3/1 - Jess Lahey Presentation at Dover-Sherborn (see details below)
3/2 - Spread the Word to End the Word (see details below)
Read Across America Day
3/3 - Incoming 8th Grade PIN (6:30 p.m.)
3/4 - Standards Based Reporting Focus Group (12:30 p.m.) - see details below
3/7 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
How to Raise an Adult Discussion Group (4:30 p.m.) - see details below
3/9 - MWAHS Information and Presentation Evening (see details below)
3/10 - Incoming 7th Grade PIN (6:30 p.m.)
3/14-3/18 - Blake Book Fair (see details below)
3/23 - Incoming 9th Grade MHS Open House (6:30 p.m.)
3/29 - Screening of Most Likely to Succeed at MHS
4/8 - 1/2 Day for Students
Career Day at Blake
Professional afternoon for Staff
4/12 - Project Moves (see details below)
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about the ways we stay 'on course' with our goals and responsibilities, this week's topic/question for the dinner table is: When you feel like your goals and responsibilities are weighing you down, what do you do to get back your energy and motivation? Please see link to Google Form to share your responses: Gaining Energy and Motivation (Week of 2/28/16) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey Information Night 3/9/16
Dr. Marsden shared this information via e-mail on Monday, 2/22/16...
Please join us on March 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Medfield High School to discuss the results of the most recent Metro West Adolescent Health Survey, administered in November, 2014. This important survey is taken every two years in grades 6-12 and gives us valuable information that we use to plan specific programming and budgets for the district. These data are current until 2017. The link below highlights the most recent Metro West Adolescent Health Survey results for Medfield...
Below please find the press release for this event...
Medfield often receives praise for its small-town community atmosphere and strong school system, but similar to other towns in the region, more Medfield adolescents are experiencing stress, feelings of sadness, and suicidal thoughts, according to the most recent MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey administered in 2014. In addition to stress-related data, parents and community members at large will have a chance to learn what other important information the survey revealed about Medfield students at a special presentation at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 9 at Medfield High School.
Speakers will be Susan Cowell, head of the Wellness Department for Medfield Public Schools, and Christi Barney, a mental health expert from Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, who will talk about the unique signs of adolescent stress and share strategies parents can use to help their children. “On the positive side, the survey showed a decline in cigarette and marijuana use, however, the uptick in areas related to mental health are very concerning,” said Cowell, who has overseen student participation in the biennial survey since it was first administered in 2006. Other areas of concern based on survey findings include:
High-risk alcohol use
Unhealthy weight loss and body image
Use of e-cigarettes (“vaping”)
“Medfield is not alone in trying to address student stress and related mental health issues – it’s a problem affecting youth across the MetroWest region and beyond,” said Cowell. “We also know mental health issues are on the rise in college-aged adults too.” Medfield Superintendent Jeff Marsden added, “It is critical that all of us – the school community and greater Medfield community -- become more aware of the issues impacting the health of our youth and identify ways we can work together to support them. Our presentation on March 9 will be an important step in the right direction.”
The MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, developed by the MetroWest Health Foundation, is part of a long-term initiative to monitor trends in health and risk behaviors. Based on 2014 responses, more than 40,000 students in grades 6 through 12 from 25 towns took the anonymous survey. According to Cowell, with a few exceptions, Medfield’s local data reflects the regional data. Regional data on all health topics surveyed among high school students can be found at http://bit.ly/1QnskE4.
Update from the Blake Digital Citizenship Team
The week of Feb. 29th starts Blake's third round of our school-wide Digital Citizenship curriculum with a focus on the 24/7 social nature of digital media and making responsible choices in their digital lives. Each advisory will take two days to discuss and learn through interactive lessons, which are differentiated based on grade levels. The sixth grade lesson will culminate with students creating their Digital Life simile project while 7th and 8th graders will have real-time practice in commenting appropriately on photos. All grades will work collaboratively to develop a padlet poster of tips and advice to always keep in mind.
Please visit the following resources for more information:
Digital Media by Common Sense Media
Digital Life Simile
Family Tip Sheet
Our hope is for families to continue this conversation at home.
Signs of Suicide Program for 7th Grade Students
The guidance counselors believe it is important to focus on the whole student, paying close attention to the emotions that are often associated with the teen years. One of our initiatives for the school year is to proactively offer depression screening and suicide prevention training as part of the Signs of Suicide Prevention (SOS) program. This is the only school-based suicide prevention program selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts.
On the morning of March 7, 2016, the guidance department will be presenting the SOS Middle School program to all 7th grade students. More in-depth information will be presented at the incoming 8th grade parent night onMarch 3rd. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, please contact the guidance department.
Spread the Word to End the Word
Wednesday, March 2nd, is the Spread the Word to End the Word Day of National Awareness. The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It's offensive. It's derogatory.This campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. Blake students will have the opportunity to pledge to use respectful, people-first language during our acceptance activities in the month ahead. Stay tuned for more.
Book Fair at Blake
The Annual Blake Middle School Scholastic Book Fair takes place between Monday, March 14 and Friday, March 18. All sorts of great books (and a few, but not too many knick-knacks) will be available in the Library Media Center for purchase. All students will have the opportunity to attend through their English classes. Profits from the sale fund new books for Blake. Thanks for your support and a special thanks to Assistant Librarian, Donna Knott, for putting the sale together.
The Fair is a reading event that brings to school the books kids want to read. The Fair also helps raise money for new books for the Library and classrooms. By reading 20 minutes a day, by the end of sixth grade, Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days. Student B, who reads just 5 minutes per day, will have read the equivalent of only 12 school days. Of course, this learning continues throughout middle school, high school and adulthood. How can you help?
1. Let your kids see you read
2. Have a collection of books at home, and update the collection routinely.
3. Allow your kids to choose their own books to read - and support the Scholastic Book Fair!
Parental Input for 2015-2016
As shared at our parent presentations, parental input is an important part of our planning purposes for the 2016-2017 academic year. Please refer to the
Blake Parent/Guardian Input Letter Spring 2016 regarding our process and the guidelines for input. If you are interested in sharing information, please submit your thoughtsin writing no later than Friday, March 11. As stated in the letter, written requests for specific teachers will not be accepted. Your letter should be addressed to your child's guidance counselor and Assistant Principal, Kelly Campbell. Guidance counselors for next year will be Matt Marenghi (Grade 6), Tracy Allen (Grade 7), and Jen Dondero (Grade 8).
February Curriculum Updates
In our continued efforts to keep families informed and updated about the curriculum at Blake, each month we are 'highlighting' updates from the different departments. We hope this will help facilitate conversations at home and maintain a bridge between home and school.
Please visit the
Blake Curriculum Updates
to read the updates for February, 2016 - enjoy!
Project Moves returns to Medfield with a new show - Tuesday, April 12 @ 7 p.m.
With the generosity of MCPE, Project Moves, a dance company comprised of young people bringing a powerful message of inclusion, returns to Medfield with an exciting new show! If you missed the sold out show 4 years ago, here is a chance to be part of this impactful experience.
"Peace requires everyone to be in the circle, wholeness and inclusion." A show for our times, "Symphony" shows us by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all, even the weak become strong when we are united as one.
A cast of more than sixty pre-professional dancers along with a team of extraordinary choreographers and directors will send your heart sailing with optimism. You'll leave the theater holding your head a little higher, inspired to make the world a better place.
For more information about Project Moves and their mission, please visit their website - projectmoves.org
Tickets are free and will be available online beginning March 1st. One hundred fifty additional tickets will be reserved for distribution at the door on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve online, please go toprojectmovesmedfield.brownpapertickets.com.
Nature's Classroom 2016
The dates for the Nature's Classroom Trip 2016 will be Monday, September 26 to Thursday, September 29. There will be an informational presentation on Thursday, March 10th during the Seventh Grade Incoming PIN. On Friday, March 11th students will see a similar presentation during school. All paperwork will be posted on the Nature's Classroom website http://www.medfield.net/blake-information/nature-classroom.html.
Spring Cleaning - Request for MakerSpace Donations
In our ongoing efforts to foster experiences for students to be 'hands-on' and creative with materials, we are looking to provide outlets for students to create in our 'maker space'. As you begin your spring cleaning efforts (optimistic, I know!), we are looking for any donations from Medfield families of: old toys and electronics, PVC pipe, felt/fabric, crafty supplies (yarn, string, makers, wipe off markers, wipe off contact paper, marbles, duct tape, wasabi tape, different types of glue), cookie cutters (variety of shapes), old tools, play dough, recyclables (anything used for storage containers/bins), cell batteries, AA batteries, conductive materials (copper wire, aluminum foil, telephone wire, washers, brackets). Any donations can be dropped off at the Blake main office and would be greatly appreciated.
Mathematics Placement Process
Math teachers at Blake will soon start the process of course placement for the 2016-2017 school year. The goal of the process is to see that every student is placed in a class that allows for them to learn math well while feeling good about their efforts. For current 6th and 7th grade students, decisions on student placement are made by considering current class grades, placement test grades, MCAS scores and teacher recommendations. For current 8th grade students, placement is determined by success in their current class level and teacher recommendation. We are very mindful during this time to consider the whole child while making these decisions. Additionally, it is important to us that parents feel they have a voice in this process. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your child's teacher. If your questions involve long-term planning for math, do not hesitate to email Susan Bycoff, Math Content Specialist at email@example.com. Thank you!
Read Across America Day
As noted in the upcoming dates, March 2 is Read Across America Day, a day sponsored by the National Education Association. The day is celebrated every year on or around March 2, in honor and recognition of Dr. Seuss's birthday (March 2). I have encouraged teachers to use this opportunity during SSR this week to discuss passions for reading, share favorite children's books, and simply enjoy reading with their students. I encourage you to take some time this week to do the same.
Blake Science Fair Wrapup
On Friday, February 26th students at Blake Middle School participated in our first ever science fair. Students presented as excited and interested in their work and were eager to share their findings with the attendees. Emma Twer, a HS junior and organizer of this event commented that "students brought their A game". Included below are some pictures of our student scientists and you can watch out for the science fair being featured soon in the Hometown Weekly. Many thanks to everyone who participated and helped out - our judges, our student volunteers, Blake administration for their support of this student led endeavor and the many parents and teachers who facilitated this effort. We hope to see you all at next year's fair! Blake Science Fair Slideshow 2016
Blake Volleyball Tournament
The annual Blake Middle School student/teacher volleyball championship games took place on Friday, February 26th. The volleyball games put the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students up against their teachers, in a demonstration of the students skills that they have been working on in Physical Education class during their volleyball unit. This year, the student teams came through with flying colors, with each grade defeating the teacher teams in a best of three series. In the 6th grade game, the Golden Unicorns defeated the teachers two games to zero. In the 7th grade match up, the Red Starfish also defeated the teachers two games to zero. Finally, the 8th grade team (the Black Slugs) completed the sweep of the teachers. It was an impressive victory for the student teams and a clear sign that the teacher team has a lot to work on for next year.
iPad Program Update and Planning for 2016-2017
The Blake iPad Program Update for 16-17 was sent to all current 5th-7th grade families on February 5, 2016. This link outlines information for all Blake families outlining information about the iPad program for all Blake students for 2016-2017. To help us effectively prepare and plan our efforts, we are asking all current 5th-7th grade parents/guardians (incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians for the 2015-2016 academic year) to answer the questions on this Google Form survey: Incoming 16-17 iPad Program Planning Survey. Please fill out the survey for each child that will be attending Blake next year. Your responses are not binding and we recognize that your plans may change, but the initial feedback will assist us with our planning. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. For your reference I have posted links below to documents about our initiative/program…
Blake Mobile Learning Blog
Blake Mobile Learning General Information (has articles, background information, and philosophy)
Blake Mobile Learning Initiative Participation Options
Blake Mobile Learning FAQs 16-17
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
PARCC Dates for Blake Students
As you know all of our Blake students will be participating in the paper and pencil version of PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). All of our students will be taking three unit assessments for English Language Arts and Mathematics. If you would like more information regarding the PARCC test or to view samples of the PARCC tests, please visit www.parcconline.org. Please note that Grade 8 students will also be taking the MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering test. Below are the administration dates for these assessments...
ELA PARCC (5/2, 5/3, 5/4)
Math PARCC (5/18, 5/19, 5/20)
ELA PARCC (5/5, 5/6, 5/9)
Math PARCC (5/10, 5/16, 5/17)
ELA PARCC (5/10, 5/11, 5/12)
Math PARCC (4/27, 4/28, 4/29)
Sci/Tech/Eng MCAS (5/16, 5/17)
Make-up testing will take place when students return from their absence(s), provided that their return takes place within the testing window determined by the Commonwealth. We appreciate your assistance in looking at these dates and being mindful to try and avoid medical/dental appointments or conflicts with these assessments. As always, do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Career Day Planning
The 2016 Career Day for the 8th grade will take place on our half day, April 8. For this program, we enlist community members and parent volunteers who are interested in sharing about their occupation with our students. We have 3 sessions and each one is about 35 minutes long. Each participant would have the option to speak at one, two or three of the sessions, depending on the individual's schedule. To make this a success, we will need 20 volunteers. If you are interested and available to participate, please contact Debbie Avery (email@example.com) for more information. We welcome past presenters and new volunteers alike.
The Blake Site Council has taken time to review the data collected from last year's survey and an Executive Summary will be distributed to families in the coming weeks. Focus areas on the survey centered on the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. Our intent is to distribute the 2015-2016 survey in early February in the hopes of gathering the data by February vacation. Stay tuned!
Parent Information Nights - Mark Your Calendars!
3/3 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Night at 6:30 p.m.
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming eighth grade (current seventh grade) students. We will be presenting information about the 8th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year. A more detailed presentation about the logistics of the 2016-2017 academic year's iPad Initiative will take place during this evening as well.
3/10 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Night at 6:30 p.m.
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming seventh grade (current sixth grade) students. We will be sharing information about the 7th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year. We will also be presenting information about the 7th grade's field trip to Nature's Classroom. A more detailed presentation about the logistics of the 2016-2017 academic year's iPad Initiative will take place during this evening as well.
For your reference and information, here are links to the presentations and handouts for grade 6...
Incoming 6th PIN 2016 Presentation
Blake Parent Resources Handout 2016-2017
Blake Program of Studies 2016-2017
8th Grade Families - Save the Date!
Medfield High School Open House
March 23, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Medfield High School is opening its doors to current 8th graders and their parents/guardians to offer an inside look at academics, athletics, and co-/extra-curricular offerings. This will be a casual evening where current clubs and activities will be on display, and high school students will provide tours of the building. Additional information and sign-up process will be posted soon.
Grade 6 Standards Based Reporting Pilot and Focus Group
Thank you to all sixth grade parents/guardians who were able to come to one of our Standards Based Reporting information sessions. As promised, here is the link to the presentation...
Standards Based Reporting Presentation Fall 2015
We are also looking for parents/guardians to be part of our parent focus group. This group will be comprised of the 6th grade science teachers, administration, and parents and will meet throughout the year (Fridays at 12:30 p.m.) to discuss the work that is taking place and provide feedback. The dates that have been set for these meetings are: 3/4, 4/1, and 6/3. If you are interested, please complete the form below...
Standards Based Reporting Focus Group Sign-Up
How to Raise an Adult - Book Discussion Group for Parents
Please join the Blake Site Council will be reading and discussing HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. For more information, here is a book review from The New York Times...
HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. We will be reading it throughout the year, taking time to discuss the ideas presented and have a common, shared experience. The discussions will take place at the end of each Site Council meeting - our last meeting date will be Monday, 3/7). All parents are invited to join us. If you are interested in joining the book discussions, please fill out this Google Form: How to Raise an Adult Blake Book Group
The breakdown for the readings is as follows...
- For 3/7 Meeting - Finish book (228-305)
Cradles to Crayons Pajama Drive
Girl Scout group 74900 is working with Cradles to Crayons who is partnering with the Boston Bruins for a pajama drive.The pajamas are going to kids outside of Boston who can't afford their own pajamas. The pajama drive is taking place from February 1st to March 15th. We only accept new pajamas for this pj drive, if you can't donate a pair of new pajamas then you can donate 10 dollars. Ten dollars covers the cost of one pair of pajamas. Please bring in pajamas from sizes 4-18. Please consider helping kids stay warm at night during the long winter.
K-8 PTO Update
BLAKE APPEAL PILOT
YOU ASKED……WE LISTENED! By now you should have received a green flyer in the mail explaining the Blake Appeal Pilot. We know you are tired of buying and selling unwanted items. The Blake Appeal Pilot will make things super easy for you and continue to help Blake fund enrichment programs, new technology and an “extreme makeover” for the Blake library. This is all you have to do:
Click on the link Blake Appeal Pilot Donation to make a credit card donation. While donations in any amount are welcome, we are suggesting a contribution of $50 per student.
Write a check made payable to Blake Middle School PTO and mail directly to the school at 24 Pound Street or ask your student to drop it off the main office.
It is that easy and you are done for the 2016-2017 school year! We hope to have 100% participation by April 1st so our students can enjoy a newly remodeled LMC for the school year starting this September.
RECYCLE INKJET AND TONER CARTRIDGES
Get rid of your trash and help Blake earn cash & supplies by recycling your inkjet and toner cartridges. We accept HP, Brother, Canon and Lexmark cartridges. Collection boxes are located outside of the Library. Thanks for your help! Please contact Donna Knott at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
BAY STATE TEXTILES
Recycle clothing, shoes, household linens and stuffed animals at one of the Bay State Textile boxes at your school or the Transfer Station. Recycle and help the schools!!
MEDFIELD SPIRIT WEAR
Customize EVERYTHING from text to colors and designs from sports to drama to music. Choose from t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, bags, hats, blankets & more. Spend $85 or more and get a free customized t-shirt. 12% of proceeds from each order will go to your school’s PTO. This is all you have to do:
Go to shop.mylocker.net
Enter your school locker number - BLAKE BD979
Use promo code b2g6dTK1 to receive $10 off every order you place
NOTE: Due to different branding sizes, make sure to check all size charts when ordering to ensure you get a great fit for each product. Use MyLocker to create apparel for your teams, clubs, service groups, and more. The possibilities are endless! Please contact Laura Zaher SPIRITWEARMEDFIELD@gmail.com with any questions.
ZEBRA’S FLATBREAD FRIDAYS FUNDRAISER
No need to cook on a Friday night after a crazy week! Enjoy a delicious flatbread from Zebra’s and support the Medfield Public Schools at the same time. 10% of the proceeds from flatbreads sold via take-out or in the restaurant on Friday evenings will be donated to the Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) and Medfield K-8 PTO. Please contact Kim Price email@example.com with any questions.
Please like us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO , follow us on Twitter MedfieldK8PTO and check out our website http://medfieldpto.weebly.com
Please like us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO , follow us on Twitter MedfieldK8PTO and check out our website http://medfieldpto.weebly.com
"Most Likely to Succeed" Film Screening and Discussion: A Medfield Community Event on March 29th at 6:30 at MHS Auditorium
Most Likely to Succeed offers an inspiring look at what students and teachers are capable of when given the opportunity. The film will be shown on March 29th from 6:30-8pm, at the Medfield High School Auditorium, with small group discussions with Medfield Public School Administrators from 8-9pm. You are invited to see the film and join the conversation! Please visit our web site for more information, the trailer and the registration page: MedfieldCoalition.org
Parenting Author, Educator and Speaker Jessica Lahey is coming to speak at Dover/Sherborn Alan Mudge Auditorium on Tuesday, March 1st at 7PM
D-S has kindly invited Medfield parents to this free event. Jessica Lahey has taught middle and high school for over a decade, is a correspondent for the Atlantic and PBS Parents, commentator for Vermont Public Radio, and writes the "Parent-Teacher Conference" column for the New York Times. Her New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed was released in 2015. Please register online at http://goo.gl/forms/O3mRWJh0yt .
The Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award
Parents, administrators, school staff and community members are encouraged to nominate a staff member for the Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award.
In recognition of Bob's commitment to our students, MCPE has created this award to honor an educator in the Medfield school community who embodies Bob's legacy of exposing our students to the world beyond Medfield. For the award application and more information, please go to medfieldcoalition.org/grants/bob-maguire-award/
Please click here for Thursday Packet Information.