10/20 - SEPAC Meeting (see info below)
10/21 - Remote Learning Day - Early Dismissal for Students
Blake PTO Meeting (see info below)
10/27, 10/29 - Costume Days (see below)
10/28 - Remote Learning Day - Early Dismissal for Student
10/30 - No School for Students; Professional Day for Staff
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about curiosity and the ways that we can foster curiosity in our lives and learning, our topic/question for the dinner table is: What are you curious about learning? Share why. Driving Curiosity (Week of 10/19/20)
Blake’s Parent/Guardian Night Information
This year our Parent/Guardian Info Nights will be structured and shared via a virtual, asynchronous format with recordings/videos of presentations from staff posted on the Blake Learning Website. Our hope is to have these videos/presentations available next week.
If you have not had the chance, our hope is that everyone will be able to take a few minutes to provide some feedback for each child you have at Blake and base your responses on the first four weeks of school. The survey should only take a few minutes of your time. The survey is anonymous, and your identity can not and will not be discovered through the completion of this survey. We sincerely appreciate your honest responses and are hoping for 100% participation from the Blake community. If you have any questions or have difficulty accessing the survey, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com).
Link to the survey: Blake Family Monthly Check-In (10/16/20)
Synchronous Sessions for Blake Students
In an effort to provide more support for all of our students in our hybrid model of learning, this week (week of 10/19/20) our teachers will be providing some synchronous 'office hours' for students on their remote learning days (Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday). Working within our current structures and parameters, our goal and intent remains to work to best support and meet the needs of all of our students. Here is some information about the structure of support, along with some points to keep in mind...
- Each of our 'academic' teachers (Math, Science, English, Social Studies, and World Language) will be providing a synchronous Zoom time for students in each cohort during the school day (one period of support for Cohort B on Monday/Tuesday and one period of support for Cohort A on Thursday/Friday).
- These sessions are intended for support/outreach/intervention during the school day hours for students - not direct instruction.
- Students will receive (or have received) information with times, Zoom links, and passwords for their respective days/cohorts for these synchronous zoom 'office hours'.
- These sessions will not be uniformly required of students; however, teachers may invite/'require' individual students to check-in during these specific times if there is a need to touch base.
- Due to the nature of our master schedule and staffing, these synchronous sessions may/will be taking place at different times for different clusters and grade levels, and some sessions for students may occur at the same time.
- This structure of support does not 'replace' Extra Help - all teachers have set up virtual extra help for students on their remote learning days (i.e. Virtual Extra Help for Cohort A on Thursdays and Virtual Extra Help for Cohort B on Mondays). Rather, this structure is an effort to provide some guidance and support during students' remote learning days.
- Although we believe this support will be helpful for our students, we recognize that the structure is not going to be perfect and be the 'panacea' for all students and learning.
Hello Blake - Student Council invites any students interested in a pumpkin decorating contest to contribute an entry! Here are the details:
1) Students/families bring a decorated pumpkin from home
2) Pumpkins should be decorated using Black Permanent Parker ONLY
3) NO CARVING
4) Pumpkins can be brought to display in front of the Blake main entrance anytime between Monday 10/26 - Thursday 10/30 (morning)
5) Voting will take place during the day of 10/30 & the winner will be announced!
Student Council invites Blake staff & students to participate in Costume Day(s) - Tuesday 10/27 for Cohort A and Thursday 10/29 for Cohort B:
1) NO full-face costume masks/paint
2) No weapons (fake or real)
3) No fake blood
4) School Appropriate
5)***NOSE & MOUTH-COVERING MASKS MUST STILL BE WORN***
A big thank you to ALL the Blake families for your gifts cards and contributions that help fund snacks for our Blake Teachers today!
Given the school calendar this year, if we were to continue with our usual system of reporting at the mid-term using interim reports and then issuing Standards Based Report Cards at the end of the term, the reporting periods would be very close together, resulting in a very limited amount of time to collect data.
As a result, for this school year, there will be a designated Family Outreach Week during which teachers will send an email to families to notify them if their student is consistently not meeting the standard in an area OR if they do not have sufficient data to assess their student at that point in the term due to absence or missing work. If students are meeting the standards, families will not receive an email from teachers. No news is good news. Please know that you may reach out to teachers or your child's guidance counselor if you have questions or concerns about their progress.
Term I September 16th -- December 14th
- In lieu of SBR Term 1 Interim reports , FAMILY OUTREACH PERIOD from November 2nd through November 6th.
- SBR Term 1 Report cards go home with students in person December 18th and December 21st.
- In lieu of SBR Term 2 Interim reports, FAMILY OUTREACH PERIOD from February 8th through February 11th.
- SBR Term 2 Report Cards go home with students in person March 23rd and March 25th.
- In lieu of SBR Term 3 Interim reports, FAMILY OUTREACH PERIOD from May 3rd through May 7th.
- Term 3 SBR Report Cards go home with students in person June 15th and June 17th
Google Classroom Tips for Families
Resharing a resource for families:
Blake Middle School - Google Classroom Tips
Last week and this week Mrs. Campbell and Mr. Vaughn met with all Cohort A, B and C students at Blake via Zoom during advisory to share highlights from the Blake Student Handbook and discuss expectations for all students at Blake to ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment for all. We plan to meet with Cohort D in the next week.
We have been unbelievably lucky with the weather so far this school year and intend to continue with outdoor lunches for as long as possible despite the cooler weather. Outdoor lunches provide more flexibility for students with regard to seating and have been a nice break in the day. In the past two weeks, it is starting to feel a bit more like fall so we ask that students dress in layers so that they are comfortable being outside for mask breaks, Physical Education Classes and lunch periods despite windy, cool or cloudy weather. Classroom windows being open for ventilation also means that students will be comfortable in warm layers as we move deeper into cooler weather.
‘Go to Site’ for Hybrid Learning at Blake
Please bookmark and utilize our Hybrid Learning site - this is the ‘go to’ resource for students and families - thanks to Diane Horvath, our Technology Integration Specialist, for her work in establishing this resource…
Blake Middle School Hybrid Learning Website - 2020-2021
Remote Organizational Chart (ROC) and Checklists
All Blakers should be using the ROCs and completing the end-of-day checklists on the remote learning days...
GR 6 Blake Hybrid Remote Cohort Days ROC Template 2020-2021
GR 7 Blake Hybrid Remote Cohort Days ROC Template 2020-2021
GR 8 Blake Hybrid Remote Cohort Days ROC Template 2020-2021
This video helps explain the chart and checklist...
Blake Remote Learning Organization Chart and Checklist Overview
** The checklists are linked below and all students are expected to complete them at the end of each remote learning day...
Blake Hybrid Remote End-of-Day Checklist (gr. 6)
Blake Hybrid Remote End-of-Day Checklist (gr. 7)
Blake Hybrid Remote End-of-Day Checklist (gr. 8)
** You will each get a copy of your responses.
Blake Intramurals are beginning this week - please e-mail Mr. Marenghi (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Blake Student Council
For any student interested in leadership, school spirit, and bringing our community together this year, please reach out to Mrs. Ruminski (email@example.com) or Mrs. Shaw (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would love to have you join!
Blake is Social
Blake is Social is back! We will hold our first zoom meeting Monday, October 19th. This is a club that fits all interests. We are looking for students who would like to create and post things on our Instagram and website. Think of it as our modern day newspaper club. Even if you don't attend meetings, we are always happy to share your work and videos.
Blake is Social Flyer
Message from Mrs. Cowell - Blake Library
Even though the library is not circulating library books at this time, there are so many digital resources available for students and families! Take a peek at our slideshow that presents all of this info! https://tinyurl.com/medfieldpddigmedia
Medical and Health Information for Blake Families
Below please find important information from the Blake nursing team…
All students are required to have a 2020/21 influenza vaccine (flu shot) by December 31, 2020 as mandated by the MA Department of Public Health. Please send in medical documentation your child(ren) received the vaccine prior to the end of 2020. This documentation can be your child’s updated vaccination record if the flu shot was given in his/her physician’s office or medical documentation from the pharmacy or clinic where your child received his/her flu shot.
Any medical or religious exemptions to vaccinations must be renewed annually every September at the start of the school year and submitted to the school nurse’s office.
Stretch and Movement Break for Students and Families
The Blake Wellness team will be offering 2 minute stretch and movement break videos for all Blake staff and students. Students will be sitting more than usual this year and it's so important for their bodies and minds to take a few minutes to refocus and energize. With "tech neck" on the rise, we are including some stretches to help with posture as well. Feel free to use this 2 minute stretch break while working remotely too! 2 Minute Movement/Stretch Break Video
October is Inktober Month!
Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. This creative challenge is an engaging activity that can help to connect the community. Once again, Blake, along with the Medfield Public Schools, will be participating in this creative social media challenge by posting our artwork on twitter and instagram. Use the hashtags #bmsed #medfieldinktober #inktober2020 when posting work. Look to the daily announcements for the daily prompts and additional info. ANYONE CAN DO INKTOBER, JUST PICK UP A PEN AND START DRAWING! See your art teacher if you have any questions. inktober.com for more info. ALL are encouraged to participate--students, staff, and community members! We can't wait to see the drawings!
ReVision 2020 - Challenge Success Parent Ed Event
Friday, 10/23 at 2:00 p.m.
45-minute Livestream Event
Hosted by Challenge Success Co-Founders Dr. Denise Pope and Dr. Madeline Levine with special guest and New York Times best-selling author Lori Gottlieb
Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and author of The New York Times bestseller Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Along with Dr. Denise Pope and Dr. Madeline Levine, she will examine how 2020 has highlighted the importance of how we view well-being and relationships. How might we gain perspective and redefine what really matters for our children, families, and schools? How can we redesign and reimagine education to best support students to become balanced, healthy, and engaged learners? Join us to explore a vision of the future that focuses on connection, equity, and meaningful school reform.
Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success
Tuesday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m.
LeDerick Horne shares his experience as a student with a learning disability and presents strategies for student engagement + empowerment.
Hosted by SPARK Kindness
A Path to Pride and Success - LeDerick Horne is a poet, advocate, and co-author of the book “Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success” – Released by Brookes Publishing Co. Within this presentation, LeDerick Horne will share his own experience as a student with a learning disability who was able to graduate from college with a BA in mathematics. LeDerick is now one of the nation’s most sought after speakers dedicated to improving the outcomes of youth with disabilities. During this family focused presentation, LeDerick will give advice to help all students develop positive identities as people with disabilities. Strategies for helping students reach their transition goals will as be shared as well as advice on helping students develop positive relationships in school and the adult world.
Screen Time Sanity
Wednesday, October 28 at 3:00 p.m.
Education Now Series via HGSE
Education Now is a webinar series with insights for educators, families, and school and district leaders. The fall 2020 season of this bi-weekly series runs Wednesdays, September 30 through December 9. Episodes will be recorded and available to view later on YouTube and Facebook. Visit hgse.me/ednow for more information.
You Belong: A Call to Connection
Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Even during a pandemic, we are all connected. Mindfulness expert Sebene Selassie offers techniques supporting our path back to belonging.
Hosted by SPARK Kindness
You are not separate. You never were. You never will be.
We are not separate from each other. But we don’t always believe it, and we certainly don’t always practice it. In fact, we often practice the opposite—disconnection and domination. From unconscious bias to “cancel culture,” denial of our inherent interconnection limits our own freedom.
In this program and in her new book "You Belong," much-admired meditation expert Sebene Selassie reveals that accepting our belonging is the key to facing the many challenges currently impacting our world. Using principles of ancient philosophy, multidisciplinary research, and antiracism, Selassie leads us in an exploration of all the ways we separate (and thus suffer) and offers a map back to belonging.
To belong is to experience joy in any moment: to feel pleasure, dance in public, accept death, forgive what seems unforgivable, and extend kindness to yourself and others. To belong is also to acknowledge injustice, reckon with history, and face our own shadows. Full of practical advice and profound revelations, You Belong makes a winning case for resisting the forces that demand separation and reclaiming the connection—and belonging—that have been ours all along.
Addressing Personal Bias While Defining Your Authentic Self
Wednesday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Kalise Wornum, PhD. offers techniques to identify personal biases and promote antiracist and equitable behavior in ourselves + our families.
Hosted by SPARK Kindness
Want to learn practical ways to address bias in ourselves and our community? Expert Kalise Wornum, PhD., will lead this interactive program with techniques to identify personal biases and promote antiracist and equitable behavior in ourselves, families, organizations and community.
Kalise enrolled in the METCO program at a very early age and graduated from the program with honors. Given her background with METCO, this alum has a deep understanding of the complications and beauty produced in culturally diverse classrooms. It was at this young age that she made the decision to always confront racism and found her passion for teaching. The METCO experience instilled in Kalise a lifelong passion to always confront racism and continuously educate others.
Kalise received her B.A. in Humanities with a concentration in interpersonal communications from Bradford College, a Masters degree in Educational Administration from The University of Vermont, and her Doctorate in 2017. Kalise has worked at numerous colleges /universities and K-12 districts which has given her a unique and in-depth understanding of the American educational system.
As the Executive Director of Empowering Multicultural Initiatives with curriculum development and instructional responsibilities, she learned the importance of appropriate consistent professional development for teachers. This position also allowed her to work with and provide professional development to educators across the commonwealth and the New England area. Kalise next received her administration license after completing an ELI program through the Boston University/Education Collaborative program enabling her to better identify the perspectives of school leaders.
Furthermore, she is frequently described as an incredibly energetic, informative, and dynamic presenter. Her genuinely authentic entrance into this very complex and daunting conversation relaxes all and makes this seeming impenetrable topic extremely approachable.
Self Compassion During Challenging Times with Dr. Kristen Neff
Tuesday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Self-care isn't selfish, it's essential. But how can we learn to be kinder to ourselves, especially when facing difficult times?
Hosted by SPARK Kindness
Self-compassion involves learning to treat ourselves with care and support. Rather than continually judging ourselves, we can have compassion toward ourselves as imperfect humans and learn to cope better with the inevitable struggles of life.
In this talk, leading Self Compassion expert Dr. Kristen Neff will show how we can use both fierce and tender self-compassion to cope with the pandemic and also racial injustice. In times like these we need a friend, and we can learn to be a friend to ourselves.
Kristin Neff received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, studying moral development. She did two years of postdoctoral study at the University of Denver studying self-concept development. She is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
During Kristin’s last year of graduate school she became interested in Buddhism and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since. While doing her post-doctoral work she decided to conduct research on self-compassion – a central construct in Buddhist psychology and one that had not yet been examined empirically. Kristin is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, creating a scale to measure the construct over fifteen years ago. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is author of the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, released by William Morrow.
In conjunction with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, she has developed an empirically supported training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, which is taught by thousands of teachers worldwide. They co-authored The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook as well as Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals, both published by Guilford. She is also co-founder and board president of the nonprofit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.
Resources for Blake Families
Below please find links to some recordings and resources that share pertinent information regarding how we are ‘operating at Blake’ this year. We hope they will help serve as reference points for a successful orientation and beginning to the year. Please know that we are fully aware that our plans may (and most likely will) need to adapt as we see the 'best laid plans' in reality over the beginning days/weeks of school.
Blake Middle School Opening Webinar, September 2020
Curiosity Webinar Slides, September 2020
(This is still 'in the works', but it gives a preview of the Curiosity display that is being put together)
Blake Family Orientation Webinar, September 2020
Blake Family Orientation Slides, September 2020
Preview of Blake Middle School, September 2020
Site Council Openings for Incoming Grade 6-8 Parents/Guardians
We have openings for parent representatives 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 Friday, October 2. If multiple parents express interest, an election will take place at parent night. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Theme of Curiosity for 2020-2021
Our theme for this school year at Blake is one of Curiosity. We believe that this theme will extend the work we have done over the last seven years with our themes of Community, Perseverance, Creativity, Acceptance, Collaboration, Empathy, Diversity, Happiness, and Courage. Tony Wagner (@DrTonyWagner) recently shared these thoughts via Twitter…
Why do people stop learning? Two thoughts: 1) because they’ve only learned for extrinsic reasons-rewards and punishments-and once those are gone, they have no intrinsic reason to learn. 2)the intrinsic reason to learn stems, I think, from being curious & schools kill it.
My hope and sincere belief is that we are working as a school community to ‘combat’ this notion that ‘schools kill curiosity’ - this theme is one that will be important for our students, staff, and community! As a staff we have begun 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kelly C. (email@example.com).
Resources for Families
CASEL CARES: Permission To Feel for Kids with Dr. Marc Brackett
Blake ‘EdChats’ - Adapting and Learning
We are trying out some ‘edchats’ with Blake teachers/staff as a way to connect and share what we are thinking and talking about as a community of learners. Each chat will have a particular focus and we will take some time to talk through a few questions. Check out our chats…
Adapting and Learning - EdChat # 2 (Learning)
(Maura Batts, Tom Woods, Seth Hellerstein, Marjorie Heim, Michael Gow)
Adapting and Learning - EdChat # 1(Learning)
(Jason Heim, Orla Berry, Brian Gavaghan, Susan Bycoff, Marissa Gumas, and Diane Horvath)
Message from Medfield Outreach
COVID got you down? Is hybrid learning stressful? Could you benefit from a little extra support or some guidance about a child-related concern? Medfield Outreach is offering drop-in hours for personal, individualized appointments with two licensed mental health professionals. The Weekly Drop-In Mental Health Open Hours will be held during the month of October on Thursdays from 10 am to 11:30 am. Check-ins are confidential and free. Please email MedfieldOutreach@medfield.net for the Zoom link and to sign up for a specific time slot.
Have you had a conversation with the young person in your life about substance use yet? Did you know that the experts recommend starting the conversation early and having it often? There are many tools out there that can help frame the conversation.Here is one that has age-appropriate examples for every age. https://drugfree.org/article/prevention-tips-for-every-age/
Please join us for a Presentation of Basic Rights in Special Education presented by the SEPACs and Offices of Student Services for Medfield, Medway and Millis Public Schools on Tuesday, October 20 at 7pm. This discussion will be led by Mary Bruhl, Director of Student Services in Medfield, Kathleen Bernklow, Director of Student Services in Medway and Sue Anne Marks, Director of Student Services in Millis. The Basic Rights presentation is a comprehensive introduction to special education laws and procedure. The presentation will cover: the purpose of the law, when and how to make a referral, evaluations, the Team meeting process, standards for determining eligibility,
services and placement, what to do if the team decides the student is not eligible, what happens after the close of the Team meeting, parent’s response options to an IEP, and procedural due process rights for resolving disputes.
Please click this URL to join. https://medfield-net.zoom.us/j/82051349408?pwd=RVNRdlluR1I5SUhBUEEyeEtxYmE0dz09
Or join by phone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 436 2866 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 820 5134 9408
Blake PTO Update
Our next PTO meeting will be held next Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 pm over Zoom. Anyone who is interested in attending, please reach out to Carrie Quinlan at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom meeting link.
Please go to medfieldcoalition.org for more information and sign ups for each of the following events.
ONE MEDFIELD MOVES!
Walk, Run, Bike, Rollerblade, Swim or Skip your way to 20.52miles between now and November 30! $25 per participant (all ages welcome) gets you: a tracking sheet for recording your mileage, “One Medfield” t-shirt after your mileage is complete and weekly emails to keep you motivated. This event is sponsored by Medfield Orthodontics.
DRIVEWAY PAINTING: Sign up NOW to have our special “Medfield M” logo painted on your driveway and show your community spirit! Sign ups are limited, so don’t miss your chance! Cost: $35 When: Sign up through October 23. You will be contacted 24 hours before painting will occur. This event is sponsored by Will’s Hardware.
FLORAL WORKSHOP: Join MCPE for the first event in our One Medfield Virtual FunRaising Night In series with Alice’s Table!
REGISTER NOW MCPE has partnered with Alice’s Table to bring this private fundraising workshop to your home on November 19 at 8:00 just in time for the Fall holiday season! Sign up for this exclusive virtual class and create your own stunning holiday centerpiece. Each ticket includes an abundance of farm-fresh flowers and a planter delivered to your doorstep the day before the event, so all you need to have on hand is your computer, a pair of scissors or floral clippers and some water! Visit medfieldcoalition.org for more information on these exciting initiatives and other upcoming events!
Medfield Music Association Update
WREATHS & BULBS! Medfield Music Association's Fall Fundraiser is in full swing. The MMA is accepting orders NOW for our beautiful, updated 20" Noble Fir wreaths with natural incense cedar, juniper, ponderosa cone accents, and exceptional needle retention. The new design was met with rave reviews and COMPLETELY SOLD OUT last year. Also, NEW THIS YEAR, amaryllis bulb kits in assorted colors. Visit https://www.medfieldmusicassociation.com/shop for more information or to purchase. Thank you for your support!
Medfield Foundation - Angel Run Info!
Medfield Foundation Virtual Angel Run & Fundraiser