8/24 - New Student Orientation (10 a.m.)
8/26-8/27 - New Teacher Orientation
8/31 - Professional Day for Teachers
9/1 - Professional Day for Teachers
9/2 - First Day of School
Delayed Start for 7th/8th Grade
9/4 - No School
9/7 - Labor Day (No School)
9/9 - Grade 8 Parent Information Night
9/10 - Grade 7 Parent Information Night
9/11 - One-day Blake Food Drive
9/14 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
9/15 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m.)
9/16 - Picture Day
9/17 - Grade 6 Parent Information Night
9/18 - Heather Abbott Visit (see details below)
9/23 - Yom Kippur (No School)
10/5-10/8 - Nature's Classroom for 7th Grade
10/9 - Teacher Professional Day (No School for Students)
10/12 - Columbus Day (No School)
Theme of Collaboration for 2015-2016
Our theme for the next academic year at Blake is one of Collaboration. We believe that this theme will extend the work we have done over the last four years with our themes of Community, Perseverance, Creativity, and Acceptance. 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).
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.
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
Heather Abbott, who lost her left leg below the knee in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, will share her story with Blake students and teachers on Friday, September 18. Her presentation will culminate our week’s activities on Blake’s all-school book, The Running Dream. Heather was at the wrong place at the wrong time that Marathon Monday, which changed her life forever. When Heather’s health insurance didn’t fully cover her new prosthetics, friends and strangers alike donated thousands of dollars to help get her back up and walking again. The gesture moved Heather to start her own organization, The Heather Abbott Foundation (heatherabbottfoundation.org), which raises money to help provide customized prostheses to those who have suffered limb loss through traumatic injury. The Blake community will be working with Heather throughout the school year to raise money for her foundation and all proceeds from the fourth annual Blake Mini-Marathon next June will go to her foundation as well.
Potential Book Discussion Group for Parents - Stay Tuned!
At the end of 14-15, I shared in the blog that I was looking forward to reading HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. I am about halfway through the book and have found it to be thought-provoking - as I said before, I am not sure I agree with everything in it, but it certainly sparks reflection and introspection. My hope is to utilize this book as a book group for parents during the 2015-2016 school year - stay tuned!
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 called Summer 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 email@example.com if you have any questions. Thank you!
Recognition of September 11
September 11, 2015 will mark the fourteenth anniversary of the tragic events that transpired on September 11, 2001. To help commemorate all those who were affected by the events that took place, we are encouraging everyone, in an appropriate and respectful manner, to wear the colors of red, white, and blue. One of the lessons we were all reminded of fourteen years ago was the importance of community and looking out for one another. In that spirit, and to continue a tradition started four years ago, Blake will be helping its own Medfield community by holding a one day collection for the Medfield Food Cupboard. More details regarding specific needs will be shared as we get closer to the date. Donations will be collected in the guidance office on Thursday, September 11.
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 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. 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.)
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.
iPad Planning for 2015-2016
We are continuing with our mobile learning program at Blake for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2015-2016 academic year, and have outlined the 2015-2016 Participation Options (Lease-to-Own, Bring an iPad from home, Borrow) for Blake students for this program. We are committed to providing an equitable learning experience for our students and appreciate the shared commitment and investment in the education of our students. As such we have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need.
The 'minimum specifications' will still remain as the iPad 4, meaning the following are acceptable devices for students to use: iPad Mini, iPad4 and the iPad Air. Although the iPad 2 is no longer manufactured by Apple, it will suffice for the students' needs in school as long as Apple continues to update the OS (operating system) on that device. If your family intends to purchase a new device this year, then the iPad4, iPad Mini, or iPad Air are the recommended devices. Our work over the last three years has provided a foundation as our teachers and staff continue to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of this initiative. It is important to keep in mind that teachers and students will be following the same curriculum frameworks and the common core Blake curriculum.
For your reference I am sharing links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Mobile Learning in Medfield
Blake iPad Program Update for 15-16
Blake Mobile Learning General Information
Blake Mobile Learning FAQs 15-16
Blake Mobile Learning Participation Options 15-16
iPad Program Estimated Lease-to-Own Pricing Structure 15-16
We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with meaningful technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive and relevant learning experience. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
Middle School Athletics for Fall, 2015
Anyone interested in participating in Blake Middle School Athletics in the Fall (Grade 6-8 Boys and Girls Cross Country, 8th Grade Girls Field Hockey, 8th Grade Girls Volleyball, or 7th and 8th Grade Football) please do the following ASAP:
- Register your son/daughter on FamilyID.com (direct link off Blake Athletics Page)
- Pay online (Direct Link for UniBank on FamilyID) or send check for $225 (made out to the "Town of Medfield") to Medfield High School, C/O Eric Scott, AD, 88R South St, Medfield, MA 02052. You can also drop it at the main office.
Blake CSA hopes you are all enjoying your Summer. Please remember that our Volunteer form is now online at our new website - http://medfieldpto.weebly.com/blake.html. Just click under the Blake tab for the form. While online check out what the CSA has funded for Blake last year.
Medfield Day. Please look for the Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) booth on Medfield Day, Saturday, September 19th. We will be located right outside the Montrose School on North Street. Enter our children's book raffle and try your luck in our prize raffle to win an amazing Medfield basket. Come learn about our exciting plans for this year and the many ways you and MCPE can work together to help enrich your children's education.
Save the date! Trivia is back! Mark your calendars for the return of MCPE's Community Trivia Night and Student Trivia Challenge. Trivia Night, for those ages 21 and over, is scheduled for Friday, November 13th at 7 pm at the American Legion AND Student Trivia Challenge, for middle and high schoolers, is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10 after school in the Medfield High School Cafeteria. Visit www.medfieldcoalition.org in early September for more details and to register your team. All proceeds will fund enrichment programs for Medfield Public Schools. And, as always, thank you for making the success of our schools a community effort!!