The Reds Tale

November 30, 2017

From the Desk of Mr. Roote

I have been known to pose the question, "I wonder if the students were talking enough?" after consuming part or all of a lesson in a Newark High School classroom.

Recently, a member of our Student Advisory Cabinet pulled me aside and suggested that students don't want to hear from their principals in the auditorium portion of SELF. Instead, they want a message packaged and delivered by their peers.

I observed a music lesson the other day where a freshman was solely responsible for managing the warm up of his music class with a collection of 30+ of his peers.

Of the three observations noted above, I will point out that the latter looked and felt right. Naturally, a classroom where students rarely speak and only perform is missing a pretty broad and deep slice of formative assessment. Our SELF work, when delivered in adult terms, probably flies over the heads of most, if not all of our students. I ask you to consider, "What is it about students talking that matters?". Here are a few points made by Bill Palmer in an Edutopia article titled Including Student Voice:

  • What is Student Voice? The term "Student Voice" describes how students give their input to what happens within the school and classroom. Our desire is for students to know that their expertise, opinions and ideas are valued in all aspects of school life. Student Voice permeates all levels of our work together, from students participating in small group classroom conversations to students partnering in curriculum design or establishing school norms and policy.
  • Why is Student Voice Important? One of the principles guiding the transformation work [...] is that student achievement and engagement will increase when students have more ownership of their school community. The Student Voice key element reinforces that:

    1. What students have to say matters in how learning happens.
    2. Students have untapped expertise and knowledge that can bring renewed relevance and authenticity to classrooms and school reform efforts.
    3. Students benefit from opportunities to practice the problem solving, leadership and creative thinking required to participate in a decision-making school community.

As you do as I am doing and reflect on your process for raising student voice. Think about what you are doing to identify the critical attributes of student voice in your classroom and then go the next step and consider how you are encouraging students to master those critical attributes.

Stay tuned, beginning in 2018, we hope to bring the large group portion of SELF to you via student voice!

From the Desk of Mr. Wagner

Contacting parents is a critical part of working through the disciplinary process with students. Recently, my communication home has proved to reinforce the effort we are making at school. Specifically, I was speaking to one parent when I was processing a referral related to academic deficiency. She expressed that with proactive communication, she would be able to make sure that her child’s work was complete and committed to motivating her to stay after school when necessary. After follow-up with the teacher, the student did complete all missing work within a couple days. Another example involved a freshmen student that was regularly disruptive in classes. After numerous interventions, we held a parent-teacher conference focused on listening and collaborating to develop strategies to better support the student. This meeting proved to be effective as teacher reports after were consistent with improved behavior. Lastly, I have learned through many experiences that a phone call is much more effective than email. When emailing, much of what is important (supporting the student) often gets lost in translation, which in turn can result in a bank-and-fourth that is not productive. I would strongly recommend a phone call for at least the first contact as it leads to much more personal and effective communication.

Mash Up

Smoking marijuana and driving: 33% of teens think it's legal. Some think it isn't dangerous

Mr. Scoon, "Dear Mr. Roote: Words cannot express my gratitude for what administrators, faculty, staff and students did today. The program that was presented today as said was beyond words, and the thanks that I received afterward were too numerous to count.

I will remember this day as the highlight of my carrier here at Newark Central School District. Regards, Tim."

Mr. Groot, "Reds Wagon Workshop will be having our Second Annual Holiday Craft Sale this Friday, December 1st. I hope you have money left over from Black Friday and Cyber Monday and would like to spread some more holiday cheer while supporting our students. We will be in the Main Foyer at the Middle School and in the High School LGI from 11:30–1:00 pm"

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Social Emotional Learning and the Plan for Excellence

Calendar Share

Thursday, November 30; Thursday, January 4; Thursday, February 8, Tuesday, March 20; and Thursday, May 3. Below 65 Progress. Contact: T Roote.

3:00-4:00 pm on November 30; January 17; February 27; March 22; April 25; and May 14. PD Hours. Contact: Robin Uveges

Tuesday, December 5 from 6:00-7:00 pm in the high school library. School Community Advisory Cabinet (SCAC). Contact: T Roote.

Tuesday, December 5 at 2:30 pm in the LGI. Staff Meeting. Contact: T Roote.

Wednesday, December 13 period 1 schedule. SELF with Jeff Yalden. Contact: T Roote.

Friday, December 22. Winter Pep Rally. Contact: B.Ross

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The Instructional Corner

Some teachers have been asking for more information on the Pineapple Chart. Click the following link to learn about our Pineapple Chart opportunity. This is a way to collaborate with your colleagues, delve more deeply into our understanding of protocol implementation, and bring teachers together. If you are interested in welcoming your colleagues into your classroom while you implement a protocol, please sign up on the Pineapple Chart Calendar located outside the Instructional Coaching office or let Will or Robin know and we can add the information to the chart. If you are interested in visiting a classroom on the Pineapple Chart but do not have that period free, please check with an instructional coach and maybe we can help.

If we want our students to grow as thinkers, readers, and writers, then they must be able to share ideas that are important to them. These ideas are often personal and require a tremendous amount of courage to share their ideas with their peers, this risk taking is essential to growth. As we continue to reflect on our own practices, building a supportive learning community is essential to student’s success in our classes. Students who are involved in classrooms that have a strong sense of community often like school better, increase their academic motivation, become better at resolving conflicts, and improve their academic achievement. The community we build in our classrooms is built explicitly through our intentional structures and protocols, and implicitly through our tone, language and behavior. By integrating community-building tools, techniques, and structures into our lessons, community building is not an afterthought. If you are interested in incorporating Team Builders, Class Meetings, Writer’s Notebooks, or Read-Alouds and would like support, please contact an Instructional Coach. Please check out the following links that will provide some more information on community building: Team Building Activities, Games, & Problem Solving Exercises, Cup Stacking Challenge, Listen to Domingo, Freedom Writers Journal Sharing, and our Padlet Reflection.

Alumni Spotlight Heather Jones:

Heather Jones Newark Class of 2001. While at NHS, Heather was an Honor Society member and played tennis (Mr. True was her coach) and softball. She was an outfielder on the 2001 Section V Championship team. Following high school, Heather attended SUNY Geneseo receiving her Bachelor of Science in History. Heather planned on teaching but was a Burger King employee through out her college year, won a Burger King Scholarship and decided to make Burger King her career. Heather began graduate school, but a promotion caused school time restraints preventing her from continuing. She did receive an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Monroe Community College however.

Heather has been the Newark Burger King store manager since 2014 after being in various other locations. She is currently expecting her first child, a boy, in late January.

Words of Wisdom: Education is very important, even if you don’t use your degrees at your job, you’ll use that degree in different ways.

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Close up/Share a pic!

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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.