November 27 - MCAS Presentation/Discussion (7 p.m.) - see details below
Subway Night for Blake
November 29 - Student Council Mtg at 2:15 p.m.
Internet Safety Presentation for all Blake Parents/Guardians (7 p.m.) - see details
December 3-7 - Scholastic Book Fair
December 3 - Blake Site Council (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
December 4-11 - Book Drive for Cradles to Crayons - see details below
December 4 - Grades 6-8 Band Winter Concert
December 5 - Spaghetti with Santa
December 7 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m. in Blake Cafeteria)
December 11 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
December 12 - Blake Ski & Snowboard Club Rental Fittings
December 12-January 11 - Coats for Kids Drive - see details below
December 13 - Grades 7-8 Chorus/Orchestra Concert
December 14 - CSA Mtg (9:30 a.m. in Blake LMC)
December 20 - Grade 7 to A Christmas Carol
December 24-January 1 - Holiday Vacation
'Topics for the Dinner Table' - New Addition to Blog
As many of you are aware, last year we administed a Parent/Student Survey to all Blake students and parents/guardians in an effort to help us examine current practices to better meet the needs of our students. The focus areas of the survey were: Academic Expectations and Student Stress; Balancing Middle School with Student Life; Peer/Teacher Connections and School Communication. The Site Council has been reviewing the data that was collected, and we hope to put out an 'executive summary' of the results at some point in the new year. One of our goals is to continue to foster dialogue at home, and one idea we are instituting is 'Topics for the Dinner Table' - questions, discussion prompts, or simply 'conversation starters' for parents and students to share and discuss at home.
One question from last year's survey asked about the student's feeling(s) of connectedness with adults in our community -- 'My child has at least one adult at the Blake Middle School that he/she can talk to if he/she has a problem'. We want to make sure that students do feel as though they have adults they can approach with a question/concern/problem, and so the topic for this week is: 'If you have a problem or a concern that needs to be addressed, which adult at Blake do you feel comfortable approaching or talking to?'
MCAS Information Session for Parents/Guardians - Night Meeting
Do you have questions about the MCAS assessments? 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 Tuesday, November 27 at 7 p.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 e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we have an understanding of interest and numbers.
Internet Safety Night for Parents/Guardians
We will be having an Internet Safety night for all Blake parents on Thursday, November 29 (see flyer on Forms and Documents tab of this blog). As a follow-up to the cybersafety parent information night on Thursday, November 29th, the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council will be presenting grade level assemblies for all Blake students around the important topic of Cybersafety on Friday, November 30th during the school day. The goal is to raise student awareness about online safety issues, including essential tools to reduce safety risks to middle school children while engaging in activities on the Internet. Our hope is that this will continue our parent outreach as well as inform students in a thoughtful manner, prior to the holidays.
Scholastic Book Fair
Blake Middle School is gearing up for our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair taking place December 3rd to December 7th in the Library Media Center. Shopping hours will be from 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM. Online shopping is available from November 27th to December 14th at:
An amazing selection of books is headed our way! At the Book Fair you will find the latest and finest titles for kids, as well as books of interest for parents and teachers. The Book Fair is a great way to get everyone excited about reading. See you there!
Recess Reminder for All Parents/Guardians
This is a gentle reminder to families that students are going outside for recess and should bring weather-appropriate clothing like winter jackets and gloves so that they will be warm outdoors.
Book Drive for Cradles to Crayons
From December 4th to 11th seventh grade students will be collecting children's books to donate to Cradles to Crayons and later in the winter they will be organizing a pajama and clothing drive. Cradles to Crayons provides clothing, books and school supplies to low income children in Boston from birth to age 12.
Coats for Kids
SIPS is running its annual coat drive sponsored by Anton's Cleaners. Over the past 8 years, SIPS has collected nearly 800 coats which have helped needy families across neighborhoods of Massachusetts. Parents and students are encouraged to donate "gently used" coats from Wednesday, 12/12 until Friday, 1/11. A donation box will be located at the main entrance of the school. Thank you in advance.
Winter Dance Information from Student Council
The next dance for 7th and 8th grade students is Friday, December 7 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The cost to enter is $5.00. Attire for this dance is 'dressy optional' - we recognize that some students do desire to dress up for this dance, but this is NOT a requirement and the dance is NOT a semi-formal. For ALL of our dances, students are expected to abide by the guidelines of decency, cleanliness, and safety at all times. We recognize that the dance is a social event outside of the classroom, and as such, rules for attire are more flexible than during the school day. Strapless dresses or spaghetti straps will be permitted with appropriate undergarments and adequate coverage. If, however, a student's clothing is deemed inappropriate, the students' parents/guardians will be contacted. The use of mobile phones is prohibited, except in the designated 'Cell-Phone Use' zone. If a student has not yet turned in a dance contract for the 2012/2013 academic year, he/she should see Ms. Dengos or Ms. Hurley before Friday, December 7th.
We at Blake also recognize that the December 7th dance coincides with Medfield's Midnight Madness. As always, families should plan accordingly to pick students up at 9:00 p.m. The school encourages that students are greeted by adults, rather than walk uptown unsupervised at night.
Nashoba Valley Ski/Snowboard Club
Attention parents of students in the Nashoba Ski/Snowboard club. The final packet has been sent home with important forms. A couple important dates to remember:
- December 11, 2012 - Final bus payment and all signed forms are due. The total cost of the bus for all six weeks is $104. Please make checks out to Blake Middle School.
- December 12, 2012 - Nashoba will be fitting students who are renting equipment at 2:15 in the Blake Middle School Cafeteria. Students who are renting should see Ms. Hurley to get a rental form.
- January 2, 2013- There will be a mandatory meeting from 2:15 - 2:45 after school in the auditorium for all students attending ski club. Important information and bus assignments will be given.
CHAPERONES NEEDED - The program is in need of parent chaperones. All chaperones receive a free lift ticket to Nashoba. Non-skiers and non-snowboarders are welcome. There is a lovely lodge with wifi. Buses leave Blake Middle School at 2:15 and return around 7:45/8. If you are interested in chaperoning one or more trips, please contact Eileen Hurley (email@example.com) for more information.
Lip Sync Contest
The 14th Annual Blake Lip Sync will take place on January 25 and 26th. Important dates for performers include...
- December 5th - Meeting to go over songs from 2:15-3
- January 4th- Final music must be submitted on a CD to Mrs. Dondero in the guidance office. Late music will not be accepted. Music must be on a CD not a flash drive or MP3 player/ipod.
- January 16th and 17th- Dress Rehearsal from approximately 215-530
- January 25th and 26th- Performances
Twitter Account (@nat_vaughn)
As noted in last week's blog entry, I encourage you to explore the world of Twitter. I am exploring this technology as a communication and resource tool for both the Blake community and my own learning network. If you are interested in exploring with me, my account is @nat_vaughn. In addition to the weekly blog to our community, I plan on tweeting up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles of interest on a daily or more frequent basis. Admittedly I had some reservations, but Diane Horvath (one of our Technology Integration Specialists) has been encouraging me to get out of my 'comfort zone' - thanks, Diane. This is by no means an expectation for anyone, but I thought you may find it of interest - I have found the 'dialogue and network' via Twitter to be relevant, engaging, tangible, and simply put - useful.
There are two ways to get my tweets...
1. Go to this link: http://twitter.com/nat_vaughn where you'll be able to see all my tweets without a twitter account.
2. To get the 'real feel' for Twitter- you should sign up for your own twitter account and follow me. This works well when you use the twitter app to get the live feed.
Here are two links that may be of interest or of help regarding Twitter...
A Twitter Guide: http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/
'How to Get Started with Twitter' video tutorial from the 'Twitter Guide': http://youtu.be/4YGp4cWdndc
Private School Applications
Students who plan on applying to private school need to contact their guidance counselor by no later than November 30th. For more information, please call the guidance office or visit the guidance website: http://blakeguidancepage.weebly.com/index.html.
iPad Pilot Information on Website
A new tab on the Blake Middle School website has been established with information about the iPad pilot. Please click on this link (Blake iPad Pilot Information)if you are interested in learning some information about the pilot. We will be adding more information throughout the year and I will be highlighting the components as they are developed.
MCPE's community wide 25th anniversary appeal is underway! You may have noticed the blue bows popping up around town. A blue bow attached to a mailbox is a show of support and represents a donation to the appeal. To donate or for more information about how you can support continued enrichment programs at Blake please visit www.medfield.coalition.org.
Tuesday is Subway night please support Blake by going to Subway!!
Meadow Farms Orders - Pick Up and Prize Information
Please pick up your orders!!! They are located in the back left corner of the Library on top of the book shelves. The orders are alphabetical by student's last name. If you placed an online order, the gifts your child earned can be picked up in the school office. If you have any questions or problems with your order, please contact Kim Lipsy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-359-2349. The winners of the raffle will be announced this week. Thank you all for your support throughout this fundraiser - your generosity is greatly appreciated.