8/23-8/24 - New Teacher Orientation
8/24 - New Student Orientation
8/29 - Professional Day for Teachers
8/30 - Professional Day for Teachers
8/31 - First Day of School
Delayed Start for 7th/8th Grade
9/2 - Half-Day
9/5 - Labor Day (No School)
9/8 - Grade 8 Parent Information Night
9/12 - One-day Blake Food Drive (see details below)
9/13 - Picture Day at Blake
9/14 - Grade 7 Parent Information Night
9/21 - Grade 6 Parent Information Night
9/26-9/29 - Nature's Classroom Trip for Grade 7
9/30 - Half Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Staff
10/3 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
10/10 - Columbus Day (No School)
10/12 - Yom Kippur (No School)
10/26 - Medfield Talks - Michael Thompson (see details below)
Theme of Empathy for 2016-2017
Our theme for the next academic year at Blake is one of Empathy. We believe that this theme will extend the work we have done over the last five years with our themes of Community, Perseverance, Creativity, Acceptance, and Collaboration. 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).
Blake Site Council Book Discussion Group
During the 2015-2016 school year the Blake Site Council read How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. This summer we are reading THE END OF AVERAGE: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness by Todd Rose. For more information, here is a book review from The New York Times: Review: In ‘The End of Average,’ Cheers for Individual Complexity. We will discuss the book at our first Site Council meeting in September and hope you can join us!
Blake Summer Reading Information
Hope all Blake students are having a great summer break while also enjoying our real-life, all-school, action-packed summer reading book, Heart of a Samurai - by Margi Preus! Speaking of action-packed, several teachers are currently putting together lots of fun Samurai-related activities for the beginning of the school year. Our culminating event takes place on September 14 with a visit and presentation by representatives from the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the Whitfield-Manjuro Friendship Society, also located in New Bedford. Our kids will experience real whaling artifacts including actual harpoons! We'll also learn how descendants from both Japanese main character, Majiro, and his American whaling counterpart, Captain Whitfield still keep in touch - a tradition dating back to the early 1840's! For more info check out these links:
Please refer to the Blake Summer 2016 Reading Lists for copies of the 6th-8th grade reading lists for this summer. If you have any questions, please contact Jon Haycock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Supply Lists
All students should refer to the School Supply Lists located on the Guidance webpage (Blake Supply Lists)
All Blake students will be required to bring in a combination lock with which to lock their hallway lockers. They will give their combination to their advisory teacher for safekeeping in the event that they forget it. In order to give students time to practice using their lock and become comfortable with it, we recommend that families consider purchasing it early so that students may practice using it throughout the summer. A photo of locks that fit on Blake lockers can be found on the school supply list page.
Recognition of September 11
September 11, 2016 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the tragic events that transpired on September 11, 2001. To help commemorate all those who were affected by the events that took place, we are encouraging everyone, in an appropriate and respectful manner, to wear the colors of red, white, and blue on Monday, September 12. One of the lessons we were all reminded of fifteen years ago was the importance of community and looking out for one another. In that spirit, and to continue a tradition started five years ago, Blake will be helping its own Medfield community by holding a one day collection for the Medfield Food Cupboard. More details regarding specific needs will be shared as we get closer to the date. Donations will be collected in the guidance office on Monday, September 12.
Eighth Grade Canoe and Swim Test Information
As part of the eighth grade Charles River Community Awareness Unit offered in the fall, each eighth grade student is required to pass a swimming test during the summer. Each student is required to tread water for five minutes and swim a distance of seventy-five yards. A qualified swim instructor is required to administer the test and sign the form: Swim Test Form. Completed swim tests may be dropped off at the main office of the Middle School Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. throughout the summer. All swim tests must be completed and returned to the student’s new advisory teacher by the first day of school. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. The Charles River Community Awareness Unit is an exciting way for students to begin their eighth grade experience! (FYI: In the past, students have been certified at Hinkley Pond, YMCA and local swim clubs.)
Twitter Accounts (@nat_vaughn, @blakeoffice) and Blake Hashtags (#bmsed and #bmstech)
We have established the hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events and (#bmstech) for technology tweets of interest at Blake, so be sure to check them out! My account is @nat_vaughn and the Blake account is @blakeoffice, and we will continue to tweet up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles of interest on a daily or more frequent basis.
#MedfieldPS Twitter Chats
We will be having a mid-summer district-wide #MedfieldPS Twitter chat next Tuesday, 7/26 at 8 p.m. with the overarching thread of 'A Community of Learners'. Our continued intent is to bring the five schools together (staff, administration, community) at periodic times. The goal of these chats is to bring the five schools together (staff and administration) to discuss pertinent topics in education, initiatives, and ideas to collaborate around and share. I encourage you to follow the hashtag #MedfieldPS during the chat and to participate! Below are links to 'storify' archives of previous chats...
(Reflections on Student Learning, 2015-2016)
(Social Emotional Learning)https://storify.com/nat_vaughn/medfieldps
(Spirit of #DLDMedfield)
(Resolutions and Reflection)
(Back to School)
iPad Planning for 2016-2017
We are continuing with our mobile learning program at Blake for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2016-2017 academic year, and have outlined the Blake Mobile Learning Initiative Participation Options (Lease-to-Own, Bring an iPad from home, Borrow) for Blake students for this program. We are committed to providing an equitable learning experience for our students and appreciate the shared commitment and investment in the education of our students. As such we have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need.
If you have not completed this important inventory, please complete this brief survey ASAP: iPad Planning Inventory at Blake Middle School for 2016-2017. Please fill out this inventory for each child who will be attending Blake next year. This decision is not binding and we recognize that your plans may change - confirmation and final decisions will be made late July-early August, 2016. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief inventory and am hoping for 100% participation so that we can effectively plan for the fall.
The 'minimum specifications' will still remain as the iPad 4, meaning the following are acceptable devices for students to use: iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, or iPad Air. The device selected by the students/families will suffice for the students' needs in school as long as Apple continues to update the OS (operating system) on that device. If your family intends to purchase a new device this year, then the iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, or iPad Air are the recommended devices. Our work over the last four years has provided a foundation as our teachers and staff continue to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of this initiative. It is important to keep in mind that teachers and students will be following the same curriculum frameworks and the common core Blake curriculum.
For your reference I am sharing links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Blake Mobile Learning Blog
Blake iPad Program Update for 16-17
Blake Mobile Learning General Information (has articles, background information, and philosophy)
Blake Mobile Learning FAQs 16-17
Blake Mobile Learning Initiative Participation Options
iPad Program Estimated Lease-to-Own Pricing Structure 16-17
We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with meaningful technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive and relevant learning experience. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
Middle School Athletics for Fall, 2016
Anyone interested in participating in Blake Middle School Athletics in the Fall (Grade 6-8 Boys and Girls Cross Country, 8th Grade Girls Field Hockey, 8th Grade Girls Volleyball, or 7th and 8th Grade Football) please do the following ASAP:
- Register your son/daughter on FamilyID.com (direct link off Blake Athletics Page)
- Pay online (Direct Link for UniBank on FamilyID) or send check for $225 (made out to the "Town of Medfield") to Medfield High School, C/O Eric Scott, AD, 88R South St, Medfield, MA 02052. You can also drop it at the main office.
Blake is always looking for substitute teacher applicants. Applicants need not have teaching licensure but should be energetic, flexible and enjoy working with children. For more information or to apply, please visit medfield.net and find applications under the tab "employment opportunities". Please contact Kelly Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
As with our teaching positions, from time to time our nurse, Tricia Williams, will be out of the building and we need a substitute nurse for these days. We are fortunate that we have several substitute nurses in the district who are able to work on those days. If you are a registered nurse and have an interest in potentially serving as a substitute throughout the year, please let us know. You can contact me (email@example.com) or Tricia Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org). By the same token, if you have friends in the area who would have an interest in serving as a substitute, please let them know that they can contact us as well. The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority, and we would appreciate your interest in one of these roles.
Medfield Talks, a new committee comprised of Dr. Marsden, MCPE, K-8 and High School PTOs, SEPAC, MMA and Medfield Foundation will kick off a new speaker series on October 26th with Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D.
According to his website, "Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked at more than seven hundred schools across the United States, as well as international schools in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia." In 2004, Dr. Thompson published The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and Life which has helped parents navigate and mitigate the pressures faced by our children as they progress from their kindergarten through high school years. Through an MCPE sponsored grant, Medfield is privileged to host Dr. Thompson, who will speak to middle and high schoolers during the day and parents in the evening. Please join us on October 26th for this important event. Free tickets and additional information will be available in September.
This year we are continuing with recess as part of our Advisory structure. A great deal of research evidence shows that students are more productive and intellectually engaged when a physical and or mental 'break' is provided in the middle of the day. We are looking for donations from families to provide options for students during this time: frisbees, wiffle balls/bats, kickballs, tennis balls, single and double jump ropes, volleyballs, foam footballs, soccer balls, and hula hoops. If you have done some 'fall cleaning' and have extra items that could be donated, have students drop them off in the main office. Thank you in advance for your help.
Blake PTO News
VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP for 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR - WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Please review the open volunteer positions for the 2016-2017 school year and sign-up to help the Blake community. We can’t do it without you! Blake PTO Volunteer Form.
SUMMER CLEAN-UP Ongoing Bay State Textile Recycling Fundraiser An easy fundraiser that generates $100 per ton on textiles collected for the Medfield K-8 PTO, saves the town $$$ on disposal fees and helps the environment! This is what you do:
1. Gather the items you were planning on throwing away or donating
2. Put them in a bag
3. Deliver the bags to one of the textile donation boxes located outside each school, Hinkley Pond or the Transfer Station.Don’t forget to invite your family, friends, & neighbors to participate! Bay State Textiles will accept all CLEAN & DRY clothing, shoes, pocketbooks, linens, stuffed animals and accessories.
The Fall Ball is almost here, and with it comes the MCPE On-Line Auction! Watch for highlights throughout August and September of "All the Places Our Kids (and you) Will Go!" There's just too much to fit into one month!
Bidding opens online on Medfield Day, September 17th, and closes Sunday, September 25th. If you haven't already, Like the MCPE Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Medfield-Coalition-for-Public-Education-120258724699106/, and follow us on Twitter @MCPE_Medfield to get the latest on the Auction as well as all of the Coalition's events and grants throughout the year.