4/30 - MEFA Early College Planning Night (see details below)
5/4 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
5/5 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
5/6 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
Grade 6 Geology Field Trip
5/7 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
MEFA Early College Planning Seminar (6:30 p.m.) - see details below
Go Fresh Night for Blake
5/8 - 1/2 Day for Students
Student Recognition Parent Coffee/Discussion (see details below)
Term 3 Interim Reports go home
5/11 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
5/12 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
5/13 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
5/14 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
5/15 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
5/19-5/22 - 8th Grade Memorials, Monuments, and Museums Trip
5/19 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
5/27 - MCPE Annual Meeting
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about the importance of a solid culture for teaching and learning, our topic/question of the week is: Do you believe that the more comfortably and effectively you do your job, the more you can let go of direct control?
Student Recognition at Blake - How Relevant are our Practices? A Parent Coffee/Discussion
As I have shared throughout the year, we have been taking time as a staff this year to examine and discuss the methods and practices that have in place to recognize and honor student achievement here at Blake.
Our goal is to challenge and support all of our students, encouraging them to explore new opportunities for learning and growth. We strive to make sure that all of our endeavors are in line with our mission:
Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world.
As such, to assure we are recognizing our students in a healthy, appropriate, and productive manner we are examining/discussing practices we have in place (i.e. the honor roll, cluster recognition, individual recognition), as well as exploring other potential options/practices/protocols.
I would like to extend an invitation to parents in the Blake community to a parent discussion/forum focused on this topic - Friday, May 8 at 9:20 a.m. Blake staff members and current Medfield High School students (Blake alumni) will be joining the discussions to offer their perspectives and insight as well.
The purpose of the discussion is not to establish policy or procedures, but rather to have an open discussion about the topic of student recognition and achievement. Please RSVP via this Google Form...
Student Recognition Parent Coffee/Discussion - 5/8/15
ADL Update - Youth Congress
Heather Gonzalez, Matt Marenghi, and Kelly Campbell had the pleasure of spending the day in Boston at the ADL Youth Congress with our 2014-15 ADL Peer Leaders on the Friday before vacation. It was an inspiring day where hundreds of ADL Peer Leaders from across New England came together. We gathered to start the day with remarks from Elizabeth Warren. She talked to the students about the importance of stepping up for others who may not be able to step up for themselves as well as the idea that change is very difficult but worth the time and effort to effect. Before breaking into groups to participate in activities with students from other schools, the students listened to Kathrine Switzer, first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1967, as she talked about the importance of empowering others. She shared that people often told her that the marathon was her destiny but she prefers to believe in the power of hard work, persistence, and empowerment of and by others. Our students impressed us with their participation and enthusiasm, even amongst students that they had never met before.
Round 2 of MCAS testing will began on Monday, May 4. 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.
This week 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
ADL Peer Training Program
It is hard to believe that, with the continued support of the Medfield Coalition for Public Education, Blake is already preparing to select and train its second cohort of 7th and 8th grade Peer Trainers in the Fall of 2015. While many of the current 7th grade Peer Trainers will be returning as 8th graders, we encourage interested 7th graders to apply with the understanding that there will be only a few openings in that grade level. For some students, the Peer Training Program, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League’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 for new members 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 this week to share more information with students in the current 6th grade. Students in the 6th and 7th grades will receive electronic application materials via email on May 4th, 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 school days of training which would require students to check in with teachers to get any missed work. Heather Gonzalez and Matt Marenghi will be continuing in their roles of the Peer Trainer program advisors at Blake. I am grateful for their dedication to the program and the students.
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.
Community Service Club Website
Check out the Community Service Club's new website - Blake Community Service Club. Kudos to 8th grader Bekah Morrison for leading this endeavor!
Coming soon....Blake Middle School 2015 Summer Reading List Book Sale
After April vacation, The Blake Middle School CSA will launch its annual Blake Summer Reading List Book Sale through Park Street Books in Medfield. Park Street Books will generously donate 40% of all sales to the Blake CSA. This sale offers you the opportunity to purchase both required and optional summer reading selections simply by filling out an order form and sending it to school with your child. Check your child’s backpack and the Dale Street/Blake websites beginning in late April for a complete listing, a summary of all books, an explanation of the summer reading requirements, and an order form. Thank you, in advance, for supporting the Blake CSA with your book purchases.
School Attire Guidelines
As we transition into spring at last, it is a good time to review guidelines for school dress. These guidelines can be found in the Blake student handbook. Students have an electronic copy and one is available on the Blake website for your reference. Open dialogue, balance, and discretion are important when dealing with issues related to dress. 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 that creates an environment that is conducive to learning for all. 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, off the shoulder 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. If clothing is deemed inappropriate for school, the parents/guardians will be contacted. We encourage students to consult their parents if they are concerned about an item of clothing that they may be considering wearing to school.
April is Autism Awareness Month
In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. For more information from the 'Autism Society', please click on the following link: http://www.autism-society.org/about-us/national-autism-awareness-month/
Course Selection Forms
Reminder to all 6th and 7th grade parents that course selection forms for the 2015-2016 academic year need to be turned in asap.
Blake Site Council 14-15 Survey
The Blake Site Council has been working on the development of our annual survey to students and parents. A similar survey has been administered the last three years and we are committed to having parents and students take it each year 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 and assess progress towards our mission. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Link to the survey: 2014-2015 Blake Middle School Parent Survey
Parent Information Nights for 2015-2016
For your reference and information, here are links to the presentations and handouts from the parent information nights...
Blake Incoming 6th PIN 2015 Presentation
Blake Incoming 7th PIN 2015 Presentation
Nature's Classroom Trip Slideshow
Nature's Classroom Trip Documents and Forms
Blake Incoming 8th PIN 2015 Presentation
Blake Parent Resources Handout 2015
Blake Program of Studies 2015-2016
iPad Program Update and Planning for 2015-2016
The Blake iPad Program Update for 15-16 was sent to all current 5th-7th grade families on February 5, 2015. This link outlines information for all Blake families outlining information about the iPad program for all Blake students for 2015-2016. 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 15-16 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…
Mobile Learning in Medfield (our blog, highlights, etc.)
Blake Mobile Learning General Information (has articles, background information, and philosophy)
Blake Mobile Learning Participation Options 15-16
Blake Mobile Learning FAQs 15-16As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
Ted Talk Club
The remaining dates for Blake's Ted Talk Club are below. We may try to squeeze a make up date in there too but we will let you know if advance.
Meeting 14 - June 5
Please let Mr. Hellerstein or Ms. Allen know if you have any questions.
Blake Track Update
The track team has enjoyed a great first two weeks and is looking forward to our opening meet at Holliston on Thursday, April 30. The coaches have suggested to team members that they should all do some running over the break - up and down the street, around the block, longer neighborhood runs or even going to the high school track.
Thursday, April 30: Blake @ Holliston (Holliston High School Track)
Monday, May 4: Blake @ Medway (Medway Middle School Track)
Thursday, May 7: Blake @ Westwood (Westwood High School Track)
Monday, May 11: Home vs. Ashland (Medfield High School Track)
Thursday, May 14: Home vs. Hopkinton and King Philip (Medfield High School Track)
Tuesday, June 2: Blake @ North Attleboro (North Attleboro High School Track)
Early College Planning Information Night
Blake Middle School will be hosting MEFA's Early College Planning Seminar for Parents on Thursday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. 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
- Will savings affect financial aid?
- If we can't save enough, should we bother saving at all?
Please feel free to contact Matt Marenghi (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
What is ANGP?
ANGP stands for All Night Graduation Party, a 23-year tradition for graduating Medfield High students. In this week’s mail you will receive a blue fundraising flyer seeking support for the ANGP. Please consider a contribution of any amount to help off set the cost of throwing this wonderful party and right of passage for the Class of 2015. In a few short years it will be your student’s turn to celebrate. Be part of the send off for the Class of 2015. Mail your tax-deductible donation to Medfield High School ANGP, P.O. Box 38, Medfield, MA 02052. Thank you.
Look for information on our upcoming Mothers Day Fundraiser. Let your child surprise the special women in their lives; moms, grandmoms, aunts....with a present bought at school. Details to follow.
Blake CSA is looking for treasurer for next year. Please contact email@example.com if interested.
Reminder Tuesday April 28 is Subway Night from 2:00 -9:00 PM ! Take the night off cooking and help Blake at the same time. Please see flyer in Thursday packet for additional detail. Thank- You Subway for supporting our school.
Box Tops competition wrapping up soon. Keep sending those Box tops in
The last CSA meeting fo rthe Year is June 3 @ 7:00 PM
MCPE Monthly Newsletter
Have you been receiving MCPE's monthly newsletter via email? If not, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name added to our distribution list. It's a great way to stay informed of MCPE happenings and learn how your donations are directly enhancing your children's education.
Nominations Wanted: The Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award
Bob Maguire dedicated 22 years of his educational career to the Medfield Public Schools. He served as principal of Medfield High School for eight years and then as Superintendent for fourteen years. 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. Award application, award criteria and deadline information can be found at www.medfieldcoalition.org/grants/bob-maguire-award. The application deadline is: April 30, 2015.
Entertaining for Education (E4E) is a Terrific Way to Support the Medfield Public Schools
It’s not too late to plan an E4E party! Were you going to have an end-of-year school or sports party for your child? Why not make it an E4E? For more information visit the MCPE website: www.medfieldcoalition.org. For questions, contact Megan Infantino (508)359-9928, Kim Price (508)246-8335, or email email@example.com.
MCPE Annual Meeting Scheduled
The MCPE Annual Meeting is scheduled for May 27th at 7:00 PM at the Zullo Gallery. The public is welcome to attend. At this meeting the annual report will be shared, the new MCPE Board Members and Officers will be announced, the recipients of the Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award, the Elizabeth G. Busconi Memorial Education Fund Grant and the Thomas A. Reis Award will also be recognized.