April 29 - PEM Field Trip for Koalas
April 30 - ÷ and Conquer Math Presentation - 9:30 a.m. (see details below)
May 1 - PEM Field Trip for Sea Turtles
÷ and Conquer Math Presentation - 7:00 p.m. (see details below)
May 2 - PEM Field Trip for Otters
MCPE Spring Fling
May 5 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
May 6 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
May 7 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
Author Christopher Wilson Presentation - 7 p.m. (see details below)
May 8 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
May 9 - 1/2 Day for Students; Professional Afternoon for Staff
May 12 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
May 13 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
May 14 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
Early College Planning Information Night (see details below)
May 15 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 16 - MCAS Make-Ups
7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
May 19 - Grades 5/6 Band Concert
May 20-23 - 8th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C.
May 20 - Subway Night for Blake
May 21-22 - PARCC Field Test for Grade 6
May 28 - Grades 4-6 Orchestra Concert
CSA Meeting (7 p.m.)
May 30 - Six Flags Music Trip
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To encourage conversations about our day-to-day endeavors, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: If you take time to care about the little things along the way, how will it help you feel about the big results?
Divide & Conquer!
Come join Susan Bycoff, Math Content Specialist, and Nat Vaughn as they present on Solving Algebraic Equations: A Parent's Guide to Understanding and Surviving! The two sessions will be Wednesday, April 30th at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday, May 1st at 7:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Susan Bycoff (email@example.com) if you are able to join us.
On Wednesday, April 30, Kelly Campbell and Nat Vaughn will meet with each grade of students at Blake in an assembly forum to share some reminders as we head into "end of year" mode. We will renew our expectations for all students with regard to good decision-making and responsible behavior across the board but especially as it pertains to the following topics:
- field trips and safety when off campus
- end of year activities
- technology and devices
- school dress
- substitute teachers
- locking up your belongings, especially after school
- being in a supervised area before and after school
- on-time arrival to school in the morning
Round 2 of MCAS testing will began on Monday, May 6. Please find the May MCAS schedule listed above. While we do not want to foster undue anxiety or pressure for students, a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast will ensure that they come to school prepared to do their best. Please be sure that students arrive at school on time. If your student is sick on the day of a scheduled test date, it is best for your child to get some rest and take it on a make-up day. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Kelly Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your child's guidance counselor.
ADL Peer Training Program
We are pleased to announce that, with the very generous support of the Medfield Coalition for Public Education, Blake will train its first cohort of 7th and 8th grade Peer Trainers in the Fall of 2014. For some students, the Peer Training Program, sponsored by the Anti-DefamationLeague’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, is an opportunity to inspire others to challenge all forms of prejudice, including bullying and cyberbullying. For other students, it is an opportunity to actively promote respect for cultural and other human differences. And for others, it is an opportunity to build greater unity in community. For everyone who participates, the Peer Training Program is an opportunity to transform their schools and communities.
The Program begins with a series of dynamic training sessions led by adult facilitators from A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute. Participating students engage in fun activities and meaningful discussions on cultural, racial, socio-economic and other human differences, and on how these differences sometimes divide rather than unite people. In addition, the students explore what they can do, individually and collectively, to help foster a world in which human differences are valued and respected.
Students also develop their leadership potential, and their communication and presentation skills, so that they, too, can lead activities and discussions on these topics. When the trained students are fully prepared, they will facilitate workshops for their peers during the school year.
Any student with an interest in fostering a more accepting school community, facilitating workshops for their peers related to identifying and responding to bias of all types in our world, and learning more about how to build a more respectful environment for all people is welcome to apply to be a part of the Peer Training Program. A representative from ADL will be visiting Blake in the coming months to share more information with students in the current 6th and 7th grades. Students will receive application materials at that time, and parents will also receive an email with more information, including time commitments involved for training and participation. Commitment to this exciting program does entail a weekly commitment to the program as well as several days of training which would require students to check in with teachers to get any missed work. Heather Gonzalez and Matt Marenghi will be sharing the role of the Peer Trainer program advisor at Blake, and Heather and Kelly Campbell are both looking forward to a three day training by the Anti-Defamation League' s A World of Difference Institute in Vermont this summer.
More information will be coming soon but please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com if you have questions or would like more information.
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.
Intramurals start this week. Sign-ups for programming have been extended through the day the the intramural begins. Check out the intramural page on the Blake website for sign-up forms and a description of this spring's offerings. Please contact Brian Gavaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Blake wil be running our 2nd annual Blake Mini Marathon - The Race will take place on Thursday, May 29, 2014 starting around 9:15 and ending around 10:49.
The event is designed to bring the Blake Community (students, staff, & families) together around a common purpose. About a 2.6 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 welcomed and encouraged to volunteer as well. We are looking for water bottle donations this year. If you plan on donating water or volunteering to help with the race in any way please contact Jeff Cincotta at email@example.com or Kelly Dengos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Water should be dropped off at the main office.
Registration and goal setting will take place in Advisory classes, with the hope of 100% participation (within various roles). This year, there will be a suggested registration "fee" (donation) of $5.00 to a charity to be determined. Last year we raised over $3600 to the One Fund. More details coming soon!
Early College Planning Information Night
Mark your calendars! Blake Middle School will be hosting MEFA's Early College Planning Seminar for Parents on Wednesday, May 14th at 7:00pm in the auditorium. Seminar topics include:
- How can I best support my student to make good choices in middle school and high school.
- What is important to understand about admissions and financial aid now?
- How much should we save for college and when is a good time to start saving?
- Will savings affect financial aid?
- If we can't save enough, should we bother saving at all?
Please feel free to contact Matt Marenghi (email@example.com) with any questions.
7th Grade Field Trip to Boston
Calling all seventh grade parents! We are looking for chaperones to help with the seventh grade field trip to Boston on Friday, June 20th. The rain date will be Monday, June 23rd. Students will be going on a walking tour of Boston documenting examples of courage along the way. There will also be ties to Johnny Tremain which the students will be reading in English. In order to join us, you will need to fill out a current Cori form. Please contact Kara Farrell by May 1st at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. We hope you can join us in Boston!
iPad Planning Inventory Information for Incoming 6th-8th Grade
As you know we are expanding upon the current 8th grade iPad Initiative and implementing a 1:1 iPad program for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2014-2015 academic year, with students purchasing their own iPads or taking part in a 'Lease to Own' program through the school. 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. To help us plan our efforts, we are asking all current 5th-7th grade parents/guardians (incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians for the 2014-2015 academic year) to let us know your plans for your student ('Providing iPad' or 'Participating in Lease to Own Program') for next year, by completing this brief survey by Thursday, April 17: iPad Planning Inventory at Blake for 2014-2015. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. 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, 2014.
Please read the link below to a letter regarding our planning for the iPad Initiative...
iPad Planning Inventory Letter to Blake Families 4-2-14
For your reference I have posted links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Mobile Learning Update from Blake 3-26-14
iPad FAQs 3-31-14
iPad Initiative Estimated Lease-to-Own Program 3-31-14
I continue to encourage you to peruse our mobile learning blog (Mobile Learning in Medfield) to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place. We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with the new technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive learning experience.
iPad and Mobile Learning Resources
For those who were unable to attend our iPad Information Sessions last week, here is the link to our Google presentation: iPad Info Sessions April 2014. As we have shared one of our ongoing goals with the iPad Initiative is to share resources for parents/guardians as well as students. With this in mind I have listed links below that I hope will help you to better support and monitor your students at home...
How to Share a Google Doc or Folder
This resource will allow you to access your student's work in their Google drive account.
Understanding Restrictions (Parental Controls) for iOS
This resource provides directions from Apple for enabling parent restrictions. Options include, but are not limited to, turning off installing and deleting apps and restricting access to the iTunes Store.
If you have any questions regarding the iPads or the initiative, do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com) or our help e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Technology Tutorial Updates
The Community Service Club of Blake would like to thank the parents who participated in the technology survey. The results were very helpful in planning for a future of students, educators, and parents using iPads and Google in the district. Based on the results as well as the comments, we decided to create video tutorials that teach users how to navigate Google Apps for Education as well as using and managing the iPad. Although this endeavor is just in the beginning phases, we hope to have a library of tutorials ready before the end of the school year in preparation for the next school year.
Parent Information Nights
Thank you to all who came out for parent information nights. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out. For your reference and information, here are the links to the presentations for the other grades...
Incoming 6th PIN 2014
Incoming 7th PIN 2014
Incoming 8th PIN 2014
Blake Site Council Survey
The Blake Site Council this year has been working on the development of a survey to be distributed to the Blake community. The survey was administered the last two years and we are committed to having parents and students take it annually as part of our continual efforts to examine our programming. Focus areas include the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. The results will help us to gather information and examine our current practices to better meet the needs of our students. Please complete the survey for each child you have at Blake, and base your responses on your student's experiences this year. The questionnaire is anonymous, and your identity can not and will not be discovered through the completion of this survey. We sincerely appreciate your honest responses and are hoping for 100% participation from the Blake community. If you have any questions or have difficulty accessing the survey, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com).
Link to the survey: 2013-2014 Blake Middle School Survey
Our opening home tri-meet with King Philip and Holliston takes place this Thursday, May 1. The field events will start around 3:00 and running events will begin around 3:30 p.m., and most meets end around 5:30 p.m.. Students may compete in two running events and one field event or in two field events and one running event. Team members can leave the meet after finishing their events but are encouraged to stay 'till the end to cheer their teammates. Please have them let one of the coaches know if they are leaving. We travel to and from away meets by bus. You are, however, allowed to drive your children home from away meets where we again request that you let one of the coaches know you are doing so. You may also drive non-family members home if the coaches have a note from the student's parents/guardians granting permission. Looking forward to a great season, see you Thursday.
The Blake CSA has an open position for Treasurer for the 2014-2105 school year. This is a 2-year board position. This is a great opportunity to work directly with Blake administrators and faculty managing the financials of CSA-sponsored events.
Each year the Blake CSA treats the students to Ronnie's slush upon completion of their MCAS tests. This year the event will take place on Thursday, May 29th. Parent volunteers are needed for the following 2 shifts:
10:00 - 11:40 - set up, 8th grade lunch
11:40 - 1:20 - 7th grade lunch, 6th grade lunch, clean up
Please email Dana Ravech at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help with this event. In your email, please indicate what grade your child is in and for which shift you are available to help. Shifts will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Thank you! Please contact Kristy Tarallo (email@example.com) or Kim Wietrecki (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested.
Spring has Sprung! Time to beautify yards and gardens. The Blake Spring bulb and flower fundraiser is well underway. Visit Flower Power to see the beautiful flowers available at exceptional prices. When you order, 50% of the proceeds go to Blake. Send the link to friends and family too!
Hospitality is looking for volunteers to bring food and supplies for the Medfield High school Blake Middle school teacher and staff BBQ. They also need some help at the event. Please contact Lynn Clifford at email@example.com
Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box in the office.
Author Christopher Wilson to Speak at Blake
What does a person have to do to achieve success in the workforce, or more broadly, in life? Find out on May 7th at 7PM, when author Christopher Wilson comes to Blake Middle School to offer pragmatic usable advice on how to affect positive change and practical growth in one's career and personal life. This will be an entertaining and educational evening for all, especially students and those with children entering, in or graduating from college.~High~school and college students will gain important~skills for a job search, resume writing, interviewing, and how to handle themselves once they land that first job. Each attendee will receive a FREE copy of Wilson's book:~BA to~Boardroom with no BS, Skills For Life. This lecture is hosted by the MCPE and is sponsored by Needham Bank.~Registration is free, but seats must be reserved in advance. Walk-ins will be allowed if space is available. Click here to register for the lecture:~https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1720638-RHOdGcgKwC
MCPE Received a Challenge Grant from Needham Bank
Needham Bank, a long-time supporter and sponsor of the MCPE, will donate $100 for every new checking account opened when the patron mentions MCPE. Please consider~stopping by any Needham Bank branch and opening an account today! (Just be sure to mention MCPE!!)
Spring Fling Update
On Friday, May 2nd, the Medfield Coalition for Public Education will be hosting its sold out Spring Fling at Spring Valley Country Club in Sharon from 7-11:30 PM. We are pleased to announce that you can preview the 170 fantastic auction items in our online catalog. With so many wonderful items to bid on, including One Direction tickets, an autographed~Tom Brady helmet (complete with a Patriots VIP experience valued at over $6,000!) and one week at a Chatham Cape house, we suggest you take a few minutes prior to the~event to determine which items are of interest to you and your family. To view the exciting and unique auction items, you may go to the catalog by clicking http://www.medfieldcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Auction-Items.pdf
If you are unable to attend the Spring Fling event, you may want to consider asking a friend to be a ghost bidder for you -- to bid on your behalf with their bid number. Also please consider supporting the Medfield Public Schools by clicking https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1676642-lbMlVJXct4 to enter our AMAZING spa package raffle. jaie3~salon-spa-beautique has generously donated a selection of beauty products and services~now valued at over $900! Please note, online sales of the raffle tickets will close at the end of the day, Wednesday, April 30th. ~Guests will still be able to purchase them at the event. You may also click https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1148897-ms8sVhWlW6 to Fund-a-Grant. By doing this, your donation will go to the Coalition to support future grants that support our Medfield Schools.