8/21 - New Student Orientation
8/25-8/26 - Teacher Days
8/27 - First Day of School
8/29 - No School
9/1 - Labor Day
9/4 - Grade 8 PIN at 7 p.m.
Washington, D.C. Trip Info Mtg at 6:30 p.m.
9/11 - Grade 7 PIN at 7 p.m.
Nature's Classroom Info Mtg at 6:30 p.m.
9/17 - Grade 6 PIN
9/25 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
9/29-10/2 - Nature's Classroom for 7th Grade
10/10 - Teacher Professional Day (No School for Students)
10/13 - Columbus Day (No School)
11/3 - Navigating Social Media with Your Tweens/Teens (see details below)
E-mail Address Changes
Earlier this year, the Medfield Public Schools made the decision to transition from FirstClass to Gmail (Google). Effective this July, the transition took effect in a domain change from 'medfield.mec.edu' to 'e-mail.medfield.net'. As a result our new e-mail addresses will be firstname.lastname@example.org. (i.e. email@example.com). As a backup, all e-mails sent to 'medfield.mec.edu' will continue to be forwarded to 'e-mail.medfield.net', but hopefully this communication will help everyone stay on the same page.
Theme of Acceptance for 2014-2015
Our theme for the next academic year at Blake is one of Acceptance. We believe that this theme will extend the work we have done over the last few years with our themes of Community, Perseverance, and Creativity. As a staff we have begun brainstorming ideas and I encourage all families to join us in the brainstorming process as well. As ideas and thoughts come to mind, do not hesitate to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kelly C. (email@example.com).
School Supply Lists
All students should refer to the School Supply Lists located on the Guidance webpage (Blake Supply Lists) .
Blake Summer Reading
Please refer to the Blake Middle School Summer Reading Lists for copies of the 6th-8th grade reading lists for this summer. If you have any questions, please contact Jon Haycock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Summer Reading Bonding Opportunity for Parents and Students
Have you thought about reading The Wizard of Oz with your son or daughter this summer? You could have a great time comparing your childhood memories of the movie with the very different book. Our summer reading guest speaker, Michael Patrick Hearn, the world's leading Oz scholar, will be appearing at Blake to speak with parents on Wednesday night, September 10th and with students on the 11th. He’s written The Annotated Wizard of Oz, which not only reacquaints readers with the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion, but also illuminates the colorful background of this treasured American classic. The book explores numerous contemporary references, provides character sources, and explains the actual meaning of the word "Oz." More importantly, Michael will once and for all clarify whether or not listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon matches visually with The Wizard of Oz movie. Please consider reading this great keepsake (available for purchase from the summer reading sale but you don’t have to buy it to see Michael though!). Please contact Jon Haycock with any questions (email@example.com).
Navigating Social Media with Your Tweens/Teens - Save the Date!
Monday, November 3rd at 6:30 p.m. in the Blake auditorium
Please join us for an evening with Dr. Elizabeth Englander from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridegwater State University. Dr. Englander was part of our two-part series on technology use last fall and received very positive feedback about her practical and engaging strategies for parents children in the age of social media.
Parents of children of all ages are welcome to attend!
Incoming 8th Graders
Ms. Allen is once again hoping to stay connected with the Class of 2019 this summer via her padlet wall http://padlet.com/wall/lcc64reb5f or twitter (@Mstlalala). The kids are encouraged to post or tweet pictures from their vacations, reviews or pictures of the new favorite book they're reading or anything else they want to share with their classmates over the course of the summer. Please email her if you have any questions.
Summer Math Workbooks
The Blake Middle School math department has found it beneficial for students to work on strengthening their math skills over the summer months. For the past few years, we have used a series of workbooks published by a company calledSummer Skills (www.summerskills.com). We have found these books to be successful in helping students practice and sharpen their math skills and are once again recommending the books listed below. Please be aware that some questions contained in the workbooks may cover topics that have been introduced but not yet mastered. As a team of teachers, we feel that summer work is beneficial; however, this book is entirely OPTIONAL. Students who complete the entire book will receive recognition in the fall.
If you have not already done so, you may order the book at www.summerskills.com. Please order the book for the year your child just completed. Please feel free to email Susan Bycoff at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any questions. Thank you!
Eighth Grade Canoe and Swim Test Information
As part of the eighth grade Charles River Community Awareness Unit offered in the fall, each eighth grade student is required to pass a swimming test during the summer. Each student is required to tread water for five minutes and swim a distance of seventy-five yards. A qualified swim instructor is required to administer the test and sign the form: Swim Test Form
Completed swim tests may be dropped off at the main office of the Middle School Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00AM and 1:00PM throughout the summer. All swim tests must be completed and returned to the student’s new advisory teacher by the first day of school. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. The Charles River Community Awareness Unit is an exciting way for students to begin their eighth grade experience!
(FYI: In the past, students have been certified at Hinkley Pond, YMCA and local swim clubs.)
As with last year, all Blake students will be required to bring in a combination lock with which to lock their hallway lockers. They will give their combination to their advisory teacher for safekeeping in the event that they forget it. In order to give students time to practice using their lock and become comfortable with it, we recommend that families consider purchasing it in June so that students may practice using it throughout the summer. A photo of locks that fit on Blake lockers can be found on the school supply list page.
It's never too early to be thinking about the Blake theatrical events. This year, once again, we will be doing two shows - a play and a musical. We will not, however, be doing them at the same time. Our play will be performed at the end of January and the musical will be performed before April break. More details about exact dates, commitment requirements, and auditions will be shared in September. Hope your summer is full of more song and dance than drama!
Twitter Account (@nat_vaughn) and Blake Hashtags (#bmsed and #bmstech)
We have established the hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events and (#bmstech) for technology tweets of interest at Blake, so be sure to check them out! My account is @nat_vaughn, and I will continue to tweet up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles of interest on a daily or more frequent basis.
There are two ways to get my tweets...
1. To get the 'real feel' for Twitter- you should sign up for your own twitter account and follow me (@nat_vaughn). This works well when you use the twitter app to get the live feed.
2. Go to this link: https://twitter.com/nat_vaughn where you will be able to see all my tweets without a twitter account.
iPad Planning and Mobile Learning Initiative
With our expansion of this year's 8th grade iPad Initiative and implementation of a 1:1 iPad program for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2014-2015 academic year, I encourage everyone 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. As we get closer to the start of the school year, more information will be sent to families. 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).
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 to resources that I hope will help you to better support our collective work and monitor your students at home...
This is a link to the Google presentation from our iPad Information sessions in April...
iPad Info Sessions April 2014
This resource will allow you to access your student's work in their Google drive account...
How to Share a Google Doc or Folder
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...
Understanding Restrictions (Parental Controls) for iOS
These links are references about our initiative...
iPad Planning Inventory Letter to Blake Families 4-2-14
Mobile Learning Update from Blake 3-26-14
iPad FAQs 3-31-14
iPad Initiative Estimated Lease-to-Own Program 3-31-14
Please look for the Medfield Coalition for Public Education booth on Medfield Day, Saturday, September 20th. We will be located right outside the Montrose School on North Street. Stop in and get the dates for the fun-filled events that we will be holding this year and enter your name to win our amazing raffle. Thank you for supporting MCPE and Medfield's public schools. We hope you have a great summer!
Sign up to volunteer at Blake! Please visit the Blake CSA website today to receive more information on our immediate volunteer needs. Join us and get involved at http://medfieldcsa.org/blakevolunteer.html.
Please continue to collect Box Tops over the summer - they can be dropped off at the Blake main office.