2021.10.8 – Saxe Weekly

October 8, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

Our first full week of October is in the books! This week in the Saxe Weekly, we celebrate and take a look at Celebrate Saxe, World Teachers’ Day, a #1 ranking, the brand new Hawks Talk podcast, Walk/Ride to School Day, Virtual Open House archives, French, Math, Art, Health Education, STEM, ADHD & Dyslexia Awareness, a friendly rivalry, welcoming new staff, the Design Lab, Peer Buddies, recess, some nice outfits, lockers, Leadership, Saxe SRO, Saxe Hawk (for real), Dogs of Saxe, and much more… Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

10/11 Columbus Day – School in Session

10/11 – 15 Celebrate Saxe Campaign 2021

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” – Chris Grosser

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer

“When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” – Carol Burnett

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  – Jim Ryun

Celebrate Saxe

Monday officially kicks off the 2021 Celebrate Saxe campaign! Not only is this an important fundraiser, there are lots of fun activities, smiles, and memories that are made over the course of the week! Thank you to our PTC and everyone who contributes. You allow our teachers & staff to dream big and help those dreams come true to benefit our students! 

Overview: This year during Celebrate Saxe we are highlighting Caring and Creativity, and our Saxe Community is certainly one to be proud of! Throughout the week we will be highlighting our students and staff as we celebrate them and the many ways they care and show their creativity.  

Below is a quick outline of the week: 

Monday: Spirit Day & music at grade level recesses with poster making tables and selfie/photo taking 

Tuesday: Grade 5 and Grade 6 “virtual assembly”

Wednesday: Grade 7 and Grade 8 “virtual assembly”

Thursday: Caught Caring & Trivia

Friday: Spirit Day and “thank you” video

Check out some of the neat artwork that was submitted to represent Celebrate Saxe 2021! Stay tuned for the post card that you will receive with the winning submission…

Thank you to our Teachers!

World Teacher’s Day: The theme of World Teachers’ Day 2021 is ‘Teachers at the heart of education recovery’. It aims to recognize the tireless efforts of teachers to keep lessons going and ensure minimal disruption to pupils’ learning over the course of the pandemic.

Congratulations to our Entire Saxe Learning Community 

Thank you to everyone who makes our learning community special! The latest Niche rankings were released and Saxe Middle School finished in the top spot! You are welcome to read more on the Niche site. 

Hawks Talk Podcast

Saxe Middle School is excited to launch the Hawks Talk Podcast hosted by our Dean of Students, Mr. Adams! “The goal and purpose of this show is to be informed of important updates happening in and around Saxe Middle School and to be inspired as we listen to our students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members on ways we can unlock our best self.”

Check out the trailer here 

A special thanks to our 5th grade students for helping with the introduction to the show, Avery Kerchoff, Aarna Prakash, Morgan Thompson, Grace Mortimore, and Emma Oliveria. 

The first episode will air Monday so be ready to listen in as we interviewed special guests Jenny Volanakis (PTC Co-President) and Julie Passios (VP Chair of Ways and Means) to learn more about Celebrate Saxe!

Walk to School Day

Thanks to all of our staff who helped and/or participated in the Saxe & South Walk/Ride to school day this week! And, thanks to all of the town employees who helped get everything setup and keep the routes safe!

Check out this all-star team of Saxe teachers who warmly welcomed our walkers/riders to school for the semi-annual Walk/Ride to school day!

“Stack the racks!”. So nice to see the bike racks at full capacity today as so many participated in the  Saxe Walk/Ride to School Day!

Virtual Open House Archives

Below are links to the Matrix for the recent Saxe Virtual Open Houses.Most have been updated to include the recorded session or the slidedeck that was used during teacher’s presentations. As the links are being finalized, if you have any trouble accessing a session, please contact the teacher directly and they will send you the appropriate link. Thanks for joining us last week or for checking out the session info below! 

Upper Division Open House Matrix

Lower Division Open House Matrix


In French, students were given a situation and are writing their own dialogues. They are working in groups during the writing process and as they perform their spoken conversations. They have been excited to show off their hard work and communication skills.  In 6th grade, they are practicing what to say when meeting someone new. In 7th grade, they are talking about their likes, dislikes, what they have in common and what makes them unique and different. In 8th grade, they are describing how they can help out at home while still making some time for fun. The students are practicing vocabulary and grammar but also using their creativity and sense of humor with their language choices and creative characters.


Students in Ms. Kiley’s M7 math class have been learning all about operations with positive and negative numbers! Throughout the unit, students looked for patterns and developed many 

strategies to help them solve problems with rational numbers. Here are pictures of students playing the “Integer Game” to support their development of number sense and fluency. 

Students in Ms. Link’s Pre-Algebra class worked together in discovering the Pythagorean Theorem. They were able to use their prior knowledge to find the area of the given squares on the legs of the triangle. They were able to determine the relationship between these numbers and write equations that represented their findings! 


Some people impressive “name art” on display outside Ms. Duncan’s room!

Health Education

6th graders doing one of Mr. Tiscia’s all time favorite activities in Health: Chalk Your Walk. Spreading positivity and hope through terms such as: grit, empathy, courage and resilience. Love seeing this come to life on our campus! #HealthEd #SkillsBuildHealth


Positive messages, inspiring creativity, and views on scale and perspective are on display outside Ms. Birdsall’s Saxe STEM lab!

ADHD Awareness Month:

ADHD is a brain-based disorder of behavioral inhibition, says Dan Shapiro, MD. Dr. Shapiro is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician in Rockville, Maryland, and director of the ParentChildJourney.com parent group training and support programs.

ADHD tends to run in families, he says, and is not a result of nurture or lack of strong parenting. The result of the myth kids with ADHD just need more discipline is that “parents of children with ADHD are pummeled with all sorts of advice and judgment. They do not receive nearly enough understanding and support.”

Parents should be supported while raising their children and not catch grief from others because of ignorance about ADHD.

Mary Solanto, PhD, sees some patients who didn’t seek treatment right away due to myths about ADHD. Dr. Solanto is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine in Long Island, New York, and serves on CHADD’s professional advisory board.

“One of the biggest misunderstandings I hear about ADHD is it’s the result of lack of willpower—and that if the children or adults simply tried harder, they would be able to overcome the problems they are having,” she says.

Individuals with ADHD can struggle with executive function deficits, something that is far from being lazy or having a lack of willpower, writes Thomas E. Brown, PhD, in Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults. Executive function skills involve the ability to organize, prioritize, focus, sustain attention on a task, modulate emotions, regulate action, and utilize working memory. Individuals with ADHD have impairments in at least some of these functions.

“From the outside, it can really look like kids are being lazy,” says Cari. In addition to having children with ADHD, she’s also an educator of students who have ADHD. “But the reality is that kids with ADHD struggle with getting their schoolwork or backpack organized or figuring out how to manage their time or decide what they need to do first.”

(From https://chadd.org/adhd-news/adhd-news-caregivers/toppling-the-myths-of-adhd/)

Dyslexia Awareness Month: Seeing Dyslexia Differently 

AAC (Augmentive and Alternative Communication) Awareness Month

Common Myths about AAC: 

Myth:  AAC is a last resort. 

Fact:  AAC is a tool that can be implemented while verbal speech is developing, improving or deteriorating. Any individual whose communication needs are not currently met by speech is a candidate for AAC.

Myth:  It’s too early/It’s too late. 

Fact:  It is never too early or too late to provide access to language and improve communication. The earlier the better but age should never be a barrier to considering AAC. 

Myth:  AAC will inhibit development of speech. 

Fact:  Research has proven that AAC will not inhibit the development of verbal speech. It often increases with AAC use. 

Myth:  There are skills necessary before introducing AAC.

 Fact:  It is widely accepted that there are no prerequisite skills and that everyone should have access to an appropriate communication system. Skills can be worked on in the context of language rich activities using robust AAC.

Tweet Street

This was a difficult picture to take, but I had to uphold my end of the promise following last week’s Steelers/Packers game. As you can see, Mr. Tiscia came out on the better end of this deal… All in good fun!

A very warm welcome to our newest Saxe Main Office Administrative Asst, Ms. Melissa DiMeglio! And, a special thanks to Ms. Sherwood on the nice touch of making her first day special!

Design Lab

5th Grade Science students exploring the phases of the moon using #choiceboards. A variety of online, offline, and hands-on activities kept them actively learning and engaged. #SaxeInnovates

Peer Buddies

Our peer buddies program kicked off today Saxe with a scavenger hunt & beach ball toss. Thanks to the students, parents, and staff involved in making this a success!

Saxe Recess

Some helping hands and some “hairstyle fun” during Saxe recess! These nice days are so important for our students to be able to get outside and we appreciate those who pitch in to make our campus nicer (Thx, A!), and, provide smiles!

T-shirts of Saxe

Love the “punny” t-shirts we see around Saxe everyday!

Me: I like the chicken suit, is there a story behind it for today?

Student: I woke and I wanted to be happy, so I wore it to school…

Me: I love that! Every day is a choice and you chose to be happy – nice work! 

Love our Saxe students…

It’s a big deal for our Saxe students that lockers have officially come back online!

Supporting students’ executive functioning skills as we transition to lockers! #executivefunctions #ADHDAwarenessMonth

Saxe Leadership Club

Our Saxe SRO, Officer Deak, is great with our students and gives back to our school community in so many ways. Here, he is working with a group during his Saxe Leadership Club on a teamwork and perspective activity!

Saxe Hawks

It is so nice having Waveny so close to our Saxe campus. This week, our Saxe mascot was scoping out something on the ground and posed for a few closeup pics!

Dogs of Saxe

Around Saxe

Classes outside taking advantage of this beautiful weather!

What an amazing scene pulling into Saxe this morning!

Have a great 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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