March 6 - Superintendent's Advisory Council Mtg
iPad Highlights Info Session (10:00 a.m.)
March 11-28 - Nature's Classroom SCRIP Fundraiser (Info coming home week of 3/4)
March 12 - Harmony Day (see details below)
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
March 13 - ÷ and Conquer! - Helping your child with Pre-Algebra Information Session (see details below) Incoming 7th Grade Parent Night and Nature's Classroom Information Session (7:00 p.m.)
March 14 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Night (7:00 p.m.)
March 15 - Blake CSA Meeting (9:30 a.m. in Blake LMC)
March 18 - 6th Grade ELA MCAS
March 19 - 7th Grade ELA Long Composition MCAS
Nadine Briggs Presentation (see details below)
March 20 - 6th Grade ELA MCAS
MCPE Spelling Bee
March 21 - 8th Grade ELA MCAS
March 22 - 7th Grade ELA MCAS
March 25 - 7th Grade ELA MCAS
March 26 - Subway Night for Blake
March 28 - 8th Grade ELA MCAS
7th Grade ELA Long Composition Make-Up MCAS
March 29 - No School
'Topic/Question for the Dinner Table'
To keep in line with the theme of acceptance, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: Do we have to feel good about ourselves before we can expect to be accepted, or do we have to wait to be accepted before we can try to feel good about ourselves?
We are pleased to share that Project Moves. . . Accept me was a huge success! Over 500 people showed up for an evening of dance, music, and reflection about the theme of acceptance and anti-bullying. Because of fire code, it was so disappointing to have to turn people away. We are hoping to look into planning another performance in Medfield, although there are upcoming performances in Bridgewater on April 5th and 6th, and the word seems to spreading throughout Metrowest. Please check the projectmoves.org website for details about upcoming performances. We were pleased that so many students stayed for the question and answer period that followed the show. Dancers ranging in age from 8-18 candidly shared their experiences with dance and bullying in a way that touched many hearts. Our students asked wonderful questions about commitment to dance, what it's like to feel bullied, and how the dancers define the word "human". At our breakfasts/discussions on Friday, students talked about the impact the show had on them. We heard from many students that they now understand the importance of standing up when you see something that is not right as well as reflections on their interpretations of the symbolism of the dances. Thank you to all of the Blake teachers who gave students a homework free night to attend the show, parents who went above and beyond to help with publicity of the event as well as last minute breakfast organization that was needed once we realized that we had a huge turnout.
As always, talking about difficult topics like bullying behavior can bring about feelings in students that may necessitate additional adult support. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's guidance counselor or any Blake staff member with whom your child has a relationship if you feel that would be helpful. One of the clear messages of the evening was that we all have to work together to keep our children safe and comfortable. Thank you for your partnership in this effort.
March is 'Acceptance' Month
March is themed Acceptance month at Blake. Students at Blake kicked off the month of March on Friday 3/1 watching an animated rendition of Dr. Seuss's "The Sneetches" and discussing the effects of judgement, prejudice, and bullying in advisory. Next week, students at both the middle and high schools will become "living statistics." The demonstration is to show that we don't want for our students to become statistics, they are more than statistics! The negative impact of judgment, prejudice, and bullying will be explored and discussed in advisory. Also, BINGO boards will be introduced as a common thread in both middle and high school advisories. A cross-section of students from both buildings have designed BINGO boards with each space containing actions to take and activities to perform that allow for new experiences and getting to know people outside of our usual circles. These will be revisited in advisory throughout the month.
“I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.” -- Abraham Lincoln
Next Tuesday, March 12, the Harmony Club at Medfield High School is sponsoring its annual Harmony Day, where the club encourages any MHS community member who has a friend, family member, etc. in their life who is GLBT to wear a green shirt. The idea was started by Clinton Oxford, a 2008 graduate of Medfield High School, who thought if everyone could see just how many have a GLBT person in their lives, it might reduce the name-calling/anti-gay remarks heard in the hallways. Some of our students and staff may be wearing green in support of this day, and I wanted parents/guardians to be aware of this initiative as well, as the 'invite/gesture' is intended for both students and adults, on a voluntary basis.
iPad Highlights Morning Information Session
We are inviting all Blake parents/guardians to hear and see highlights from the iPad pilot (Stars cluster in 8th grade ), answer questions about iPads, and learn about the progress that has taken place on Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. This is a 'repeat performance' of the iPad Highlights Night that was held on February 6. Parents/guardians should not feel obliged to attend if they attended the meeting in February. Please RSVP via our Google Form link (iPad Highlights Morning Info Session) to let us know if you are planning on attending so that we can make sure we are prepared. Please fill out the form for each parent/guardian attending the presentation.
Parent Information Nights/Session
The planning for the 2013-2014 school year has already begun, and our parent information nights have been scheduled...
3/13 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Information Night and Nature's Classroom Information Session (7 p.m.)
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming seventh grade (current sixth grade) students. We will be presenting information about the 7th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year. We will also be presenting information about the 7th grade's field trip to Nature's Classroom.
3/14 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Information Night (7 p.m.)
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming eighth grade (current seventh grade) students. We will be presenting information about the 8th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year. A more detailed presentation regarding the logistics of the 2013-2014 academic year's iPad Program will take place during this evening as well.
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. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Link to the survey: Blake School Survey 2012-2013
Career Day Planning
Planning for the 8th grade Career Day is underway. Career Day will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 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 email@example.com. 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.
Greek Week - 7th Grade Social Studies
Greek Week kicks off Monday, March 4th in 7th grade social studies. Students began their study of the ancient Greeks several weeks back. They have now been split into five different city states in every class. Each city state will compete in academic, artistic, and athletic competitions in an effort to see their city state end up as the victor. Most of the competitions happen during class time. There will be optional after school activities for 7th graders. The activities start at 2:15 and end by 3:00. The schedule of events is as follows:
Tuesday, March 5 - A strategy board game in the cafeteria
Wednesday, March 6 - A distance discus throw held outside
Thursday, March 7 - a sprint relay held in the gym
Friday, March 8 - A "marathon" (distance run) that is done as a relay which is run outside
Monday, March 11 - a five way dodgeball game that is held in the gym
iPad Pilot Update
As you know we held an iPad Highlights Night on Wednesday, February 6 for all parents/guardians to hear and see highlights from the pilot, answer questions, and learn about the progress that has taken place. As stated above we are holding a 'repeat session' on Wednesday, March 6. I invite and encourage you to visit the updated site (iPad Blog) to get an update on the information that was shared and to learn more about our endeavors with mobile learning. Our intention is to hold another presentation in early March in the morning, to highlight some of our work and share our progress. The feedback we have gained from 2012-2013 pilot program 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 pilot and have determined that it is worth expanding the pilot for the 2013-2014 academic year. In an effort to expand upon our current iPad Pilot, we are working towards a 1:1 iPad initiative for the entire 8th grade for the upcoming academic year, with students purchasing their own iPads or taking part in a 'Lease to Own' program through the school. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need. The logistics for this initiative will be shared at our Incoming 8th Grade Parent Information Night on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. 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.
÷ and Conquer! - Helping your child with Pre-Algebra
Have you ever wondered what the rules are when working with positive and negative numbers? Does the expression PEMDAS have you searching the Internet late at night? Are you looking to support your child as they learn to solve equations? Then come join us on Wednesday, March 13 at 9:30 a.m. at Blake Middle School. Nat Vaughn, along with Susan Bycoff, will explore the concepts and skills behind the following topics:
- Working with positive and negative numbers
- Order of Operations
- Solving linear equations
Music Advocate Award for Mr. Maguire
You may have read in the Medfield Patch this morning that Bob Maguire received the Music Advocate award from the Massachusetts Educators Association. We are very proud of the program we have for our students and thought that it would be nice for you to read about the recognition Bob received...
Please join us in congratulating Bob for receiving this award.
Nature's Classroom Information
Nature's Classroom forms and information will be posted at http://www.medfield.net/blake/school-information/natures-classroom.html next week.
7th/8th Grade Softball for Girls
There will be a meeting for all 7th grade girls who are interested in playing softball this year at Blake. Due to low numbers of students interested in 8th grade, we are looking into the options of having 7th grade students participate. The meeting is on Tuesday, March 5 after school in Mrs. McClelland's room (room 111). If your child is interested in playing and can not make the meeting, please have her check in with Mrs. McClelland or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All 8th grade students who are interested in playing should see Mrs. McClelland or contact her at email@example.com.
8th Grade Food Pantry Drive
The 8th grade food pantry drive has begun and it will continue throughout the month of March. The grade will be involved in a friendly competition to determine the advisory that is the most generous. Although the Medfield Food Pantry will graciously accept all contributions, the items that are especially needed are bottles of juice or juice box packs, hot and cold cereal, applesauce cups, four packs of toilet paper, Kleenex, and snacks. We hope it will be a successful drive.
Blake Drama Production
Please remember to continue checking the theater website for updates, and remind your students the schedule is also posted outside of Ms. Allen's office. This week we will not have rehearsal on Wednesday.
Boxtops Reminder and Competition
Did you know that Blake Middle School participates in the Box Tops For Education fundraiser? Well, it's true. Even better, this fundraiser requires no check writing on your part. Simply clip the boxtop off of participating General Foods products and send them in to the school. The collection box is located on the counter in the main office. You would be surprised at how many of your everyday products have these stamps on their packaging. Cheerios, Chex, Yoplait, Hefty, Ziploc,Scott, Betty Crocker and Land of Lakes are just a few participating brands. Don't throw the Boxtops out, send them in to Blake!!! Your trash is Blake's cash. Those dimes add up quickly. You can also log onto BTFE.com. For your convenience, a complete listing of BoxTops products can be found on the Blake website.
First Annual Boxtops Competition! February 11th thru March 11th. Have your student bring in General Foods Boxtops to their advisory. The advisory in each grade with the most Boxtops collected will receive a class prize. Just want to give your boxtops in now? Collection box is conveniently located in the main office.
'Surviving Adolescents: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast! And the ABC's of Parenting Adolescents' - Parent Presentation
The Medfield SEPAC is hosting a parent presentation by Nadine Briggs, founder of Social Smart Kids has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in the Blake Middle School auditorium: 'In these workshops on adolescents, we will explore adolescent development and how this exciting, yet sometimes excruciating, process of growing up can impact family life. Surviving Adolescents will explore why teens become “allergic” to their parents and how boys and girls journey through adolescence in similar and different ways. We will talk about how to gain respect from your teen, strategies for parenting a teen as opposed to a younger child and how to avoid the traps our teens set for us and the ones we set for ourselves to establish a healthy relationship with our adolescents. The ABC's workshop focuses in depth on Collaborative Problem Solving with teens and easy, quick “catch phrases” that parents can use to communicate with their teen as well as hints from teens themselves on how to parent them.' For additional information on this workshop and more, visit www.socialsmartkids.com. RSVP not required but suggested to Una Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incoming 9th Grade Visual Arts Electives Information
This 7 minute video (http://www.medfieldk12finearts.net/9th-grade-electives-info.html) will give a brief description on how to locate information on our K-12 Fine Arts website regarding Visual Art Electives for 9th Graders and our Program of Studies information (http://www.medfieldk12finearts.net/visual-arts-program-of-studies-2013-14.html). Please take the time to carefully read through the POS information, and if you have any questions feel free to contact Jim Cousens, K-12 Fine Arts Content Specialist (email@example.com). Also, please use our www.medfieldk12finearts.net website to see images from our foundation Art courses; Introduction to Art, Drawing & Painting, Printmaking & Design, and 3-Dimensional Design.
Registration opens for the Annual Spelling Bee Thursday, February 28th. Register your team at medfieldcoaltion.org. All entrants will be entered into a raffle for an iPad Mini!
In other news, total grant investments so far this school year have exceeded $66,000. Progress towards the fundraising goal of $100,000 continues as the MCPE 25th Anniversary Appeal moves forward. MCPE thanks the 374 donors who have contributed nearly $72,000 towards future enrichment programs for Medfield’s schools. The campaign will continue through the end of the school year and contributions are still being gratefully accepted either online at www.medfieldcoalition.org or by mail to MCPE, P.O. Box 452, Medfield, MA 02052.
3/11-3/28 Nature's Classroom Scrip Promotion, information will be distributed to students and parents week of 3/4.
The March CSA meeting is Friday, March 15 at 9:30 AM. We hope you can make it!
Please support Blake on March 12th by going to Royal Pizza.