2023.2.10 – Saxe Weekly

February 10, 2023

Dear Saxe Family, 

What a difference a week makes. Last week, we were preparing for sub-zero temperatures going into the weekend and today was so beautiful, we had many classes outside and people comfortably in t-shirts. More than once this week, I hear the expression, “the days are long, but the weeks are flying by…”. This seems to be holding true as we enter the middle of February already and have a shortened week going into the Winter Recess next Friday. Each day is a gift and there are so many wonderful learning experiences and moments that take place every day. Thank you for taking a moment to check out all that we have to be grateful for at Saxe Middle School!

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at our world-class School Counseling Team, Black History Month, Science, Workshop, Mathematics, Mandarin, Math Team, ELA, Daytime Open House resources, Saxe SRO, Certificates of Gratitude, Library, 3D-Printing, STEM, EI, e-Sports, Saxe Trout, Vex Robotics, Valentines for Vets, Saxe Hawk “takes flight”, the Flying Squirrel in PE, Jersey Day, Saxe Outdoors, scenes around Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

2/15 – School Resource Officer Day

2/16 – Saxe/PTC Collaboration on School Climate – 9:30 a.m. 

2/17 – Staff PL; No School – Enjoy your Winter Break!

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Invest time and energy in your well-being. Create an atmosphere of emotional safety for yourself.” 

– Amy Leigh Mercree

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

-Thurgood Marshall

“Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” – Ola Joseph

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”  – Barack Obama

“Safety has to be everyone’s responsibility… everyone needs to know that they are empowered to speak up if there’s an issue.” – Captain Scott Kelly

Saxe School Counselors are #1

As we celebrate National School Counseling Week, we could not be more grateful for our team of skilled professionals at Saxe. Thank you for all that you do for our students, staff, & entire learning community. You are appreciated!

Mr. Lepisto, Ms. Beltran, Ms. Nettleton, Ms. Hillyer, Ms. Risoli, Ms. Garnett

Thanks to our amazing and ever-supportive PTC for the nice treats for our School Counselors (and, they shared with the rest of the Support Staff Professionals) 🙂

Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, we have been celebrating and remembering the many contributions that fellow citizens have made, and continue to make, in our country. The long list of contributors ranges from Nobel Prize winners to authors and people trying to make our communities better places. 

Here are a few innovators we have to thank: 

  • Garrett Morgan (yellow traffic light and gas mask)
  • Dr. Shirley Jackson (caller -id)  
  • Gladys Mae West (GPS)

Stay tuned for more throughout the month!


6th Grade Purple Science: students teaching students during our EI lesson this week. This week’s theme: Perspective Talk. 

6th Grade Workshop

During the 6th Grade Purple Workshop this week, we researched and created paper airplanes and mechanics to make them better/optimal. 


Mandarin students celebrated the Lantern Festival this week. The Lantern Festival, also called Shangyuan Festival(上元节) or Yuanxiao Festival(元宵节), is a Chinese traditional festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar, during the full moon. It is also the last day of the Lunar New Year.

Math Counts

Over the weekend 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 competed at the Southwest Chapter MathCounts Competition at Fairfield University. There were over 150 students who competed in this competition.

Congrats to Kane, Aksh, Jason, and George who will be advancing to the state competition in March. Jason, George, and Kane placed in the top 12 of these roughly 150 students. We are beyond proud of all these students’ commitment and hard work. Looking forward to heading to states!

English Language Arts 

Our fifth graders are exploring non-fiction and using their reading and writing notebooks to hold their thinking and express their ideas. Below, students in Mrs. Redden’s class are sharing their new learning in their short non-fiction booklets with their peers! 

Reading and writing notebooks are places for students to explore ideas, jot thinking and synthesize new learning. Students learn a variety of note-taking skills including sketchnoting. Below, students in Mrs. Redden’s class are showcasing the notes they’ve taken during their learning about a nonfiction article.  Sketchnoting is a powerful note-taking strategy to help students remember important details and express important central ideas! 

In sixth grade, our students have started their social issues unit, and students are working collaboratively in book clubs to unpack the big ideas emerging from their chosen texts. Book clubs allow students to deepen their understanding of characters, conflicts, and themes, and students learn and practice important speaking and listening skills. Students from Mrs. Taylor’s class (below) are deep in thought and conversation as they discuss their books and learn from each other, too! Reading notebooks are open to track thinking, and students cite evidence from the text in their discussions. As a result,  the conversations are insightful and meaningful! 


Mrs. Avergun’s Grade 6 classes are learning Ratios and Proportional Relationships. Students in Math 6 have been working with recipes and learning that if they scale the ingredients up or down proportionately, the results will be the same. Students in M7 have been creating tables, graphs and equations that show proportional relationships.   They have learned that rates compare two numbers with different units and can distinguish which unit is dependent and which unit is independent.

In Mrs. Brown’s 8th Grade Pre-Algebra classes, students are collaboratively learning about equations in slope intercept form and are on an equation scavenger hunt.

In Mrs. Brown’s 8th Grade Algebra classes, students are beginning a new unit and are using a Desmos presentation to learn about the laws of exponents.

Daytime Open House Presentations

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Daytime Open House! If you were unable to attend your child’s Team presentation, you can find the slide presentation links below. And, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) if you have any questions. 

Monday, 1/30Tuesday, 1/31Monday, 2/6Tuesday, 2/7
8:55 a.m.G7: Red TeamPresentation slides:
link here
8:55 a.m.G7: Purple TeamPresentation slides:
Mrs. Andrews (Math)
Mrs. Barcia (Science)
Ms. Campbell (Social Studies)
Mr. Lepisto (School Counselor)
Mr. Young (LA)
8:55 a.m.G7: Blue TeamPresentation slides:
Mrs. Korman
Mrs. Walsh
Ms. Prinz
Mrs. Thomas
8:55 a.m.G7: Green TeamPresentation slides:
link here
10:10 a.m.G6: Blue TeamPresentation slides:
link here
10:10 a.m.G6: Green TeamPresentation slides link: Here10:10 a.m. G6: Purple TeamPresentation slides:
link here
10:10 a.m.G6: Red TeamPresentation slides:
link here
11:20 a.m.G8: Blue TeamPresentation slides:
link here
11:20 a.m.G8: Purple TeamPresentation slides:
link here
11:20 a.m. G8: Red TeamPresentation slides:
link here
11:20 a.m.G8: Green TeamPresentation slides:
link here

School Resource Officer Day – February 15th!

General PTC Meeting: “Cultivating a Positive School Culture”

Thursday, Feb 16th at 9:30 AM, Saxe Theatre 

Principal Dave Gusitsch and NCPS’ Student Support Coordinator, Dr. Susan Bliss, will discuss the results of the recent school climate survey data and Saxe initiatives to continually cultivate a positive school culture.

Tweet Street

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

One of my favorite times of each month at Saxe. Sharing certificates and letters with those who have been recognized for going above & beyond in exemplifying our values!

Mr. Bedard met with each Grade 8 team this week to revisit the finer points of what makes our school community a special one. Grateful for each student, staff, & community member who contributes!

A few pics of students getting right down to the business of learning during first period (LD1) this week… 

Grateful for our library staff who are always creating & maintaining a warm, welcoming, & often humorous environment. Thanks for all that you do for our school community!

School may have been when these pics were taken, but the 3D-printers were still busy working on student projects!

Good discussions on communication skills and being considerate of multiple perspectives… 

The esports club was back in action and competing against other teams this week! Look forward to seeing their progress and cheering them on this “season”…

The Saxe Trout continue to grow! Look forward to their next big step being released into the “big tank”…

Here’s a successful run of VEX Robotics programming in action at Saxe. Nice work!

Seeing 5th-graders code their VEX Robotics and then release them into the “arena” to test their programming never gets old! The personalized touches to their creations are also awesome…

What a great response to the Valentines For Vets project! Saxe is proud to support our veterans! 

Students leading students! One of our students asked for time with our leadership team to present a fundraising idea. Love seeing these students bond over helping others and our community.

The Saxe Hawk took flight for a special delivery recently! Thanks to our amazing Saxe PTC for supporting every member of our school community! 

Some “Flying Squirrel” amazingness during Saxe PE! Teamwork, courage, & skill all on display! 

Check this out! Draining the basket while being hoisted up by Saxe classmates in PE! Nice teamwork & GREAT shot!

Not to be outdone, Asst. Principal, Dr. Ferreira took the leap of faith with the “Flying Squirrel” in PE! Favorite line, “Awesome! You can put me down now…”. Nice work!

The Saxe Treat Cart has a special bonus this week – “who’s going to win the Super Bowl?”… Thanks for the coffee and look forward to seeing which team pulls off the big win! 

Many hands make light work… last night, Saxe was rocking out with the West School Talent/Variety Show (it was awesome!) & this morning you would not know there were 500+ people jamming out into the evening hours… Congrats & thanks to all – hope it was a terrific event! 

Some recent Saxe STEM creations! Whether it is 3D design & printing or app invention, our students are experiencing some wonderful opportunities in STEM with Ms. Birdsall.

Just a couple of hard-luck Steelers fans on Saxe Jersey Day. Looking forward to next season! 🙂

Jersey day at Saxe and look what Mr. Bedard found! Awesome!

Ms. Benware says “fly eagles fly”

The weather is amazing and our Saxe teachers are taking advantage by conducting classes outdoors. Fresh air, vitamin D, & experiential learning is a winning combo! 

Science students measure shadows on an unseasonably warm February morning. “Maverick the Meter Stick” provides a constant measurement as they compare across multiple solar angles! 

Today is Jersey Day at Saxe so we gathered our students and staff who are most excited about the big game this weekend! Good luck, enjoy, & may the best team win!

Fly Eagles, Fly!

Go Chiefs!

A few more pics of some outdoor activity on this unseasonably warm winter day – glad so many students got to benefit from it today! 

Tech Integrator, Ms. Pacelli works with 6th-graders on their VEX Robotics projects in the Saxe Design Lab! Students could not have been more engaged…

Nature has been providing some beautiful scenery over Saxe this week! It is always worth a moment to stop and take in the views…

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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