October 29 - Picture Retake Day
October 30 - MCAS/Common Core Information Session for Parents (see details below)
Second Turn in Day for Magazine Drive
8th Grade Field Trip to Salem
October 31 - Happy Halloween!
Costume Day at Blake (see details below)
November 4 - Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. at Blake LMC)
November 5 - 8th Grade Field Trip to Tri-County
November 6 - 6th Grade Parent Coffee (see details below)
November 7 - iPad Initiative Info Session for Grade 8 Parents/Guardians (see details below)
Deadline for last Washington, D.C. SCRIP Order
XITC Charity Basketball Game (see details below)
November 11 - Veterans Day (No school)
November 12 - iPad Initiative Info Session for Grade 8 Parents/Guardians (see details below)
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
SEPAC Parent Presentation (See details below)
November 14 - Student Council Mtg at 2:15 p.m.
November 19 - Subway Night for Blake
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about happiness and gratitude into the dialogue this week, our Topic/Questions for the Dinner Table this week is: What makes you happiest:
1. Telling someone "I am grateful that we are working together on this"
2. Hearing someone tell you "I am grateful that we are working together on this"
3. Anticipating the feelings it will bring when the opportunity arises to tell or be told that "I am grateful that we are working together on this"
The last day to turn in orders for the magazine drive is Wednesday, October 30th. Students will win fun prizes and are given the opportunity to help a village in Bangladesh by placing three orders. In addition, 30% of sales for each 8th grader will go toward their trip to Washington, D.C. in May.
MCAS and Common Core Information Session for Parents/Guardians
Do you have questions about the MCAS assessments? Do want to learn more about the 'Common Core'? Would you like to better understand the data that has been provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education? Do you want to gain insight about the terminology (growth percentiles, CPI, PPI, etc.) and understand the context for your students and the schools? If the answer to any or all of these questions is 'yes', we would like to extend an invitation to all parents/guardians in the Blake community to join us for parent information coffee on Wednesday, October 30 at 9:30 a.m. at Blake. Nat Vaughn and Susan Bycoff, our Mathematics Content Specialist, will give a brief presentation, followed by a question and answer and 'open discussion' about the tests. This is not a forum to discuss individual scores, but rather to better understand the assessments, data, and reports from the DESE. If you are interested and able to attend the session, please RSVP via our Google Form link ( MCAS and Common Core Info Session on 10-30-13) so that we can make sure we are prepared.
6th Grade Parent Coffee
The 6th graders seem to have settled into the Blake routines quite nicely, but that doesn't mean all the information about school is being shared at home. Join Matt Marenghi and Kelly Campbell for a parent coffee where you can get some of your questions about Blake academics, routines, and school culture answered. The coffee will take place Wednesday, November 6 at 9:30 a.m. Hope to see you there. Please RSVP via our Google Form link (6th Grade Parent Coffee) to let us know if you are planning on attending either session so that we can make sure we are prepared. Please fill out the form for each parent/guardian attending the presentation. You may register questions in advance via the link or walk in with your list.
iPad Initiative Highlights Sessions for Grade 8 Parents/Guardians
In an effort to continue our dialogue and share information with parents and families about our 8th Grade iPad Initiative, we are inviting all Grade 8 parents/guardians to attend one of our iPad Highlights Information Sessions. We have scheduled a day session on Thursday, November 7 at 12:30 p.m. and an evening session on Tuesday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m. The intent is to share and highlights work that is taking place and provide a forum for questions. Parents/guardians should not feel obliged to attend. Please RSVP via our Google Form links ( iPad Initiative Highlights Day Session on 11-7-13 or iPad Initiative Highlights Evening Session on 11-12-13) to let us know if you are planning on attending either session so that we can make sure we are prepared. Please fill out the form for each parent/guardian attending the presentation. I also encourage you to visit our Mobile Learning in Medfield blog to gain a greater understanding of the work that is taking place.
This is a reminder for parents that a student's absence or tardiness must be reported by a written note or a parental telephone call to the school absence line (508-242-8501) by 8 a.m. Absence from school for vacation purposes is discouraged. However, we are aware that some parents make the decision to take their student out of school based on specific circumstances that may allow for the family to be together or for the student to gain a different educational experience. We strongly request that student vacations or family obligations be scheduled within the framework of the school calendar. When parents/guardians do remove students from school, we request that two weeks notice is provided to the administration so that teachers can be notified. Should parents keep a child out of school for vacation purposes, they are assuming the responsibility for their child to make up the work. It should be recognized that teachers can not realistically provide work to take the place of instruction missed during planned absences. Since assignments are based on material that has been previously taught, work can not in most cases be identified until after the child returns Academic and special education teachers will not provide make-up instruction or tutorials.
4th Annual Student/Staff Charity Basketball Game
The 4th Annual Student/Staff Charity Basketball game will take place Thursday, November 7, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Middle School gym. Tickets cost $3 each. All money raised goes to benefit Christmas in the City, a non-profit organization which receives donations each year to throw a Christmas Party for homeless children in Boston. This year, 8th grade students and teachers will spend two days helping to set up the party and purchase gifts for homeless children. Students can purchase tickets during advisory or at the door the day of the event. Any additional donations are welcome.
Student Council would like to invite Blake Staff & students to join in showing your Blake spirit for "Costume Day" on Thursday, October 31st. Participation is not mandatory, but encouraged! Rules for the spirit day are NO masks, NO full face paint, & NO weapons (real or fake) of any kind. Prizes for the best costumes!
Curriculum Highlights - English and Music
This week's updates come from the English (Gail Duffy, Content Specialist) and music (Doug Olsen, Content Specialist) departments...
Grade 6 students recently completed reading Gary Paulson's Harris and Me, using its student-friendly story to introduce the elements of fiction and reinforce students' understanding of literary devices like metaphors, similes, and personification. Students will begin instruction and have practice writing open response essays and later will begin their narrative writing unit.
Grade 7 students are currently working on their first five-paragraph essay. They are writing about an influential person in their lives. Students are also reviewing the eight parts of speech. Our current review is of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives.
Grade 8 students have begun reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Set in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials, this drama provides an excellent launching pad for analytical thinking and writing. On Wednesday, October 30, students in Grade 8 will travel to Salem for a field trip designed to strengthen connections between Miller's play and the history that is alive and well in Salem.
Music is alive and strong at Blake! Ms. Nothnagel's General Music classes are studying Gustav Holst's "Planets" in the 6th grade, the Beatles in the 7th grade, and creating a power point on a favorite musician in the 8th grade. The Blake Choruses continue to prepare for our upcoming concert season and have had solo auditions and choice song votes in all grades. Sight-singing is a new endeavor this year, and this month we have worked a lot on singing solfege in our rounds and pieces.
Olivia Fund Bracelets
Some of our sixth grade students are selling loom bracelets to benefit the Olivia Fund. 100% of the profits for these bracelets will support the fund. They will be sold on Wednesday, October 30 and Friday, November 1. Thank you for helping to make a difference.
Lip Sync Information
The 15th Annual Lip Sync will be held on January 24th. There will be one night of performances; therefore the first 20 acts to submit their completed paperwork by the due date will perform. We are only opening the show to 20 groups. Important upcoming dates...
11/13 @ 2:15 informational meeting in the auditorium
11/28 forms are due to Mrs. Dondero
Please do not hesitate to call or email Mrs. Dondero (508-359-2396 ext. 2003/ firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns
Nashoba Valley Ski/Snowboard Club
SAVE THE DATES: The Nashoba Valley Ski/Snowboard club will be running again for six consecutive Thursdays (January 2nd - February 6th) this year. Paperwork to sign-up will be available near the end of October. Students participating will be expected to attend a mandatory meeting on December 19th from 2:15 -2:45. If a student is renting, staff from Nashoba Valley Ski Area will be available to fit your student on December 11th from 2:15-2:45. Please email Marjorie Heim at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Private School Applications
Students who plan on applying to private school need to contact their guidance counselor. For more information, please call the guidance office or visit the guidance website: http://blakeguidancepage.weebly.com/index.html. Reminders of application deadlines will be noted in future blog updates.
Student Council is currently holding our annual October Pumpkin Decorating contest. Each advisory will design a pumpkin according to the rules laid out by the Student Council and the faculty will vote for their favorite pumpkin the morning of November 1st. There will be a prize for the winning pumpkin!
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
Last week's Blake PJ/DJ was Seth Hellerstein, and our student winner was Ian Gipson! Our new PJ/DJ will begin this Tuesday. We encourage all students to participate by voting at our Blake Pandora Jockey Link, and all entries must be registered by Thursday evening at 8 p.m. An 'electronic selector' will highlight a winner each week, and the winning student will be the Blake PJ for the following Monday. Each student may register only one vote. Encourage your students to participate!
SEPAC Speaker - November 12
Medfield SEPAC presents:
Surviving Adolescents: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast! And The ABC’s of Parenting Adolescents
Nadine Briggs, Social Smart Kids
Tuesday Nov 12, 2013 from 7-9 p.m. in the Blake Middle School Auditorium
Surviving Adolescents will explore why teens become “allergic” to their parents and how boys and girls journey through adolescence in similar and different ways. We will talk about how to gain respect from your teen, strategies for parenting a teen as opposed to a younger child and how to avoid the traps our teens set for us and the ones we set for ourselves to establish a healthy relationship with our adolescents.
THANK YOU to all who participated in the Innisbrook Fall Fundraiser. It was a huge success thanks to you! Blake and our students will surely reap the benefits. Final numbers are being reviewed and the raffle winners will be picked shortly – we will keep you posted on the results. We will also be announcing the dates to pick items in the next few weeks. Thank you again for all your support.
Buy SCRIP to save on your trip to Washington, D.C.
Parents of 8th graders, please note we are extending the promotion another week to allow more participation. The last day to put in your SCRIP order for tuition credit on the trip is now November 7th. The Washington Trip tab on Blake's website has instructions for setting up your account. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Your trash, Blake's cash! Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box is in the office.