11/29 - Health Advisory Council Mtg (see details below)
12/2 - Term 1 Grades Close
12/4 - Angel Run
12/7 - 1/2 Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Staff
Spaghetti with Santa
12/8 - Grades 6-8 Chorus Concert
12/9 - Hour of Code at Blake
Term 1 Report Cards go Home
12/12 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
12/13 - 7th Grade to A Christmas Carol
Blake PTO Meeting - 9 a.m.
12/14 - Grades 6-8 Band Concert
12/15 - Grades 6-8 Orchestra Concert
12/16 - 8th Grade to XITC
12/23 - 1/2 Day for Students
12/24-1/2 - No School
1/3 - School Resumes
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about recognizing the importance of how we each contribute to our community, our topic/question for the dinner table is: How does your unique and genuine self contribute to the Blake community? Embracing Our Community of Learners (Week of 11/28/16) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Honor Roll Notification/Continued Change in Practice
As you may remember last year we informed you of a change in our practice of recognizing sixth grade students via an honor roll at Blake, and I am writing to update the community with our plans for seventh and eighth grade students. After discontinuing the honor roll for sixth grade last year, a key area of focus as a staff, Site Council, and community over the last year was discussing the implications for future potential changes in our formal systems of recognition for the entire student body. Recognizing our students for their academic accomplishments is important and we need to make sure our systems for doing so are relevant, meaningful, and appropriate.
Keeping the social-emotional developmental needs of our students at the forefront, we have spent time over the last five years as a Blake community (students, staff, Site Council, and parents) discussing feedback, motivation, and appropriate methods to both recognize and honor student achievement at Blake. As our mission statement reads, it is our goal to both challenge and support all of our students, encouraging them to explore new opportunities for learning and growth: Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world. As such, we have been examining and discussing the practices that we currently have in place, as well as taking time to explore other options to recognize our students in a healthy, appropriate, and productive manner. One key focus area of this discussion for our staff in conjunction with the Blake Site Council has been the role of an honor roll for our students. Several years ago we made the decision to stop publishing the Academic Recognition and Academic Distinction lists in the town newspaper. Our discussions continued to examine whether the existence of an honor roll aligns with our mission. Taking the social-emotional and developmental needs of our students into account and reflecting on the alignment of our beliefs and practices, we have come to the conclusion that it is a practice that is not developmentally appropriate and is a practice/tradition that will be discontinued for all of our students over the next year, ending at the conclusion of this academic year for the 8th grade students.
Recognizing our students for their academic accomplishments is indeed important, but we believe that the honor roll is not the appropriate system for academic recognition at this juncture in their development as learners. Reflection is one of our core values here at Blake, and we will continue to both examine and implement methods for recognizing our students throughout the year for all of their accomplishments. As always, I am happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
Magazine Drive Update
Your student may have already shared the news with you. But, in case you missed it: John Sullivan's 8th grade homeroom won the Big Pig Race last Wednesday! It was a fun and exciting event that capped off a very successful Magazine Drive. Our goal was an ambitious $14,000. We're pleased to announce that we are nearly there - just a few hundred dollars away from our goal. With additional orders still coming in, though, we are confident that we will meet - and even surpass - our goal! All of the monies raised will help us fund special Blake-specific activities. A big thanks goes out to all Blake Families who supported our recent fundraising efforts!
Health Advisory Council Meeting
The Health Advisory Council will meet at the Wheelock School, Room 216, on Tuesday November 29th at 3:15 pm to review the updated Wellness Policy. All are welcome to attend.
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.
Reminder for all Blake Students and Families
This is a reminder that as a school we will not be orchestrating 'Secret Santa' type activities for students in which gifts are being purchased and/or given. For a number of reasons, school is not the proper forum for the exchange of gifts, and we appreciate your understanding and support.
Hearing and Vision Screening
Hearing and vision screening is taking place this week for all 7th grade students as mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The purpose of this screening is to identify students who may have hearing or vision issues requiring medical follow up. Our school nurse, Tricia Williams, will be conducting the screenings during physical education classes assisted by other trained nurses. Please be sure your child wears his/her contacts or brings his/her glasses to school to use during the vision portion of the screening. Please contact Tricia via e-mail or send in a written note if you prefer your child not participate in the school’s hearing/vision screening. Tricia can be reached at email@example.com. If you have any questions or concerns about the screening process, Tricia can also be reached at 508-242-8554. She will be contacting you directly if your child does not pass the screenings and requires medical evaluation.
Christmas in the City
Permission slips will be going home soon for the 8th grade's field trip to Christmas in the City. In the next few weeks 8th grade advisories will be busy shopping for gifts for children attending the Christmas in the City Event. Each 8th grade advisory is responsible for purchasing a gift for a child off of his or her wish list, worth up to $50, in order to help keep the magic and spirit of the holidays alive for these children. The 8th grade will be purchasing gifts for 14 children and will deliver these gifts when they attend the Christmas in the City community service field trip on December 16. Contributions towards the cost of the buses are greatly appreciated - checks should be made out to Blake Middle School with Xmas in the City Transportation in the memo line.
26 Days of Kindness
The four year anniversary of the tragic events in Newtown will be upon us shortly. At Blake, we will be continuing a tradition started two years ago by honoring those who died that day by asking everyone in the Blake community to participate in 26 Days of Kindness. On the document, you will see the acts of kindness are not 'big', nor are they complicated, yet each can make an impact on someone, including each of us. On Friday of each week you will see that the acts are a little 'bigger' in nature. We encourage you to print out the document and post it in a public spot (i.e. refrigerator) for your entire family to reference during the next month. We are going to document these days and put them together in a way that we can refer back to easily and remind ourselves that kindness is something we all can practice every day. I encourage you to check out the links for 26 Days of Kindness on Mrs. Gumas's website - mrsgumas.com. During the weekend or over the Thanksgiving holiday, if you see your student partaking in an act of kindness and could take a picture or video, please post it to the Kindness padlet.
Parent iPad Survey Fall 2016
As you know we are continually working on assessing our programs and are looking to gain insight from our students and parents to provide feedback. We have developed a survey that is being distributed electronically to all 6th-8th grade students and parents as part of a data collection assessment for the iPad Initiative. The questions will hopefully serve as a pre-assessment (beginning of year) tool and we will be administering similar surveys at the end of the year as well. The questions have to do with organizational skills, executive functioning, and comfort with technology. Questions are being sent to all three grades. The survey is not an evaluative tool of the teachers or the students; rather, it is a tool that we believe will help us gain insight about the initiative, our programming, and technology. The questionnaire is anonymous, and your identity can not and will not be discovered through the completion of this survey. Please take the time to complete a unique survey for each student you have at Blake Middle School. You will see that the survey is for both students and parents, and students will be given time in school to complete it. It is important we only get one response per student. We sincerely appreciate your honest responses and are hoping for 100% participation from the student body and parents. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. Your sincere responses are essential to our information-gathering vision and mission. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Link to the survey: Student/Parent iPad Survey Fall 2016
Book Discussion Group for Parents
The next Blake Site Council/Blake community book will be The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik. Stay tuned for more information!
Blake Basketball Information
I am pleased to share that Lucas Mihalich (girls team) and Seth Hellerstein (boys team) will be coaching our 8th grade basketball teams this winter. Practices will begin the week of Monday, 12/5 and more information will be shared. If you have any questions, please contact Lucas (firstname.lastname@example.org), Seth (email@example.com), or Eric Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Race preparations are wrapping up. It is week #10 and the Angel Run is Sunday, Dec. 4th at noon. Arrive by 11:30 a.m.if you want to see Santa roll in by special Medfield Fire Department delivery. For your training run 30 minutes twice this week leaving Friday and Saturday as full rest days. See you there with bells on!
BLAKE PTO UPDATE
MEDFIELD SPIRIT WEAR IS HERE - ONLINE STORE OPEN THRU DECEMBER 1st Medfield K-8 PTO has partnered with Tri-Valley Sports, located in Medway, to offer a selection of tshirts, sweathirts and sweatpants. Check out our online store https://trivalley.tuosystems.com/stores/medfield-holiday-2016, and don’t delay - the store will only be open until DECEMBER 1st to allow time for customization and delivery by the Holidays. You can pay to have it shipped direct to you, or save some money by picking up from the store, your choice! All apparel is branded Medfield, and is non sport or club specific.
For those interested in Under Armor - due to overwhelming demand all UA stock is currently backordered until the Spring. We will review in a few months to see if we can offer another store at that time and include UA brand.
GRANT FUNDED - A locking metal cabinet to house the public address system which is located in the gymnasium in the amount of $1,695.
BLAKE TEACHER & STAFF THANK YOU FUND - Has a teacher or staff member at Blake done something special for your child? Something above and beyond what is expected? Or do you simply want to just say thank you for all you do each and every day? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! Anyone may contribute a financial gift to a teacher or staff member at any time. The teacher/staff member can use these funds to purchase books, apps, games, supplies and other items for their classroom as needed. This is a great way to say thank you and give your child’s teacher a little extra something that will benefit both the teacher and the children in their class. This is all you have to do:
1. Write a check made payable to BLAKE PTO with a note in the memo line (or separate note) indicating which teacher’s or staff member’s fund you are contributing to (one check can be distributed to multiple funds).
2. Send the check (and note for the recipient if you would like) to school in an envelope with your child and include Erika Clarke, Blake PTO Treasurer on the envelope.
A note and certificate will be sent on your behalf to the teacher/staff member letting them know that you have contributed to their fund. Please contact Kim Price mailto:email@example.com with any questions.
ONGOING BAY STATE TEXTILE FUNDRAISER - Donate unwanted textiles to one of the bins located at the schools, transfer station or Hinkley Pond. For more information, go to our website and visit Bay State Textiles.
PTO MEETING - Please join us for our next PTO meeting on December 13th @ 9:00 am in the Blake LMC.
DON’T MISS OUR POSTS SENT THROUGHOUT THE WEEK - Like us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO, follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/MedfieldK8PTO
The E4E (Entertaining for Education) tradition in Medfield is alive and well. Haven't heard of it yet or new to town? It's pretty simple- throw a party or an event, charge an admission price ($25/head or $25/family is the minimum suggested) and donate the proceeds to the MCPE in support of the Medfield Public Schools. We've seen Halloween parties, nights in with friends, comedy events, wine tastings, multivendor markets... The only limit is your creativity. Need more information or ideas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org