2022.12.23 – Saxe Weekly

December 23, 2022

Dear Saxe Family, 

Well, that is a wrap for 2022! And, what a way to finish it up, with a weather-related closure to kick off the holiday break. I hope everyone is safe, well, and with power (or, back on soon). There is so much to be grateful for and it is my hope that you are able to spend some time during this holiday break, with those you care the most about, enjoying a change of pace to do whatever it is that brings you joy. Whether you are traveling afar, remaining fairly local, or simply staying right at home, be as present as possible and enjoy each moment! 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Music, Student Leaders, World Languages, lots of holiday spirit, resources for families, Art, STEM, Science, recess, no-tech learning review, Dogs of Saxe, and much more. Enjoy, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and have a wonderful holiday break! See you in 2023… 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

12/23: ½ day No school & begin Holiday Break – ENJOY!

1/1: Happy 2023

1/2: New Year’s Day observed – No school

1/3/23: Welcome back!

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” —Ben Sweetland

“Every task, goal, race and year comes to an end…therefore, make it a habit to FINISH STRONG.”

― Gary Ryan Blair

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” – Mike Dooley

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” –Anonymous

Enjoy the Break!

Artistic credit: Mr. Adams


The 6th Grade Chorus is still spreading the holiday cheer! Choir members performed for the West Fourth Grade Students on Wednesday, December 21. This marks the fourth of FIVE performances various students have been doing around the New Canaan Community! These students were able to spend an hour sharing holiday cheer and connecting to their community at West through choral music.  

5th and 6th Grade Advanced Orchestra students serenaded students and staff at West, East, South, and Saxe with Holiday music this week. So much fun!

Ms. Rosen’s 7th-Grade Clarinets provided some holiday spirit as students entered the lobby on Wednesday.

Student Leadership

Congratulations to the 5th-grade students chosen for our Grade 5 Student Leadership Team! Students went through an application process and were asked to explain what it means to be a leader. Teachers and Saxe staff also helped choose students who exemplify the Saxe Charter every day to make our school community a better place. Congratulations to all who applied… there were many deserving students!

World Languages

The 6th through 8th-grade students spread holiday joy by doing Holiday Caroling in their target languages. It was a delight to see and hear some of these!

Spreading the Joy

The “Saxebucks” staff delivered coffee and a treat to Mrs. Visners for her birthday. It was the highlight of her day! ACCESS students are using their pre-vocational skills to run the Saxe Afternoon Treat Cart. Beverages and snacks are available for staff to purchase as an afternoon “pick me up” and all tasks related to this venture are completed by students – taking inventory, re-stocking the cart, taking and filling staff orders, asking for feedback from staff about items they would like to see offered, etc. And, this crew brings smiles to everyone they interact with around the building!

On Tuesday, December 20, the 6th-grade chorus hosted a singalong and festive holiday event with students in Ms. DeRobertis’s class. Students sang holiday songs together, made holiday crafts, and shared handmade holiday cards. It was a wonderful experience for all students to connect through music and come together as a community here at Saxe!

Mental Health resources for families

Have a wonderful holiday break! Should you need any support or assistance while school is not in session, please see the resources below:  

CT Infoline: Call 211-for confidential hotline/crisis intervention and assessment services 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.   www.211ct.org

Kids in Crisis: 24 hr. hotline (confidential) (203) 327-5437 (KIDS). Kids In Crisis 

988: Call or Text “988” for immediate crisis support

New Canaan Urgent Assessment Program at Silver Hill Hospital: By appointment only.  Offers FREE mental health assessment and referral within 48 hours.  Call, 1-866-542-4455, and request the Urgent Assessment Program, Monday- Friday. 

New Canaan Dept. of Youth Services: Jackie D’Louhy,  (203) 594-3081- for help accessing community services,  financial assistance or counseling needs.

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.

Tweet Street

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

Lots of holiday spirit around Saxe this week!

One of the best parts of each month – recognizing students and staff members for their contributions to our Saxe community with our Certificates of Gratitude! Congrats to all recipients & thanks to all who nominated their peers, colleagues, or students! 

December 22nd and this motivated group is still “outdoor hooping” before school at Saxe! Great way to start the day…

“Seasonal construction” is underway at Saxe! Here are a few of the designers and builders hard at work… 

The 3D printers at Saxe have been churning out some cool new products! This is one that could serve as a mug, or utensil holder.

There were tons of “snowflakes” flying around Saxe on the first day of winter! Here are just a few that were “caught”… 

Experimenting with shadow clocks in Mrs. Rovinelli’s period 3 class today! 

Some nice progress updating the 6th-grade hallways with a fresh coat of paint at Saxe! Next up? 5th-grade hallways!

This traveling pack of merry band members spread joy all throughout Saxe this morning. They were great and thanks for sharing your gift of holiday music with everyone! 

Check out the videos here!

It was a cold start to the shortest day of the year (12/21) but it ended up being a beautiful day to get some fresh air and movement during recess!

Love that teachers have been using this at Saxe for a while now to help students self-monitor during classes! Researcher Amy Berry’s “continuum of engagement” has inspired some educators to teach students about how their own level of engagement influences their learning—and how they might progress.

Thanks to our Saxe students for bringing the newly launched “treat cart” to the main office today! We are happy to support this new business venture!

Congrats to our Saxe 7/8 Choir on a wonderful concert! The music was amazing! It was special to have some of our former students from the NCHS Choir join in and show our students what they have to look forward to. Thanks and congrats go out to all involved! 

I was drawn in by the melodious sounds coming from the Saxe orchestra room and stayed to listen to a great rendition of Jingle Bells!

Packed house for the 7th and 8th-grade choir concert ⁦Saxe.

Saxe students tuning up for the upcoming Choir concert with members of the NCHS Chorale program. They sound great, looking forward to the concert!

Students in Ms. Nelson’s class. with a little kinesthetic learning. finding the correct answers on the white board. It was clear students were having fun while reviewing their learning! 

Congrats to our Saxe student, Abriel, on his recent success with the New York Grey Cadets. Keep up the great work, we are proud of you! (Shout out to his brother, Alexander, who received this honor as well!). 

Dogs of Saxe

Even some of our Dogs of Saxe were in the holiday spirit! 

Have a great break, see you in 2023!

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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