2/14 - Happy Valentine's Day!
2/15 - Strings SIDE Concert
2/17 - Blake Volleyball Tournament
2/20-2/24 - February Vacation
3/1 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Information Night (6:30 p.m.)
3/2 - Read Across America
Incoming 9th Grade Parent Information Night (6:30 p.m.)
3/6 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m. in Blake LMC)
3/9 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Information Night (6:30 p.m.)
3/10 - Blake Science Fair
3/13 - Safe Learning Environment Parent Presentation (see details below)
3/16 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Information Night (6:30 p.m.)
Topic/Question for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations and dialogue about empathy, listening, and perspectives, our topic/question for the dinner table is: How can we be better listeners? Improving Our Listening (Week of 2/12/17) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
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 (email@example.com). Link to the survey: Blake Middle School Parent Survey February 2017
The Blake Site Council has taken time to review the data collected from last year's survey. The Blake Middle School Executive Summary 15-16 of the compiled data is here for your reference, and I hope you are able to find some time to read the highlights.
Medfield Talks Presentation - Michael Delman - 2/28/17
Achieving Santiy & Success - How to Help Your Child Focus, Plan, and Manage...For School and Beyond
Featuring Michael Delman, CEO, Beyond BookSmart
"Teaching Executive Function strategies is about helping young people find capacities in themselves that they didn't know they had."
Tuesday, February 28
Medfield High School Auditorium
Click here to reserve a free seat
Fostering A Safe Learning Environment for Our Students and Community - Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m.
Schools are supposed to be a place where all students can learn. They need to be a place where students can explore who they are and find their strengths and work on their weaknesses. All groups should be accepted so that they can flourish and become contributing members of society. - Peter DeWitt
Please join us for an introductory parent presentation and discussion with Colby Swettberg and Blake educators as we discuss how to best foster a safe learning environment for our community, specifically our LBGTQ youth and families. As outlined below, this event will lay the foundation for our upcoming work we will be doing with our students, staff, and the greater community to assure an inclusive atmosphere of respect, acceptance, and understanding. It is is an opportunity for parents and community members to learn more about this endeavor and get answers to questions that exist. The evening will include...
- Sharing of vocabulary, terminology, and legal updates/implications for schools
- Panel discussion of educators, parents, and mental health providers
- Outline future programming for Blake students (see timeline below)
- Question and answer forum
3/6 - Blake Staff Meeting - Workshop with Colby Swettberg
3/6 - Blake Site Council Meeting - Discussion with Blake Site Council (this meeting is open for all parents and community members)
3/13 - Parent and Community Presentation/Discussion (see outline above)
3/20, 3/21, 3/24 - Work and Presentations with Blake students in Cluster and Advisories focused on fostering a safe learning environment for all of our students at Blake
Our core values at Blake help guide our work, and we must continue to remind and assure our students that Blake is a safe school for all students and adults and our efforts and expectations remain steadfast to both welcome and embrace all learners. Ours is a culture of acceptance and inclusivity, regardless of one's race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. As such, it is important that we continue to live by these three principles...
- Every individual at Blake (students, staff, parents, and the greater community) matters, is cared for, and is an important piece of the Blake fabric.
- We are a community of learners who must 'practice what we preach'.
- We must always be present and continue to be here for one another.
Safe Learning Environment Parent/Community Evening RSVP Form (3/13/17)
Fleece Drive - Community Service Club
The community service club is collecting fleece blankets to make toys for the Medfield Animal shelter. Donations can be dropped off in Mr. Gow's room by Friday, February 17. Thank You!
Term 2 Interim Reports
Last week students brought home their interim reports for the second term. They spent time in their advisories reflecting upon the work they have accomplished thus far, and setting healthy/measured goals for the second half of the term. Our hope is that this communication tool will give you an update on the progress your child is making in school. If you have any questions about your child's work or the reports, please start by having a conversation with your own child. If questions still exist, you should contact the teacher directly to gain more insight. All outstanding interim report 'sign-off' sheets need to be handed into advisors asap.
ADL Peer Leaders Visit 6th Grade
Our ADL Peer Leaders are excited to work with the 6th grade advisories this coming Friday, February 10. They will be teaching a lesson called "The Diversity Iceberg" which emphasizes that what you can see about a person is only a little bit of who they entirely are. From there they will run an activity called "Human Dominoes" which is a fun way for the students to learn what they might have in common with each other. The Peer Leaders will then join the 6th graders for lunch in the cafeteria.
Blake Celebrates Read Across America On Dr. Seuss's Birthday
"Let's create a day to celebrate reading. We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don't we do something to get kids excited about reading? - Read Across America Founders, 1997
Blake will be Reading Across America, along with thousands of other schools in every state, on Thursday, March 2. We’ve decided this year for staff and students to concentrate on favorite books from childhood – what memories do they evoke? Why the book was important to you? Do you still carry any message from the story etc.? Each Advisory will spend their Sustained Silent Reading period on the 2nd sharing their favorites. Please feel free to reminisce with your sons and daughters about books you've read together during their younger years. An official announcement will go out next week.
Blake Volleyball Tournament
Blake Middle School will be holding its annual volleyball tournament for 6th-8th graders on Friday, February 17. Students have been working hard on their volleyball skills over the past few weeks and have been competing against their fellow classmates. We will determine a champion for each grade and that team will then take on the teachers. It promises to be an exciting day and a great way to head into vacation!
At the midpoint of the year we are looking to build up our 'supplies' for indoor recess. We are looking for donations from families to provide options for students during this time: table tennis, table football, board games, etc. Any donations are welcome and can be dropped off in the main office - thank you in advance for your help!
Blake Ledger Update
The Blake Ledger has been updated - check it out!
iPad Case Reminder
This is a gentle reminder that all students should have cases on their iPads at all times. Three websites that we have found to be useful, as they detail the various covers, rates them, and describes why covers are needed, are:
Recommended by Apple: STM Dux Case
Griffin Survivor Case
Top 5 Rugged iPad Cases
Next-Generation MCAS Dates for Blake Students
All of our Blake students will be participating in the Next-Generation MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) assessments this spring. Our grade 8 students are required to take the computer-based assessments for both English Language Arts and Mathematics, and these will be administered on district-owned Chromebooks. All of our students will be taking assessments for English Language Arts and Mathematics, and our grade 8 students will also be taking the Science and Technology/Engineering assessment. If you would like more information regarding these assessments, please visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/. Below are the administration dates for these assessments...
ELA (4/25, 4/26)
Math (5/18, 5/19)
ELA (4/27, 4/28)
Math (5/16, 5/17)
ELA (4/4, 4/5, 4/7)
Math (5/4, 5/5)
Sci/Tech/Eng (5/10, 5/11)
Make-up testing will take place when students return from their absence(s), provided that their return takes place within the testing window determined by the Commonwealth. We appreciate your assistance in looking at these dates and being mindful to try and avoid medical/dental appointments or conflicts with these assessments. As always, do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
8Gr Innovation Lab
This class has moved into the actual design thinking challenge of inventing a gadget for good that solves a school-based problem for students or teachers. At this point, each team has defined their problem with a point of view statement and gained empathy for that user or client. Some of the problems have to do with keeping their locker safe, managing students in the library after school, and being able to lights on and off remotely. On another note, TEAM DASH (Emery, Molly, & Elisabeth), John S, and two 6th graders, Zoe and Brennan were selected to attend the Learn Launch -Across the Boundaries Conference at the Hyne's Convention Center to be apart of the Student Innovation Showcase. They represented Blake well in the one minute pitch and poster session by sharing how we're using Design Thinking in their learning. Bravo to them!
Visit the Innovation Lab website to see evolving class curriculum and new blog to document the students' experience.
6Gr Coding Class
The second 8 week rotation came to an end. The final project was to apply the basic foundations of coding in designing their own game from scratch using the Hopscotch App! They were challenged to identify a goal/purpose to their game, code the background/theme color and add emojis for decoration, code a main character with some type of controller (buttons, joystick, tilting, etc.) and incorporate obstacles (ie. moving objects). For those who were further along, timers, points, and extra lives were built-in! Many of the games are still a work in progress and I wish I had them for a couple more week to give them more time. Hopefully, students begin to feel that coding is another tool in their learning! Visit Blake Hopscotch Games Padlet to check out a few of the Hopscotch games.
Career Day for 8th Grade
Planning for the 8th grade Career Day is underway. Career Day will be held on Thursday, April 6th, 2017, which is also a half day for students. On this day we will have a morning of presentations given by a variety of professionals from many different occupations. Year after year people return to share their careers with our students but we need additional volunteers to help make this event successful. We invite you to volunteer to participate in this exciting program to enlighten our students about your occupation and career opportunities.
Please consider sharing your experiences regarding your present occupation, stories of interest and personal insights with eighth graders in three informal sessions of approximately 35 minutes each. The sessions run between 8:45 am and 10:35 am. If you are interested in participating, please contact Debbie Avery in the Blake Middle School Guidance Office at 508-359-2445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for helping make our Career Day a continued success. We count on the community to make our program a rewarding and enriching experience for our students.
Blake Science Fair
The Blake Middle School Science Fair will be held on Friday March 10th. Come show your enthusiasm for science by participating in this event. Sign up sheets are available in your advisory classrooms. Come to the information session on January 30th after school in the cafeteria. All are welcome to participate!
Parent Information Nights - Mark Your Calendars!
3/1 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night at 6:30 p.m.
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming sixth grade (current fifth grade) students. We will be presenting information about the 6th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year along with an overview of the middle school. A more detailed presentation about the logistics of the 2016-2017 academic year's iPad Initiative will take place during this evening as well.
3/9 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Night at 6:30 p.m.
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming eighth grade (current seventh grade) students. We will be presenting information about the 8th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year.
3/16 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Night at 6:30 p.m.
This night is for all parents/guardians of incoming seventh grade (current sixth grade) students. We will be sharing information about the 7th grade program of studies and curriculum, previewing the students' experience that they will have next year. We will also be presenting information about the 7th grade's field trip to Nature's Classroom.
8th Grade Families - Save the Date!
March 2, 1017 at 6:30 p.m.
High School Auditorium
Please join members of the high school faculty as they present an overview of the Medfield High School academic curriculum. Additional information will be sent home as the date becomes closer. If you have any questions prior to the event, please contact Heather Mandosa, Assistant Principal at email@example.com or Stephanie Worthley, Guidance Content Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the high school at (508) 359-4367.
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.
Book Discussion Group for Parents
The next Blake Site Council/Blake community book is The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik. We will be discussing the introduction and parts 4-6 (pages 88-178) at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6. Hope you can join!
Message from Blake PTO
OPEN PTO BOARD POSITIONS for 2017-2019 SCHOOL YEAR We are looking for a Blake PTO Co-President for the 2017-2019 school years. The town wide PTO is looking for a publicist to cover Memorial, Wheelock, Dale St. and Blake Middle School for the 2017-2019 school years. There will be training for all positions. We would love to have you join our team! Please contact Kim Price for more information firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOWN WIDE BOX TOPS CONTEST Memorial, Wheelock, Dale Street and Blake Middle School…Which school will win by bringing in the most Box Tops before March 31st? The school that brings in the most Box Tops will win a special prize for the entire school. Please start cutting out your Box Tops and bringing them to school. Please contact Jane Barr mailto:email@example.com with any questions. Let the competition begin!
The JANUARY count is in and Dale Street is in the lead with 1,352 Box Tops! Memorial is in 2nd with 898, Blake is taking 3rd with 894 and Wheelock has 638 Box Tops. Keep sending in your Box Tops! The competition is close.
STAY IN TOUCH Our email address has changed to www.medfieldk8pto.com. Make sure you don't miss out on important posts sent throughout the week. Please LIKE us on Facebook Medfield K-8 PTO and follow us on Twitter @MedfieldK8PTO.
PTO MEETING Please join us at our next PTO meeting on March 15th at 9:00 am in the Blake LMC.
Message from MCPE
The Second Annual Left-Center-Right Tournament:
The LCR tournament is BACK by popular demand on Friday, March 24 at the American Legion! Gather your friends and buy a table for 10 for a night of luck, fun, music and prizes and shake off the cabin fever blues! $350/table; sessions at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Registration open NOW at www.medfieldcoalition.org!