May 1 - Superintendent Advisory Council Mtg (8:45 a.m. at MHS)
May 2 - Peabody Essex Museum Field Trip (Otters)
May 3 - Peabody Essex Museum Field Trip (Sea Turtles)
May 6-10 - Teacher Appreciation Week
May 6 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
Blake Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
May 7 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
May 8 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
Peabody Essex Museum Field Trip (Koalas)
School Nurse Day
May 9 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
Junior District Jazz Festival
May 10 - 1/2 Day for Students (Professional Afternoon)
May 13 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 14 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 15 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
May 16 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
May 17 - CSA Meeting (9:30 a.m.)
7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
May 21-24 - 8th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C.
May 21 - SEPAC Mtg
May 23 - Grades 4-6 Orchestra Concert
May 27 - Memorial Day (No School)
May 28 - Blake Art Show and Reception
May 31 - Six Flags Music Field Trip
June 3 - 6th-8th Band Concert/7th-8th Orchestra Concert
June 5 - Blake Mini-Marathon (see details below)
June 6 - 6th-8th Chorus Concert
June 7 - Grupo Fantasia Concert for 8th Grade
June 19 - 7th Grade Creature Feature Field Trip
June 21 - 7th Grade Field Trip to Boston
June 26 - Transition Day
8th Grade Closing Assembly (7 p.m.)
June 27 - Last Day of School for Students/Staff
'Topic/Question for the Dinner Table'
To help bring the theme of Perseverance into our conversations this week, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: When faced with a tough situation, will a little perseverance and creativity help to make things better?
May is Enthusiasm Month
Student Council's theme for the upcoming month of May is Enthusiasm. We will be orchestrating a month of fun and exciting activities, including a spirit week and teacher appreciation!
Curriculum Highlights - Mathematics and Wellness
In our continued efforts to keep families informed and updated about the curriculum at Blake, each week we will be 'highlighting' curriculum updates from two different departments. This week's updates come from the Mathematics (Susan Bycoff, Content Specialist) and Wellness (Susan Cowell, Content Specialist) departments...
Don't be surprised if you see your sixth grader examining cereal, tissue, shoe and other boxes. They may be calculating the surface area of common prisms. Blake sixth grade math students are completing their unit on measurement including perimeter, area and volume.
Blake Middle School's own Creature Feature has begun! Students in seventh grade are studying rates, ratios, proportions and percentages. The Creature Project is the culminating activity in Pre-Algebra. In addition to applying their math knowledge, students are working on writing a children's story to accompany their creature.
Russia isn't the only place preparing for the Olympics. Eighth grade students at Blake will test their math knowledge in our annual Math Olympics. Teams of students will flex their math muscles and compete for bragging rights.
All Blake students are currently participating in our district-wide ballroom dance program! With support from the MCPE and the High School Boosters, all students in grades four - ten are learning a variety of ballroom dances. Next year, we plan to begin instruction at the Wheelock School in grades two and three. Ask your sixth grader to show you how to Fox Trot! Your seventh grader can move to a Salsa beat! The eighth graders can Swing to both modern and big band sounds! Through this program, students learn more than just the dance steps. While developing rhythm, balance and coordination, they are also learning to communicate positively and use proper etiquette while working with different partners. At the conclusion of the unit, students will perform in small groups for their classroom teachers.
In health classes, students in grades six and seven just finished discussing the important subjects of bullying and cyberbullying. These lessons were designed to coincide with our school-wide bullying and cyberbullying prevention initiatives and to provide students the opportunities to discuss appropriate behaviors for bystanders, and how to report bullying effectively in small group settings facilitated by their licensed health educator. The eighth graders just completed a unit about the importance of developing a healthy body image. There are many physical and emotional changes taking place during the middle school years, and it's helpful if as parents, you can recognize signs that your son or daughter may need your reassurance that what they are going through is normal. Here is one link you may find helpful - there are many related articles off of this one. http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/talk/body_image.html
This week marks the start of Substance Use Prevention Education in the health curriculum for all Blake students. Each grade addresses the subject at an age appropriate level, continuing the scope and sequence which began in grade two and ends in grade ten.
In Consumer Science class, the last rotation of students has just begun to explore their way around the kitchens. Recipes and skills for each grade can be found on my website at http://www.quia.com/pages/scowell17/page1 Our intramural, “What's Cookin' at Blake?” is off to a great start, with students learning to prepare pizza dough and all pizza toppings from scratch during our first week. Next week brings broccoli and chicken alfredo baked pasta. All consumer science students learn important life skills which I hope you will encourage them to demonstrate at home!
If you are interested in reading health and fitness information, as well as following our K-12 Wellness department happenings more closely, you are welcome to follow me on Twitter @MedfieldWell.
Change a Light, Change the World Fundraiser
Last Thursday we kicked off the "Change a Light, Change the World" fundraiser. This is a fantastic win-win program sponsored by NStar. Blake CSA will receive 100% of the proceeds from the sale of compact fluorescent light bulbs and Smart Strips because NStar is donating all of the products. There is no cost to us for the program and 100% of your purchases directly benefit the Blake CSA. In addition, you'll receive the benefits of using energy efficient bulbs! Forms are due back on Thursday, May 9 and products will be delivered in early June. There are prizes for everyone who sells products and for top sellers. You can find more information on the website under the Thursday packet and extra order forms are available in the front office. Representing Medfield Green was Megan Sullivan and Helen Dewey. Not only did they introduce the fundraiser, but they also provided some very helpful recycling tips and introduced Medfield Green Day coming up on May 4th.(http://medfieldgreen.org/uploads/Medfield_Green_Day_flyer_2013.pdf) An added bonus was the Green Earth Animoto videos that Jason Heim's 8th grade science students created for this very assembly. (http://heimscience.weebly.com/a-green-earth-animoto-challenge.html).
SIPS members this week began what is hoped to be a long term partnership with the Thomas Upham House. Three members along with Mr. Gow engaged in conversation and served drinks to the residents. Our next visit is May 7th. Any students who are interested in SIPS should contact Mr. Gow (Room 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Blake is in the process of planning our first annual Blake Mini Marathon - This year's race is titled "Run for One." It will take place on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 (Rain Date - Wednesday, June 12, 2013). The event is designed to bring the Blake Community (students, staff, & families) together around a common purpose. About a 1.3 mile course will weave students (& staff who choose to run) around the Blake & High School campus. It is our hope that ALL staff and students participate in some role (registration, water stations, cheering support, walking/running) - parents are welcome to volunteer as well. Registration and goal setting will take place in PE classes, with the hope of 100% participation (within various roles). This year, there will be a suggested registration "fee" (donation) of $5.00 to The One Fund. More details coming soon!
Nature's Classroom Information
On Wednesday, May 1 the final Nature's Classroom Invoice will be given to your child in advisory. Please check their backpack. If you have any questions please contact Judy Silva at email@example.com. We are looking forward to the trip!
School Dress Guidelines
Prior to vacation, Kelly Campbell met with all female students by grade level to review expectations for appropriate school dress as we transition into Spring. These guidelines have been included below (in italics) and can also be found in the student handbook section of the Blake agenda book. Please consider keeping them handy as you are doing spring clothing shopping. It can be challenging to find the latest fashions in lengths that are school appropriate, but check out Old Navy, Land's End, Delia's, and Aeropostale where we have been told that good options have been spotted recently. Open dialogue and discretion are important when dealing with issues related to dress -- I encourage you to reach out to Kelly Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns at all. When in doubt, we encourage students to ask for clarification or bring a back up outfit to school just in case.
The responsibility for student dress and attire rests with both the student and the parent/guardian. We are confident that good judgment on the part of students and parents will result in the wearing of clothing which will contribute to a respectful academic environment and educational atmosphere. At Blake Middle School, we endeavor to remove as many distractions from the day as possible so that students are able to focus on the most important of their day - learning. Each student will abide by the guidelines of decency, cleanliness and safety at all times. In accordance with our expectations for school dress, students are required to wear clothing that does not show the 4 B's: boxers, breasts, buttocks, and belly buttons. We do ask students not to wear hats, short shorts, midriff shirts, or clothing that displays obscene language, violence, lewd or vulgar pictures, alcohol or drug references, sexual innuendoes, racial/ethnic/religiously offensive materials, or any graphic that may interfere with the educational process. Some guidelines that have been shared with students follow:
- Clothing needs to cover your body so that you and others can participate in and focus on learning.
- A general guideline for appropriate length of skirts and shorts is for them to be as long as your fingertips when extended at your side, with shoulders relaxed. This applies to the front and back.
- Undergarments should not be showing. Cleavage should be covered.
- Off the shoulder shirts are not appropriate.
If a staff member believes that a student's attire may be inappropriate, the student will be referred to one of the guidance counselors or administration. If the clothing is deemed inappropriate for school, the parents/guardians will be contacted. The school administration reserves the right at all times to determine what is or is not appropriate school attire. We encourage you to consult your parents if you are concerned about an item of clothing that you may be considering wearing to school.
iPad Program Information for Incoming 8th Graders
As you know we are expanding upon the current 8th grade iPad pilot and implementing a 1:1 iPad program for the entire 8th grade for the 2013-2014 academic year, with students purchasing their own iPads or taking part in a 'Lease to Own' program through the school. For your reference, I have posted copies of the documents that have been distributed/posted about our initiative/program (General Information, FAQ's, and 'Lease to Own' Information). The details of the 'Lease to Own' are tentative and still being finalized, as we are looking to find the most cost-effective program for families. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need.
This decision is not binding and we recognize that your plans may change, but the initial feedback will help us with our planning. We currently anticipate asking for 'final decisions' mid- to late May, 2013. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. I have also copied the link to the iPad site (iPad Blog) and I encourage you to visit it to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place. We are excited about this initiative and look forward to our work together to enhance our students' education.
Our first edition is online www.blakeledger.weebly.com . If anyone wants to join, members are always welcome! We meet at 2:15 every Thursday. It's free to join and all grades are welcome.
Course Selection Forms
Reminder to all 6th and 7th grade parents that course selection forms for the 2013-2014 academic year need to be turned in asap.
Spring Track at Blake
The Girls' Track Team opened their season against Westwood and Northboro yesterday and did a terrific job in their first meet of the season. Breanna Morgan was impressive in the Mile placing second in her first meet! The Medfield nearly swept in the 100 Meter race. Karris Carpenter placed first, Abi Todd was second, Eden Ravech grabbed third, and Jamie Hirschfeld placed fourth. In the 400 Meter, Julie Letai scored second and in the 200 Meter, Rebecca Shames placed fifth. In the 4x100 Relay, the team of Lelia Stansberry, Meg Zona, Ally Beck and Lauren Ferrier placed second, being edged out by Westwood by only 3/10ths of a point! The girls had a very strong showing in the field events. Karris Carpenter placed First in the High Jump, Makayla DíAmore took third and Eden Ravech and Ally Beck placed fourth and fifth. In the Long Jump Abi Todd took the First Place prize. In the Shot Put Madelyn Long placed fourth and Leah Sarris placed fifth. Congratulations also to Megan Hawley, Abi Todd, Sophie Lussier, and Kayla Scott, who placed 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th respectively in the girls' hurdles. Westwood edged out Medfield in total points, but a great effort by all in our first meet of the season!
The boys' track team ran a strong meet against Westwood and Northboro. Blake opened strongly in the field events. Andrew Garfield, Tim Graham, Liam McNulty and Matt Keady placed 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively in the high jump. Justin Newman took 1st in the shotput with Griffin Murphy taking 2ne and Will Shames taking 5th. Chris Donnelly took 2nd in the long jump with Jack Morrill taking 4th. Peter Barrette and Ben Mason opened the running events with 4th and 5th place finishes in the hurdles. Liam McNulty next placed 3rd in the mile. Andrew Garfield and Justin Newman finished 1st and 2nd in the 100 meter dash, with Ryan Scales taking 4th. Dan Whelan took 5th place in the 800. Matt Keady ran a gutsy 400 meter race, finishing in 1st place, Kyle Heaney also ran well taking 5th. Andrew Garfield recorded his 3rd 1st place finish of the day, winning the 200 meter. Justin Neman was right behind him in second place. The final score: Westwood 121.5, Medfield 112.5, Northboro 8.
Blake Track Schedule
Thursday May 2 @ Natick High School
Monday, May 6 @ Hopkinton High School
Wednesday, May 8 Home vs. King Philip and Ashland
Friday, May 10 Home vs. Westwood
Tuesday, May 14 @ Holliston High School
Friday, May 17 Home vs. Dedham (boys and girls) and Ursuline (girls only)
Thursday, May 23 @ North Attleboro High School
Meets start between 3:30 and 4:00 P.M.
Washington, D.C. Medical Forms
All medical forms for the Washington, D.C. trip need to be returned asap.
Blake Drama Production
It's finally show time. This Friday and Saturday, Blake is presenting an Evening of Seuss. Each night the performance will start at 7pm with The Cat in the Hat and end with Seussical the Musical. Tickets will be on sale during lunch time this week until we are sold out and are $10 each. For performers and crew, it is Tech Week. We will be rehearsing until 5:30/5:45 Monday-Thursday.
MCPE has invested over $71,000 in Medfield's five schools so far this year through 18 grants that cover initiatives not covered by school budgets. We thank all who have contributed so far to the special 25th Anniversary Appeal, which has raised over $81,000 to date (including proceeds from our recent online auction) -- we are getting closer to our goal of raising $100,000 for future school enrichment initiatives! Please see our website for more information about the grants and upcoming activities (www.medfieldcoalition.org) and join us for our annual meeting on May 22nd, 7:00pm, at the Zullo Gallery.