2023.3.24 – Saxe Weekly

March 24, 2023

Dear Saxe Family, 

What a difference a week makes! Last week, we had snowball size snowflakes falling on us, and this week, we officially welcomed spring with sunny days for most of the week. We had a lot going on in our classrooms, around our campus, and there is a lot to look forward to as we head into the last full week of March. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Seussical the Musical, NC Color Drop update, Science Workshop, World Down Syndrome Day, Kindness Week, Spirit Day, Odyssey of the Mind, Chess March Madness, STEM, Spring!, EI, Clubs, a special birthday moment, some teacher collaboration, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

3/24 – Seussical the Musical

3/25 – Seussical the Musical

3/26 – NCSF Color Drop (Waveny, 10:00 a.m.)

3/29 – End of Quarter 3 for Grades 6 – 8

3/31 – Clone Day at Saxe

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Every one of us is like the pieces of a puzzle. Each one unique and with our own special place where only we can fit, and without every one of us, the picture wouldn’t be complete.” ― Gina McMurchy-Barber

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow!” – Mary Anne Radmacher

“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.” – R.G. Risch

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” Margaret Lee Runbeck

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”― Dr. Seuss, “The Lorax”

Saxe Theatre

We are so excited for the 7th and 8th Grade Musical Seussical Next Friday, March 24th at 7:00pm and Saturday, March 25th at 1:00pm and 5:00pm! The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton faces a double challenge: not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant. Seussical is fun for the whole family! Get your tickets HERE!!

NC Color Drop Update!

Due to the unfavorable weather forecast on Saturday, March 25, the color drop has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 26th (still 10:00 a.m.). Hope to see you there!  

Science Workshop

Eighth grade students in Science Workshop have been learning about the importance of empathy as it relates to the design-thinking process. Each student came up with a needs statement for people within various professions and then designed a hat to meet these needs. Students used the Think Space to brainstorm ideas and then created their prototypes in the Design Lab. Creativity and innovation on display!

Students in 8th grade Science were planning and carrying out investigations in order to determine the rate at which falling objects accelerate due to gravity. Students dropped balls of various masses from different heights and used video recordings to determine the amount of time it took for each ball to hit the ground. With a little bit of math, students were able to calculate the acceleration values. This led to a rich discussion after a deep dive into the team’s collective data.

World Down Syndrome Day 2023
The third month was explicitly picked to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome. This is what causes Down syndrome. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly officially declared the 21st March as World Down Syndrome Day on December 19th, 2011, however, it has been observed since 2006. The World Down syndrome 2023 theme is ‘We Decide‘. This is a focus on the right of those living with Down syndrome to participate. We wore crazy or mismatched socks to celebrate!

Kindness Week

As a way to celebrate the close of Middle Level Education Month, we are taking part in our 2nd annual partnership with our rival/neighbors, Middlesex MS, for the 2023 Kindess Week! Stay tuned for more information next week and enjoy some highlights from the planning session this week, which was held at Saxe on Thursday. 

Saxe was happy to host Middlesex Middle School students today to discuss our upcoming Kindness Week! Thanks to Principal, Dr. Dahlstrom, her staff, & most importantly, their students for joining forces again this year! We look forward to spreading the “kindness vibe” near & far! 

MMS & SAXE unite again in Kindness! What a great way for MMS & SAXE to meet, share school spirit, and have “rivals” unite in kindness together. Stay tuned for MMS/SAXE Kindness Week 2023!

Spirit Day  

Friday, 3/31: In an attempt to have every grade become unified and cohesive, the Saxe Spirit Club presents the “Clone Day” Spirit breakdown! We hope this will bring inclusivity and have everyone feeling a sense of belonging and community!

Odyssey of the Mind Teams

Saxe School Teams are headed to the International Competition! Congratulations to the Saxe Middle School Odyssey of the Mind teams who recently competed in the CT State competition. Three teams won first place and one second place, which earned these teams the opportunity to move forward to the international competition. Additionally, Saxe was represented by three other teams, one placing third, and two placing fourth in the state competition.

The Grade 5 team coached by Anna Cherkasova and Elena Lobashova solved the vehicle problem and won first place in a field of elementary school teams.  The team created a vehicle and presentation that included pirates seeking a treasure as the vehicle accomplished various tasks.  Team members were Emilia Humphreys, Maddy Kelly, Alexander Lobashov, Niamh O’Regan, Sienna Smith and Zach Titov. 

The Grade 8 team coached by Karen Generalis solved the same problem in the middle school category, winning second place with their vehicle. Team members include Colin Cronk, Jason Generalis, David Marz, Michael O’Malley and Jacob Silver.

The Grade 7 team coached by Heather Boulanger and Krista Colthup solved the classic problem, which required the students to recreate a version of the story of Troy. They placed first with their original solution. Team members were Devin Boulanger, Tatum Colthup, Emmeline DeMuth, Maeve Driscoll, Abby Dunlap, Dean Kelly (St. Luke’s), and Ethan Ready.

The Grade 6 team coached by Anu Bhondele won first place in the middle school category with their original dramatic story. Team members include Anaya Ansh, Anushka Dave, Amelie Mitra and Tanishi Kansal. The Grade 6 team coached by Udita Chek and Linda Sidani won third place in their division for their dramatic performance. Team members include Alex Cheng, Michael Chek (West School – 3rd Grade), Warren Chek, Declan Flaherty, Max Leffers, Ben Pagano and Skandar Sidani.

7th grade team Sachi’s Angles coached by Malhotra & Chidambaram finished 4th in their division and had a blast getting there. Team goals for experimenting with propulsion techniques, script writing and having a fun, fun, fun time were all achieved with spectacular style

Saxe Middle School is proud to have seven teams participate in the CT Odyssey of the Mind program. Saxe has been the longest standing school represented in this state competition, with teams for the past twenty-three years. Saxe has had as many as fourteen teams of students representing the school in this creative problem-solving program.

This year’s competition required teams of 5-7 students to solve an open-ended problem from one of five categories. The students work together brainstorming their solution, then creating all elements of the solution for their 8-minute presentation. This includes script writing, acting, gizmo and device building, scenery and props design and assembly plus costumes or any other aspect the students desire for their presentation.  Interested students can join our Saxe Odyssey of the Mind program in the fall. Watch for our emails inviting everyone to the information session in September. If you would like to know more about the Odyssey of the Mind Program” please connect with Rajni Chidambaram (rajni.chidambaram@gmail.com) parent volunteer for Saxe and NCHS, or Sonia Schott (sixschott@msn.com), the town coordinator for New Canaan.

Generalis 8th Grade Saxe Team
From L to R: Jacob Silver, Michael O’Malley, Colin Cronk, David Marz and Jason Generalis

Boulanger-Colthup 7th Grade Saxe Team

From L to R: Devin Boulanger, Emmeline DeMuth, Abby Dunlap, Tatum Colthup, Dean Kelly, Ethan Ready and Maeve Driscoll

Chek-Sidani 6th Grade Saxe Team
From L to R: Max Leffers, Ben Pagano, Michael Chek (West School, 3rd Grade), Warren Chek, Skandar Sidani, Declan Flaherty and Alex Cheng

7th grade team – L to R top – Arihanth Pharshy, Kaleb Tan, Sachi Malhotra, Milo Zinser-Trudel, L to R bottom – Bracelen Flood and Luca Pisant.

Anaya Ansh, Anushka Dave, Tanishi Kansal, Amelie Mitra
Division II Problem 5

Chess March Madness

Ms. Hines 15 students sign up for a Chess Tournament this week, with much enthusiasm!! 

Thank you to Ms. Hines for sharing!

Community Support

Supporting two of our very own Saxe “Wish Ambassadors”, this is a great cause (&, “good eats”)! It is an opportunity to give 100% of proceeds to Make-A-Wish CT for purchases at any Jersey Mike’s on 3/29 – enjoy & thanks!

Tweet Street

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

Thanks to Ms. Birdsall for bringing her SaxeSTEM students by to show off their latest robot creation! After they explained how it worked, they left and took the robot for “a walk” around Saxe. Very cool! 

Happy Spring from Saxe! It was great to see classes and activities outside on such a beautiful day…

Spring has sprung and the Saxe Hawk was spotted out and about in the community at bus stop #26 this week! Amazing…

One of the best days of the year! World Down Syndrome Day! The day wouldn’t be complete without celebrating and visiting Andrew, one of my all time favorite students. My has he grown!

Saxe staff gathered for their professional learning sessions to reflect & discuss past, recent, & upcoming EI lessons. Great conversations on learning life skills & continuing to provide the best experience possible for our students!

Caught some good discussions on navigating the “social scenes” that exist in the lives of middle schoolers. Some great insight and our Saxe students are able to really articulate how to care for one another!

One of our newest clubs at Saxe was underway this morning – Saxe Cornhole Club! Great way to start the day with some fresh air and strategic game play…

Saxe is transforming for the opening of Seussical the Musical, opening on Friday! Staff are enjoying a sneak peek at the dress rehearsal – they look & sound great!

The main lobby is looking pretty Seussical! Be sure to come out and check out the show this weekend!

More cowbell! We happened to catch some behind the scenes collaboration with a couple of our PE teachers as they worked together to replace the cowbell at the top of these Project Adventure elements. Nice teamwork Ms. Hendry & Mr. Thompson!

What a special moment! This group of thoughtful students stopped by to wish Ms. Warren a Happy Birthday, in song! Happy bday, Ms. Warren – hope it’s the best one yet!

And, a special shout out to Ms. Warren’s “birthday buddy”, Ellie Gusitsch, who turns 18 today!

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. 

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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