2023.1.20 – Saxe Weekly

January 20, 2023

Dear Saxe Family, 

I hope you had a great week! This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at the latest 1-Second Everyday, Daytime Open Houses, Mandarin, ELA, Design Lab, Tech Integrators, Math Team, Photo Club, Science, Band, STEM, Shark Tank, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

1/25 – Orchestra Concert – 7:00 pm

1/27 – Spirit Day – Clash Day

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Respecting someone indicates the quality of your personality.” – Mohammad Sakhi

“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.” – Taylor Swift

Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood

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).

Saxe Daytime Open Houses

Save the Dates! Daytime Open Houses are right around the corner! This is a great opportunity to invite you into our building and for teachers to share a snapshot of the learning that your children are experiencing in their classes. The dates are January 30th and 31st, and February 6th and 7th. Please keep a lookout for specific dates and times for each grade level and team early next week.


Sixth-grade Mandarin student 彭安澜 (Péng Ānlán) Aarna Prakash presented a photo of a Japanese menu that included Chinese characters to the class. Aarna traveled to France, India, and Japan during the holidays. She saw the application of the Chinese language in many places she visited. 

This coming Sunday is the year of the rabbit(兔, tù). Happy Lunar New Year(新年快乐, xīn nián kuài lè)! Mandarin students celebrated the new year today. They received the red envelopes and made paper-cutting decorations. 


Ms. Birdsall’s 6th Grade STEM students were on a roll! Her students got a few lessons in engineering and physics this week. Rube Goldberg has nothing on our students’ abilities to build a better mousetrap.

English Language Arts 

As part of their Dystopia and Utopia unit in 7th grade ELA, students have analyzed their book club texts to consider how authors craft their stories to be suspenseful and meaningful. Students then chose an important scene to adapt, while keeping the purpose and goal of the author’s meaning intact. Some students have chosen to adapt a scene into a movie, while others have chosen to produce dramatic readings, graphic novels, or even live performances! With the support of our Tech Integrators, Mr. Petrakopoulos and Mrs. Pacelli, students have used technological tools and platforms like WeVideo and BookCreator, and the design lab spaces have provided exciting collaborative opportunities for students to explore and be creative with their ideas! Tons of hard work went into the many wonderful adaptations that were created! 

Students use the green screen to film their videos outside the Design Lab. 

Students are recording a dramatic reading in the Design Lab. 

Students collaborate in the Design Lab to plan and develop their projects. 

The think spaces provided quiet spaces for students. Here, students record their dramatic reading together. 

After planning and creating, students present their projects to their classmates!  

Math Team Update

Congratulations to Kane Duggar, Aksh Juneja, Jason Lin, George Wang, Anthony Osadchy, Emily Meng, David Marz, Allison Stiles, Aarna Gupta, Stewart Goodwin, Anthony Westhead, and Aidan Salas for representing Saxe Middle School at the Chapter MathCounts Competition at Fairfield University in February! They will be competing against several other schools in different rounds. We look forward to hearing about the results soon! Stay tuned for more information and some photos in the coming weeks…

Photography Club

Ms. Iwansky’s Photography Club students were out bright and early Friday morning photographing the school. What wonderful light for some awesome photos!


Thanks to those who have already downloaded and are using the app! If you have not yet, please see the info below to join at your convenience…

New Canaan Public Schools (NCPS) has officially announced the launch of their new mobile app that helps students, parents, and our community stay up-to-date with what’s happening across our schools. The app will streamline access to both district and school information in an easy-to-navigate mobile format and is an extension of the newly updated NCPS website.

Users will have access to a host of real-time information and important documentation, including: 

  • School and District News
  • Daily and Monthly Lunch Menus (PDFs included)
  • District, School-Level and Rotational Calendars
  • Reminders for Upcoming School/PTC Events
  • Interactive Staff Directories
  • Customizable profiles with content specific to an individual school, or multiple schools within the district. 

To learn more, click here to view a short video preview of the new NCPS Mobile App:

The app is now available to download for free on Google Play and the Apple App Store: 

Download for iPhone   

Or visit: https://apple.co/3VsJIAP  or

Download for Android

 Or visit: https://bit.ly/3eo6FEE

Tweet Street

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

Students observing & recording physical & chemical changes in G6 Science.

Great Collaboration! Best PL often comes from teachers teaching teachers! Thank you to the 7th grade Science team for sharing your experiences and design thinking with the Shark Tank workshop experience!

Got to enjoy the 8th-grade band today….amazingly talented kids. Yes, that is one of our 8th graders conducting.

Vex Robotics action in #SaxeSTEM! Cool creations!

Ms. Iwanski & her Digital Photography Club students were out and about taking some nice shots of Saxe this week! Can’t wait to see the prints… 

Some Rube Goldberg action in Saxe STEM! 

G7 ELA students got to showcase their video productions in class today – congrats to all! They did a terrific job demonstrating what they learned through their stories!

Congrats to our G7 Science teachers & all of their students on another successful round of Saxe Shark Tank during STEM Workshop! Special congrats to the 2 finalist groups – the “Chaos Clock” & “Wiper Swiper 5000” were great examples of innovation in action!

Spotted a G6 Science “weathering walk” in action! Great day to be out and about learning around Saxe!

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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