At the beginning of the school year, I shared with your families a brief list of what we expect of you. This list is essentially our core values: respect for self, respect for others, respect for the learning environment, and respect for the community.
Several months ago, we gathered in the gymnasium during Academic Coaching Time (ACT period) where you were asked an essential question: “What should we expect of you?” The reason why we asked you this question is because your voice matters. You matter, and your level of engagement is directly related to how you feel about being a New Albany High School Eagle.
Once we explained the directions, we asked you to organize yourselves into smaller groups, spread out, and sit on the gym floor to brainstorm a list of behaviors we should expect of you. The School Counselors and Administrators gathered your lists and we compiled the data, which were put into the following Wordle:
The highlighted behaviors would make any parent or educator proud. You understand how important it is to demonstrate respect towards others, our learning environment, and the community. You also stressed the importance of being on time, prepared, and open-minded. The more we all demonstrate these behaviors on a consistent basis, the better our learning environment will become.
As we near the end of the first semester and kickoff the second half of the year in less than two weeks, let’s refocus on what you said we should expect of you. Following are some specific ways you can do that:
1. Be punctual daily
2. Be prepared by completing your assignments in a quality manner
3. Throw your trash away whether you’re in the cafeteria, hallways, Jefferson Room, Library, or outside.
4. Be where you are supposed to be at all times.
5. Be nice.
You make me proud to be your principal daily and I look forward to what is in store for second semester!
As I embark on another year and reflect on 2015, I am reminded that I can truly only control two things: my attitude and my actions. In fact, that’s all any of us can control. To make 2016 a G.R.E.A.T year, I will be:
1. Grateful– demonstrate an attitude of gratitude for the “problemtunities” that come my way (opportunities disguised as problems), my loving family, supportive network of friends and colleagues, and God’s daily blessings.
2. Relational– Focus on the people in my life who have breathed life into me with words of encouragement, constructive criticism to help me grow, and remember that, “no significant learning occurs without significant relationships.” I can improve relationships with others by being an active listener, reserving judgement, being present, and demonstrating empathy.
3. Enthusiastic-It is often said that, “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” I firmly believe this and have seen it happen in my life and in the lives of others. I plan to begin each day enthused about the opportunity to positively change lives and impact the future of others!
4. Authentic– It takes too much energy to be someone or something that you are not, thus, I have found it so much easier to be me, the real me, in every situation. However, I am still working on growing in this area.
5. Teachable-To learn is to lead and lead is to constantly learn. The more teachable spirit I have, the better person I can become for myself, my family, friends, and my staff and students.
Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday! We enjoy the combination of the fall colors, cooler weather, and time to reflect on our lives independently and collectively as a family. It’s also a time for us to gather with family to break bread, laugh, listen to stories, and just relax. Let’s continue to focus on gratitude, love, and fellowship as we prepare for midterm exams and winter break.
Congratulations to teachers Elliott Lemberg, Darren Falk, Karrie Horton, Jessica Whitehead, and Regina Morlan and the entire cast and crew of Kiss Me, Kate for stellar performances over the weekend! There were a variety of solo and group performances that showcased our talented students.
Thanks to our Social Committee for hosting another successful OSU-Michigan Tailgate Party in the Jefferson Room on Tuesday, November 24th! The outcome of the game was not what we wanted, but it was nice to gather as a staff to enjoy good food and good company!
Art teacher Juliette Montague recently facilitated two presentations at Morehead State University. Her first presentation was on the importance of concept drawing for product design to group of STEM students. She showed them examples of how Industrial Designers and Architects use perspective drawing for concept ideas. She also gave a brief hands-on perspective drawing lesson to the class. Her second presentation was to the Arts Entrepreneur class in which she made a presentation using her own work and experiences marketing, promoting and selling artwork. She had great experiences interacting with the students both during and after the presentations. It is rewarding to share our expertise others outside our classrooms because it’s another opportunity to serve others.
Students as Learners
Last week in Claire Monk and Jessica Dorman’sphysical science classrooms, students explored concepts related to force and motion in an authentic and active manner by maneuvering a bowling ball through an obstacle course. Students were tasked with a mission to complete an obstacle course by applying a force (with a hockey stick or broom) to the bowling ball, and to graphically represent the relative magnitude and direction of the motion of the bowling ball throughout the course. They were assessed based on successful completion of the course and were penalized for applied force infractions and inaccurate representations of vectors on their motion map of the obstacle course. Next week, students will relate this task to Newton’s Laws of Motion and continue to explore balanced and unbalanced forces.
Students in Lorin Love’s Biomedical Science course, while learning about biomolecules, diabetes and the insulin-glucagon cycle, celebrated a with a Plant Strong feast. Accounting for nutrients in plant-strong choices, students compared their meal with the standard American diet. At the conclusion of the feast, students were polled about what they learned. Following is a summary of their thoughts gathered on Polleverywhere!
Students in Anne Stidham’s Public Speaking course shared their policy change speeches last week. Students and teachers from other courses were invited to attend, as well as building and district administrators, which created an authentic audience for those delivering speeches. Students were asked to select a school topic of interest, such as ACT Period, House, school lunches, and the bell schedule. They then did research on what similar schools are doing, conducted interviews, summarized their findings, and persuaded administrators to consider their policy change suggestions. This was a great example of Quadrant D (high rigor, high relevance) activity because students selected their topics and had to apply their knowledge to solve an unpredictable situation. Additionally, they had to synthesize their results and present them in a compelling manner. It was a culmination of the skills they’ve learned in this course throughout the semester.
Monday, December 7th: Ohio Model United Nations Conference
Wind Ensemble Concert at 7:00 p.m. – McCoy
Tuesday, December 8th: Band Concert at 7:00 p.m. – McCoy
Congratulations to Concord Counselor, Brandy Smith, and her husband as they are expecting their first child!
Substitute teacher Shannon Book shared with me the following information to let me know how our students feel about our Math Department:
“I was subbing for Mrs. Morlan’s AP Calc AB class this morning and as the students were working diligently on a small group assignment, they started an impromptu discussion about how our math department is “stacked” (their actual quote) with talent. I overheard one student say, “Unfortunately, I got an A- that year but I learned so much I can’t complain.” The students named all of the teachers they had up to this point and they had great things to say about each one. Many of these kids plan to become engineers and, although they pointed out many people drop out of engineering programs after the first year, they felt they would be well prepared.
The best part about this conversation was it wasn’t prompted by anyone. It was a very candid and reflective conversation the students had on their own about the quality of education they have received at New Albany. Priceless.”
Students As Learners
Chemistry teacher Mary Cook facilitated a unique lab for her students a few days ago. It included formative assessment strategies that guided her instruction and required students to not just acquire knowledge, but also apply it to unknown situations. She states,
“College Prep Chemistry students are starting our unit on gas behavior and these lab stations are the first activity where students explore relationships between different variables by taking observations at different stations. After students collect observations, they identify the variables and constants for each station and then develop a particle level explanation and visual diagrams that support their collected evidence. Students then present their explanations at the particle level during white boarding group discussion to come up with the best explanation and visual representation (particle level and graphical). They then apply these explanations to more real world scenarios.”
Spanish teacher Lisa Betts designed a lesson to help students apply the language to real-world scenarios during class last week. Following is a description of the activity:
“My students were given the task of creating a skit with at least a doctor, nurse and patient. The patient had to seek help for at least two ailments; the doctor and nurse had to gather information from the patient about what was going on, what symptoms s/he has, what occurred, what injury they might have, how it happened, etc. An exam had to be given to ascertain a final diagnosis, and then the doctor had to give some sort of course of action to help the person feel better. It was a total riot!”
Art teacher Juliette Montague’s students have made significant progress in their drawing ability! She recently shared a few artworks as evidence of student growth for her Student Learning Objective. I applaud the students’ attention to detail and perseverance. Check out this brief video that captures where students started and where they are now!
Intervention Specialist Taylor Pinnick used Veterans Day as an opportunity for her students to send a care package to her boyfriend’s unit in the Army National Guard, who are currently deployed. Students from the Special Education Department at New Albany, from elementary school to high school, as well as SLC F in the 2-5 building, wrote letters and created cards to send to the unit. Students collected over 100 cards to send, as well as some special treats to help with the heat!
Humanities teachers Sara Hric and Rachel Braswell celebrated Veterans Day by asking students to interview a current soldier or veteran and capture their experience. This assignment corresponds with their reading of Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey where they are discussing the experience of the soldier/veteran. Students will also participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss their findings. I observed a few groups of students perform skits about scenes from The Odyssey and a major part of the skit summary was to explain the connection to the soldier as they highlighted Greek values.
Fall Sports Wrap Up by Athletic Director Kevin Reed
The New Albany Eagles completed another fantastic fall sports campaign with multiple awards, honors and team accomplishments. Coming off a 6th consecutive Ralph Young all sports award, all eyes were on the Eagles as New Albany athletics has become the envy of central Ohio athletic programs. Of the 11 fall sports New Albany offers, all but 1 finished with a winning record. 15 Eagle athletes were named to the First Team All OCC-Capital teams, 12 were named to the Second Team All OCC-Capital teams, 1 to the Third Team All OCC-Capital, 3 to the Special Mention All OCC-Capital and 11 were named Honorable Mention ALL OCC-Capital.
The boys golf team wrapped up their 6th consecutive OCC title by completing an undefeated OCC season (28-0). The boys golfers also wrapped up a terrific season by finishing 3rd in the sectional tournament and 6th at the district tournament. Girls tennis head coach Marc Thomas was named OCC-Capital Coach of the Year and Junior singles player Alex Cash was Sectional champion and a state qualifier. Cash was also named to the All State Tennis Team and Player of the Year in the OCC-Capital Conference Senior Amit Greenshtein was named Player of the Year in the OCC-Capital Conference for boys soccer. Four Eagle athletes were named to All District teams: Alex Cash- girls tennis
Maddy Largent – volleyball
MiCayla Nash – volleyball
Kiana Khorrami – girls soccer
The girls soccer team, under 1st year head coach Kelly Snead, had a great tournament run finishing as District Runner Up with a tough 2-1 loss to Upper Arlington in the district final.
Senior football player Alex Boffo was named an OCC football scholar athlete. Junior girls tennis player Taylor Selby was a sectional runner-up. Junior Christina Vitellas and Sophomore Makena Romagnano tennis players were sectional runners up in doubles while Junior Jessica Von Zastrow and Freshman Valentina DiLorenzo placed 3rd in the girls sectional doubles tournament.
Aside from the boys golf OCC title, the girls tennis team were OCC runners up. Football, girls soccer and boys cross country finished 3rdin the OCC-Capital. Field Hockey finished 4th in their league. Boys soccer, volleyball and girls cross country finished 5th in the OCC-Capital and the girls golf team finished 6th.
Despite the target on all Eagle athletic teams, New Albany ended the fall season 3rd in the Ralph Young all sports race with 45 points; 12 points behind leader Olentangy and 10 points behind Olentangy Orange. Congratulations to our fall sports coaches and athletes!
Monday, November 16th- #CelebrateMonday; BOE Meeting 6:30 pm Mershad Auditorium
Tuesday, November 17th- #BowTieTuesday
Thursday, November 19th-Kiss Me, Kate 7:00 pm McCoy
Friday, November 20th- Kiss Me, Kate 7:00 pm McCoy
Saturday, November 21st- Kiss Me, Kate 7:00 pm McCoy
Sunday, November 22nd- Kiss Me, Kate 2:30 pm
Video Worth Watching What Students Really Need to Hear
On Wednesday, November 11th, we honor our Veterans by celebrating Veteran’s Day. We do not take for granted our veterans’ service here and abroad. We have several classes that write letters or send care packages to our active servicemen and women! On behalf of the NAHS students, staff, and faculty, we salute our Armed Forces!
A sincere “thank you” to the following teachers who have volunteered to be club advisors:
Social Studies teacher Jeanette Milligan– New Albany’s Young Business Leaders and NA Stock Clubs
English teacher Lynnette Turner– Creative Writing Club
Social Studies teacher Paul Locke– Junior Achievement
Students As Learners
Choir teacher Ms. Karrie Horton and the A Cappella Singers had the experience of a lifetime during a combined concert on October 24th. They were joined by choirs from high school choirs from Northland, Whitehall, Pickerington Central, and Capriccio Youth Choir, and led by guest arranger and composer Stacey Gibbs! Following is a video of their performance of “Swing Down Chariots” and all three soloists are New Albany students, Colin Sproule, Ally Blais and Rayna Hutcherson.
After the performance, Mrs. Horton asked her students to reflect on their performance and it is evident they thoroughly enjoyed this experience! Click here to read their responses.
Congratulations to students in Art Foundations, 2D Art, KAP Drawing, and AP Drawing classes for the outstanding art on display in E Lobby!
I observed English teacher Jacqui Loughry’s AP English 12 course and she has created a
great centering activity for students at the beginning of the period. While she takes attendance, students are given 15 minutes of Independent Reading. Every student was engaged in a book of his or her choice and once she completed attendance, Jacqui picked up her book and read as well! I saw a variety of books, from science fiction to biographies and everything in between. She created a handout to explain the purpose of Independent Reading which states, “This year, we will be continuing to build your skills as a confident, capable, enthusiastic lifelong reader. We will be doing this through independent reading time-15 minutes per class period almost every day and 15 minutes every day on your own.”
I applaud Jacqui for creating the conditions for students to foster a love for reading that isn’t specifically tied to a grade or assignment. Additionally, it’s an excellent use of class time to develop global skills.
Tuesday, November 10th-#BowTieTuesday
Wednesday, November 11th- Veteran’s Day; National Signing Day at 2:45 Jefferson Room; Senior Financial Aid Meeting at 7:00 pm Mini-Theatre
Thursday, November 12th- Department Meetings at 7:15 am; Eastland CC Field Trip
Friday, November 13th- Eastland CC Field Trip
Science teacher Lorin Love reincarnates as Anna Garcia from the dead to play a review game about diabetes with students in Principles of Biomedical Science! To see how others dressed up on Friday, as well as a recap of our week, please review the Week 11 Storify!
Humanities and Art History teacher Rachel Braswell attended a free two-day conference about educating African American Males on Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th. The conference was not only insightful, but she was able to collaborate with many educators from higher education. The conference was co-hosted by The Ohio State University, Champions for Children, and the United Way. The keynote presenter was David Johns, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
Spanish teacher Sarah Riechley attended an AP Spanish Workshop on Wednesday, October 29th. She, too, was able to collaborate with many other educators and discuss pedagogy, content, and AP expectations!
Math teachers Karen Morlan and Linda Schmidt attended an AP Calculus workshop last week as well. They practiced grading AP exams and collaborated with other teachers from across the country!
Thanks to the Counseling Team for proctoring OGTs last week. It took a great deal of time away from their usual workload and I appreciate their efforts to ensure all our students are able to meet this graduation requirement!
Many of our teachers highlight historical and literary characters during lessons as a way to teach or reinforce the characteristics we want our students to exhibit. To further help reinforce positive character, Jostens created a list of tips for parents to help cultivate character strength at home. This can be a great family activity!
Students As Learners
I appreciate the types of learning activities our teachers develop that not only engage students, but help them to demonstrate learning in unique ways. Following are a couple of examples; one by Social Studies teacher Darryl Sycher and the other by Physical Science teachers Claire Monk and Jessica Dorman:
“As part of the Unit on the Renaissance in World History, my students were asked to choose an explorer and report on them in class. This Explorers Project asked students to provide a short biography of their particular explorer and how his discoveries impacted Europe and the natives that he discovered and encountered. Along with this written portion of the project, students were also asked to display their creative side and make a visual to represent the accomplishments of their explorer. This was used to enhance their oral presentation and make their 16th century explorer “come alive” in the 21st century.”
“Mrs. Monk created this lesson to add a fun twist to the energy unit in physical science. In this activity students get to make their own bouncy ball to collect and analyze data. Once the ball is made students obtained the mass and recorded a video of the ball dropping and the bounce back. Students then uploaded the video into an analysis program, which they manipulated to be able to determine the velocity of the ball dropping and in the bounce back. With this information students then calculated the potential energy and kinetic energy of the dropped ball and drew energy bar charts of the different phases of the motion. Using the law of conservation of energy as a guide, students were able to determine why the bouncy ball did not bounce back to the same height while still having a total amount of energy equal to 100%. While the main learning target of this activity was to investigate the concept of energy transformations students also applied their skills of experimental design to trouble shoot how to alter the recipe to make a better bouncy ball, or how to make one after a failed attempt. Students had to determine what methods led to the best bouncy ball for their purposes. By making the ball themselves they also learned about chemical reactions and how the items we started with changed as a result of the reaction. Solid and liquid reagents became a bouncy rubber-like solid. What better way to spend a Friday before Halloween than making your own bouncy ball to analyze how well it conserves energy while throwing in some chemistry for fun?”
I believe there are seven A’s of successful schools: academics, attendance, the arts, attitude (behavior), activities, acts of service, and athletics. Every student can have a sense of belonging if they embrace these seven A’s and it’s important for us to create the conditions for this to happen. Coaches Pat Samanich and Brian Finn received the following email from our Special Olympics Swim Coach that celebrates the act of service by our football team:
“I wanted to reach out to both of you to let you know how much we appreciated having your football players at the Special Olympics swim meet this past Saturday. They did an amazing job and were absolutely wonderful to our athletes!!! I had a lot of parents and spectators comment to me directly on how great it was to see them participating and supporting our swim team.
Please thank them from our team and me and let them know how much we appreciated their support!! They are a great group of kids!!! -Casie Ford”
Thanks to all our coaches for teaching our students life through athletics!
Monday, November 2nd- Department Chair Meeting at 3:00 pm Professional Library
Tuesday, November 3rd- Election Day; Students Working the Polls; #BowTieTuesday
Wednesday, November 4th- Department Meetings at 7:15 am; Class Ring Orders due
Thursday, November 5th- Department Meetings at 7:15 am; Nationwide Children’s Hospital Wellness Presentation during House
Saturday, November 7th- SAT
Because I Said I Would
It was such a blessing to have Alex Sheen share his message, “Because I Said I Would”, with us on Friday! He captivated us by sharing powerful examples of what happens when promises are made and kept. He inspired us to not only think bigger, but to be more intentional in our actions to serve others. He made us laugh, cry, pause, and cheer. He then challenged us to take action! Our students will receive 10 Promise Cards and I look forward to the positive impact this will have at #NAHSCommUNITY!
We had a solid final week of the grading period, which was capped with Alex Sheen’s presentation, a Pink Out, and a celebration of our fall senior athletes, band members, and drill team members. For an overview of our week, check out the Week 10 Storify!
Intervention Specialist Mike Covey is returning to work on Monday, October 25th!
Please keep Attendance Secretary Karen Brosnan in your prayers as she mourns the loss of one of her dogs last Wednesday.
I want to publicly thank Global Language teachers and Co-Department Chairpersons Kris Fuller and Lauren Jones, Science teacher Greg Flecher, and Elementary teacher Kate Thoma for going to the What Great Educators Do Differently Conference with me last weekend! It was a nice opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, make connections with educators from 17 different states and Canada, and to learn together. Kate Thoma recently wrote a reflective blog post about her experience!
Students As Learners
I noticed a tweet Math teacher Ashley Langenderfer posted about her Honors Geometry class so I asked her to share a brief summary of the learning activity!
“Honors Geometry students in my classes completed their first quarter project on “Real Life Math” with the objective to recognize mathematical connections to the world around them and to see how different careers utilize mathematics on a daily basis. Students interviewed someone of their choice (family, neighbor, or community member) about the role math plays in their job. Some interviews conducted by students include: a chef, a Homeland Security Advisor, an engineer, a doctor, a dentist, a CFO, an architect, a business owner, an interpreter, and many more! After their interview, students reflected upon the responses and conversations to develop their own stance regarding questions related to the study of mathematics – such as, “How would you define problem-solving? Describe an instance where you needed to solve a problem in your life.” Upon completion of the interview and reflection, students created an advertisement/visual to depict the job that they learned about through the process. Students enjoyed seeing math in action outside of school. Many of them commented that they were surprised by how much math and what types of math they learned about in the process!
The course demographics consist of mostly freshmen; therefore, Honors Geometry is the first “honors math experience” for many of the students. The project was designed to help broaden their exposure to mathematics around them but also to draw a focus upon problem-solving and making connections as key components that the students can carry with them throughout the rest of their learning experience.”
Thanks to Mrs. Langenderfer for creating this Quadrant D learning experience for your students!
Monday, October 26th- First day of 2nd Grading Period; BOE Meeting at 6:30 PM Mershad Auditorium
Tuesday, October 27th- #BowtieTuesday
Wednesday, October 28th- Sophomore Meeting during House; Sophomore “Commitment to Excellence” Assembly during ACT; #ohedchat “Digital Citizenship” at 9:00 PM
Thursday, October 29th- Sophomore “Commitment to Excellence” Assembly during ACT
Monday, November 2nd- Department Chair Meeting at 3:00 PM Professional Library
Like many of you, I look forward to watching OSU football games on Saturday. What’s interesting about this year’s games are the pregame and postgame rhetoric about the team’s performance. Since winning the national championship and having a star-studded roster, it seems like the expectation is for the team to blow out their opponent each week.
Every aspect of the game is critiqued, analyzed, and scrutinized to the point where it sounds as though they lose each week. This is just a part of being a champion. It’s also a reminder to me that winning is never easy and like learning, it’s a messy, non-linear process. There are many factors of the game that have to be executed, but there are also times when the athletes have to improvise to make a play. This, too, is also like learning. It’s about what to do when the plan falls apart or there is an unforeseen obstacle. The challenge is in applying the skills, knowledge, and past experience in a moments notice to quickly overcome the obstacle.
It’s all a part of the learning process and the more we learn and do something, the better equipped we are to improvise and make a play. I encourage our Staffulty and to continue to believe in our ability to improvise as professionals, to embrace our mistakes and see them as opportunities to learn, to try something new, or even to fail forward. The more we are able to do this and respond positively to it, the more it will become a part of our learning culture.
Congratulations to Intervention Specialist Bobby Britton and his wife on the birth of their son Behren (Behr) Archer Britton, born at 12:07 pm on Tuesday, October 6th! He is 7 pounds 11 ounces and 22 inches long. Their son Caden is happy to be a big brother and all are resting at home.
Students in our National Honor Society went to Lind’s Fruit Farm to pick apples for our custodians and presented them with a couple of bushels! They were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful gesture! Thanks to NHS for this generous act of service!
Students As Learners
The A Cappella Singers were blessed to have guest composer Mr. Stacey Gibbs in class with them last Thursday! Mr. Gibbs is an internationally acclaimed composer and arranger of African-American Spirituals. Additionally, Mr. Gibbs will be conducting workshops at the McCoy on October 24th with our choir and choirs from Whitehall, Northland, and Pickerington Central. This is yet another unique learning experience for our students! Thanks to Choir Teacher Karrie Horton for making this happen!
Students in Katie Roberts and Lori Cheney’s CP English 12 class collaborated with Jen Lane’s class for a day of “Miltonian Magic!” They are studying Paradise Lost and asked students to synthesize Paradise Lost Book IX by creating a one-minute trailer. Students turned this into a friendly competition and were thoroughly engaged in the process and production! I applaud the collaborative efforts of Ms. Roberts, Mrs. Cheney, and Mrs. Lane as this is an excellent example of a Quadrant D learning activity! For more details about the assignment, please click here.
Monday, October 12th- Mariel Hemingway 7th and 8th periods at the McCoy
Tuesday, October 13th- Bow Tie Tuesday; Wednesday block schedule
Wednesday, October 14th- Testing Day
Thursday, October 15th- Regular Block Schedule
Friday, October 16th- No School for COTA Day
Monday, October 19th- BOE Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, October 23rd- Pink Out for Breast Cancer Awareness; End of 1st grading period; Alex Sheen Presentation 1:30 pm in the Gym
Saturday, October 24th- ACT
Many students and Staffulty participated in the Spirit Week activities, attended the Powder Puff game and bonfire, and participated in the pregame Skull session and Tunnel of Pride! I appreciate the collaborative effort of our PTO and Football Moms for organizing the bonfire, Student Council for planning Spirit Week, and our Staffulty for supporting our students! Click here to learn more about NAHS Spirit Week!
October is Connected Educators Month and it’s a good opportunity for our Staffulty to expand their Professional Learning Network by connecting with other educators within and outside our district. At first glance, it may seem that it’s only about the tools and devices, but it’s actually about establishing professional connections and relationships with other educators and to remain current about relevant educational topics. It’s also about the learning process of sharing, exploring, questioning, and producing content. I have made efforts to model connected educator characteristics by subscribing to professional blogs, connecting with some of the top educational organizations on Twitter or liking them on Facebook, and participating in education chats via Twitter. Currently, about 30 members of the New Albany High School Staffulty use social media to expand their Professional Learning Network and it has positively impacted student learning because of the ideas and research curated from professional organizations!
Please keep the Morlan family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their sister-in-law. She passed away over the weekend after battling with pancreatic cancer.
Congratulations to Educational Aide Shannon Godinez who completed her first 10 K run on Sunday! She trained for nearly a year and not only finished without walking, but beat her goal by finishing in under an hour! We are so proud of her accomplishment!
Students As Learners
Congratulations to the following seniors for being named a Commended Scholar in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program! They earned this recognition for their outstanding performance on the PSAT last school year, which was a Selection Index Score of 201! They are among 34,000 students nationwide who earned this recognition.
Congratulations to the newest members of the NAHS Troupe 6596 International Thespian Society! To become a member of the International Thespian Society, students must have 100+ hours of quality work in the theatre arts and related disciplines. Other distinctions are based on students’ grade point averages and additional hours in theatre arts and related disciplines. Following is the list ITS members and their special designation:
We continue to explore rigor as it relates to the level of thinking that is required to complete specific tasks. At our last Faculty meeting, I asked teachers to jot down a current Quadrant D lesson activity or one they would consider assigning to students in the coming weeks. To review the list of activities click here. Our next steps are to discuss why these are Quadrant D activities and suggest ways to make improvements if necessary. It’s been a challenging, yet rewarding process as we collectively examine instructional practices!
Saturday, October 9th- SAT at NAHS
Monday, October 12th- Mariel Hemingway Presentation 1:00 PM at the McCoy
Wednesday, October 14th- ACT Aspire/PSAT
Friday, October 16th- No School
As a follow up to our rigor and relationships in-service on September 14th, we used our Faculty meeting to continue to examine what rigor means and looks like at NAHS. We have and will continue to maintain high expectations for students and Staffulty (staff and faculty) in regards to academic standards, effort, and professionalism. We are coming to understand that rigor in the classroom is based on a continuum of low to high levels of critical thinking. When examining the International Center for Leadership in Education Rigor/Relevance Framework, we understand that one quadrant is not better than the others because all quadrants are necessary for student learning. However, the overall goal is to create more Quadrant D learning experiences for students where they do the work, the thinking, and are asking questions.
English teacher Lynette Turner shared this one page article that provides more clarity. I forwarded this to Staffulty (staff and faculty) over the weekend to review. Our next steps include further examination of rigor by looking at it through the lens of thoughtful work, high leveling questioning, and academic work.
Intervention Specialist Lori Cheney is currently mentoring one of her former students who is now teaching English to students in Japan. He is struggling with some behavior issues with his students, and also how to give constructive feedback. Lori shared how she and English teacher Katie Roberts uses “First Five” with their classes, discussing their and the students’ lives outside of school each day at the start of class for five or so minutes. He has implemented this in his class with great results. She also shared with him the list of relationship strategies generated from our in-service! So, not only are we adding to our own teaching repertoire, we are helping an alum and a teacher halfway around the world!
Several teachers continue to tell our story by posting classroom updates on Twitter or Instagram using our hashtag, #NAHSCommUNITY. Please click here to see week 6 at a glance!
Students As Learners
NHS member M. Pine painted faces for free at the home football game last Friday. She collected $30 in donations to benefit an NHS charity of their choice! It was a wonderful community building opportunity as she interacted with several elementary school students. Students Cassidy Platte, Jamie Schroer, and Sophie Ungless assisted her with this project!
Library Aide David Mitchell shared how he enjoyed having English teacher Jacqui Loughry’s AP English 12 class in the library Friday morning. They familiarized themselves with the space and other resources such as out databases, new book titles, and more!
Our House Deans and House Leaders participated in a National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) student leadership training program called Raising Student Voice and Participation (RSVP). They worked through a number of activities focused on team building, taking initiative, and strategies to get input from all students to improve school climate and culture. The House Leaders seemed to grow in confidence throughout the day as they implemented a variety of strategies and dialogued about how to serve the student body!
Upcoming Events: Homecoming Spirit Week!
Monday, September 28th- Favorite Sports Team Day; State of the Schools Address 7:00 PM at the McCoy
Tuesday, September 29th- Class Color Day
Wednesday, September 30th-House Shirt Day/Powder Puff Game/Bonfire
Thursday, October 1st-PJ Day
Friday, October 2nd- White Out Day or Eagle Spirit Wear
Saturday, October 3rd- Homecoming Dance 8:00 PM-11:00 PM in the Gym