2020.11.20 – Saxe Weekly

November 20, 2020

Dear Saxe Family, 

As we head into the weekend followed by a short week leading to Thanksgiving, we have much to be grateful for. So many people have reached out to say “thanks” for all that has gone into our schools remaining open. While it is one of the greatest examples of teamwork that I have ever been involved in, a big “thank you!” goes out to our entire Saxe (/NCPS) community. It has been “all hands on deck” since the beginning of the year and everyone’s support, patience, flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to our number one goal of continuing to safely provide the best possible education to our students, has made this all possible. Just like so many other things in 2020, it may not be perfect, but there is much to be proud of, by everyone! 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at some fall fun, positive quotes, Latin, social connections, 7Purple, “Causes”, Extracurriculars, Dogs of Saxe, Social Studies, Language Arts, Educational Support Day, some community service, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School 

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

11/25 – ”3-hour Wednesday schedule” day 

11/26 – Happy Thanksgiving!

11/27 – No School/Thanksgiving Recess

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Be patient with yourself. You are growing stronger every day. The weight of the world will become lighter…and you will begin to shine brighter. Don’t give up.” – Robert Tew

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” – Confucius

“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” – Benjamin Mays

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Rob Siltanen  

Positive Quotes

Do you have a favorite quote that you feel would make our school better by being on display somewhere around our building? If so, please feel free to share it with us by filling out this quick google form. Thanks in advance for helping make our learning environment even more positive. 

Fall Fun

Below are some photos from the Devine/Line annual Colonial Craft Day where they made classic, pomander balls. Pomander balls are made by poking dried cloves into a fresh orange in a decorative manner. A ribbon is then tied around the orange so it can be hung for decoration. As it dries out, the wonderful smell of citrus and cloves fill the room during the cold days of winter. Today, students (virtual and in person) made these wonderful crafts to welcome the season and celebrate our Colonial Unit which will begin when we return from Thanksgiving break.

Tech Assistance

DTS continues to modify its support model based on the technology needs of both staff and students in all five schools. These are challenging times, and we must be nimble and responsive. On Monday morning, there will be a DTS technician located in the main lobby of Saxe from 7:00 – 8:45 am. The technician will be there to triage any device or tech issues that occur during both the upper and lower division arrival times. We encourage staff and students to use this resource, with the goal of resolving issues in a timely manner.

World Language: Latin

This week: Latin 6th Graders worked with some new vocabulary. They had four words to look at and figure out QUID EST DIVERSUS? Which one is different?

The Latin 6th-graders are learning about cities and towns. They were given descriptions of a town and city and had to DRAW the town and city.

Grade 5 Social Studies and Language Arts

Did you happen to see some teachers dressed as chickens around Saxe on Thursday? And what was with all the chicken dancing? Our fifth graders were learning about the chicken foot – a way to organize one’s thoughts in order to build a paragraph. Thank you to Mrs. Berry and Mrs. Adrian for engaging their students as they build their writing skills in social studies as well as language arts (while having fun!). 

Social Connections

This week, the Lower Division school counselors held their first virtual fun group for all of the distance learners in 5th and 6th-grade. These groups will be held multiple times per month to allow students who are working remotely full-time to socialize and have fun outside of the regular school day.   

Educational Support Staff Day

Ms. Beatman’s Art Students, both in-person and remote, worked together to create a wonderful slideshow to thank our Educational Support Staff Professionals. Enjoy!

The 8 Red Team also created a video to thank all Educational Support Staff Professionals for all they do to make our school great!

Ms. Pennoyer’s Wellness Block students decorated letters the last couple of weeks, finished them up, and arranged them on banner paper. This photo shows three seventh grade students helping to put the finishing touches on the piece by gluing them down. A special shoutout goes to Emma Jones, Ellie Ivanov, Danny Hull for volunteering to spend extra time putting this together and conveying such an important message to our staff!

Our Campus Monitors were feeling the love this week as well…

7 Purple Team Bulletin Board

We have a Family Tree that “blossomed” the morning of our first full-return day, but our bulletin board is now something that has been updated too, and we view it as incredibly special. Ultimately, while we as teachers coined the 7 Purple Family name, Mr. Young asked students to finish the “We are…” sentence starter. With that, you will see many touching and moving responses!


The majority of your children have now submitted a Selfie Shelfie picture, and many have finished and critiqued their books. Please see the attached image of how it currently looks! (On the left are books currently being read, and on the right, are novels that were finished and rated.)

Thank You Cards

From Mr. Young: “While I am very close with the custodians, I can unbiasedly say they have/continue to be unbelievably selfless and remarkable. They have put in countless hours to get us ready and remain safe, so I was hoping we could extend some appreciation, and your kind children really went above and beyond. Students put genuine time into making cards, and there were so many lovely and sincere notes written too!” 

8 Red Team Causes Bulletin Board

During workshop, the students on 8 Red shared their support by participating in Color For a Cause this November. They colored ribbons to recognize and support causes that are important to them. Some students added personal notes to honor family members or friends and explained why they wanted to honor that particular cause. Their work is proudly and colorfully displayed near the Red Team hallway. Thank you 8 Red for participating in the team’s Color For a Cause wall of honor. 

After School Activities

After School activities started this week! Most activities are remote but the Garden Club started their first day weeding the gardens to get them ready for the spring! They found parsley, thyme and potatoes while they were working. Strawberry plants, some with flowers on them, were given to students who wanted to bring one home.  

The Confidence Club (Tuesdays after school for 5/6th grade girls) is a fun, interactive group designed to build resilience and leadership. They still have a few more spaces available and if you are interested in joining, you can contact Ms. Campbell directly at info@goLiveGirl.org.

Ms. Portanova’s students customized the desktop dividers to be the “stars” of their own TV show for 5th grade! Check out this creativity!

Around Saxe

Below are a few more pics of some great learning in many different disciplines throughout the week. 

Looks like our students have been out spreading some more positive messages this week!

Ms. Flynn and Ms. Harrington were “twinning” one day this week!

There are still beautiful days to be outside, even in November!

“Great kids doing great things around Saxe”… Thank you to 5th-grader JP Felice for walking the campus this week and collecting quite a bag of rubbish! These acts of generosity help make our campus better for everyone…

Dogs of Saxe

We love seeing our four-legged friends drop their humans off at school! Here are few of our friends from this week. 

Thanks to our awesome PTC

Our PTC recently helped finish an ongoing “bannering” project around our campus. Thanks to the support of the PTC and to our outstanding maintenance staff for the install. They look great and help make our entire Saxe community feel the Saxe Pride as soon as you step foot on our grounds. 

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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