8/23-8/24 - New Teacher Orientation
8/24 - New Student Orientation
8/29 - Professional Day for Teachers
8/30 - Professional Day for Teachers
8/31 - First Day of School
Delayed Start for 7th/8th Grade
9/2 - Half-Day
9/5 - Labor Day (No School)
9/8 - Grade 8 Parent Information Night
9/12 - One-day Blake Food Drive (see details below)
9/13 - Picture Day at Blake
9/14 - Grade 7 Parent Information Night
9/21 - Grade 6 Parent Information Night
9/26-9/29 - Nature's Classroom Trip for Grade 7
9/30 - Half Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Staff
10/3 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
10/10 - Columbus Day (No School)
10/12 - Yom Kippur (No School)
10/26 - Medfield Talks - Michael Thompson (see details below)
You may have already met or been introduced to some of these individuals, but please join me in welcoming the following staff (some returning or in a new capacity) to Blake:
- Elise Coughlin - Grade 6 Science Maternity Leave (Otters)
- Sam Cowell - World Language
- Juli Dalzell - Grade 7 Science (Red)
- Anne Marie Dion - Special Education Inclusion Facilitator
- Kara Gelormini - Reading Specialist
- Lucas Mihalich - Grade 7 Social Studies (White)
- Sarah Murphy - Reading Specialist
- Mairi Nawrocki - Wellness
- Kayla Sweeney - Special Education Inclusion Facilitator
- Ann Marie Tremblay - General Music and Chorus
- Nathan Walkowicz - Grade 7 English (Blue)
- Tom Woods - Wellness
- Kirsty Young - Wellness Maternity Leave
Summer Reading, Supply Lists, Locks, and Swim Test Info
Summer reading is a valued activity and expectation here at Blake. Every student is responsible for reading our all-school book, Heart of a Samurai, by Margi Preus. In addition to the all-school book, each student must read the respective grade-level requirements for summer reading - please refer to the Blake Summer 2016 Reading Lists for copies of the 6th-8th grade reading lists for this summer. During the first two of weeks of school, students will participate in several activities related to this required reading, culminating with grade-level assemblies in mid-September. If you have any questions, please contact Jon Haycock at firstname.lastname@example.org. All Blake students need 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 take some time to review the combination procedures with their students before day one of school. A photo of locks that fit on Blake lockers can be found on the school supply list page. The Blake Supply Lists for all students and the Swim Test Form for all incoming 8th graders can be found on the Blake website.
Theme of Empathy for 2016-2017
Blake’s collective themes for the last five school years have been Community, Perseverance, Creativity, Acceptance, and Collaboration. The shared theme for this coming year is one of Empathy and, as has been the practice with our prior themes, our goal is to touch on the theme throughout the year - with advisory, assemblies, student recognition, and in our daily work with students. Many of the attributes, skills, and competencies we want for our students and community are influenced, fostered, and impacted by empathy. To help spark some conversation amongst ourselves and the greater community, I am sharing several articles of interest that I believe will help frame our thinking as we look ahead…
America's Insensitive Children?
by Jessica Alexander in The Atlantic
Alexander shares some of the explicit teaching programs that are in place in Denmark, a country that is often referenced as one of the ‘happiest’ nations. The title of her post could certainly cause ‘alarm’ or discomfort, however the intent of my sharing is not to disparage our children, society, or schools. Rather, I think that it is important to take a look at what other schools are doing so that we can learn from others. Specifically, I am struck and reminded of the importance of taking the time to make social and emotional learning a priority.
Another, less obvious example of empathy training in Danish schools is in how they subtly and gradually mix children of different strengths and weaknesses together….The goal is for the students to see that everyone has positive qualities and to support each other in their efforts reach the next level...This system fosters collaboration, teamwork, and respect. Students who teach others work harder to understand the material, recall it more precisely, and use it more effectively. But they also have to try to understand the perspective of other students so they can help them where they are having trouble. The ability to explain complicated subject matter to another student is not an easy task, but it is an invaluable life skill. Research demonstrates that this type of collaboration and empathy also delivers a deep level of satisfaction and happiness to kids; interestingly, people’s brains actually register more satisfaction from cooperating than from winning alone.
...it is no surprise that empathy is one of the single most important factors in fostering successful leaders, entrepreneurs, managers, and businesses. It reduces bullying, increases one’s capacity to forgive, and greatly improves relationships and social connectedness. Empathy enhances the quality of meaningful relationships, which research suggests is one of the most important factors in a person’s sense of well being. Research also suggests that empathetic teenagers tend to be more successful because they are more purpose-driven than their more narcissistic counterparts. And if you think about it, it all makes sense. Successful people don’t operate alone; every human needs the support of others to achieve positive results in his or her life.
Reflecting on Adolescence: How Stories Can Inspire Teen Empathy
by Linda Flanagan (@LindaFlanagan2) in MindShift
This post highlights strategies that have been employed by schools to use stories as a way for students, specifically adolescents, to inspire and spread a culture of empathy. I believe it serves as a tangible reminder of the importance of finding the time for students to share with and listen to one another.
A Failure of Empathy
by John Warner (@biblioracle)
Warner’s post is a very personal retelling of an interaction with a student many years ago. It is a raw account of regret and not all of our ‘regrettable interactions’ are as significant, but I appreciate his sentiments about the assumptions we all make and the importance of taking time to come from a place of empathy. I commend and admire his transparency and the growth that is modeled as an adult learner.
I’ve been thinking about empathy, its role in life, and especially its role in teaching. A particular failure of empathy has stuck with me for many years. At the time, I could be quick to assume the worst about a student, often based on surface-level indicators. I was wrapped up in my own notions of authority, that an underperforming student was a kind of personal affront, their failure to recognize my pearls of instruction constituting a moral failing.
But I learned something from it. I learned to pause before I assume what’s going on with my students, to approach them always from a stance of empathy, unless they definitively prove that they don’t deserve it. I have yet to find a case of a student who did not deserve it.
“Deficit Comparisons” To “Abundance Introspection”
by George Couros (@gcouros)
I shared this post in my midsummer blog update and I believe it is worth re-sharing and re-reading on a regular basis. George Couros is a significant sphere of influence on me as an educator and I encourage you to 'follow' him. He encourages us to reflect upon our 'filtered lives' online, but more importantly how we view others and ourselves. The relationship between empathy and introspection is one that is worthy of consideration.
What I took away is that we often show only our “highlight reel”, as opposed to some of the stuff that makes us human. I get this and have seen it often. Humble bragging has become somewhat of an art form online. Or maybe that is my perception.
Thinking about my own context and what I choose to share, I think about the “filtered” life I have created. I definitely have rough patches in my life and tough spots that are my own and not for public consumption, but I also have many awesome moments that I choose not to share with anyone online. I get the opportunity to travel to many awesome places, and I don’t share everyone of those moments, yet I also go out of my way not to complain about things online as well.
...the trap has become comparing our lives to the “highlight reel” of others. To be honest, every time someone shares that they won some award, I think “How come I have never won an award?”, although I wish my default would be to think “that is awesome for them”, and to be grateful for the opportunities I have. This is a critical shift from “deficit comparisons” (why don’t I have that?) to “abundance introspection” (being thankful for what I do have).
Empathy teaches us a lot about thinking of what others go through, yet introspection is also important. Understanding that what we see online is often not the whole picture, and comparing ourselves to others could easily help us lose sight of who we are as individuals. Constantly comparing ourselves to others to some might be motivating, while debilitating to others, and although we often filter our lives online, it is important to apply these same filters when thinking of ourselves.
Design Thinking Develops Empathy
by Lisa Yokana (@lyokana59) in Education Week
Yokana, a high school teacher from Scarsdale, NY, outlines how she has employed the Design Thinking process, a problem solving approach that fosters empathy by encouraging the designers to experience the problem to better design the solution or answer, with her students. As a staff we will be deeply exploring this process with our students and one another to challenge our own thinking process and enhance the learning environment for the community.
How might we encourage our students so that they understand their own power and ability to change their world by taking action? The answer is simple: start small, make it relevant and local, and use Design Thinking to manage the process. Design Thinking is a codification of the artistic or scientific process and starts with empathy and understanding. Students gather insights, define the problem and then brainstorm multiple solutions before moving forward to prototyping and testing their ideas.
As children struggle with real life problems, even ones that are in their own schools and communities, they learn to put themselves in others' shoes and consider the issue from other vantage points. Following the design process allows students to consider multiple solutions as they brainstorm. They gain insight from making rough prototypes, testing them and reiterating based on feedback.
We need to foster a mindset of action and nurture students who are ready and equipped to take on the tough, complex problems of the world. So even though students begin by solving small, local problems, they develop a mindset of doing. Once students feel their impact locally, their mindset shifts, and they begin to see opportunities for global change. Design Thinking gives them a process and allows them to practice vitally important skills for life.
An Introduction to Design Thinking - Process Guide
Guide from the Institute of Design at Stanford
This flow chart of Stanford provides a nice outline/structure of the Design Thinking process, and Empathy is Step 1.
Empathy is the centerpiece of a human-centered design process. The Empathize mode is the work you do to understand people, within the context of your design challenge. It is your effort to understand the way they do things and why, their physical and emotional needs, how they think about world, and what is meaningful to them.
We look forward to helping our students and one another gain a deeper and richer appreciation for empathy throughout the coming year, and we will be looking to engage the community in this worthwhile pursuit with us. As a staff we have been 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 (email@example.com) or Kelly C. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mobile Learning, iPad Initiative, and GAFE
We are looking forward to continuing our work with iPads in all grades this year, following the successful experiences the last few years. The 'minimum specifications' will still remain as the iPad 4, meaning the following are acceptable devices for students to use: iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air, or iPad Pro. The device selected by the students/families 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. The iPad Mini has the same specifications as the iPad 4, with the difference in screen sizes (7.9” vs 10”). Our work over the last four 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.
We will also be continuing our work with all students using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to enhance the way we use technology and share information within and beyond our school community. Essentially, GAFE is a cloud-based learning platform allowing teachers and students to create a range of documents online, e-mail, share calendars and 30 gigabytes of data storage to be accessed at home and school on any device. GAFE allows us to collaborate and learn more effectively through the use of technology, and offer a range of new learning opportunities for teachers and students. Further information about GAFE can be found here: Google Apps Overview and Benefits
Our primary reasons for employing GAFE as a district are:
- To give our students practice using technology applications and tools
- To give students the ability to work on common, no-cost tools on their own documents both at school and outside of school
- To facilitate ‘paperless’ transfer of work between students and teachers (‘work flow’)
- To provide adequate long-term storage space for student work
- To help students work collaboratively, engage in peer-editing of documents, and publish for a wider audience
- GAFE works on any computer or device with Internet connection. This allows our students to continue learning beyond the classroom and the ability to access their content at any time.
- Students and teachers can work in teams, sharing calendars, documents and collaborating ideas to learn more effectively.
- To establish digital portfolios to curate the progression of learning for all of our students
Methods: Tradition vs Relevance
post by Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby)
Whitby is an educator worth following - for teachers, parents, and students. He asks good questions and challenges the status quo. In this brief post, he encourages us to really examine the roles that tradition and relevance play in the education of our students...
The sources for learning today are much different from previous centuries when lectures ruled education. For the curious mind the digital journey seeking knowledge can be its own experience. Having control over one’s own learning is a very effective way to learn. It is also relatively new to a very conservative world in education.
If collaboration and discussion within problem-based learning is more relevant to today’s learners, why would educators insist on staying with less effective methods? The technology has changed the way learning happens. That is now a given. Technology by its nature will continue to advance and evolve. It is easier for us to change our methodology and to use the technology than it is to withhold the technology to maintain the outdated methodology. My personal belief is that at least in education relevance is more important than tradition when it comes to methodology.
Dancing with Robots: The Skills Humans Need
by Justin Reich (@bjfr) in Education Week
This post from a couple of years ago references a white paper written by Richard Murnane and Frank Levy - Dancing with Robots: Human Skills for Computerized Work. This important paper helps to provide direction for what we need to focus on for our students - critical thinking and complex communication.
Levy and Murnane argue that computers do a few things very well, and they do those things very cheaply...Computers, however, are still not very good at certain kinds of tasks, and Levy and Murnane put these into three big categories: solving unstructured problems, working with new information, and carrying out non-routine manual tasks.
It's not that unstructured problem solving or working with new information are new skills for the 21st century, it's that they are newly important in the 21st century as computers replace routine-based work. In economic terms, humans have a comparative advantage over computers in these domains.
The Greatest Ed-Tech Generation Ever
by Beth Holland (@brholland) in Education Week
This post is a ‘live blog’ of Justin Reich’s keynote address at the iPad Summit in November, 2015. Reich’s message eloquently articulated a historical perspective on technological advances while outlining a vision, a ‘generational project to become the greatest ed tech generation ever’ for the audience.
For the first time, the concept of time to learn has shifted to a lifelong and lifewide experience. Increasingly, people need to learn throughout their lifespan, so one of the most important things that we can do is to equip people to become these lifelong learners. As educators, one of our most critical challenges is to develop students into these learners who can take advantage of both formal and informal education systems. In order to do this, people need two skill sets: be employable in the near term and be prepared to learn and adapt over time. In many ways, schools need to accomplish the goals of both vocational systems (prepare for specific tasks) and liberal arts systems (prepare to be thinkers).
Justin then tells about the peer-learning strategies employed by Eric Mazur of Harvard. Abundant evidence exists that actively engaging students in learning experiences is more effective than having them passively receive information via lecture. "Given our results, it is reasonable to raise concerns about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in future experiments." That statement essentially makes it unethical to use lecture as a control in experiments because it is so ineffective. All learning should be active as it has been proven to be exponentially more effective.
This is a generational challenge. We have to be able to look back on the massive investments in technology and prove that it systematically made a difference.
EdTech is Maturing
by Michael Cohen (@TheTechRabbi)
Michael Cohen is the Director of Educational Technology at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills, and this post is a reflection of his experience at the iPad Summit. I was fortunate to attend one of his sessions and I highly recommend checking out his work. His focus on the 'invisible iPad' and sustainable/meaningful learning for students, from my perspective, is spot on.
EdTech is becoming less about what you can do with an app, and more about what the app can do for you.
On twitter this week I read a tweet that if the technology isn’t used “right” (whatever that means) then it shouldn’t be used at all. “Losing Tech” is no longer just a punishment, it is a prevention of learning. Imagine if we took students pencils for “inappropriate use” and refused to give them back at the end of class. Such a scenario would never happen because everyone agrees that students cannot learn without pencils. If our attitude is that technology used wrong can simply be removed, then what is our objective? Are we integrating technology to support unimaginable, unbelievable, and unstoppable learning, or is it to meet a quota or claim 21st-Century status?
Justin Reich, Director of the Teaching Systems Lab at MIT shared a powerful quote from a scholarly paper on active learning, and STEM, and that is that
given our [research] results, it is reasonable to raise concerns about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in future experiments. This quote is beyond powerful as it speaks to the disconnect between authentic 20th-Century and 21st-Century learning environments and experiences. To play on words, it requires us as educators to give up “control” over knowledge, and where it can take us.
We can no longer expect that the mere digitization of traditional learning will lead to sustainable and meaningful learning for students...While we might not be able to rewrite our entire educational outlook just yet, it is incumbent on use as educators to begin the process of not just redefining our use of technology, but redefining what learning can occur because of it.
The Invisible iPad: It's Not About the Device
by Michael Cohen (@thetechrabbi) in MindShift
As we continue to make progress with tablets in the classroom, it is critical that we stay true to Blake's mission and the tenets of effective teaching and learning. Cohen succinctly articulates the fundamental view that the device is not the focus -- "For progressive educators, it isn’t enough to change how we use the iPad, but why we use the iPad." We must continually remind ourselves to focus on the skills we want for our students first, and then look to see how the iPad can enhance the experience...
Before we even begin to think about how and where we place the iPad in our learning process, we have to nail down our goals, possible challenges, and the planned path of process. If we reach a point during the project and hit a road block, we can become flustered if we do not have even a rough outline to backtrack to a clear point of success. This all starts with identifying which skills we will need to use. In elementary and middle school, these skills need to be clear and simple so students know that right now they are “collaborating” or “problem solving.” We can expect these skills to be subconscious as adults, but this is not realistic for most students below or even at high school level.
Building the Culture of an Empowered Mindset Towards Technology Innovation
post by George Couros (@gcouros)
I share this post by Couros at the start of each year and I believe it is worth sharing again, as it offers an administrative perspective in visual form of, "...the correlation of the school mindset on technology innovation in learning, and the alignment it has with administrator support, professional development, and the corresponding hardware/infrastructure within the school/classroom." As we look ahead at the initiatives that we are currently working on and ones that lie ahead, I believe this will help our entire learning community (students, staff, parents, and greater community) understand and envision the progression we want to travel from a 'closed or fixed' mindset to one of 'empowerment'. Communication and transparency are key elements in this growth pattern and I look forward to the conversations we have yet to have in this regard.
I encourage you to peruse our mobile learning blog (Mobile Learning in Medfield) for resources and to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place - a big thank you to Diane Horvath (@techmonstah), our Technology Integration Specialist, for her work on this blog. 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. We anticipate sending out more information throughout the year to families regarding user agreements, tips for family management, and apps. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.
Our custodial, technology, and maintenance teams have done a phenomenal job preparing the building for another year of learning. In addition to the annual work (cleaning of rooms, waxing of floors, painting and ‘fix-it-up’ jobs) that occurs each summer, a few special projects have been completed that are worthy of mention. Parking lots have been relined and repainted, WiFi access has been expanded, security cameras have been installed on the outside of the building, and tree work has taken place in our courtyard and outside of the school. In addition, our custodial staff has brightened up the main entrance and hallways with fresh coats of paint. Our ongoing work to reimagine our library/collaboratory/makerspace has continued with a new set of chromebooks and more flexible furniture to allow for increased options for students and staff. The support of both the MCPE and Blake PTO has been greatly appreciated to help with this work! We are excited by these developments as we assure that the learning environment is accommodating for the ever-changing needs of our students - spaces for traditional work, video production, flexible grouping, teaching, professional development, meetings, and creativity.
Site Council Opening for Incoming Grade 6 Parents/Guardians
We have an opening for a parent representative (Grade 6) on the Blake Middle School Site Council. The Site Council meets monthly to review issues and discuss initiatives for the Blake Middle School community. The Council is also responsible for developing the annual School Improvement Plan and monitors progress with the plan throughout the year. Members include the administration, teacher representatives, and members of the community. The meetings are typically held once a month on Monday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. Serving on the Site Council is a wonderful way to get involved in your child's education and have an active and positive role in improving the Blake Middle School experience. Interested parents should send a letter of interest, indicating their desire and rationale for involvement, to me (email@example.com) by Thursday, August 26. If multiple parents express interest, an election will take place at parent night. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Parent Information Nights
Our Parent Information Nights (PINs) will take place on Thursday, September 8 for grade 8, Wednesday September 14 for grade 7, and Wednesday, September 21 for grade 6 - all of these evenings will begin at 6:30 p.m. These nights will provide you with an opportunity to visit your student's classrooms and hear about the curriculum and exciting programs that will take place throughout the year. There will be an optional meeting on Thursday, September 8 at 6:00 p.m. for eighth grade parents interested in learning about the trip to New York City and Washington, D.C. There will be an optional meeting on Wednesday, September 14 at 6:00 p.m. for seventh grade parents interested in hearing final details about the trip to Nature's Classroom. Sixth grade chorus, band, and orchestra parents are invited to informational meetings at 6:00 p.m. on September 21, prior to PIN. We will send out reminders and more details on all of these meetings as we get closer to the actual dates.
Book Discussion Group for Parents - Stay Tuned!
During the 2015-2016 school year the Blake Site Council read How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. This summer we are reading THE END OF AVERAGE: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness by Todd Rose. For more information, here is a book review from The New York Times: Review: In ‘The End of Average,’ Cheers for Individual Complexity. We will discuss the book at our first Site Council meeting in September and hope you can join us!
Recognition of September 11
September 11, 2016 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the tragic events that transpired on September 11, 2001. In advisory and as a community we will be taking time, in an age-appropriate manner, to explain the historical timeline that led up to the events, reflect upon the impact that has been felt since that time, and to emphasize and highlight the resilience, empathy, and care that took place. Our ultimate goal is to have the students gain an appreciation for the value of a community, as we will continue to come back to this theme throughout our students’ middle school experience. Please contact your student’s guidance counselor, Kelly Campbell, or me if you feel your child will be particularly affected by these discussions or need additional support. 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 on Monday, September 12. One of the lessons we were all reminded of fifteen years ago was the importance of community and looking out for one another. In that spirit, and to continue a tradition started five 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 Monday, September 12.
- All parents/guardians need to be sure to follow the parking regulations in the parking lots and around the 'flagpole circle'. When dropping off or picking up students, vehicles should not be parked ('stationary' or 'live') in the fire zone. We need to make sure that we are providing a safe environment at all times for our students and community. Thank you for your cooperation.
- Forgotten items can be left in the office with the understanding that the students know to check in the office if they have forgotten an item. Please clearly label items with the student’s name and grade.
- Students are not permitted to bring in baked goods (cookies, cakes, etc.) to celebrate birthdays or personal events. There are many students who have food allergies and other dietary needs, and it is important that we continue to provide all of our students with a safe and healthy environment. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
- When shopping for 'back to school' clothing, please bear in mind the Blake Middle School guidelines for appropriate attire. We are confident that good judgment on the part of students and parents will result in the wearing of clothing that will contribute to a respectful academic environment and educational atmosphere. At Blake we endeavor to remove as many distractions from the day as possible so that students are able to focus on the most important aspect of their day - learning.
Medication and Health Information from Mrs. Williams
To do his/her best in school, it is important for your child to get an adequate amount of sleep every night, start each day with a healthy breakfast as well as drink plenty of water throughout the day. Please send your child to school with a refillable water bottle daily. 6th grade students should also bring in a healthy snack to eat in the morning such as yogurt, fruit or vegetables. During adolescence, eight to ten hours of sleep is recommended every night. A set time to turn off your child's phone, iPad and other electronics for the night and charge in an area away from your child's room is also recommended to remove distractions and encourage good sleeping habits.
All medication to be taken at school must be kept in the nurse's office and administered by the school nurse. Students are not allowed to carry and self-administer medications at school including non-prescription medications such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, allergy and cold relieving medication, etc. Parents/guardians are asked to complete the blue Emergency Health Information form that will be sent home the first day of school. On this form, parents/guardians may give written permission for the school nurse to administer specified non-prescription medication, if needed. Any other prescription and/or non-prescription medication to be administered at school requires a written order from the student's healthcare provider and written parental consent preferably on the Medication Authorization Plan 2016-17 available on the school's website.
This year we are continuing with recess as part of our Advisory structure. A great deal of research evidence shows that students are more productive and intellectually engaged when a physical and or mental 'break' is provided in the middle of the day. We are looking for donations from families to provide options for students during this time: frisbees, wiffle balls/bats, kickballs, tennis balls, single and double jump ropes, volleyballs, foam footballs, soccer balls, and hula hoops. If you have done some 'fall cleaning' and have extra items that could be donated, have students drop them off in the main office. Thank you in advance for your help.
Middle School Athletics for Fall, 2016
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 is always looking for substitute teacher applicants. Applicants need not have teaching licensure but should be energetic, flexible and enjoy working with children. For more information or to apply, please visit medfield.net and find applications under the tab "employment opportunities". Please contact Kelly Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
As with our teaching positions, from time to time our nurse, Tricia Williams, will be out of the building and we need a substitute nurse for these days. We are fortunate that we have several substitute nurses in the district who are able to work on those days. If you are a registered nurse and have an interest in potentially serving as a substitute throughout the year, please let us know. You can contact me (email@example.com) or Tricia Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org). By the same token, if you have friends in the area who would have an interest in serving as a substitute, please let them know that they can contact us as well. The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority, and we would appreciate your interest in one of these roles.
Medfield Talks, a new committee comprised of Dr. Marsden, MCPE, K-8 and High School PTOs, SEPAC, MMA and Medfield Foundation will kick off a new speaker series on October 26th with Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D.
According to his website, "Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked at more than seven hundred schools across the United States, as well as international schools in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia." In 2004, Dr. Thompson published The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and Life which has helped parents navigate and mitigate the pressures faced by our children as they progress from their kindergarten through high school years. Through an MCPE sponsored grant, Medfield is privileged to host Dr. Thompson, who will speak to middle and high schoolers during the day and parents in the evening. Please join us on October 26th for this important event. Free tickets and additional information will be available in September.
Communication and Updates
I will resume updating my blog on a consistent basis once again after the official start of the school year, and I encourage you to check this site weekly (Blake Principal's Blog) for updates and important information. In addition you can 'follow me' on Twitter (@nat_vaughn), as I am using this account as a communication and resource tool - tweeting up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles on a daily or more consistent basis. We have also established a Blake School account (@blakeoffice) and hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events, so be sure to check it out! Instagram is another form of social media that I am exploring and you are welcome to follow me (nat.vaughn).