2022.12.16 – Saxe Weekly

December 16, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

We started the week with a little bit of snow to remind us that the winter break is right around the corner! Students have fun with holiday outfits, the halls are filled with seasonal artwork, and lessons in the classrooms and throughout the school include some fun twists while continuing to challenge our students. Next week, we will be treated to a taste of the season as our 7th & 8th-grade chorus kick off the winter concert series (good luck to all!). 

 This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Social Studies, STEM, Math Buddies, Science, Peer to Peer Group, Chorus, BOE policy updates, The Dome at NCHS, some charitable causes, Puzzles and Games Club, snowy scenes, PJ Day (x2), professional learning, an amazing cookie exchange, Math, Design & Innovation space, some holiday spirit, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

12/20 – Grade 7/8 Chorus Concert – 7:00 pm

12/23 – Pajama Day!

12/23 – ½ Day for Students. UD Dismissal: 12:00, LD: 1:15pm; Happy Break!

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Life is not about having everything. It’s about finding meaning in everything.” – Joel Randymar

 “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you.” –T.A. Barron

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” –Mother Theresa

 “Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this.” — Celine Dion

Social Studies

The camera caught these hard-working 5th graders working on consolidating their learning in their Colonization unit. 

STEM Class

Future engineers “breaking bridges” (or, testing the strength of them)! Amazing display of design and engineering in Vivian Birdsall’s Saxe STEM class! 

Math Buddies

We are proud to share that two NCHS students, Lily Mohr and Susanna Rittenberry started a Math Buddies Club, partnering with high school and Saxe students. Each week, about a dozen high school students come to Saxe and spend the last lower division period of the day with 5th and 6th-grade students during their math class. What a joy it is to have these students come back as role models and to work with our students! 

Collaborating in Comfort in Mrs. Hines’s Room!


Over the past two weeks in Mr. Ekstrom’s Science class, students have been engaged in a game-based learning experience, Turkey Genetics. Students pulled chromosomes at random in order to determine the initial traits of their birds, then tracked the inheritance of these different traits over multiple generations. Only the “fittest” turkeys were able to survive the selective pressures brought on by changing environments (temperature change, predators, etc.). This experience allowed students to build upon their understandings of genetics, heredity, and evolution.

Note: our new Science tables/stations allow for flexible setups in the classrooms. Here, they are moved to allow for collaborative discussions in the middle of the room. 

Peer to Peer

Peer to Peer is a program created to allow 7th and 8th graders an opportunity to mentor 5th and 6th-grade students. Students participating in this program volunteer to stay after school to work with small groups or individual students in 5th and 6th-grade classrooms. This program has been running since the end of October. We are so thankful for the students that have chosen to give up their time to help others.

Bringing Holiday Cheer to East

Volunteer students from the 6th Grade Chorus spread holiday cheer this morning at East Elementary.  Students sang holiday carols in support of the non-profit, Filling in the Blanks. Students East helped their community by bringing non-perishable food items. The students at East were greeted with holiday cheer, community, and connection through music!

Board of Education Policy Updates

The Board of Education has been working to update its policies including those around residency and bullying. Please visit the BOE Policies, Bylaws and Regulations page on our website for more information.

Charitable Causes

Saxe Supports The Dome project! Did you know? The original 1971 New Canaan High School Planetarium is being transformed and we are excited about the future potential it will hold for field trips for our elementary/middle school students. Students can explore space, the layers of the earth or learn about history and geography. To learn more about the future of The DOME click here

Help to Seize the Day

The Sixth Grade Saxe Chorus is going to seize the day – but they need your help! The chorus will be holding a food drive to donate to Filling in the blanks; a voluntary service that collects food items for local children in need. So how can you help? You can buy food items such as canned corn, beans, and other food items along those lines. To drop them off, stop by the Saxe lower division office, main office, or room 153. You can also visit this link to purchase the food items to seize the day.

Clothing Drive

Please consider donating clothing to the New Canaan BSA Troop 70 Urban Odyssey Clothing Drive. Donations help to cloth the homeless in NYC. The Urban Odyssey Donation Box can be found in the Saxe Main Office from now until Jan 12th.

Saxe Pajama Day: 12/23

At Saxe, we strive to feel and experience the 5 Charter and 5 C words. With that in mind, we will continue to align our spirit day themes with one of the 10 words! Next Friday (12/23), we have pajama day, as we want all students and staff to feel comfortable here. We cannot wait to see everyone show their school spirit and hopefully feel extra comfy before winter vacation 🙂

Puzzle and Games Club

Students in Ms. Mitchell’s Puzzles and Persistence Club start the day working on various puzzles in a relaxing, calm environment with friends. Plus, doing puzzles and playing puzzle games regularly helps to form new connections within your brain cells!

Welcome to Saxe

This week Saxe Middle School welcomes a new staff member. Mike Puckett joined our supervisory staff and has already integrated himself nicely into the school community. Mike comes to us from Stamford public schools and currently coaches our 6th grade boys basketball team. Please introduce yourself when you see him! 

Tweet Street

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

Good morning from Saxe! Thanks to New Canaan DPW and our Custodians for having our campus clear and ready after the first snowfall of the season. Happy Monday and have a great day!

PJ Day (For the Kids) was a success! With your help we’ve raised almost $5,000 for children battling cancer at Connecticut Children’s! We are beyond proud of our NCPS community and for the generosity of our donors. Let’s move #onward!

This photo was shared from Monday morning at Saxe – lots of “happy excitement” with the first snowfall of the season!

Love hearing “happy birthday!” at a.m. drop off! Hope it was the best birthday yet!

Thanks to our Saxe schedule committee(s) for their dedication to continuing the ongoing discussion & brainstorming of ideas that will allow us to best serve our students & school community!

Thank you to our amazing Saxe PTC for arranging the annual “cookie exchange” at Saxe! Our staff will definitely feel grateful (&, sugared up)!

Fifth graders hard at work in Mr. Fiorillo’s room!

How talented (and philanthropic) is our 6th grade choir? Our students stopped by East School to gather food donations and perform a few of their favorite songs in support of Filling in the Blanks. More info here! https://ncps-k12.org/o/sms/article/927284

Students in Vivian Birdsall’s STEM class demonstrating the capabilities of the latest VEXRobotics components. Neat to hear them describe all they can do to a team of visiting adults!

Lots of action by Saxe students in the Saxe DesignLab – thinking, collaborating, creating, designing, & more!

‘It’s the season… Some wintry holiday scenes on display around Saxe from our Art students. They look great!

Thank you to our Saxe Hospitality crew for putting on another TGIF breakfast… No better way to start the day & round out the week!

We are so fortunate to have such an amazing Saxe PTC! Thank you for the delicious treats this week – the cookie exchange was amazing!

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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