11/15 - AMC 8 Math Competition
SOS Program for Grade 7 (see details below)
11/16 - Second turn-in day for Magazine Drive (see details below)
#MedfieldPS Chat (8 p.m.) - see details below
11/21 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
11/18 - Magazine Drive Ends
MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey (see details below)
11/23 - 1/2 Day for Students and Staff
8th Grade Turkey Bowl
Celebration of Voice Assembly
11/24 - Happy Thanksgiving!
11/25 - No School
12/7 - 1/2 Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Staff
12/9 - Term 1 Report Cards go Home
12/12 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about listening to one another, our topic/question for the dinner table is: How does listening help you learn? Please see link to Google Form to share your responses: Listening to Understand (Week of 11/14/16) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Veterans Day Weekend - No Homework Weekend for Blake
Thank you to all of the staff for supporting the 'No Homework Weekend' at Blake. We have planned 'No Homework Weekends' for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Memorial Day as well.
Christmas in the City Fundraiser Follow Up
Thank you to everyone who helped with the Student/Staff basketball game to benefit our support of Christmas in the City. $1,046 was raised for this worthy cause - if you would like to help contribute, checks can be made out to Blake Middle School with Christmas in the City in the memo line.
26 Days of Kindness
The four year anniversary of the tragic events in Newtown will be upon us shortly. At Blake, we will be continuing a tradition started two years ago by honoring those who died that day by asking everyone in the Blake community to participate in 26 Days of Kindness. On the document, you will see the acts of kindness are not 'big', nor are they complicated, yet each can make an impact on someone, including each of us. On Friday of each week you will see that the acts are a little 'bigger' in nature. We encourage you to print out the document and post it in a public spot (i.e. refrigerator) for your entire family to reference during the next month. We are going to document these days and put them together in a way that we can refer back to easily and remind ourselves that kindness is something we all can practice every day. I encourage you to check out the links for 26 Days of Kindness on Mrs. Gumas's website - mrsgumas.com. During the weekend or over the Thanksgiving holiday, if you see your student partaking in an act of kindness and could take a picture or video, please post it to the Kindness padlet.
Blake Ledger Update
The Blake Ledger has been updated - check it out! Blake Ledger
Signs of Suicide Parent Presentation Follow Up
Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the information night last Wednesday evening. Here is a link to the presentation materials from Lauren Gablinske, Community Education and Outreach Manager for Samaritans...
Medfield Parent Night SOS Presentation Document
MIT Returns to Blake
Over the past few years we have been working closely with Justin Reich, the executive director of the Teaching Systems Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and research scientist in the MIT Office of Digital Learning, to effectively implement and explore educational technology at Blake Middle School. As part of their work, the TSL (Teaching Systems Lab) is developing two edX courses (online learning platforms) - Launching Innovation in Schools and Design Thinking for Leading and Learning. We were honored that Blake was selected to be filmed for the purpose of contributing to these courses. They visited at the beginning of October and we are thrilled that they are visiting again to observe classes and interview teachers, students, and administration!
Magazine Drive/Pig Races
As you've probably heard, the annual Blake Magazine Drive is in full swing. Thanks for your supporting this big Blake fundraiser, which helps fund all sorts of school activities, equipment and field trips - there's no administrative overhead, all profits benefit Blake students!
Wednesday, November 16: Second turn-in day for magazine orders.
Friday, November 18: Magazine drive ends. Did we reach our goal?! Prizes distributed to students.
Wednesday, November 23: the ever-popular Big Pig Race
As always, thanks for your generous support!
For their selling efforts, students receive individual prizes while also helping to push their homerooms to the all-important fifty per-cent participation threshold. What is this threshold you might ask? Simply, it's this: If one-half of a homeroom's students sell just one magazine (or other offered product) or turn in just one completed postcard book, that homeroom receives a plastic mechanical pig. What's with the plastic mechanical pig you might ask? Simply the biggest and most exciting event of the school year - The Blake Thanksgiving Assembly Pig Race. When received, the battery-powered pig has the ability to walk two feet, then stop, snort, wiggle its snout then continue... It's certainly entertaining and cute, but it's no way to win a pig race on the gym floor in front of the whole school! To do that, each homeroom must take their pig apart and adapt its gears to make it go forward without stopping and snorting. Of course, once you start messing with the gears, you can get your pig to walk without stopping but it also might also veer to the left or right, which could sabotage a chance for victory. There's a lot of trial and error in the process - a great mix of science and art. As a special extra feature this year, our own Diane Horvath (@techmonstah) has agreed to open the Blake Makerspace for the pig adaptation process! Yes, the Space's vast technological resources will be available for the advancement of Blake Pig Power! Under Diane's zen-like guidance, the pig adapting students will be able to feel their way to high-octane power sources, supercharged motors and power-packed programming boosters! She's even temporarily changing the Makerspace's name to The Blake Pork Chop Shop! Yes, the possibilities are as wide open as an American interstate highway on a bright, traffic-free sunny day! Please help your sons' and daughters' pig race dreams come true by subscribing. All orders must be turned in by next Friday, November 18. The big race takes place the following Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Special thanks to Donna Knott for her incredible running of this event.
#MedfieldPS Twitter Chat on 11/16/16
Our next district-wide Twitter chat is Wednesday, 11/16/16 at 8 p.m. with a focus on #DLDMedfield. Our continued intent is to bring the five schools together (staff and administration) 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...
(Safe Learning Environments)
(A Community of Learners)
(Reflections on Student Learning, 2015-2016)
(Social Emotional Learning)
(Spirit of #DLDMedfield)
(Resolutions and Reflection)
(Back to School)
MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey
On Friday, November 18th, all students in grades 6-12 will be participating in the 2016 MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey. Medfield has been participating in this survey since it began in 2006, and has relied upon its data to improve instruction, programs, and services related to student safety and violence prevention; social and emotional health; and substance use prevention for our schools and our community. The survey is anonymous and voluntary. No names will be connected in any way to the students' responses. Parents and guardians should have received a letter on Monday explaining more about the survey. The administration of the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey for all Blake students is scheduled for Friday, November 18 (MWAHS Letter 2016). If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Susan Cowell, Wellness Content Specialist, at email@example.com.
Private School Information
For those families looking to apply to private school for next year, please make sure all materials (all teacher recommendation forms, transcript request, an 8x11 envelope and 4 stamps per envelope) are to the guidance office at least 3 weeks prior to the application due date. We want to make sure the teachers have sufficient time to provide thoughtful letters for all students applying. If the forms will be sent electronically to the teachers, please email Mrs. Avery and your student's guidance counselor to inform them. Mrs. Avery tracks all applications and makes sure they get out in time. Any questions, please contact Mr. Marenghi (6th), Ms. Allen (7th) or Mrs. Dondero (8th).
Divide and Conquer (MCAS, PARCC and Standards Based Reporting in Math)
Thank you to all who were able to attend our Divide and Conquer workshops last week. I have copied the link to the slides for your interest...
Divide and Conquer Parent Workshop Fall 2016
Reminder for all Families
As the weather is turning a bit cooler, I am writing with a reminder about after school supervision at Blake. Students are welcome to stay after school with a teacher, in the library, in the fitness center, or to be part of an intramural activity. Supervision of students ends at 3:15 p.m. as that is when our front office staff leaves, library closes, and activities generally conclude. Exceptions may include the theatre program or sports. Students should plan for transportation home by 3:15 and are welcome to wait for rides outside in the area by the circle or in the lobby of the school but should not be wandering around the building, playing in the gym without adult supervision, or hanging out in unsupervised areas. Student safety is our priority so we ask that students be in a supervised activity or make plans to head home.
Parent iPad Survey Fall 2016
As you know we are continually working on assessing our programs and are looking to gain insight from our students and parents to provide feedback. We have developed a survey that is being distributed electronically to all 6th-8th grade students and parents as part of a data collection assessment for the iPad Initiative. The questions will hopefully serve as a pre-assessment (beginning of year) tool and we will be administering similar surveys at the end of the year as well. The questions have to do with organizational skills, executive functioning, and comfort with technology. Questions are being sent to all three grades. The survey is not an evaluative tool of the teachers or the students; rather, it is a tool that we believe will help us gain insight about the initiative, our programming, and technology. The questionnaire is anonymous, and your identity can not and will not be discovered through the completion of this survey. Please take the time to complete a unique survey for each student you have at Blake Middle School. You will see that the survey is for both students and parents, and students will be given time in school to complete it. It is important we only get one response per student. We sincerely appreciate your honest responses and are hoping for 100% participation from the student body and parents. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. Your sincere responses are essential to our information-gathering vision and mission. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Link to the survey: Student/Parent iPad Survey Fall 2016
Turkey Bowl - 8th Grade
8th Graders will once again take to the gridiron this year in an attempt to raise food for the Medfield Food Cupboard and raise student awareness that there are local families in need. The annual event is called the Turkey Bowl and this year it will take place Wednesday, November 23. Students are asked to sign-up, in teams of four, with their Physical Education Teachers. As an entry fee, students will be required to bring in one non-perishable food item per player. This is an exciting and fun event and we are hoping to get every 8th grader to play.
Blake Open Studios
The Blake Art room will be open after school on Thursdays, until 3 pm. All students are welcome to participate in studio activities of their own choice- choose from drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Ms. Deveno and Ms. Jones will be on hand to provide materials and informal instruction.
There will be no formal registration, it is on a first come, first served basis and limited to 15 students. We are looking forward to seeing you in the Art studio, room 208!
Book Discussion Group for Parents
The next Blake Site Council/Blake community book will be The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik. Stay tuned for more information!
It is week #8 in your Angel Run training program. Only 2 weeks to go. Your assignment: 15 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking and another 15 running. You are so close to being race day ready! Join the 1,250+ registered runners. You can sign up on race day if you missed the online registration
BLAKE PTO UPDATE
MEDFIELD SPIRIT WEAR IS ON THE WAY - We heard there was a need for Medfield Spirit Wear and we are here to fill that need in time for the holidays! An online store will open this week through Tri-Valley Sports. As soon as it is ready to go, we will send the link set out to everyone. Long & short sleeved t-shirts (dri-fit), sweatshirts (dri-fit), sweatpants & PJ’s will be available. The online store will close on December 1st to ensure delivery before the holidays. This will be a quick turn-around, so make sure you get your order in before the 1st of December. Under Armor is on backorder and will not be available at this time, but we will be doing a dri-fit material. We hope to have more items and Under Armor available in the future.
BOX TOPS CONTEST - Win a Starbucks gift card worth $25! All you have to do is clip 10 Box Tops! Just put them in a ziploc bag with your name on it and drop them at the main office. Each bag of 10 Box Tops will be entered in a drawing to win a Starbucks gift card worth $25. Enter as many times as you like starting NOW and ending December 23rd. Winners will be contacted at the conclusion of the contest. Good luck and start clipping! Box Tops are on most of your favorite products like Annie's, General Mills And Progresso soups. Just to name a few, for a complete list and special offers go to BoxTops4education.com. Just look for the symbol, check the expiration date and clip!
BLAKE PTO MEETING MINUTES - Take a look at the 10/20/16 PTO meeting minutes to see what we have been up to. http://medfieldpto.weebly.com/blake-meeting-minutes.html
BLAKE TEACHER & STAFF THANK YOU FUND - Has a teacher or staff member at Blake done something special for your child? Something above and beyond what is expected? Or do you simply want to just say thank you for all you do each and every day? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! Anyone may contribute a financial gift to a teacher or staff member at any time. The teacher/staff member can use these funds to purchase books, apps, games, supplies and other items for their classroom as needed. This is a great way to say thank you and give your child’s teacher a little extra something that will benefit both the teacher and the children in their class. This is all you have to do:
1. Write a check made payable to BLAKE PTO with a note in the memo line (or separate note) indicating which teacher’s or staff member’s fund you are contributing to (one check can be distributed to multiple funds).
2. Send the check (and note for the recipient if you would like) to school in an envelope with your child and include Erika Clarke, Blake PTO Treasurer on the envelope.
A note and certificate will be sent on your behalf to the teacher/staff member letting them know that you have contributed to their fund. Please contact Kim Price mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
ONGOING BAY STATE TEXTILE FUNDRAISER - Donate unwanted textiles to one of the bins located at the schools, transfer station or Hinkley Pond. For more information, go to our website and visit Bay State Textiles.
PTO MEETING - Please join us for our next PTO meeting on December 13th @ 9:00 am in the Blake LMC.
DON’T MISS OUR POSTS SENT THROUGHOUT THE WEEK - Like us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO, follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/MedfieldK8PTO
The E4E (Entertaining for Education) tradition in Medfield is alive and well. Haven't heard of it yet or new to town? It's pretty simple- throw a party or an event, charge an admission price ($25/head or $25/family is the minimum suggested) and donate the proceeds to the MCPE in support of the Medfield Public Schools. We've seen Halloween parties, nights in with friends, comedy events, wine tastings, multivendor markets... The only limit is your creativity. Need more information or ideas? Email email@example.com