The Weekly Roar

Notes from Nick Novak: Saturday April 30, 2016

Kudos... our amazing Administrative Professionals who we celebrated last week. We covered the front office while they went to lunch and in the brief time I was at Ellen's desk, I handled ten phone calls, seven calls on the walkie talkie, five parent visitors, three students sent to the office, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. Our secretaries are the queens of multi-tasking and we are extremely thankful for everything they do to keep our school running. Jen O'Neill (Neugebauer) for seeing her "passion project" through. Jen had an interest in hosting a program about human trafficking, so she worked with PTSA to set it up. Thanks for helping to inform our community about the illegal activities happening right in our back yard. Sara Crisera and Jen DiPietro for two back to back nights of fantastic dance performances. The "Myths, Legends, and Fairytales" theme was awesome! the staff for helping to administer our first round of PARCC testing. We successfully administered roughly 1300+ units of the PARCC, including all PARCC English 10 exams, PARCC Geometry, and Algebra II for our seniors. This is a gargantuan effort and everyone's participation and support has made it possible. Thank you!


Here are some helpful reminders for the upcoming week:

1) The staff meeting for May is on Monday. We will begin at 2:20pm in the cafeteria. An agenda is forthcoming. See you there!

2) We also kick off AP exams on Monday. Just a reminder that there won't be announcements and also that flexibility is the name of the game. When students are absent due to testing, please help them figure out what they missed and allow them time to make it up.

3) Thanks for increasing your presence with the new hallway coverage plan and standing at your doors during passing time. We appreciate your assistance and for staying on top of referrals for policy infractions.

4) Now that it is May, you should plan on delivering your final SLO assessment. Administrators will begin scheduling end of year conferences for the end of the month and the first couple weeks in June. If you have domain 1 and 4 artifacts to upload, don't forget to get those done too!

Staff Birthdays

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

5/3 Cheryl Rice

"Instructional Tidbit"

Students Need Skills To Say No to Fist Fights

One of my top 5 strengths on the Gallup Strengthsfinder is "strategic," so following the week or so upswing in fights, I sat down and collaborated with a variety of folks to work towards a plan of action in addressing the issue. As I shared at last Monday's stand up staff meeting, the increased staff presence can help serve as a deterrent and also ensure that we are faster to respond to any issues, but for the long term, we need to be able to address what we expect from students and also what skills they need to make better choices.

In doing some research about "why students fight," I came across this article from Here's a brief excerpt that helps put our goal in perspective, but I encourage you to read the whole blogpost/article here.

"We live in an age where the ability to recall many facts is no longer a valued skill. We are also living in an age where violence is glorified and the gap between rich and poor grows wider everyday. Even if it’s not in the job description we get from HR, it is our responsibility to teach empathy and conflict resolution. I don’t believe most educators go into the profession because they’re passionate about content standards. I believe good teachers teach because they want to make students’ lives better. Undermining violence is one way we can begin to do that."

Great Video from Jon Hollander (It's Not Just About Promoting Engagement, But Preventing Disengagement)

Student Engagement with Jacob Clifford


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.