March 18 - 7th Grade ELA Long Composition MCAS
Subway Night for Blake
MCAP Parent Forum - 'Be a Parent, Not a Pal' (see details below)
March 19 - 6th Grade ELA MCAS
Power of Music Event (see details below)
March 21 - 7th Grade ELA MCAS
March 22 - Destination Imagination Tournament
March 24 - 7th Grade ELA MCAS
March 25 - 8th Grade ELA MCAS
MCPE Spelling Bee
March 26 - 8th Grade ELA MCAS
March 27 - 7th Grade ELA Long Composition Make-Up MCAS
March 31 - Band-O-Rama
April 4 - Special Olympics at Medway Middle School
April 4-6 - MICCA Festival
April 1 - Application Deadline for Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award (see below)
April 7 - Blake Site Council Meeting (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
April 8 - 1/2 Day for Students; Professional Afternoon for Staff
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
April 11-13 - BMS Plays
April 15 - Subway Night for Blake
April 16 - CSA Mtg (7:00 p.m. in Blake LMC)
April 21-25 - April Vacation
May 2 - MCPE Spring Fling
May 5 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
May 6 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
May 7 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
May 8 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
May 9 - 1/2 Day for Students; Professional Afternoon for Staff
May 12 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
May 13 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
May 14 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 15 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To encourage conversations about new ideas and listening, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: Is it a sign of wisdom to accept and consider utilizing the ideas of others when you believe your idea is fine, or when the other person with the other idea is not good at accepting and utilizing the ideas of others?
Be a Parent, Not a Pal - MCAP Parent Forum on 3/18 at 7 p.m. at MHS
Come attend MCAP's parent forum on March 18, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Medfield High School auditorium to learn about the results of the most recent MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, completed by over 1,400 of Medfield’s grade 7-12 students. Also learn about and discuss Massachusetts' Social Host Liability Law with Jay Campbell, who will present the multi-media program for parents called: Be a Parent, Not a Pal.
Reminder about Locking Valuables/Missing Black iPod Touch 4
Although we have a strong community at Blake, items unfortunately do go missing from time to time. Recently a black iPod Touch 4 went missing -- if anyone finds it, please contact the main office so that it can be returned to its owner. As we are entering the Spring sports season, please remind your student of the importance of not leaving valuable items in backpacks that are not in locked lockers. Students have a tendency to leave unsupervised backpacks in the gym or in hallways. Valuables should be locked in hallway lockers or locked in locker room lockers in order to ensure that nothing is lost or stolen.
Piñata Troupe Recap
Thanks to a grant from the CSA, the Latino dance troupe "La Piñata" visited Blake today! The native Spanish-speaking children in the group live in Boston and participate in a program on weekends in which they study Latin American culture and learn traditional dances, and perform internationally.
The kids worked with our eighth grade Spanish students throughout the day, conversing in Spanish, creating masks together and teaching Blake students a different dance each class period. The day culminated with a presentation for the entire eighth grade, in which the Piñata performed and brought their new Blake friends up on stage to present their freshly-learned dance moves. There was lots of laughing and learning throughout the day, as we experienced the power of music and dance to unify people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
When you have a chance please stop by our Guidance suite to check out the new mural created by a team of students at Blake. Thanks to Christina Delaney and Tracy Allen for their leadership with this initiative and to the CSA for supporting the project.
Technology Tutorial Updates
The Community Service Club of Blake would like to thank the parents who participated in the technology survey. The results were very helpful in planning for a future of students, educators, and parents usingiPadss and Google in the district. Based on the results as well as the comments, we decided to create video tutorials that teach users how to navigate Google Apps for Education as well as using and managing the iPad. Although this endeavor is just in the beginning phases, we hope to have a library of tutorials ready before the end of the school year in preparation for the next school year.
As we prepare for MCAS season, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires that we review our expectations with students prior to testing. I have posted the Student Responsibilities during Testing sheet that will be reviewed with students during the week in their classes. I would like to call your attention to the updated guidelines with regard to electronics (iPods, iPhones, iPads, phones, all types of Kindles, Nooks, and e-readers). The DESE states: "Results will be invalidated for students who use cell phones or other electronic devices at any time during a session, including after a student turns in his or her test materials, during a break, or during the transition to a test completion area." Please review this aspect of digital responsibility with your child.
While we do not want to foster undue anxiety or pressure for students, a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast will ensure that they come to school prepared to do their best. Please be sure that students arrive at school on time. If your student is sick on the day of a scheduled test date, it is best for your child to get some rest and take it on a make-up day. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Kelly Campbell (email@example.com) or your child's guidance counselor.
Parent Information Nights
Thank you to all who came out for parent information nights. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out. For your reference and information, here are the links to the presentations for the other grades...
Incoming 6th PIN 2014
Incoming 7th PIN 2014
Incoming 8th PIN 2014
Career Day Planning
Planning for the 8th grade Career Day is underway. Career Day will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, which is also a half day for students. On this day we will have a morning of presentations given by a variety of professionals from many different occupations. Year after year people return to share their careers with our students but we need additional volunteers to help make this event successful. We invite you to volunteer to participate in this exciting program to enlighten our students about your occupation and career opportunities. Please consider sharing your experiences regarding your present occupation, stories of interest and personal insights with eighth graders in three informal sessions of approximately 35 minutes each. The sessions run between 8:45 am and 10:45 am. If you are interested in participating please contact Debbie Avery in the Blake Middle School Guidance Office at 508-359-2445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for helping make our Career Day a continued success. We count on the community to make our program a rewarding and enriching experience for our students.
Dodgeball team forms must be turned in to Ms. Dengos/Ms. Hurley by this Thursday 3/20/14 (Tournament is after school 3/27 - all proceeds go to finding a cure for Type I Diabetes!)
7th Grade Food Drive
The 7th grade will be doing a food drive from March 24 - March 28 to benefit the Medfield Food Cupboard. Seventh grade students should bring non perishable food items to their advisories that week for the collection. The following items are in short supply and in high demand at the Food Cupboard this month:
- Juice (both boxes and bottles)
- Pasta sauce
- 4 packs of toilet paper
- Baking mixes
÷ and Conquer! - Save the Date
Susan Bycoff, math content specialist, and Nat Vaughn will be continuing the parent workshop series this spring in an effort to share information and specific strategies to help your student succeed in math. The two sessions will be Wednesday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. More information and details are still to come.
Incoming 7th Grade - Nature's Classroom
The Nature's Classroom deposit and forms are due on March 28th. All the forms can be found at Nature's Classroom Information. Please have your child give all forms to their advisory teacher.
8th Grade - Medical Forms for D.C.
DC Medical Forms went home for 8th graders and need to be returned by April 1st. Including a doctor's signature for any medications going on the trip.
Blake Site Council Survey
The Blake Site Council this year has been working on the development of a survey to be distributed to the Blake community. The survey was administered the last two years and we are committed to having parents and students take it annually as part of our continual efforts to examine our programming. Focus areas include the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. The results will help us to gather information and examine our current practices to better meet the needs of our students. Please complete the survey for each child you have at Blake, and base your responses on your student's experiences this year. The questionnaire is anonymous, and your identity can not and will not be discovered through the completion of this survey. We sincerely appreciate your honest responses and are hoping for 100% participation from the Blake community. If you have any questions or have difficulty accessing the survey, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com).
Link to the survey: 2013-2014 Blake Middle School Survey
Acceptance Month at Blake
Week 3 - Acceptance Month - "What makes you, YOU?"
Activity and video in advisory Wednesday engaging students in thinking about what makes each of us unique and celebrating those differences
Kids will then participate in a school-wide demonstration (outside of advisory) that is connected to the advisory activity
iPad and Mobile Learning Updates
As you know we held an iPad Initiative and Mobile Learning Information session on Monday, February 10 for all parents/guardians to hear and see highlights from our initiative, answer questions, and learn about the progress that has taken place. For those who were not able to attend, here is the link to our Google presentation: Mobile Learning Info Night 2-10-14. I encourage you to take a look and to also peruse our mobile learning blog: Mobile Learning in Medfield. Our intention is to hold another presentation in March in during the school day, to highlight some of our work and share our progress.
The feedback we have gained from our initiatives and pilots has been a critical factor for both the school and district's future implementation and direction we will take with technology. Through classroom observations, professional development, informal and formal feedback from parents and students, and staff input, we have been pleased with the efficacy of the iPad initiative and have determined that it is worth continuing and expanding our collective work with iPads for the 2014-2015 academic year for our incoming 7th and 8th grade students, with students purchasing their own iPads or taking part in a 'Lease to Own' program through the school. While our work with the Nexus tablets has been positive, at this point in the educational landscape for schools, it is our belief is that the iPad is the preferred device to maximize the benefits of learning, creativity, and curricular integration for our students and staff. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need.
We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with the new technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive learning experience. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
Curriculum Highlights - Mathematics and Wellness
This week's curriculum updates come from the mathematics (Susan Bycoff, Content Specialist) and wellness (Susan Bycoff, Content Specialist) departments...
In honor of March 14th (3/14), Pi Day, the Blake Middle School Math Department would like to take a moment to honor a special number, Pi. Pi has a strong relationship to circles. The base of this relationship is this: If you take any circle and find the ratio of its circumference (distance around the circle) to its diameter, it is always approximately equal to 3.14…Pi. In other words, if you have a circle and know the diameter, the distance around that circle will be just a little over three diameters.
Throughout the halls of Blake on Friday, students and teachers alike were wishing each other a Happy Pi Day! Students in grades 6-8 get the opportunity to use this special number frequently in math class. The Math Department hopes you had a very wonderful Pi Day filled with all sorts of desserts including pie!
- The 6th and 7th grade health classes have begun a new cyberbullying unit adapted from the Seattle Public Schools' research-based cyberbullying curriculum. By the end of the unit, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the following:
- How lack of respect online can damage friends or family
- How when online, it is everybody’s responsibility to treat people with respect and to take responsibility for his or her own action
- How to avoid becoming a target of cyberbullying
- Actions to take if you become a target
- The idea that standing up for others is being socially responsible
8th grade health classes have started a unit on body image, which includes self-esteem, media and the mind and disordered eating.
Blake has kicked off its Ballroom Dance units in all three grades. Currently, the 8th graders are learning the Swing, 7th graders the Salsa, and Foxtrot for the 6th graders. Students are working hard in preparation for their annual dance competition. It is a "Dancing with the Stars" style performance where their grade level teachers come down to the gym and act as a panel of judges. Students create a group routine that incorporates all the skills they have learned and perform for the class. We are looking forward to seeing them in action!
Consumer science students are nearing the end of their course and will soon be moving on to their next rotation class. Please ask your children to demonstrate what they have learned by helping you prepare and clean up from meals at home. The recipes they have made in class are available on the consumer science website.
SMA Charity Basketball Game Recap
The 2nd Annual Big Blue vs Medfield Faculty FSMA Charity Basketball Game in honor of Blake's own William Johnson was a huge success. The high school bleachers were filled and the shots were dropping, especially for the faculty who couldn't miss from the three-point line and won the game 74-62. The generous crowd helped raise nearly $1800 for SMA and fun was had by all in attendance. Huge thanks to everyone who took part in this great community tradition.
'Power of Music' Event
Seats can now be reserved for the MMA's “Power of Music” event from 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 in the MHS auditorium featuring jazz pianist Matt Savage, who overcame challenges associated with autism and launched a musical career at the age of 8. He will share his story and perform. Savage will be joined by music education/autism expert Rhoda Bernard, Ed.D, from The Boston Conservatory who will talk about the power of music on children and adults with autism and other special needs. The event will also feature performances by musicians from The Conservatory's Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum, and our own Medfield Marimba and MHS Jazz Combo. Superintendent Jeff Marsden will also speak. The event is sponsored by MEMO, and partners are SEPAC, Medfield HS PTO, Medfield CSA, and the Medfield Coalition for Public Education. The event is free, but a suggested $5 donation at the door is welcome to help fund a new MMA music scholarship for children with special needs. Seats for the event should be reserved in advance to ensure adequate space. To reserve seats, go to www.medfieldmusicassociatink you.
Spring Track Sign-Up
If your son or daughter is interested in participating on the Blake Track Team, please have him or her touch base with Mr. Haycock. Our program serves as an introduction to track and field. We practice one hour per day, which enables students to continue with other spring sports teams and activities as well. With so many running, jumping, throwing, and hurdling events to choose from, however, we think they'll find something they'll enjoy and consider continuing with track when they get to the high school.
THE SEASON: Starts Tuesday, April 1 and runs to early June.
PRACTICE: Generally Tuesday through Friday, 2:20 – 3:20 P.M. on the high school track.
MEETS: Usually 7 per season (schedule to follow), can last until 5:00 P.M. Students take busses to away meets and must also return home with the team on the bus unless coaches have a parent/guardian note.
COACHES: Mr. Haycock, Mrs. Graham, Mr. Keohan, Miss Dimitriou.
ON-LINE SIGN-UP: Go to: www.medfield.net
Under "Our Schools", click on either Medfield High School or Blake Middle School.
Under the "Activities" tab, choose "Athletics".
Click on the "Register Now" (Family ID) button.
Follow prompts to create username/password and register online.
After completing registration, please write a check to the “Town of Medfield” for $225.00 (aid is available), with student’s “name” and
“Middle School Track” written on the subject line. Have your son or daughter bring the completed check and a copy of a current physical
(within 13 months) to Mr. Haycock in the Blake Library/Media Center. If current physical is already on file with the Athletic Department
from an earlier team sign-up from this academic year, you don't have to submit another copy.
EQUIPMENT: running shoes, shorts and shirt, white socks, sweat shirt and pants (extremely important for cool days), and water (Medfield tank top is provided for meets).
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
We have a new Blake DJ this week. The direct link to the form is: Blake Pandora Jockey Form. Encourage your students to participate!
NEW!!! Please join the Blake CSA for news, information. We look forward to seeing your comments! Facebook (Blake Middle School CSA) and Twitter (@Blakemiddlecsa). Like us on Facebook!
We have 2 new and exciting fundraisers!
School wide bulb/flower sale is set to begin Mon 3/17. All orders will be done by the purchaser on-line with shipments going straight to customer. Very easy, a great way to raise money for our school, and prices that will get your gardens looking beautiful and bountiful. Please choose the link to shop and purchase: Flower Power
SWOPBOARD is a town-wide CSA fundraising initiative. Please see the Thursday Packet for more information or choose the link: SwopBoard
Tuesday March 18th is Subway Night! Take the night off cooking and support Blake Middle School at the same time! 20% of the proceeds go to Blake Middle School! Thank-You Subway for your support Please see the Flyer in the Thursday Packet for more details.
Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box in the office.
The Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) has received a Challenge Grant from Needham Bank.
Needham Bank, a long-time supporter and sponsor of the MCPE, will donate $100 for every new checking account opened when the patron mentions MCPE. This is in addition to their initial $2,500 donation to MCPE earlier this year. With the Challenge Grant offer, Needham Bank is engaging the community while also supporting MCPE's efforts to fund academic enrichment in the Medfield public schools. The MCPE is thrilled by this partnership and so grateful to Needham Bank and its commitment to the Medfield public schools and to our community. The funds raised will truly and directly benefit the Medfield students at every level. For more information about participating in the Challenge Grant, please contact Needham Bank’s Medfield Branch Manager, Marjorie Cappucci, at 781-474-5521.
Nominations Wanted by April 1st: The Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award
Bob Maguire dedicated 22 years of his educational career to the Medfield public schools. He served as principal of Medfield High School for eight years and then as Superintendent for 14 years. In recognition of Bob's commitment to our students, the MCPE has created this award to honor an educator in the Medfield school community who embodies Bob's legacy of exposing our students to the world beyond Medfield. This award will be given to a staff member whose effort embodies Bob's vision for further developing students' global understanding and readiness to engage in the expanding global economy. Similar to Bob, the award recipient will be someone who inspires students to look beyond the town of Medfield and learn more about the global community through innovative programs and technologies. Parents, administrators, school staff and community members are encouraged to nominate a recipient for this award. Award application and criteria information can be found on the MCPE website: http://www.medfieldcoalition.org/news-photos/bob-maguire-award/. The application is due by April 1st.
Order Your Spring Fling Tickets Today - 75% Have Sold!!
Tickets are going fast!! NOW is the time to order your Spring Fling and Raffle tickets! The MCPE Spring Fling fundraising gala will be held on Friday, May 2nd from 7:00-11:30 PM at the Spring Valley Country Club, Sharon. All Medfield residents are invited to participate in an exciting auction and enjoy an evening of friendship, dancing and refreshments while supporting our schools. Event and raffle tickets are on sale now - event tickets are limited. Don't miss out -- with more than 175 packages up for auction, there is something for everyone -- be sure to buy your tickets today: www.medfieldcoalition.org.