2021.1.8 – Saxe Weekly

January  8, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

Happy New Year! I hope that your holiday break went well and you had an opportunity to rest, relax, rejuvenate, and spend time doing what you enjoy with those you care about most. While this has been an eventful week, we still have much to be grateful for and to look forward to. 

The week of remote learning here at Saxe was largely successful and brought much of our planning, preparation, and professional learning to fruition. You will see many great examples below, but I could not be more proud of our staff, our students, and every member of our learning community. We had teachers operating out of their classrooms, offices, gymnasiums, labs, studios, and homes. It was not surprising to see our classes going so well, but the level of inspiration was present for the entire week. Whether it was stopping into a classroom with a teacher addressing their entire class on screen or dropping into a breakout room, it was great to see our students interacting with their teachers and peers in such a meaningful manner. This is what we have trained for, this was our plan in action, and it was wonderful to see and experience. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at our week of remote learning, Math, World Language, a thanks to our custodians, Art, Grade 8-9 Transition, community service, picture day retakes, Saxe Hawks, and more… I hope your 2021 is off to a great start and we look forward to seeing everyone in person soon. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. 

Be well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School 

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

1/11:Welcome Back!

1/12: Picture Retakes

1/13: 1/2 Day – Professional Learning; Saxe PTC/NCHS PFA General Meeting with Dr. Luizzi (9:30)

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” – Mike Dooley

“This year, be structured enough for success and achievement and flexible enough for creativity and fun.” – Taylor Duvall

“Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later.” – Dana Stewart Scott

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne


Following the unfortunate events in our nation’s capital this week, we felt it was important to share some documents and resources that may be helpful in communicating about and processing these events with your children or family.  “How to Talk to Kids about Difficult Topics” provides a nice outline of general guidelines and some quick, relevant links. NC Cares sent out some nice resources to speak with children called, “Tools to Talk”. NC Cares was gracious enough to allow us to share with you in the Saxe Weekly as well (thank you). As always, you are welcome to contact your child’s counselor, teachers, or grade-level administrator at any time for additional support. 

Remote Learning

We had 75+ staff members in the building this week! Below are some behind the scenes pictures of classes in action. Teachers (and students) were adaptable and flexible this week and worked through many different  scenarios in their teaching spaces. 

Here are some surreal shots of “full classes” (on screen) being taught from “empty classrooms”…

Mr. Gillan got creative with the use of a makeshift “green screen” to support his lessons. 

And, plenty of full zoom sessions…

Offices acted as classrooms and meeting rooms as well…

A shot of one of our teacher’s “home command center”. 

Saxe Custodians

While students were not physically in the building, our amazing custodial crew was busy clearing EVERY room in the building for a deep clean in preparation for welcoming our students back. Thank you to the best team around!


Disclaimer: these pictures were taken before break, we did not have any students in the building this week 🙂 

Students in grade 8 received new chromebooks and were solving linear systems of equations using Kami. They were able to use the stylus to show all their work which was immediately visible to the teacher on google classroom.

In 7th grade, the students are thinking algebraically. Practicing and learning to write and solve multi-step equations from word problems and geometric figures.

In fifth-grade, the students in Mr. White’s class began their study of decimals by collaborating on a Google Jamboard to plan a holiday party. They were given options of items to buy, along with a budget, and were asked to use estimation strategies to purchase whatever items they wanted while staying under their budgets

In sixth-grade, the students in Ms. Palazzo’s class continued their work with solving for unknown angles. Students completed a Desmos activity where they adjusted the angle measure of lasers and mirrors to hit targets. 


Ms. Pennoyer’s 6th-Grade art classes have been working on collages at home and proudly showed her what they have created!

And one of her 8th grade classes showed off their painting and drawing skills!

World Language

In Mandarin class, 8th-graders searched for a picture or drew the meaning of vacation-related vocabulary. The activity gave the students a self-learning opportunity and was a way to make learning new words more fun! Guess what the vacation words that students learned this week? 

8th-9th Grade Transition 

On Thursday, January 7th, the 8th-grade transition process began with the 8th to 9th-grade Virtual Transition Coffee. Our parents received valuable information from Saxe and High School staff regarding the transition process. If you were not able to attend, please feel free to check out the video, here. Saxe counselors will be visiting 8th-grade classrooms next week to discuss this process and answer any questions. Please be sure to check the Saxe website (8th to 9th grade transition link) for updated information. 

Service to our Saxe Community

Thank you to a couple of anonymous students who took time out of their busy schedules to make a difference on our campus. While going through the playground, basketball court, and field area, they filled up five stuffed bags of trash! We look forward to keeping these spaces clean and appreciate their efforts in helping us start the new year off right. 

Picture Day Retake

Student Photo retake day is next Tuesday!  If you received a photo and would like to have it redone, please bring the original photo package in on January 12th to turn in to the photographer.  Lifetouch will have all of the order information in their computers. If you haven’t had a photo taken yet and would like to order online beforehand, here is the code you need to use:

If your child is a Grade 7/8 Remote Learner, please come to the front of the school between 2:30 and 2:50 for your retake. Grade 5/6 Remote Learners should also report to the front of the school for their photo retake between 3:00 and 3:20.

Saxe Hawks

This week, one of our resident raptors visited to take in the sights around our campus just after sunrise. It was an impressive sight to see it land and perch on top of the flagpole! The iphone camera is not too shabby, but maybe one of these days we will capture it with a “real” camera… Either way, we enjoy seeing our Hawks around Saxe. 

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s