2022.11.23 – Saxe Weekly

November 23, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

Thanksgiving has long been one of my favorite holidays. The opportunity to gather with family, enjoy (lots of) seasonal foods, get outside for a walk, or simply take a post-meal nap, all make it a special time. It is my hope that you are able to spend time with those you care the most about (family, friends, relatives, neighbors, pets, self, etc.) while doing whatever it is that makes you most happy. This holiday weekend is a time to take a break, rest, relax, disconnect from the outside world, connect with those you are with, and simply enjoy some downtime. I hope that are able to return next week rejuvenated, with peace of mind, and a refreshed perspective on all we have to be grateful for. Until then, enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!   

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest Saxe News, 1-Second Everyday, ideas for a “Tech Free” (or, “tech reduced”) Thanksgiving, early pickup reminder, Music, Latin, Spanish, schedule committee work, World Language Department, eSports, Art, STEM, Town Hall meetings, TONS of gratitude and thanks, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

11/24 – Happy Thanksgiving!

11/28 – Welcome Back! F Day

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John F. Kennedy

“There are so many things in the world that could be invisible to the material eye, and when you take a moment to stop, to pause, to be present and notice them—that’s gratitude.” – Jay Shetty

Saxe News

Check out the latest Saxe News! This edition covers lunch, recess, and a couple of our amazing Cafeteria staff members. Thank you to everyone involved in creating the most recent Saxe News video! 

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).

“Tech-Free” Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family, and gratitude. And yet, many will be tempted to continue checking their phones, texting, and posting on social media during your time to connect. Of course, some technology may be used to keep you “present” in positive ways to create and remember memories (pictures, videos, etc.), so not all tech is “bad”. If you would like to try a “Tech Free” (or, “tech-reduced”) Thanksgiving, here are some suggestions:  

  • Mention it ahead of time. Invite your guests to participate in a “tech free” Thanksgiving, and ask them to bring a “tech-free” game everyone can enjoy.  Play “Salad Bowl” (Google it!), Taboo, or another fun large group game.  
  • Request no phones at the dinner table. Of course, if someone has an urgent need to be available by phone, they may keep their phone on vibrate.  
  • Turn off the TV during dinner. This can be tough if your favorite team is playing, but try to schedule dinner around the big games, or simply turn down the volume and leave it on in the background.  
  • Provide fun games and crafts for young children. Think ahead about some crafts that children can engage in so they won’t be asking for the ipad or remote. Creating festive decorations for the dinner table can be a perfect Thanksgiving craft.  
  • Give Thanks. Involve everyone in writing down what they are grateful for this year. Everyone can write on a “feather” made of construction paper and then the” feathers” can be added to a paper turkey. Keeping everyone engaged will cut down on their need to go onto the phone.  

If this sounds appealing to you, your family, or even a select few relatives/friends, please let us know how it goes. A Tech Free Thanksgiving may reduce stress and make it easier for everyone to connect and enjoy their time together. It may very well end up being the best Thanksgiving you have ever had! Regardless of the choice that best fits your family, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Credits: Thank you to Dr. Susan Bliss, & an article by Complete Payroll for these resources…  

Early Pickup

Just a reminder, if you are picking your child up early from school, they must sign out through their Divsion Office, or Nurse. Students may not leave campus without formally signing out and leaving through either the Main or Lower Divsion entrance. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s Division Office by calling: (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). As a backup, the Main Office phone number is: 203-594-4500. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us keep your children accounted for!


This short video is from one of Janet Rosen’s 5th grade Music Explorations classes. We wish you all a “Happy Thanksgiving!”


7th grade Latin students “cooked up” some Dative Turkeys this week (i.e. students learned how to express what they are thankful for in Latin, and practiced writing the indirect object form of nouns).

World Language

Thank you Saxe for supporting the World Language department’s professional development! Ms. McMahon (Spanish), Ms. Mykytenko (Latin), Ms. Mallié (French), and Ms. Wang (Chinese/Mandarin) from each language department attended The American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference. It was a wonderful WL team experience, an amazing professional development opportunity, and our students (and, WL colleagues) will benefit from the new network, learning, & resources that were gained!

Saxe eSports

Saxe eSports is coming! Saxe is starting an eSports team that will compete online with middle schools across the country. Students in grades 6-8 will compete against students from other schools in games like Rocket League, Super Smash Brothers, League of Legends, or Mario Kart! There will be weekly practices and competitions. Please see Mr. Petrakopoulos for more information.

Tweet Street

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

Pre-Thanksgiving Gratitude from our Assistant Principal Mrs. Granite: I’m incredibly grateful and lucky to spend each day with our smart, motivated, talented 5th graders! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

8th grade WL students created maps, recorded directions in Spanish, created QR codes, then challenged others to find their locations! Time well spent in the Saxe Design Lab and Innovation spaces! 

Grateful for our dedicated staff who are committed to continuing to look at ways to maximize our time, & provide the best experience possible, with our students. The a.m. session was our Lower Division staff diving into schedule options & opportunities to consider…

The p.m. session was our Upper Division staff, in the Upper Mez, diving into schedule options & opportunities to consider…

Signs of Thanksgiving and gratitude all around Saxe – Have a great Thanksgiving, All!

8th-grade “Colors for Causes”. Thank you for recognizing meaningful causes for our students and staff!

The 6th-grade “Gratitude Chain” displays what our students and staff are thankful for as we head into the Thanksgiving weekend. Have a great holiday weekend, all!

Some impressive Saxe Art on display. Amazing talent and creativity by our students!

Saxe STEM is in full swing with Ms. Vivian Birdsall! 

Ms. Campbell and her students are taking advantage of the adjoining Design Lab and Upper Mez Innovation spaces to think, collaborate, and create with each other!

The seventh-grade Blue team had its monthly “Blue Team Celebration” today celebrating students who exhibited gratitude, dedication, resiliency, and consideration. These students were awarded Starbucks gift cards, certificates, and ribbons of excellence, and, of course, loud applause from their classmates and teachers! After the recognition portion of the celebration, the entire Blue team was engaged in team-building activities including a good game of team limbo! The monthly “Blue Team Celebration” is a true illustration of what we value here at Saxe… Celebrating our learning community through caring, communication, and commitment. A big thank you to Ms. Korman, Ms. Thomas, Ms. Prinz, and Ms. Walsh for all of their efforts in organizing, funding, and providing an engaging and authentic celebratory experience for their students. Go 7 Blue!

The 6Blue Town Hall is underway! Students are reflecting on our Saxe Charter words and how they see these important words in action around Saxe!

Good morning from Saxe Middle School… Have a Happy Thanksgiving and long weekend, 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. 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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