2020.10.16 – Saxe Weekly

October 16, 2020

Dear Saxe Family, 

This week marked the first time that we have been in session with all of our 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students in the building since March 11th. A lot of work, effort, collaboration, and commitment went into bringing our entire learning community back together and it feels great to have everyone back under “one roof”, safely. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in helping us get to this point. We also continue to celebrate our students who are participating remotely as they are still very much part of our Saxe community. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly we take a look at attendance and drop-off reminders, Social Studies, Civics in the digital age, Science, World Language, our Saxe Hawk, outdoor dining, community service, STEM, Wellness tips, some great autumn views, and more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 


Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

10/19 – Board of Education meeting (7:00 p.m.)

10/20 – Grade 7/8 Photo Day

10/21- ½ day for students (PL for staff)

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” -Mary Pickford

“Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.” Brian Tracy

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.”  -Joseph Addison

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -Henry Ford

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” – Confucius

Attendance Communication

We were so happy to officially welcome back our entire in-person learning community this week! An email went out to 7th and 8th-grade parents today as a reminder about student attendance. A similar message went out to 5th and 6th-grade families recently and both may be found on our website, here

Dropoff Reminders

As we are now operating at full capacity, 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”, please drop your children anywhere along that stretch of sidewalk. You do not need to wait/pull up to the entrance/door (extra steps are always 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 double check for merging traffic and follow the loop back to exit on Farm Rd. 

Social Studies

Pop up Museum Comes to Bridge Street at Saxe! The CT Kid Governor Travelling Exhibit 

We were excited this week to host the 2019 CT Kid Governor exhibit in conjunction with our current 5th-grade US Government Unit. During the fall of 2019, 6,000 fifth graders from across the state participated in the Connecticut Kid Governor program. Students learned about state government, elections and the importance of civic engagement in tour communities through this award-winning civics program created by The Connecticut Democracy Center at Connectcut’s Old State House. In November, the fifth graders elected Myra Stanfeld, a student in West Hartford as Kid Governor. The exhibit highlights the platforms of the final candidates. Registered fifth grade classes will have the opportunity to vote in this year’s election. 

Civics in a Digital Age

Our first rotation through our grade 7 and 8 Digital Citizenship course during Workshop has begun. Classes are actively engaged in conversations about what it means to be a digital citizen. Thank you to our social studies teachers for creating safe and brave spaces for students to wrestle with these concepts. Some of the questions and ideas that students were wrestling with this past week were: 

  • What is the power of our digital footprints or tattoos? 
  • What is Fair use? Why does it matter?
  • How might social media affect our relationships? 
  • What would a world without “likes” look like? Should we have “likes”?

World Language

Latin teacher Mr. Hearty begins his class by talking to the kids about the weather in Latin. Take a look, can you use the Latin to describe today’s weather? 

It is so very nice to have all of our grade 7 students back in French class. Ms. D’Andrea spent the day learning how to tell time! Who knows how to read an analog clock these days??? 

Ms. Hsuan Hui Smith has engaged her grade 6 students in Virtual Stations. This instructional strategy allows students to use time effectively and allows her to “meet” with students in person or virtually for some dedicated time to use Mandarin. 


Grade 6

Students on the grade six red team have been exploring forces and energy by experimenting with Bounceability and Catapults. Congratulations to Ryan H, Blue V, Lila W, and Allie C who innovated catapults that launched cotton balls the greatest distance for their science class!

Grade 8

Students used Vernier motion sensors to create position-time graphs.

Around Saxe

8Green (and, all of 8th-grade) was happy to welcome back all of their students this week. Below, student teacher Mr. Angelo assists in Math class!

Ms. Link works through some math problems on the board on the first day of full classes in 8th-grade. 

With all of our students back, the 7Purple Family Tree has blossomed!

Tip of the Week from the Nurse’s Office

What do Saxe students, trees and elephants have in common? You all need water! Water is needed by every cell in your body to work. Water helps your immune system fight off infections (including coronavirus!), it helps your body digest food, and it increases your energy level and improves your mood!

Please remember to bring a water bottle to school with you each day so you can stay hydrated! Even though the water fountains are turned off, you can refill your water bottle at refilling stations throughout the building. 

Saxe Hawk

The Saxe Hawk was out this week to welcome our students back. A little rain was no deterrent!

Saxe Runs

Congratulations to Ms. Chard and Ms. Adrian as they completed a full marathon this past weekend. What an accomplishment, you can check this one off “the list”! They were met and supported along the way as they passed through Westport by Ms. Rende and Ms. Veach. Here is a picture along the route. #teacherscandoanythingvirtually


Outdoor Dining

Some of our Saxe 5th-graders got to experiment with an evolving outdoor dining option. Hopefully, we will be able to continue to expand on these opportunities. 

Grade 5 Community Service Projects

This year, room parents are helping grade-five homerooms develop and initiate service projects for our Saxe community, the New Canaan Community, or even for larger communities to which we belong (as Americans, humans, etc.).  Below are pictures of Mrs. Redden’s and Mrs. Hafkeymeyer’s homerooms picking up litter and recyclables off the Saxe playground and fields.  Thanks to the room parents, Mrs. Garcia, Mrs. Pemberton, Mrs. Candee, Mrs. Oleson, and Mrs. Evans for organizing and supplying the materials. 



Ms. Birdsall’s STEM science students enjoy studying force and motion in flight. This week, they got to see a demonstration of this in action through a flight of the “Saxe drone”, while they discussed the four forces of flight and direction. To top it off, it was a beautiful day and some of the pictures turned out beautifully. 

There is always excitement at arrival. These pictures capture a couple of birthday girls, and their friends!

Daniel was the first rider to arrive at this bike rack on Wednesday. 

It is great to see the bike rack out front full on most days!

Creating Memories

Inspired by Andrew’s recent amazing touchdown run, Mr. Gusitsch promised to dig out his high school football jersey for a picture. Here they are in their matching #80 jerseys!

Instead of saying which cohort was in the building, it felt great to hear this announcement read!

A couple of nice autumn pictures…

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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