2021.11.5 – Saxe Weekly

November 5, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

Our first full week of November was filled with excitement, creativity, and lots of caring! The proverbial “time flies…” idiom is definitely applicable here as today marks the end of the first quarter for grades 6, 7, and 8. If you have any questions, we encourage you to keep the lines of communication open with your teachers or counselor. We continue to be proud of our entire learning community, especially our students, as we have reached this first quarter milestone of the 2021-22 school year!   

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at our Charter, Caring at Saxe, Moana Jr., Health Education, World Language, professional learning, Math, Art, extracurriculars, certificates of recognition, rising and shining, some fall scenes around Saxe, and much more! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

11/7: Daylight Saving Time Ends (“Fall back” & enjoy that extra hour!)

11/8: National STEM and STEAMDay

11/11: Veterans Day – School in Session – Red, White, & Blue Spirit Day

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“The road to success is always under construction” – Lily Tomlin

“Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson

“The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how high you raise your foot.”-Benny Lewis

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

“Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles in life.’’ – John Amatt

Saxe Cares

Continuing with our theme of “Caring” for the 2021-22 school year, Saxe partnered with NC Cares to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for at Saxe. During recess, students had an opportunity to create a bookmark with fun colors and more importantly, positive messages. If students decided to share a story about demonstrating “caring”, following our Charter, or just “being kind”, they received a “Saxe Cares”, “Caring Starts With Me” bracelet. On top of all of this, there was fun music playing and the weather could not have been nicer. Thank you to all who helped make this meaningful experience possible for our Saxe students!

Saxe Cares bookmark quote of the day. “Kindness is like jam, you can’t spread it without getting some on yourself”.

Saxe Theatre

Sneak peek alert! Wishing everyone in the fall musical, Moana Jr., the best of luck on a great run – break a leg! Here are a few pics as the cast and crew went through some fine-tuning with the final dress rehearsal! 

Health Education

Health Tip: Finding ways to manage stress and having a bank of Healthy techniques can allow us to stay mentally and emotionally strong. 7th Grade students created their very own Virtual Calming Room. It includes several stress management techniques within their Calming Room. A “one-stop shop” for all of their very own stress techniques. Awesome job by all students and something they can take with them throughout their New Canaan school career. 

Tip #2: Family wellness is vitally important for kids and adults. When we can find things to do as a family and implement Healthy strategies, we can all grow together and learn from one another. 6th Grade students created a Family Wellness project and used the information they learned to create pages on Physical/Social/Mental Health, Stress Management, Self-Esteem, and Healthy relationships. Take a look at one of the many sites that were created!

World Language

The 8th Grade students have been learning commands over these last few weeks. As one of our culminating activities, students delivered lessons on some of their favorite activities. Classmates were taught how to make a variety of dishes and desserts, play different sports and videogames, how to dance the Macarena, and were even given the opportunity to create their own paintings during Tatiana’s Palette!

Saxe Professional Learning Day November 2nd

Students may be off for Election Day, but Saxe staff are “all in” with professional learning today! Here, our Math dept is discussing the workshop model and ideas to implement in their classrooms and our ELA dept is discussing different strategies to maximize engagement in their classrooms… Win-win for students!

And the Science Department never disappoints when it comes to exploring “phenomena” that will excite students and instill wonder in their learning!

The entire special education staff worked together this afternoon to share expectations, align practices and fine-tune transitions within and between levels. Pre-K through 22 all in one room!


Students in Mr. White’s and Ms. Portanova’s 5th Grade math class are persevering to master efficient multiplication and division strategies. The students were able to do this in a kinesthetic way by playing Trashball!

Students in Ms. Bohlmann’s 6th Grade math class collaborated together to reason through the relationship between rational numbers. Students used math talk routines to respectively work together, justify their reasoning and communicate effectively. 

Students in Mr. Santoro’s Workshop class spent time this past week exploring problem solving using surface area. Students measured and calculated the surface area of various objects using nets.  Students then constructed 3D models of their figures.   

Students in Mrs. Brown’s Pre-Algebra 8th Grade classes are learning about transformations. Students translate, reflect and rotate figures on the coordinate plane and determine if the shapes are congruent, similar or both. During the class’s exploration, one of the students even “transformed” into Batman! 


“Visual Pun” Value Drawings: Ms. Bennett’s 7th graders used their higher order thinking to create these drawings. After brainstorming a list of compound words and concepts, they visualized and sketched those ideas. They applied skills in observational drawing and created value by using a variety of drawing tools and techniques. 

Ms. Bennett’s 6th grade classes learned how to draw animals using basic geometric shapes.  Students rendered these animals as silhouettes using permanent ink. They then applied color by choosing their favorite watercolor techniques.

Check out the “inclusion” of our Saxe Charter words too!

Some cool “name-art” on display outside Ms. Beatman’s room!

Saxe Extra-Curricular Activities

It is always a treat to stop by the STEM club and check out the work in action! Our students are so incredibly motivated, creative, creative, and talented… Can’t wait to see some of the finished products!

Here is one project I can’t wait to see “come to life”! This sketch will eventually become a 3D printed, LED lit, model of Saxe… Our STEM students are so much fun to see “in action”!

One sign of a really well attended after school club at Saxe – piles of backpacks! Thanks to Ms. Birdsall, Ms. Benware, Ms. Sheehan, Mr. Pacicca, & Mr. D’Alton for making these opportunities available to our students!

Certificates of Recognition in the Lower Division

Congratulations to our first round of Lower Division Certificate of Recognition recipients! These students were nominated by their teachers to receive a Certificate of Recognition for exemplifying our Saxe Charter! Our Charter focuses on five key words that define how students want to feel and be treated at school: Comfortable, Happy, Respected, Included and Safe. Our wonderful lower division staff (including World Language, PE, Art, Music, Counseling and Special Education) will continue to nominate students each week for this prestigious certificate. We are so proud of our students who exemplify our Charter everyday!

Tweet Street

Win the Morning, Win the Day. Rise and Shine Club!

Wristbands with our ‘21-‘22 focus on “Caring” are in! “Caring Starts With Me”… Thanks to our Dean of Students, Mr. Admas for coordinating – can’t wait to see them on our students!

Saxe in the News

Fifth-grader Emily Meng, from the Helmich-Berry team, recently participated in a writing competition hosted by Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET). Emily was one of the 477 talented K-8 winners. The competition theme was Dream Big. Emily dreams to become a doctor by serving her community well and helping people who are struggling with their illness. This was reflected in her inspiring essay. Congratulations, Emily! 

Staff PTC Luncheon

A big thank you to the Saxe PTC for providing a special treat for our staff members on Tuesday! It always brightens everyone’s day.  

Sights Around Saxe

Saxe is excited to honor and celebrate our veterans next week. Thank you to all who have served!

We love our Saxe alumni! Thanks for coming back to visit this week…

So grateful for our Saxe custodial team who take such great care of our building, inside & out! (Look at those lines! I wish my yard looked like that…)  

You can “feel” the excitement heading out to recess!

One of my all time favorite players being represented at Saxe this week! (Troy Polamalu)…

The Saxe Cafe tables are back in action during lunch!

Behind the scenes with Saxe News!

Classes are still taking advantage of the outdoor learning spaces at Saxe!

As a polling station, Saxe was a “happening place” on Tuesday!

There have been some beautiful fall scenes around Saxe!

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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