Thursday, January 25, 2018

End of Semester 1 - Saxe Update

  • Daytime Open House Reminder
Please visit the link below for schedule and information:

  • The "Good Teen" & 14 Days of Kindness Project
“…teens become so preoccupied with their own thinking that they fail to distinguish between their thoughts and the thoughts of others…Dwelling on themselves-constantly focusing on their deepest desires and their most glaring deficiencies-may make them overly self-conscious and reluctant to act…The best way to counter adolescent egocentrism and the lack of confidence it may breed is to help your teen…move away from the intense focus on self.”     (The Good Teen by Richard M. Lerner, Ph.D.)
At Saxe, our students are consistently asked to use their assets to create a positive result, for both themselves and for others.  Guiding our young people to develop awareness and empathy for others is an excellent way to move a middle school aged child from self-doubt to self-expression and finally toward contribution, to one’s self and to others.  So many of our students are already engaged in service learning activities sponsored by local civic groups or spiritual institutions.  When students are engaged in learning about the experiences of others, as well as, co-curricular activities beyond the classroom, we increase the probability that their own development will be asset-driven.   
The student-led school improvement teams have been working together to strengthen our already strong school climate. One way we hope to get everyone involved (staff and students) is through the 14 Days of Kindness project. The project will begin on Friday, January 26th and end on Valentines Day (Feb. 14th). Each day an announcement will be made indicating the daily act of kindness in addition to the act being displayed on school televisions. Below is an overview and some slides detailing each day. 

  • Team 6  Purple "Connections" Initiative
The sixth-grade purple team will be launching our new "Connections" program.   Connections will address the need for students to further develop Social, Academic and Personal Learning (SAPL) skills.  Additionally, there will be direct instruction around the “Saxe Habits of Success” (Preparedness, Active Learning, Collaboration, and Self-Management). 

Connections will run during the workshop period for seven lessons.  These lessons were locally designed by Saxe teachers and counselors during summer curriculum work.  The dates are 1/29, 2/1, 2/6, 2/9, 3/2, 3/7, 3/28.   We will be evaluating the success of the lessons and making any necessary adjustments before another team in 6th grade does the same.  This "piloting" of the instruction will help to ensure that we have a continuously improving product.
Please contact the 6 Purple Team Counselor, Ms. Bachman, if you have any questions.

  • Sharing a Decision
On a personal note...my wife and I have decided to retire at the end of this school year and relocate to the shore in Delaware.  I have had the privilege of serving this community for the past 25 years,  as well as, being in this profession for a total of 39 years.  

I will leave knowing that the support and guidance from the parent community, of which I will always be grateful, will continue to ensure that our middle school will thrive, even beyond its present state.


I can honestly say that I have been able to live the life of a "life-long learner" because I've been blessed to have had professional colleagues that are "life-long teachers".   Although there is still another semester ahead, I want to express my gratitude for their collective "teachings" as they have exemplified the best that this profession has had to offer.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year @ Saxe

One of the most unique elements of being a school community is that we have the good fortune to celebrate two "New Years" holidays:  One at the start of school in late August and the other at this time of year as we turn the calendar page to 2018.

Typically at the start of a new year, one makes resolutions with sincere optimism.   At Saxe, the new calendar year allows us to reflect on the first part of the school year and then determine how to maintain, expand, extend and enrich our current school program and services.  Saxe families and faculty both share a common mission:

Saxe student is
caring person,
who communicates well,
and is 
committed to doing their very best!

Another part of celebrating the turn of the calendar year is the counting of gratitudes which helped us persevere in the previous year and which gives us support in the coming year.  As I reflect back on the first four months of this school year, I am consistently reminded of the extraordinary faculty and staff with which our students are entrusted.   I am grateful for the never-ending sacrifices that our professional staff makes in order to deliver the highest quality educational services available.  As the Saxe staff readies itself to transition back to their "second family", the students who benefit from their daily commitment; they are poised to continue to answer their "calling" to one of the important missions of professional services: the education of your child.  Please join us in our collective celebration of our mission as we re-start the school year by turning the page into the new calendar year!
Best,
Greg Macedo
Saxe Principal

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Week of Nov. 6 - Saxe Update

Nov. 6 - Saxe PTC Donation to NCPS Board of Education
Last evening, the Saxe PTC proposed a donation to the NCPS Board of Education for 300 Chromebooks and 8 carts so that the 5th and 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies classes could all provide a technology integrated learning environment on any given day.  Presently, those classrooms are restricted by a student "sharing ratio" of 2 students for every device.  This donation will achieve the desired 1:1 ratio, which was a budget goal from last year but not attainable owing to budget limitations.  Last year's budget allocated the same distribution of 1:1 Chromebooks in all Grade 7 and 8 Language Arts and Social Studies classrooms for this present school year.  The Board of Education unanimously accepted the donation!  Our students and staff will benefit greatly from this very generous donation.  This is an excellent example of how parent fundraising can have a significant impact on the learning environment for every child.
Nov. 7- Teacher Appreciation Lunch
A "rousing standing ovation" to the Saxe PTC volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to coordinate today's PTC Teacher Appreciation lunch for Saxe staff who were engaged in a full day of professional learning.  The collective sentiment of appreciation from our Saxe parents, as well as, the individual efforts from the PTC volunteers made a big impact on the Saxe staff.

Nov. 7 - Professional Learning Day
The Saxe staff, along with all K-12 staff, spent today in professional learning workshops.  Specifically, Saxe teachers were engaged in a "deep dive" around student achievement data so as to strategically plan upcoming curriculum, instruction and assessment.  While many other districts are forced to rely on outside workshop providers, at additional cost... today's workshops were planned and implemented by NCPS personnel.  It is this professional climate of collaboration and peer to peer learning which makes a day like today invaluable to the success of our students.
Nov. 10 - Veterans Day @ Saxe
​Saxe will hold its Tenth Annual Veterans Appreciation Day on Friday. ​ As the district acknowledges Veterans Day, it will be celebrated on Friday, November 10, 2017, as it officially falls on Saturday, November 11, 2017
Speakers are presenting to 5th graders throughout the day, to 6th graders during Social Studies classes and during Workshop periods in the auditorium for grades 7 and 8.  
In honor of the 242nd Marine Corps Birthday, our 8th graders will have a speaker's presentation along with a Marine Military Desert Humvee on display at the front of the school during periods 7 and 8. 
We are grateful that we have approximately 30 veterans participating in this year's event. During lunch, students will have the opportunity to make cards and create letters to thank a veteran.  Letters can be created for delivery to the West Haven Veterans Hospital or for the New Canaan Veterans Homebound Human Services Division. Veterans from our classroom speaking events will also be available for students to personally thank a veteran. 
Nov. 10, 11 - Aladdin - Grades 5/6 Musical
SHOW DATES
Friday, November 10th at 7pm & Saturday, November 11th at 11am & 2pm
Located in the *BRAND NEW* Saxe Middle School Theater
The magic Genie shows Aladdin how “A Friend Like Me” can help him win the love of Princess Jasmine as the
“Arabian Nights” pass. This musical journey based on the classic Disney movie will take you on a magic carpet ride of delight
and adventure. Come sing and dance with us and get “One Jump Ahead,” for a fall of magnificent fun.
Dec. 5 - Save the date - Saxe "Grand Opening"
Planning has begun for the official ceremonial "Grand Opening" of the newly renovated Saxe auditorium, music classrooms, as well as, the newly built art classrooms and general education classrooms.  Saxe parents and the general public will be invited to a brief ceremony on Tuesday December 5 at 4:00pm.  Student performances and tours of the classrooms will be available.
Dec. 5, 6, 7 - Save the dates - Saxe PTC Annual Book Fair
​Just in time for your holiday gift giving! 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Week 7 @ Saxe - Mid Week Update

Student Support/School Safety
Thus far, we have successfully concluded two safety drills (lockdown and school evacuation).  Additionally, we also had one unplanned school evacuation owing to a construction issue.  In addition to these practice drills, our collective safety is best protected by the motto "See Something, Say Something!".  Please review this credo with your child.  If they see someone in the halls, without a NCPS badge, they should report to a teacher immediately.  If they see a vehicle at the bus stop or on school grounds at recess, that looks suspicious, they should report to a teacher immediately.  If they see something in the halls or bathrooms which shouldn't be there, then they should report to a teacher immediately.  All of these are examples of previous circumstances in which students helped to keep our school safe.  We can contribute to our collective safety when each of us acts with responsibility to report!
Coping with upsetting news
Our staff remains available to any family which would like to discuss supports for their child, either on a general basis, or when they have been exposed to upsetting news.  Upsetting news can be of a personal/family nature or, as broad as. on a international/national level.  Please reach out to your child's guidance counselor if/when you detect that your child may be having difficulty coping with and/or overcoming something that is bothering them.   Your child's counselor is listed on the parent portal for PowerSchool.  https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers
Student Belongings
We have asked our students to only bring materials to school, which are required by the school for classwork.  Other personal belongings are best kept at home, for recreational usage.  It can be helpful for students and parents to partner on "backpack checks" in the evenings and weekends, in order to prevent any unnecessary belongings from turning up in school.  On balance, we try to remain reasonable when we see a student with a non-school required belonging and simply issue a reminder to keep such items at home.  If/when personal belongings become a safety concern or a distraction to the classroom, we will contact the home to arrange a correction.  If you have any doubt about what your child should bring to school, please contact us (teacher, counselor or administrator).  https://www.ncps-k12.org/Page/817
Home/School Communications
Thank you for a very successful week of grade level/team academic open house evenings! You can find the subsequent Winter & Spring schedule for daytime team open house meetings on the school website link here: https://www.ncps-k12.org/Page/5441
Visiting Author
Coming to Saxe October 11 (Tomorrow!): Award-winning Author Sarah Weeks!
The best-selling author of many books such as “Pie” and “So B. It”, with a major motion picture in the theaters, is coming to speak to all Saxe students on October 11. This event corresponds with the Celebrate Saxe campaign! Our language arts teachers are grateful for previous PTC donations of classroom libraries which made various titles available for our student's classroom reading program.  For more about Weeks, visit http://sarahweeks.com/.
Celebrate Saxe
We are very grateful for contributions that have already been made!  The direct giving campaign concludes this Friday.  Please click here to donate:  https://squareup.com/store/saxe-ptc/
October 31 Spirit Day
For more details, please click below:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Look What Our 5th Graders Have Done!

Link above to the culminating spirit activity for our new Grade 5 at Saxe accomplished during yesterday’s fun run.  Dr. Clapp, our 5th grade teachers, related Saxe staff, the Saxe PTC and STEM teacher Vivian Birdsall along with a high school student and an 8th grade student, collaborated to have the students “Step-In to Saxe” with a drone photo from above to promote their achievement in school spirit.  

As you know, today at Saxe is the launch of the Saxe PTC annual direct giving campaign, “Celebrate Saxe” https://squareup.com/store/saxe-ptc/along with the first schoolwide spirit day, “Red & Black”.

Enjoy the weekend! (and don't forget to "click" https://squareup.com/store/saxe-ptc/)

Grades 6-8 Open Houses

Saxe Grades 6, 7 & 8 - October 3-5
Please join us for Open House at Saxe Middle School!
Grade 6     Tuesday                October 3
Grade 7     Wednesday           October 4
Grade 8     Thursday               October 5
For Grades 6-8, you will simply follow the PowerSchool order of periods for your child's core academic classes.
Please print your child's schedule from the PowerSchool portal to bring along.
After the keynote in the cafeteria, you will report to the first core academic class listed:
Grade 6 will be listed as Period 4
Grade 7 will be listed as Period 1
Grade 8 will be listed as Period 2
See schedules here:   https://www.ncps-k12.org/Page/5442
A few important reminders:
1.     Please park in a lined parking space.  When the campus spaces are full, please use New Canaan High School for additional parking.  You will need a flashlight on your way back at the end of the evening! 
2.     Please check the Saxe website to review the Saxe Student Learning Expectations in preparation for our evening(s)!
Open House is a wonderful opportunity to meet your child’s core academic teachers.  If you have concerns about particular policies or about your child specifically, please leave a note or call your child’s teacher to discuss these privately.   Of course, you can always contact your child's counselor or grade level administrator when the need arises.  We would rather know about your concern then to find out in the future that we missed an opportunity to respond!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saxe Evening Open House Week

Saxe Evening Open House Week - October 2-5
Please join us for Open House at Saxe Middle School!
Grade 5     Monday                October 2
Grade 6     Tuesday                October 3
Grade 7     Wednesday           October 4
Grade 8     Thursday               October 5
For Grade 5, your child will bring home a personalized schedule for you to follow as the date nears, (if that schedule does not come home with your child, you can obtain a copy in the lobby when you arrive).   
For Grades 6-8, you will simply follow the PowerSchool order of periods for your child's core academic classes.
See schedules here:   https://www.ncps-k12.org/Page/5442
A few important reminders:
1.     Please park in a lined parking space.  When the campus spaces are full, please use New Canaan High School for additional parking.  You will need a flashlight on your way back at the end of the evening! 
2.     Please check the Saxe website to review the Saxe Student Learning Expectations in preparation for our evening(s)!
Open House is a wonderful opportunity to meet your child’s core academic teachers.  If you have concerns about particular policies or about your child specifically, please leave a note or call your child’s teacher to discuss these privately.   Of course, you can always contact your child's counselor or grade level administrator when the need arises.  We would rather know about your concern then to find out in the future that we missed an opportunity to respond!


End of Semester 1 - Saxe Update

Daytime Open House Reminder Please visit the link below for schedule and information: https://www.ncps-k12.org/Page/5441 The "...