April 8 - 1/2 Day for Students; Professional Afternoon for Staff
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
April 9 - iPad and Mobile Learning Highlights and Info Session (9:20 a.m.) - see details below
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
April 29 - PEM Field Trip for Koalas
May 1 - PEM Field Trip for Sea Turtles
May 2 - PEM Field Trip for Otters
MCPE Spring Fling
May 5 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
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
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
May 14 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 15 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 16 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
May 19 - Grades 5/6 Band Concert
May 20-23 - 8th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C.
May 20 - Subway Night for Blake
May 28 - Grades 4-6 Orchestra Concert
CSA Meeting (7 p.m.)
May 30 - Six Flags Music Trip
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To encourage conversations about technology integration and the fostering of independence, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: Would a more important priority in the use of technology be to help the teacher teach, or to help the student learn how to teach?
Course Selection Forms
Reminder to all 6th and 7th grade parents that course selection forms for the 2013-2014 academic year need to be turned in asap.
April is Autism Awareness Month
In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. For more information from the 'Autism Society', please click on the following link: http://www.autism-society.org/about-us/national-autism-awareness-month/
iPad Planning Inventory Information for Incoming 6th-8th Grade
As you know we are expanding upon the current 8th grade iPad Initiative and implementing a 1:1 iPad program for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2014-2015 academic year, with students purchasing their own iPads or taking part in a 'Lease to Own' program through the school. Please read the link below to a letter regarding our planning for the iPad Initiative...
iPad Planning Inventory Letter to Blake Families 4-2-14
For your reference I have posted links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Mobile Learning Update from Blake 3-26-14
iPad FAQs 3-31-14
iPad Initiative Estimated Lease-to-Own Program 3-31-14
The details of the 'Lease to Own' are tentative and still being finalized, as we are looking to find the most cost-effective program for families. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need. To help us plan our efforts, we are asking all current 5th-7th grade parents/guardians (incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians for the 2014-2015 academic year) to let us know your plans for your student ('Providing iPad' or 'Participating in Lease to Own Program') for next year, by completing this brief survey by Friday, April 11: iPad Planning Inventory at Blake for 2014-2015.
This decision is not binding and we recognize that your plans may change, but the initial feedback will help us with our planning. We currently anticipate asking for 'final decisions' mid- to late May, 2014. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. I continue to encourage you to peruse our mobile learning blog (Mobile Learning in Medfield) to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place. 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.
iPad and Mobile Learning Highlights and Information Sessions
In an effort to continue our dialogue and share information with the Blake community about our iPad Initiative, we are inviting all incoming parents/guardians of 6th-8th grade students to attend one of our iPad Highlights and Information sessions. For your reference, please read the Mobile Learning Update from Blake 3-26-14 that was sent last week for an update on mobile learning, specifically the iPad Initiative, for all students at Blake for the 2014-2015 academic year. We held an evening session on Monday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. and will be holding a morning session on Wednesday, April 9 at 9:20 a.m. Our hope for these sessions is for the entire Blake community of parents and guardians to hear and see highlights from teachers and students, answer questions, and to gain an understanding of the work that has taken place. These events are for parents and guardians only. Please RSVP via our Google Form link (iPad Highlights and Info Sessions 4-7-14 or 4-9-14) 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.
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 using iPads 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.
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
÷ 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 30 at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. More information and details are still to come.
School Dress Guidelines
As we transition into spring. at last, it is a good time to review guidelines for school dress. These guidelines have been included below (in italics) and can also be found in the student handbook section of the Blake agenda book. Please consider keeping them handy as you are doing spring clothing shopping. Open dialogue and discretion are important when dealing with issues related to dress -- I encourage you to reach out to Kelly Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns. When in doubt, we encourage students to ask for clarification or bring a back up outfit to school just in case.
The responsibility for student dress and attire rests with both the student and the parent/guardian. We are confident that good judgment on the part of students and parents will result in the wearing of clothing which will contribute to a respectful academic environment and educational atmosphere. At Blake Middle School, we endeavor to remove as many distractions from the day as possible so that students are able to focus on the most important of their day - learning. Each student will abide by the guidelines of decency, cleanliness and safety at all times. In accordance with our expectations for school dress, students are required to wear clothing that does not show the 4 B's: boxers, breasts, buttocks, and belly buttons. We do ask students not to wear hats, short shorts, midriff shirts, or clothing that displays obscene language, violence, lewd or vulgar pictures, alcohol or drug references, sexual innuendoes, racial/ethnic/religiously offensive materials, or any graphic that may interfere with the educational process. Some guidelines that appear in our student handbook and will be reviewed with students after April break follow:
- Clothing needs to cover your body so that you and others can participate in and focus on learning.
- A general guideline for appropriate length of skirts and shorts is for them to be as long as your fingertips when extended at your side, with shoulders relaxed. This applies to the front and back.
- Undergarments should not be showing. Cleavage should be covered.
- Off the shoulder shirts are not appropriate.
Spring intramurals will start the week after April vacation. Look for sign-up information on the Blake website starting Monday, April 14.
It's show week everyone! The kids are excited to share their hard work with you. All performers must have their eyeliner, mascara and hairbrush for their dress rehearsal. Basic black for both is fine. Aladdin performances are Friday 4/11 at 7pm and Saturday 4/12 at 1pm. The Hound of the Baskervilles will be performed on Saturday 4/12 at 7pm and Sunday 4/13 at 1pm. Tickets are available online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/623674. We look forward to seeing you!
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
Curriculum Highlights - Art and Science
This week's curriculum updates come from the art (Jim Cousens, Content Specialist) and science (Orla Berry, Content Specialist) departments...
As always, there are many exciting Art lessons happening in the Blake Art Program. For example, Mrs. Delaney has started a 6th Grade Art assignment based on music in the Collage style of the artist Romare Beardon. This artwork gives her students the opportunity to bring their favorite music style/genre into their artwork.
In the 7th Grade Art classes, Mr. Cousens' students are creating clay heads to represent "Goofy Awards" (Smartest, Funniest, etc...). Mrs. Delaney's classes are part of the way through their Tessellation Mosaic images with shapes cut from magazines. This assignment should be wrapping up in the next week or so.
Mrs. Delaney's 8th Grade students have just finished the figure images using Oil Sticks (similar to working with oil paints). They have been doing a great job showing the human figure in action poses for these artworks. Next they will be working on canvas with acrylic paint. Mr.Cousens' 8th Grade students are just finishing with the glazing process for their coil pottery lesson. The pieces are looking great.
As we look forward...
All April long the Zullo Gallery is hosting the 19th Annual Student-Faculty Art Exhibit (open weekends 12-5). There are quite a few artworks representing Blake Middle School. Please stop in to view Art from our K-12 Fine Arts students and their teachers. It really is a wonderful exhibit.
Also, The Blake Art Show will be coming up just around the corner. Mark your calendars for our May 28th Artists' Reception at Blake Middle School. Its sure to be a fantastic Art Show!
The National Association of Science Teachers held their national convention in Boston from April 3rd to 6th. Thanks to the generosity of the MCPE we were able to send our teachers to the conference for a minimum of one-day. Teachers returned from the conference invigorated and eager to put into practice many of the exciting activities to which they were exposed, e.g. Grade 8 science teachers are looking forward to implementing some new lab activities to detect infrared and UV radiation. Workshops attended included ñ engineering and the Next Generation Science Standards, Flinn Scientific Biology demonstrations and labs, incorporating formative assessments into the science classroom, ipads as instructional tools, using NASA global climate model data in the classroom, and using the HHMI website to supplement the Life science curriculum. Seeing the array of tools/kits and gadgets in the exhibit halls and interacting with other teachers were highlights for many of the science teachers. Orla Berry, Science content specialist, was part of a group that presented a bio-engineering workshop called BioBuilder: Ready-to-Use Classroom and Lab Curricula That Integrate Engineering into Biology. BioBuilder connects students to current research questions and asks them to use synthetic biology to solve real-world problems through engineering, design and biotechnology. Said Mr. Bowles - one of the biggest take-aways for him personally was the importance of having students experience the design process so they can be part of the solution to ongoing global problems.
The 19th Annual Student-Faculty Art Exhibit at Zullo
The Medfield Public Schools’ K-12 Visual Arts Faculty is once again pleased to announce The 19th Annual Student-Faculty Art Exhibit, presented at Medfield’s very own Zullo Gallery, 456 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052.
The Student-Faculty Art Exhibit is an exciting opportunity for a selected group of student artists from grades K-12 to display and view their work in a professional gallery setting, alongside the work of our Visual Arts faculty. Each year approximately eighty pieces of exemplary student art work are shown during this exhibit at the Zullo Gallery. This year’s Art Exhibit will be up from April 5th – 27th, and is available for viewing on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon until 5:00 PM. We will be hosting an Artists Reception on Thursday, April 10th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.
This exhibit is an event designed to give special attention to the artistic accomplishments of our students from all grades, within the context of our K-12 Visual Arts Curriculum. In past years this event has received much positive attention, having been viewed by as many as six hundred (600) visitors and obtaining coverage in the local Medfield press and the Boston Globe. We look forward to another very successful exhibit this year. It should be noted that this exhibit does not take the place of our individual School Art Shows that happen in the spring, in which the work of all our students is displayed in their respective schools.
The Blake track team is off to its biggest start since the program was re-started, after several years of dormancy, 16 years ago. Close to 70 boys and 70 girls began training last week for our first meet of the year, which takes place at home against Holliston and King Phillp, on Thursday, May 1. Jon Haycock (16 years) and Patty Graham (5 years) are back as the head coaches. Newcomers Greg Keohan and Katherine Dimitriou are the assistant coaches. We have a total of 7 meets (full schedule to follow next week) and the season concludes on Friday, May 30.
The girls are working hard and coming together as a strong team with each practice. Some of our 8th grade girls have even stepped up to help JV. Our first game is April 15th against Millis.
Animal Shelter Fundraiser
Selling: White, purple, orange bracelets for $2
When: April 7-11 in the mornings
Where: Outside the Blake the gym
Who: Amber Schultz, 6th Grade
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!
Please remember to dine at Royal Pizza Tuesday April 8! Remember 20% of the proceeds go to Blake Middle School. Thank-You Royal Pizza ! See the flyer in the Thursday Packet for details.
Author Christopher Wilson to Speak at Blake
What does a person have to do to achieve success in the workforce, or more broadly, in life? Find out on May 7th at 7PM, when author Christopher Wilson comes to Blake Middle School to offer pragmatic usable advice on how to affect positive change and practical growth in one’s career and personal life. High school and college students will gain important skills for a job search, resume writing, interviewing, and how to handle yourself once you land that first job. Each attendee will receive a FREE copy of Wilson’s book: BA to Boardroom with no BS, Skills For Life. This lecture is hosted by the MCPE and is sponsored by Needham Bank.
MCPE 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. Please consider stopping by any Needham Bank branch and opening an account today! (Just be sure to mention MCPE!!)
Spring Fling Update
Tickets are SOLD OUT for the Spring Fling, but don't worry. If you didn't get a ticket, you can still help support the Medfield public schools.
1) Buy a raffle ticket for the FABULOUS spa package raffle from jaie3 salon•spa•beautique. Enter for a chance to win a day of beauty, including an LED Anti-Aging Facial, a choice of any body therapy or massage, manicure, lavender pedicure, wash, cut and style, make-up application and lunch! The package is valued at over $500! Tickets are 1 for $10 or 3 for $20. You need not be present to win. https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1676642-lbMlVJXct4
2) Ask a Friend to be a Ghost Bidder -- with 170 auction items, there is something for everyone! Don't miss out on your chance to win tickets to see ONE DIRECTION, the World Champion Red Sox, the Patriots, Bruins or Celtics. There are also gourmet dinner parties, vacation homes and unique teacher experiences up for grabs.
Simply check out our catalog of fabulous donations (available online on April 11 at www.medfieldcoalition.org), give a list of favorites to your "ghost bidder" as well as your maximum bidding level, and settle up with your friend the next day.
3) Fund-a-Grant by donating to the Coalition to support future grants: http://www.medfieldcoalition.org/support-contribute/donate-now/.