September 3 - First Day of School
September 5 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
September 9 - CSA Mtg (7:00 p.m. in Blake LMC)
September 11 - Grade 8 PIN (7:00 p.m.)
Washington, D.C. Info Mtg for Parents (6:30 p.m.)
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 (7:00 p.m.)
Band/Chorus/Orchestra Info Mtg for 6th Grade Parents (6:30 p.m.)
September 20 - Teacher Professional Day (No School for Students)
September 26 - Social Media Trends #medfieldkidsonline Part 1 (see details below)
October 1 - Social Media Trends #medfieldkidsonline Part 2 (see details below)
October 8-11 - 7th Grade to Nature's Classroom
October 14 - Columbus Day (No School)
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, please be sure to contact Tricia Williams regarding any medical needs, allergies, or health concerns (email@example.com or 508-242-8554). We are looking forward to the trip!
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.
From the Math Department
The Bake Middle School Math Department would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back to school! The faculty and staff at Blake has been busy preparing the arrival of our students. As the new school year begins, there are some things you may wish to do to help prepare your child for math class. First, all students will need a calculator as described in the Blake Middle School Supply List. Whether it is a basic, four-function calculator or a scientific calculator, it is important your child be familiar with the calculator you have purchased. We encourage students to use the same calculator at home and at school in an effort to maximize success in math class. Please reach out to your child's teacher if you have any questions.
Additionally, you may wish to familiarize yourself with Internet resources as you support your child in math. We recommend http://www.ixl.com/math/ for practice of basic math skills and http://www.khanacademy.org for help with math topics. Your child's teacher will also direct you to other computer-based resources, as the year gets under way. Enjoy the 2013-2014 school year!
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.
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.
All emergency medications such as EpiPens for severe allergies and inhalers for asthma must be submitted to our school nurse, Tricia Williams, by Friday, September 13, 2013 along with completed medication orders. Please contact Mrs. Williams at (508) 242-8554 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Online Homework Posting System
This year we will be continuing our system for posting the homework on our website. The setup is still being finalized, but the information will be posted through 'googledocs', and it can be found via the website. Once it is fully functional, directions will be conveyed to all students and families. The primary mode for students' understanding and recording of the homework for the given night is from the teacher and the posted homework in the classroom. The information that will be on the website is intended to serve as a 'back-up' resource. Due to the inherent challenges of technology that arise from time to time (servers, e-mail, etc.), we can not always guarantee that the website will be 100% accurate and reliable. However, we hope that it will help students and parents as an additional source of information.
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 (email@example.com).
While enjoying Medfield Day, please visit the MCPE booth (#97) which 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. Finally, don't 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.
Welcome back! The Blake CSA is ready to begin another great year with new board members, activity and committee leaders. Please join us on September 9th at 7pm in the Blake LMC for our first meeting of the year. Come and hear about the great plans for the school year!!
Many thanks to Jim James at Park St. Books who donated 40% of all sales from the Summer Reading Book Sale raising over $1300 for the Blake CSA. Park St. Books has generously donated thousands of dollars over the years to help support the Blake library in purchasing new books to enhance our students' educational experience, in addition to helping to provide great reading material for our students over the summer vacation. We are extremely grateful for their continued support of this important program/fundraiser.
Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered to help with food and beverages for the Blake Back to School teacher luncheon on August 27. The event was a big success--the teachers and staff were absolutely delighted with the spread! We look forward to a terrific year and are grateful for our fantastic volunteers!
*Please note that we will be updating the Blake hospitality volunteer list for the new school year and you'll need to sign up again if you wish to remain on the list.
We look forward to seeing you on September 9th!