2021.3.5 – Saxe Weekly

March 5, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

One year ago, we were watching the news, tracking numbers, and discussing plans to possibly be out of school for “a couple of weeks” to keep everyone safe from a virus that we knew little about. A year later, it is hard to fathom how much our lives have changed. This week, the opportunity for our staff to begin getting vaccinated became a reality and there is a huge amount of gratitude for this next step in the return to some semblance of normalcy. No one will dispute the challenges that have been a part of the last year, but I believe that lessons learned, adjustments made, and shifts in perspective will ultimately lead to improvements in the overall experience that we will be able to provide for our students. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at our favorite quotes, Middle Level Education Month, Living History – hearing from a Holocaust survivor, Math, Latin, the Library, NCHS Orientation, Social Workers, our School Nurses, Certificates of Gratitude, Saxe Spirit, Dogs of Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

3/10: 1/2 Day for students; Professional Learning for staff

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Make each day your masterpiece” – John Wooden

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” – Anna Quindlen

“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” Leymah Gbowee

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 

– Anne Frank

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

March is Middle Level Education Month 

As we enter the month of March, we continue to focus on our most important asset, our students. Our national organizations, National Association of Secondary School Principals and Association of Middle Level Education have teamed up with several other organizations to declare March the official month to focus on students ages 10-15 and celebrate middle level education. The key messages to celebrate “Middle Level Education Month” are:

  • The importance of parents being knowledgeable about young adolescents and being actively involved in their lives;
  • The understanding that healthy bodies plus healthy minds equal healthy young adolescents;
  • The realization that the education young adolescents experience during this formative period of life will, in large measure, determine the future for all citizens; and
  • The knowledge that every young adolescent should have the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and aspirations, and post-secondary education should be a possibility for all.

New Canaan exemplifies what it means to provide the best education possible and Saxe Middle School is proud to be able to play a critical role in the overall educational journey that our students make. Thank you for your continued support! 

Living History 

Andy Sarkany, Holocaust Survivor Speaks with 8th Grade: On Thursday, Mr. Andy Sarkany came to Saxe via Zoom to share about his experiences living through the Holocaust in Hungary. He also shared briefly about his experience during the communist takeover of Hungary following World War II and his experience emigrating to the United States in 1956. This is the 3rd year that Saxe has hosted a Survivor and we thank the Hero Center/ Voices of Hope for helping us connect with living witnesses to history. Their mission is to “promote a culture of courage to stand up against hatred through Holocaust and genocide education and remembrance.” Although student learned about the Holocaust, Mr. Sarkany encouraged students today to remember the lessons of the past, to persevere and work hard and to be upstanders not bystanders. 


Students in Ms. Line’s 5th Grade math class explored volume by creating and filling structures of their own. This learning experience helped students visualize that volume represents capacity. 

Students in Mrs. Brown 8th Grade Workshop class instructed the class on the rubric for analyzing in-depth problem solving, called Exemplars. The students took turns being the teacher and enjoyed leading the discussion about key components of problem solving, such as reasoning with evidence, communicating using math language, mathematical representation and making connections to broader topics. 

In Mr. Santoro’s 7th Grade Pre-Algebra Class, students are working on writing and graphing equations in slope-intercept form. Students used Jamboards and a Demsos lesson to identify relationships between equations, graphs, and sets of ordered pairs and write equations in slope-intercept form. In order to accomplish this task, students focused on our mathematical practices by reasoning abstractly and quantitatively and collaborated with their peers. 

6th Grade Latin students completed an Arbor Mea Familia – My Family Tree where they talked about their family IN LATIN!

Roman children wore a lucky locket or pouch, known as a bulla. 6th Grade Latin students recently made their very own bulla, adding personalized and unique touches.

From the Saxe Library

Join the New Canaan Community Read!Libraries in New Canaan are collaborating to support our New Canaan Public Library’s biennial community read program. This year, critically acclaimed author Jacqueline Woodson will be the honored guest for a virtual conversation at the end of the month.
 Students at Saxe have an opportunity to select from a wide variety of titles to explore the diverse works of this award winning author. Which one will you read?
Saxe students can put one of the titles on hold in the Saxe book collection HERE.To learn more about the New Canaan Library’s program in its entirety click HERE.

NCHS Orientation Video

If you were unable to attend the virtual NCHS Orientation on March 4th, you may use the link below in order to access the video of the meeting.


Social Workers

Did you know that March is Social Work Month?  We wanted to be sure to take this opportunity to thank our social workers, Kelly Barrett & Meredith Coffey, and Social Work Intern Alison Cox, for all they do to support our students and families every day!  We are truly fortunate to have them as members of our staff.  

Around Saxe

There may still be snow on the ground, but our students are still getting out and being creative…

The dance unit is a big hit and the performances are coming along nicely!

Capturing Mr. Chard capture some “real time” learning about moon phases this week:

Birthdays are always special at Saxe – Happy Birthday, Brooke!

School Nurses

Our Saxe School Nurse’s rock! Not only do they take care of our students & staff all day, they help our whole community. Here’s Ms. Graham working at the vaccine clinic on Wednesday & Ms. Paine working at a clinic on Thursday.

School Psychologist, Mr. Dykes, was brave enough to take a vaccine selfie…

Certificates of Gratitude

Saxe is truly a special place. One of our favorite things each month is awarding “Certificates of Gratitude” to students & staff. This month, one of our visually impaired students was recognized & Special Education Aide, Ms. Pultz, transcribed the letter to Braille. It was amazing to witness her read it and light up with pride and joy!

NC Color Drop 

March 31, Waveny Park 

Live Streamed: 9:45 a.m. 

In lieu of the annual NC Color Run, the New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation has organized an exciting new fundraiser, the NC Color Drop! On Wednesday, March 31, a helicopter will release more than 1,000 golf balls over a target at Waveny. The golf balls will be numbered individually and the participant whose ball lands closest to the target will be the winner of the grand prize, a Peloton Tread. Other prizes include an amazing NC Gift Basket and Kidzone Electric Bumper Cars. 100% of proceeds will be donated to need-based college scholarships for NCHS graduates. Click HERE for more information. Due to Covid, no spectators will be allowed. The event will be livestreamed for all residents to watch.

NCHS Ram Gear

Hey 8th Grade students! Why wait until it’s official in June? Now is the time to order your Ram Gear by using the link below!  


Saxe Spirit 

Grade 7 student, Antoniette Monaghan made this beautiful drawing of Saxe between Learning Center and lunch time that she shared with her teacher, Mrs. Kiley.

Thanks to our Saxe Faculty Senate for leading the way in making our learning community the best that we can be – another great meeting this week! 

Dogs of Saxe

Who says a dog can’t make your day? Look at that face… At 8 weeks old and in the family for about 24 hours, I believe Bailey may be the youngest member of #DogsOfSaxe, ever… Thank you for sharing Bailey with us this week!

Making sure their humans get into the building ok…

Ms. DeRobertis stopped by Saxe with her Visla, Sienna, today…

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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