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.
Video Worth Watching
Mark Modesti: The Argument for Trouble