6/14 - Creature Fair
6/15 - Creature Feature Field Trip
6/22 - Transition Day
8th Grade Closing Ceremony (see details below)
6/23 - Last Day of School for Students and Staff
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about the importance of taking time to recognize accomplishments as a learning community from the past year, this week's topic/question for the dinner table is: Share something you would like to celebrate about your own learning from the 2015-2016 school year. Please see link to Google Form to share your responses: A Community of Learners (6/12/16) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
8th Grade Closing Ceremony
Our 8th grade closing ceremony and goodbye evening will be on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. This evening will be our opportunity to thank and recognize our 8th graders for their years at Blake and wish them well as they head off to high school. Families are welcome, and there will be a reception with refreshments, including allergen-free treats, in the cafeteria following the ceremony. We are hoping for a 'cool weather' evening.
Blake Site Council Survey
The Blake Site Council has taken time to review the data collected from last year's survey. Focus areas on the survey centered on the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. I am sharing the 2014-2015 BMS Executive Summary of the compiled data for your reference, and I hope you are able to find some time to read the highlights.
8th Grade Cookout
The 8th grade cookout will take place Wednesday, June 22. Students will be outside and should be prepared with sunscreen and hats.
Cluster/Advisory Placement Letters
Tentative cluster and advisory assignments will be shared with students/families via a letter that students will receive at the end of the school day on Tuesday, June 21. Transition Day is Wednesday, June 22 and on that day students will get the opportunity to meet their teachers and get a preview of next year's curriculum and grade level events. Clusters and advisories are always subject to change based on budget, staffing, and curricular needs, as well as the possible influx of new students.
This year the process of selecting ADL peer leaders was a difficult one since we had so many caring and qualified applicants, but we were pleased to notify the new crop over the weekend via email. Our first brief meeting will be during the school day on Thursday, June 16th, and training will commence in the fall.
Theme of Empathy for 2016-2017
Our theme for the next academic year at Blake is one of Empathy. We believe that this theme will extend the work we have done over the last five years with our themes of Community, Perseverance, Creativity, Acceptance, and Collaboration. As a staff we have begun brainstorming ideas and I encourage all families to join us in the brainstorming process as well. As ideas and thoughts come to mind, do not hesitate to e-mail me (email@example.com) or Kelly C. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are a few extra yearbooks for sale. If your child forgot to order in the fall, they can bring in a check for $30 (made out to: BLAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL). Please bring all checks to Mrs. Boulos in Room 129. All spring yearbook orders will be placed on a waiting list for the extra books.
Screenagers Follow Up
We were thrilled to host the screening of Screenagers last night and were very pleased with the turnout from the community. I appreciate the open dialogue as we all work together to navigate this journey. We certainly do not have all of the answers, but we enjoyed engaging in this important dialogue as a community of adults who are invested in our students and children. Our in-school screenings and advisory discussions were fruitful and provided a forum for productive conversations and dialogue. To help facilitate conversations at home, I am sharing a link to the handout from last week's community screening.
Screenagers Parent Handout - 6-8-16
This link provides discussion questions that will help frame the student advisory sessions, along with some suggestions for parents/families. I have also attached the 'Parent's Guide' from Screenagers, a resource that outlines a framework for 'Family Screen Time Conversations' and 'Family Action Items'.
Our 'assignment' as a follow up to all students/families...
Have a discussion with your family tonight/this week about 'screen time' and expectations for the remainder of the year and for the summer.
We will be showing this documentary to all incoming 6th grade students during the first few days of school this fall as part of our orientation, and will also be holding some specific parent coffees/forums this fall to continue this conversation. Our staff and Digital Citizenship team will be continuing this work to assure that we are staying current and pertinent as we strive to find the 'best balance' in all aspects of the education of our students. I am grateful to work in a community that is open and willing to engage in this important dialogue. As always, let me know of any questions/concerns - I welcome the feedback.
Peabody Essex Museum - Grade 6
Sixth Grade students attended the Peabody Essex Museum last week. Each cluster traveled on separate days but each received the same two programs. The first program was a visit and lesson on the Yin Yu Tang House. This house was dismantled in a small village in China, shipped across the world, and reassembled in Salem, MA at the museum. Kids were able to walk through the structure and learn about Chinese history and culture. The second program was all about America's trade connections with Asia. This portion of the field trip ties in with our current unit on Trade. Students discovered that merchants collected and brought back artifacts to the museum from their trips overseas. As the kids are learning now, the trade connection established hundreds of years ago is alive today. To help foster a connection between the old and the new, students stayed with their Advisory on days of the field trip and learned about modern trade. Kids discovered about containers, container ships, ports, and new ways to use old containers no longer needed for trade. Overall, the connections students make between PEM and their lives is important. Kids should see how the world they live in today is somewhat similar to the world of 200 hundred years ago. Places in our world have always been closely linked with one another. The uniting factor was and will always be through trade.
Lost and Found Items
The number of items in our Lost and Found has certainly increased! We will be clearing out the Lost and Found after school gets out - I encourage all students and parents/guardians to come take a look.
Field Hockey Meeting
Any current 6th or 7th grader hoping to play Field Hockey for the middle school next year should attend a meeting after school this Friday in the Cafeteria.
Parents, just a reminder, that all library books are now due back in the Blake Library. Students with checked out items were notified last week. Please encourage your child to return any library books promptly so that we can get the Library back in order before the end of the year. If the Library books are not returned, we will unfortunately have to ask for payment. Thanks for your help.
This is a general reminder to all parents to be sure to follow the parking regulations in the parking lots and around the 'flagpole circle'. When dropping off or picking up students, vehicles should not be parked ('stationary' or 'live') in the fire zone. We need to make sure that we are providing a safe environment at all times for our students and community. Thank you for your cooperation.
Blake is always looking for substitute teacher applicants. Applicants need not have teaching licensure but should be energetic, flexible and enjoy working with children. For more information or to apply, please visit medfield.net and find applications under the tab "employment opportunities", the. Professional Staff Openings. Please contact Kelly Campbell at email@example.com with any questions.
Blake Summer Reading 2016
Welcome to the 19th annual edition of the Blake/Dale Summer Reading Program. Each summer, our students are given the opportunity to read a variety of great books for both academic connection and pleasure. The cornerstone of the program is the all-school reading book. This year’s choice is Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. It’s about a 14-year old boy from Japan in the 1840’s. He’s on a fishing boat that sinks in a storm. After nearly drowning, he and some fellow survivors become stranded on a deserted island. They’re stuck on the island and are starving when they’re rescued by an American whaling ship from, of all places, New Bedford, Massachusetts. The ship’s captain ends up taking the 14-year old protagonist, Manjiro or John Mung as he later is known by, back to his home in Massachusetts. John likes his new life in America but also longs to return to Japan to see his family and also to fulfill his dream of becoming a Samurai warrior! Heart of a Samurai is a great book and is based on a true story! Students are asked to read a minimum of one additional book from their grade list, for a minimum total of two books.
THE SUMMER READING INCENTIVE: All students who read a total of 5 books (Heart of a Samurai plus four others from their grade list) will get to skip class and indulge in a free pizza-with-all-of-the-trimmings lunch held in the Blake LMC. To earn this incentive, students will also make a short video, podcast, comic strip or even a short written review etc. about one of the grade list books they’ve read (not Heart of a Samurai!). Sixth grade English teachers will give students more details next September. Students will have until October 1 to turn in their special projects. Feel free to have some fun with this over the summer!
RISING 7TH and 8th GRADE SUMMER READING BOOK SLIDE SHOW: To watch a video on the books for grade rising 7th and 8thgrade students, please visit our website: http://blakelmcproject.wix.com/blakelmc Click on summer reading link to view show. Additional order forms may be printed from the site as well. Please contact Blake Library/Media teacher Jon Haycock with any firstname.lastname@example.org
iPad Planning Inventory for 2016-2017 - Please Complete
As you know we are continuing with our mobile learning program at Blake for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2016-2017 academic year. To help us effectively plan for next year, we are asking all current 5th-7th grade parents/guardians (incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians for the 2016-2017 academic year) to let us know your plans for your student (Lease-to-Own, Bring an iPad from home, Borrow) for next year, by completing this brief survey by Thursday, May 12: iPad Planning Inventory at Blake Middle School for 2016-2017. This inventory is different than the initial survey sent back in January. Please fill out this inventory for each child that will be attending Blake next year. This decision is not binding and we recognize that your plans may change - confirmation and final decisions will be made by mid-June, 2016. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief inventory and am hoping for 100% participation.
We have outlined the Blake Mobile Learning Initiative Participation Options (Lease-to-Own, Bring an iPad from home, Borrow) for Blake students for this program. We are committed to providing an equitable learning experience for our students and appreciate the shared commitment and investment in the education of our students. As such we have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need.
The 'minimum specifications' will still remain as the iPad 4, meaning the following are acceptable devices for students to use: iPad4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, or iPad Air. The device selected by the students/families will suffice for the students' needs in school as long as Apple continues to update the OS (operating system) on that device. If your family intends to purchase a new device this year, then the iPad4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, or iPad Air are the recommended devices. Our work over the last four years has provided a foundation as our teachers and staff continue to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of this initiative. It is important to keep in mind that teachers and students will be following the same curriculum frameworks and the common core Blake curriculum.
For your reference I am sharing links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Blake Mobile Learning Blog
Blake iPad Program Update for 16-17
Blake Mobile Learning General Information (has articles, background information, and philosophy)
Blake Mobile Learning FAQs 16-17
Blake Mobile Learning Initiative Participation Options
iPad Program Estimated Lease-to-Own Pricing Structure 16-17
We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with meaningful technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive and relevant learning experience. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
Blake Site Council 16-17 Survey
The Blake Site Council has been working on the development of our annual survey to students and parents. A similar survey has been administered the last three years and we are committed to having parents and students take it each year 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 and assess progress towards our mission. 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 Middle School Parent Survey March, 2016
K-8 PTO Update
WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR! THANK YOU to all our generous supporters and volunteers that helped us during the 2015-2016 school year. Medfield K-8 PTO raised $105,000 for our schools and children. We couldn’t do it without you! Please visit our website to see a list of enrichment programs, events, items and more that we funded this school year.
The Blake PTO is proud to report that the following programs and purchases were made possible by our many volunteers and supporters. Thank you all for helping us enrich the education of our youth here at Blake Middle School.
Sponsors initiatives such as author visits and special programs:
- Shakespeare Now Theater performance for 6th grade
- Journey North Science programfor 6th grade
- Canoe Trip for 8th grade
- Jessica Cox Presentation
- Fun with Science: Pyramids/Pharaohs
- Drumming artist in residence for 6th grade
Five MacBooks for the LMC
Theater wall art
Teacher appreciation lunches
Supplies for nurse’s office
8th grade cookout
8th grade closing ceremony
VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP for 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR Please review the open volunteer positions for the 2016-2017 school year and sign-up to help the Blake community. We can’t do it without you!
BLAKE VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP FORM
SPRING CLEAN UP - ONGOING BAY STATE TEXTILE FUNDRAISER An easy fundraiser that generates $100 per ton on textiles collected for the Medfield K-8 PTO, saves the town $$$ on disposal fees and helps the environment! For more information, go to our website and visit Bay State Textiles.
Please like us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO , follow us on Twitter MedfieldK8PTO , follow us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/medfieldk8pto/and check out our website http://medfieldpto.weebly.com
Time is running out! Friday June 17th is the last day to thank your child’s teacher while supporting the innovative things they do by using the MCPE Blue Ribbon Program. This year alone, through your support, Blake has received over $43,000 in grants. http://www.medfieldcoalition.org/events-programs/blue-ribbon-program/
Please click here for Thursday Packet Information.