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
Blake, Abbie, Carson, Pearson
Lauren L, Grace, Kelly, Jessica V.
Jessica Z., Lauren S., Emili, Olivia, Harrison, Gage
Emili, Sydney, Jessica V, Midori, Carson
Jessica Z, Blake, Olivia, Lauren S., Pearson, Harrison
200 Free Relay
Blake, Jessica, Lauren S and Olivia
Harrison, Pearson, Gage and Carson
Grace, Sydney, Isabel
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.
3 Huge Industries Facing Death Because They Won’t Embrace Radical Ideas– In the Information Age, change comes often and rapidly. Like Blockbuster, industries that refuse to adapt to new ways of accessing content and embrace change are less fluid. Therefore, they are in danger of no longer existing. What are the implications, if any, for education?
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.