2022.9.23 – Saxe Weekly

September 23, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

We have definitely hit our stride as we finish our fourth week of school (already?!). There is so much that goes on around, and throughout, our learning community each day. It is fun to share some snapshots, provide some insight, and we hope that you get a sense of how special our school truly is. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest 1-Second Everyday, Open Houses, Clubs, Social Studies, Special Education, English Language Arts, Science, STEM, Art, Counseling, Chorus, The Dome, CT Kid Governor, some classic shirts, Saxe Spirit, a couple of birthdays, Cats of Saxe (that’s correct), Dogs of Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful long weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

9/26 – Happy Rosh Hashanah to those who celebrate! (note: no school)

9/27 – Grade 8 Open House @ 6:00pm

9/28 – Grade 5/6 Photo Day

9/28 – Grade 7 Open House @ 6:00pm

9/29 – Grade 7/8 Photo Day

9/29 – Grade 5 Fun Run (rescheduled from 9/22 rainout) @ 1:15pm

9/29 – Grade 6 Open House @ 6:00pm

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Widen the path of opportunities and continue to leave a powerful and positive legacy in this world.” 

– Luis Fonsi

“We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for.” – Dolores Huerta

“The moments that define us, and test us to our core, are blessings in disguise.” -Jennifer Vera

“Be Brave. Take Risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” -Paolo Coelho

“Hard work compounds like interest, and the earlier you do it, the more time you have for the benefits to pay off.” – Sam Altman

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 is a recurring, bi-weekly feature and at the end of the year, we will have a full version that includes every single day of the 2022-23 school year. Enjoy! (pro tip: to enjoy the video at a slower pace, change your viewing option to .75 speed).

Grade 8 Open House

Below is the message that went out to grade 8 parents Friday afternoon:

We are excited to welcome you to Saxe on Tuesday, September 27 for our Grade 8 Open House. The doors will open at 6pm and the welcome will begin at 6:15. Please be sure to visit the PTC Saxe Swag table before the welcome begins! Both the LD and Main Entrance will be open for your arrival. Our beginning of the evening events will take place in the auditorium, close to the Main Entrance doors. 

Linked here  is a copy of the evening’s schedule. Please ask your child for their personal schedule which has been filled out for you with the teacher and room number. If you are in need of any help, we will have counselors and staff available to help you following the auditorium presentations.

See you Tuesday evening!

Saxe Club Information

Saxe Clubs will run a little differently this year than in the past due to the changes in School Start Times.  

School DayClubs
Upper Division8:00 – 2:302:45 – 3:45
Lower Division9:15 – 3:458:15 – 9:00

Lower Division Clubs will run 45 minutes and Upper Division Clubs will be one hour. There will be a late bus available for students in Grades 7 & 8 at 4:00 pm. Parents will have to provide transportation in the morning for students in Grade 5 & 6 who would like to participate. We will be gathering information on what clubs teachers would like to offer during the upcoming week and plan to have clubs begin the second week of October. Please be on the lookout in early October for an email with directions on signing up.

Grade 5 Social Studies 

We are proud of our candidates for Kid Governor! These nine students are working to refine platforms for the Saxe CT Kid Governor primary which will be held in October. In no particular order, our candidates are Anthony, Jack C, Charlie, Zosia, Zarah, Claire, Jack Z, Bassett and Teagan. 

Special Education

Case managers co-teach Language Arts and math in grades 5-8. Pictured below are 7th & 8th grade co-taught classes. Co-teaching has many benefits for all students including a decreased student to teacher ratio which increases the ability to meet individual student needs throughout the classroom. 

Challenge: Can you find the teachers in each picture? (co-teachers are discreet when supporting students)… 

Either teacher can lead the mini-lesson or both can tandem teach.

Teachers circulate throughout the room to answer questions, clarify instructions, and provide support in small groups or individually. 

Ms. Hines’ math class utilizes different strategies to solve word problems. 

Ms. Saggese’s Language Arts class is identifying the theme of a text they’ve read. 

Our ACCESS classroom is being renovated to include a fully functioning, accessible kitchen to support our students’ acquisition of independent living skills. Our students are excited to continue the beverage cart and increase offerings to include baked goods they make themselves with their teachers’ assistance. 

English Language Arts: 5-8 

English Language Arts teachers have been working hard to establish strong relationships with students so they can help students choose great books for Unit 1 and support each child’s reading and writing journey. Check out the great classroom environments where students are choosing and reading their independent reading books in our ELA classrooms! 

Mrs. Redden is modeling a strategy of “re-reading” when stuck with her fifth grade readers to set them up for success with new books.  

Fifth grade students are engaging in their books and “holding their thinking” in their notebooks. 

(above) Sixth graders are excited about the books they’ve chosen to read in partnerships for Unit 1!

Welcome to “Be Young” Restaurant where books for Unit 1 are on the menu!  

(above) Seventh grade students in Mrs. Reed’s “book tasting” sample the books of Unit 1 by chatting with peers, reading the book jackets, and perusing the summaries provided by Mrs. Sheehan and Mrs. Luhtala (Library Media Specialists)!

(above) Eighth graders are deep into their books and building their eighth grade independent reading muscles as Unit 1 begins!  

Science: Grade 6

Variables Escape Room – Purple 6th grade Science explored my room testing their knowledge of independent, dependent, and control variables. Who among them were able to escape muhaha 

6th Grade Workshop

Workshop Paper Challenges – 6th grade workshop classes take part in various STEM paper challenges. 


Ms. Duncan’s seventh graders enjoyed working on their one-point perspective lettering in one of our new outdoor learning centers on Wednesday. What a beautiful day to have class outside!

Saxe Counseling

All students are capable of great things! The Saxe Counseling team is setting up an Affirmation Station, spreading the word about caring, communication, commitment, and most importantly KINDNESS! The bulletin board is chock full of A-Z positive and affirming messages for students, helping empower them to care for themselves and others. Stop by the affirmation station for more things to come!

Science: Grade 8

Across 8th grade science classes students are caring for Brassica Rapa “fast plants”.  Starting from seed, students observe the growth cycle of their plants and actively aid in their reproduction by pollinating the flowers using self-made bee sticks. The plant development parallels many aspects learned in class such as mitosis, reproduction, genetic diversity, and inheritance patterns.

Students on 8 Red extracted DNA from wheat germ. Seen here, student scientists were practicing their titration pour techniques in order to create a layer of Isopropyl alcohol on top of the wheat germ solution. Students were excited to show off their final results – DNA precipitate!

Students on 8 Red were “busy bees” this week. Students created bee sticks and used them to pollinate the Brassica Rapa plants we are growing in the classroom. These plants provide important insights into the life cycle of plants, reproductive strategies, and genetics. Fertilized flowers will start to grow seed pods, which will eventually be harvested and planted.

5th and 6th Grade Chorus

The “Halls” are alive with the sound of music!  The 2022-2023 school year has started off with great music making here at Saxe. Almost any time during the day you can hear students singing and instruments playing. In 5th and 6th grade chorus, students have jumped right in with singing on the first day of school. As they continue to learn how to use their voices as instruments, they are also beginning music literacy. Students in chorus learn how to read the notes of the staff both melodically and rhythmically. Chorus Ensemble has also started and students are beginning to work on their concert music. We look forward to many more months of making wonderful music here at Saxe. 

The Dome

Tweet Street

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

Our Fifth graders are planning and listening to platforms for CT Kid Governor! Our students picked topics that ranged from littering to reading engagement to endangered animals to food insecurity. Great work to all of our potential candidates!

Amazing turnout for our Grade 5 Open House! Thank you to all of our families for attending and our staff for their informative presentations!

Had to grab a pic of this sweet “Sweetness” throwback jersey! #DaBears #SuperbowlShuffle 

Thank you to our amazing Saxe PTC for the amazing spread for our 5th-grade Open House! Your support of our staff is second to none and greatly appreciated!

Great turnout for our 5th-grade Open House! We loved having several students help guide our parents through the building (&, help with announcements)!

Grateful to have our Saxe PTC at our G5 Open House providing information on  Celebrate Saxe! Right at School was also sharing information on morning activity programs!

Science and World Language teachers kick off the grade 5 Open House to a packed house! Nice to see/hear how our special area programs provide a rich, well-rounded experience for our students!

PE teacher, Ms. Hendry, helps kick off the grade 5 Open House to a packed house! Nice to see/hear how our special area programs provide a rich, well-rounded experience for our students!

Art teachers help kick off the grade 5 Open House to a packed house! Nice to see/hear how our special area programs provide a rich, well-rounded experience for our students!

Music teacher, Mr. Coulter, helps kick off the grade 5 Open House to a packed house! Nice to see/hear how our special area programs provide a rich, well-rounded experience for our students!

Nice touch to include our parents in our positive school culture during the G5 Open House!

The “morning crew” is out each day before school, getting active and ready to learn! Great way to start the day (&, a beautiful morning!)

Several classes were taking advantage of our newly upgraded outdoor learning spaces on this gorgeous day!

Let’s see that Red & Black all around Saxe today, #SaxeHawks!

Ms. Visners: “Finally got myself a pair of red sneakers for spirit days!”

Caught some Saxe Birthdays at arrival this week! Hope they were the best birthdays, ever!

Ms. Orlando is a morning drop off MVP – thanks for keeping the line moving!

Ms. Falcone leading students through a few reminders on our values, strategies, & what makes our learning community special!

This is straight from my era! 

8th-graders have been studying some fast-growing Brassica Rappa plants in Science – very cool!

Saw some great Saxe Spirit around for Red & Black spirit day!

Students in Ms. Barnum’s class get to check  “bounceability” on different surfaces

Dogs (and Cats) of Saxe

We welcome all of our four-legged friends at drop-off! We don’t get too many, but, always impressed with our Cats of Saxe!

Our Dogs of Saxe even smile on rainy mornings!

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. 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s