10/8 - MMA meeting - 7 p.m.
10/9 - Yom Kippur - No School
10/10 - 8th Grade Math SBR Workshop
10/14 - Columbus Day - No School
10/15 - 1/2 Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Staff
SEPAC Mtg - 7 p.m.
10/16 - Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council - 9:30 a.m.
SBR Information Sessions (see details below) - 11:15 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Blake PTO Meeting - 7:30 p.m.
10/18 - Go Purple Spirit Day - see info below
10/21-10/25 - STEM Week
10/21 - Blake Picture Retake Day
10/22-10/25 - 7th Grade to Nature’s Classroom
10/22 - SEL Task Force Meeting - 3:30 p.m. at MHS
10/24 - 8th Grade to Tri-County and Norfolk Aggie Visit
10/22-10/25 - Nature’s Classroom for 7th Grade
10/31 - Happy Halloween
11/1 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
11/11 - Veterans Day - No School
11/12 - SOS Parent/Guardian Presentation - 6:30 p.m.
11/14 - SOS Student Presentations
11/19 - SEPAC Mtg - 7 p.m.
11/20 - Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council - 9:30 a.m.
SEL Task Force Meeting - 3:30 p.m. at MHS
11/22-11/24 - Blake Fall Musical
11/27 - 1/2 Day for Students/Staff
11/28 - Thanksgiving - No School
11/29 - No School
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about the practice of self-reflection to gain a better understanding of ourselves as learners, our topic/question for the dinner table is: Share something you have learned about yourself as a learner this year. Gaining Understandings (Week of 10/6/19) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Standards Based Reporting In Practice - Information Sessions (10/10/19)
This year the 8th Grade Math Team is implementing Standards Based Reporting as our formal system of feedback for all three teams. All 8th grade parents/guardians are invited to attend an information session to learn more about what SBR looks like in practice in each of our classrooms. We will be exploring the connection between the Massachusetts Math Curriculum Frameworks and our system, what information you can gain from the formal reports (i.e. report cards and interim reports), and how the individual assessment cover sheets can be a helpful tool in identifying the progress of your child and actionable ‘next steps’ items for students. The information sessions will take place on Thursday, October 10th at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
RSVP to 8th Grade Math SBR Workshop
Standards Based Reporting Information Sessions - 10/16/19
This year the Blake faculty is continuing and expanding our work and efforts to provide effective methods of formal and informal feedback for students. As such, in lieu of traditional grades, students at Blake will be receiving feedback in the form of Standards Based Reporting (SBR) in some of their classes. SBR is a researched-based, impactful feedback system that is gaining traction in a growing number of schools across the United States.
Instead of a letter grade, students will receive feedback in two major areas: (1) Content Standards and (2) Learning Skills. The Content Standards feedback provides information on the student's progress on meeting content area curriculum standards addressed by each department. Learning Skills feedback gives information on the student's progress on acquiring skills important for life-long learning that we strive to foster and help develop in our students.
We are pleased with the progress made to date. SBR has enabled us to provide:
- more descriptive and actionable feedback to students and families
- more meaningful and personalized grading practices
- greater calibration of expectations and assessment practices between teachers
Wednesday, October 16
11:15 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
(These sessions will share the same information)
Please RSVP via our Google Form: Standards Based Reporting Information Sessions Fall 2019
Advisory Update for Blake
In Wednesday's advisory (taking place on Tuesday or Thursday) this week students will be introduced to mindfulness. Students will watch an introductory video about how other students use mindfulness. Next, students will write down any stressors or worries as a group on the board and talk about how writing them out made them feel. Then, students will practice a guided mindfulness/breathing activity and discuss how it made them feel, why was it difficult, and if they would try it again, etc. Hopefully students will be willing to try again and develop this important skill throughout the year!
Blake Wednesday Advisory Website
8th Grade to Tri-County and Norfolk Aggie Visits
The 8th grade will be traveling to Tri County on Thursday October 24th. Students will explore the "shops" and learn about the opportunities available at Tri County. Students should pack a bag lunch. We will also be having an afternoon presentation from the Norfolk Aggie at 1pm. Permission slips will be sent home the week of October 15th.
8th Grade American Mathematics Contest
The 8th Grade American Mathematics Contest (AMC 8) is a multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills. It is sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America. The contest is held yearly in November. Students from all over the country participate in this contest both individually and on a school-wide basis. In the past, students in 8th grade Algebra I accelerated have participated. We will continue this tradition, but would like to extend the opportunity to participate in the AMC8 Contest to all 8th grade math students this year.
The exam will be given during E period on November 12th. Students who do not have math during this time slot will be excused from their class. Although the test is challenging, it certainly allows for a variety of learners to meet success and experience a high level of mathematical thinking. Below are several links that will allow you to explore this contest. All students in Algebra I Accelerated math classes have been registered. If your child is in Math 8 and you are interested in having them participate in this test, please complete this Google form HERE to sign up. Please note: If your child is in Algebra I Accelerated, they have already been registered.
For information about the AMC 8 Contest, click HERE.
For sample test questions, click HERE.
It is important to register by Wednesday October 16, 2019. There are a limited number of spots, so please respond as soon as possible. As always, please do not hesitate to contact your student's math teacher or Jessica Safer (Math Department Chair) at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Staffing Update for Blake
We are thrilled to share that Cam Kelly, a senior at Dover-Sherborn Regional High School, will be joining our staff as an intern. Cam desires to work in the field of education and will be with us from 12:30-2:00 every day at Blake through the holiday vacation in December. Cam will be observing and working in a variety of classes in 6th-8th grade during this internship. I know you will join me in welcoming Cam to the Blake and Medfield community.
School Absence Reminder
This is a reminder for parents that a student's absence or tardiness must be reported by a written note or a parental telephone call to the school absence line (508-242-8501) by 8 a.m.
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. Inktober was created in 2009 as a challenge to improve drawing skills and develop positive creative habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year. This year, Blake will be participating in this creative social media challenge by posting our artwork on twitter and instagram. Look for flyers posted around the school for the daily prompts and additional info. ANYONE CAN DO INKTOBER, JUST PICK UP A PEN AND START DRAWING!
Draw a picture in your sketchbook and submit it to the INKTOBER google classroom. See your art teacher if you have any questions. Check out inktober.com for more information!
School Hours and Supervision Reminder for All Families
We have noticed that some students are being dropped off early at Blake and I want to remind parents/guardians of the expectations and guidelines. The Blake office hours are 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., and these are the time parameters for students to be at school. Students who arrive before 7:30 a.m. will report to the gymnasium (sixth and seventh grade) or cafeteria (eighth grade). Supervision in these designated locations starts at 7:10 a.m., so students should not be dropped off prior to 7:10 a.m. unless they have a pre-arranged appointment with a teacher or are attending an announced extra help session. These extra-help sessions do not begin until 7 a.m., so students who are dropped off prior to that time should report to the main office. By the same token, students who are staying after school need to be with a teacher for extra help or in the library doing homework. They should be picked up promptly after their sessions are over, as they will not be supervised at that point. All students need to be picked up by 3:30 p.m. as that is the time that the Blake secretaries leave. We need to make sure that all students are safe and supervised at all times. Thank you for your understanding, help, and cooperation.
Mrs. Gelormini and Ms.Thress wanted to let students and families know that they need to postpone the ADL training originally planned for next Monday, 10/7. They are in touch with Blake's ADL peer leader program liaison about making a new plan - so stay tuned! Even though they need to start the training at a later date, Ms. Thress and Mrs. Gelormini are anxious to get going and to get to know the peer leaders! The ADL peer leader group will meet after school on Tuesdays in room 505. Please continue to spread the word about ADL to students as we would love to have more students join.
Kara Gelormini and Meghan Thress are this year's advisors for Blake's ADL, Anti-Defamation League. The purpose of Blake's ADL is to:
- Promote positive social change at Blake.
- Learn about bias-related issues.
- Encourage a greater sense of social responsibility for a more respectful and inclusive community.
- Explore how students can become an ally for their peers.
- Develop student leadership.
This year is off to a great start for Blake's Gay-Straight Alliance club, with two well-attended meetings under our belts and plans for our first school-wide spirit day. In the coming weeks, we will share information about the Go Purple Spirit Day, a national event sponsored by GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). On Friday, October 18, we encourage students to wear purple to show support for LGBTQ+ youth and take a stand against bullying. GSA meets every Wednesday from 2:15-3:00 in Ms. Malone's room. All are welcome!
Blake is Social!
Blake is Social is underway. This club is an amazing place for students to work on and publish the things they love to do. We have several students honing in on their photography skills, another with their art. They are currently working on the new art heading for our website. We also have students exploring their writing interests by creating poems for the website and instagram. Finally, students are able to use social media in a positive way that shows off all that Blake is up to. We are always looking for students to send their creations and interests our way. We are currently looking for our athletes to show off a bit. We would love team pictures, action pictures, or fun videos. You can email any work to Blakeissocial.email.medfield.net or just DM our Instagram which is blakeissocial . We also encourage you to check out our website @ blakeissocial.weebly.com
Registration for Blake Middle School Winter 2019-2020 Athletics (Boys and Girls 8th grade basketball) is now open!
Please visit the following to register:
Theme of Courage for 2019-2020
Our theme for this academic year at Blake is one of Courage. 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, and Happiness. 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 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 http://www.medfield.net/o/medfield-public-schools/page/employment-opportunites--7 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.
Blake Site Council Book Discussion Group
Over the last two years the Blake Site Council has read several books and we will continue this practice during the 2019-2020 school year. Stay tuned for more information and we hope you can join in these discussions!
Challenge Success Parent Evening - 10/16/19
Dover-Sherborn has graciously opened up a parent education night to our community...
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Mudge Auditorium, Dover-Sherborn High School
Challenge Success School Program Director, Jon Kleiman, visits the Dover-Sherborn community to facilitate an engaging, interactive presentation of The Well-Balanced Student for K-12 parents and caregivers. When we are intensely focused on grades and performance, we mortgage our children's childhood for the sake of academics, denying our children the time and energy they need to tackle the demanding work of growing up.
Jon will contextualize his remarks based on input from last spring's Challenge Success parent survey and Jon will also share recent research on college admissions and provide tools for parents to better support students through this process.
In this engaging presentation, parents and caregivers will see the data and hear the solutions to effectively:
- Establish a healthier, balanced home environment for school-aged children
- Dial down academic stress without sacrificing achievement, and
- Support student’s overall resilience, well-being and readiness for life in college and beyond.
Education Event at Wellesley College - 10/17/19
Save the date! I want to highlight a free event at Wellesley College on Thursday, 10/17 - Eve L. Ewing, Assistant Professor at University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, will be discussing her book, Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side. This is part of the Diane Ravitch Lecture Series (https://www.wellesley.edu/events/node/167791).
SEPAC Meeting - 10/15 at 7 p.m.
Our next SEPAC meeting is Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 in the Blake Middle School Library. All are welcome!
Message from MCPE
MCPE is seeking sponsors for our Fall Fest! From food donations, to auction items like gift cards and experiences, to event sponsorship, there’s an opportunity for every budget! Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Message from MMA (Medfield Music Association)
The first regular MMA meeting will take place on Oct. 8 at 7pm in the MHS band room. All music parents welcome at this meeting during which we'll discuss the year's initiatives with members of the music staff.
Blake PTO Update
Volunteers Needed for Blake! In particular, we are in need of a Hospitality Chair or Co-Chairs, which helps coordinates 3-4 teacher luncheons a year. It's a great way to get involved and appreciate the wonderful staff at our school! Please click on the link to the volunteer form below. Thank you!! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScVH6fbiK1-cVI5r7yu42e6szW5bnuT2EUO9qk3CLc-l9A8UQ/viewform
Also, our next meeting will be October 16 at 7:30 in the Blake LMC