lesson!). Below are some pictures of students doing this work while utilizing our outside spaces!

Student Leadership Teams 

This week the second cohort of 8th-grade Student Leaders met to give feedback to Assistant Principal, Mr. Bedard, counselor, Brad Lepisto, and Student Support Coordinator, Dr. Susan Bliss on their experiences with hybrid learning and social distancing. They talked about some of the technical challenges of remote learning and had some great suggestions for improvement.  

Around NC

Check out this 80 yard touchdown by our very own Andrew Blackwell – congrats and nice work #80!

Tech Reminder

Please see the below message from our Director of Digital Learning, Mr. Salvestrini:

Dear Families,

With technology an important part of our learning toolkit, we want to reach out and ask that you help us ensure that these devices are ready for use each school day.

Please make sure that your child plugs in their iPad or Chromebook each night, and that they bring them to school fully charged and ready for use each day. 

We do not have the ability to provide students with “loaner” devices, so it is important that students have their tech ready for use each day.  

Each classroom has a charging area in the event that these devices need a little “juice” over the course of the day, but your child will be best set up for success if this is a part of their nightly routine. 

Saxe Cafeteria Offerings

Would you like to know everything that is offered to students for lunch?  Please see the menus below or use the link below to see the amazing array of food and where it is available to students.  

Saxe Lunch Menu Offerings

Open House Archive

Clicking on the “Open House Archive” doc will bring you to links for all of the teacher presentations from our recent open houses. Some teachers recorded their sessions and shared the recording, others simply posted their slide show. This will also be placed on the Saxe webpage for those who may have missed open house, want to review a presentation, or for anyone who wants to explore all the great classes and teachers at Saxe!

Masks of Saxe

SS Humor

Thanks to Mr. Gillan for this chuckle…

One of the many terrific sunrises this week. 

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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