2023.4.6 – Saxe Weekly

April 6, 2023

Dear Saxe Family, 

Happy April! Another milestone is upon us – Spring Break! It is my hope that you are able to spend time with those you care most about, doing whatever it is that makes you happiest. Whether you are traveling afar or staying close to home, it is important to take time to be present and acknowledge all that we have to be grateful for. I am certainly grateful to be part of this wonderful school community at Saxe Middle School, within the terrific town of New Canaan. I am also grateful to be able to spend time with family during the break, enjoying a change of pace that will allow us to create some lasting memories. 

This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Spring Daytime Open Houses, Math, a huge map, ELA, lots of music, Kindness Week, Photo Club, being kind, Saxe Spirit, National Assistant Principal Week, Paraprofessional Day, Esports, Certificates of Recognition, Husky-mania, scenes around Saxe, a Saxe birthday, Dogs of Saxe, and much more. Enjoy and have a wonderful Spring Break! 

Be Well, 

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” —Steve Maraboli

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart

“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan

Saxe News

Check out the latest episode on April break!

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

4/7 First day of break – enjoy!

4/17 Welcome back!

4/20 7Red, 6Green, 8Red Spring Daytime Open House

4/21 7Green, 6Blue, 8Blue Spring Daytime Open House

Spring Daytime Open Houses (grades 6-8)

Below, please find the communications that went out earlier today with details on our upcoming Spring Daytime Open House. We look forward to seeing you there!

Dear Saxe 6-8 Grade Parents/Guardians, 

You are invited to attend the 2023 Spring Daytime Open House during the week of April 20-25, 2023. The schedule below depicts the specific day, date, and time for each respective grade/team (any changes in the schedule would be communicated in a timely manner). Families will also receive a reminder email the morning of Open House. Grade 6-8 teams will host their program within their respective team classroom area. For parents who are unable to attend during the scheduled time, slides will be made available to show the content that was covered. 

Teachers will review team progress made thus far relative to curriculum standards, address initiatives that have promoted an academically, emotionally, and physically safe learning environment, share some celebrations, and offer an academic overview to the 4th marking period. 

If you have any further questions regarding our Daytime Open House program, please feel free to contact your child’s counselor or grade-level administrator.


In Ms. Hubbard’s Math 6 classes, students have been working on the Ratio & Proportional Relationships unit. These students used the work from their Math 7 classmates as a model. They discussed the proportions and meaning behind the graphs and tables. Next, they created an original situation and justified the proportional relationship by including a visual model, a table of values, and an explanation of the proportionality.

Students in Ms. Kiley’s Math 7 class are learning all about percentages! They recently participated in an activity to find percent error. All of the students estimated the ages of celebrities and then calculated their percent error based on their actual ages. Morgan Freeman looks great for 85! 

Students in Ms. Link’s 8th Grade Pre-Algebra class are learning how to solve systems of equations. Students worked collaboratively in small groups to find the solution given a system of equations where they had to use elimination. 

Student’s in Ms. Link’s 8th Grade Algebra class started their factoring unit! Given a polynomial, students used algebra tiles to create area models. These models allowed students to visualize the factors of the given polynomials. Using these manipulatives helped students develop a hands-on connection to where factors come from.

Social Studies

Ms. Campbell thinks Social Studies is a “BIG” deal!

6Green LA

Fort building fun in Mrs. Taylor’s class! Students were invited to use their collaboration, cooperation, and communication skills with stellar, (somewhat) structurally sound results. Most importantly, they had a blast in the process.


Some 7Red Team collaboration in action – nice work by all!

Jazz Ensemble Visits Saxe

On Wednesday April 5th,  Saxe instrumental students viewed a concert by the jazz ensemble “John Fumasoli and the Jones Factor.” This star studded group of professionals played music composed by Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, and members of the ensemble. Students enjoyed a full jazz performance that included Ben Kibbey, one of Saxe’s Music teachers. 

Kindness Week at Saxe

The recent Kindness Week was organized by the student leadership teams in collaboration with Darien’s Middlesex Middle School’s student leadership team. The purpose of this initiative was to promote a culture of kindness and inclusivity within both of our school communities. “We may be rivals, but we are united in kindness…” 

During the week, students participated in a variety of activities and events that highlighted the importance of kindness. Activities were organized by a theme for each day that followed suggested acts of kindness to perform.  The themes included, “Kindness for Students”, “Clean for Kindness”, “Kindness for Others” and “Kindness for a Cause”.   Our 5th grade student leadership also organized a fundraiser to support a local charity that focuses on helping people in need.

And, the unified kindness carried over to off-campus extracurriculars as well. Nice job!

Photo Club

The photo club students learned to play with light during Photo club this week!

7/8 Honors Band with Mr. Kibbey

The Saxe Upper Division Honors Band is preparing music for the June Concert. 

Some of their favorite songs are “All Star” from Shrek, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story,

“Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, and the theme from the hit TV show “The Mandalorian.”

6th Graders Learn about Empathy

Thanks to the 6th grade teachers who talked to their students about the meaning of empathy- and how to demonstrate it to others. 

Student Spotlight

Congratulations to 5th grader, Grayson Petraska, on becoming a National Champion in his Slalom race this week at the USASA (United States of America Snowboard and Free Ski Association)! Grayson also won bronze in the Giant Slalom, 14th in Slopestyle and 13th in halfpipe. Great work, Grayson! We’re so proud of you!

Band & Orchestra

This amazing crew never disappoints… Thank you for making EVERY day special – you are appreciated!

Tweet Street

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

There are a “minion” reasons to love fifth grade! Happy clone day to our fifth grade students and staff!

Monday officially kicked off our annual United in Kindness week (click to watch the video) with our ‘rivals’, Dragons MMS. Let’s show our school and community what it means to be kind.

Our Saxe Hawk is spreading Kindness with our staff and students during our United in Kindness week with our ‘rivals’ DragonsMMS. Let’s see that Dragon!

Feeling the Kindness Week vibe today at Saxe!

Happy National Assistant Principal Week! I am truly grateful for the amazing team of APs at Saxe.. Thank you, Mr. Bedard, Dr. Ferreira, and Mrs. Granite – you are appreciated!

Saxe Esports Championships have begun. It’s not all fun & games as our competitors take care of business in the classroom as well (getting homework done between matchups!). Good luck to our Saxe students & thanks to Mr.Petrakopoulos for providing this opportunity!

Saxe Esports Championships have begun! Our teams were locked in and off to a great start! Stay tuned for updates & good luck to our students!

Congratulations to our most recent recipients of our Certificates of Recognition! An inspiring group of 5th graders!

Lots of proud Husky fans around Saxe today! Congrats to the UConn MBB program and all UConn Huskies who got to celebrate alongside you… You’ve made all of CT proud!

One of my favorite moments each month – handing out the Saxe Certificates of Gratitude! Each one represents a member of our community who went above and beyond to contribute to our positive school climate. Grateful for each act of kindness!

The weather outside is delightful and our “Wall of Poems” is blooming inside at Saxe. 

Work on our Outdoor Learning space has resumed and we are looking forward to this area being used by our Saxe students & staff! Stay tuned for updates…

The springtime vibe was strong today as this group of Saxe students took a moment to pose for a quick pic out front. Love seeing our students benefit from being outside!

April 5th is paraprofessional appreciation day! Our students, staff, & community are excited to celebrate and thank our amazing Saxe Teaching Assistants (TAs)! They play such an integral role in our student’s lives!

Heard another, “Happy Birthday!” out the car window this morning! Love it when our Saxe students embrace the moment and allow the moment to be captured. Hope it was the best birthday, yet!

Saxe students are getting into their ELA projects! Here is a film scene in action – looking good, crew!

Students engaged in meaningful conversations on sympathy & empathy this week. Life skills that will serve them well!

Our students lead announcements each day and it is a great way for them to connect & give back to our school community! Here are just a few of the many contributors who participate each week. Nice work!

Ms. Grantie is one lucky AP! Happy National Assistant Principal’s Week to colleagues and friends

Thank you to our PTC for helping our APs celebrate!

It may have been cloudy & hazy outside at Saxe, but the flowers are in full bloom!

Dogs of Saxe

Nice weather at Saxe this morning brought out a few of our favorite Dogs Of Saxe! We love seeing them at drop off each day. Thank you for sharing your 4-legged family members with us!

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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