NNHS Principal Newsletter Dec 2016

NNHS Principal Newsletter: Dec 2016

Principal’s Newsletter-December 2016

As part of my entry to Newton North High School I invited you to complete a survey where I asked “what are the three most important strengths of Newton North HS?”, “What are the three priority areas where Newton North HS can improve or grow?”, and “What does ‘Tiger Pride’ mean to you?” It was my hope that by gathering information on these three questions I would be able to begin to understand the priorities and values of this community. About 500 of you responded to the survey. Thank you for taking the time to do so.

With the help of school council I have completed my preliminary analysis of the responses. Many of the themes that have emerged connect to some of the recent events that have occurred at Newton North High School and more broadly, such as a renewed focus on anti-bias work and civility.

Many of you praised Newton North as “a diverse community where young adults continue an education in an open and accepting school” and as having “a culture of acceptance of diversity”. You also highlighted the “diverse programming [available at North] to suit individual student needs.” These are values that came through in responses from parents, students, and teachers. You also identified a need to develop a “better understanding of [our] diverse student body” and “to further address some of the racist/homophobic/anti-Semitic events that happened recently.” This aligns with the anti-bias work that the faculty has already begun and will continue. Many of you also identified “caring for all students” and “building community” as areas for growth. As one student put it, we need to “teach students what life if really like at a young age so we can prepare.” It is my hope that through a sustained focus on cultivating civility in our students alongside the strong academic education they receive at NNHS we can improve in these areas.

Over the next few months, in collaboration with the administration team, school council, and student groups, I will begin to lay out a plan for how we can continue to grow to meet the needs of all of our students.  

Thank you for taking the time to introduce and welcome me to this rich community. I look forward to continuing learning more from all of you in the months to come.

Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices

Teens and parents/guardians are invited to the Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices expo for participative, informative exhibits; student performances; and fun. 30+ exhibitors who help teens stay safe and healthy

Monday, January 23, 2017, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

World Language

On the afternoon of November 13, the World Language and Fine & Performing Arts departments collaborated to invited Italian blues guitarist, Robert Morbioli, accompanied by Newton North parent Paul Speidel, to speak with and perform for students of music and Italian. Students were enthralled as one of Italy’s premier blues musicians treated them to his prodigious musical talents. During his visit, Roberto engaged the audience with his fascinating stories of touring, growing up in Italy, performing in both English and Italian, and sharing advice to aspiring musicians. A thoroughly entertaining and inspiring time was had by all in attendance.

On November 16, Newton North held a school wide celebration of Hispanic Heritage. Organized and coordinated by Spanish teacher, Dr. Cristina Schulze, the celebration’s events included presentations by invited guests as well as current NNHS students. Mexican-American writer and scholar, Dr. Tino Villanueva, discussed his poetry in a hands-on workshop with students. Dr. Luis Selva (El Salvador) presented on his experiences as a member of the Calculus Project in Los Angeles and shared his career path that lead him to work for NASA.  Ms. Sabrina Avilés, Director of the Boston International Latino Film Festival and NNHS parent, showed short films on the Hispanic experiences in the United States. A group of Newton North High School Seniors, from Newton and Boston, discussed their lives as Hispanics living in the United States, and also highlighted the support and resources they have at NNHS to pursue their dreams as first generation Americans. In addition, there was flamenco demonstration by Ms. Arielle Miles (chemistry teacher) and Ms. Carol Reichert (parent of a current NNHS student).

Career & Technical Education and Business

Newton North business students are working on a new, fundraising project: Newtonopoly. Newtonopoly will be similar to the famous board game, but it will represent many local businesses in and around Newton, such as Wegmans, Legal Sea Food, and The Village Bank. The Newtonopoly team has been hard at work preparing for the release, and we are happy to announce pre-orders are now available! As a special promotion, if you pre-order, you will receive FREE shipping. Games will arrive mid-January and all proceeds help support the NNHS School Store.

You can order the game here: http://newtonnorthschoolstore.com/products/newtonopoly

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History & Social Sciences

Robert N. Driscoll, a noted conservative commentator and civil rights lawyer, spoke on the topic of police violence against African-Americans. The talk was sponsored by the Black Leadership Advisory Council and moderated by Jonathan Bassett, history department chair. Over 400 students attended and asked questions about police procedures, the relevant laws, and Mr. Driscoll’s ideas on possible steps to minimize such incidents in the future.

Special Education

All parents of students receiving special education services are welcome to come to discuss a variety of topics regarding Newton North Special Education on January 19th from 9 to 10 in the International Cafe. Department Head Kate McCarthy and Assistant Department Head Katie Stahl will be leading the discussion. Any questions about the event should be sent to Kate McCarthy through email katherine_mccarthy@newton.k12.ma.us. A night event for parents will also be offered in January. Details will be shared as they are finalized.
Happenings around NNHS

Students inviting others to sit with them as a random act of kindness; Students working on a skit in Sr. Alberg’s Spanish class; NNHS Robotics Competition; Counselors learning about the excitement of TV Production program; Welcoming students before school starts; Student created skateboard made from plastic shredded by a student invented plastic shredder in Green Engineering; Mrs. Shore and Mrs. Piantedosi talk to middle school parents about Calculus Project.  

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