2022.11.4 – Saxe Weekly

November 4, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

Happy November! This month is one of my favorites as it is filled with opportunities to reflect and acknowledge all that we have to be grateful for, big and small. We have a lot planned for our students and staff this month, including Veteran’s Day, “Start with Hello” week, and team town halls, to name a few. We will certainly be continuing with our focus on “connecting” within our school community, and beyond, while reminding each other to be present when we are with those we care most about.  

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Halloween, the latest 1-Second Everyday, some important community reminders, the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, ELA, Math, French, Physical Education, CT Kid Governor, National Stress Awareness Day, Rowing Club, community events, spiritwear shop, executive functioning, a town hall meeting, Saxe Shark Tank, recess, SaxeBucks, sights around Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend (the weather looks like it is going to be beautiful)! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

11/8 – Election Day – No School!

11/8 – Parent Presentation: Dr. Stuart Ablon – Building Resilience in our Children

11/11 – Veteran’s Day (thank you to all who served!)

11/11 – 5th/6th Grade Musical – Madagascar

11/12 – 5th/6th Grade Musical – Madagascar

11/17 – Parent Workshop: Executive Functioning

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!” – Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas

“The morning is good because we remember that no matter what went wrong the previous days, we just got a perfect opportunity to rewrite history and do better.” — Anonymous

“There is something so special in the early leaves drifting from the trees–as if we are all to be allowed a chance to peel, to refresh, to start again.” – Ruth Ahmed

“Train your mind to see the good in every situation.” —Unknown

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” 

– Helen Keller

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 2022-23 school year. Enjoy! (pro tip: to enjoy the video at a slower pace, change your viewing option to .75 speed).

A Few Important Learning Community Reminders

Just a friendly reminder… In the best interest of our students, cell phones are not allowed during the school day (this includes lunch and recess). Each day can present enough distractions that challenge focus and attention. Cell phones and smart watches add an exponential number of possible distractions, so we are confident that this rule is in the best interest of our students. Cell phones and smart watches should be powered down, put on silent, have notifications disabled, and be secured in a bag or locker. We understand that you may need to get a message to your child and ask that you contact your child’s Division Office to do so. You may call (203-594-4538/39 for the Upper, 203-594-4515 for Lower) or email the offices: Lin.Benware@ncps-k12.org (Upper) or Brenda.Carmichael@ncps-k12.org (Lower).

Traffic Safety Reminder

Please help keep everyone safe by having a conversation with your child(ren) about traffic safety, especially about the importance of using crosswalks appropriately near school, in town, or anywhere else (staying in the lines, waiting for the signal to cross, always watch/look for cars that may not see YOU, etc.). Thank you for partnering in keeping our school community safe!

Keeping our Schools Clean

Recognizing Halloween was Monday, we understand there was a huge increase in access to candy by our students 🙂 In support of our custodians, teachers, and staff members who work so hard to keep our building clean and tidy, please remember that candy, food, and gum are not permitted in school (outside of designated lunch/snack times). Thank you for your continued support!

*Disclaimer: this is not an actual photo of the wrappers left around the building this week, but there were a lot… 🙂

Hawks Talk Podcast: PTC Saxe Innovation Chat

Click above and listen in to this conversation with members of our PTC and Saxe Middle School teachers, Sarah Nelson (Grade 6 SS), Christen Veach (Grade 5 Science), Austin Ekstrom (Grade 8 Science), Jen Pacelli (Tech Integrator), Melinda Meyer (Director of Innovation), Matt Salvestrini (Director of Digital Learning), Dave Gusitsch (Principal), and more, discussing “Innovation” in the classroom. Thanks to all involved! 


Cassie Coughlin and Maddy Conron put their talents to work as they designed artistic representations of various moods found in literature. This poster is a valuable resource for language arts students as they explore the relationship between setting and mood in literature, along with how these factors influence characters in the books and stories they read. Nice work!


Students in Ms. Capodilupo’s M5 class have been honing their skills on multi-step word problems, order of operations, and writing expressions. The M6 class has just finished up their unit on rational numbers and plotting points on a coordinate plane. Here they can be seen practicing their computations together in preparation with a little Halloween spirit.

Students in Mrs. Falcone’s M7 classes have been working on using all operations with rational numbers. They are seen here working collaboratively on a card sort with the program Desmos to identify equivalent expressions. They have also been working on complex fractions when they are finding “better buys” and rates. Students in M6 classes have been working collaboratively to solve problems dealing with coordinate plans, and rational numbers.

Students in Mrs. Prinz’s Math 7 class have been persevering in their understanding of rational numbers. They have been working to answer the question, “How are rational numbers used and applied in real life situations?”  Here, they are collaborating to determine the unit rate using complex fractions. They then applied their understanding to determine the better buy of particular items – including some of their favorite treats!  

Students in Ms. Link’s Algebra class are studying absolute value equations. Students collaborated in their problem-solving and then worked together to put the puzzle together, which allowed them to self-check their solutions.

French Class – Ms. Whitaker

6th and 7th graders this week created spooky skeletons using Q Tips and labeled the parts of the body – la tête, la bouche, les genoux etc. We then sang ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’ in French, and even played a few rounds of ‘Simon dit..’ to reinforce the new vocabulary. All the students had a lot of fun – it was hilarious to see all the different poses they created!

Physical Education 

Students in Miss Goodman’s PE classes were taking advantage of the beautiful weather and having some fun with the frisbee game KanJam all week. Students work in teams of two to score points by throwing and deflecting the frisbee. Frisbee is also a great activity to relieve stress.

The Connecticut Kid Governor Race!

We are proud of our Saxe CT Kid Governor nominee Bassett Bretschger, and his Saxe cabinet, for all of their hard work in running for office. Bassett will be featured in the CT Kid Governor traveling poster exhibit that will come out after the election. We look forward to helping to implement Bassett’s platform in our own community. Below are a few pictures of some of the group! Stay tuned for more!

8th Grade Yearbook – Baby Photos

Calling all 8th Grade Parents! We would love to have a baby picture added in the yearbook of your child! Please use the Google Form Below to upload a photo. We look forward to seeing them!

8th Grade Baby Photos for Yearbook

Skills on Display

Ms. Hines had an opportunity to snap a quick pic of a “beanbag balance roost”!

Painting with a Purpose for Friday Fun – Mrs. Hines Classroom

National Stress Awareness Day – Wednesday, November 2nd 

Students and teachers had a great day practicing stress-relieving activities throughout the day! We asked students to let us know what they did to help celebrate this important day and some pictures were shared below. Petting a furry creature, listening to music, taking a nap, deep breathing and calling a friend were some of the favorites. Students that completed the google form were entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card and the winners are: 

5th grade – Emma Wang

6th grade – Madeline Jones

7th grade – Corinna Gustafson

8th grade – Sofia Patterson

Thank you to all for participating!

Rowing Club

The rowing club at Saxe has been teaching our students about rowing for over 20 years. Led by coach Hank Ellett, the program has produced 2 olympians, Charlie Cole and Andrew Campbell as well as  numerous national and world champions. The program prepares students to compete as middle schoolers at Maritime rowing as well as getting them ready to row  for  the National Champion New Canaan High school team. Many of our rowers go on to compete at such colleges as Yale, Harvard, Brown and Michigan. The program teaches the fundamentals of rowing on the concept 2 rowing machine. We also work on flexibility and overall fitness. At the end of each session, the rowers go to the boathouse on the Norwalk river to row in the indoor tanks in the winter, or on the water in the spring.

The program is for grades 7 and 8 on Tuesdays., 2:45 to 3:45.

Community Event Reminder!

Saxe Spiritwear on Sale Until Sunday!  You can purchase items here.

Executive Functioning

Do you struggle to get your child to complete their homework? Are you looking for ways to support your child at home with executive functioning skills? Are you wondering why your child’s bookbag/bedroom/closet looks disheveled? Please join us for a parent workshop presented by EFfective Services on November 17th 6:30-8pm in the Saxe Auditorium: How executive functioning skills impact academic and social-emotional success: A co-treatment model to holistically support students.

Susan Chandler is an accomplished Special Education Administrator and Teacher who supports students and families to understand their learning profiles and the best strategies to build executive functioning skills. 

Allison Tables, MA, NCC, LPC is an experienced clinician & school counselor of 15 + years providing therapeutic and social skills support from both a relational and educational perspective. She believes that without tackling the challenges students face academically, she can not truly understand the struggles students face emotionally, as the two are interconnected.

Tweet Street

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

Lots of Halloween Spirit around Saxe today!

This week, our 6Purple staff held a team town hall to recognize students who have been living our Saxe Charter words (Comfortable, Happy, Included, Respected, Safe) over the first quarter. Way to have fun & connect… Keep up the great work, All! 

Recognizing National Stress Awareness Day. Thanks to our team of caring professionals who put this together for our entire learning community to benefit!

My daily dose of magic from two of our very own 5th grade Houdinis! Thank you for the fun

Saxe Shark Tank is back! Congrats to our 2 teams of finalists, & each student who participated! Great design thinking process and life skills wrapped into this experience at Saxe!

Grateful for the partnership with our Saxe faculty-senate – 2 great meetings today! Important info, good discussion, & some fun trivia.

One of my favorite tasks each month – recognizing students and staff for truly exceptional contributions to our learning community with our Certificates of Gratitude!

What an amazing week to be outside for Saxe Recess! This is such an important part of our student’s day & they definitely enjoy it!

Love running into our students who run the Saxe Bucks cart. Thanks for the little boost! 

All set for photo retakes & class pics today… Say, “cheese!” 

Make-up & team photos today, lots of great smiles!

Happy foggy Friday! The sun is breaking through and it’s shaping up to be a nice day. Have a great day, All!

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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