2020.10.23 – Saxe Weekly

October 23, 2020

Dear Saxe Family, 

Today marks the end of our first full week back together as a full learning community with grades five through eight in the building. Regardless of grade level, seeing our classes in action reminds me how fortunate we are to be in session. Our teachers are able to provide rich learning experiences for our students and it truly feels like “school” again. After navigating most of the spring semester in unprecedented fashion, the old expression, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” rings true and each day feels like a gift. As this has been an amazing team effort, with all stakeholders, I am beyond grateful for our entire learning community. 

The reality of our global situation dictates that we will face hurdles along the way. You may be aware that we had a couple of positive COVID cases this week. While this is never easy, it is a sign of the times that we are living in and we are grateful for the layers of mitigation strategies that we have in place to keep everyone as safe, healthy, and well as possible. Thank you to everyone involved who demonstrated flexibility and understanding as we followed our safety protocols. For more specific information, please feel free to read the communication that went out to our Saxe community yesterday. For the latest updates, information, and resources for our school and district, the best repository is the NCPS Charting our Course Forward site.  

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at a note from our Nurses, a traffic reminder, Social Studies, our Library, Art, Music, Bus Driver Appreciation Day, a yearbook update, and much more… Please enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School 

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

10/28 – Professional Learning  (½ Day for students)

10/30 – Halloween Weekend – No Homework

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” -Colin Powell

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” -Vince Lombardi

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” –William Faulkner

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” -Leonardo da Vinci

“If we plant the right seeds, tomorrow will be better. If you put out good things, then you’ll get good things back.” –Ben Vereen

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! 

A Note from Our Nurses

As we know,  there is evidence of community spread of Covid-19 in our area.

We need to stay focused on the health and safety measures we have in place. With most of our students back in the building it may be more challenging to maintain the 6 feet of distance. That makes our other mitigation factors even more important to keep us all safe.

  1. Self monitor for symptoms and check your temperature before coming to school
  2. Stay home if you are not feeling well.
  3. Wear your mask properly. It should fit snugly and cover your nose and mouth.
  4. Maintain social distance as much as possible
  5. Wash your hands frequently
  6. Do not touch your face or mask
  7. Get a flu shot

If your child does become sick at school it is important that they be picked up promptly. If you will not be available to pick up your child please be sure to have an alternate plan in place. In order to maintain safety and social distancing the nurses offices are not able to have students wait for extended periods of time. 

Traffic Reminder

Please do your part in helping the volume of traffic get through our campus efficiently by following the proper drop-off procedures. All parent drop-offs must occur at the Lower Division entrance by entering and exiting from Farm Rd. Thank you for helping our bus drivers, students, and each other stay as safe as possible in our parking lots. 

Grade 5 Social Studies:

We would like to congratulate the 14 candidates who recently ran in our first-ever Saxe 5th grade primary for Connecticut Kid Governor! Our school-wide winner was Jake Tirana from Mrs. Berry’s class. He will now advance to the state level general election in November. Jake’s platform is about ending racial discrimination. All of our students had compelling platforms and a chance to share them live on our first every “Meet the Candidates” broadcast. 

Although we can only send one nominee on to the state general election, we imagine that you will hear about the work that all of our fifth-graders are doing to make our world a better place. We remain extremely proud of this group of informed citizens!  

Candidates (in no particular order): Anthony Westhead, Paige Monohan, Kiki Horsburgh, Serena Johnson, Thomas Sullivan, Alyssa O’Connor, Tatum Colthup, Lucy Horowitz, Stewart Goodwin, Caleb May, Sophia Cantu, Rehan Sanish, Jake Tirana, and Brandon Brua.

Here is our school nominee, Jake, taping his speech.

Jake received the celebrity treatment as he was congratulated by the Saxe Hawk. Congrats, Jake!

Social Studies Coordinator, Ms. Hanna, was featured “in front of the CT Capitol” as well!

From the Saxe Library

A lot has changed in the Saxe Library, but one thing that has stayed the same is our priority to make sure every student has a book!  The library staff has delivered over 2,600 books to students for LA and Social Studies and are glad that our online hold system in Destiny is working so well.   Indeed, the library is staying connected to our students by promoting a culture of reading by sending regular weekly emails highlighting our books and resources.

Keep on reading and we’ll keep on delivering! 

For 5th grade this week, our email discussed how to put a hold on a book, featured our Spooky book collection, and listed five fun facts about the Saxe Library.  

Click below to see the entire email to fifth graders: 


Additionally, sixth graders were sent fall and Halloween title highlights and reminders on how to check when a book is due and for how to place a book on hold for classroom delivery.

Click here to see the entire email for sixth graders: 


Saxe Art

Mrs. Pennoyer’s 5th and 6th grade students began exploring with watercolor painting this week.  Whether in person or remote, art making continues!

This one is a screenshot from Zoom. Two remote students angled their cameras so Ms. Pennoyer could watch them paint.

Saxe Music

Our Music Department has done a terrific job getting classes outside and providing the best experience possible for our students. Below, Ms. Rosen’s class gets to work in the courtyard in the new wing. 

Ms. Sagerstrand gets the “Explorer Award” for holding a class in the most outdoor locations! Here she is with one of her classes out front. 

Saxe in the News

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal ran a story about schools “that started the school year remotely (and) are bringing students back, and hybrid districts are offering additional time in the classroom…”, and it includes NCPS (and, Saxe). Feel free to check out the full online article, here

Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Wednesday, October 21st was “Bus Driver Appreciation Day”. Certificates were made for each of the drivers and were handed out to them as they dropped off students. We are grateful for our NCPS bus drivers and all they do to get our students to and from school safely each day! 

Yearbook Update

Attention parents – you may have received an email in error from Lifetouch about ordering a yearbook through them. This was a nationwide mistake from Lifetouch. To clarify, our yearbooks are created through Jostens. The link for ordering is HERE, and also on the Saxe website under Saxe Resources > Order a Yearbook. See image of the website below.

Around Saxe

6th-grade science students in Ms. Poidomani’s class learn about, graph, process, and discuss energy…

Students in Ms. Sanborn’s 6th-grade Math class learn kinesthetically by discussing and moving through quadrants using the lines on the floor in their classroom. 

Thank you to Anthony for stopping for a moment to share why he is happy to be back at Saxe with all of his classmates!

Positive messages reside all around the building. This one includes words to live by…

No better way to start the day than stop for a quick dance break with Mr. Tiscia at a.m. arrival!

“Creative” school supply transport (with a smile and double thumbs-up!)

There is no way I can let a fellow Steelers fan, with a matching mask, go by without a quick picture!

We had some foggy mornings this week…

You never know what you will find out at recess, even our CT state insect!

One of our courtyards, looking good, with a layer of autumnal locust tree leaves!

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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