I introduced a new cheer to our students during our fall State of the Eagles Address and then again at our Homecoming Pep Rally. The students really got into it, which was demonstrated by members of our student body who led the cheer at some of our sporting events! When I included it our Homecoming Pep Rally class competition, many left wondering, “What is the meaning of the Renaissance cheer?”
Jostens Renaissance is a research-based school climate and culture framework that focuses on recognizing, respecting, rewarding, and reinforcing positive behaviors, such as academics, attendance, character, and student and staff engagement. It is proven that when positive behaviors are respected, recognized, rewarded, and reinforced, positives results continue.
Through Renaissance, pep rallies focus on public recognition of what I call the 7 A’s of successful schools: academics, attendance, attitude (behavior), the arts, athletics, acts of service, and activities. Traditional pep rallies primarily recognize athletes.
Based on the results of the PRIDE Factor survey we conducted last spring, there is a need to provide more opportunities to privately and publicly recognize individuals and groups for positive behavior and performance. Instead of stating, “We are now going to have a Jostens Renaissance program”, I decided to ease it into what we do as a school so that it’s not viewed as “one more thing we have to do.”
We are slowly creating our Renaissance recognition criteria that will be based on students’ progress and achievement, behavior, and attendance. The cheer is something that a number of Renaissance schools do as a unifying cheer. I thought it would be good for NAHS to use the Renaissance cheer to proudly come together and celebrate what we have always been and will continue to be about: student achievement, student growth, and student well-being.
By definition, renaissance means rebirth, and with the cheer, there is a rebirth in our school spirit and pride that comes from celebrating our successes, recognizing our continuous improvement, and creating a sense of belong for all students and staff. At the same time, it’s important to understand that school spirit doesn’t primarily come from wearing school colors or loud cheers. According to Mark White (@MarkWhite55), school spirit comes from a sense of belonging. I couldn’t agree more.
Seniors, for nearly every school day the last two years, we began with the daily Words of Wisdom. It’s been a pleasure to serve as your principal these last two years and to show my appreciation, I cannot let you go before you hear this all too familiar phrase one last time:
Good morning, New Albany High School Class of 2016. This is Mr. Carter with a few parting words of wisdom.
• Don’t worry so much about what could happen, who likes you or not, and what you have to do. Focus on being present in the moment.
• It is impossible to be envious and happy at the same time.
• One of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.
• Remember the three H’s each time you greet others: a handshake, high five, or a hug.
• Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a “to-be” list and then become it.
• Make every effort to not talk about others behind their backs.
• Remember to think on your feet, respond and not react, and perform under pressure.
• Experience life beyond the screen of your phone, laptop, or computer.
• Understand that life is not fair.
• Present yourself in appearance, word, and deed how you want others to treat you.
• A person makes a name, not the name a person.
• Consistency is far greater than perfection.
• You really don’t have to post, tag, tweet, snap chat, record, ping, or Kik every aspect of your life. Make time to disconnect in order to reconnect.
With something to think about, this is Mr. Carter. Make it a great life… or not. The choice is yours.
*Italicized statements taken from 8,789 Words of Wisdom by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Matthew Wawiorka
My name is Steven Kish and I am a junior at New Albany High School. On April 2, an exceptional team of students that I am lucky to be surrounded by hosted New Albany’s third annual TEDx event, which has evolved from TEDxYouth@NAHS to–this year–TEDxNewAlbany. We made the jump to TEDxNewAlbany this past year in order to move our focus away from a school-only focused event to a true community event, still completely organized by NAHS students. Read on to find out more about TEDxNewAlbany 2016 as well as the speakers and the team that brings it all together.
TED, TEDx, TEDxNewAlbany, and the Difference
TED is a global organization which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. There are 2-3 TED Conferences per year, one of which is always in Vancouver, and TED is the parent organization of TEDx events around the world.
TEDx events are community based, locally organized events that feature speakers on a range of topics. Talks are not quite speeches nor are they presentations, so to speak, but they are passionate, intimate, talks where speakers have up to 18 minutes to share their ideas.
TEDxNewAlbany is New Albany’s own TEDx event!
On April 2, TEDxNewAlbany featured 13 speakers–each talk was astoundingly thought-provoking, and they will all be available on YouTube soon. If you want to watch one, simply search “TEDxNewAlbany” in YouTube and a TEDx Talks playlist will appear. Three NAHS students, Claire Klodell, Izzy Vendetti, and Aaron Westbrook, as well as two staff members, David Mitchell and Dwight Carter gave talks! Here’s the full list of speakers and topics:
Juan Alvarez – This Life Purpose Thing
Danny Barren – Think For Yourself
Doug Brennan – What’s Your “For Good?”
Dwight Carter – I Quit
Jodi Collins – Living In The Field
Brad Griffith – How Open-Source Software Can Shape Our Lives
Claire Klodell – Dear My Teenage Self
Jim Mahoney – Learning Without Limits
David Mitchell – The Bigger Picture In Our Kids’ Activities
Kerri Mollard – Ah, You Are So Rich
Izzy Vendetti – Owning Your Perspective
Aaron Westbrook – Change: It’s Not Out Of Your Hands
Shaun Young – Hidden Secrets Of The Uninsured
Our organizing team is completely made up of NAHS students and is split into three different committees.
Our speakers committee (Kate Golian, Lauren Horton, Olivia Koller, Ila Lahooti, Miles Waytes, and Olivia Wootton), led by seniors and Co-Directors of Speakers Jessie Bernard and Sam Malik, trains new speaker coaches, and selects and trains all speakers up through event day. Each speaker receives personal, professional training on their talk from a student speaker coach, and it is truly amazing to see the talks that come out of this hard work each year–TEDxNewAlbany 2016 was no exception.
Our marketing committee (Linder Bozeman, Noah Bressler, Kennedi McDonald, and Jessica von Zastrow), led by junior and Director of Marketing Redd Ingram, is responsible for filling the McCoy Center on event day by using social media, interviews, magazine advertisements, our website, promotional videos, and much more to sell tickets.
Our logistics committee (Ellee Edman, Sujan Kakumanu, Sammi Kappes, and Akshar Patel), led by junior and Director of Logistics Prapti Dalal, organizes performers, coordinates vendors, and does–well–everything else! The logistics committee is home to our most detail-oriented student-organizers, and is vital to making sure that everything runs smoothly at TEDxNewAlbany.
While they aren’t technically part of a committee, I would be remiss not to recognize our Treasurer, Alexis Rudy, and our Ticketing Manager, Zach Furterer.
Character is revealed, not developed during challenging times. Needless to say, we’ve faced some challenging events that past few weeks, but I’m proud of the way we’ve embraced them as a school community.
These are formative years in the lives of students and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of our team. Let’s remember to not count down the days of school we have left, but to count up the number of days we still have to positively change lives and impact futures. Thank you for staying the course and remembering why we are here: to do what is best for kids.
A day will come in every life,
When appreciation is rendered.
And this should be taken seriously,
And given with love and tender.
Anyone who deserves appreciation,
Must have done something great.
So share with them the way you feel,
And always treat them right.
But keep in mind that appreciation,
Should be given again and again.
If you truly appreciate,
You’ll remind them how great they’ve been.
Do something special to thank the ones,
Who’ve made a difference to you.
But don’t forget to thank them again,
For everything they do.
Team NAHS, THANK YOU for everything you do! #NAHSCommUNITY
Staff News Congratulations to Concord Counselor Mrs. Brandy Smith and her husband on the birth of their first child! They welcomed Cohen Jameson Smith on April 11th! He is 6 lbs. 4 oz. 18 inches long.
Congratulations to Speech and Language Pathologist Mrs. Alicia Buren and her husband as they are expecting their second child! The baby is due to arrive in September!
Thanks to Prom Committee Chairperson Ms. Ashley Langenderfer, the students on Prom Committee, and a host of staff chaperones who attended Prom on Friday, April 15th!
Students As Learners
The Chamber Orchestra has finished a rehearsal series of Holberg Suite by Grieg and Lullaby by Hofeldt and submitted a recording to the National Orchestra Festival Competition taking place next March in Pittsburgh Pa. We won’t know the results until mid May, but the students showed an enormous amount of determination and perseverance in preparation for this opportunity.
On Thursday this week the New Albany High School and Middle School track teams put on a Track Meet for the community. This was headed by Coach Cricket Anderson and was assisted by Amy Glenn, Greg Flecher, Jenny Sage and countless other community members. Included among the participants were our Special Olympic athletes. It was tremendous to see our student athletes, teachers, and parents interact with all those involved. I am always impressed with our students who are willing to get involved and give up their time. It is truly a testament to the parents, as well as their coaches, who encourage our students to give back to our community.
In Mrs. Jessica Whitehead’s Physics class, students are determining what factors affect the period of a simple pendulum by testing amplitude, mass, and length. They are also looking for a huge grant to see if they can also determine if changing gravity will make a difference. In Physical Science, many students made extremely creative circuit diagrams to see if their peers could determine what loads in the circuit would work and which would no longer work based on how the circuit was diagrammed. They also spent a lot of time pondering a very difficult question: Based on a graph of data for two light bulbs, determine if they are wired in series or in parallel.
Our Science Olympiad Team continues to be a shining light for the New Albany Community! They recently competed in the Science Olympiad state competition and brought home the 6th place trophy! Coach Sudha Ganesan says, “The long hours your students put in studying/building/practicing for their events certainly paid off.”
Congratulations to the following students on their outstanding Science Olympiad performance: Shankar Pattabhiraman (1st- – Experimental Design, 2nd – Cell Biology, 5th – Protein Modeling, 6th – Anatomy and Physiology) Bhagee Ganesan (1st – Experimental Design, 2nd – Cell Biology, 6th – Anatomy and Physiology) Nikhil Pramod (5th – Chemistry Lab, 5th – Protein Modeling) Nishant Chittari ( 2nd place – Wright Stuff, 7th place – Air Trajectory, 7th place – Wind Power) Gunnar Wielinski (2nd place – Wright Stuff, 7th place – Air Trajectory, 9th place – Bridge Building) Aditya Mistry (5th place – Protein Modeling, 7th place – Wind Power) Jovitha Nelson (1st place – Experimental Design) David Tan (5th place – Chemistry Lab) Olivia Samson (10th place – Fossils) Wilson Wu (10th place – Fossils)
Our sophomore and juniors had the unique opportunity to engage in a conversation with three-time cancer survivor and CEO of Pelotonia Mr. Doug Ulman! Mr. Ulman was the guest at the annual Wexner Leadership Series event, which is organized by Mr. and Mrs. Tuckermann and features Mr. Les Wexner.
• Monday, April 25th- 4th quarter Interim Project Reports; Board of Education Meeting at 6:30 pm in The Jefferson Room
• Wednesday, April 27th- Administrative Assistant Appreciation Day; Staff Meeting
• Friday, April 29th- Staff Meeting Senior Environmental Science Research Presentations; MacBeth at 7:00 PM at the Mershad
• Saturday, April 30th- MacBeth at 7:00 pm at the Mershad
• Sunday, May 1st- MacBeth at 2:00 pm at The Mershad
Increasing student voice is a key topic discussed in education circles today. From Student Government to school town hall meetings, education leaders are implementing a variety of strategies to increase student voice.
Today’s students want and need to be heard. They are inventors, innovators, creators, and thinkers. They desire different experiences from school, in their social settings, and in their future careers. They are taking steps to create ways to learn more about their passions and interests. One example of one of these students is New Albany High School junior Joshua Rajakumar, founder of the New Albany Young Business Leaders Club. Following is the New Albany Young Business Leaders Club from Joshua’s perspective:
My name is Joshua Rajakumar and I am a junior at New Albany High School. This year, I started the New Albany’s Young Business Leaders Club. We have been active for about a month now and we have had two guest speakers thus far: Mr. John Kish and Mr. Bill Ebbing. We are excited about this partnership between the New Albany Community and the High School student body.
What is the New Albany Young Business Leaders Club?
New Albany’s Young Business Leaders is open to all New Albany High School students – from those who have a strong interest in business related careers to those who would like to know what business is all about. We provide exposure to all areas of business related careers, leadership development, resume building, and networking opportunities. Members participate in lectures, workshops, and community projects related to the different areas of business.
We meet every 2 weeks in the Jefferson Room on either Mondays or Wednesdays (currently Wednesdays) after school from 3-4 PM.
As the Founder and President of the club, I have been fortunate to have a team to assist me – Miles Waytes as the Vice President, Brian Schnell as the Media Manager, and Sudeep Ganguly as the Secretary working alongside me in this endeavor.
We currently have 45 registered members.
On February 10th, Mr. John Kish, the SVP and CIO of Safe Auto Insurance, gave a presentation. He spoke about diversifying talents to be capable of performing many jobs and duties. He also addressed three of the most important skills to be successful in the business world: technical skills, people skills, and vision. He also addressed the importance of interviews and resumes and the major things to focus on in each, as he has hired multiple people for jobs and internships in the past.
On February 24th, Mr. Bill Ebbing, the President of the New Albany Company, gave a presentation. He spoke on the importance of community, creativity and perspective. He also touched on the positives and negatives of getting a masters degree/ MBA. The biggest thing he talked about was identifying your weaknesses early, so you can build a team around it and become stronger.
On March 9th, Mr. Andrew Klinger, VP Wealth Management at the Huntington Investment Company, gave a presentation. He touched on a variety of topics, including the importance of transparency when working with a group to enhance productivity. He also stressed that you should not expect to start earning a very high base salary, and that when you enter the labor force, experience and perspective is more important than money. Because Mr. Klinger used to be a stockbroker, and is now a wealth advisor, he also spoke on some stock related topics.
One piece of advice he gave was that even though you should buy low, to never buy a stock that is falling, and wait till it bounces back up. Other than low prices, he also spoke on the importance of looking at other factors such as the quarterly earnings, new management in the company, and the products they are making. He advised that that before you buy a stock, to always give yourself three reasons why you should buy it. In addition to this, he touched upon other topics such as derivatives, compliance and regulation, and commodities.
On March 30th, Becky Jenkins, CFO and Treasurer of NAPLS, will give a presentation.
On April 13th, Adam Van Treese, Campus Recruiting Manager for PricewaterhoueCoopers, will give a presentation.
Outside of school, most people apply learning across disciplines, scenarios, and experiences. For a majority of our lives as students, we are taught in a system that creates blocks of time for learning specific content, much like the factory model of production. However, learning should be life and there is nothing linear about life.
Life is irregular—thus, learning is irregular.
We are in the midst of one of the most disruptive, yet exciting times in history: The Information Age. The rate of change has increased exponentially due to the rapid creation of new content that is produced as technology and life have become seamless. The rate of change continues to have an impact on our education system because students today, or Generation Z, have only known life with touch screen technology. Vast amounts of information is readily available to them with the touch of a button or finger swipe across a screen. They are also creating more content than any generation in history, thus they learn in some fundamentally different ways than we are used to.
The linear, factory system of education is counter to the messy, irregular, and creative learning process that our students have grown accustomed to outside of school. Following are three key points to consider as we are challenged to meet the needs of Generation Z.
1. Asynchronous technology makes learning a constant activity. With the emergence of online learning platforms and social networking, students are able to connect, communicate, and collaborate with their teachers and peers to extend learning beyond the walls of the schoolhouse and school day. Time, space, and location are now variables in the learning process whereas they used to be constants. Author Daniel Pink wrote in the Foreword to the book, The New Social Learning,
The use of technology greatly enhances students’ power to learn on their own time, in their own space, and in much deeper ways than ever before. So, let’s embrace it!
2. We must change how we deliver content due to shorter attention spans. We have quickly become a “sound-bite” society in that we are used to chunks of information shared in a compelling manner. Gen Z takes in thousands of digital images and messages a day, so to make learning more relevant to them, we must not only incorporate all forms of multimedia, but empower students to create and integrate multimedia to demonstrate their learning. If we adopt the use of technology in the classroom, this is a natural byproduct.
3. Focus on global skills development through the content we teach. It is often said that Gen Z will change careers 10-14 times before they retire. If this is true, it is impossible to teach them all the content they will need to be prepared for life. We must consider ways to develop the four key global skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking through our specific content areas. Another approach would be to create interdisciplinary courses that provide students the opportunity to apply content in meaningful ways. We should also integrate technology to help students determine what local, regional, national, and global problems they want to solve. This will, without a doubt, create the conditions for students to develop the necessary skills that transcend careers and jobs.
As we grapple with how to catch up to the changing times that occur in every industry outside of our own, we must consider the messy, irregular, and nonlinear learning process and embrace strategies that empower students to demonstrate their learning in meaningful ways.
Ideas from What’s in Your Space? 5 Steps for Better Schools and Classrooms by Dwight Carter, Gary Sebach, and Mark White, to be published by Corwin Press in March 2016; available at Amazon
Our seniors experienced an important moment on Wednesday, March 9th: they received their graduation caps and gowns. This may be not be a significant event for some, but for many, the reality of graduating from high school, which will mark the commencement of the next chapters in their lives, set in this day. They may not admit it, but there was an excited buzz in the gym as the Senior Team addressed the students and distributed the cherished garments.
Our parents of seniors provided a hardy brunch, which included pancakes, biscuits and gravy, fruit, juice, and milk, for which all were grateful. Once they finished eating there was time to go to the courtyard and enjoy the spring-like weather and the sunshine, throw a Frisbee, or just talk with their friends. It was a special day that could not have happened without the collaborative efforts of our parents, Senior Team, Secretary Beth Johnston, and our Jostens representative Mike Dillon. Our seniors are certainly fortunate to have such a supportive and thoughtful group of well wishers as they prepare for graduation and begin their last nine weeks in the New Albany schools.
Please keep College Counselor Stefanie Drugan and her family in your prayers as her father was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Please keep Spanish teacher Lisa Betts in your prayers as she and her family mourn the loss of her uncle.
Congratulations to Math teacher Clayton Rainsberg and Intervention Specialist Mike Covey for competing in the Pi Day 5K Race in Westerville on Saturday! Mr. Rainsberg set a personal record of 22:24, which is a minute faster than his time last year, and he placed second in his age bracket. Mr. Covey shaved two minutes off his time from a year ago.
Thanks to everyone who organized and proctored the Ohio Graduation Tests. It was a time consuming endeavor, but such an important process to help some of students move a step closer to graduation.
I really appreciate those of you who continue to provide passes for students during House and ACT Period. Several people have stepped up to monitor the halls during ACT to praise our students to being responsible and respectful as they transition to the various zones or classrooms.
Students As Learners
Board President Laura Kohler took a tour of our school last Thursday and she was so impressed by the high level academic discussions, student presentations, and engaged learning she experienced in a number of the classrooms. She commented on the cleanliness of the building, the quiet hallways, and the overall focus on learning. We often forget how blessed we are until we hear it from others who are not in our school every day like we are. We will continue to strive to create the conditions for teachers to teach, students to learn, and for others to serve. Thank you for constantly putting students first!
We continuously seek opportunities for students to connect with others locally, nationally, and globally as a way to fulfill our mission and expose our students to different perspectives. From global service and exploration trips to local service learning projects, we create the conditions for students to broaden their perspective and develop global skills.
On Tuesday, March 8th, some of our students in Freshman Humanities and KAP American Humanities had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Megan Boudreaux, the founder of Respire Haiti. She shared her dedication to educating children who are domestic slaves in Haiti. In a few short years, Megan and her organization have made a real difference in the lives of hundreds of childre. Megan is a dedicated, inspirational leader and a driving force in helping these children.
Senior Payton Carter heard Mrs. Boudreax’s presentation and recently started an organization to help raise awareness in the community about the conditions of children in Haiti. New Albany Helping Haiti will be collecting new and gently used children’s clothes and accessories from those in our community. Anyone interested in donating to this worthy cause may contact New Albany Helping Haiti at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help to spread the word via social media by liking them on Facebook at New Albany Helping Haiti and follow them on Instagram at @nahelpinghaiti.
Monday, March 14th- BOE Work Session and Superintendent Interview at 6:30 p.m. at the Mershad
Tuesday, March 15th- Junior Senior Seminar Summer Institute Proposals due
Thursday, March 17th- ACT Boot Camp; Last Day of Third Grading Period
Friday, March 18th- Spring Break: No School
Monday, March 28th- School Resumes; First Day of Fourth Grading Period
Articles Worth Reading Personalized Learning: Why Your Classroom Should Look Like a Coffee Shop
The author of this article shares specific examples of teachers who have transitioned to the personalized learning approach, which is a form of differentiation. The author also highlights the focus on student learning by listing several key questions asked of teachers and students.
Is it Time to Reconsider AP Classes?
The author of this article raises the question that many are starting to ask as more high stakes testing is introduced in schools and how difficult it is for students to manage the emotional and mental stress the comes with the college admissions process. The author challenges the conventional wisdom of rigor in schools with examples of high achieving schools that have replaced AP courses with their own interdisciplinary courses that focus on global skill development.
Enjoy your spring break with your family and friends!
Congratulations to Math teacher Chrissie Bolan and her husband as they celebrate the arrival of Jay Abbott Bolan, a beautiful healthy 8 pound 11 ounce baby boy!
Guidance Secretary Shelly Santantonio’s father was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. They do not yet know the severity of the diagnosis, but he is in good spirits. Please keep Shelly and her family in your prayers.
Secretary Karen McCullough officially joined our team on Monday, February 22nd! I have seen several you of stopping by her desk to introduce yourselves and to make her feel welcomed. Thanks to Beth Johnston for helping her transition into her new position.
Please welcome long-term math substitute teacher Tyler Rogers to Team NAHS. He is taking over the reigns for Chrissie Bolan. I would like to thank math teachers Karen Morlan, Chrissie, and Lindsay Bennett for leading the interview process to select Tyler to join us.
English teacher Lynette Turner, Math teacher Sara Shon, and Science teacher Clair Monk recently attended a dynamic EdLeader21 Workshop held at the Columbus Museum. EdLeader21 is one of the premiere education organizations that develop rubrics to measure student creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills. They were able to connect with a number of educators from Ohio and other parts of the country. Following are the learning targets for workshop attendees:
• Understand the key elements in the EL21 Critical Thinking rubric
• Learn how to design performance tasks that strategically integrate Critical Thinking in the context of ELA, science and mathematics
• Learn strategies for helping students self-assess Critical Thinking skills
• Use the EdLeader21 Critical Thinking Toolkit to strengthen your systematic implementation of 4Cs instruction and assessment
They participated in several design challenges as they examined the key global skills previously listed. Following is a list of potential design challenges EdLeader21 recommends for students: 1. How can we improve the landscape of our school?
2. How can we design a blade that generates the most speed and electricity on a turbine?
3. How can we, as biographers, create a legacy for our local heroes?
What they learned aligns perfectly with our Rigor work as we challenge ourselves to examine our instructional design and student learning to ensure students are developing the necessary skills for success.
Students As Learners Congratulations to our Science Olympiad Team for their outstanding performance in at the New Albany Invitational last Saturday! Following is a recap by Coach Sudha Ganesan:
Our varsity team won a fourth place trophy, while our JV came in 25th place. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of your students. They took such initiative to set up the HS on Friday last, they made sure each room had the right signage, the right number of tables, chairs, all school property was secured away from testing areas, all teacher’s resources put away safely. On Saturday morning, they were there in the lobby, greeting schools, walking them to their homerooms, getting rooms unlocked, lights turned on – true school ambassadors. During the day they helped visiting teams navigate our school campus to events, helped event supervisors with overhead projectors, internet connections, all this while they successfully competed in their many events earning a rich haul of medals and ribbons.
Our students are confident that we are on track to bringing home a top three trophy at the Grandview Heights Regionals in two weeks. Congratulations to our our amazing medal/ribbon winners.
Bhagee G. – Anatomy & Physiology (2nd), Experimental Design (3rd),
Protein Modeling (3rd), Cell Biology (7th) Nishant C. – Wind Power (3rd), Wright Stuff (3rd), Air Trajectory (5th),
Robot Arm (7th) Gunnar W. – Bridges (3rd), Wright Stuff (3rd),, Air Trajectory (5th) Aditya M. – Protein Modeling (3rd), Wind Power (3rd), Write It Do It (7th) Nikhil P. – Protein Modeling (3rd), Detectives (4th), Chem Lab (6th) Harshitha K. – Hydrogeology (3rd), Dynamic Planet (4th) Mihir P. – Bridges (3rd), Fossils (6th), Chem Lab (6th) Olivia S. – Hydrogeology (3rd), Fossils (6th) Parker L. – Game On (1st) Wilson W. – Game On (1st) Jovitha N. – Anatomy & Physiology (2nd) David Tan – Astronomy (4th), Dynamic Planet (4th), Forensics (5th) Nikhil M. – Astronomy (4th), Disease Detectives (4th), Cell Biology (7th), Pranav G. – Robot Arm (4th) Sidharth S.- Robot Arm (4th) Shota N. – Forensics (5th) Aayush S. – Experimental Design (7th) Arjun K. – Robot Arm (7th) Catherine T. – Write it Do It (7th) Shanvanth A. -Experimental Design (7th) Tejal R. – Experimental Design (7th)
American History teacher Jeremiah Hunt introduced his students to a concept called, “the silent debate”, which led to high level academic discussion and student engagement. As I observed the class, the depth of student learning impressed me, and asked Mr. Hunt to provide a description of the activity to share:
The night before the debate, I asked half the class to read a document supporting the Truman Doctrine and half the class was assigned to read/analyze a document criticizing the Truman Doctrine. The next day, students partnered up with a person in the class who read the opposing viewpoint. Instead of debating back and forth verbally the students took turns debating back and forth by writing their positions on a piece of paper. Each statement the students wrote was taken from the document and used text evidence as support. The activities allowed me to emphasize document analysis skills and supporting a position with text evidence.
I am certain this can be used in a variety of courses, so consider giving it a try. Thanks, Mr. Hunt!
Each year, students in American Literature 11 write their own poems based on a significant historical event or historical artifact in America. Before students begin writing, they study poetic structure through the works of Gwendolyn Brooks, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and they learn to “scan” a poem and write explications. After studying the poetic art form, students begin writing and then present their poems along with a 3-D project. This year, the students worked harder than ever and Regina Morlan and Nicki Cray were so impressed with their efforts. The final products ranged in topics from Columbine to Vietnam Protests to Dr. Martin Luther King and The Statue of Liberty. Here is an excerpt from junior and new student, Yvonne Ologo: “The American Dream:” Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, the wind blew
Rushing leaves form my feet and toward her flew
There stood a silhouette, grey, pasted in the blue
Even with no expression my agitation grew.
Why do I have to shut up and follow the crowd?
Why can’t I do something, be creative, make myself proud?
She reached out to touch me, so gentle with care
Her face was so graceful, couldn’t help but revere…
The Statue of Liberty
And there it was in her silence she had answered me
America, yes, the land to be
Land of persistent differences but unity…
A job well done by Mrs. Morlan and Mrs. Cray!
Monday, March 7th- Department Chair Meeting 3:00 pm Professional Library
Wednesday, March 9th- Staff Meeting 7:15 am Jefferson Room;
Thursday, March 10th- Staff Meeting 7:15 am; House Jeopardy
Saturday, March 11th- SAT
We held winter Parent/Teacher Conferences last week and I received a number of positive comments from teachers and parents about the quality of the conversations. The conversations were centered on strategies and enrichments to maintain or enhance student performance. The timing of conferences was perfect for our school counselors because we are in the beginning stages of course selections, so parents who had questions were able to schedule individual time to meet with them. This should make the scheduling process even smoother.
Students gained access to online scheduling Monday, February 15th. I want to thank Steve Gehlert, Jennifer Grand-Pierre, Beth Johnston, Shelly Santantonio, Lisa Stiles, our School Counselors, and Department Chairs for their hard work on this all-important process.
Congratulations to College Counselor Stefanie Drugan and her husband who are expecting their first child!
Congratulations to Alspach for winning the Pennies for Patients Drive! Pleasant Hill and Wagner came in very close for second and third places. Congratulations to all houses.
The school yearbook is one of the best ways to preserve memories and purchase a piece of history. With the use of social media and other Web 2.0 tools, students are able to upload images that they would like to include in the yearbook so that it is much more of a collaborative process. The school yearbook is still a major artifact of the high school experience and one that is cherished years after graduation. English teacher and Yearbook Advisor Thom Cross has worked closely with students to increase advertisements, market The Eagle yearbook in more creative ways, and provide a way for students to remember their New Albany years.
There is still time to buy a NAHS 2016 yearbook! The last day to submit an order with a personalized cover is April 30th, 2016, and the last day to purchase a yearbook is July 30th. Please visit www.yearbookforever.com and address all questions to Yearbook Advisor and English teacher Thom Cross at email@example.com.
Students As Learners As part of her Physics class, Science teacher Jessica Whitehead is facilitating mini “How to Adult” chats. So far, they have discussed mortgage payments and the basics about home buying. They have also discussed business-casual verses business professional clothing and interview questions from top companies. Finally, she focused on the importance of a firm handshake. To do so, she invited members of the administrative team to greet her students outside her door to shake hands with them as they entered the room. This is a simple, yet creative way to embed “soft skills” into the curriculum.
I learned this week that several teachers provide opportunities for students to retake tests to ensure they can demonstrate what they have learned. This is a challenging concept for many to embrace because it goes against the traditional culture of school and deadlines. However, I support this approach to assessment because it makes learning the constant and time a variable. Additionally, it gives teachers an opportunity to discover what needs to be retaught based on the data gathered from assessments. With office hours, Academic Coaching Time (ACT period), study centers, and online learning platforms like Schoology or Google Classroom, there are many opportunities to reteach content in a variety ways before students retake takes or quizzes.
Something for us to consider is should students receive half or full credit for making test corrections or retaking a test? If a student does not show up for re-teaching opportunities, should they be given the chance to retake a test or make test corrections? These are simply points to consider and certainly are not something that will become an overall school policy. Considering how we use information gathered from testing to influence future instruction involves contemplating how we will vary approach. This is one consideration. It would be an interesting discussion to know how various teachers approach this and share ideas on this topic.
Seniors Ruthie Lewis and Miranda Derflinger facilitated a Teen Dating Violence Prevention presentation for our freshmen during ACT last Wednesday and Thursday. Ruthie organized this event last year and enhanced it even more this year by including a self defense presentation by Miranda and inviting Gahanna Lincoln High School senior Kaylah Casuccio to share her story. It was an engaging and relevant presentation for our students.
A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a few students with large cameras hanging around their necks and iPhones in their hands. They proposed an idea to create an Instagram account called, Humans of New Albany (@HumansofNewAlbany). They were inspired by the Humans of New York (@Humansofny) Instagram account, which shares peoples’ stories in a visually, compelling way. They explained that they want to bring to light the fascinating stories of students and staff in our school community. They want to celebrate our unique differences and commonalities that unite us as human beings. So far, their work is impressive! If you have an Instagram account, I encourage you to follow them to learn more about the humans of New Albany. I appreciate their initiative, empathy, and desire to tell story visually.
Congratulations to our Boys Basketball team for winning OCC Capital Division title! Congratulations also to a host of NAHS Swimmers and Divers for qualifying to the district championships after a successful sectional performance on Saturday!
200 Medley Relay Grace, Kelly, Emili and Lauren S.
Brennan, Jack G., Steven and Victor
100 Free Jessica Z, Blake, Olivia, Lauren S., Pearson, Harrison
500 Free Abbie, Jane
200 Free Relay Blake, Jessica, Lauren S and Olivia
Harrison, Pearson, Gage and Carson
100 Back Grace, Sydney, Isabel
100 Breast Kelly, Lauren L, Victor, Jack G.
400 Free Relay Blake, Jessica Z, Abbie and Olivia
Pearson, Harrison, Gage and Carson
Wednesday, February 17th- Department Meetings 7:15-7:50 a.m.
Thursday, February 18th- Department Meetings 7:15-7:50 a.m.
Saturday, February 20th- Winter Formal 8:00-11:00 p.m. in the Gym
Articles Worth Reading Stop Humiliating Teachers– The rhetoric around public education the last ten years has been toxic. The author of this article provides an historical account of what has led to the negative perception of teachers and identifies the root cause of the problem. The article is also inclusive of solutions to overcome it.
Video Worth Watching
I encourage you to watch the following spoken word video by artist Shane Koyczan. He tells a dynamic story about his school experience and that of others who may feel the same way. More importantly, he presents a way to eliminate the conditions that lead to students feeling as if they simply do not belong: empathy.
There was a great deal activity at New Albany High School last week, which included a number of activities for our school community. Midweek, we held our Curriculum Extravaganza in the MS/HS cafeteria and it was standing room only!
Our School Counselors and Department Chairs organized the event because we wanted to create a much more engaging, informative, and interactive experience for parents and students who attended. The scheduling process can be daunting due to our diverse course offerings and several new changes to graduation requirements and credit attainment.
Representatives from each department were available to answer questions, provide course sequence advice, and be a listening ear as parents and their children perused the cafeteria. The school counselors provided a formal 35-minute presentation that reviewed graduation requirements and the entire scheduling process. Parent and staff feedback has been extremely positive as can be seen in the following e-mail from a staff member:
“I am not sure to whom this should go as I am sure many were involved, but last evening was wonderful. What a great addition to the scheduling process. It was well worth the time spent. It was nice to help the parents, even when they were not the parents of current students. I think it was a prime opportunity to show our commitment to the community and the schools. I have heard only good things from the staff and the parents. To you and to all involved, this was an excellent move. Thank you!”
Thanks to everyone who submitted cards and notes to send to staff members who need a word of encouragement! #NAHSCommUNITY!
A big shout to our secretarial and custodial staff for helping us to organize and prepare for the Curriculum Extravaganza! Additionally, thanks to all teachers who were able to assist parents in your respective departments. #NAHSCommUNITY!
Thanks to our coaches and Athletic Director Kevin Reed for leading our student athletes to earn a 6th straight Ralph Young Award!
Thanks to Assistant Principal Steve Gehlert, our Department Chairs, and secretaries Shelly Santantonio and Jennifer Grand-Pierre for completing the Program of Studies and Schedule Grid.
Students As Learners Band teacher Darren Falk has found a creative way to integrate technology during instruction in a way that allows students to provide feedback to their peers in a collaborative manner. After several minutes of warm-up drills and practice playing a particular piece of music, Mr. Falk uses Adacity to record the students playing, uploades it to the class Schoology page, and asks students to provide feedback after listening to the recording. This enables him to check for student understanding as they strengthen their listening skills. It also creates a greater sense of community because each section of the band provides support to one another in a constructively critical, yet professional manner. This is a fantastic formative instructional practice that incorporates student voice!
We held the State of the Eagles Address on Wednesday, January 27 and Thursday, January 28 during Academic Coaching Time. We recognized students who earned a grade point average of 3.0-3.49, 3.5-3.99, and 4.00+. We also asked students who improved at one or more grades by one letter grade from 1st quarter to second quarter. Following this brief spotlight experience, we shared our overall grade levels and school grade point average for second quarter:
· Class of 2019 – 3.11
· Class of 2018 – 3.37
· Class of 2017 – 3.37
· Class of 2016 – 3.33
· Overall – 3.29
We share this information with students because we want them to know how important each person’s performance is to our overall success. This was also a good introduction to our new zones that are available during Academic Coaching Time (ACT Period).
Students who met the grade, attendance, and discipline criteria can attend four different zones based on their needs:
· Silent Zone: Library – this is for students who want to work independently in absolute silence. With the study nooks, variety of seating arrangements, and design of the library, it is the perfect setting for silent study.
· Quiet Zone: Jefferson Room – this is for students who want peer assistance or the opportunity to work on group projects that require some talking and interaction.
· Collaboration Zone: high school cafeteria – this is for students who want to have an informal club meeting to finish projects, continue the planning process for upcoming projects, work more openly with their peers, or to socialize in a less formal setting.
· ACT Room– a majority of students like the environment that has been created in their current ACT Room with their academic coach and peers, so they can remain in this room.
Students who need additional coaching based on second quarter data have been assigned to a content area academic coach and will report to their coach every Wednesday or Thursday during ACT. It is an intentional and purposeful opportunity to support students during the school day and take advantage of a significant block of time.
Monday, February 1st – 8th grade Registration Week
Royal Shakespeare Company play: Henry V
Wednesday, February 3rd – Department Meetings at 7:20 a.m.
Thursday, February 4th – Department Meetings at 7:20 a.m.
Friday, February 5th – Black History Month Assembly
Saturday, February 6th – ACT
Monday, February 8th – BOE Meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9th – P/T Conferences
Thursday, February 11th – P/T Conferences
Monday, February 15th – Presidents Day Observance: No School
Tuesday, February 16th – Staff Professional Learning Day
College Credit Plus Meeting at 6:30 p.m.