The Weekly Roar

Notes from Nick Novak: Sunday May 15, 2016


to Rick Lawrence on his final concert last Friday. Former students, principals, and other "VIPs" spoke after the concert and a few hundred alumni all came on stage for the finale. It was absolutely amazing. Thanks to Colette Lawrence and Chris Campbell for setting things up and running the show.

to Jimmy Creighton, Michael Kaplan, Shea Conway, and Matt Hanson for leading the Boys Lacrosse team to it's 3rd consecutive county title. Playoffs are already underway and with a win yesterday, the Lions face Westminster on Monday.

to Zack Dickerson, Tyler Wade, Dave Glenn, Phil LeDuc, and Brian Gertzen whose work with the Boys and Girls Track teams led to a sweep at the County Championships. It's the 4th consecutive title for the girls and the first for the boys since 2007.

to Will Zuccarini for planning and hosting a concert for students enrolled in guitar. Students and parents packed the auditorium to see the culmination of a year's worth of instruction and practice. It's great that these students were able to showcase their talents in the same way that their friends in band, choir, and orchestra do.

to the Art department and especially Sarah Hensley for a great night at Javapalooza. The student performances were awesome and it was probably a good thing it was moved to the cafeteria since we needed a spot for all those students and parents to sit. Well done!

once again to the entire staff who pulled together and did a tremendous job in proctoring the PARCC, including our teachers who have been displaced due to testing. In addition, enough cannot be said about Gina Palermo's multi-tasking prowess, as she is simultaneously coordinating the current PARCC test while preparing for the HSAs!


Here are some helpful reminders for the upcoming week:

1) We have a guest speaker on Monday. We will run two assemblies: one for 10th/12th graders and the other for 9th/11th graders. The modified bell schedule can be found on Canvas.

2) Department meetings are scheduled for after school Monday; however, there is also department time on Friday morning. See your ITL for when and where you will be meeting.

3) Senior final exams begin on Tuesday. Please be sure that students are engaged in testing and in your classroom for the duration of the period. Some students will try to make use of this time to wander the halls--don't let them. Returning books, paying obligations, etc can be done on their time, not yours (see video below).

4) HSA training will take place on Tuesday in the auditorium. See Brian's email for specifics.

5) The building scheduling meeting for next year will be Thursday after school in F124. If you have any events you are planning to hold, please be there!

6) Both the admin team and the leadership team noted what a difference staff are making by standing at your doors during passing time and through your hallway/lunch duty assignments. Remember to require a pass when sending students out of class (even if your room is right next to the bathroom or water fountain). Our hall duty folks report that they feel like they are busting their colleagues in addition to the students. If you want an agenda book to use as a classroom pass, see Jody Adams--we do have a limited number remaining.

Staff Birthdays

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

5/14 Anne Handy

5/17 Richmond Benin

"Instructional Tidbit"

The Warm Demander

I see a lot of articles pop up in my Twitter stream, but one recently caught my eye just on the title alone. As I read the article, I discovered what a warm demander was: "a teacher who expects a great deal of their students, convinces them of their own brilliance, and helps them reach their potential in a disciplined and structured environment." Hopefully, you'l read the entire article, but, in the meantime, here are the highlights:

1) Believe in the Impossible-This really comes down to whether you believe that all students can learn. If you aren't reminding students of their unlimited potential, who will?

2) Build Trust- Listen to your students and learn about who they are and what matters to them. Building trust also means showing a little vulnerability yourself and sharing your thoughts and feelings with students too.

3) Teach Self-Discipline- High standards communicate respect and students should complete their work based on respect for you and themselves rather than just to be compliant.

4) Embrace Failure- Do students have an opportunity to learn from mistakes in your classroom or are they always penalized for them? Teach your students to have a growth mindset and celebrate the fact that real learning comes from failure.

Is It "My Time," "Your Time," or "Our Time?"

Fast Times at Ridgemont High - Mr. Hand Pizza on Our 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.