The Weekly Roar

Notes from Nick Novak: Sunday September 18, 2016

Kudos all our Unconference facilitators and especially the design team for making the morning of professional learning a success. Check the minutes from each session to expand on your learning! Ronda Lennon, Dave Glenn, and Veronica Valentine for their informative presentations to the staff about the variety of supports for students in need. Laura Parsons for making us feel more comfortable about OASYS. If you need any additional assistance, feel free to contact her or your designated administrator. Student Services for a fantastic Senior College Night. Rave reviews from students and parents about all the great info they received about the college application process. the Front Office staff and the Student Services Team for a phenomenal Feast Friday breakfast. What a way to start the morning! The next one is October 14th and the Math and CTE departments will treat us to some culinary delights!


Here's some important info for the coming week(s):

1) Unless your ITL has made other arrangements (and hopefully shared with you), department meetings are scheduled for Monday 9/19. This is the "long" meeting of the month as outlined in the HCEA contract. The extra time allows you to engage in more meaningful collaboration within your department/content teams.

2) Our next Lionstime of the year will be on Wednesday 9/21. Students will be creating their log ins on Monday and will need to sign up by Tuesday afternoon. Only admit students to your class who are on your list/have the pass from the website. Please don't send students to another location during Lionstime. Thanks.

3) This week, your 2nd period classes will be selecting representatives for the SGA General Assembly. One rep from each class will attend this meeting during the last Lionstime of the month. The rep will share any issues, ideas, or concerns your class has and also bring back important information for the students in your 2nd period. Sam Jacobsen and the SGA Executive Board will be making an announcement via Howard360 this week. Thanks for encouraging your students to get involved.

4) How are those SafeSchools Modules coming? Don't forget to get them done. Keep chipping away at them or do like I did and just tackle them all at once!

Staff Birthdays

Happy Birthday to the following staff members celebrating this week:

9/17 Karen Stark

9/22 Jason Johnson

9/23 Laura Phebus

"Instructional Tidbit"

Psych 101

If you're like me, every once in a while you witness something that takes you back to your teacher prep program. Maybe it's a reminder of having students work within what Vygotsky called the Zone of Proximal Development? Perhaps a "failed" group activity causes you to break out that Kagan text on Cooperative Learning?

Recently, I've been reminded of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The basic gist is that people are more motivated by certain needs and that these needs take precedence over others and even prevent us from pursuing needs higher on the "hierarchy" until the more basic needs are met. Am I jogging your memory yet? Do you remember the pyramid?

Well, the theory plays out in the classroom/school every day. Students aren't able to concentrate on the insightful article about why the US entered the Vietnam War if they came to school hungry that day or they were kicked out of their apartment and are looking for a place to live. Likewise, it's difficult for students to strive to accomplish a goal or feel good about their work if they don't have a sense of belonging or feel like the people at school don't care about them.

As I thought about Maslow's pyramid and how it plays out in the classroom, I found this great post on edutopia. Check it out and be sure to focus on these strategies in your classroom. They are instrumental in helping your students have their basic, psychological, and self-fulfillment needs met.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Need - Classroom


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.