Sunday, February 9, 2020

Week of Feb 10th

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 25
February 10th,  2020


Deficit Thinking Diminishes When We Start Questioning Assumptions...
This week, I was chatting with one of the 11th grade teachers as they were making copies for class.  Each spring the junior teachers gear up to begin preparing letters of recommendation for next year's graduating class.  We prioritize the letter writing by the student's class rank.  While ultimately all students have recommendation letters written, those students with the highest GPAs will be applying to the more competitive colleges, where their letters will carry more weight.

As we spoke about the logistics, we then went in a review of who was at the top, and our Monday PD discussion about the low disproportional representation of our African American students in the top of each of our graduating classes, the Class of 2021 included.  We chatted more specifically about specific students and discussing possible root causes of why they were not at the top of their classes.  At one point, the teacher said, "[Student X] could be at the top if she came to school on time." I found myself nodding along in agreement, saying, "Yeah - you're right! She's always late, and we've talked about her often."  The teacher echoed the efforts, listing constant family outreach, parent meetings, student meetings etc.

Then in the midst of my own bobble-headed nodding, I caught myself.  "Wait," I thought.  "Why is she late? How does lateness impact her academic achievement and performance?  Should it be that way?"  I continued my internal musing..."There are some cultures obsessed about time and being on time - like the Americans & the Dutch, probably the Swiss (but that's likely a stereotype & bias) - but I'm not certain that timeliness is a universally held assumption."

I don't have the answer, but I do know I need to question myself and my colleagues.  So, I did and I asked the teacher, "Why does her lateness prevent her from being at the top of the class?  Does she know that by being late she is closing off scholarship and college choices that could literally be hers to claim?  Have we ever had that convo with her? If so, does she truly understand the exchange she is making - taking current time for future opportunity?"

As we think about the expectations we set for students, it's important that we question our rationale.  For example, for my questioning and thinking, I still firmly believe that the student needs to come to school on time every day.  Being in the classroom on time and being an active participant, creates a stronger learning experience and valuable work habits that will facilitate the students' future work in college and beyond.

However, I am equally certain that there has to be a way that we communicate more clearly about two categories of achievement - social emotional development (e.g. in this case, time management) and academic achievement.

One way to achieve this is connecting student behaviors to academic outcomes through formative feedback in the classroom (and through calls home with families).   For example, when students arrives on time, imagine the students arriving in class on time.  She is now able to join into the planned Turn and Talk around the Do Now, and now has an extended understanding of the idea.  The teacher hears her ideas and then says, "I'm so glad you made it on time today.  Your ideas with your partner provided valuable insight into this topic <because of x>.  If you come on time each day, your ideas will continue to develop and it will show in your (speaking, writing, analysis, etc.)."

Remember, the only way to shift deficit thinking out of practice is through constant attention to it.  There is no magic bullet.  There is not simple answer.  Through our questioning and lack of resolution, there is constant discomfort.  We need to walk towards that feeling and push ourselves to think flexibly and consider multiple perspectives and possible solutions.  The status quo has not worked.  Only through collective reflection and questioning can we hope to find alternate methods to better empower our young women.

Announcements

No Birthdays this Week


Survey Questions.  After analyzing the survey data from our January PD, there are a few questions that need some clarity for folks (just informational).  This is just an indicator that I have not been clear enough.  Here are the things that some folks indicated concerns in their responses and commentary that are readily cleared up with some facts:

  • Hiring New Professional Personnel:  Teachers are involved in the hiring process throughout the spring (I described that in last week's blog).  If we are left to hire in the summer, teachers who are in summer school fill in for the hiring committee.  Just to remind you, the hiring committee includes:  Tiffany, Marsha, Rebecca C, Rachel, Sarah M, Phillan, Jamie, Sarah R., Kelly, Elena, Joey, Annie, Jen, and Kiri.  11 our of 35 classroom teachers (or nearly 1/3 of the teaching staff) are on the hiring committee.
  • Planning How Discretionary Funds Are Used:  Each year people get tripped up by the word "discretionary."  Discretionary funds are all funds outside of budgetary requirements (e.g. Title I requirements) and staffing.  Every time I ask you guys for your wish lists, I'm asking for your input on discretionary funding.  This year teachers have submitted orders (all of which were placed in the summer), over the course of the Fall, and now for the spring orders.  So each time you have submitted a ShopDoe order or come to me asking to buy XY or Z for your class, that was your input into discretionary funding!


To-Do This Week

March Not Madness PD.  This Monday the ELA teachers kick off their multi-session PD series on text selection and scaffolding access to rigorous texts in the ELA classroom.  At the end of this series, the team will submit a collaboratively decided list of texts by grade level.  They will be working together on 10FEB, 24FEB, 02MAR, 09MAR and 16MAR.   For the rest of the staff, we will be launching our annual March Not Madness PD series.  In this series, teachers have the opportunity to select from a variety of workshops focusing on well-being and pedagogical effectiveness.  Taking feedback from the survey, we are incorporating your requests on PDs around Classroom Management, Strategies to Support ENL students, and Strategies to Support students with IEPs in your classroom.  The workshop descriptions are listed below.  During March Madness, we'll be holding focus groups around the Survey Data  to get your input on how to address concerns and extend accomplishments.  If you're not in a focus group, you'll be participating in one of these workshops.  Please complete THIS SURVEY to submit your choices.

  • Pedagogical Effectiveness Workshops
    • Developing Strategies to Support Students with IEPs:  Hallie from the Affinity Support team will be running a PD to help teachers understand how to best leverage student IEPs and develop strategies to better support the academic success of those students in their classrooms. March 9th ONLY. 
    • Classroom Management Techniques:   Ms. Nina will be hosting a classroom management PD to share her strategies and techniques for creating a safe, warm, and orderly learning environment.  March 23rd ONLY. 
    • Scaffolding Readings & Assessments to Support ENL Students: Ms. Rebecca F & Ms. Laura will be running a workshop on supporting teachers to develop strategies and approaches that increase ENL student entry into rigorous texts and more accurately assess their learning. March 16th ONLY. 
    • Independent Work Time with Co-Planning Team:  Teacher teams may elect to choose a Monday to get a jump on the week's planning.  Repeating Sessions.

  • Mindfulness & Well-being Workshops
    • Learning Walks:  Walking with a colleague and just talking about pressing topics is a great way to process your thinking and collaborate on new ideas around issues that have been persistent struggles.  On the learning walks, staff can choose a topic, colleague and destination (e.g. walk across the Brooklyn Bridge). Repeating Sessions.
    • Yoga: Exercise and Meditation combine to provide staff with a means to manage stress, health, and exhaustion.  We will have a yoga class offered to those who are interested in joining!  Exact Date still TBD.
    • It's Game Time!: By popular request, we have created a Game Day PD.  Come join your colleagues in blowing off steam with games and puzzles.  I'm bringing Elena's cards against humanity and Dashiel's new game called "Joking Hazard."  I also have Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, and others.  Bring in your favorites (puzzles and games alike). Repeating Sessions.
    • Sip and Paint:  Also back by popular demand is the Sip and Paint workshop.  The "Sip" portion of the Painting PD will be open to all at the UAI staff happy hour on March 20 (after our PM SLCs have completed) and the Paint portion will happen the following Monday on March 23 ONLY.


Monday PD.  Final orders for the Spring Term.  The end-of-the year budget deadlines are fast approaching.  We cannot make any modifications to the budget (i.e. move money around) after March 4th.  This means we need to get your orders and process them all by Friday so we have enough time to move funds that were not used on materials or books into other budget areas (e.g. technology or per session/per diem).  This is your Spring Input into discretionary funding.  During Monday PD, we will all meet to go over announcements.  Then, we will split into ELA team and everyone else.  (ELA teachers can use their Tuesday time to submit their requests.) Everyone will have the remainder of PD time to put together their ShopDoe Cart.  Your cart must be fully checked OUT (I'll remain in PD to show you how if you need support) and submitted to me and Nancy by the end of the PD period.


Tuesday Notification Celebrations and Promotion In Doubt .  Please continue to use these next two Tuesdays before the February break to reach out and review each of your advisees' growth and performance for the fall term.

  • Discuss Academics.  If she passed everything, how can she continue to excel?  If she is failing a class (or HS Regent exam), her promotion may be in doubt.  This means that she may have to attend summer school.  Parents often need to hear this early so they can prepare summer plans accordingly.  Remember, All HS Students have another chance to take exams in June and in August.  All students have another chance to recover current failing grades by passing their courses by June.  Solicit from parents what they would need from us to support learning at home.  Share your information on Skedula and with your grade teams.
  • If attendance is the issue (lateness and/or absence), find out from the parents what seems to be happening, and ask them how we can help. Share your information on Skedula and with your attendance grade team leads.
  • For behavior and Social Emotional Development, share her strengths and areas of growth.  Find out from parents if there is anything we can do at the school level to help them continue to build her growth in key SEL areas. Share your information on Skedula and with your grade teams and counselors.


Social-Emotional Learning Update


Per Session Opportunities

No new postings this week


 




Sunday, February 2, 2020

Week Of Feb 3rd

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 24
February 3rd,  2020


Deficit Thinking Diminishes When we Start Paying Attention...
Last week I was giving feedback to a teacher and she was explaining how she was providing supports to ENL students in two different classes.  Both students were pretty new to the English language, and both students were tasked to engage with rich texts written in English.  In one class, the teacher made the decision to provide the student with time to practice English (vs. the content).  In the other class, the teacher used Google Translate to translate the document into Arabic.  The teacher had doubts about the accuracy of Google Translate, but chose to use it anyway.  The teacher was "surprised" when the student wrote (in English) her response to the questions associated with the text.   

In one case, the teacher viewed English language learning as something that needed to be "fixed."
In the second, the teacher viewed English as another language, and provided the students' stronger language as an alternative.   

In one case, the teacher's focus on addressing the limitation as targeting the learning English limited the student's access to the lesson & thus to thinking.  

In the second, the teacher's focus on the providing the correct linguistic scaffold to access the content unlocked the students' intellectual potential and empowered her to demonstrate her thoughts, and thus engage in learning with the rest of her classmates.

On a daily basis, teachers make a million different decisions rapidly.  Time is highly structured and in schools, it moves forward with particular zeal.  We all have the best intentions, but the challenges of time coupled with the limits of our current capacity is what opens the door to deficit thinking.  

This teacher may have missed the target on the first effort, but lessons were certainly learned in seeing the outcomes with the second method.  There are no secret formulas that protect us from deficit thinking.  Instead, the thing we need to do is to try and the recognize & challenge ourselves when we're "surprised" or hear ourselves saying our students needs X because she can't do Y.  The more we reflect, the more we will see how and when deficit thinking sneaks in.

And once we're pretty good at recognizing and challenging....Then you'll notice a shift in your mindset and subsequently (because you already are accomplished and creative pedagogues) a growth in strategies to support student learning for all.


Announcements

No Birthdays this Week


Good Luck to Val!  After 8 years as a teacher and assistant principal, Val has elected to move on from UAI.  An opportunity at her former school popped up this January, and she decided to pursue that option now.   We wish her the best of luck and send her off with good feelings as she enters the next chapter in her careers.  For UAI, Val's responsibilities will fall to Annie.  So, all teachers whom Val evaluated will not be evaluated by Annie, and all compliance, trips, and facilities coordination now go to Annie.

Celebrating Black History Month.  Please check out the SEL updates which will include the events for this month. In your classes, include raising awareness within your subject area (e.g. introduce famous African American female scientists in science class, read influential texts from powerful African American female authors, discuss important contributions in social justice from African American female activitists).  These amazing people should be highlighted in your courses throughout the year, but if February is our month to draw extra attention to them.

Attendance Check.  Nancy put copies of your CAR in your mailboxes last week.  You can always check your CAR and other payroll and HR services using the Payroll Portal.  You should make it a habit to check your CAR and attendance periodically.  Mistakes can happen, but they can be corrected!  Please review your CAR, attendance, and coverage pay to make sure your records are accurate.

Hiring Committee.  It's hiring season again!  This year's hiring committee consists of: Tiffany, Marsha, Rebecca C, Rachel, Sarah M, Phillan, Jamie, Sarah R., Kelly, Elena, Annie, Jen, and Kiri.  If you are interested, here's what happens on the hiring committee
  • First Cast a Very Wide Net.  To find the best teachers, we cast the widest net to get the most applicants.  From this pool interview and select candidates for demo lessons & debrief interviews.  We post for all positions and all grade levels each year.  We then interview all the candidates at multiple interview fairs that happen on several Saturdays throughout the Spring.  The hiring committee is charged with interviewing panels of candidates and selecting the best of these candidates to perform a demo lesson and debrief the interview.
  • The Demo Lesson.  Annie and Kiri watch all demo lessons, and where possible, hiring committee members join (volunteering their prep, lunch and/or professional period).
  • The Debrief Interview.  After the demo lesson, Annie & Kiri lead the interview to listen to the candidate reflect on the demo and see how well the candidate is at taking in and using feedback.  As with the demo lesson, hiring committee member join in on the debrief interviews.
If you are interested in joining the committee, please reach out to Annie! 

To-Do This Week

Monday PD.  This Monday will be our last PLOP writing Grade Team Meeting.  We will finish up the PLOPs for the year in Monday's meeting.   The PD Committee is still finalizing the plan for the upcoming Mondays.  However, as per staff feedback, we will be including Monday sessions on ENL/SPED strategies in the classroom, Classroom Management, and we will be bringing back our 2nd annual series of March -not-madness - a series of wellness-focused PDs.  If you have special requests for March-Not-Madness workshops, please email Jen with your ideas.  In addition to these PD opportunities, staff will also be pulled in small focus groups to discuss the survey feedback (which you can see HERE) so that we can gather ideas and more detailed input on how to continue to improve the school. 

    Tuesday Notification Celebrations and Promotion In Doubt .  Please continue to use these next two Tuesdays before the February break to reach out and review each of your advisees' growth and performance for the fall term.

    • Discuss Academics.  If she passed everything, how can she continue to excel?  If she is failing a class (or HS Regent exam), her promotion may be in doubt.  This means that she may have to attend summer school.  Parents often need to hear this early so they can prepare summer plans accordingly.  Remember, All HS Students have another chance to take exams in June and in August.  All students have another chance to recover current failing grades by passing their courses by June.  Solicit from parents what they would need from us to support learning at home.  Share your information on Skedula and with your grade teams.
    • If attendance is the issue (lateness and/or absence), find out from the parents what seems to be happening, and ask them how we can help. Share your information on Skedula and with your attendance grade team leads.
    • For behavior and Social Emotional Development, share her strengths and areas of growth.  Find out from parents if there is anything we can do at the school level to help them continue to build her growth in key SEL areas. Share your information on Skedula and with your grade teams and counselors.


    Social-Emotional Learning Update


    Per Session Opportunities

    No new postings this week.




    Sunday, January 26, 2020

    Week of January 27th

    UAI Staff News

    Volume VII
    Issue 23
    January 27th,  2020

    Announcements

    Happy Birthday To:
    Ms. Nadine (Social Media & HS Social Studies ICT) on Friday 31JAN20
    Ms. Pauline (MS Elective Teacher) on Saturday 01FEB20


    Happy Spring Term (and launch of MP4)!!  Welcome to the Spring Term of the 2019-2020 school year.  We have officially put the Fall term in the books, and we are now looking ahead to end this year strong.  During tomorrow's PD, I will be going through many of our accomplishments, reviewing some of the changes that we've made in response to our progress monitoring, and gearing us up to take on the rest of the year.  To be able to do that, I need to make this post brief, so I can spend the rest of this Sunday getting ready!

    New Spring Schedule.  One of those changes that I will review in detail tomorrow will be the updates to the new schedule.  I've been writing about them for several blog posts now, and if you CLICK HERE, you can see the changes for yourself.   Because of the 6th grade consolidation and opening up of a new 9th grade ICT section, there are co-teacher changes, so please look at the student programs to see who your co-teachers will be.  Ms. Jennifer made all the changes to the 9th and 10th grade groups on Friday (thank you JJR!!!), and we will be working together to finalize 6th grade changes tomorrow.  All program changes go into effect on Tuesday.  However, your ATS attendance sheets will be behind a day or so because we had to wait for grades to go in first.  Skedula will be up to date when we synch on Monday, so PLEASE take attendance in Skedula until ATS catches up.

    Regents Week Rocked.  Ms. Joanna and her team of helpers executed another brilliantly smooth Regents week.  Many thanks to all of you who also supported our students with your rock star proctoring and bathroom monitoring skills.  Also, big ups to the Middle School staff for teaching through the week and providing our kids with structured learning for the entire week!

    To-Do This Week

    Spring Round of Observations.  We will be launching into our spring rounds of observations this week.  Please make sure to have your lessons linked (so that we can access) into your pacing guides, or if you prefer, please have them printed and ready when we arrive in class to observe.

      Tuesday Notification Celebrations and Promotion In Doubt .  Please use these next three Tuesdays before the February break to reach out and review each of your advisees' growth and performance for the fall term.

      • Discuss Academics.  If she passed everything, how can she continue to excel?  If she is failing a class (or HS Regent exam), her promotion may be in doubt.  This means that she may have to attend summer school.  Parents often need to hear this early so they can prepare summer plans accordingly.  Remember, All HS Students have another chance to take exams in June and in August.  All students have another chance to recover current failing grades by passing their courses by June.  Solicit from parents what they would need from us to support learning at home.  Share your information on Skedula and with your grade teams.
      • If attendance is the issue (lateness and/or absence), find out from the parents what seems to be happening, and ask them how we can help. Share your information on Skedula and with your attendance grade team leads.
      • For behavior and Social Emotional Development, share her strengths and areas of growth.  Find out from parents if there is anything we can do at the school level to help them continue to build her growth in key SEL areas. Share your information on Skedula and with your grade teams and counselors.


      Monday Chancellor's Day.  Tomorrow is our next staff Professional Development day.  We will be continuing our work around exploring and understanding implicit bias.  In my Midyear Conferences, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing how you have internalized this work in your own pedagogical practices this year.  Here's the agenda for tomorrow

      Goals:  Through our work tomorrow, UAI staff will

      • Deepen their understanding of how bias shows up in schools, and develop strategies to control for bias-based beliefs and actions in UAI classrooms.
      • Make connections between our beliefs and our decisions to understand how our individual classroom actions impact school level outcomes.  
      • Continue to build trust and understand one another's perspectives in order to create a collaborative working community that provides the highest quality learning environment for all of our students and families.
      Agenda (we will begin and end in room 409)
      • 8:00 Breakfast (Panera - Optional)
      • 8:30 Welcome & State of the School Address
      • 9:15 Opening Activity - Understanding our Privilege
      • 10:00 Implicit Bias Workshop
        • How does Bias Show Up in Education
        • Taking a Look at Deficit Thinking
      • 12:00 Lunch (on your own)
      • 1:00 Individual Teacher Work Time
        • Prepare and Link Lessons through to February 14th
        • Work in Teacher Teams to Rehearse and Refine Lessons
        • Create Google Calendar Reminders to Update Skedula with Assessment Data
      • 2:30 Closing Activity



      Social-Emotional Learning Update



      Per Session Opportunities

      No new postings this week.



       

      Monday, January 20, 2020

      Week of January 20th

      UAI Staff News

      Volume VII
      Issue 22
      January 20th,  2020

      Announcements

      No Staff Birthdays This Week.  


      Congratulations to WattPad!!  Jen sent out an email on Friday listing out the winners of our first annual product design derby.   Many congrats to those who were finalists and to our first, second, and third place teams!  Our superintendent, Fred Walsh, was equally impressed.  He was particularly excited to see our young women found creative, technologically based solutions to issues of both big (like animal rights, racism, global warming, and depression), and less global (but equitably significant to them - like issues with Apps students use (like WattPad and SnapChat).  We look forward to continuing to refine the curriculum that Jen and Nadine worked hard to develop so that we can grow this opportunity for our students and others across the Urban Assembly.


      To-Do This Week

      High School Regents Week.  This week launches January Regents for the High School.  There are no classes for high school this week.  Please check Joanna's schedule to review your own and your advisees' shcedule for the week.  

      Tuesday Family Outreach.  Please reach out to advisees on Tuesday to remind them that there is no school for students on Monday 27JAN20 (Chancellor's PD Day).

      Monday PD.  The next PD day will be on Monday, 27JAN20 from 8:30-2:50PM.  We are still finalizing the agenda, and I will share that out in next week's blog.   We will be continuing our work around implicit bias and disproportionality.  In November, we analyzed our behavioral data to better understand how our biases unknowingly pop up.  Continuing in that thread, we will be looking at deficit thinking and analyzing academic outcomes to continue to uncover areas of unconscious bias.  In addition, we will be providing time for subject teams to meet to shape PD experiences for the spring.  Finally, part of the day will be dedicated to planning time to prepare for the launch of the Spring term.

      New Schedule.   Schedule changes had to be put on hold until grades are submitted.  Please do not be late with grades.  If you miss the deadline, you will have to enter your own grades one at a time by hand.  This is because we have to reload the program, and there will be significant changes across many grades.  So, even if your classes are not changing, because they are a part of a larger program that IS changing, STARS and SKEDULA will see it all as new.  So, Thursday 23JAN at 3pm is a HARD deadline for this round of grading. 

      Marking Period 3 Grades.  As a reminder, for the high school, MP3 is credit bearing.  Any student earning a passing grade at the end of MP3, will earn at least half of the credit for your annualized course, even if they end up failing in June.  As a result, you may only use ONE grade to indicate failure and that is the 55 or F.  All passing grades are integers >65 (unless you're a Pass/Fail class, in which case you will use only P or F). 



      Social-Emotional Learning Updates




      Per Session Opportunities

      No new postings this week.



       




      Staff Attendance Fall Summary.
      Facebook Design Derby







      Staff Handbook 2019-2020







      UAI Staff Handbook

      2019-2020




      ALL STAFF, please CLICK HERE to sign off and attest to your review and understanding of school rules & procedures

















      Table of Contents


      ------------------------------------------------------




      • School Table of Organization and Contact Numbers
      • General Code of Conduct & Responsibility



                       - Community Values




                       - Accountability




                       - Individual Choices




                       - Communal Interdependence and Positive Social Interactions




                       - Clear Expectations through Routines and Norms



      • School Rules


                       - Dress Code




                       - Technology




                       - Food




                       - Student Responsibilities



      • School Policies & Expectations



                       - Hallway Presence




                       - Locker Policy




                       - Students Leaving the Classroom




                       - Cutting Class





                       - Discipline and Student Behavior




                       - Principal Referrals and The Citywide Standards of Intervention & Discipline


                       - Outside Lunch Privileges 


                       - Grading Policy







      • Attendance & Lateness


                       - Staff Attendance




                       - Student Attendance


                               * Lateness to School




                               * Lateness to Class




                               * Absence & Eligibility for Participation in School Events




                               * Chronic Absenteeism




                               * Resources to Support Student Attendance 


                        - Attendance Procedures and Expectations

      • Social Emotional Supports & Procedures



                       - Social Emotional Support Staff




                       - Mandated Reporting




                       - Procedures for Reporting Child Abuse or Maltreatment




                       - Suspected suicidal/self-harming actions










      Sunday, January 12, 2020

      Week of January 13th

      UAI Staff News

      Volume VII
      Issue 21
      January 13th,  2020

      Announcements

      Staff Birthdays This Week.  
      Happy Birthday to Nancy on Sunday (12JAN).  Enjoy your day!!


      Announcing a New Partnership with Broadway Junior.  Thanks to the hard work of Damon, Alison, and Phillan, we were successfully selected to partner with Broadway Junior.  Through this partnership, Damon, Alison, and Phillan will receive the training required to produce UAI's first musical theater production with our middle school students.  In addition, we also receive some funds to build up the materials and resources required for launching a musical theater program for our middle school!  This year, we are producing Annie, Jr.  Info sessions for Middle School students will be held this Thursday 16JAN20 in the dance room (room 503).   Please spread the word to all of our 6th-8th graders to get information and try out for this amazing opportunity!!



      First Facebook Design Derby.  The past fall the 9th graders have been working hard with Ms. Nadine to learn about the Design Process, the process that Facebook professionals use to create, design, and implement new features and programs.  Throughout the fall, students participated in live streaming to learn from Menakshi Menon, a Quantitative User Researcher at Facebook.  Menakshi shared her expertise and perspective from behind the scenes at Facebook to help inspire and support our young women to realizing their design ideas.  This Friday, the Class of 2023 Design Derby finalists will present their ideas to a panel of experts at Facebook NYC.  The winning group wins a free trip to California to tour Facebook's home quarters and join a virtual congress of young people dedicated to define digital citizenship for the future!

      To-Do This Week

      Monday Professional Development.  This Monday, we're going to wrap up the 3-part series aimed at supporting teachers in planning and executing high quality turn and talks in their classes.   Like last week, we'll meet in 409 and do announcements and then divide into our planning groups.

      Teacher Core Subject Teams -Note:  For this round of subject teams, we're going to focus on core subject turn and talks and integrate breadth & elective subjects into the core teams.  This is strictly for planning and preparation logistics in running these consultancies
      • (8) MS ELA - Sarah M (Presenting), Marsha (Facilitating), 
        • Phillan, Kristina, Christina, Cassandra, Laura, Pauline
      • (8) HS ELA - Joey (Presenting) Rebecca C (Facilitating) 
        • Tiffany, Rebecca F, Damon, Elana, Jessica, Juelle
      • (9) MATH - Jamie (Presenting), Kiri (Facilitating) 
        • Alison, Cherry, Matthew, Danielle Ro, Joanna, Nina, Judy
      • (9) SCIENCE - Amanda (Presenting), Rachel (Facilitating)  
        • Sarah R, Amy, Emma, Nick, Tom, Elena, Jelissa
      • (9) SOCIAL STUDIES - Brodie (Presenting); Annie (Facilitating)
        • Jake, Natalie, Kelly, Suzannah, Nadine, Giselle, Brenda
      Monday Agenda
      • 3:00-3:05 - Blog Announcements
      • 3:05-3:10 - Setting Our Intention - What is the focus of the Rehearsal? What feedback is needed?
      • 3:10-4:05 - Lesson Rehearsal
        • 4:05-4:10 - Staff Journal & Reflection - What about today's PD will I use in my own practice? 

        Tuesday Family Outreach.  High school advisors must begin reaching out to advisees to advise families of Regents Week programming.  Joanna will share schedule and lists this week.  All advisors, should share that the end of the MP3 ends on Friday, 17JAN20.  The Spring Term and MP4 begins the next class day (21JAN for middle school; 28JAN20 for the high school).  There is no school on Monday, 20JAN20 (MLK, Jr. Day) and no school for students on Monday 27JAN20 (Chancellor's PD Day).


        Are you tired of your phone ringing during class?  Me too.  I have tried to ask, remind, cajole, demand, stridently remind ALL out of classroom staff to NOT call classrooms.  I have failed.  So, like every problem that I fail at, I step back and try to find another approach.

        Phones are primarily in classrooms for the safety of the teacher and students.  No one needs to call into a classroom in an emergency.  We have enough staff with radios.  We can come to your classroom.  Therefore, I am recommending that you all take your phones off the hook.  If we really need something, we'll come to your classroom.

        All deans, counselors, interns, office staff, and admin will no longer be calling classrooms for students or other reasons.  If a student needs to be pulled from class, we will find another method to do so.  If you need to use the phone, you need only to hang up and then call out.  For classroom staff, phones will continue to serve their intended, emergency purpose.

        Social-Emotional Learning Updates




        Per Session Opportunities

        No new postings this week.



         


        Sunday, January 5, 2020

        Week of January 6

        UAI Staff News

        Volume VII
        Issue 20
        January 6th,  2020

        Announcements

        Staff Birthdays This Week.  
        Happy Birthday to Juelle on Saturday (11JAN).  Enjoy your day!!

        Root for the Home Team.  This Monday (06JAN) is the next home game for our undefeated Lady Eagles.  Coach Elana and Asst. Coach Damon have worked hard with the team who has played hard to have a series of strong games this season.  This Monday is the next of only four remaining home games.  With PD ending at 4:10PM, the game start is only 20minutes later.  When our girls see their teachers in the stands, they feel all sorts of pride and excitement.  Come and root (root root) for the home team!!

        Important Dates

        • MP3 ends next Friday (10 more instructional days).  As per UAI grading policy, high school students who have >65 earn credit for the fall.  All grades must be either  >65 or =55.  No grades between 55 and 65 are allowed for this marking period.  Teachers must take into account wholistic traits (performance over the course of the semester, growth, or extenuating circumstances) when making the final judgment for the Fall term grades. 
        • MP4 will start on Tuesday 21JAN for the Middle School and on Tuesday 28JAN for the High School (after Regents Week).  We will be implementing programmatic shifts on these dates.  Specifically, 6th grade sections will be shrunk from 3 to 2, we'll be creating another ICT section in 9th grade, and we will be changing elective & small group formats for the spring term.  Also 3/2 courses (like PE) will flip to 2/3.  
        • Regents Week begins on 21JAN.  Joanna is still finalizing teacher programs, but she got the lists out last week.  Please reach out to your advisees to review their regent assignments and the Regent Schedule.

        To-Do This Week

        <<REMINDER>>  Continue to Prepare for Mid-Year Reflection Meetings.  Using your journal reflections, classroom data (e.g. student work or assessment performance), and your lesson plans, prepare to meet with Annie, Val, or Kiri for your mid-year reflection meeting.  In particular, you will be prepared to discuss your goals (how they have progressed or changed), and how your goals will adapt for the spring to explicitly include the resolutions (listed above) towards achieving the schools' goals.  You will be receiving calendar invites for mid-year reflection meetings starting next week.  Start working on preparing for the meetings now.  To give you an example or model of how to prepare, you can refer to the reflection I prepared for our Deputy Superintendent to report on our progress towards the schools' goals

        Monday Professional Development.  This Monday, we're going to continue the 3-part series aimed at supporting teachers in planning and executing high quality turn and talks in their classes.  Before the break, the first of these three parts used the protocol of teacher consultancies to help the presenting teachers improve lesson plan for the turn and talk.  This upcoming Monday, subject teams will help the presenting teachers rehearse the lesson, paying particular attention to teacher moves and execution.  The final part on January 13th, will be a review and reflection of the lesson.  Teachers will have the opportunity to watch a video recording of the planned turn and talk and then provide feedback for the presenting teacher.

        Teacher Core Subject Teams -Note:  For this round of subject teams, we're going to focus on core subject turn and talks and integrate breadth & elective subjects into the core teams.  This is strictly for planning and preparation logistics in running these consultancies
        • (8) MS ELA - Sarah M (Presenting), Marsha (Facilitating), 
          • Phillan, Kristina, Christina, Cassandra, Laura, Pauline
        • (8) HS ELA - Joey (Presenting) Rebecca C (Facilitating) 
          • Tiffany, Rebecca F, Damon, Elana, Jessica, Juelle
        • (9) MATH - Jamie (Presenting), Kiri (Facilitating) 
          • Alison, Cherry, Matthew, Danielle Ro, Joanna, Nina, Judy
        • (9) SCIENCE - Amanda (Presenting), Rachel (Facilitating)  
          • Sarah R, Amy, Emma, Nick, Tom, Elena, Jelissa
        • (9) SOCIAL STUDIES - Brodie (Presenting); Annie (Facilitating)
          • Jake, Natalie, Kelly, Suzannah, Nadine, Giselle, Brenda
        Monday Agenda
        • 3:00-3:05 - Blog Announcements
        • 3:05-3:10 - Setting Our Intention - What is the focus of the Rehearsal? What feedback is needed?
        • 3:10-4:05 - Lesson Rehearsal
          • 4:05-4:10 - Staff Journal & Reflection - What about today's PD will I use in my own practice? 

          Tuesday Family Outreach.  High school advisors must begin reaching out to advisees to advise families of Regents Week programming.  Joanna will share schedule and lists this week.  All advisors, should share that the end of the MP3 ends on Friday, 17JAN20.  The Spring Term and MP4 begins the next class day (21JAN for middle school; 28JAN20 for the high school).  There is no school on Monday, 20JAN20 (MLK, Jr. Day) and no school for students on Monday 27JAN20 (Chancellor's PD Day).

          <<REMINDER>> Gradebook Audits Continue.  Because MP 3 is credit bearing if students pass, we need to make sure all gradebooks follow school grading policy, which is submitted to the NYCDOE and Superintendency each year.  We will be randomly checking grade books throughout this month and January to ensure all gradebooks are in alignment.  As a reminder,
          • Grades are cumulative - Grades are a reflection of work students have been doing since September.
          • The Lowest grade for anything is a 50.  So, in other words, we do not use zeros or any grade less than 50.  
          • The Only failing grade on report cards is 55.  If a student's overall average is between 55 and 65, teachers must choose to give the student a 55 OR a 65.  


          Social-Emotional Learning Updates



          Per Session Opportunities

          High School Dance on Friday 07FEB.  The seniors are coordinating their first dance for Friday 07JAN20.  If you are interested in chaperoning, please see Jen.  We're hiring for up to 10 chaperones (depending on student attendance) from 5:30-10:30.