9/9 - Grade 8 Parent Information Night (6:30 p.m.)
8th Grade Trip Info Mtg (6:00 p.m.)
9/10 - Grade 7 Parent Information Night (6:30 p.m.)
Nature's Classroom Info Mtg (6:00 p.m.)
9/11 - Recognition of September 11, 2001 (see details below)
One-day Blake Food Drive (see details below)
9/14 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
9/15 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m.)
9/16 - Picture Day
9/17 - Grade 6 Parent Information Night (6:30 p.m.
Grade 6 Band/Chorus/Orchestra Mtgs (6:00 p.m.)
9/18 - Heather Abbott Visit
9/23 - Yom Kippur (No School)
10/5-10/8 - Nature's Classroom for 7th Grade
10/9 - Teacher Professional Day (No School for Students)
10/12 - Columbus Day (No School)
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about Labor Day and Blake's theme of collaboration for 2015-2016, our topic/question for the dinner table is: Labor Day and 9/11 are two dates in September that (infuse/are introduced into) the lives of Americans annually. Labor Day is a day often reserved for family events and outings; 9/11 is a day often reserved for gatherings and remembrances. For different reasons, both end up being more memorable when coupled with good collaboration. If you would like, click on this Google form link to answer one question: Collaboration Question 9-8-15
Parent Information Nights
Our Parent Information Nights (PINs) will take place on Wednesday, September 9 for grade eight, Thursday, September 10 for grade seven, and Thursday, September 17 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. There will be an optional meeting on Wednesday, September 9 at 6:00 p.m. for eighth grade parents interested in learning about the trip to Washington, D.C. There will be an optional meeting on Thursday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m. for seventh grade parents interested in hearing final details about the trip to Nature's Classroom. Sixth grade chorus, band, and orchestra parents are invited to informational meetings at 6:00 p.m. on September 17, prior to PIN.
Recognition of September 11
September 11, 2015 will mark the fourteenth 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 fourteen years ago was the importance of community and looking out for one another. In that spirit, and to continue a tradition started three years ago, Blake will be helping its own Medfield community by holding a one day collection for the Medfield Food Cupboard. We will be helping the Food Cupboard with grade-level drives at other times of the year. The items they are in need of at this time juice boxes, juice, individual raisin packets, canned pasta (spaghettios, ravioli), kid friendly cereal, canned fruit, individual fruit cups, peanut butter, jelly/jam, and canned chicken. Donations will be collected in the guidance office on Friday, September 11.
Mobile Learning Update
In our continued effort to support families with the integration of technology, I am sharing a link to a 'customizable device contract' from Common Sense Media...
Tablet Family Contract
As noted at the top of the front page of this link, it is important to talk with your children about how the device will be used at home. The suggested guidelines will help assure open and consistent communication so that you are 'on the same page'. The form is customizable to allow for variances in approaches from family to family. We are strongly encouraging all Blake families to take the time to fill out this contract, post it in a 'public' location in your house (i.e. refrigerator), and keep a copy in a secure location. Starting off the year with clear guidelines and 'house rules' will be the first step to a productive and successful experience. Should issues arise throughout the year, it will serve as a solid reference point for resolutions.
On the school's end, we are having a digital citizenship talk/forum this week with each grade about managing and learning how to set up good study habits using the device. We will also be holding technology workshops for parents throughout the year. In addition we will be taking time in school to formally review the Responsible Use Agreement that must be reviewed/signed by all students and parents...
Responsible Use Agreement
This is a reminder that all students and parents/guardians must ‘sign off’ on the respective forms via these links - (2015-16 Student Responsible Use Guidelines - Student Sign-Off and 2015-16 Student Responsible Use Guidelines - Parent/Guardian Sign-Off ). Students must be logged into their school Google accounts to access the form. Please have your students login to their e-mail accounts for the forms to be completed. If you have any difficulty accessing the forms, contact our Technology Integration Specialist, Diane Horvath (firstname.lastname@example.org). As a reminder, it is the student's responsibility to make sure that iPads are fully charged each night. We recommend the bedside table of parents/guardians as a charging station at night.
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 6:30 am on Monday, October 5 for the annual trip to Nature's Classroom on Lake George. Students should arrive between 6:10 and 6:20 am and report directly to their bus.You will be contacted if you have any outstanding paper work or money due. On Thursday, 9/10, we will go over the roommate process with the students during science class and give them a sheet outlining final details for the trip. The sheet can be found at this link Nature's Classroom Final Details. The same information will be presented at the seventh grade PIN on Thursday, 9/10 at 6:00pm. If you have any questions, please contact Judy Silva, email@example.com. In addition, please be sure to contact Trisha Williams regarding any medical needs, allergies, or health concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-242-8554). We are looking forward to the trip!
Book Discussion Group for Parents - Stay Tuned!
As shared at the end of the 14-15 year and in the summer blog update, I am hoping to initiate a book discussion group for parents for this year. The book will be HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Reading it has been centering and thought-provoking - as I have said before, I am not sure I agree with everything, but it certainly has sparked reflection and introspection. Stay tuned!
Twitter Accounts (@nat_vaughn and @BlakeOffice) and Blake/Medfield Hashtags (#bmsed, #bmstech, and #MedfieldPS)
We have established the hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events and (#bmstech) for technology tweets of interest at Blake, so be sure to check them out! My account is @nat_vaughn, and I will continue to tweet up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles of interest on a daily or more frequent basis. We have also established a Blake School account (@blakeoffice) and hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events, so be sure to check it out!
Students are not permitted to take bus rides home with friends on other buses without prior approval through Central Offices. If you have any questions, please contact Phyllis Montillo (email@example.com or (508) 359-4978).
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 Friday, September 11, 2015 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 link to the homework pages is here - Blake Homework Pages. 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.
Guidance Twitter Account
This year, Blake Guidance has joined the Twitterverse. Follow Tracy Allen, Matt Marenghi and Jen Dondero at @BlakeMsGuidance for updates from their office.
Fall intramurals at Blake will begin in early October. Look for signup information on the intramural page of the website the week of September 15. Parents/guardians are welcome to run intramurals as well. If you have any questions, thoughts, or suggestions, please contact Matt Marenghi (email@example.com).
Arts in Education Week
Next week (9/13-9/19) is Arts in Education Week. I have shared this with our art and music departments. Please keep this in mind in your classes, advisory, and with students and families. Building off Blake's theme of Creativity from 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.
Blake Theater is going to be even better than ever this year. Our program is Trumpet of the Swan in February and Beauty and the Beast in April. We have a new website (blaketheater.weebly.com) where all important information and forms will be located. An informational meeting will take place in early October. Auditions will take place at the end of October. Crew will be starting around that time as well. Please let Ms. Allen, Mrs. Caprio or Mrs. Deveno know if you have any questions.
Blake Poetry Club
Welcome all creative souls. Whether you write in a journal, write an occasional haiku, or are just interested in poetry or creative writing this poetry club could be the place for you. Join Grace Sowyrda, a Medfield Girl Scout and honors student. Learn about different types of poetry, play games and experiment with words in a low stress playful atmosphere. Learn to share work with others or even publish and publicize your own poetry. If you have any questions or are interested, please e-mail Grace - firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students interested in running for the Blake Cross Country Team should stop by the cafeteria for a brief meeting on Tuesday 9/8 at 2:00. If you are unable to attend the meeting, information can be picked up in the office. Practice will be Thursday and Friday this week and Mon. through Thurs. going forward. Practices and meets are optional and the focus is on building endurance and having fun running with fellow classmates.
Volleyball for Eighth Grade Girls
The first girls volleyball meeting will be this Wednesday, 9/9 after school. The first game is on the 22nd; practices begin the week before. May the stars shine upon us again this season. - Coach Hellerstein
K-8 PTO News
Medfield CSA is now……..Medfield K-8 PTO. Please join us for our September town-wide PTO meeting on Wednesday, September 9th @ 7PM at Blake and the September Blake PTO meeting on Wednesday, September 16th @ 7PM. You will learn about all the new and exciting things the PTO is doing in town and at Blake. Check out our new website http://medfieldpto.weebly.com, like us on Facebook @ Medfield K-8 PTO and follow us on twitter @MedfieldK8PT0 to keep in touch with the latest and greatest news! You can also check out the Blake PTO volunteer form on our website to get involved with the organization. We appreciate all your help and support! Be on the lookout for the informative Medfield K-8 PTO magnet coming home with your student soon!
Medfield Day. Please look for the Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) booth on Medfield Day, Saturday, September 19th. We will be located right outside the Montrose School on North Street. Enter our children's book raffle and try your luck in our prize raffle to win an amazing Medfield basket. Come learn about our exciting plans for this year and the many ways you and MCPE can work together to help enrich your children's education.
Save the date! Trivia is back! Mark your calendars for the return of MCPE's Community Trivia Night and Student Trivia Challenge. Trivia Night, for those ages 21 and over, is scheduled for Friday, November 13th at 7 pm at the American Legion AND Student Trivia Challenge, for middle and high schoolers, is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10 after school in the Medfield High School Cafeteria. Visit www.medfieldcoalition.org in early September for more details and to register your team. All proceeds will fund enrichment programs for Medfield Public Schools. And, as always, thank you for making the success of our schools a community effort!!