2022.6.10 – Saxe Weekly

June 10, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

It does not seem possible to say that this is the last full week of the 2021-22 school year, but here we are! There are activities going on at each grade level and we are enjoying celebrating all the hard work that we are proud of and all that we have to be grateful for! As you scroll through, you will get a snapshot of why Saxe Middle School is such a special place.  

In our second to last Saxe Weekly for this school year, we take a look at, A LOT! Enjoy checking out a special note about yearbooks, Social Studies, Kid Governor, Science, Orchestra, some EI, Math, Camp Kiwi, NCHS interns, Trout Club (releasing the trout!), Odyssey of the Mind, Staff stories, Trash Walk & Talk Club, some VR action, voracious readers, Constitutional Rights, 6th-grade Fun Day, 5th-grade Field Day, celebrating some of our retirees, 4th-grade orientation & tours (Saxe Class of 2026), Band concerts, dogs of Saxe, a dropoff birthday pic, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

6/13 – Grade 8 Brownstone Trip

614 – Grade 8 Class Picnic – 12:00 – 2:00 pm

6/15 – Grade 8 End of Year Bash – 5:00 – 7:00 pm

6/17 – Grade 8 Promotion Ceremony @ NCHS – 9:45 – 11:00 am; ½ day of school, Hello Summer! 

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” – Marilyn Monroe

“As you know, life is an echo; we get what we give.” – David DeNotaris

“Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” – Wayne Huizenga

Yearbooks are coming!  

It is an exciting time! Please remember as a part of our school Charter, we have agreed to be sure we will work to make all members of our community feel Comfortable, Happy, Respected, Included and SafePlease talk to your student(s) about being kind and respectfully signing anyone’s yearbook who may ask! It is a simple act of kindness that can make a world of difference to students to help them feel both included and happy at the end of the school year!  

Grade 5 Social Studies 

The CT Kid Governor exhibit returned to our Bridge “Gallery” this week. It was an opportunity for our current 5th graders and the rising 5th graders to learn about this wonderful opportunity. 

Grade 6 Social Studies

It’s Model UN time! To culminate the year students learn about globalization and engage in a mini-model UN simulation. Thank you to Mr. Gillan and Ms. Nelson’s classes for sharing some pictures of the preparation.

Grade 7 Social Studies 

To culminate the year, these 7th graders are bringing the lens of sustainability into their own lives. These pictures are from Mr. Devine’s class. 

Grade 8 Social Studies 

To finish the year in 8th grade, students teach their peers about their inquiry topic connecting to our unit on the American Identity. Thank you to Mr. Fusci and Mrs. Baltz for sharing some pictures of their classes in action. 

Grade 6 Science

After reading The Lorax, The 6 Red and Blue Team students were challenged to plant and grow 100 green beans by June 9th. Along the way they took weekly data (plant height, number of leaves, number of flowers and number of fruit) as well as made observations. Both teams were successful and will be watching the movie next week as a reward.

7th Grade Orchestra

The 7th grade orchestra has been working on learning the Avengers Theme in June. It’s a piece of cake compared to the Spiderman Theme that they played in the Spring Orchestra Concert!

6 Blue EI Lesson

Ms. Bohlmann’s class participated in a Communication EI lesson in which students had to communicate with each other what the other person was drawing. The students were able to learn communication strategies and had some great laughs seeing how close their drawing was to their partner.

6th-Grade Math

Ms. Bohlmann’s M7 classes worked with poly strips to investigate triangles. They worked with a partner to create triangles and learn about what must be true about side lengths of a triangle.

7th Grade Camp Kiwi Trip

Our 7th Grade students enjoy a trip to Camp Kiwi in Carmel, New York as their end of the year field trip.  And it looks like it was enjoyed by all!

Saxe Interrns

Devin Parrella has been working with Ms Nelson’s 6th grade SS class. He has been supporting students in their research in the Mode UN project and can often be seen on the basketball court at Recess!

Ryan Murphy helped with the setup and facilitation of fifth grade field day. He did an AWESOME job, and his help in Mr. White’s classroom over the past three weeks has been invaluable. In addition, he delivered an entire lesson on inequalities to Mr. White’s 5/6 Compacted class. He carefully planned his lesson, slides, and student materials. He did an outstanding job with this lesson, and Mr. White was very proud of his success delivering it.

Vaughn Slatoff (lower left in blue) guides a group of 8 Purple students as they research for their end-of-year “students-as-teachers” project. With Vaughn’s support, the 8 Purple students have designed thoughtful and engaging lessons that challenged their peers to reflect on their notions of citizenship, the role of government, society, and the American identity. 

High School Senior Ava Biasotti (Mandarin Intern) helps to evaluate the 7th grade presentation project.

Connor Murphy interned in Grade 8 math with Mrs. Brown. He was awesome! He answered the questions of students in Pre-Algebra & Algebra during class and was hugely helpful as they prepared for the final exams.

Trout Club Release

Trout Club students Balint, Brady, Jack, JD, Julianna, Sam , Skandar, Tyler, and Vivaan were very dedicated this year to successfully raising over sixty trout! They were released by the students into the 5 Mile River yesterday. Since January, there has been continuous collaboration toward data collection and problem solving to help maintain healthy environments for the trout. With the support of the community organization Trout Unlimited, police escort by Officer Deak, and Saxe staff members (Judy Wyllie, Christen Veach, Laura Poidomani, Melinda Meyer, and Vivian Birdsall), the Trout Club students marched down to Kiwanis Park with excitement and anticipation of bring the trout to their new home. We truly appreciated all of the help and support for this program and look forward to even more success next year!

Saxe Spirit

Helena Jan from 8th grade and Anna Fiorito from 7th grade got silver and made the all tournament team in the fun at the sun super regional volleyball tournament during the Memorial Day weekend.

Odyssey of the Mind

Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind (CTOM) is proud to announce that two Connecticut teams finished in the top 10 internationally within their problem and division at the 2022 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals held last month at Iowa State University. Out of hundreds of teams, Connecticut teams from Central Middle School in Greenwich and Saxe Middle School of New Canaan both finished in 5th place in their problem and division.  In addition, two elementary school teams from Charter Oaks Academy in West Hartford finished in 2nd and 5th respectively in their problem and division during a separate virtual tournament held in April.  Photos and more information can be found in the link below!


Staff Stories

Congratulations to 8th-grade ELA teacher, Ms. Mangino for her daughter being recognized recently for a townwide project. She was the lead in kicking off a fundraising campaign for adaptive equipment at the town park in Newtown. Over the weekend, they finally cut the ribbon and opened the new equipment. They celebrated with Senator Tony Hwang, Representative Mitch Bolinsky, First Selectman Dan Rosenthal, the president of the Connecticut chapter of the International Lions Club, and nearly 150 children and adults of all abilities. Ms. Mangino’s daughter was given a proclamation for her effort! Worth noting, this started as a third grade writing assignment. As Ms. Mangino mentions, “the power of our students’ voices is really incredible when they are given the right format and audience”. Congrats to all involved!

Trash Walk and Talk Club

Thank you to all of the Trash Walk & Talk members that met weekly this spring to generate ideas to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials at Saxe. We also appreciate their time spent clearing trash from the Saxe playground, black top, and field to help maintain a healthy ecosystem for our Saxe Hawk!  Pictured below are Jack Sieghart and Zoe Skrelunas, two very involved members of the club!

VR in Action

Mr. Petrakopoulos has some 5th-graders enriching their understanding of space and engineering while piloting new technology for next year’s 5th-graders.

Voracious Readers

Ms. Mangino took a picture of each student next to a stack of books representing how many books they read this year in eighth grade. It’s very impressive! Only half way through the day, but most students were right around 40 books! Below are a few, and you can see the rest, here

Tweet Street

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

6th Grade Fun Day has begun!

Awesome to see teachers and students all dancing to the Cha Cha Slide (click to view) during the 6th Grade Fun Day!

Saxe Transition Extravaganza 2022 continues! Today we welcomed South School to Saxe!

Congrats to Math teacher, Mr. Vigliotti for 22 great years of service to the students of the New Canaan Public School System. Thank you for everything and best wishes on your retirement!

Congrats to Science teacher, Ms. Reddington for an amazing 28 years of service to the students of the New Canaan Public School System. Thank you for everything and best wishes on your retirement!

7th grade end of year trip to camp Kiwi is underway! Kids are already having a blast!

The traveling CT Kid’s Governor Meet the Candidates exhibit is spending the week at Saxe Middle School in New Canaan!

A fun-filled morning welcoming our 4th graders from West School to Saxe!

Today completed the trifecta as East School visited Saxe! Our transition extravaganza 2022 has officially come to a close. We can’t wait to see you again, Class of 2026!

Best wishes to our Saxe 7th & 8th-grade bands this evening! Great opening to the 7/8 Band concert with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner! (click to view).

Some scenes from the recent Saxe orientation night for incoming 5th-graders from our three elementary schools! Our student volunteers were terrific, the weather was perfect, and it was a beautiful evening! 

7th-grade band plays a classic, “Bare Necessities”! (click to view).

The force is strong with the Saxe Band this evening as they play the theme song for Star Wars! (click to view).

Some fun scenes from our Grade 6 Fun Day. Could not have asked for a more perfect day!

Some fun scenes from our Grade 5 Field Day. It was a beautiful day to have some fun in the sun! 

It has been fun welcoming our incoming 5th-graders into the building this week to show them their “new home” for the next 4 years! Thanks to our terrific tour guides, they do a great job and are so proud to show off “their” school! 

Our Saxe orchestra has already performed, but they are still hard at work honing their skills! 

Some of our Saxe 7th-graders got to ride to their Camp Kiwi field trip in style – Go Huskies!

Cool way to round out the Band concert with an all-inclusive rendition of Sweet Caroline! (click to view).

Best wishes to our 5th & 6th-graders on their concert this evening! So far, so good – they sound great!

Seen around Saxe!

Thanks to our NCHS Intern, Andrew, for the signage project around Saxe! A blurb about some art, and other displays, complete with QR codes for a deeper dive on each. They turned out great and will help educate and inform students for years to come!

New Canaan High School Senior interns presented their design plans for the ACCESS space at Saxe.  I was blown away by their understanding of our students’ needs, ADA compliance, and eye for interior design. Well done, ladies!

Blown away by the creativity and work ethic of my Interior Design Interns. From ADA standards for a Special Ed Classroom to a custom painted picnic table gifted to the school, they nailed it all!

Saxe was blessed with some amazing NCHS interns this spring! Not only did they apply their interior design skills (from Ms. Zilly’s class) to reimagine some of our spaces around the school, they dropped off a custom made surprise today… Thank you!

Saw some neat artwork in grade 6 ELA today! 

What’s better than a little Star Wars at a band concert?! Having the conductor use a light saber! (click to view).

A little fun between each song at the Band concert! (click to view). Before the Star Wars song: “You may have heard, Darth Vader had a sister who had a lot of ups and downs in her life. Her name is Ella Vader…”

How about a little stereo action for the “School Spirit March”? (click to view). Awesome!

Dogs of Saxe

Phoebe and Pearl are always up for a Dogs of Saxe pic!

Birthday Fun

Caught another, “It’s her birthday today!” at morning drop off! Hope it was a great day, Sophie! Bonus: Dog of Saxe!

Have a great week, see you next Friday!

Thank you to all of our Saxe Weekly contributors! Each weekly edition is an example of collaboration in action. 

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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