The Weekly Roar

Notes from Nick Novak: Friday February 12, 2016


to our custodial staff who continues to respond to the "call to action" every time we have inclement weather. There's more in the forecast, so thank you in advance for all the hard work you put in to keep us safe.

to the fantastic Strutting with the Staff dance team. Although we didn't win, it was a great time and an awesome performance by Rita Allan, Allison Ose, Brian Sackett, and Masami Stratton. Thanks as well to Jen DiPietro for choreographing the routine and teaching us the grapevine, the shimmy, and all kinds of other moves (and for humoring me by allowing me to think I was the assistant choreographer)!

to Tamara Jones and Rashel Taylor for their leadership with the Black Student Union. The incident at Mount Hebron and subsequent walkouts at Hebron and Hammond have definitely brought a lot of focus to a very important issue for which students have not always felt that their voices have been heard. Thanks for leading the way as we #stopthesilencestarttheconversation. More info in the FYI section about an event next week.


Here are some helpful reminders for the upcoming week:

1) Keep an eye on your email/text alerts or wherever you go for info about closings and delays. No, I didn't just leave in the same message. There is a potential for snow again at the close of the weekend. Stay tuned.

2) "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" opens Wednesday and "Steel Magnolias" opens Saturday. The winter weather has wreaked havoc on the rehearsal schedule and may continue to do so next week. If there is no school on Tuesday, we will hold a dress rehearsal starting 6th period on Wednesday so the students get a run through before opening night. Ms. Greffen will share the names of students impacted. Don't forget to go here if you want complimentary tickets to any of the six shows.

3) We will have Lionstime on Wednesday 2/17. Please remind students to sign up using the online system.

4) Rather than having a walkout to protest, we are trying to work with our students to productively engage in conversations about the culture and climate at Howard High. To that end, we will be hosting an "in-school field trip" during 5th period on Friday 2/19. Permission slips will be made available on Tuesday and students will need these to attend the event in the auditorium. Details are being finalized and will be shared ASAP.

Staff Birthdays

Happy Birthday to the following staff members celebrating this week:

2/13 Elizabeth Erickson

2/13 Clifton Jackson

2/15 Phil LeDuc

2/17 Curtis Galnbreath

Instructional Tidbit

Culturally Competent Teaching

One of the things that the walkouts have brought to light is the varying levels of comfort we have as educators in engaging students in courageous conversations about diversity. We will be tackling this topic more, but I wanted to start by offering some strategies/resources in our instructional tidbit to get you thinking about it. I encourage you to read the article in its entirety, but be focused on these five competencies in your instruction:

1. Culturally competent teaching and learning facilitates critical reflection.

2. Culturally competent teaching and learning demands respect for others.

3. Culturally competent teaching and learning involves accommodating individual learners.

4. Culturally competent teaching and learning requires the use of intercultural communication skills.

5. Culturally competent teaching and learning requires focused activities and intentionally structured environments.

A Thought-Provoking Video

I recently saw an article about how the video below caused an uproar at a school in Virginia by parents who objected to the content. What are your thoughts? I'll have a discussion thread posted on Canvas if you want to weigh in.
Unequal Opportunity Race


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.