2/27 - Incoming 9th Info Night (see details below)
3/2 - Read Across America
3/4 - Incoming 6th Parent/Guardian Info Night (6:30 p.m.)
3/11 - Blake PTO Meeting - 7 p.m.
3/12 - Incoming 7th Grade Nature’s Classroom Info Session (6:00 p.m.)
Incoming 7th/8th Parent/Guardian Info Night (6:30 p.m.)
3/16 - Blake Site Council Mtg - 3:30 p.m.
Safe and Inclusive Parent/Community Presentation (6:00 p.m.) - see details
3/17 - Worcester Art Museum Field Trip (White Cluster)
3/18 - Worcester Art Museum Field Trip (Red Cluster)
3/19 - Worcester Art Museum Field Trip (Blue Cluster)
Blake STEM Event (see details below)
3/20 - Term 2 Ends
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about the characteristics that foster learning, our topic/question for the week is: What qualities, behaviors, and attributes make someone a good learner? Why? A Focus on Learning (Week of 2/24-2/28) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Advisory Update for Blake
In Advisory this week, clusters will be taking time to view the Black History Month timeline that includes major events and spotlights of the accomplishments of many Black Americans. Each Advisory contributed to this timeline. Once it has been viewed, students and staff will be reflecting on their learning experience and posting their thoughts on the bulletin board in front of the school. A big thank you to everyone who helped contribute to this masterpiece!
Blake Wednesday Advisory Website
Term 2 Interim Reports
All outstanding interim report signature sheets should be turned into advisors ASAP. If you have any questions about your child's work on the reports, please start by having a conversation with your own child. If questions still exist, you should contact the teacher directly to gain more insight.
Fostering A Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment for Our Students and Community - Monday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m.
Schools are supposed to be a place where all students can learn. They need to be a place where students can explore who they are and find their strengths and work on their weaknesses. All groups should be accepted so that they can flourish and become contributing members of society. - Peter DeWitt
Please join us for an introductory parent/community presentation and discussion with Colby Swettberg and Blake educators as we discuss how to best foster a safe learning environment for our community, specifically our LGBTQ+ youth and families. As outlined below, this event will lay the foundation for our upcoming work we will be doing with our students, staff, and the greater community to assure an inclusive atmosphere of respect, acceptance, and understanding. It is an opportunity for parents and community members to learn more about this endeavor and get answers to questions that exist. The evening will include...
- Sharing of vocabulary, terminology, and legal updates/implications for schools
- Panel discussion of educators, parents, and mental health providers
- Outline future programming for Blake students (see timeline below)
- Question and answer forum
3/16 - Blake Staff Meeting - Workshop with Colby Swettberg
3/16 - Blake Site Council Meeting - Discussion with Blake Site Council (this meeting is open to all parents/guardians and community members)
3/16 - Parent/Guardian and Community Presentation/Discussion (see outline above)
3/23, 3/24, 3/26 - Work and Presentations with Blake students in Cluster and Advisories focused on fostering a safe learning environment for all of our students at Blake
Our core values at Blake help guide our work, and we must continue to remind and assure our students that Blake is a safe school for all students and adults and our efforts and expectations remain steadfast to both welcome and embrace all learners. Ours is a culture of acceptance and inclusivity, regardless of one's race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. As such, it is important that we continue to live by these three principles...
- Every individual at Blake (students, staff, parents, and the greater community) matters, is cared for, and is an important piece of the Blake fabric.
- We are a community of learners who must 'practice what we preach'.
- We must always be present and continue to be here for one another.
Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment Parent/Community Evening (3/16/20)
** Colby Swettberg's Bio...
Colby Swettberg (they/them) earned a Masters degree in Education at Harvard's Graduate School of Education with a focus on LGBTQ issues. Colby is a former high school English teacher who started the first gay-straight alliance in the district where Swettberg taught. Colby later went on to help start Waltham House, the first co-ed group home for LGBTQ youth in the country. The Massachusetts Department of Children & Families hired Colby and a team of trainers to conduct LGBTQ sensitivity training for over two thousand social workers in the Commonwealth. This training initiative set a national precedent which Colby has helped other states to replicate. As Colby’s professional focus gravitated toward child welfare, Swettberg returned to graduate school to complete a Master of Social Work and has continued to work with systems involving young people for nearly 20 years.
Blake Reads Across America
Blake students and staff will be Reading Across America during Advisory periods on Monday, March 2. School kids from across the country will read that day to together celebrate the sheer joy of reading - no quizzes or discussions! The annual event takes place each year on March 2, which is Dr. Seuss' birthday. To ensure every Blake student has a great book for the event, the Blake Library Media Center is hosting an awesome book (both new and old) open house this week. Happy reading!
March is Women’s History Month
March 1 marks the beginning of Women’s History Month. Please share any ideas you have as to how we can recognize this month within the Blake community. Here are a couple of reads of interest…
What Schools Teach About Women’s History Leaves a Lot to Be Desired
The Long & Winding Road to Women’s Rights
Educational resources are available from federal sources and the National Women's History Museum, among others.
Blake STEM Event - 3/19/20
Our fifth annual celebration of our students and STEM will be held at 3:30 pm on Thursday March 19, 2020. All BMS students are invited to participate as individuals or in groups (single or multi grade) and show their passion for or interest in answering some question or learning more about a particular topic - including but not limited to - recent genius hour projects, maker space projects or personal interest projects or investigations. General information was sent to students and their families via email recently.
SBIRT Screenings and Protocol - Message for All 7th Grade Families
In response to the increase in drug and opioid use in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law, “An Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention” (H. No. 4056). Among its many components, this law mandates that school districts annually conduct verbal substance use screenings for one grade at the high school and one at the middle school. The goal of the program is to provide early identification and prevention of harm from substance use. School nurses will screen all 7th grade students using the SBIRT protocol (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) developed by the MA Dept of Public Health. The interview style screening will be conducted confidentially, in private one-on-one sessions using the CRAFFT II screening tool, the most commonly used substance use screening tool for adolescents in Massachusetts.
Students who report not using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances. If appropriate, we will offer students a referral to counseling staff. This program focuses on prevention, and students’ responses will not lead to any disciplinary action. The results of the screening will not be included in students’ academic or health records. In keeping with M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 97, information disclosed by students during verbal substance use screening is confidential, and unless a student is in immediate medical danger, parents will not be notified about the results of this screening.
If you have any questions about this program or prefer your child not participate in the screening, please contact Tricia Williams Blake School Nurse by Friday, February 14, 2020 at 508-242-8554 or email her directly at email@example.com. This program is voluntary and students may choose to not answer any or all of the questions. Screenings will be conducted starting the week of February 24, 2020 for seventh grade students during their health classes. Postural and BMI (height/weight) screening is also being conducted for all seventh grade students during their physical education classes the same week. You may opt your child out of any of the screenings by conducting Tricia Williams as noted above.
As a child’s brain is not fully developed during adolescence, substance use during this time can substantially alter brain functioning for a lifetime, often leading to addiction and long term health risks. We encourage all families to talk about substance use. Research shows that parental disapproval is the #1 reason young people decide not to use drugs or alcohol. For ideas on how to begin these important conversations, please see this parent guide and refer to the Health Resource List for additional resources.. Together we can make a difference in the health of our youth!
Tricia Williams, RN, BSN, NCSN Aimie Keigan, RN, BSN
Office: 508-242-8554 Office: 508-242-8554
Update from ADL
ADL 7th and 8th grade Peer Leaders visited 6th grade advisories last Wednesday to lead an interactive activity around identity, community, and inclusion. Teachers' reports on this first leadership experience have been very positive -- well done! The New England ADL Youth Congress will be held in Boston on March 27th.
Black History Month
On Friday, 2/7, we kicked off Black History Month at Blake with a short assembly during advisory to learn about the origin and importance of learning more about accomplishments of African American people throughout US history and the importance of looking for missing voices and representation in history. Links to two videos shown to students are copied here…
Kids Explain Black History Month
The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers
Prior to vacation, advisories researched notable black Americans, creating informative posters and posting them on our evolving timeline in the front hallway at Blake. Check out our black history timeline when you are at Blake. Our month will culminate with a reflective walk through the completed timeline and opportunities for students to reflect on what they have learned, ways they hope to impact their community, and feelings they experienced. For more info about how Black History Month came to be and why it is celebrated, check out this link: Why Is Black History Month in February? Learn the Holiday's Origins
Parent Information Nights - Mark Your Calendars!
3/4 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night at 6:30 p.m.
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming sixth grade (current fifth grade) students. We will be presenting information about the 6th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year along with an overview of the middle school. A more detailed presentation about the logistics of the 2020-2021 academic year’s mobile learning Initiative will take place during this evening as well.
3/12 - Incoming 7th/8th Grade Parent Night at 6:30 p.m.
** Nature’s Classroom Info Session for Incoming 7th parents starts at 6:00 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 and 8th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year.
Message for 8th Grade Families
Medfield High School is excited to welcome the Class of 2024 to MHS! Please be aware of these upcoming dates:
- January 2020 - Students take placement tests
- Thursday, February 27 - 6:30-8:30pm - 8th Grade Student and Parent Night
- Thursday, March 5 @ 3:00 - The Aspen portal is "live"
- March 6-12 - Students will complete course selections
The program on February 27th is for students and parents to learn about the culture, classes, and extracurricular offerings at the high school.
The 2020-2021 Medfield High School Program of Studies will be shared with all students and parents in early February.
Physical Education - Volleyball Tournament
The volleyball unit has come to an end for Physical Education classes, capped off with the annual student v. teacher volleyball championship that took place the Friday before vacation. This is always a highlight of the year and this year did not disappoint. Students had an opportunity to compete for their grade championship through playoffs within their classes and then between classes. The winning team then played the teachers in front of their whole grade- both sides genuinely entertained and impressed their audiences. All of our students showed significant improvement in their volleyball skills and demonstrated great sportsmanship through what can be an intense unit. The PE staff is so proud of the effort and energy, as well as the skill that all of our students demonstrated through this unit.
Blake Softball Interest?
We are looking for 7th and 8th grade girls interested in playing softball. All skill levels are welcome. At the middle school level it is not too late to pick up this sport, so we do welcome those who've never played. If interested please sign up, or reach out to Cynthia McClelland, my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Date - Miss Amazing (3/28/20)
Massachusetts Miss Amazing is coming to Medfield High School for its seventh annual event! Miss Amazing’s mission statement reads, “Miss Amazing provides opportunities for girls and women with disabilities to build confidence and self-esteem in a supportive environment.” Join us in supporting this goal and giving these girls and young women an opportunity to shine. This full-day event is Saturday, March 28th, 2020 and will be held in the Medfield High School Auditorium at 6 PM. Ticket sales are open to the public beginning on March 14th at ma.missamazing.org. If you would like to donate, visit https://missamazing.org/donate/. If you want to volunteer with the event, you can sign up to be a buddy, half day volunteer (helping hand), or a right hand man online at https://missamazing.org/volunteer/. If you know a girl or young woman who might want to participate in this event, refer them to the Miss Amazing website so they can learn more! Sign up a participant at https://missamazing.org/participate/. See you there!
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 2019-2020 survey in early February in the hopes of gathering the data by February vacation. Stay tuned!
Blake is Social - Any Submissions?
Blake is social is featuring baby pictures of noatible African American's on our story, and we've been asking students if they can guess who they are. As always we are looking for more entries. Our focus for this month is poetry . We just posted an amazing poem regarding depression on our website. If you have a poem to share we would love to have it. Work and submissions can be e-mailed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Blake is always looking for substitute teacher applicants. Applicants need not have teaching licensure but should be energetic, flexible and enjoy working with children. For more information or to apply, please visit http://www.medfield.net/o/medfield-public-schools/page/employment-opportunites--7 and find applications under the tab "employment opportunities". Please contact Kelly Campbell at email@example.com with any questions.
As with our teaching positions, from time to time our nurse, Tricia Williams, will be out of the building and we need a substitute nurse for these days. We are fortunate that we have several substitute nurses in the district who are able to work on those days. If you are a registered nurse and have an interest in potentially serving as a substitute throughout the year, please let us know. You can contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tricia Williams (email@example.com). By the same token, if you have friends in the area who would have an interest in serving as a substitute, please let them know that they can contact us as well. The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority, and we would appreciate your interest in one of these roles.
Borchers Trust Law presents the third annual A Cappella Night THIS FRIDAY, Feb. 28 at 7pm, MHS Auditorium! Come hear Medfield's own MHS Soundwaves, the Junior Jazz Choir, featured guest, Berklee College's On the Vox, and groups from Newton North, Xaverian Brothers, Westwood, and Montrose High Schools at last count. Tickets can be purchased at medfieldmusicassociation.com or will be sold a the door.
Blake PTO Update
Mailers for our 2020 Annual Appeal are going out this week! The Appeal, which replaces having the kids fundraise, allows the PTO to support educational activites and initiatives for your children! The PTO will have representatives at each of the upcoming PIN nights to answer any questions Thank you in advance for your support!