2021.5.7 – Saxe Weekly

May 7, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

There was much to celebrate this week at Saxe Middle School. With the help of our amazing PTC, Teacher Appreciation Week was celebrated in style and there was a positive vibe throughout the entire week. As we recognize National School Nurse Day, we thank our School Nurses, Ms. Graham and Ms. Paine, for their expertise, tireless effort, and limitless patience! This year has put a huge spotlight on the importance of the role that our nurses play within our school community and we are beyond grateful for them. As we head into the weekend, we would like to honor the most important members of our community – “here’s to you” Saxe Moms, Happy Mother’s Day! 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at School Nurses Day, Staff Appreciation Week, grade level meetings, Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Math, Science, Latin, Mandarin, Social Studies, School Counseling & Student Support Services, emotional intelligence, Soaring Hawks, safety on campus, certificates of gratitude, Garden Club and the greenhouse, a TED talk, sights around Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

3/9: Happy Mother’s Day!

3/12: 1/2 Day for students, Professional Learning for staff

3/13: Saxe Incoming 6th Grade Orientation, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

3/14: Walk to School Day! (Weather permitting)

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Success does not lead to happiness; instead, happiness leads to success.” – Chade-Meng Tan

“Do MORE of what makes you HAPPY”– Anonymous

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.” 

– Chinese Proverb

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. ” –Thich Nhat Hanh

School Nurses Day – May 6, 2021

We are so grateful for our Saxe School Nurses! They are awesome every day/year… Considering this past year, they are nothing short of absolutely amazing!

Staff Appreciation Week

We are grateful for our tremendous Saxe staff and all that you do! And, thanks to our awesome Saxe PTC for making this week a truly remarkable one!

Tuesday Bubble and Brew Truck

Thank you to our awesome PTC for helping celebrate our staff during Staff Appreciation Week! What a wonderful treat the @BubbleandBrew Citroen van and team were!

Wednesday Staff Luncheon

Our Saxe PTC kept the Staff Appreciation bar high with a great lunch from Simply Delicious today! The selections were great, the food was delicious (loved the pulled pork), and our staff was grateful – thank you!

Thursday – Treats from Peyton’s Pastries

Our Saxe staff were feeling the Staff Appreciation Week vibe with these ridiculously amazing treats from Peyton’s Pastries today… Thank you, yet again.

Friday – PTC Gift

To end the week, the PIC gifted all the staff members the Saxe logo bag below. It can be used in so many ways! We are so grateful for all the support that our PTC gives to staff and students.  

If it was such a thing, #Flowers4Teachers would be trending at Saxe this morning! Awesome to see so many students bringing flowers in for their teachers for Staff Appreciation Week!

Grade Level Meetings

Over the past week, all of our Saxe students participated in grade-level meetings to revisit what it means to be: our best selves, kind, caring, inclusive, accountable, upstanders, doing what is right, & the role they play in making our learning community special! 

Please feel free to check out the slidedeck that we used for our meetings, here.

Dr. Clapp rounds out the grade level meetings from this week. 

Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is a month to stop, remember and celebrate the many contributions that fellow citizens have made to our country. As a learning community it is our hope that as we learn about these many contributions we can share and bring new voices to the forefront. Week 1: Did you know? Dr. Henry Chang-Yu Lee is an American forensic scientist. He is the founder of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science which is affiliated with the University of New Haven. He served as the Commissioner of Public Safety for the State of Connecticut from 1998 to 2000 and as Connecticut’s Chief Criminalist and Director of State Police Forensic Laboratory from 1978 to 2000. Mr. Lee was born in Jiangsu province, China in 1938. He emigrated to the United States with his wife in 1965. 


The students in Mrs. Hubbard’s 5th grade Math Class are practicing using tape diagrams to reason about unknown values. They are analyzing the property of equality by multiplying both sides of an equation by the same number to see if the two sides remain equal. In the “Truth about Equations” lesson, they explored how equations can be true or false and how to use substitution to determine if a given number makes an equation true. Our students LOVE MATH!!!

In Mr. Vigliotti’s 7th Grade Compacted ⅞ classes, we are excited to learn about the Laws of Exponents. Students were arranged in small groups to determine whether their expressions were simplified correctly. They defended their thinking by sharing their decisions with their classmates.

In Mrs. Wolff’s Math 7 classes, students learned about Simple Interest and took a look at the interest offered at various local and national banks for various types of savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Students found the results very “interesting” and showed lots of “interest” in how their money could grow!


Mr. Ekstrom’s classes were able to take advantage of the Spring weather and get outside for some data collection. They were investigating how genetic drift and the bottleneck effect can result in changes to a population. Outdoor learning at its best!

The 6th Red & Blue teams have been studying terrestrial ecosystems by exploring a small section of the forest floor, using a hula hoop, to see how abiotic and biotic factors in an ecosystem changes from winter to spring. As you can see from the images, the transition from April to May has been dramatic from brown to green. This week, the students were excited to see eggs from various bugs under the leaves/logs, hundreds of maple seeds (helicopters), and many types of plants growing in their hula hoops. The students are excited to see how their fraction of the ecosystem will change as we approach summer; therefore, we will continue to visit our hula hoops each week to make new discoveries!

Social Studies

Saxe 7th-grade students making their Social Studies research come to life through the medium of podcasting! 


6th Grade Latin Students worked on a DOMUS Project where they compared their own houses to Roman houses!

Latin Students Played Pictionary where they drew a picture and had to guess what it was in LATIN!


6th to 8th-grade students in Mandarin class celebrated Mother’s Day! 母亲节快乐!

School Counseling & Student Support Services 

School Counselors and Social Workers teamed up to teach students across the school about how to understand and manage stress. They learned about the importance of mindset, the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and the strategy of positive self-talk.  

Emotional Intelligence 

7th grade ELA teacher, Mr. Young talks with students about the “Meta-moment” (an emotion regulation strategy) and about being your “best self”. Thanks to Ms. Pennoyer for designing our “best self” hawk!   

Saxe Soaring Hawks for April

Check out the latest edition of the Saxe Soaring Hawks to see all the amazing “stuff” kids (and staff!) are doing this year!

Saxe Book Fair (Info from the PTC website)

May 17-23, Elm Street Books

​The Future Looks BRIGHT! Let’s spring into summer with some great books. We are thrilled to announce that the Saxe Book Fair this year will be held at our favorite local bookstore. Shop at Elm Street Books in New Canaan from May 17-23 and 10% of all book sales will be donated to Saxe. Stop by the store on Wednesday, May 19 after school for a giveaway from a special guest! Enter the in-store raffle for your chance to win a gift basket.

Saxe Safety

Hello Saxe “drivers” – please keep an eye out for these new additions around campus that signify where students may potentially be crossing. We appreciate any and all drivers keeping our campus as safe as can be!

Certificate of Gratitude

One of my favorite moments each month is handing out our Saxe Middle School Certificates of Gratitude to members of our learning community who have truly gone above & beyond! In doing so, they have been recognized by a teacher or colleague and I have the honor of thanking them & letting them know I am proud of them!

Garden Club and Greenhouse

The Saxe Garden Club was able to start planting some seeds thanks to the beautiful new Greenhouse! A big shout out to the PTC and Maintenance Staff for all their support and hard work!

The Greenhouse is ready to sprout to life! Can’t wait to see our first batch of plants begin their growth in the coming days

Around Saxe

Our Faculty Senate shared an amazing TED talk at a meeting yesterday about being a “leader” & highlighting the role & impact educators have on the lives of their students (&, each other). Very inspirational! Feel free to check it out here: 

Then, they followed up with a “sweet way” to start out our Friday morning…

Sights Around Saxe

A few nice slides that are circulating on our daily slideshow! Grateful for everyone’s contributions…

I got a nice visit by Savannah today on her 13th birthday! Hope it was a great birthday, Savannah!

The spring sights are on full display on campus!

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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