Principal's Corner

Principal Dan Novic

Greetings, and welcome to the 2019-20 school year!


As we embark on our third voyage as a middle school, we have quickly adjusted to a new culture and model of teaching and learning at Sedgwick.  We are fortunate to be at the center of a caring and compassionate community that has provided input on our middle school model and been patient through all the changes.  Ultimately, we share the same goal: to help our kids excel academically, socially, and emotionally.  To do so, we are compelled by our Guiding Principles to infuse work, fun, service, safety, and pride into our “home away from home” on a daily basis.


We are energized by the work of our grade level and content area teams.  Our Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are engaging in demanding work that aims to answer four questions:


1. What do we want our students to learn?

2. How will we know when they have learned it?

3. How will we respond when they don’t learn it?

4. How will we respond when they learn it?


As our teams develop common assessments, aligned unit plans, and clear curriculum maps, they examine data to identify learning gaps, by student and by standard, and target those gaps through preteaching and reteaching during Intervention classes.  Last spring's state standardized test results showed growth in 6 out of 7 grade level content area assessments, reinforcing our belief in the work we are doing on a daily basis.  Although standardized tests are not the only way we identify students in need of Intervention, nor are they the only means we use for measuring growth, they are our students’ ultimate measure of grade level proficiency, and, ultimately, their ticket out of academic intervention/support classes.


Last year, our Guiding Coalition and Unity Council identified a three-pronged, long-term mission: to be a National Blue Ribbon School, an AVID School of Distinction, and a STEAM Lighthouse School.  Hence, our theme for the year was “One Team…One Mission”, and we are proud of the measurable progress we made toward each of these three objectives.  In continuing our mission, we must keep in mind the true source of strength and spirit in our school – our students, staff, and families.  As research professor and author Brené Brown puts it “What we know matters, but who we are matters more.”  According to Brown, for each of us to be at our best, we must be courageous, but first, we must feel as though we belong.  That’s why this year’s theme is “You belong here.”


We want you to feel welcomed and connected with our school, and we hope that you see this year’s theme in our communications throughout the year.  More importantly, we hope you feel it in every interaction we have, not so much as the primary objective, rather as the foundation and backdrop that allows us to achieve our objectives…together. 


You Belong Here.


Dan Novick
JSMS Principal

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