The Reds Tale

April 27, 2017

From the Desk of Mr. Roote

We are experiencing a bit of a renaissance if you consider our approach to social and emotional learning. A few examples of our rebirth include:
  • A great effort by our counseling office this school year to focus groups of kids on a theme that may need some awakening.
  • A 2015-2016 counselor hire in Ashley Ellis who has an affinity for the daily application of social and emotional learning. In fact, she has such an affinity that she was identified as the Rachels Challenge/Friends of Rachel Counselor of the Year for 2014.
  • If you spend more than a few minutes with Ms. McGavisk and her team you will most certainly hear direct and indirect references to mindfulness, adverse childhood experiences and trauma informed schools.
  • The Behavioral Health Team along with Mr. Wagner and I are digging in to The Leader in Me work by Covey.
  • And most notably, the Board of Education is supporting the 2017-2018 addition of a full time counselor to the counseling office as well as the addition of Newark High School as a Wayne Behavioral Health satellite clinic.

Since I know each of you well, I will not hesitate to recognize that you are deeply invested in our young people. Beginning in May, you will have a chance to double down on your investment and join me, and others, in new efforts to move our students academically as well as socially and emotionally. Our best days are ahead of us!

From the Desk of Mr. Wagner

We have worked hard the last couple years on refining our formative assessment practices, but have not really looked at how grading formative assessments impacts learning. In Rethinking Grading by Cathy Vatterott, she states, “Formative assessment provides feedback about student learning prior to the summative assessment. Formative assessment should be organized by learning target and results should be reported by learning target…. Typically formative assessments are evaluated and descriptive feedback is given to the learner, such as with practice tests”. I think that often, students use a number grade as their feedback and miss an opportunity to make improvements. As a replacement to a number grade, Vatterott suggests “find it and fix it” to activate “retrieval learning”. This requires the teacher to write down how many questions were incorrect and the students to use their resources to reengage with the questions, and fix mistakes on their own. Many of our students see a grade on a formative assessment and think that it is it – nothing I can do now. We want students to understand that the purpose of formative assessments is for data so teachers know where students are at and what is needed to help them grow. Consider offering written feedback instead of a number grade, or a student-centered approach such as “find it and fix it” to promote student ownership over improving their knowledge and skills.

Mash Up

Many of our juniors and seniors will soon be expected to produce a walk around sheet to validate their efforts to improve behaviorally and academically. Please be patient with our students as they seek to meet this main office expectation in order to access end of year privileges such as prom.


Last month I spoke to a few of you about alternative grading practices. I made mention of portfolios, which can consist of a compilation of a student’s work or an in-depth research project. Click here for more information.


Classroom tech. that does not exist.

Social Emotional Learning and the Plan for Excellence

REPRINT: Do you want to be considered a pathfinder? Please see me if you are interested in leading us into a social emotional learning initiative! I have exciting news to share on this topic.


With the very public consoling of Isaiah Thomas, who lost his sister just prior to a basketball game in the news, I thought I would share a related story.

Calendar Share

UPDATED: Thursday, April 27 from 7:15-7:35 am in the library. Script N Ceremony. Contact: T Roote.


Friday April 28 in the morning. Tom Out for Regional Principals. Contact: T Roote.


Tuesday, May 2 from 2:30-3:00 pm in the LGI. Staff Meeting: SchoolTool. Contact: T Roote.


By 3:00 pm on May 2. ↓65 Infinite Campus Grade Reports. Contact: T Roote.


Tuesday, May 2 from 2:30-3:00 pm in the LGI. SchoolTool Overview. Contact: T Roote.


Thursday, May 4 in the afternoon and Friday May 5 all day. Tom out. Contact: T Roote


Friday, May 5. High School Rent a Senior Day. Contact: Deb Barry or Amy Lannon.


Friday, May 5 at 3:00 pm. Field Trip Blackout Begins. Contact: T Roote.


Tuesday, May 9. National Teacher Appreciation Day. Contact: T Roote.


Friday, May 12 at NRW. Special Olympics.


Wednesday, June 7 from 7:30-11:00 am. Academic Awards Assembly. Contact: K Springett.

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Thanks to the McGavisk family for travelling to Myrtle with Red. The Twitter material that resulted really kept some of our esprit de corps going while the school was empty.

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.