2020.11.13 – Saxe Weekly

November 13, 2020

Dear Saxe Family, 

In addition to the many exciting “goings on” around Saxe this week, we were honored to celebrate our country’s Veterans on Wednesday. While the ceremony was anything but traditional, our entire learning community was able to come together and recognize the true meaning of Veteran’s Day and the sacrifices that our military men and women have made for us all to have the freedom that we enjoy each day. Thank you to all of our Veterans who have served!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Veteran’s Day, World Kindness Day, Quarter 1 resources, Wall of Ribbons, Science, Social Studies, mystery readers, face coverings, Saxe Clubs and Activities, Art, outdoor learning, Dogs of Saxe, Positive Quotes, some great weather, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

11/18 – ½ Day at Saxe – Professional Learning

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.” 

– Michele Ruiz

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do it is increased.”

 –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” 

– John F. Kennedy

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.” -Mary Anne Radmacher

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” 

-William Feather

Thank you to our Veterans

Saxe Middle School is proud to honor our Veterans, near and far!

Congratulations to Victoria Tremblay who did an excellent job honoring our building veterans with a nice ceremony and certificate in the main lobby of Saxe.

On Wednesday, November 11, Saxe held its 13th annual Veteran’s Appreciation Day.  Special thank you goes out to Jenny Baltz, Mona Biondi, and George Petrakopoulos for all their work and dedication. Without them, none of this would have been possible. 

While the celebration looked a little different this year, we were all excited that students got the opportunity to hear stories from New Canaan veterans. Three local veterans were interviewed and a video was put together by Mr. Petrakooulos to give students an opportunity to hear history first-hand.   

This link provides supplemental materials that provide veteran profiles, and a  link to the video (also below).

Saxe thanks all those who served, and continue to serve, our great country! 

Below is the announcement that was read over the PA on Wednesday morning:

*Today is Veterans Day, a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served. For one day, we stand united in respect for our veterans.

This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to account for all veterans in all wars.

We celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Thank you to our Building Veterans Mr. Mercado, Mr. Hearty, Mr. Ellet, Mr. Blank and Mr. Quinlin. We thank you for your service!

Thank you and have an APPRECIATIVE Day!

World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day. While we care about everyone in our learning community everyday, it is great to recognize the importance of being kind to one another on a larger scale. 

Thank you to Ms. Beltran for sharing these images with our staff today!

Quarter 1

Quarter 1 grade reports are now open for all grade six through eight students via the PowerSchool Parent Portal®. We have developed two informative videos about accessing the Parent Portal® and gaining insights into your child’s grade report. The images below are hyperlinked to the videos. For more information please see the message linked here, or go to the Saxe PowerSchool Webpage linked here. Congratulations to or students on a great first quarter!

(Note: Thank you to Mr. White for these terrific, informative videos)

Positive Quotes

Would you like to see one of your favorite quotes hang in the halls or walls of Saxe Middle School? If so, please take a moment to fill out a couple of quick questions through this “Positive Quotes to Surround Us – We Are Saxe…” google form.

Face Coverings

Just a reminder that as of Monday (11/16), gaiters will no longer be allowed to be worn in school. For more information, please review Dr. Luizzi’s message to the community from earlier this week. Thanks for your support in keeping our school community safe and well!

(note: these are not Saxe students…)


Grade 5 students in Ms. Veach’s class collected data to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of their shadows. 

Over the past several weeks the 6th grade Blue and Red teams have been exploring energy transfer by designing Rube Goldberg machines that use gravity, elastic, friction and magnetic force to place a marble which starts on the table into a cup on the floor. Students have also been challenged with various Science exploration and enrichment activities that leak their interest. In workshop, students from these same teams are working through a multitude of paper challenges.

8th-Grade Social Studies 

To culminate our first unit, Meeting the Needs of the People, eight graders participate in a Socratic discussion focusing on the first amendment today. Below are pictures of students either preparing for or engaging in the academic conversation. We are proud of our teachers and eighth graders for continuing to focus on core Civics and Speaking and Listening skills while keeping everyone safe. One of the questions that frames this discussion is, Does the Bill of Rights today balance the common good with the rights of the individual? These are valuable skills and concepts as students, in real time, balance rights and the common good. 

Grade 5 Mystery Readers

Mystery Readers visited the fifth grade Devine/Line team again for their monthly workshop surprise.  This time, Madison Ruggieri’s dad read to Mrs. Devine’s homeroom, and Kate Beuerlein’s mom read to Ms. Line’s homeroom. Students enjoyed guessing the readers’ identities based on three clues provided by their secret guests.

Wall of Ribbons

In honor of Color for a Cause month, students on the Berry and Helmich (Hamman) team colored ribbons to show support for different causes. We created an arch of ribbons over the door so that they can be viewed by staff and students. 

Saxe Clubs & Activities Now Open

We are pleased to offer a variety of after school clubs for students. Most of them are virtual but there are a couple that are outdoors and in-person. They will begin on Monday, November 16th, 2020 and end on Friday, February 5th, 2021. Please note that if your child is interested in one of the in-person activities, they will need transportation home as the late buses are not currently available. The activities brochure with descriptions of clubs and more information can be found on the Saxe Website along with the link to sign up. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Jarosik: Lisa.Jarosik@ncps-k12.org. 

Lunch and Recess Safety Video

Congratulations and a big thanks to Mrs. Devine’s homeroom for making the safety video linked, here.  The students came up with the ideas, wrote up the scenarios, and acted out the scenes! The video was shown to all classes before lunch this week and is looped into our daily slideshow that runs throughout the building.

Saxe Art

Saxe students have loved working on the letters and more will continue to be hung as they are created.  The project was inspired by Milton Glaser’s (creator of the iconic, “I 💗 NY” slogan) last graphic design project before his death in the spring. He created it in response to the 2019 COVID pandemic.  Art students across all grades and teams have participated by designing their unique letter for this collaborative project. Like Mr. Glaser, we were interested in connecting our students through art. If you are interested in reading about Milton Glaser’s project “Together”, you are welcome to check it out in this NYTimes article

And, a couple more great pieces of art…

Dogs of Saxe

We love seeing our four-legged friends accompany their humans to school. Here are a couple of beautiful German Shepherds getting some extra attention from our Saxe SRO, Officer Deak. 

Around Saxe

We got to experience some wonderful unseasonably warm weather this week. One of the positive outcomes is the increase in bike ridership. Thanks to our Saxe PTC, we will soon have even more bicycle parking and continue to encourage as many students as possible to bike (or walk) to school. There is not better way to start the day and prepare your body and brain to maximize your learning experience (and feel good doing it)!

It is terrific to see so many classes outside, still. 

Campus Monitor, Mr. Tosches captured this great sunrise early one morning. 

The colors around campus are stunning…

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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