April 15 - Subway Night for Blake
April 16 - CSA Mtg (7:00 p.m. in Blake LMC)
April 17 - Wear blue/yellow or blue/orange to support Boston Marathon
April 18 - No School
April 21-25 - April Vacation
April 29 - PEM Field Trip for Koalas
April 30 - ÷ and Conquer! Presentation (See details below)
May 1 - PEM Field Trip for Sea Turtles
÷ and Conquer! Presentation (See details below)
May 2 - PEM Field Trip for Otters
MCPE Spring Fling
May 5 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
May 6 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
May 7 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
May 8 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
May 9 - 1/2 Day for Students; Professional Afternoon for Staff
May 12 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
May 13 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
May 14 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 15 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 16 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
May 19 - Grades 5/6 Band Concert
May 20-23 - 8th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C.
May 20 - Subway Night for Blake
May 28 - Grades 4-6 Orchestra Concert
CSA Meeting (7 p.m.)
May 30 - Six Flags Music Trip
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To encourage conversations about teaching and learning, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: How does good teaching differ from entertainment? When the students say "that was fun" should they be asked "what did it mean?"
Course Selection Forms
Reminder to all 6th and 7th grade parents that course selection forms for the 2013-2014 academic year need to be turned in asap.
Intramural sign-ups take place this week. Students can access sign-up information on the intramural page of the Blake website ( Blake Intramurals) or pick up an application in the main office. All programs will start the week after the April vacation. Please contact Brian Gavaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
On April 11, the sixth grade classes were treated to a live performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The performance wrapped up our MARS reading unit on Shakespeare, which consisted of comparing the written play and the stage performance. It was a joy to see the students engage with and respond to the actors on stage. Thank you to CSA for fully funding the "Shakespeare Now Company's" field trip to Blake.
7th Grade Field Trip to Boston
Calling all seventh grade parents! We are looking for chaperones to help with the seventh grade field trip to Boston on Friday, June 20th. The rain date will be Monday, June 23rd. Students will be going on a walking tour of Boston documenting examples of courage along the way. There will also be ties to Johnny Tremain which the students will be reading in English. In order to join us, you will need to fill out a current Cori form. Please contact Kara Farrell by May 1st at email@example.com if you are interested. We hope you can join us in Boston!
It's time to let the trout go! The trout will be released on Tuesday afternoon at 3:15, April 15th rain or shine. Meet us at the Charles River landing on West Street near the Animal Shelter. Students should wear old shoes or boots.
Theater Thank You
Many thanks to the the parents, staff and especially the kids who made our 6 shows in 4 days possible. The performances Aladdin and The Hound of the Baskerville: A Comic Thriller Starring Shirley Holmes and Jennie Watson were tremendous successes. Your support and attendance is greatly appreciated. Look for information on Blake Theater 2015 in September.
iPad Planning Inventory Information for Incoming 6th-8th Grade
As you know we are expanding upon the current 8th grade iPad Initiative and implementing a 1:1 iPad program for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2014-2015 academic year, with students purchasing their own iPads or taking part in a 'Lease to Own' program through the school. The details of the 'Lease to Own' are tentative and still being finalized, as we are looking to find the most cost-effective program for families. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need. To help us plan our efforts, we are asking all current 5th-7th grade parents/guardians (incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians for the 2014-2015 academic year) to let us know your plans for your student ('Providing iPad' or 'Participating in Lease to Own Program') for next year, by completing this brief survey by Thursday, April 17: iPad Planning Inventory at Blake for 2014-2015. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. This decision is not binding and we recognize that your plans may change, but the initial feedback will help us with our planning. We currently anticipate asking for 'final decisions' mid- to late May, 2014.
Please read the link below to a letter regarding our planning for the iPad Initiative...
iPad Planning Inventory Letter to Blake Families 4-2-14
For your reference I have posted links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Mobile Learning Update from Blake 3-26-14
iPad FAQs 3-31-14
iPad Initiative Estimated Lease-to-Own Program 3-31-14
I continue to encourage you to peruse our mobile learning blog (Mobile Learning in Medfield) to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place. We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with the new technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive learning experience.
iPad and Mobile Learning Resources
For those who were unable to attend our iPad Information Sessions last week, here is the link to our Google presentation: iPad Info Sessions April 2014. As we have shared one of our ongoing goals with the iPad Initiative is to share resources for parents/guardians as well as students. With this in mind I have listed links below that I hope will help you to better support and monitor your students at home...
How to Share a Google Doc or Folder
This resource will allow you to access your student's work in their Google drive account.
Understanding Restrictions (Parental Controls) for iOS
This resource provides directions from Apple for enabling parent restrictions. Options include, but are not limited to, turning off installing and deleting apps and restricting access to the iTunes Store.
If you have any questions regarding the iPads or the initiative, do not hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our help e-mail address (email@example.com).
April is Autism Awareness Month
In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. For more information from the 'Autism Society', please click on the following link: http://www.autism-society.org/about-us/national-autism-awareness-month/
iPad and Mobile Learning Highlights and Information Sessions
In an effort to continue our dialogue and share information with the Blake community about our iPad Initiative, we are inviting all incoming parents/guardians of 6th-8th grade students to attend one of our iPad Highlights and Information sessions. For your reference, please read the Mobile Learning Update from Blake 3-26-14 that was sent last week for an update on mobile learning, specifically the iPad Initiative, for all students at Blake for the 2014-2015 academic year. We held an evening session on Monday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. and will be holding a morning session on Wednesday, April 9 at 9:20 a.m. Our hope for these sessions is for the entire Blake community of parents and guardians to hear and see highlights from teachers and students, answer questions, and to gain an understanding of the work that has taken place. These events are for parents and guardians only. Please RSVP via our Google Form link (iPad Highlights and Info Sessions 4-7-14 or 4-9-14) to let us know if you are planning on attending so that we can make sure we are prepared. Please fill out the form for each parent/guardian attending the presentation.
Technology Tutorial Updates
The Community Service Club of Blake would like to thank the parents who participated in the technology survey. The results were very helpful in planning for a future of students, educators, and parents using iPads and Google in the district. Based on the results as well as the comments, we decided to create video tutorials that teach users how to navigate Google Apps for Education as well as using and managing the iPad. Although this endeavor is just in the beginning phases, we hope to have a library of tutorials ready before the end of the school year in preparation for the next school year.
Parent Information Nights
Thank you to all who came out for parent information nights. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out. For your reference and information, here are the links to the presentations for the other grades...
Incoming 6th PIN 2014
Incoming 7th PIN 2014
Incoming 8th PIN 2014
÷ and Conquer! - Save the Date
Susan Bycoff, math content specialist, and Nat Vaughn will be continuing the parent workshop series this spring in an effort to share information and specific strategies to help your student succeed in math. The two sessions will be Wednesday, April 30 at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. More information and details are still to come.
School Dress Guidelines
As we transition into spring. at last, it is a good time to review guidelines for school dress. These guidelines have been included below (in italics) and can also be found in the student handbook section of the Blake agenda book. Please consider keeping them handy as you are doing spring clothing shopping. Open dialogue and discretion are important when dealing with issues related to dress -- I encourage you to reach out to Kelly Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns. When in doubt, we encourage students to ask for clarification or bring a back up outfit to school just in case.
The responsibility for student dress and attire rests with both the student and the parent/guardian. We are confident that good judgment on the part of students and parents will result in the wearing of clothing which will contribute to a respectful academic environment and educational atmosphere. At Blake Middle School, we endeavor to remove as many distractions from the day as possible so that students are able to focus on the most important of their day - learning. Each student will abide by the guidelines of decency, cleanliness and safety at all times. In accordance with our expectations for school dress, students are required to wear clothing that does not show the 4 B's: boxers, breasts, buttocks, and belly buttons. We do ask students not to wear hats, short shorts, midriff shirts, or clothing that displays obscene language, violence, lewd or vulgar pictures, alcohol or drug references, sexual innuendoes, racial/ethnic/religiously offensive materials, or any graphic that may interfere with the educational process. Some guidelines that appear in our student handbook and will be reviewed with students after April break follow:
- Clothing needs to cover your body so that you and others can participate in and focus on learning.
- A general guideline for appropriate length of skirts and shorts is for them to be as long as your fingertips when extended at your side, with shoulders relaxed. This applies to the front and back.
- Undergarments should not be showing. Cleavage should be covered.
- Off the shoulder shirts are not appropriate.
Blake Site Council Survey
The Blake Site Council this year has been working on the development of a survey to be distributed to the Blake community. The survey was administered the last two years and we are committed to having parents and students take it annually 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. 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: 2013-2014 Blake Middle School Survey
Curriculum Highlights - Mathematics and Wellness
This week's curriculum updates come from the mathematics (Susan Bycoff, Content Specialist) and wellness (Susan Cowell, Content Specialist) departments...
Springtime often brings home renovations. Painting a room and need to know how much paint to buy? Stop by Blake and ask a 6th grader to help you calculate square footage. Students are learning all about surface area of a wide variety of geometric shapes. You may even want to get an opinion or two on paint colors! 7th grade students are refining their ability to use cross products in order to solve proportions. Learning cross products involves a student's need to understand the underlying math. You may remember this as “cross multiplying.” So if you mention cross multiplication to your child, don't be surprised if they correct your language. Students in 8th grade math are continuing their work on lines and, in some cases, those lines are turning into parabolas! As students are very active on their iPads, ask to see graph of one of these curves in Explain Everything or Desmos. You won't be disappointed!
PE: In Grade 8, we are wrapping up units in basketball and the basic rules of Rugby. The 6th and 7th grade are finishing up basketball and circuit training, which includes jump rope skills, resistance training and distance running. After April vacation, we will be starting our units of badminton, archery, and softball. We are all looking forward to the nice weather and being able to take our classes outside. We are also gearing up for the Blake Marathon and are hopeful that we will have limited April Showers and plenty of May flowers. Happy Spring!
Health: Grades 6 & 7 are wrapping up their units in Cyberbullying and will be discussing the dangers of marijuana use (Gr 7) and the importance of good nutrition (Gr 6.) Grade 8 students have been working on various nutrition projects to promote healthy and balanced eating habits!
The last group of students has just rotated to Consumer Science. They are very excited to prepare the food they've been hearing about from other students all year! Please check out our new website under the Blake academics tab: Blake Consumer Science "What's Cooking at Blake?" Intramural sign ups are underway. Sign up now for this fun extension of the classroom activities! Blake Intramurals
The 19th Annual Student-Faculty Art Exhibit at Zullo
The Medfield Public Schools’ K-12 Visual Arts Faculty is once again pleased to announce The 19th Annual Student-Faculty Art Exhibit, presented at Medfield’s very own Zullo Gallery, 456 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052.
The Student-Faculty Art Exhibit is an exciting opportunity for a selected group of student artists from grades K-12 to display and view their work in a professional gallery setting, alongside the work of our Visual Arts faculty. Each year approximately eighty pieces of exemplary student art work are shown during this exhibit at the Zullo Gallery. This year’s Art Exhibit will be up from April 5th – 27th, and is available for viewing on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon until 5:00 PM.
This exhibit is an event designed to give special attention to the artistic accomplishments of our students from all grades, within the context of our K-12 Visual Arts Curriculum. In past years this event has received much positive attention, having been viewed by as many as six hundred (600) visitors and obtaining coverage in the local Medfield press and the Boston Globe. We look forward to another very successful exhibit this year. It should be noted that this exhibit does not take the place of our individual School Art Shows that happen in the spring, in which the work of all our students is displayed in their respective schools.
Practice continues to go well, with team members starting to focus on which running and/or field events they'd like to participate in for our fast approaching opening tri-meet on Thursday, May 1 at home versus Holliston and King Philip. Our 2014 schedule has been finalized as well: 5/1 - H vs. Holliston and King Philip, 5/5 - H vs. Medway and Miscoe, 5/8 - Blake @ Westwood, 5/12 - Blake @ Ashland (also Ursuline for girls), 5/15 - Blake @ Hopkinton, 5/28 - H vs. Needham, 5/30 - Blake @ North Attleboro. Please have your kids do some running over the vacation - don't want to them to lose all the the excellent conditioning they've already achieved!
The Blake middle school is practicing hard. They will play three games this week, Tues against Millis, Wed. against Needham and Thurs. against Ursuline. All games will be away.
Please remember to dine at Subway today - Tuesday April 15! Remember 20% of the proceeds go to Blake Middle School. Thank-You Subway! See the flyer in the Thursday Packet for details.
Please join us for the April CSA meeting on Wednesday, April 16th at 7pm.
The Blake CSA has an open position for Treasurer for the 2014-2105 school year. This is a 2-year board position. This is a great opportunity to work directly with Blake administrators and faculty managing the financials of CSA-sponsored events.
Please contact Kristy Tarallo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kim Wietrecki (email@example.com) if interested.
SWOPBOARD is a town-wide CSA fundraising initiative. Please see the Thursday Packet for more information or choose the link: SwopBoard Currently, SwopBoard is running a Spring Clean campaign through May 9. That means that anyone who signs up to the site (which is free), a dollar will be donated to the schools. Already the Medfield schools have earned over $100 through this campaign! It is simple, sign up, and the school earns money. De-clutter your house, selling the items on SwopBoard and the schools earn more money. It is a win-win scenario. Have you checked out what is on SwopBoard today? http://www.swopboard.com/#!/BrowseListings. Any questions? Contact Erica Reilly (359-4789) or Kathleen Cahill (359-7138).
Spring has Sprung! Time to beautify your yards and gardens. The Blake Spring bulb and flower fundraiser is well underway. Visitwww.flowerpowerfundraising.comto see the beautiful flowers available at exceptional prices. When you order, a portion of the proceeds go to our school.
Author Christopher Wilson to Speak at Blake
What does a person have to do to achieve success in the workforce, or more broadly, in life? Find out on May 7th at 7PM, when author Christopher Wilson comes to Blake Middle School to offer pragmatic usable advice on how to affect positive change and practical growth in one’s career and personal life.This will be an entertaining and educational evening for all, especially students and those with children entering, in or graduating from college. High school and college students will gain important skills for a job search, resume writing, interviewing, and how to handle themselves once they land that first job. Each attendee will receive a FREE copy of Wilson’s book: BA to Boardroom with no BS, Skills For Life. This lecture is hosted by the MCPE and is sponsored by Needham Bank. Registration is free, but seats must be reserved in advance. Walk-ins will be allowed if space is available. Click here to register for the lecture: https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1720638-RHOdGcgKwC
MCPE Received a Challenge Grant from Needham Bank
Needham Bank, a long-time supporter and sponsor of the MCPE, will donate $100 for every new checking account opened when the patron mentions MCPE. Please consider stopping by any Needham Bank branch and opening an account today! (Just be sure to mention MCPE!!)
Spring Fling Update
On Friday, May 2nd, the Medfield Coalition for Public Education will be hosting its sold out Spring Fling at Spring Valley Country Club in Sharon from 7-11:30 PM. We are pleased to announce that you can preview the 170 fantastic auction items in our online catalog. With so many wonderful items to bid on, including One Direction tickets, an autographed Tom Brady helmet (complete with a Patriots VIP experience - valued at over $6,000!) and one week at a Chatham Cape house, we suggest you take a few minutes prior to the event to determine what items are of interest to you and your family.
To view the exciting and unique auction items, you may go to the catalog by clicking http://www.medfieldcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Auction-Items.pdf
If you are unable to attend the Spring Fling event, you may want to consider asking a friend to be a ghost bidder for you -- to bid on your behalf with their bid number.
Also please consider supporting the Medfield Public Schools by clicking https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1676642-lbMlVJXct4 to enter our amazing spa package raffle. jaie3 salon-spa-beautique has generously donated a selection of beauty products and services now valued at over $900!
You may also click https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1148897-ms8sVhWlW6 to Fund-a-Grant. By doing this, your donation will go to the Coalition to support future grants that support our Medfield Schools.