The Weekly Roar

Notes from Nick Novak: Friday September 4, 2015


To Demetrius Ball for being the first staff member bold enough to contribute to the new Howard blog:! Our new APs and new staff were pretty much told that they had to, but Demetrius stepped up all on his own (and he did a somersault too)! Email me if you have something to contribute to the school blog!

To our math department for doing an admirable job in taking one for the team and delivering the Canvas instructional module to students this week. Thanks for getting them on their way to tapping into this great tech tool!

To student assistant Jeffrey Kirkpatrick who leaves us today to take a music teaching position at Lime Kiln Middle School. Best of luck in your new position!

To Cindy Bianca for all her hard work on getting the Emergency Plans done. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to "Shelter in Place."

To Ellen McNulty and Leanne Peters for making the parking permit process run smoothly. From working the seminars to distributing permits, they have ensured that Howard drivers complete the paperwork they need to drive to school.

To Veronica Valentine and the Step Team who presented at yesterday's Board of Education Meeting. They represented Howard with PRIDE and really entertained the audience with a great video of their performance. I'm looking forward to seeing them live!


Here are some helpful reminders for the upcoming week:

1) Thank you to all the teachers who have been out at their doorways greeting students as they come to class. I know I love seeing the friendly faces as I walk by; I'm sure they do too and feel like they are entering a welcoming learning environment.

2) We have been getting reports of students having a hard time making it from the Villa or Tech Building to classes in the N-wing (especially upstairs) or vice versa. As students learn the best ways to get around, remind them of short cuts and alternative routes to take advantage of, but be mindful of students who may still struggle due to disabilities, injuries, etc. Thanks.

3) We will once again have Lionstime on Wednesday. Fingers crossed that the website will be up and running. I know that Nick Zaron has been working hard to get it going again with new students added, so stay tuned for details about the launch.

4) With 16 emergency drills to schedule, we look to combine drills when we can. On Wednesday September 9th, we'll be doing a regular evacuation, followed by a reverse evacuation, and then wrapping things up with a quick lockdown. Please be sure that you review the procedures for these drills for yourself and with your classes. The drill will take place during 2nd period.

5) I will be available all day in the student services seminar room for anyone who wants to drop by to ask questions about SLOs and/or the evaluation process. Hopefully, as we enter year three of the new format, folks are feeling better about the expectations and requirements, but we are always willing to clarify any questions you may have.

6) Next Friday is September 11th. Just an FYI that we will observe a moment of silence during morning announcements. Although most of our students were too young to remember that day (and some weren't born yet), their lives may have been impacted by the loss of a family member and our lives were definitely affected that day.

Staff Birthdays

Happy Birthday to the following staff members celebrating this week:

9/8 Chuck Hall

9/10 Megan Lazzor

9/10 Karen Lorenz

Instructional Tidbit

Teaching with Twitter: 5 Resources for Getting Started

So a week ago I was talking about teaching someone how to use Twitter and, in stumbling over these alliterative words, I may have just accidentally coined a new term: "tweetcher." If it's already a word, just indulge me and pretend that I'm creative and innovative. If not, be sure to give me credit...that's N...O...V...A...K.

Anyway, if you are new to Twitter or giving the platform a fresh start this year, check out these five resources that one "tweetcher" recommended back in 2013:

1) "Practical Advice for Teaching with Twitter"

2) "A Framework for Teaching with Twitter"

3) "28 Simple Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom" (The original link from the article cited 22 ideas, but the link was broken.)

4) "Using Twitter--But Not in the Classroom"

5) "Teaching with Twitter"

I'll add in a bonus resource from one of the best: Kathy Schrock and, of course, don't forget the resources you have right here in this building--your colleagues.

Happy Tweeting!

If You Missed the Staff Meeting (Or Just Wanted to See This Again)

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
Fed Ex Day is coming October 2nd! "Directions" and documents were shared this week in the staff handbook. Have a great three-day weekend!


In partnership with families and the community, it is the mission of Howard High School to cultivate an environment of collaboration, empowerment, and engagement that exhibits world-class support for staff and inspires students to thrive in a dynamic world.