NNHS Reaffirming Our Civic Expectations

NNHS Reaffirming Our Civic Expectations

Reaffirming Our Social and Civic Expectations

The divisive rhetoric and hateful acts that have occurred across the country during and since the election have been appalling. Unfortunately, Newton North is not immune. And while we have experienced instances of hurtful comments and disrespectful acts, we know that this does not define us as a community.  During a time when bigotry, hate and division have been so public, now is the moment for us to establish, pursue, and reinforce meaningful social and civic expectations for our students.

To begin, we need to identify ways in which our students will meet these Social and Civic Expectations and what meeting these expectations looks like in the future.  As I described in my opening day speech, I would also like to identify the social skills, both face-to-face and digital, that we think North students should possess upon graduation. As we reflect on who we are as a school, I would like us to identify ways that our students meet our Social and Civic Expectations and what meeting these expectations looks like in the future.  Our Social and Civic Expectations are part of the Newton North Mission Statement.

Civic Expectations

Newton North graduates will:

1. Take responsibility for their own actions

2. Contribute positively to the school and larger community

3. Understand the rights and responsibilities of a citizen in a democratic society and be thoughtful, reflective, active citizens.

Social Expectations

Newton North graduates will:

1. Treat others respectfully

2. Show self-respect and self-advocacy.

It is clear to me that we are already a culture that emphasizes these values.  Soon we will be looking for volunteers to help identify areas in which we can grow with these expectations and offer specific proposals at a faculty meeting

Please remember that as we work to reaffirm our Social and Civic Expectations that….


Strengthening Our Community

Here are several different ways in which our students are living up to these expectations already:

The Peace Action Club is showing THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, which will be followed by a discussion.

Twenty members of the Future Business Leaders of America Club volunteered at the Celtics game last night to help the Shamrock Foundation. Students sold 50/50 raffle tickets, together raising more than $9,000. One group raiseD $1,000 which was the highest of the 18 teams that participated.

Animal Rights Club Worked to create flyers and help educate people about Massachusetts Ballot question # 3- Containment of Farm Animals.

The Animal Agriculture Education Club spent time talking about Question #3

Cake Decorating Club is just getting started. However, they will be making and decorating cookies to be shipped to our Military via student Molly Devine for the holidays.

The Hiking Club had its first hike of the year on November 6, and almost 20 students showed up for a few hours of fall foliage and camaraderie in the Blue Hills. While a number of the students were already friends and active outdoor enthusiasts, we had a good number of students new to the group and new to the activity. Club Presidents Tobin Gevelber and Adela Miller were welcoming and friendly and focused on jovial and supportive group dynamics and made a hot snack of camp-cooked mashed potatoes at the end of the trail.

In response to recent events, the Leadership in a Diverse Society has continued to be one space of many in the building where students have been able to process their feelings and reactions.  After the Confederate flag incident, many students in the class were part of a larger school-wide student-led, faculty-supported response.  Students in the class organized a respectful protest/speak out for the student body, in addition to having conversations with the principal, other school administrators, and the mayor’s office.  

Members of the Leadership class also worked with the television production program to produce a video highlighting issues around gender identity and sexual orientation, which they shared with the faculty.

North’s Asian Culture Club devoted one of its weekly meetings to helping students process their reactions to recent events, and is continuing to provide students a safe space to explore issues of Asian American identity.

North Cares, the committee for mental health and well-being welcomed students and faculty/staff on Tiger Unity Day with 500 mini-muffins.  They are planning a Depression Awareness Day with a panel from Families for Depression Awareness. In addition, there will be a screening of “If Only” about the opioid epidemic, followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Alison Malkin, Prevention/Intervention Social Worker and Maureen Pursley.  Both these on-campus presentations will be in mid-December.

The LigerBots Robotics Team hosted a very successful First Lego League (FLL) competition on Saturday.  FLL is for students 6-13 years old and requires teams to build a robot and create a community project around this year’s theme, Animal Allies. The event, which included a Maker Faire, drew more than 500 attendees.

Student and faculty leaders are busy planning the next steps for One School, One Question. Plans include an opportunity for faculty to examine each resource and discuss ways in which to integrate the question into their classroom practice and to connect the question to the already planned cultural days (e.g. BLAC day and ToBeGLAD day). They will also explore opportunities for whole school anti-bias activities framed by this question.

Marijuana Laws

Massachusetts Ballot Question 4, legalized marijuana for people over 21 years old.  Please note that this ballot question does not change Newton Public Schools policies for marijuana use, possession or being under the influence.  

NNHS Reaffirming Our Civic Expectations

Principal’s Newsletter-November 2016

Harry Turner

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