2021.4.1 – Saxe Weekly

April 1, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

This will be the final Saxe Weekly for the remainder of the school year (April Fools :)). As we head into the April break, it is my hope that you all have an opportunity to take some much-deserved time to enjoy whatever it is that makes you happy, with those that you care about the most. If you travel over break, please continue to do your part in following the safety protocols and mitigation strategies that have helped us remain in session and allowed for the safest environment possible for us all. For more detailed information, please refer to Dr. Luizzi’s message that was sent out yesterday (3/31). So far, it has been a tremendous team effort and we have demonstrated how and why we are “stronger together”!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Science, Math, Social Studies, EI in Action, Library March Madness champs, Special Education, Physical Education, Art, Saxe “Soaring Hawks”, Being Well, NCSF Color Drop, our Saxe Hawk, and much more. 

Enjoy and have a wonderful April break! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

4/2: Good Friday and start of Spring Break – Enjoy!

4/12: Welcome Back!

4/14: 1/2 Day for students, Professional Learning for staff

4/16: Report Cards Available after school for 3rd Quarter (Grades 6 – 8)

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” – Ruth Benedict

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem

“Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.” – Helena Rubinstein

“A good compromise is one where everybody makes a contribution.” – Angela Merkel

Third Quarter Ends 

The PowerSchool Portal will close today, Friday, April 1st so that teachers can input grades.  The portal will open after school on  Friday, April 16 for report card viewing (Grades 6 – 8).


Using a wave tank made from the remnants of “expired” lunch room partitions, students in Mr. Tomasiewicz’s 6 Purple Workshop tested their own designs for reducing the amount of water flowing over a “boardwalk” into “residential” property. Their designs were restricted by a material budget and height limitations. Some designs sought to absorb the wave energy before reaching the boardwalk while others sought to deflect the wave entirely. 

Note: please excuse the upside down formatting as these pictures did not transfer properly. It is not that it was not noticed 🙂

EI in Action

This week kicks off our first in a series of five bi-weekly themed celebrations of our school charter.  Earlier this year all students helped to create our school wide charter and told us they wanted to feel Safe, Included, Happy, Comfortable, and Respected. In recognition of these feelings and ongoing  meaningful emotional intelligence work, we are embedding these words into lessons, presentations, announcements, quotes of the day, and a culminating spirit day. Digital badges, like the one below, have beens designed for teachers to use to raise awareness. Our first theme focuses around being “Safe” and ended with the spirit day, “MASK DAY” (Wear a funky mask, add a design, or bedazzle your mask). Making safe more fun will help reinforce our strong mitigation strategies. 

Grade 5 Social Studies:

Today was an exciting time in Mrs. Hubbard’s and Mrs. Berry’s classes. Thanks to technology they had the opportunity of meeting a class from somewhere in the United States. They are part of a Guess our State Mystery project where classes are matched up to play a game to guess each other’s location. At the end each class gets a chance to share about their school, town and /or state. We have a few more after break but thank these classes for being pioneers!


In Miss DeVoto’s 7th Grade Algebra class, students practiced throwing a tennis ball into the air and used a quadratic equation to find their initial vertical velocity! Each student completed three trials and reflected afterwards on why their numbers may have varied.

Video Link

Students in Mrs. Harrington’s 5th Grade class looked at how math can be found in art by exploring some Op Art pieces by artists such as Bridget Riley and Ellsworth Kelly. Students then created their own pieces and subsequently calculated the fraction, decimal and percentage of each color.

This past month, students in Dr. Paradise’s 6th Grade classes focused on ratios. They had fun virtually racing turtles on Desmos and then determining how the speed of the turtles related to an equation using the constant of proportionality!

Students in Ms. Link’s 8th Grade Algebra class practiced factoring polynomials around St. Patrick’s Day. By using a pixel art task, students received immediate feedback on their responses when a cell on a spreadsheet would highlight. An added bonus was the leprechaun that magically appeared with the correct solution!  

Library – March Madness Champions!  

We wrapped up our March Book Madness tournament on the 31st, announcing the winners of each of the grade level brackets. Congratulations to:  

The One and Only Ivan (G5)

Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone (G6)

Out of My Mind (G7)

The Testing (G8)

Voting kicked off on the 18th and we had 4381 votes cast to select our winners.  Thank goodness for Google Forms to capture the voting totals!  Here’s a shot of the results for the first vote for 6th grade. It was terrific to see the enthusiasm of the kids and to see 56% of these highlighted titles circulate during these two weeks!   

Here are the final, fully completed brackets, and champions!

Special Education

The Saxe staff kicked off Autism Awareness Month by wearing our Autism Awareness t-shirts, masks, or blue attire. It was great to see the support around the entire building today! 

Physical Education

What could be better than combining the sport of pickleball and badminton together to make “pickleminton”. Pickleminton uses the paddle from pickleball but the shuttle from badminton to create an engaging new game. Students in PE have been having some fun and getting active by learning how to perform and utilize the serve, overhead clear, drop shot and smash while playing in small sided games with peers. This is both an individual and team activity that students in PE will participate in throughout the spring time when indoors. Students in grades 6 and 8 have started to participate in the CT Physical Fitness Assessment. The mile walk/run will be coming up soon towards the end of April/May. We will be heading outdoors after break as much as possible!


As a “treat” to celebrate the wrapping up of our watercolor unit and all the hard work exhibited by the students Mrs. Pennoyer’s 7th grade class enjoyed an episode of the Bob Ross show. Connections and contrasting observations were made to what they learned in watercolor and surrealism lessons to the very stylized oil paintings by the popular culture icon. Examples of 7th grade surrealism paintings can be found in the lobby of Saxe” (and, below). Amazing work!  

And, some more cool art around Saxe…

Saxe Soaring Hawks


This month’s issue is full of remarkable work. It will amaze you, move you, and literally have you dancing. Enjoy the break and enjoy these examples of the hard work done at Saxe every day! If you would like to help with the next issue, please send any and all outstanding examples of work to Ms. Demers. We want to celebrate our students and the wonderful work that is done each day.

“Being” Well

The Wellness Committee, in conjunction with NCPS Food Services, treated the staff to a healthy snack on Wednesday to brighten their day! And, it was delicious! Thanks to all who helped put this nice surprise together!

And this nice note to greet staff 🙂

NCHS Color Drop

Congrats to NCHS and on a successful Color Drip event for a GREAT cause! And, congrats to our Saxe student, Ciara (& friend Kathleen) who won the special party pack! Such a great event…

And a neat perspective of some of our Saxe students watching the Colordrop!

Plus, some great “color spirit” around Saxe for the big event!

Spring around Saxe

The weather may not feel like it today, but Spring is trying to “spring”!

Saxe Hawk

Our Saxe mascot was back watching over campus yesterday afternoon! #SaxeHawks

Photo credit: Ms. Pultz

Not at Saxe, but a cool “NC shot” from this past week 🙂

Grateful for the continued vaccinations. Today was the next round!

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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