2021.12.3 – Saxe Weekly

December 3, 2021

Dear Saxe Family, 

Happy December! It is amazing how quickly the first week back from Thanksgiving went and we have much to celebrate. I hope you had a wonderful long holiday weekend. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest one-second everyday, a 7Blue celebration, Math, some creative “kolams”, EI in action, lots of amazing Art, an opportunity to join the “Season of Giving”, an attendance update, Happy Hanukkah, sunrises over Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve

“We must always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”-E.B. White

“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” -Nora Ephron

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” -Earl Nightingale

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).

Team Celebration

The seventh grade Blue team had its monthly “Blue Team Celebration” today celebrating students who exhibited caring, paying it forward, strong organization, and being helpful. These students were awarded Starbucks gift cards, certificates and ribbons of excellence, and, of course, loud applause from their classmates and teachers! After the recognition portion of the celebration, the entire Blue team was engaged in team building activities including a good game of team limbo! The monthly “Blue Team Celebration” is a true illustration of what we value here at Saxe… educating the whole-child while celebrating our learning community through caring, communication, and commitment. A big thank you to Ms. Korman, Ms. Thomas, Mr. Vigliotti, and Ms. Walsh for all of their efforts in organizing, funding, and providing an engaging and authentic celebratory experience for their students.  Go 7 Blue!


Students in Ms. Martin’s 8th Grade Geometry classes are working toward an understanding of triangle congruence. To support visual thinking, students used online manipulatives to discover various theorems that prove when triangles are congruent. Students combined their new learning with previously learned theorems and postulates to write complex proofs. 

In Mrs. Andrews’ 7th Grade Algebra class, students are studying linear functions and slope. To support collaboration, students used an online tool to reason through different solutions when identifying missing coordinates. 

In Mrs. Andrews’ Math 7 class, students are working on solving linear equations with rational numbers. Students worked together to reinforce these skills and were able to receive immediate feedback using a self-checking google sheet. Students had a surprise at the end of their work…a fun character appeared!  

Students in Ms. Hafkemeyer’s 6th Grade Math 7 class are learning about solving equations and finding equivalence. In order to support collaboration, students worked together to justify which pairs of equations were equivalent. They noticed similarities and differences between the structures of how the equations were written. 

Language Arts

Ms. Reed’s LA classes are discussing vocabulary words in their independent reading books. Her workshop class discovered the word “kolam” in The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman, and students created these beautiful kolams:

EI in Action

The counseling department decided to use the bulletin board near the main office to show students emotional intelligence (EI) skills they can use if they would like to help change their mood. The mood meter gives examples of words we can use to label how we’re feeling. If we are in the red or blue, we can try the strategies (breathing exercises, practicing gratitude, practicing positive self-talk, and taking a meta-moment) to get to the yellow or green, if/when we are ready. Thanks to Ms. Sotolongo for helping coordinate this fine display!

Art Department

New Canaan Public School’s Art Department has just hung what has become an annual art show at UCBC in town. This amazing selection of artwork spans all grades and mediums. As the art teachers were hanging the show, many customers commented on the versatility and talent our art students displayed. When you get a chance, stop and admire the hard work and creative voices seen in this show for yourself!

The Season of Giving!

The Art Department is kicking off its 23rd Annual Sock Drive! We are asking everyone to please bring in a new pair of warm men’s socks. You heard it- new & warm! Your art teacher will have a dropbox outside of their rooms. For the price of a Starbucks hot chocolate, you could give someone socks that are desperately needed. Deadline is December 20th. Thank you for showing you CARE!

The RED WAGON Drive for the School House Apartments has begun. Over the last 4 years, the Red Wagon group has been collecting donations during the months of November and December that are offered to the School House residents as “prizes” during Bingo Nights and other activities.  The “prizes” offered at the end of these activities try to encourage participation and increase socializing among the residents.  These “prizes” supplement their daily living needs and are not available to them through the local food pantry.

This is where we need your help. Please consider donating one or more of the following items to the Red Wagon Drive. Bring them to school between December 6 – 22nd

What a difference the students will make in the lives of these community members.

Storage Bags

Ziploc sandwich bags

Ziploc quart size bags 

Ziploc gallon size bags 

Saran Wrap

Kitchen and Bathroom cleaning supplies

Disinfectant wipes

409, fantastic

toilet bowl cleaner

liquid hand soap


dishwashing liquid (small bottles)- (ie. dawn)

detergent liquid (he)

aluminum foil

Paper Products

Paper towels, paper towels and paper towels 

Bounty Paper Towels

toilet paper (ie. Charmin)


 Other items  

$5 Dunkin Donuts gift cards (for their stockings on Christmas)


big print word search books

Have a Wash on Us!  Tape 6 quarters to an index card.  Decorate cards.

Substitutes Needed…

If you are interested in helping out, or know someone who may be, please see the below information or click, here. Thanks in advance for considering!

NCPS Attendance Communication

New Canaan Public Schools Board of Education practice, in accordance with federal and state school attendance statutes, calls for the generation of a reminder letter to parents of students who have reached their ninth absence for the school year. We suspended the distribution of these letters last year due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We will commence with generating these letters again this year as a means to alert parents and school staff to carefully monitor students who meet this threshold, as we know that consistent attendance ensures fidelity of instruction which results in higher success and achievement for learners. A sample NCPS Attendance letter may be found, here, for your reference. 

We do still request that parents of children who are demonstrating any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses keep them home from school. Additionally, we strongly encourage all NCPS families to adhere to the school calendar when making family travel plans in order to maximize student time in the classroom learning environment. 

If you have any questions related to this practice or attendance policies, please contact Ms. Carmichael (Lower Division), Ms. Benware (Upper Division), your child’s counselor, or your child’s grade-level administrator. 

Tweet Street

Below are photos and phrases that were included on our Saxe middle school Twitter page (@SaxeMS) this week. Enjoy!

Happy Hanukkah to all of the Saxe families (&, beyond) who celebrate!

Some pretty creative, “punny”, & impressive drawings by our students!

Yes, our students are talented, but, wow! These drawings are amazing!

Some cool perspective drawings by our students.

Sneakers have captured the imagination of teenagers for decades. That remains true today as some of our students display their creations during their time in Art class ✍️

What a great sunrise to start the day at Saxe this week! 

Nice! We just posted a similar pic – great sunrise today! Thanks for sharing @kidzmolar.

The Saxe Library staff always keep a fresh display to inspire reading! 

Our Mandarin classes have a terrific display outside their classroom! It is always so interesting to learn more about our students through their work. 

The holiday spirit is in full swing in the main office at @SaxeMS! Ms. Sherwood with her full “Stitch” regalia (including the sweater that lights up)! 

What makes Saxe MS special? The people!!! Check out some of our #SaxeArt teachers getting our main lobby into the winter season spirit! Thank you, Ms. Beatman, Ms. Farley, & Ms. Sailer! Can’t wait to see the finished product…

Even a virtual fireplace and some holiday music will put you in the holiday spirit!

The “inspirational draft”:

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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