September 4 - First Day of School
September 7 - CSA Mtg (9:30 a.m. in Blake LMC)
September 13 - Grades 7/8 PIN (7 p.m.)
8th Grade Washington, D.C. Trip Parent Presentation (6:30 p.m.)
September 17 - Rosh Hashanah; No School
September 19-20 - Stars Canoe/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip
September 20 - Grade 6 PIN (7 p.m.)
Band/Orchestra/Chorus Parent Presentations (6:30 p.m.)
September 21, 25 - Eagles Canoe/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip
September 26 - Yom Kippur; No School
September 28 - Picture Day
October 2-3 - Stripes Canoe/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip
October 5 - Teacher Day; No School for Students
October 8 - Columbus Day; No School
October 9-12 - 7th Grade to Nature's Classroom
We have two openings for parent representatives (Grade 6 and Grade 8) on the Blake Middle School Site Council. The Site Council meets monthly to review issues and discuss initiatives for the Blake Middle School community. The Council is also responsible for developing the annual School Improvement Plan and monitors progress with the plan throughout the year. Members include the administration, teacher representatives, and members of the community. The meetings are typically held once a month on Monday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. Serving on the Site Council is a wonderful way to get involved in your child's education and have an active and positive role in improving the Blake Middle School experience. Interested parents should send a letter of interest, indicating their desire and rationale for involvement, to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, September 7. If multiple parents express interest, an election will take place at the respective parent nights. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Seventh Grade Trip to Nature's Classroom
The seventh grade will be leaving at 6:15am on Tuesday, October 9th 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!
Locks and Phones
This year all students will be required to bring in a combination lock with which to lock their hallway lockers. They will give their combination to their advisory teacher for safekeeping in the event that they forget it. In order to give students time to practice using their lock and become comfortable with it, we recommend that families consider purchasing it in June so that students may practice using it throughout the summer.
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.
This is a reminder that 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 are taking 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 Thursday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m. for grades seven and eight and Thursday, September 20 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 20, prior to PIN. There will be an optional meeting on Thursday, September 13 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.
Eighth Grade Canoe Field Trip
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. A copy of the form can be found on the Forms and Documents tab of this blog.
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 14, 2012 along with completed medication orders. Please contact Mrs. Williams at (508) 242-8554 or email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.
Online Homework Posting System
This year we will be implementing a new system for posting the homework on our website. The setup is still being established, 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.
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. We are committed to taking the time to make thoughtful, informed decisions and the district survey that was administered this past winter was part of this process. In many school districts, the iPad has become a preferred educational tool for a wide variety of reasons: flexibility, portability, and engagement, to name a few. Along these lines, Blake Middle School has an opportunity this academic year to explore the potential benefit of these devices by having one cluster of students and teachers participate in a yearlong pilot program during the 2012-2013 academic year. We believe that a pilot study will allow our teachers and staff to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of the iPads, 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 Stars cluster in the 8th 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.
Fall intramurals at Blake will begin the week of October 1, 2012. Look for signup information on the intramural page of the website the week of September 24. 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).
Vietnam Memorial Project
Donations for this project can be made out to 'Medfield Foundation' with 'Veterans Plaque Fund' noted on the check or enclosure. These donations can be dropped off at the Blake Main Office or at Lord's. Thank you in advance for your support.
Come join us for our first CSA meeting of the year on Friday, September 7 at 9:30 a.m. in the Blake library.
Meadow Farms Fundraiser: It's that time of year and the holidays are right around the corner. Let us help you get started on your shopping. This year our Meadow Farms Fundraiser begins on Friday, September 7th with a Kick Off Meeting at Blake and it will run until Friday, September 21st. There are multiple benefits to this fundraiser ... it's a great opportunity to get your holiday shopping started early with the gifts delivered to you, it is one of our biggest fundraisers helping raise funds for our school activities such as theater performances, scholarships, author visits, socials, etc. and, it provides our 8th graders with an opportunity to earn money towards their Washington DC trip account. It's a win-win-win situation! Packets will be sent home with students on Friday, September 7th and include catalogues and order forms. Online orders may also be placed, instructions are enclosed in the packet. Please be sure to return all order forms and payments to school and drop them in the collection box in the Main Office on or before Friday, September 21st. As a bonus for the students, for every 6 items sold, 1 raffle ticket will be entered in the student’s name for a chance to win one of three prizes – an Apple IPAD, IPod Touch or IPod Nano. Thank you for supporting Blake and our students.