2021.10.1 – Saxe Weekly

October 1, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

Happy October! September went by fairly quickly and we are getting into the rhythm of the school year. In the coming weeks, we look forward to kicking off our PTC led Celebrate Saxe campaign, which is always a lot of fun and a great way to rally our Saxe community! Stay tuned for more info next week…

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest one-second everyday, the 5th-grade Fun Run, an update on lockers, Latin, Math, awareness, Custodian Appreciation Day, Virtual Open House, outdoor learning, Art, Saxe tours, Caring for our community, Health Education, Saxe cafe, new tables, our SRO, recess, dogs of Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

10/2 – National Custodian Appreciation Day

10/6 – Saxe (& South) Walk/Ride to School Day! (coincides with National Walk/Ride to School Day)

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Life offers you so many doors, it is up to you which to open and which one to close.”– Anonymous

“All roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work boulevard at some point.” – Eric Thomas

“Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.” – Isabelle Lafleche

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”– Mother Teresa

“The reward of a thing well done is having done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

One Second Everyday

Back again for this week – 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).

Saxe Fun Run

Our 5th graders enjoyed a beautiful day of FUN during the annual Fun Run. It was amazing to see students in their element engaging in all the fun activities. Our theme was focused on one of our 5 C’s CARING which was demonstrated throughout the event and will continue to be reinforced throughout the year. We are proud to have our Class of 2025 to be the first class to spell out HAWKS as an entire class! #droneshot Thanks to all of our parent volunteers and teachers who helped make this day a memorable one for our students. 

Locker Update

We have begun distributing lockers to help “lighten the load” and to be used at specific times throughout the day. While those who may have them are permitted to use them, we are currently not recommending the use of locker ladders. We will continue with locker distribution in 6th and 5th-grade next week.


Today—6th and 7th graders celebrated ‘Dies Lustricus’ or the Roman Naming Day with our togas and Bullas.


Students in Ms. Portanova and Mrs. Berry’s 5th grade math class took a mask break and practiced multiples using chalk on the sidewalk. They also discussed place value and properties of numbers by creating a grid in the hallway. Students discussed ways to break apart numbers to make multiplication easier. This work led them into a deeper understanding of how the multiplication algorithm works and will be a foundation for future learning. 

In Dr. Paradise’s M6 classes, students have been using the distributive property to create equivalent expressions.  They used tiles to model different expressions in the context of a collaborative grapple problem. 


October is AAC (Augmentive and Alternative Communication) Awareness Month, Dyslexia Awareness Month, & ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Awareness Month. We will be sharing myths & facts, success stories, and strategies with our Saxe community all month long!

There is no better time to celebrate the ability to communicate than now! Today is the beginning of AAC Awareness Month.

In our district, we have more than: 15 Amazing Students that use some form of AAC! 

This year, they are represented in Each Building: East, South, West, Saxe, NCHS, Launch, & throughout our NC Community!

We Call it, Super Brain Power

In our home, we refer to ADHD as Super Brain Power, the ADHD mind is truly brilliant. The ADHD diagnosis came 5 years ago and it was not only a relief, but a much needed explanation as to why. ADHD is not an excuse , or even a disability, just a different ability.

ADHD has taught my family the importance of never judging others. It has taught us the importance of acceptance, patience, compassion, and tolerance.

Our journey has reminded us that we are each unique and beautifully made. We have learned the power of resilience, beating the odds, and embracing who were really are, not changing ourselves to conform to the world, rather, accepting ourselves, and adapting our world to meet our individual needs.

We each have a place and purpose. ADHD can be messy, loud, busy, and even lonely. To anyone reading this, you are not alone. You are cared about, understood, and deeply admired. You are strong and capable. Your super brain power will always be a part of you, own it and be proud!

Maxine Gregory (from https://www.adhdawarenessmonth.org/)

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002.

Success Story of ADHD & Dyslexia

Custodian Appreciation Day – October 2nd 

We want to take a moment to give a shout out to our Amazing Custodial Team for keeping the school looking fabulous! We appreciate you!! 

Tweet Street

Virtual Open House was a hit this week! Thanks to our awesome Saxe PTC for providing some delicious dinner options for our staff who are conducting their virtual open house sessions from within Saxe this evening! A special thanks to Jayne Benton for taking the lead on this one…

Great turnout for the first session of the Saxe Virtual Open House! Unified Arts and World Language did a great job starting off the evening! 

Some Saxe teachers, getting for 7th and 8th grade virtual open house.

A few more Saxe teachers, getting ready to “virtually” meet and greet upper division parents.

Saxe Upper Division Virtual Open House is underway! 

Outdoor Learning

Ms. Birdsall’s science class got outside today to investigate perspective by comparing the same objects 

from an ant’s point of view vs. students’. 

Some great outdoor learning on display as our 6th-grade students practiced some long division in the Hawk’s Valley courtyard! Thanks to Ms. Bohlmann for sharing… 

Thanks to our awesome Saxe PTC, we have some more outdoor learning options available on campus!

And, here are the new tables that were just assembled being used for class today on this beautiful day! Thanks to our amazing PTC and our magnificent maintenance crew who assembled them!

Some awesome observation drawings on a gorgeous day this week! Thanks to Ms. Farley for sharing…

Spanish class outside? Si, por favor!

Saxe Tours

It was a pleasure showing off our Saxe facilities to new to New Canaan parents who have not had an opportunity to see the inside of our building again this week.


What do I love more than having students stop by my office? Having them stop by with fresh out of the oven, still warm, delicious muffins! Thank you, S!

Good Morning!

How we greet students at Saxe – bust a move! It’s gonna be a great day!

Health Education 

How do 6th graders promote Social Wellness during a pandemic? Through advertising health benefits of healthy relationships, joining a sport/club and by being an Upstander. Some more fantastic student work!

We put the FUN in Fun Run today! Thank you to all of our parents, staff and students for a GREAT afternoon! 

#DeanSelfie with our 5th graders at the start line of the Saxe Fun Run themed around one of our 5 “Cs” Caring!

The 5th-graders had a blast at the Saxe Fun Run today! Thanks to all who planned and volunteered – it was an amazing experience for our students (&, staff) 🙂 🏃‍♀️ 🏃‍♂️

Saxe Cafe

Yes, the fruit in our Saxe cafe is FRESH! Our students are so lucky to have such healthy options for lunch, made with care by our Saxe Cafe staff!

Mornings are getting cooler at arrival and you know what that means?! Awesome hats! 

Students are LOVING the new Science tables! Great, flexible learning options will be the norm with this setup and we are excited to see them in action!

How could I not get excited about an awesome Saxe bracelet on one of our students at morning arrival?! Very cool…

Part of our Admin team hitching a ride with our SRO, Officer Deak, to patrol the campus this morning!

This may be the new, official Saxe Fun Run flag! What a great way to break it in today, it was a beautiful day!

Ever wonder what it would look like to have almost 350 5th-graders get excited to spell out our mascot from ground level to almost 300’?! Well, here you go… Enjoy!

Caught some great artwork on the way into school this week!

Around Saxe

8Red is “planting their roots” with this great display!

Caring for our Community

This week, I received an email sharing that some of our 5th grade girls (2011 RED soccer team), and a couple of 4th graders, helped clean up the fields Wednesday evening before practice. Wow! So impressive and I am so grateful for their efforts – they truly are caring for our community. Thank you!


This week provided some terrific weather to be outside! Here are a couple of shots of students enjoying recess

Q: how do we use the chess table without chess pieces?

A: write the names and create pieces out of sticky notes!

Some nice problem solving (&, a great brain activity!) on display during recess

Ms. Palazzo brought the “Get to know you” ball outside for 6th-grade recess today! It is beautiful out…

Birthday alert! We catch them whenever we can as they arrive to school. Here are a couple of friends celebrating this week!

Dogs of Saxe

We love ALL of our Dogs of Saxe, but our friend watching their human head off to school, through the sunroof, may take the cake!

One more aerial view…

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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