The Reds Tale

June 14, 2019

From the Desk of Mr. Roote

I recently had a senior pull me aside and ask, "When did you schedule senior skip day?". After we shared a laugh about reasons the high school principal avoids scheduling skip days, I enjoyed a few happy thoughts regarding the rituals at NHS. Not those reserved for seniors, but those that all can take part in.


While an ideal condition would be for our students to be completely intrinsically motivated, using rituals, as a means to build esprit de corp is a common practice in schools across the regions. As mentioned at our recent Academic Awards Assembly, school spirit or esprit de corp is that feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared within and between groups. We saw this as alumni were cheered on at the awards assembly and we see it at pep assemblies, Link Crew events, freshman team events and across the senior class as the year end approaches us. The article Routine, Ritual, and School Community from Edutopia states, "Here is an example of a schoolwide routine that fostered a sense of community among the entire student body and staff. At Adams School in Castine, Maine, each day begins with a pledge of some kind. The pledges ranged from the serious (the Pledge of Allegiance) to the silly (a Jerry Spinelli ode to bats). The intent, according to then-Principal Todd R. Nelson, was to create a schoolwide 'meaningful morning ritual.' Here is how I used a routine pledge to create a sense of community at a classroom level. After a lengthy discussion with my first-grade class about the difference between a student and a scholar, we designed a simple 23-word statement called The Scholarly Pledge, which we recited each morning to set the tone for who we were and how we intended to behave that day. The pledge began as a routine, but after consistent recitation and reference to it throughout the day, it became a ritual. Students would remind me if we forgot to recite it. It was like an athlete putting on sporting gear in the same sequence and style before each competition. The ritual emotionally prepared students to engage. It gave them a sense of community and belongingness, as Sergiovanni stated. Similarly, but with a group of adults, a former principal of mine opened each faculty meeting with what he called 'cheap entertainment and celebrations.' For the cheap entertainment, he would recite a self-penned, humorous poem about our school, ask us to share with one another the worst movie we had ever seen, or play a bit of trivia about our district and reward correct answers with candy bars. Next, he would share something special about an individual, class, or the school as a whole. The sharing was intended to celebrate all the positive work that the people of our school had done."


I have to wonder what the daily rituals are or could be at NHS that are so compelling to students that they would seek to be present more regularly leading them to perform better socially, emotionally and academically. Is the answer eight affirmations before a correction, is it a happy greeting in the hallway, is it an opening or closing piece that promotes joy/laughter?

From the Desk of Ms. Ross

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Mash Up

We are experiencing an uptick in cyber-bullying that is leading families to question the role of the school in social media issues that are born at home. I will first share that none of use can script the emotional impact on learning of not so great social media behavior. However, we can absolutely say that social media activity outside of school is disruptive to learning or has the potential to be disruptive. As a result, I am afraid that Ms. Ross, Ms. Palmisano and I are regularly drawn to live chats, screen shots, camera rolls and what have you. Our role is to make absolutely certain that a student that became a victim during off school hours is not re-victimized on school hours. Of late, re-victimization occurs in the form of disseminating screen shots of off hour poor social media choices. I implore you to significantly limit your child's social media activity to one or fewer platforms. Additionally, I ask you to sit with your child as they walk you through their camera roll and posting activity. In my work with parents, the extra scrutiny paired with subtle corrections is the best way to develop good habits and more importantly, to keep the school off student phones and computers. Hey you never know, maybe your child will become the bystander that saves a classmate from a hurtful post!


FAME News

Social Emotional Learning and the Plan for Excellence

What if we could seamlessly integrate social and emotional learning into our daily instruction?

Instructional Corner

Our classrooms have access to large amounts of data stemming from summative and formative assessments, teacher observations, district, and state assessments. Studies have found that the effective use of data can lead to improved student achievement. While no single assessment can provide educators with all the data needed to make all instructional decisions, educators can leverage various data points to make informed decisions to assist and support students. As we close in on the end of the year, we should use this data to inform instructional decisions for targeted instructional review. This type of targeted review will give each student the support they need, where they need it, when they need it.

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Senior Year Events


IMPORTANT END OF YEAR DATES

  • Last day of classes for students: June 17
  • Last day for Teachers: June 26
  • Graduation: June 21
  • Regents Exams: June 18-25

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The Newark High School Mission, Vision and Values

The Newark High School Mission: We are a school community with deeply held hometown pride, committed to readying young people to be life-long learners with experiences aimed at continuously motivating us to hone our skills in the complex tasks of teaching and learning. Our community is devoted to providing supports for the aspirations of our adolescents as they mature into adults with ambitious plans for college and careers.

The Newark High School Vision: Staff embody the school values and impart confidence while providing an inviting classroom environment with clear expectations and specific academic and behavioral goals. Students embody the school values through intellectual and emotional perseverance. Families embody the school values while remaining actively involved as advocates for their children and supporters of the school programs and staff.

The Newark High School Values: Safe, Responsible, Trustworthy, and Respectful.