The Reds Tale
November 2, 2017
From the Desk of Mr. Roote
I recently worked with one of our counselors, a student and his grandmother to develop a learning plan that would put the student back on track to graduate. Data informing the meeting was a pattern of tardiness to school and absenteeism paired with failing grades and the need to pass a few Regents examinations. The student, one of the most pleasant and connected kids in our building was a willing participant in the meeting. The meeting was as positive as any “senior intervention” I have participated in. As we shared pleasantries at the threshold of my office door, the counselor asked, “How are you doing with the SELF days?”. The student looked back quizzically, so the counselor asked the question again, “How are you doing with the SELF days?”. Again, the student did not respond, but his face twisted. His expression said it all and the words he uttered said even more, “I don’t show up for the SELF stuff.”.
As we navigate our work falling under the umbrella of social and emotional learning I should share that to the casual observer, the Newark High School community seems to have three opinions of SELF: (1) We need this. (2) We don’t need this. (3) This is inconvenient. If we operate in a silo or with a cubical mentality, there is no question that 2-3 are worth reacting to and should compel us to exit from our SELF work and instead focus on course credit and Regents assessments. Fortunately for the Newark High School community, the Lighthouse Team charged with promoting the mindset required to make 1 happen, are unconditionally committed to this work. How so you ask? We have spent countless hours with our students beyond the classroom, we have heard sad stories that span generations, we collaborate with Newark and regional business owners, we have funded local initiatives that involve literacy, we see the value in the community center, we give our time to support Laurel House etc.
After the conference with the senior not overly enamored with our SELF work, I had a chance to reconnect with him. I asked him, “What do Krispity Krunch and sports factoids have in common?” He looked at me like I was nuts, so instead, I asked him a more timely and relevant question which was, “How do you talk to kids that look up to you? How do you teach?” He looked at me less quizzically at this point. I saw an opportunity and I did what I have been doing for many years, which was to be a school teacher!
As we navigate this work, prepare yourself to get peppered with questions from me, the school teacher. Questions you should prepare for:
- Are you a classroom teacher or a school teacher
- What do Krispity Krunch and sports factoids have in common
- How far do you have to go for a marigold? Where are the walnut trees?
- When you are proactive, what happens?
From the Desk of Mr. Wagner
In John Hattie’s study, Visible Learning, he examined six factors that impact student learning:
- Piagetian Programs is number two on Hattie’s list. This approach focuses on learning activities that are centered on the thinking process rather than the outcomes.
- Classroom discussion is ranked in the top ten effect sizes. Reflecting on our last professional development hour, Newark’s top ten protocols offer some great strategies to promote quality classroom discussions that provide every student an opportunity to participate.
- Formative assessment and timely feedback are also in the top ten of Hattie’s rankings. As time is always an issue, I think some valuable digital tools could help. Mentimeter, Padlet and IdeaBoardz all offer a variety of tools that could be used for quick data collection to plan targeted feedback to meet student’s individual needs.
Consider taking a look at Hattie’s study as it provides direction regarding what strategies have the greatest positive impact on student achievement.
- 9:15 am: Report to small group rooms for flag distribution
- 9:25 am: Report to bus loop and pair small groups of NHS kids with Perkins/Lincoln students and staff
- 9:35 am: Honor guard presided over by Mr. Flanagan to lead a flag change and pledge to the flag
- 9:37 am: Perkins/Lincoln students to read In Flanders Fields (tentative)
- 9:40 am: Flag placement around flag pole
- 9:45 am: Closing remarks for the outdoor program with Perkins/Lincoln
- 9:50 am: NHS to the auditorium:
- 9:55 am: Announcements
- 10:00 am: Script N
- 10:05 am: Drama Club piece: War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars
- 10:25 am: Green Angels
- 10:40 am: Ragged Old Flag
Ms. Hauf, "The Lady Reds Softball teams are going to pick up where the Environmental Club left off and begin collecting returnable bottles. We have receptacles available upon request. A team member will visit your rooms bi-monthly on SELF Wednesdays during advisement to gather them. Please contact Trevor Gage or Becky Hauf for placement, pick up or questions. Thank you for your continued support!"
Monday, November 6 during all lunches. Finger Lakes Community Health. Contact: N. Reinholtz
Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30 pm in the high school auditorium. Band/Chorus Concert. Contact: C Briggs.
Tuesday, November 7 at 2:30 pm. Staff Meeting. Contact: T Roote.
Wednesday, November 8. SELF. Contact: T Roote.
Wednesday, November 8. College Wear Wednesday. Contact S. Gardner
Wednesday, November 15 during all lunches. Wayne County Public Health. Contact: N. Reinholtz
Thursday, November 16. The Great American Smokeout. Contact: N. Reinholtz
Monday, November 16. Victim Resource Center will be in Health classes. Contact: N. Reinholtz.
Wednesday, November 29 from 11:00-11:45 am in the LGI. NHS Speech and Debate Club. Contact S. Flanagan
Monday, November 27 at D.O. from 2:00-4:00 pm. Prevention Committee Meeting.
The Instructional Corner
In the classroom, a protocol is a set of guidelines or a structured process used to promote meaningful student communication and collaboration. They permit conversations that students are not in the habit of having, acting as instruments that can be used to build the skills and culture for effective collaborative work. The structured and predictable nature of these protocols can provide the scaffolding needed for students to hold high level academic conversations. Protocols can turn an otherwise teacher-centered lesson into an engaging and interactive student-centered lesson.
As we want our students to grow as thinkers, readers, and writers, then they must be able to share ideas that are important to them. Risk-taking is essential to growth, however students won’t share if they feel they are perceived as looking dumb, saying something silly, or being alone in their thinking. If this is the issue, then classroom community building needs to occur for students to feel a part of a safe and supportive learning community. If you are still looking for ways to build a risk-taking community in your classroom, we will be spending our time during the November 20th PD hour on this topic. Or you could choose to contact an Instructional Coach for some ideas.
For additional support please follow the link to the Instructional Corner. The instructional corner is now even easier to access, Click on Staff Tools from the district homepage and then click on the Instructional Corner link!
Close Up (send me a picture)
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.