** All ‘school activities’ have been postponed or cancelled during our ‘remote learning’ hiatus from school. As more dates are known, we will be updating them.
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about what we would each like to learn and our abilities to influence our own learning, our topic/question for the week is: If you had one week to learn about any topic or subject of your choice, what would it be? Why? Choices in Learning (Week of 4/6/20-4/10/20) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Messages/Flipgrids for all Blake Students and Families
Please know we are thinking of you, missing you, and wishing you and your families the very best. Check out our Flipgrid 'messages' from the staff to all of the students - take a look and enjoy…
Message to Blake Students/Families - 4/3/20
Message to Blake Students/Families - 3/27/20
Message to Blake Students/Families - 3/23/20
** As noted in the e-mails to students, please take some time to remind them of the importance of respecting 'digital spaces' and not resharing/reposting videos without permission.
Updates for Blake Families (4/3/20)
Hopefully everyone received the e-mail from Dr. Marsden outlining the district's COVID-19 Remote Learning Plan for Medfield 4-1-20. Within the link you will find the parameters, guidelines, and information for the district and schools.
- At the outset of each week (starting the week of 4/6), students and families will be receiving a 'Weekly Update E-mail/Template' from cluster leaders. The intent is to provide one weekly communication directly to families as 'one spot' to reference all week for information about assignments, expectations, etc. This template will be used in place of the cluster homework pages that have been used in the past. We will be 'pausing our practice' of using the cluster homework pages until we return to school.
- These documents may evolve throughout the week - we recommend 'bookmarking' the e-mail to check back throughout the week as information is added or adapted. It is helpful to think of it as a 'living agenda'.
- Should you or your students have any questions/concerns about the assignments/expectations, please reach out to them directly or the respective guidance counselor. We are here to support all students.
- To help minimize the risk of Zoom privacy interruptions ('Zoom bombing'), the links and passwords to Zoom calls will be sent directly to students. Teachers are also enabling settings (i.e. Waiting Room) to help minimize risks for students and staff. If students have any questions or need assistance, please have them (or you can reach out) directly to teachers.
Staying Active - Message from Blake Wellness Team!
Over the past few weeks the Blake Health & PE staff has been providing ideas and options for students to stay physically active. As a means to further connect students to staff, a Google Form was sent asking teachers what has been their primary means of staying physically active. Now more than ever, we believe that these physical outlets are important for everyone's body and mind. The staff results have been shared with students who have been asked the same question through their 'Health' Google Classroom pages. The four most popular staff responses were:
- Dog walks and workout app - I use Daily Burn
- Total gym - Chuck Norris
- Been alternating between a program that has strength training/yoga/cardio, walk/jogs, and hikes in the woods!
- Zoom exercise classes!
- Push up challenge--1 push up for every day we've been home.
- Gardening and renovating house
- "body weight" workouts found online
- Yard work
We hope that you and your families are able to stay active during this time and look forward to sharing the student responses to the Google Form soon.
Continue to check out the "Blake Wellness Calendar" and @BlakeWellness on Twitter for new ideas, videos and activities.
Opportunity for 8th Grade Students - 4/16 at 3 p.m.Have you ever wanted to develop & launch a product? Do you want to learn how to do it?
In this *free* case-based online workshop, we'll be going through how you can define a problem space & develop a product idea that you can launch by learning about the process that a real student-founded startup went through! The content is based on a Harvard Business School class called Startup Bootcamp and has been adapted for a Middle School audience.
This 1-hour workshop on Thursday April 16th at 3pm will be led by Jad Esber, an MBA student @ Harvard Business School & one of the co-founders of Koodos! It will take you through their (Koodos) process and is for you if you are interested in entrepreneurship, internet culture and music! This workshop/call will be hosted/facilitated by Ms. Horvath, our Technology Integration Specialist.
Please use this google form to sign up as soon as you can so we get a sense of the number of students interested in participating. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. If you have any questions, please reach out to Orla Berry, our Science Department Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Testimony from Mark Healey - STEM Coordinator for Needham: "From beginning to end, these grad students were organized, reliable, engaging, professional and terrific with the students. We had 35 students attend, and learn about starting a business. "
Video Conferencing Info for Blake Students/Families
Teachers will be communicating the timing for video conferencing sessions to students/families - please know that these sessions are one option for connections and are not required for students/families. We are aware that this is a 'work in process' and we will be patient, flexible and adaptable for students as we walk this path together. We appreciate your patience and understanding as well.In order for video conference sessions to take place, please help your students follow these steps on their iPads…
- All students/families need to download the Zoom Cloud and Hangouts Meet apps in the app store.
- If you are not able to download the app in the app store, please click on these directions: Directions for Connecting Remotely to the MDM (Mobile Device Management System). Diane Horvath, our Technology Integration Specialist), has created a screencast that 'walks' you through the steps: Screencast for Downloading Zoom and Google Meets.
- If you have any questions or need assistance with this process, please reach out to Tania Manuel (email@example.com) or Diane Horvath (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- We have established guidelines/reminders for our staff and students for 'digital learning' and video conferencing - please take some time to review these guidelines with your students: Blake's Netiquette Guidelines, March 2020.
In an effort to help provide some structure/parameters/guidelines for students and families who are looking for it, we have created a potential template for students and families during our ‘time period of remote learning’. Please know that this is ‘one template’ that can be adapted/adjusted to meet the needs of your children and your family. We encourage you to take a look, talk it through with your children, and make it your own…
Blake At-Home Learning Considerations and Guidelines, March 2020
** For Parents/Guardians: Please give yourself permission to try things out, make mistakes, adjust, and move forward. There is no one right path for parenting, teaching, and learning. We care deeply for all of your children and our commitment is to 'meet them where they are at' and help them (and you as families) to grow and move forward.
Update for Blake Families - 3/17/20
Below please find a link to the note sent to all Blake families on 3/17/20...
Update for Blake Families - 3/17/20
Message for ADL
ADL Peer Leaders should check their Google Classroom for some "food for thought" each week. Mrs. Gelormini and Ms. Thress want to make sure that we stay in touch around the work related to ADL. We were so impressed with the effort that the peer leaders put into ADL this year, and we wanted to make sure to continue to, at the very least, provide food for thought even from a distance. So each Tuesday, we will put out a small post. The post may be a reading, or a video, or a question. Please know that what you were putting into practice, in terms of recognizing bias and reacting to bias, is so important. Keep observing the world around you, continue to be an ally in small or large ways, and you will make a difference!
Resources from Guidance
During the extended school closure, Guidance Counselor are available to our students and families through a variety of means, email, phone, virtual meetings. The Guidance Counselors will send out a daily check-in email each morning, and be available for students by phone and/or virtual meetings. Should you or your student require additional emotional support, please refer to either of the following:
Riverside Community Care (800) 529-5077
You can find additional resources and information on the following pages:
Resources from Office of Social and Emotional Learning
We would like to let you know about some resources and tools in relation to SEL in our district. The Office of Social and Emotional Learning has content related to COVID-19 coping strategies, tips and tools for families to utilize. We have broken the material into Elementary and Secondary levels, and have a section for Educators as well. We also want to let you know that we have partnered with many other districts in the state to form a collaborative, comprehensive and ever evolving website that has lots of great information that may help with mental health and wellbeing in this tumultuous time. We hope these resources can be a tool to support health and wellness in our community. The websites are listed below:
Medfield Office of SEL
Mental Health and Well-being Partner Website
Blake ‘EdChats’ - March, 2020
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 first chat with Jason Heim, Orla Berry, Brian Gavaghan, Susan Bycoff, Marissa Gumas, and Diane Horvath - more to come...
Adapting and Learning - EdChat # 1(Learning)
Forms for All Incoming 6th-8th Grade Parents/Guardians
All incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians must complete these course selection form…
2020-2021 Blake Middle School Music Selection
2020-2021 Blake Middle School World Language Selection
For Incoming 6th Grade Parents/Guardians
For your reference, I have copied the link to the presentation and handout along with the Program of Studies 3/4/20…
Blake Incoming 6th PIN March 2020 Presentation for Blog
Blake Parent/Guardian Resources 2020-2021
Blake Program of Studies 2020-2021
Incoming 7th/8th Grade Parents/Guardians
For your reference, I have copied the links that were created for the Incoming 7th/8th Parent/Guardian Information Night…
Blake Incoming 7th/8th PIN March 2020 Presentation for Blog
Blake Parent/Guardian Resources 2020-2021
Blake Program of Studies 2020-2021
Blake is Social - Submit Ideas!
Blake is Social is looking for posts. We would love to see what people are doing at home. Working on your next soccer or gymnastics move? How about some great photography or art? Writing a poem? Or acting out a scene? We would love material. Please send it to Mrs. McClelland : email@example.com
Nature’s Classroom Info for Current Sixth Grade Families
As shared via e-mail earlier this week, no decisions regarding the trip for 7th grade students to Nature's Classroom this fall (October, 2020) have been made. We will not be collecting and paper work or deposits at this time - the original 'due dates' previously communicated to families no longer apply. When a plan has been made, we will reach out to all families with an update. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to let us know.
Mathematics Placement Process
Next week we will be sharing information with 6th and 7th grade families about the plans for mathematics and placement for the 2020-2021 school year. Stay tuned!
The Blake Site Council has taken time to review the data collected from last year's survey and an Executive Summary will be distributed to families in the coming weeks. Focus areas on the survey centered on the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. Our intent is to distribute the 2019-2020 survey soon with the hopes of gathering the data in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
Blake PTO Update
We want to remind everyone that the Blake PTO Annual Appeal is still happening! While Blake is currently conducting learning from home, we’re hopeful that it will be business as usual again soon. And when that time comes, the Blake PTO would like to be ready to help fund initiatives and activities for the students! Please visit MedfieldK8PTO.com to contribute to the Annual Appeal. While we are suggesting $50/child, we understand these are uncertain times for many and will gratefully accept any amount you are comfortable contributing.