2022.11.18 – Saxe Weekly

November 18, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

Amazingly, this is the last full week of school in November. As we look ahead to the abbreviated week next week and head into the Thanksgiving break, there is much to be thankful for. We will be encouraging our entire learning community (students, staff, and even parents) to “disconnect” and enjoy the special time with those that we choose to spend our time with. It is a special time of year and I could not be more grateful to be part of such a wonderful community. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at World Language, Saxe Cafeteria, Executive Functioning, Madagascar, Education Support Professionals, Chain of Gratitude, Hospitality, Design Lab, Innovation Space, a rainbow, Dogs of Saxe, and much more… Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

11/23 – Early Dismissal for Thanksgiving Holiday – Upper Division @ 12:00, Lower Division @ 1:15

11/24 – No School, Happy Thanksgiving!

11/25 – No School

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”  – Paul Valery

“Be so good that they can’t ignore you.”  – Steve Martin

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha

World Language 

As part of the Start with Hello annual national initiative created by Sandy Hook Promise, the World Language team supported students on Monday 11/14 in learning how to say hello in different languages.

Latin Gr. 6 students are designing their own towns based on a typical Roman town or city, with particular emphasis on the buildings and features of Ancient Rome. Additionally, they will be providing a background story of how their town or city was founded, influenced by the origin of Rome myth, and will be comparing and contrasting their town or city with a contemporary town or city in the world. 

Latin-Dative Turkeys (11/22-11/23) 7th and 8th grade Latin students will be learning how to say what they are grateful for in Latin, and decorate their own turkey.

French & Spanish students will be working on Thanksgiving vocabulary for the week of 11/21-11/23 to describe Thanksgiving celebrations, traditions, food, and what they are thankful for. 

Advanced Spanish 8 students will be completing their unit on the town and giving directions, and as a culminating performance task they have created their own town and will be giving directions with the use of QR codes.

A team of 4 World Language teachers, Josephine McMahon, Anne-Marie Mallie, Jenny Mykytenko, and Hsuan-Hui Wang, will be representing New Canaan Public Schools at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in Boston, Massachusetts from 11/18-11/20. We look forward to them bringing their learning back to share with their colleagues. Who benefits? Our students!

Saxe Cafe

Our Saxe Cafe Staff are beyond amazing… Thank you to Ms. Monika Pasztor & her team for the care and effort they put into each lunch wave. This Thanksgiving “warm-up” is just one example (but, an awesome one at that)!

Executive Functioning

Did you miss the Executive Functioning Presentation on November 17th? You can view the EFfective Services presentation on the role of executive functioning in social-emotional & academic success here:

Schools Supporting One Another

Come join the NCHS House Band, featuring members of the Orchestra, Band and Choir, for the NCHS Winter Sing-Along as they play and sing through all your favorite holiday songs! From We Wish You A Merry Christmas to Jingle Bells to Hannukah, Oh Hanukkah, there are songs for people of all ages to sing along. This night will also include an auction of art from NCHS art students as well as local businesses, plus holiday crafts for kids with support from the National Charity League. Get your tickets here and join us for a spectacular evening!  

This March, the NCHS band, choir, and orchestra ensembles will be traveling to Orlando, Florida to perform and compete at Festival Disney. This weekend-long educational experience invites music ensembles from across the country to sing and play in Disney performance halls, receive a clinic from a collegiate conductor, and participate in activities alongside hundreds of other student musicians. All proceeds from this benefit concert will be used to help give every student in our program the opportunity to participate.


The Madagascar show was a sold-out hit! This year the 5th and 6th Grade Musical had the highest number of participants with 120 cast members and over 55 crew members. Over the last 2 months students practiced their parts, worked on the set, and collaborated with each other to put on a truly spectacular show! Even the Audience wanted to “Move It Move It!” Congratulations!

This crew in the Madagascar Crew is ready to “light up the night” from the Saxe upstairs control room! Great view from up there and what a full house! 

Congrats to the entire Cast & Crew!

Educational Support Professionals Day

Saxe Hospitality and teachers made our ESPs feel special on Wednesday! They received handwritten notes from students and appreciation from teachers. Thank you for all you do for our entire school community!

What If ?

Let’s suppose just for a moment, what if there weren’t any ESP
What would become of our schools and where would education be
If not for the dedication of each Education Support Professional
How could our schools ever survive or even function at all
For the bus driver wouldn’t be there to pick up children along the way
The doors wouldn’t be unlocked, the lights on, or the buildings heated each day
The aides wouldn’t be there to help those children with a special need
Or the cooks wouldn’t have a hot and tasty meal ready for all to feed
School security wouldn’t be there to watch over the children with care
Each child’s records wouldn’t be the secretary’s load to bear
The computers would crash without the technician to keep them up to date
And not for the maintenance personnel, one can only guess the school’s fate
And there are many more that give so much, each in a different capacity
|For to each ESP, education is far more than just another job or utility
Education is each child’s future, the hope and prayers of our nation
For that future, each day, ESP give their work, love, and dedication

Dave Arnold

Tweet Street

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

Thanks to one of our Saxe parents who captured & shared this recent rainbow over our school! 

Photo credit: J. Buczkiewicz

Tremendous way to end the week with the Saxe 6Green Team, creating & celebrating their Gratitude Chain. We are grateful for all our teachers who continue to care and support our students each and every day!

Photo credit: Mr. Adams

Thank you to our Saxe Hospitality Team for putting on another amazing TGIF breakfast for our staff to enjoy. Nothing starts the day off better than the smell of bacon wafting throughout the building!

The Saxe Design Lab has some terrific student-made creations on display! The 3D printed pencil holders, with their names, are the product of a design thinking project they recently participated in.

Had the good fortune of sitting in on a Social Studies meeting in the Saxe Design Lab where staff brainstormed and prototyped some projects. Some excellent collaboration & creativity! (&, the lab has some great resources to choose from)

We are “in process” of reimagining many of our spaces at Saxe. This week, several Spanish classes visited our Saxe Library to think, collaborate, innovate, & create posters that include visuals, a QR code, & their voices describing their projects. Very cool! 

This week, Saxe celebrated our Education Support Professionals. We are grateful for each of our staff members and the role they play in our overall school community – thank you!

A little rain earlier this week, temps in the 20s today, & this crew of Saxe students is still at it! They get the “dedication award” for their streak of a.m. activity before they head into school each day… Nice work!

Informative presentation last night with EFfective Services on how executive functioning impacts academic and social-emotional success! If you couldn’t join us, stay tuned for the recording! 

Dogs of Saxe

Some super-friendly Dogs of Saxe braving the cold this week…

Have a great week, see you next Wednesday!

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

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