2021.4.30 – Saxe Weekly

April 30, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

We are turning the corner on what actually feels like spring. With this, we are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful sights around our campus and the opportunity to expand our learning outside utilizing our wonderful outdoor learning spaces. As we flip the calendar to “May” this weekend, we are going to continue down the home stretch in providing the most positive experiences possible for our students. This has been a year like no other, but we have made the most of it!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at some safety and wellbeing reminders, grade level meetings, Latin, Health and Physical Education, Science, Special Education, a National Essay winner, Saxe Greenhouse, Saxe Charter, Saxe Hawks, outdoor learning, sights around Saxe, and more! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

5/5: 1/2 Day for students, Professional Learning for staff

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” -Kid President

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” – Max De Pree

“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Inclusion creates a relationship and cultural context where peace can flourish.” – Judith Snow 

“Diversity is a fact, inclusion is an act.” Zabeen Hirji


All of the filling stations around the school are open for business!  Please remind your students to bring in a water bottle to fill during the day. The school nurse and offices do not have cups available for students. Please remember the importance of staying hydrated!

Traffic Safety Reminder

Please remember the importance of following appropriate traffic procedures, including our drop-off and pick-up procedures (which are listed below). Our procedures are designed to help ensure that every child is safe every day during arrival and pick-up; while we recognize the increased volume of traffic may cause longer than usual wait times, we ask your patience to help ensure everyone is safe.  

Please also help keep everyone safe by having a conversation with your child(ren) about traffic safety,  especially about the importance of using crosswalks appropriately near school, in town, or anywhere else (staying in the lines, waiting for the signal to cross, etc.). Thank you for partnering in keeping our school community safe!

Morning Drop off Reminders

We love welcoming our students into the building to start the day. Below are the tips that were shared earlier this year that help make the a.m. drop-off process be as efficient and safe as possible:

  • Please be sure to drop your child on the sidewalk that runs along the building leading up to the lower division entrance and not along the south end of the building or on Farm Rd. or South Ave. 
  • We have put several cones out along the drop off area as a visual cue. 
  • Please have your children exit the car once you have stopped anywhere along these cones (and not drop right at the entrance/door). It is a long “runway” and extra steps are always encouraged! 
  • Whenever possible, please pull all the way up to the first cone to allow cars behind you to enter/drop. 
  • As you enter the parking lot, please prompt your child to have everything ready to depart your car. 
  • Please try to stay within the drop-off window beginning 20-25 minutes prior to the start of the school day (traffic picks up after 7:15 for UD and 8:05 for LD).
  • Please be kind and understanding that students are trying their best to get out of their cars quickly. Sometimes they need to access the rear seat or trunk to grab a large instrument or have an injury that slows them down. 
  • After you drop your child, please carefully merge and follow the loop back to exit on Farm Rd. 
  • Just a reminder, our buses run their full routes each day and are available for all families at any time. 

Grade Level Class Meetings

Today, the administrative team began meeting with each grade level to reflect on all that we have accomplished over the course of this year and how we can finish the year in the most positive way possible. Topics included being our best selves, accountability for our actions, celebrating successes, inclusion, diversity, character, our focus on “Community”, and more. Stay tuned, once we have met with each grade-level, we will share the slideshow for you to take a look (next Friday’s Weekly).

World Language

7th grade Latin students have been researching crime and punishment in the world of classical mythology. Here, students are “touring Tartarus” and learning more about some famous evil-doers, such as Sisyphus, Tantalus, Ixion, and Tityus:

Health & Physical Education 

Students in health education have been enjoying learning in the outdoor spaces provided at Saxe.  As a result they have the opportunity to design a Chalk Your Walk character trait helping to spread positive messages around campus. We also always welcome and thank Officer Deak visiting our classes as he discusses the importance of alcohol awareness with 8th grade students. 

PE Dance Unit: 

Students were able to present their dance videos with their classes. With great collaboration and creativity, groups were engaged virtually and in person. Impressive to say the least, as students were able to sequence their dance moves while using some tech savvy special effects. Feel free to enjoy some of the highlights from many of our creative dancers HERE.


The 6th-grade Science classes were tasked with finding a variety of organisms in Waveny Park. Equipped with an iPad for pictures and a Scavenger Hunt page, they learned about the biodiversity in New Canaan. Students also collected water samples from a small stream and a vernal pond to compare and contrast with their aquarium ecosystems in the classrooms. Overall, the students had great fun exploring their local ecosystem. They are looking forward to revisiting Waveny in a few weeks to see how our ecosystems change from winter to spring! 

This week the 6 Purple team took advantage of the double block schedules to visit Waveny Park and collect aquatic samples from a stream source or a vernal pool.  Having learned how to use microscopes, they examined the samples for biotic material and living organisms.  Based on the observations of their structure and their behavior under the microscope, students hypothesized what role these microscopic creatures may play in the ecosystem from which they came.

Special Education

With the spring weather upon us, engaging our students through various modalities as well as building leadership opportunities is key! Here are some fun ways students are demonstrating their knowledge and staying sharp!

Students in Ms. Ryan’s Learning Strategies class play curriculum Jeopardy to preview and review concepts!

Students in Mrs. Margiotta’s class explain their thinking when solving math problems as part of test review:

Students in Ms. Hines’ class use the wipe-off desks to remember key vocabulary while working on math problems:

The students in Mrs. Potts period 9 math class, both in-person and at home,  use Hello Smart to practice their algebra skills.

Students in Ms. DeRobertis’ class have been designing and delivering “Saxe Rocks” to staff members:

Students in Mr. White & Ms. Portanova’s co-taught math class utilize various fidgets to address psychomotor skills in class:

In a co-taught class, both the general education & special education teacher lead instruction:

National Essay Winner!

Grade 6 student, Lucy Bench won the Istation National Essay Contest – she is the grand prize winner!  She won a tablet among other items. The theme of the essay was “Young Voices Make a Difference.”  This essay contest is open to any middle school student who would like to share how they were inspired by their personal experience during challenging times in 2020. You can read her winning essay here. Congratulations, Lucy – you make Saxe Middle School proud!

Saxe Greenhouse

The Saxe Greenhouse is coming along nicely! Looking forward to seeing the many opportunities this addition will provide for our science classes, garden club and more!  Thanks to Remzi & Bobby from our custodial/maintenance crew for their work!

Here are a few shots of the assembly process…

And a beautiful bouquet for the office from the Garden Clubs’s flower garden.

Living our Charter

Our Saxe Charter bulletin board is coming to life! Thanks to our Social Work team who have worked on getting this spirited display up…

Virtual Daytime Open House

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Saxe Virtual Open Houses this week! They were a great success!

Saxe Hawks

We couldn’t make it through the week without our Saxe mascot making an appearance! Student Hailey Tobin took this photo while waiting to pick up her brother this week!

And, there was a classic hawk/crow showdown on one of the lamp posts!

Sights Around Saxe

Caught another student at arrival celebrating a birthday thanks to the assist from his Mom at drop off! Hope you had a great birthday, David!

The courtyards around Saxe look great thanks to our custodial crew! We look forward to seeing classes continue to utilize these great spaces as we get some more true spring weather.

It may not technically be over Saxe, but this awesome shot of the full moon, shared by Ms. Rende, was definitely worth sharing!

Bulletins around Saxe are always changing and some of the latest updates are below:

8 Green LA Art Project — Chapter 1 –  Setting in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The “real” flowers that are in bloom around campus are a wonderful sight!

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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