The Reds Tale

May 16, 2019

From the Desk of Mr. Roote

I recently read an excerpt from a book by Adam Chamberlin and Svetoslav Matejic. In the book Quit Point: Understanding Apathy, Engagement, and Motivation in the Classroom, student engagement and motivation is examined. The authors were hopeful that the engagement issues facing their classrooms would be cured through the use of technology, but they discovered other problems emerged. They stated, “We found that there were new obstacles with the technology and it didn’t cure all those engagement issues that we had. So we started dabbling with trying to diagnose why these kids were shutting down in the first place and addressing the situation from the back end."

The authors explored the concept of a “Quit Point” or the “why” behind disengagement. According to Sveti, “Quit Point became our bridge for us looking at the process of learning and the process of engagement effort in a more authentic way.” Here are a few key points that struck me in the book:

  • One of the early premises of the book was de-emphasizing the negative connotation around the idea of quitting and recognizing that even adults suffer from the emotional reaction. If a subject does not pique our interest, or we do not feel positive about our ability to complete a task, adults tend to give up. Applying that principle to student learning, Adam and Sveti recognized various triggers and tendencies occurring with kids in the classroom.
  • According to Adam, “all students are susceptible in one way or the other” and determining how they are disengaging is important. “Sustained quit” is the more traditional disengagement observed where the student might put their head down on a desk or be distracted by friends and technology. But there is another type of disengagement happening in classrooms, termed “effort rationing.” Receiving information passively and ignoring participation in a lesson is a telltale sign of a student deciding to “run out the clock.” Adam gives the following example: “We had just got done with state testing and had an altered schedule for two weeks. So even though the schedule stayed the same for two weeks, the students would start class and say, ‘When do we get out of here today?’ That’s an immediate sign. It’s not that they’re trying to be rude or disrespectful, but they’re trying to gauge the moment class starts, ‘How much do I have to pay attention here today? Am I running this out for a half hour or thirty minutes? What am I doing?'”
  • Technology and cellphone use are not the entirety of the problem and a strict approach or harsh discipline around device use may not necessarily get to the root of the issue. It’s important to look at learning from a student ownership perspective and not only a teacher to student approach. Sveti sums it up best, “We need to be much more aware of ‘Are the kids putting forth energy today to learning?’ as opposed to ‘Am I just putting forth energy towards teaching in the classroom?'”

From the Desk of Ms. Ross


Mash Up

With an uptick in cell phone misuse that has included the dissemination of some aggressive student to student behavior as well as the sharing of explicit photos, parents are encouraged to consider how active they are in policing teenage electronics:

  • When was the last time you went through the photos on your child's phone?
  • Students may not record other students and staff without their permission and absolutely may not record in bathrooms or locker rooms.
  • Do you understand AND examine their social media? Are they going live? How does their posting activity impact others? Rarely do student get upset about a single post, it is typically the discussion or conversation BECAUSE of the post that creates the challenge.

As we near major end of year tasks, you might consider locking the phone away during school hours to promote a bit more attention to other things.

Staff is reminded to spend some time working with IT on iPad updates and to keep in mind that your computers get re-imaged each summer.

The Village of Newark invites residents to attend the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), Community Engagement event at Newark High School, in the LGI starting at 6:00 p.m. on May 15 as they are looking for input into the planning process.

At 7:00, on May 15 we will be broadcasting the Board of Education Meet the Candidate Night on our Facebook live page as well as Spectrum channel 1302. The event will be posted on our YouTube page and a link will be sent for people to be able to access it once it’s available to watch ahead of the budget vote on May 21st.

Social Emotional Learning and the Plan for Excellence

5 Keys to Social and Emotional Learning Success: Studies show that sustained and well-integrated social and emotional learning (SEL) programs can help schools engage their students and improve achievement. Explore the classroom practices that make up the best and most effective SEL programs.

Instructional Corner

If social emotional learning remains part of the hidden curriculum, there will be gaps in students’ learning. For example, if students are not directly taught self-regulation strategies, those who have yet to develop these strategies might be marginalized. Teachers might say that a specific student is off task or distracted or can’t focus. This is an example of the student being blamed for not mastering something he or she was never taught. When all students have been taught self-regulation, teachers can remind them of the strategies to use. Among other benefits, helping students build strong social and emotional skills equips them to consider consequences and make good decisions. Social emotional learning is about developing life skills that can be applied to a wide range of situations.

As we continue to develop our understanding and begin implementing social emotional learning into our curriculum, ask yourself the following about infusing social emotional learning into your everyday classroom practices, “If not me, then who…If not now, then when…”

Document Sharing Space

Calendar Share

Wednesday, May 29th- Lab Make Up Day 7:30a-3p/possibly 4 if needed.

Monday, June 3. NYS Regents in Global History and Geography (Transition Regents). Contact M Eakins, D McEwen or R Ross.

Thursday, June 6. Academic Awards Assembly and Cap and Gown Walk. Contact: T Roote.

Important Band & Chorus Dates

  • May 26-Memorial Day Parade
  • May 28-ELENBE Awards
  • June 3-High School Bands Year End Concert and Senior Recognition
  • June 5-High School Choirs Year End Concert and Senior Recognition

Senior Year Events


Prom: June 1,2019 7p-10:30p @ Club 86, Geneva NY

Last day of classes for students: June 17th

Last day for Teachers: June 26th

Graduation: June 21st

Regents Exams: June 18th-25th

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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.