2021.9.3 – Saxe Weekly

September 3, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

I hope your first week of the 2021-22 school year was a great one! After a summer of planning, collaboration, and careful consideration for the safest environment possible, it was such a great feeling to welcome our entire learning community back together to kick off the new school year. Seeing the hallways, classrooms, and entire campus come back alive made everything worth it and I could not be more grateful for the amazing team of teachers, secretaries, technology team, custodial & maintenance crews, administrators, nurses, campus monitors, all support staff, and parents who made/make it all possible. Of course, the biggest “shout out” goes out to our amazing students! They returned with enthusiasm, energy, and eagerness to learn, socialize, and grow and we are excited to help them reach their loftiest goals this year! 

Each week in our weekly newsletter, we take a look at a snapshot of the countless amazing experiences that take place on a daily basis. Whether you thoroughly read each section, or scan to see what goes on across all grade-levels and departments, it is our hope that you get to see our dedicated staff and students in action. Our aim is to provide the best, most well-rounded learning environment and one which develops the “whole child” as a student, and person. 

This week in our first full Saxe Weekly, we take a look at opening day, the first One-Second Everyday, grade-level meetings, our “hope”, Math, a tech reminder, mobile mood meter, a safety tip from our Saxe SRO, many sights around Saxe, positive quotes and messaging, Saxe Library, mask breaks, the 5th/6th Musical, Dogs of Saxe, and much more…

Enjoy and have a wonderful long weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

9/6: Labor Day – No School

9/7: Rosh Hashanah – No School

9/8: Grade 5 Parent Coffee – NC Historical Society RSVP Here

9/10: New to New Canaan/Saxe Parent Coffee – NC Historical Society

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” – Chinese Proverb

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

“No one is perfect… that’s why pencils have erasers.”- Wolfgang Riebe

“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” – Les Brown

“The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.”- Stephen Richards

Back again for this year – the latest Saxe Middle School 1-Second Everyday! “Life is made of seconds.” Showcasing so much of what makes Saxe Middle School great! This will be a recurring, bi-weekly feature. At the end of the year, we will have a full version that includes every single day of the 2021-22 school year. Enjoy! (pro tip: to enjoy the video at a slower pace, change your viewing option to .75 speed).

Day 1 of the 2021-22 School Year

Check out the iMovie Trailer from our opening day!

Grade-Level Meetings

This week, we took the opportunity to meet with each of our grade-levels, individually. While our meetings were virtual, our team of administrators circulated between each room to show our students that we are still physically here and that we are all “in this together”. The messaging during each meeting was consistent and focused on who we are as a school community, what we value, how we can be inclusive to every member of our learning community, our focus on “Caring” for this school year, having the best school year yet, and much more!

You are invited to check out the slide deck for each grade-level meeting, here: 

Grade 8

Grade 7

Grade 6

Grade 5

Here are a few pics from each session…

Dr. Ferreira held the 8th-grade class meeting this morning to discuss who we are as a learning community, how we can be our best selves & care for one another, & celebrate all that we have to be grateful for at Saxe with the class leading the way!

Mr. Bedard at the “command center” conducting the 7th-grade class meeting. Positive messaging, focusing on Caring for one another, and how we can be the best school possible! 

Mr. Gusitsch addressed our 6th graders during grade level meeting today to discuss the 5Cs and the focus for 21-22, “Caring”. Great to see our students’ hopes for the year and their alignment with our Saxe Charter.

Ms. Obuchowski-Granite rounds out our Grade-Level meetings by presenting who we are, what we stand for, & how we can be our best selves and care for one another! 

What is your Hope? 

In our “welcome back” letter, we asked “What is your hope for this school year”? We received some great responses, many align with our theme around “caring”, and we tied the message into our grade-level meetings. Thanks to all who took the time to respond! Below is a summation captured in a “wordle”…


Students in math classes began the school year with tasks which encouraged students to think deeply and engage in problem solving techniques. They got to know each other and built their classroom community by working collaboratively and discussing approaches to their problems. We loved seeing their perseverance!

Tech Reminder

Please see the important tech reminder below from our Director of Digital Learning, Mr. Salvestrini:

Mood Meter Goes Mobile

The fifth grade team has been brainstorming ways to embed our Emotional Intelligence lessons and SEL skills into all aspects of our lives throughout the day at Saxe. To support our students and reinforce these concepts, we’ve created the Mood Meter to Go! Every teacher will have a mood meter on the back of their badge to help students identify how they are feeling whether they are in their classroom, on the playground, at lunch or in specials. We can’t wait to put our new tool to good use!

SRO Safety Tip of the Week

A word from our School Resource Officer, Officer Deak… 

As we enter the 2021-22 school year, after the most challenging year in recent history, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the volume of vehicles dropping off and picking up children at school. Although this is not a new phenomenon, it still poses challenges and dangers for families during those drop off and pick up times that we should all be mindful of. The sheer volume of vehicles presents some challenges that we can all work through, together. Whenever possible, try to carpool and save on multiple vehicles and wasted energy. Our bus company is second to none when it comes to cleanliness and safety and should be utilized as often as possible. 

As a reminder, drop off each day is at the rear of the building. The only exceptions would be for medical issues, such as wheelchairs, crutches, etc. By following the drop off in the rear of the school, it eliminates many safety concerns with the mingling of buses and private motor vehicles.

Lastly, there have been two lines of parked vehicles at the exit of Saxe middle school. Moving forward there cannot be two lines of parked vehicles causing other vehicles pulling in and exiting sharing one common lane. If we are unable to modify these simple corrections, traffic control officers may need to be assigned to direct parents with the proper traffic flow directions and potential enforcement. Let’s all contribute and rally to support our children and school, to have the best possible school year ever!

Please keep an eye out for cones and our little green men around campus. These are areas where parking is not permitted to ensure appropriate sight lines and reminders to help make ours the safest campus possible!

Saxe Library 

The library media center is ready to welcome students back into the library. Students will be visiting the library through their ELA classes. Our staff is thrilled to begin servicing our student learning resource needs in-person for the upcoming school year! 

Media center facilities are centers for learning. The library and design lab are centers to encourage the exploration of ideas and innovation and the inquiry process. These are just some examples of how our centers support the school-wide curriculum and promote collaboration and communication.

This year the library media center welcomes two new staff members. Mrs. Cheryl Saba and Mrs. Toni Curcio! 

In addition to the physical library space, be sure to visit the Saxe library media center homepage to access learning resources for students 24/7. Students can always put a book on hold while searching the online Destiny library catalog here

Around Saxe

We love seeing our bike racks full! It’s the best way for our students to get to and from school and start their day!

Jaylen asked where Dr. Clapp was this week and I let him know that we are excited to share that he has become the new principal at Helen Keller Middle School in Easton! Then, we sent him a selfie…

Some mask break art from the week…

How great are our 5th-grade teachers?! They all wore matching shirts on day 1 – very cool!

Tweet Street

Want to keep up in real time? Follow @SaxeMS on Twitter! Below are some of the items that were shared over the course of the week…

Wishing everyone well on the opening day of the 2021-22 school year! Here’s to a great year!

Thank you to Dr. Luizzi and members of our NCPS Cabinet for stopping by this morning to help welcome our students back on opening day!

Lots of positive vibes on Opening Day at Saxe. We are grateful for each member of our learning community and everyone who makes our Saxe Community special!

It is so wonderful to see our students back in session… Lots of “getting to know you activities”, smiles, laughs, and good old fashioned fun! Thanks to everyone who has helped the kickoff to the 2021-22 school year be as successful as possible!

Turned out to be a beautiful day at Saxe Middle School today! And, the solar project over the cafe is coming along nicely… Stay tuned for some better/close up pics in the near future! 

What’s better than getting a visit from Ms. Birdsall’s students at my office window?? Heading outside to watch them launch their paper airplane projects! They flew amazingly! 

One of my all-time favorite messages! I look forward to getting this on permanent display in a prominent spot!  Be You, Be Nice, Be Kind!

Just a small sample of some of the great, positive messaging that is on display around the school. Mindset Matters!

5 for 5 with the best “twinning” outfits at Saxe all week!

It’s great to get outside on just about any day, but today was about as close to perfect as you can get! Here are some of our classes enjoying a quick mask break or taking advantage of some outdoor lessons. We are grateful for our outdoor spaces!

Saxe 5th & 6th Grade Musical

We are excited to announce Moana Jr as our 5th & 6th Grade Musical this year! Take a look at the WEBSITE and join us for our Audition Prep Workshops next Wednesday and Thursday. If you have any questions please email Lauren at SaxeMoanaJR@gmail.com

Dogs of Saxe

What do nice days bring at Saxe Middle School?! Dogs Of Saxe escorting their humans to school!

A nice view from Saxe this week…

For some more good news from our first week back, you are welcome to check out the first mini-edition of the Saxe Weekly from Monday… 

Have a great long weekend and see you next week!

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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