12/9 - Blood Drive Meeting (see details below)
Spaghetti with Santa
12/10 - Grades 7/8 Chorus Concert (7 p.m.)
12/11 - Hour of Code at Blake (see details below)
Term 1 Report Cards go home
12/16 - 1/2 Day for Students
Tilden Village Dinner
12/17 and 12/18 - 8th Grade to Christmas in the City
12/23 - 7th Grade to A Christmas Carol
12/24-1/1 - Vacation
1/1 - Happy New Year!
1/4 - School Resumes
Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
1/12 - Grade 6 Chorus Concert
1/15 - 1/2 Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Teachers
1/18 - MLK, Jr. Day - No School
Day of Service at Blake
2/5 and 2/6 - Blake Play
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
Please choose which quote below, found in the readings today, more closely expresses your sentiments?
- 'One person's flip-flopping is another's enlightenment.'
- 'Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.'
Term 1 Report Cards
This Friday students will bring home their report cards for the first term. Time will be spent in advisory with students reflecting upon the work they accomplished, as well as setting healthy goals for the second term. If you have any questions about your child's work or the reports, please start by having a conversation with your own child. If questions still exist, you should contact the teacher directly to gain more insight.
Student Recognition and Achievement
This communication regarding a change in our practice of recognizing sixth grade students via an honor roll at Blake was sent to all sixth grade families last week. Keeping the social-emotional developmental needs of our students at the forefront, we have spent time over the last four years as a Blake community (students, staff, Site Council, and parents) discussing feedback, motivation, and appropriate methods to both recognize and honor student achievement at Blake. As our mission statement reads, it is our goal to both challenge and support all of our students, encouraging them to explore new opportunities for learning and growth: Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world. As such, we have been examining and discussing the practices that we currently have in place, as well as taking time to explore other options to recognize our students in a healthy, appropriate, and productive manner. One key focus area of this discussion for our staff in conjunction with the Blake Site Council has been the role of an honor roll for our students. A few years ago we made the decision to stop publishing the Academic Recognition and Academic Distinction lists in the town newspaper. Our discussions have continued to examine whether the existence of an honor roll aligns with our mission. Taking the social-emotional and developmental needs of our students into account, our discussions and beliefs have led us to the conclusion that it is a practice that is not developmentally appropriate and is a practice/tradition that will be discontinued for our sixth grade students starting this year.
Recognizing our students for their academic accomplishments is indeed important, but we believe that the honor roll is not the appropriate system for academic recognition at this juncture in their development as learners. Reflection is one of our core values here at Blake, and we will continue to both examine and implement methods for recognizing our students throughout the year for all of their accomplishments. A key area of focus as a staff, Site Council, and community will be discussing the implications for future potential changes in our formal systems of recognition for seventh and eighth grade students as well. As always, I am happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
Hour of Code at Blake
As shared in this week's blog update, Blake students and staff will be participating in the 'Hour of Code' on Friday, December 11. This endeavor is part of Computer Science Education Week and is part of one of the largest learning events in history. We live in a world surrounded by technology, and we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. However, only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago. This skill is increasingly important for our students as we work to increase their problem-solving and analytical skills in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. That’s why our entire school is joining in on the largest learning events in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 7-13). Last year, 15 million students tried computer science in one week. This year, we're joining students worldwide to reach 100 million students! This Friday, December 11 all Blake students will participate in the Hour of Code and we will be sure to highlight some of the work on our Mobile Learning Blog. I encourage everyone to check out the following links...
Hour of Code
Calling All Learners and Teachers for Hour of Code
What Most Schools Don't Teach
Coding in the Classroom: What is it and Why is it So Important?
Be sure to check out the latest edition of the Blake Ledger!
Christmas in the City Community Service
As you are well aware, one of the Blake Middle School initiatives this year continues to encourage students and staff to become more involved in public and community service. We will be putting our good wishes into action as we volunteer at the Boston Convention Center. The Christmas in the City campaign works to brighten the holidays for two thousand homeless children and relies upon volunteers. Our students have raised money to contribute gifts and will spend the day in a variety of activities including making centerpieces/ornaments, and decorating banners /bed sheets. Half of the 8th grade will be attending on Thursday December 17th and half the 8th grade will be attending on Friday December 18th. We will be leaving school promptly at 7:45 and returning in time for the afternoon buses. Contributions towards the cost of the buses are greatly appreciated - checks should be made out to Blake Middle School with Xmas in the City Transportation in the memo line.
Community Service Club Coat Drive
Starting this week the Community Service Club of Blake is holding its annual coat drive until the second week of January. Please locate the boxes outside the library and donate new or gently used winter coats. Child coats of all sizes are most welcomed but coats of all sizes are needed. Thank you and happy holidays.
Blake Middle School Sponsoring Blood Drive for American Red Cross
This year, during the MLK day of service Blake Middle School will extend its service to the community by holding its first American Red Cross blood drive. Students will form a committee where they will learn the importance of giving blood, and how they can help recruit those old enough to give blood. The committee will meet on Wednesdays and the first meeting is this Wednesday, December 9. The MLK, Jr. Day of Service will take place on January 18th. Check out the Prezi below that is being shared with students in advisory...
Blood Drive Prezi
26 Days of Kindness
We are heading into our last week of 26 Days of Kindness at Blake. The students and staff are enjoying the small, 'easy' gestures that honor Sandy Hook victims as well as build a stronger school culture. As we head into the Thanksgiving break, please continue to send Marissa Gumas (email@example.com) any pictures, videos, or feedback of/on your student's participation in the daily activities. She will be putting a visual representation of all the wonderful things our community is doing.
Magazine Drive and Thanksgiving Assembly
The Blake 2015 Magazine Drive has concluded and it was a record breaking year – over $15,000 in sales, thirty per cent of which goes to Blake for the purchase of educational equipment and to subsidize field trips – thanks for your support! In addition to providing friends and family members great magazines, Blake students also received incentive awards for their sales. Mr. Gow’s Advisory was the highest grossing homeroom and 6th grader, Olivia Price was the highest grossing student. Olivia received a wireless headset for her efforts. The following Advisories, based on sales, qualified for a mechanical pig to race at the end of our Thanksgiving Assembly: 6th Grade: Alland, Buley, Doolan, Gow, Heim, Malone, Perachi, and Ruminski. 7th Grade: Batts, Farrell, Gavaghan, Manning, Musto, McLaughlin, Reynolds, Silva, Winter, and Walas. 8th Grade: Dalpe, Fratolillo, Gagne, Kirby, McClelland, and Liu.
Speaking of Thanksgiving Assemblies, what a great one we had! Nat Vaughn and Student Council President and Vice-President Connor Adams and Will DePirero welcomed the crowd with Ryan Dexter’s Jazz Band providing rousing background music. Each grade mixed live and taped presentations which offered thanks to Blake teachers and staff, families and friends. Matt Marenghi’s and Heather Gonzalez’ ADL Peer Leader group also presented a series of Blake “PSA” vignettes modeling nice ways in which students can treat each other. The 8thGrade Chorus, led by Barbara Oxholm and Margo Nothnagel gave a spirited version of “Fight Song” featuring solos by Ella Kohler, Matt McGrory, and Taylor Lahaise.
The 17th annual Pig Race finale did not disappoint. With DJ Greg Keohan pumping up the musical volume, emcee Jon Haycock rallied the crowd. Travis Taliaferro delivered an inspiring pre-race “Blessing of the Pigs” and referees Jeff Cincotta, Kath McCullough, Mark Nickerson, and Ellen Gelinas provided a tough but fair running floor. A surprise visit by the Medfield High Cheerleaders, led by co-captains Emma Nedell and Maddie Guinta, was a race highlight. The winner of the 6th grade race was Elise Malone’s homeroom, with their pig modified and raced by Sophia Bruno, Abby Silva, Izzy Bruno, Alison Concagh, and Katherine Waters. The 7thGrade race was won by Josh Walas’ homeroom, with their pig modified and raced by Eliza Vara and Erin Sullivan. The 8th grade winner was Anne Kirby’s homeroom with their pig raced and modified by Derek Stevens, Andrew Miller Klugman and Anna Wietrecki. The exciting all-grade final race was won by the Walas team. Their prize: an all you can eat, make your own sundae extravaganza! Special thanks to Donna Knott for running an awesome magazine drive.
Student Supervision Reminders for Students and 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.
Recess Reminder for All Parents/Guardians
This is a gentle reminder to families that students are going outside for recess and should bring weather-appropriate clothing like winter jackets and gloves so that they will be warm outdoors.
Reminder for all Blake Students and Families
This is a reminder that as a school we will not be orchestrating 'Secret Santa' type activities for students in which gifts are being purchased and/or given. For a number of reasons, school is not the proper forum for the exchange of gifts, and we appreciate your understanding and support.
Cradles to Crayons - 7th Grade
In January/February of 2016 our 7th grade will be running a clothing drive for Cradles to Crayons. Please set aside any clothing donations in advance. Thank you!
How to Raise an Adult - Book Discussion Group for Parents
Please join the Blake Site Council will be reading and discussing HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. For more information, here is a book review from The New York Times...
HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. We will be reading it throughout the year, taking time to discuss the ideas presented and have a common, shared experience. The discussions will take place at the end of each Site Council meeting (more information/details to come - our second book group meeting will be 4:30 p.m. on Monday, 1/4). All parents are invited to join us. If you are interested in joining the book discussions, please fill out this Google Form: How to Raise an Adult Blake Book Group
The breakdown for the readings is as follows...
- For 1/4 Meeting - Read Part II (Pages 77-139)
- For 2/1 Meeting - Read Chapters 12-17 (143-227)
- For 3/7 Meeting - Finish book (228-305)
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 Ms. Allen (6th), Mrs. Dondero (7th) or Mr. Marenghi (8th).
Winter Basketball Information
The boys basketball team is excited for the 2015-2016 season. The team began practicing last week to prepare for their first game vs Wellesley at home on December 17th.
Message from MHS National Honor Society
Please stop by Medfield High School on December 12th, 2015 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM to support this MHS National Honor Society dual event. At the main entrance (by the office) of the school, the society will be partnering with the organization Big Brother Big Sister to collect the following items:
* Gently used clothing & shoes (adults & kids - all sizes; all seasons)
* Small household items
* Gently used bed linens, spreads/quilts
* (note that BBBS can no longer accept electronics, large appliances, or furniture)
Not only will you be helping the recipients of your donations, but you will also be helping members of the class of 2016. For every pound of donations collected, BBBS will award NHS with 5, 10, or 20 cents (depending on the total lbs collected). This money will be applied to the NHS scholarship fund for graduating seniors!
In the school cafeteria (on the other side of the building) other NHS members will be participating in our annual holiday gift-wrap event. Gift wrapping is FREE but we gladly accept donations. All donations will go towards the National Honor Society fund. Thank you in advance for your support! Please invite local friends and family to this event to spread the word. Contact MHS National Honor Society advisor, Ms. Bethany Sancher at BSancher@email.medfield.net with any further questions or concerns.
Angel Run News
Many thanks to the nearly 1,300 runners who supported the community by joining the MFi 10th Anniversary Angel Run on Sunday. Your participation is truly a gift. Additional sincere thanks to all the volunteers who baked, decorated, delivered t-shirts, directed cars, and cleaned up after the race. Angel Run 2015 was a wonderful success!
K-8 PTO News
NEXT BLAKE PTO MEETING
Please join us on Tuesday, December 15th @ 7:00 pm in the Blake LMC. We will be voting on two funding requests. The first funding request is from Eileen Hurley for a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the 6th grade class in the amount of $1,160. The second funding request is from Travis Taliaferro for a classroom set of 25 trapezodial desks in the amount of $2,315. If you would like more information on these funding requests, please contact Martina Spitzer firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDFIELD SPIRIT WEAR – AMAZING HOLIDAY GIFTS!
Buy something you know your kids will love! Place your order before December 10th for holiday delivery. Avoid the holiday rush and do your shopping on-line! Customize EVERYTHING from text to colors and designs from sports to drama to music. Choose from t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, bags, hats, blankets & more. Spend $85 or more and get a free customized t-shirt. 12% of proceeds from each order will go to your school’s PTO. This is all you have to do:
Go to shop.mylocker.net
Enter your school locker number - BLAKE BD979
Use promo code b2g6dTK1 to receive $10 off every order you place
NOTE: Due to different branding sizes, make sure to check all size charts when ordering to ensure you get a great fit for each product. Use MyLocker to create apparel for your teams, clubs, service groups, and more. The possibilities are endless! Please contact Laura Zaher SPIRITWEARMEDFIELD@gmail.com with any questions.
ZEBRA’S FLATBREAD FRIDAYS FUNDRAISER
No need to cook on a Friday night after a crazy week! Enjoy a delicious flatbread from Zebra’s and support the Medfield Public Schools at the same time. 10% of the proceeds from flatbreads sold via take-out or in the restaurant on Friday evenings will be donated to the Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) and Medfield K-8 PTO. Please contact Kim Price email@example.com with any questions.
THANK YOU FUND
Are you looking for a way to thank your child’s teacher? Make a contribution to their THANK YOU FUND! Anyone may contribute a financial gift to any teacher’s THANK YOU FUND. The teacher can use these funds to purchase books, games, supplies and other things for their classroom as needed. This is a great way to give your child’s teacher a little extra something that will benefit both the teacher and the children in their class. This is particularly useful for “specials” teachers that do not receive classroom gifts. This is all you need to do to contribute to a teacher’s THANK YOU FUND:
Write a check payable to BLAKE PTO with a note in the memo line designating which teacher’s fund you are contributing to
Send the check to school in an envelope with your child and include Erika Clarke’s name on the envelope
You can also mail the check directly to Erika Clarke at 10 Knollwood Rd.
You will be given a note that your child can give to their teacher letting them know you contributed to their fund or a note can be sent on your behalf
Please contact Blake PTO Treasurer, Erika Clarke firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
OPEN VOLUNTEER POSITION
Eversource Co-Chair to shadow the current Chair for the light bulb fundraiser. This fundraiser coincides with Earth Day and will run during the spring. Please contact Maura Gerardi at email@example.com if you are interested.
BAY STATE TEXTILES
Thank you, MEDFIELD! Bay State Textiles announced that Medfield has the highest pounds/box average of all towns participating in this fundraiser!!! As you make room for new holiday gifts and clean out old clothing, shoes, household linens and stuffed animals, please recycle these items at one of the Bay State Textile boxes at your school or the Transfer Station. Recycle and help the schools!!
Please cut out your Box Tops and have your child bring them to the Blake office or their advisory. Visit http://www.boxtops4education.com/coupons for coupons on participating Box Tops products!
Please like us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO , follow us on Twitter MedfieldK8PTO and check out our website http://medfieldpto.weebly.com
Many thanks to the teachers, administrators, and community members who donated and bought items in our Online Auction of Treasured Experiences. Thanks to your support, we raised nearly $12,000 for Medfield's public schools. If you are still interested in making MCPE part of your family’s annual charity gift giving, please donate to our annual appeal, by clicking here: medfieldcoalition.org/donate-now/.
Are you looking for a way to let your child's teacher, a school staff member, a coach, a bus driver or an administrator know just how much you and your child appreciate them? Consider MCPE's Blue Ribbon Program. It is an easy and thoughtful way to recognize the efforts of a member of our school community during the holiday season. Each person recognized with a donation will receive a card, customized with a thank you note from you, indicating that a donation was made in his or her honor. To learn more, please click on: medfieldcoalition.org/events-programs/blue-ribbon-program/.
Holiday shopping? MCPE is pleased to provide an easy way to raise money for the Medfield Public Schools through AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support MCPE every time you shop at Amazon (with or without Amazon Prime) at no cost to you. Once registered, every time you shop, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to MCPE. To learn more about and/or register at AmazonSmile, go to medfieldcoalition.org/events-programs/amazonsmile/.
Medfield Music Association
For any Blake families with young children: tickets are still available for the long-running Spaghetti with Santa, which celebrates its 42nd year on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at the MHS Cafeteria. Two seatings are available (5:15 and 6:30 p.m.), and tickets are $10 each at Park Street Books. Spaghetti with Santa usually sells out by the time doors open, so families are encouraged to get their tickets soon. Event proceeds benefit the district-wide music program.
Please click here for Thursday Packet Information.