2022.1.21 – Saxe Weekly

January 21, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

Well, “old man winter” struck again this week, making a short week even shorter. This did not stop the learning and excitement that took place all around our building, and you may be amazed at all that got packed into those three days. This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest 1 Second Everyday, a social media reminder, a note from our nurses, an exciting announcement from NASA, Music, Art, Mandarin, a yearbook reminder, the return of “Caught Caring”, some neat tech in action, some goals, appreciating our Saxe SRO, STEM, and much more…

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

1/24 – 2/4 – Grade 6-8 Virtual Daytime Open House (more info will be sent out next week…)

1/28 – Grade 6-8 Portal Opens for Report Cards

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities instead of obstacles.” – Widad Akrawi

“Kindness is like snow—it beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil Gibran

“Change your way of thinking. Use your energy to accomplish more productive things. The choice is yours and it can be made today!”  – Garrett Kingston

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).

Social Media PSA

As if parenting, or growing up, in the digital age isn’t challenging enough, social media creates another layer of complexity. While there is a ton of information online, below is a little reminder and a few bulleted tips from, Social Media Safety for Teens. Please be vigilant and continue to have conversations with your children about safe, appropriate, healthy online interactions. As a friendly reminder, use of personal devices and/or social media in school is strictly prohibited…

“While sites like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok require users to be at least 13 years of age, some experts recommend that users of social media apps be older than that. They caution that there’s no one-size-fits-all age for social media safety for teens.”

Social Media Safety for Teens

  • Hold off until social maturity
  • Funnel social media through family devices
  • Give yourself authorized access to the account
  • Be picky about posts
  • Forbid interactions with strangers
  • Keep passwords private
  • Emphasize kindness
  • Amp up privacy settings
  • Remind them that social media isn’t reality

When in doubt, remember to “THINK” it out:

A Friendly Reminder from our Nurses

In response to a positive covid test, some families have been reaching out directly to teachers, but have forgotten to include communications with our nurses. In the event of a positive test, please remember to communicate directly with our school nurses: Upper Division – Ms. Sara Paine; Lower Division – Ms. Joelle Graham. And, this is a great opportunity to say, “thank you!” to our nurses for all they do for all of us – you are appreciated!


Today the 7th-grade Red team gathered in the auditorium to hear a very special announcement from NASA (yes, THE NASA). During quarter one of the 2021-2022 school year, five 7th-grade students at Saxe Middle School, Sophia Sibilia, Mariana Zepeda, Maggie Nurzia, Meghan Ratner, & Oskar Guldager took the opportunity to enter a national competition held by Future Engineers and NASA. This challenge was open to all U.S. schools, grades 6-12 and had 57 winners. Students were invited to create and design experiments that would be placed on one of NASA’s high altitude balloons during a 4-hour flight carrying the experiment up to 70,000 feet into the atmosphere. 

The five student team from Saxe designed their experiment titled “The Effect of High Altitude on Color Perception”. The team intends to collect visual data on various colors using a high-definition camera by recording different colored paint samples at sea level and on the high altitude balloon journey. The team will compare both sets of visual data and record their observations in order to see the impact that high altitude has on the perception of color.
Winners of this challenge will receive $1,500 in order to build their experiment along with a 3D-printed flight box where they will construct and place their experiment. Teams will also have access to technical support and office hours with experts from Future Engineers to assist them during the building process. Winners were announced today, January 21, 2022 at 12:00pm EST. Winning teams will have to construct their experiment and send it out by June 2022. Thank you to Mr. D’Alton, Ms. Meyer, Ms. Birdsall, and the rest of the 7Red teachers for making this opportunity possible for our students! Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project!

See the announcement video and student reaction, here:

Here’s the celebration from another angle. Nothing but sheer excitement!

This is the balloon that will bring the Saxe project up to about 70,000 feet, into the stratosphere!


Students in Ms. Sagerstrand’s fifth and sixth-grade chorus skills classes have been singing up a storm!  They had fun singing various holiday and winter songs throughout December.  Students are also working hard on their music literacy skills.  They are learning to read music rhythmically and melodically. They learned the notes of the treble clef throughout the late fall and are currently learning solfege (Do, Re, Mi) to apply to their signing. We look forward to the second half of the year in chorus.


Ms. Duncan’s seventh-graders have been studying Pop Art this semester. For the painting unit, they are using the work of British artist, Peter Blake as inspiration. Blake is the artist who designed the famous Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. The students have selected images they feel are “iconic” to paint and collage.


Grade 6 Students working on family topics. It’s always great to learn more about our students.

Daytime Open House – Save the Date!

The window for Daytime Open Houses opens next week and will run through February 4th. Stay tuned for more information from your child(ren)’s teachers soon!

8th Grade Baby Pictures for Yearbook

The yearbook is looking for 8th-grade students to add a baby photo in their yearbook! You can download one using the link, here. All photos must be in by January 26th to be included.

Tweet Street

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

Good morning, Saxe Middle School, Thanks to Ms. Sukhani for sharing this great view from our campus… Have a great day, All!

“Just dropped off some copies of our newest issue at Saxe. Keep a lookout around town for the newest cycle! It’s a great one ;)” – Thank you for sharing, @abbiedcourant! We would love to be part of your “news route” to share all that our students have to look forward to at New Canaan High School.

“Caught Caring” is back! Here are just a few of our recipients who did some awesome things to be recognized this week…

Learning takes place inside and outside the classroom in Ms. Nelson’s SS class… Students benefit from learning while moving.

Our students were busy creating podcasts this week! It is neat to see them utilizing this technology and applying their knowledge to create these episodes. Fascinating! 

The Saxe 3D printers are constantly running, bringing to life the creative work@of our students. Here are a couple of projects “in process”!

Last week was the officially recognized “SRO Appreciation Day” but we appreciate our SRO, Officer Deak, every day! Thanks for all that you do for our school community!

Life is about goals… Here are a few that our 8Red students have in mind for the rest of this school year. It is wonderful to see so many think beyond themselves and how they can make our school a better place for all!

7Red students viewing the #NASAtechrise competition award ceremony. They got to hear from scientists, astronauts, & engineers about innovation, tech, & the design thinking process… Informative & fascinating! #SaxeSTEM

Students from the STEM club with their almost finished project – a customized UV mask cleaner, created with the design thinking process! Amazing students solving real-world problems…

Have a great week, see you next Friday!

* 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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