The Weekly Roar

Notes from Nick Novak: Friday May 27, 2016


to Sharon Sowada and Anne Handy for doing an awesome job with the Senior Boat Trip and Senior Breakfast. Thanks as well to all the volunteers who worked either/both events!

to Daneace Jeffrey for putting together an incredible graduation this Wednesday. It truly takes a village to make an event like this happen so thanks as well--

-to the student services staff and front office staff for all their outstanding behind the scenes work

-to our name readers Sharon Sowada and Masami Stratton

-to our musical directors Chris Campbell and Rick Lawrence (and guest trombonist Toby Morris)

-to Megan Lazzor and her ASL students for a nice job with signing

-to all the staff who came out to help with parking, hospitality, tickets, etc.

-to everyone who I may have forgotten. It's a huge undertaking with so many moving pieces and I apologize if I omitted your name from this list.


Here are some helpful reminders for the upcoming week:

1) With seniors gone, some of your classes may have dwindled to just a handful of students. Please be sure to respect your colleagues by keeping these students in your class rather than swinging by the media center, gyms, or auditorium unexpectedly.

2) The Biology HSA will take place on Tuesday May 31st and Wednesday June 1st (with make-ups on Thursday). As a result of testing, there will be no LIONSTIME on Wednesday. Please check the proctor schedule (which has been updated and added to as recently as yesterday) today to make sure there are no conflicts or problems.

3) The laptop replacement for teachers is Thursday June 2nd. Back up those documents and follow the directions you receive from Greg Bulger.

4) Next Friday we are excited to invite the class of 2020 on their first official visit to Howard High School. Incoming 9th graders will be arriving at 9:15 and taking a tour of the building (guided by LEOs) from 9:35-10:15. They will end up in the auditorium from 10:20-11:30. If you are free during any or all of this time your presence in the hallways and auditorium would be most appreciated. Specifically, we will have an activity fair in the auxiliary gym from 9:35-10:15 and we could use some assistance keeping the incoming 9th graders in...and the existing 9th graders out! If you have any questions or concerns, please email Veronica Valentine.

5) This is the time of the year when we see sub report days like today with jobs uncovered. If you put a job in Smartfind, you should make every effort to arrange for a specific sub. If you know you're going to be out, you can check with Despina or Gilbert to see which subs are in the building so you can check their availability. You can also find names and numbers of "go-to subs."

Staff Birthdays

Happy Birthday to the following staff member who are celebrating this week:

5/30 Carolyn Mager

5/31 Rebecca Bragunier

6/1 Jennifer Borgerding

6/2 Achint Kaur

6/2 Margaret Mitchell

6/2 Michael Twardowicz

"Instructional Tidbit"

Student Feedback

As the year concludes and we prepare to hold end of the year evaluation meetings, I ask how many teachers out there are planning on getting feedback from their real evaluators--their students. Although administrators may assign a score in Teachscape and share comments about the snapshot view we have of the year, it's the students who have the most complete perspective of their teachers.

They have seen every (or just about every) lesson their teacher conducted this year. They have seen the good times, the bad times, and even the great times. They know if a teacher establishes respect and rapport; if an assessment was designed well and aligned with the instructional goals; if a teacher shows professionalism. In short, the students you teach possess a wealth of information about you as a teacher, so are you tapping into this great resource?

Often, we are afraid to open ourselves up to the feedback out of fear for what some of our students may say. But to truly grow, we have to see past some of the ill-advised comments and try to own the feedback. If a student didn't have the best experience, how can we try to understand why and use that understanding to become a better teacher.

If you are thinking about doing some kind of end of year evaluation with your students, check out this great site. It is from the college level, but the materials/ideas can be easily adapted for your classes. Good luck!

Missed Graduation? Watch it Here! Great Time!


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.