September 11 - Recognition of September 11, 2001 (see details below)
Grade 8 PIN (7:00 p.m.)
Washington, D.C. Info Mtg for Parents (6:30 p.m.)
September 16 - Picture Day at Blake
September 17 - Grade 7 PIN (7:00 p.m.)
Nature's Classroom Info Mtg for Parents (6:30 p.m.)
September 18 - Grade 6 PIN
Band/Chorus/Orchestra Info Mtg for 6th Grade Parents (6:30 p.m.)
September 20 - Teacher Professional Day (No School for Students)
September 24, 27 - Charles River/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip for Stars Cluster
September 26 - Social Media Trends #medfieldkidsonline Part 1 (see details below)
October 1 - Social Media Trends #medfieldkidsonline Part 2 (see details below)
October 1, 3 - Charles River/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip for Eagles Cluster
October 8-11 - 7th Grade to Nature's Classroom
October 8-9 - Charles River/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip for Stripes Cluster
October 10, 11, 15 - Charles River/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip Rain Dates
October 14 - Columbus Day (No School)
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help bring the topic of creativity and failure into the conversations this week, our 'Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table' this week are: Why is it a good thing when we try something creative and fail? Who can you name who went on to do amazing creative and innovative things after meeting up with failure?
Recognition of September 11
Tomorrow, September 11, 2013 will mark the twelfth anniversary of the tragic events that transpired on September 11, 2001. To help commemorate all those who were affected by the events that took place, we are encouraging everyone, in an appropriate and respectful manner, to wear the colors of red, white, and blue. One of the lessons we were all reminded of twelve years ago was the importance of community and looking out for one another. In that spirit, and to continue a tradition started two years ago, Blake will be helping its own Medfield community by holding a one day collection for the Medfield Food Cupboard. The items they are in need of are juice, cereal, white tuna, canned chicken, jelly, canned fruits, rice, and pasta sauce. Donations will be collected in the guidance office on Wednesday, September 11.
Picture Day at Blake is Monday, September 16. All students should have received Picture Day forms from their advisors. If you have any questions, contact Debbie Avery in the Guidance office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eighth grade students should be sure to turn in their Swim Test Forms for our Charles River Community Awareness field trip this September. Completed forms should be dropped off at the main office at Blake.
Parent Information Nights
Our Parent Information Nights (PIN's) will take place on Wednesday, September 11 for grade eight, Tuesday, September 17 for grade seven, and Wednesday, September 18 for grade six. These nights will provide you with an opportunity to visit your student's classrooms and hear about the curriculum and exciting programs that will take place throughout the year. Sixth grade chorus, band, and orchestra parents are invited to informational meetings at 6:30 p.m. on September 18, prior to PIN. There will be an optional meeting on Wednesday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. for eighth grade parents interested in hearing about the trip to Washington, D.C. We will send out reminders and more details on all of these meetings as we get closer to the actual dates.
Seventh Grade Trip to Nature's Classroom
The seventh grade will be leaving at 6:15am on Tuesday, October 8 for the annual trip to Nature's Classroom on Lake George. You will be contacted if you have any outstanding paperwork or money due. A packing list will be sent home and posted on the website next week. If you have any questions, please contact Judy Silva, email@example.com. In addition, please be sure to contact Tricia Williams regarding any medical needs, allergies, or health concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-242-8554). We are looking forward to the trip!
Arts in Education Month
The month of September is 'Arts in Education' month (Arts in Education). With Blake's theme of Creativity for 2013-2014, we are looking forward to highlighting the arts throughout this month (and the year). Please keep this in mind when talking to your students about cultural events, music, and the arts with your children this month.
Twitter Account (@nat_vaughn)
As many of you know, I encourage parents/guardians to explore the world of Twitter. For the past year I have used this technology as a communication and resource tool for both the Blake community and my own learning network. If you are interested in exploring with me, my account is @nat_vaughn. In addition to the weekly blog to our community, I plan on continuing tweeting up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles of interest on a daily or more frequent basis. We have established the hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events, so be sure to check it out! Admittedly I had some reservations at first, but Diane Horvath (one of our Technology Integration Specialists) encouraged me to get out of my 'comfort zone' - thanks, Diane! This is by no means an expectation for anyone, but I thought you may find it of interest - I have found the 'dialogue and network' via Twitter to be relevant, engaging, tangible, and simply put - useful.
There are two ways to get my tweets...
1. To get the 'real feel' for Twitter- you should sign up for your own twitter account and follow me. This works well when you use the twitter app to get the live feed.
2. Go to this link: http://twitter.com/nat_vaughn where you'll be able to see all my tweets without a twitter account.
Social Media Trends #medfieldkidsonline
The Medfield Wellness and Technology Departments present a 2-part parent information series. Please join us for one or both evenings.
Part 1: Thursday, September 26th at 7 p.m.
Blake Middle School Auditorium
An evening for parents of 4th -8th graders, with Dr. Elizabeth Englander, a professor of psychology and the director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University. MARC is an organization founded with the purpose of understanding and reducing bullying and cyberbullying. Dr. Englander will answer your questions about supervising and guiding your children through their use of social media, as well as other concerns related to cyberbullying. Submit your questions in advance, anonymously through this link, http://socialmediatrends/medfield2013 also available on the Blake Middle School and Dale St. School websites.
Part 2: Tuesday, October 1st at 7p.m.
Blake Middle School Auditorium
Have you been on Snapchat? Twitter? AskFM? Instagram? Did you know that kids can text without a phone? Find out more!
An evening for parents of 4th -8th graders, with Medfield's Director of Technology, Eoin O'Corcora and Technology Integration Specialist, Diane Horvath. Learn more about these popular social media trends, how to find and use them, and how to monitor your child's usage.
In order to minimize distraction during the school day, all cell phones will need to be off and locked in lockers next year during school hours. Students will not be permitted to carry phones during the day. If a student needs to make a phone call, phones are available in the guidance office and the main office. In addition, if a parent needs to contact a student during the school day, please call the main office and we are happy to get messages to students throughout the day. As always, students are discouraged from bringing valuable and distracting items to school.
In an effort to keep all valuables safe, all Blake students are required to have locks on their lockers and the lockers should remain locked at all times. Combinations will be given to advisory teachers for safekeeping in the event that they are forgotten. In addition, students are not permitted to bring in baked goods (cookies, cakes, etc.) to celebrate birthdays or personal events. There are many students who have food allergies and other dietary needs, and it is important that we continue to provide all of our students with a safe and healthy environment. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. Today we took some time with each grade level to impress upon the students the importance of safety at all times. As noted in the opening letter to families, we reminded the students of the Blake Middle School Guidelines for appropriate attire. We are confident that good judgment on the part of students and parents will result in the wearing of clothing that will contribute to a respectful academic environment and educational atmosphere. We emphasized and reminded students that 'summer/beach attire' is not the same as 'school ready attire'. At Blake, we endeavor to remove as many distractions from the day as possible so that students are able to focus on the most important aspect of their day - learning.
All emergency medications such as EpiPens for severe allergies and inhalers for asthma must be submitted to our school nurse, Tricia Williams, by this Friday, September 13, 2013 along with completed medication orders. Please contact Mrs. Williams at (508) 242-8554 or email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.
As you are aware, a significant element of our Administrative Technology Team's recent work, in conjunction with the increased implementation of technology in our schools, has been the exploration of a uniform, school-wide platform for mobile devices in the classrooms. During the 2012-2013 academic year the Stars cluster in 8th grade were involved in a yearlong pilot with iPad devices and we are excited to be expanding these efforts to an all-grade iPad initiative for the entire 8th grade class for the 2013-2014 school year. Although the pilot was successful and we are excited about this endeavor, from a school-wide and district perspective, we are committed to taking the time to make thoughtful, informed decisions in this work before we make a vertical commitment to one device or approach. I am thrilled to announce that Blake has an exciting opportunity this academic year to explore the potential benefit of Google's Nexus 10 tablets by having one cluster of students and teachers participate in a yearlong pilot program during the 2013-2014 academic year. Similar to the approach we took with iPads, we believe that the pilot study will allow our teachers and staff to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of these devices, while assessing their feasibility and impact on a small scale before any full-scale changes are in place. Feedback from this pilot program will be a critical factor in both the school and district's future implementation and direction we will take with technology. For the process of establishing the pilot cluster, teams of teachers put forth proposals to be considered for the program, and the Koalas cluster in the 6th grade has been designated as our pilot cluster. It is important to keep in mind that teachers and students on this cluster will be following the same curriculum frameworks and will be following the same common core Blake curriculum as their peers in the other clusters. To assure and maintain classroom consistency and device management, and stay true to the guiding principles of our pilot program, we are currently not permitting other students to bring their mobile devices into Blake Middle School. We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing our findings and developments throughout the year.
Google Apps for Education
In addition to these 'device-oriented' initiatives, all students and staff at Blake will be using Google Apps for Education. This domain will enhance our students' ability to access, collaborate, and share what they have been learning in school. We will be providing students with their logins for Google Apps during the first few days of school, and these accounts will help facilitate the communication and workflow for students and staff. These applications are secure and are different from public Google applications (such as Gmail), as they are managed by the district and therefore have stricter filtering and content controls. For an overview and more information about the benefits of Google Apps, please refer to this link: Google Apps Overview. More information will be coming home at the start of school.
Fall intramurals at Blake will begin in early October. Look for signup information on the intramural page of the website the week of September 23. Parents/guardians are welcome to run intramurals as well. If you have any questions, thoughts, or suggestions, please contact Brian Gavaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Middle School Cross Country
All student athletes interested in running Middle School Cross Country, please complete the following by Wed. 9/11 in order to participate
1. Register online at the link below
2. Provide copy of physical
3. Provide check
While enjoying Medfield Day (9/21) please visit the MCPE booth, #97. It will be located in front of the Montrose School on North Street. The MCPE will be selling $5 raffle tickets for a chance to win a pair of tickets to our May 2nd “Spring Fling” (value $150)! Also, enter your name into a FREE drawing to win one of our five children and young adult books. You won't want to miss the debut of MCPE's new logo! Hope to see you there.
“MCPE Community Trivia Night” has been set for Friday, November 15th at 7 pm at The Center at Medfield on Ice House Road. Teams of up to four adult players can register after September 21st at www.MedfieldCoalition.org. The cost is $100 per team.
BLAKE FALL FUNDRAISER
September 12 - 30
We are excited to announce this year's fall fundraiser at Blake will be through Innisbrook. Innisbrook offers beautiful wraps for all occasions, kitchen utensils and accessories, gourmet foods, magazines, jewelry, and more. There is something for everyone, so start your holiday shopping early and help support our school at the same time! Information will be coming home with your child on September 12. Proceeds from this fundraiser support Blake, activities, presentations, field trips and more for the students. Your support is greatly appreciated.