12/23 - 7th Grade to A Christmas Carol
12/24-1/1 - Vacation
1/1 - Happy New Year!
1/4 - School Resumes
Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
1/12 - Grade 6 Chorus Concert
1/15 - 1/2 Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Teachers
1/18 - MLK, Jr. Day - No School
Day of Service at Blake
Blood Drive at Blake
1/21 - Jessica Cox Community Presentation (see details below)
1/22 - Jessica Cox School Presentations (see details below)
2/5 - Teacher Professional Day (#DLDMedfield)
2/5 and 2/6 - Blake Play
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about mindfulness and the ideas of taking care of oneself, our topic/question of the week is: What gift(s) will you give to yourself in the new year?
Please see link to Google Form to share your responses: Giving Gifts to Oneself (12/20/15) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
12/16 Professional Development Afternoon Update
For our professional afternoon last Wednesday, Christi Clark Barney (RN, MSN, CS) presented and led a workshop on 'mindfulness'. Mindfulness is very topical in education (and in our world) and we look forward to thinking about how we can take some of the information we gained/discussed and apply it for our students and ourselves. To help gain an understanding of mindfulness in education, please read When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom by Lauren Cassani Davis. A special thank you to the Blake PTO for our wonderful luncheon - it was amazing!
Term 1 Report Cards
All outstanding Term 1 report card signature sheets should be turned into advisors.
Christmas in the City Recap
During the week of December 14-18 , eighth grade students participated in two annual activities: they planned, set up and participated in the Tilden Village Holiday Dinner, and two days during the week they took a field trip into Boston to help set up Boston's Christmas in the City festivities for homeless families. Both events allow our students to showcase their generous and joyful spirit, as they help to bring happiness and smiles to the faces of men, women and children from all walks of life. 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.
Jessica Cox - Assembly for Students and Community
Some exciting news just arrived! Blake students and the Medfield community have been offered a wonderful opportunity to meet Jessica Cox and hear all about her incredible story of courage and perseverance. Jessica is an energetic, positive motivational speaker who was born without arms but did not let that stop her from becoming the World's 1st Armless Pilot and the 1st Armless Black-belt in the U.S. She will present to Blake Middle School student on Friday, January 22nd, during assembly period. In addition (as a preview to the assemblies), Jessica will share her trials and triumphs with the Medfield community on Thursday, January 21st, at 7PM in Blake Middle School Auditorium. Please see this Jessica Cox Community Event for more information, and check out the link to a trailer to a film about her story - Jessica Cox Film Trailer. We strongly encourage you seize the chance to meet Jessica and learn about her amazing accomplishments despite her physical constraints. Spread the word and order your free tickets now before they are gone! E-mail (your name, address, # of tickets) to: President@HelpingHandsGroup.org
Student Recognition and Achievement
This communication regarding a change in our practice of recognizing sixth grade students via an honor roll at Blake was sent to all sixth grade families last week. Keeping the social-emotional developmental needs of our students at the forefront, we have spent time over the last four 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. A few years ago we made the decision to stop publishing the Academic Recognition and Academic Distinction lists in the town newspaper. Our discussions have 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, our discussions and beliefs have led us to the conclusion that it is a practice that is not developmentally appropriate and is a practice/tradition that will be discontinued for our sixth grade students starting this year.
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. A key area of focus as a staff, Site Council, and community will be discussing the implications for future potential changes in our formal systems of recognition for seventh and eighth grade students as well. As always, I am happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
Community Service Club Coat Drive
Our Community Service Club of Blake will be running its annual coat drive until the second week of January. Please locate the boxes outside the library and donate new or gently used winter coats. Child coats of all sizes are most welcomed but coats of all sizes are needed. Thank you and happy holidays.
Blake Middle School Sponsoring Blood Drive for American Red Cross
This year, during the MLK day of service Blake Middle School will extend its service to the community by holding its first American Red Cross blood drive. Students will form a committee where they will learn the importance of giving blood, and how they can help recruit those old enough to give blood. The MLK, Jr. Day of Service will take place on January 18th. Check out the Prezi below that is being shared with students in advisory...
Blood Drive Prezi
Lost and Found Items
The number of items in our Lost and Found has increased. Please remind students to come take a look, as there are a number of items that are unlabeled that have been collected. We will be clearing out the Lost and Found during the winter vacation.
Cradles to Crayons - 7th Grade
In January/February of 2016 our 7th grade will be running a clothing drive for Cradles to Crayons. Please set aside any clothing donations in advance. Thank you!
How to Raise an Adult - Book Discussion Group for Parents
Please join the Blake Site Council will be reading and discussing HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. For more information, here is a book review from The New York Times...
HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. We will be reading it throughout the year, taking time to discuss the ideas presented and have a common, shared experience. The discussions will take place at the end of each Site Council meeting (our second book group meeting will be 4:30 p.m. on Monday, 1/4). All parents are invited to join us. If you are interested in joining the book discussions, please fill out this Google Form: How to Raise an Adult Blake Book Group
The breakdown for the readings is as follows...
- For 1/4 Meeting - Read Part II (Pages 77-139)
- For 2/1 Meeting - Read Chapters 12-17 (143-227)
- For 3/7 Meeting - Finish book (228-305)
Blake Science Fair
This is the first middle school science fair ever for Medfield. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in an extracurricular activity while having fun with friends. This project by high school junior Emma Twer was created to promote communication and speech skills for students. Being part of a science fair develops important attributes needed for the high school. Come show your creativity through science! Work sessions are available as a lead up to the fair on February 26.
Work Sessions: 2:30-3:30 on January 6, January 13, January 20, February 3
Fair: February 26 from 3:30- 5:30
K-8 PTO News
The Blake PTO would like to send a HUGE thank you to all who have participated in fundraisers and volunteered in any capacity over the past 4 months. It is very much appreciated. We would also like to thank everyone for their very generous donations to the PTO. Some of the projects we have funded so far this year are the 8th Grade canoe trip, Wallums for the auditorium, a Journey North courtyard project, A Midsummer Night's Dream acting troupe, a class set of trapezoidal desks, and teacher breakfasts.
Our next meeting is January 22nd at 9am - we would love to see you there!
Happy Holidays to all!
BLUE RIBBON DEADLINE EXTENDED: Have the holidays snuck up on you? Were you hoping to let your child's teacher, a school staff member, a coach, a bus driver or an administrator know just how much you and your child appreciate them? You can still do it! Consider MCPE's Blue Ribbon Program. It is an easy and thoughtful way to recognize the efforts of a member of our school community during the holiday season. Each person recognized with a donation will receive a card, customized with a thank you note from you, indicating that a donation was made in his or her honor. The deadline for submission is December 22nd. To learn more, please click on: medfieldcoalition.org/events-programs/blue-ribbon-program/.
As 2015 comes to a close, please consider making a year-end gift to the MCPE Annual Appeal and invest in your child's education. Help us continue our mission of funding grants that support academic enrichment programs not covered by the school budget. So far this school year, MCPE has funded more than $60,000 in grants to teachers and administrators. To make a donation to the Annual Appeal please visit www.medfieldcoalition.org.
Please click here for Thursday Packet Information.