The Reds Tale
From the Desk of Mr. Roote
Early next month, specifically by 7:30 am on September 4 about 750 students and staff will descend upon Newark High School for the first day of school. Naturally, the feelings each of us have upon entering the building will differ. For example, a senior will feel much different than a freshman entering the building for the first or second time ever. A staff member that is a new mom or dad will feel different than those of us with kids entering school for the umpteenth time. As I begin to think more and more about how I will feel on the first day I find myself paying closer attention to advice that lands in my inbox. For example, I recently read an article by Hae Yeon Lee and David Yeager called Reducing the ‘Toxic Stress’ of Starting High School. A few of the key points I took note of: "In a few weeks, roughly 4 million students will enter high school for the first time. About two-thirds of them will get worse grades than they did in middle school. For many of these 14- or 15-year-olds, this will seem like a sign that they’re going to struggle in the future. That’s a stressful thought. But the transition to high school doesn’t have to be this way. New research is revealing that students’ mindsets—how they perceive their academic abilities—can determine who is overwhelmed by the transition. And it shows us that we can reduce stress and improve students’ academic performance if we can change those mindsets. [...] We also measured whether students had what Carol Dweck of Stanford University has called a fixed mindset—the belief that intelligence is a trait that you either have or don’t have and that it can’t be increased. Students with a fixed mindset have been known to feel more helpless when they struggle, because failure seems to mean that they’ll never be smart enough to succeed. Our study of 9th graders showed that rapidly declining grades were met with much higher levels of cortisol in daily saliva samples when students had a fixed mindset. But declining grades weren’t tied to stress if students had a growth mindset—the belief that intelligence can be developed. That is, a growth mindset was associated with resilience among students’ whose grades were dropping. Fortunately, schools and parents can help students develop a growth mindset. [...] Even a brief exposure to the idea that intelligence has the potential to be developed was enough to have a noticeable effect on students’ academic outcomes a year later. [...] After all, 9th grade is a pivotal year, with student performance and attendance in this key transition often predicting who will drop out. [...] Instead, we should continue to support kids as they face challenges, whether by giving them additional help or by reminding them that people aren’t stuck being “not smart” just because they struggle in school. Our hope is that this could prevent some of the toxic stress responses we detected in the teenagers’ hormones and allow more young people to thrive in their first year of high school."
As I thought about the above article, my 7 year old Ava reminded me, in the simplest of ways, of the vast chasm that exists between a growth and fixed mindset. Specifically, she managed a loose tooth for what seemed to me like a ridiculous amount of time. Like the tooth fixed to her gum, she operated as if it would never leave her mouth, thereby relieving her of the constant discomfort it was giving her. Like a student resisting staying after for a teacher or completing a set of practice problems, she refused to let me give it a tug. Seemingly out of the blue, she walked up to me last week with the tooth in her hand and happily declared that she had pulled it out on her own. The change in her spirit after sharing that success was incredible. I would imagine the positive emotions Ava felt as she changed her mindset regarding her tooth from fixed to growing would be similar to those experienced by a student at NHS who finally realized that success can come with some very small changes like showing up on time, engaging with teachers, and practicing!
From the Desk of Ms. Ross
An area that we focused on during the 2017-2018 school year that presented a student management challenge was electronics. With the help from our instructional coaches, we have updated the code of conduct language regarding Failure to Comply with the Electronics Guidelines:
- It is the school’s philosophy that students responsibly use electronic devices in accordance with the acceptable use policy. To minimize disruptions to learning, the high school has established a green, yellow and red zone system to direct students when it is appropriate to use their electronic devices: Green zones: Use devices as directed. Yellow zones: Please ask before using devices. Red zones: Devices should not be used at this time.
- A student failing to comply with the building-based usage procedures is subject to the following administrative actions: First incident-verbal warning by an administrator. Second incident-the device will be confiscated and held in the main office for the day. Third incident-one detention and an administrator is called by the teacher to confiscate the device – the administrator will organize a time for the student’s parent or guardian to pick up the device and conference. Fourth incident-one day of in-school suspension and an administrator will follow the same procedure listed in the second incident – additionally, the student will be asked to turn the device in to the main office for a period of two weeks from 7:30-2:30.
Welcome to Newark High School
Rotary Exchange Student Eliana Catgiu 10th Grade/France: "My name is Eliana, I am 16 and I am now attending the 3rd year of the Classical-European high school in Cagliari. It is a semi-private school where I spend from 9 to 10 hours a day. I have 40 hours of lessons a week (this number will grow until 42 hours a week) and I have 14 subjects that I don't choose: Law class (in two languages, Italian and English), Italian literature, French literature, Parcours d’Histoire (it consist of a lesson of world’s history in French), English literature, History of Arts, Classical Languages (Latin, Greek and Ancient literature), Sports, Science, History of Religions, History, History of Philosophy, Physics and Mathematics. My typical day at school consists of 6 hours of class during the morning (from 7:55 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.),with two 10 mins breaks at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00, then 1h 15 minutes of lunch break and three lessons of 55 mins during the afternoon, with another 10 mins break at 5 p.m. The subjects I like mostly are math and science classes, however I also enjoy Italian, French and English literature.
During my free time I practice athletics (three times a week), go out with my friends or spend time with my family since I spend a very short time at home during the week. I live in Quartucciu, exactly 4 km from Cagliari in an apartment composed by a big living room, kitchen and in the sleeping area, of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Our family moved to Cagliari only 4 years ago. Before that we lived in Burundi Africa where my parents worked in the international cooperation projects.
I expect to grow up during this experience. I expect to improve my English or learn a new language, meet interesting people and get to know a different way of living. I will try to learn as much as I can from it to come back to Italy as a traveler and an open minded person."
Rotary Exchange Student Elliot Dahl/Sweden: "My name is Elliot Dahl and I'm 16 years old. In my free time I like to play football, be with my friends and play video games. I've played football since I was very young and picked up the interest from my dad who is also a football fan. I play in a club on the other side of town with two of my friends from school who live near. The club is new to me as I have only played there for about one month due to a shortage of players in my local team. At my school I take nine different subjects at a time; these are English, Swedish, Spanish, Physics, Chemistry, Individuals and societies, Physical and health education, Mathematics and Drama. There is also an option to take biology instead of physics and individuals and societies consists of Geography, History, Economics and Psychology. The classes which I enjoy the most are Chemistry, Spanish and Individuals and societies, I like these classes the most because I can perform very well in them. I'm apart of the MUN group after school on Wednesdays for an hour which is where we debate current world issues pretending as if it was the real UN.
We live in a normal Swedish house, we are six people living here, but I still have my own room which is also where I study if I want it to be quiet. Otherwise I study in the kitchen downstairs. My school is about thirty minutes away from my house if I take the bus. My dad is a director for Unilever in Copenhagen so he doesn't work in the country, however it only takes him a little more than an hour to get to his job. My mom is an IT consultant for IKEA in town and it only takes her about 10-15 minutes to get to her workplace."
Teachers should prepare to adjust their course outlines to reflect our updated electronics language. This from Ms. Ross, "We want to continue with teaching responsible use of electronics and provide teachers and students with the opportunity to use technology for learning opportunities. However, to support responsible use, please define the guidelines and what it may look like in the class in your course outline. Remember: Green zones: Use devices as directed. Yellow zones: Please ask before using devices. Red zones: Devices should not be used at this time. Please notice that the code of conduct language includes administrative consequences that will lead a student to losing his/her privilege to use an electronic device." Again, please make sure that these guidelines are addressed as expectations in your course outline.
Department supervision will be as follows:
- Mr. Roote: Math, Technology, Science and Special Education
- Mr. Corey: Health/PE, Business/FACS and Art
- Ms. Ross: English, Social Studies and Foreign Language
REPRINT: Our administrative intern, Ms. Laurie Palmisano will be with us:
- Every other Monday AM/PM
- Tuesday PM
- Wednesday AM
- Thursday AM
- Friday PM
REPRINT: A reminder to staff, if you want to update your door display poster with a new picture or information about yourself, e-mail Robyn Ross with the image and changes.
REPRINT: Updated counseling office services:
- Counseling center department leader Mrs. McGavisk grades 9-12 last names A-B
- Clerical support in Mrs. Springett and Mrs. Verbridge
- School counselors are Ms. Hugunine grades 9-12, last names C-F, Mr. Waldbillig grades 9-12 last names G-L, Ms. Specht grades 9-12 last names M-R, and Mrs. Gardner grades 9-12, last names S-Z
- School Psychologists are Ms. Deirdre Rosenberg last names A-M and Mrs. Kristin Leonard last names N-Z
- Prevention specialist is Mrs. Nicole Reinholtz
Document Sharing Space
Tuesday's in the LGI: September 11, October 2, November 6, December 4, January 8, February 5, March 5, April 17, May 7 and June 4. Staff Meetings. Contact: T Roote.
September 13 and 27, October 11 and 25, November 8 and 29, December 13, January 17 and 31, February 14, March 14 and April 2. SELF Days. Contact: T Roote.
Tuesday, August 22 from 10:00-12:00 pm in the LGI. New Teacher Orientation. Contact K Lewis or T Roote
Tuesday, August 28 from 8:00-1:00 pm starting in the gymnasium. Freshman Orientation. Contact J Johnson or C Fladd
Wednesday, August 29. First Day for Staff
Tuesday, September 4 at 7:30 am. First Day for Students
Thursday, September 6 in the auditorium from 7:35-9:00 am grade 9, 9:15-10:15 am grades 10-11, 1:15-2:15 pm grade 12. Grade Level Assemblies. Contact: T Roote
Friday, October 26 and Friday, March 15. NHS Program/No WTCC Program. Contact R Ross.
Tuesday, October 16 from 5:30-7:20 pm. Open House. Contact: T Roote
Friday, September 21-Saturday, September 22. Homecoming. Contact: Student Council
Tuesday, April 30. Capstone Day. Contact K Ganter or D Barry
Social Emotional Learning and the Plan for Excellence
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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.