Sunday, November 22, 2020

Week of November 23rd

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 18
November 23rd, 2020

Principal's Message

As we kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving, I want to make the time to appreciate the things we have all accomplished this year and to thank each of you for what you have achieved with our students!

Closing the Digital Divide.  At the end of last year and the start of this year, advisors, deans and school support staff all worked together seamlessly to get technology and access to WiFi for our students and families.  While we are still working on the challenged that the DOE iPad updates posed, over 97% of our students have either their own computers, DOE iPads and/or UAI Chromebooks in their hands, and nearly 2/3 of our students have access to reliable WiFi.  Through more work, advisors & school support staff will raise the percent of students who have access to reliable WiFi will raise to 90% too!  Given how many of our students began this pandemic with no tech other than a phone and no reliable access to WiFi, this has been an enormous achievement.  I am thankful to all of you for all of your efforts, and I am truly in awe about how our collective efforts significantly closed the digital divide for our students and their families.  Excellent work and Thank you to all!


Engagement & Achievement.  Throughout the entire first marking period, advisors and out-of-classroom staff & our partner staff at Girls Inc. have worked tirelessly to create and recreate lessons that engage our students minds and hearts.  Together, we have all tried (and retried) to find methods and avenues that provide our students with the experiences they need to grow academically and develop social emotionally.   We have spent many, many hours in our efforts, and it has been extremely frustrating to experience so many of them falling short.  However, through our collective persistence and commitment to our students' growth and development, nearly 2/3 of our students have 90% average daily attendance or better AND over 2/3 of our students successfully passed all of their classes.  Given the added challenges that learning at home and strictly through computer screens, the majority of our students thrive because of how we persisted and evolved through each failure and success!  Keep at it, even when it doesn't pan out.  The work you do matters, even when it doesn't work.  In failure we learn and improve.  Through that improvement, our students thrive and achieve.  Thank you to all for all that you do!!


Care and Support.  This year, our advisory system and support of our counselors, deans, and paraprofessionals have created a strong network of support for our students and families.  They know we care, and time and again, they share their appreciation and feedback through our meetings and through their resounding approval in our surveys.  2020 provided no shortage of challenges for our students and families.... and ourselves.  Your strength and commitment to be their for our students and families is so appreciated because it comes through in the time of your own need, too.  Thank you for all that you give, even when your own tanks run low.

As we head into this short week and long weekend, make time to reflect on your own achievements and individual success.  Make space to recognize what you have achieved and value what you do have (and have achieved).  You may not always hear the appreciation or see it.  But please know, it is always there, and your students, our families, and I, Annie, & Jen fully appreciate all that you have made real for our UAI family.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!


Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings

Birthdays This Week

No Staff Bdays this week!
DO EMAIL ME if this is incorrect!

Sunday, 22NOV:  Nyllah (6), Tralena (7)     
Monday, 23NOV:  Jaelynn (8), Lamya (11)
Tuesday, 24NOV:  Nodira (9)
Friday, 27NOV:  Shamaya (8), Yasmin (10)
Saturday, 28NOV:  Taspia (8)


UAI Committee Updates.  

Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) The Circle Committee hosted Staff Circles on Friday, 20NOV.  

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM).  The SRC rolled out three new policies for feedback (UAI Grading Policy, UAI Google Classroom Policy, UAI Zoom Policy). We will meet on Monday 23NOV to integrate staff feedback into final policies for release before Thanksgiving. If you haven't had a chance yet to submit feedback, please click on any of the links (in blue above) or reach out to anyone on the committee with your input!

The Equity Team (Suzannah, Nina, Elana, Kelly, Phillan, Annie, Nakita, Rebecca C, Damon, Ms. King (Kianna’s mom), Ms. Barnes (Alyssa’s mom), Ms. Martuscello (Veronica’s mom), Kianna King, Emily Payamps, Jerlai Tyner, Jamilah Alshawish, Salia Naschel).  The Equity Team met this past Thursday to analyze GPA and SAT data by race.  We were able to draw conclusions about disproportionality that provoked questions to drive our work in developing more equitable grading practices.  Check out our jamboards to see the work we did this week.  Our next meeting will be December 2, 2020, and will be co-facilitated by Cassie Magesis, Director of Post-Secondary Access at the Urban Assembly.


Upload Grades.  By now, you should be using the Turn In function on Google Classrooms, and you should know how to transfer your grades from Google Classrooms into Skedula.   For Marking Period 2, you should be uploading your grades into Skedula each week.    If you are finding that you cannot keep up with the grading load, then it's time to consider what needs to change.  At minimum for this week, you should upload 1 participation and 1 progress grade for all students.  Students who have not yet submitted any work should have a "50" uploaded to indicate missing work.

As a reminder, assignments can have varying levels of grading & feedback.  
  • Participation (MIN- 1 grade per week):  These can be done/not done, non-quality based assignments.  For example, did the students participation in the chat (yes/no)?  Did she ask/answer a question or add to the discussion in some way (yes/no)?  These "signs of life" challenges should occur through the live zooms at least 2-3 times, and then your yes/no measure can be quantitative based on how many times out of total challenges the students participated.  For asynch days, participation grades could simply be did they turn in the asynch work (yes/no)?  Over the course of the week, you can upload a single participation grade for the week.   If you're tech fancy, you can also use google forms or excel sheets to help you.   If you tend to lower tech, if you keep a roster next to you, you can check off names as you "challenge" the students through the zooms and week.  Either way, you can enter a grade each week as a point or percentage (# of yeses divided by # of total challenges).  All of this is suggested if you need it - NOT MANDATED.  If you have a working system, and you're able to easily upload weekly Participation grades, great and keep it going! 

  • Progress (MIN - 1 grade per week)There is a wide variety of what can count for a progress grade.  These can be practice assignments (self graded with a key or peer graded with a rubric).  These can be assignments for feedback.  Feedback assignments require intensive teacher time and these assignments should be give with intentionality and include teachers scheduling time for providing feedback to students within 1-2 days of assignment submission.  Feedback assignments could be first drafts, exit tickets, test corrections, debates, discussions, work in breakout rooms, other class activities or asynch work, etc.   If you're trying to get student to upload information practice assignments that are autograded (e.g. google form autogrades) or self/peer assessed is a way to hold students accountable for information upload.  If you are trying to assess the quality of student learning and mastery, you need to include feedback assignments so that you can correct/refine/support their learning.  Make time for both and be intentional about planning time for giving feedback.

  • Performance (MIN- 1 grade per 2 weeks).   These are summative assessments that students do independently and after teachers have had the opportunity to provide feedback.  They can be things like exit tickets if the exit tickets follows teachers providing full class, small group, or individual feedback in the live zoom (or in writing).  These can be quizzes, small writing assignments, or labs.  These happen after practice and feedback from peers/teachers.   These can also be major assessments like unit tests, essays, research papers, debates, socratic seminars, projects, etc.  All of the major assessments should occur after several minor assessments and many opportunities for feedback and student implementation of that feedback.  

Grade Team Meetings.  Thank you to all three folks who stopped by Office Hours to discuss their ideas/concerns/questions about Grade Team Meetings.  I hear from Damon and Nina, that many still have concerns.  Please feel free to put those in the Parking Lot or if you prefer, please raise them up to any committee member, and we will address those concerns in committees!  There are many avenues for your voice to be heard, but if you don't use your voice, we won't be able to hear it!  So please share your concerns, ideas, and questions.


Per Session Postings

To Apply for any of the following per session opportunities, please COMPLETE THIS FORM and email the appropriate point person listed in this posting.  

The 8th Grade Yearbook Club Supervisor:  Please apply directly to Jen via email AND complete the form linked above.  For this position, you will receive 1 hour of persession each week to lead the 8th Grade Yearbook Club. Your responsibilities include recruiting students for the club, collecting pictures from staff and students from the last three years for the class of 2021 and assisting students in the formatting of the yearbook on our purchased software. Kelly will handle the logistics of purchasing and contact with the company - your role is to guide and support students through the construction of their senior yearbook while simultaneously building their digital literacy skills.   This position requires someone who has contact and relationships with the current 8th graders, who can successfully motivate students to participate in creating a digital yearbook, and who has strong organizational and technical skills to use software, coordinate student meetings, and meet deadlines.  (one position available)

Please CLICK HERE to indicate that you’ve read all the blogpost for this week.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Week of November 16th, 20


UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 17
November 16th, 2020

Principal's Message

It is a LOT of work to continually connect and check in on our students and their families.  On top of that, you are all working diligently hard to learn a whole new set of digital skills and pedagogical techniques.  However, it is all worth it!  Across all subjects, across all areas (creating connections, academic rigor, fun & engagement, and individuation), our parents and students have ranked your efforts consistently as "Pretty Good" to "Excellent"!  In addition, our parents and students recognize and appreciate your work!!  You can see all the data for yourself HERE, but here are some samples of their appreciation this first marking period!!
  • Some Quotes from Our Families 
    • I want to say that the staff is amazing and very helpful.
    • They are all the best!! They make learning fun.
    • Their availability to students... many teachers made themselves available to students and it gave the student confidence to feel that if they were having a tough time, someone was there to always help. This mattered to my daughter because it made her feel like her teachers were reliable and available.
    • They all made my child feel engaged and safe throughout the past Marking period. They all helped my child after our travel that its okay if she missed work and zooms she will make it up. They helped her make up her work.
    • My daughter said Mr.Tom for pushing her to do her best, but I say all the teachers does that. Great support.
    • Amazing work ethic despite the current climate.
  • Some Quotes from Our Students 
    • Teachers in the class made me feel valued and respected 
    • They taught something interesting and they engaged with me alot
    • Trying their hardest to help us learn new things.
    • The teachers listening to students issues and making us feel known. 
    • I want to say thank you teachers for teaching me and I feel it is a great success to be at UAI this year I’m so happy.
Thank you all for everything you have done to launch this crazy COVID school year!  I look forward to seeing what you deliver for our students and families for Marking Period 2!!



Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings

Birthdays This Week

No Staff Bdays this week!
DO EMAIL ME if this is incorrect!

Monday, 16NOV:  Aaliyah Y (6), Makeilah S (9), Shalanay (10), Jomesha (11)       
Thursday, 19NOV:  Marie C. (6), Myalynne (8), Destinee M (9)
Friday, 20NOV:  Ghada (6), Marie J. (8),  Sunanda (8), Nyjayah (9)


UAI Committee Updates.  As promised, we will be providing weekly updates on the progress of our three committees working to transform UAI into a fully inclusive and anti-racist school!  Throughout this year, many folks will have ideas and concerns about ... whatever is happening at UAI!!  Please feel free to reach out to ANY individual on any of the committees to share your ideas and concerns.  

No longer should anyone feel that they have to come to school leadership about concerns.  Of course, all are always welcome, but our committee structures provide staff with many folks of many different affinities that can help highlight your ideas and/or concerns!  All you have to do is reach out and/or share your mind when the committees reach out to you!

Committee Updates....

Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) The SC Committee met last Monday to plan the goal for the next staff Circle. To plan, we engage in a Circle planning protocol (CPP), as you can see here in the minutes. We reflected on the staff feedback and determined that we should continue the work of individual self-awareness. As part of our mission, we must look inward in order to build relationships and form the antiracist/fully inclusive school we all hope for. In this Friday’s staff Circle, we will reflect on our journey as educators, so that we can challenge assumptions we make about each other and our students.

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM). The SRC will be meeting on Monday at 4:15 to review staff feedback from the last two meetings and our surveys.  We will begin drafting school wide policies around Zoom and Google Classroom and for structures/systems for implementing the DOE Grading Policy.  As always, you can track our meetings following our minutes and agendas via this LINK

The Equity Team (Suzannah, Nina, Elana, Kelly, Phillan, Annie, Nakita, Rebecca C, Damon, Ms. King (Kianna’s mom), Ms. Barnes (Alyssa’s mom), Ms. Martuscello (Veronica’s mom), Kianna King, Emily Payamps, Jerlai Tyner, Jamilah Alshawish, Salia Naschel).  The Equity Team took a pause last week because of conferences, but will resume this week to dive into data analyzing GPA to identify disproportionately by race.

Advisory Conferences.  Thank you to all of you!!  We met our goal of completing at least 80% of our advisory conferences.  We ended the week with 402/495 conferences completed!  Nicely done everyone!


Also, thank you for completing the survey.  We were able to collect some invaluable information about home learning and technology!  One of the most revealing bits of information is how many of our students have unreliable access to WiFi.  Only 86% of our students replied yes, and that correlates to our average daily attendance rate, which is about 85% right now.   This means that when students are absent, communication that relies on WiFi access will likely not work!  Starting with MP2, if students aren't responding to emails or Google Classroom announcements, there is a real non-zero chance that WiFi may be the problem.  Call them to find out what's happening, and then make your evaluations from there.
 

MP1 Grades.  Marking Period 1 Grades are due at 3PM on Wednesday, 18NOV20  Advisors will be charged with emailing out report cards on Friday.  As a reminder:

  • All passing grades are numerical from 65-100
  • All failing grades are "NX" only.  Please feel free to use the report card comments and/or provide more details, including actual numeric performance in an anecdotal in Skedula.


Grade Team Meetings.  Starting THIS Friday 20NOV20 we will begin to have weekly grade team meetings from 8:30-9:15AM.  These grade team meetings will be used to follow up on a variety of items including student attendance, outcomes of interventions (for all students and for ENL and SPED students), recommendations for intervention, and identifying student cases for escalation.   This is an additional meeting to our 2PM staff meetings.  So Fridays for teachers will look like:
  1. 8:30-9:15AM - Grade Team Meetings
    • Agenda Items
      • Weekly Attendance Review
      • Weekly ENL/SPED Intervention Assessment
        (What worked, what didn't, what needs to change, and why)
      • Weekly GenEd Intervention Assessment (Who needs what and why)

  2. 9:15-2:00PM - Reset Days & Office Hours (which includes lunch & prep time)
    • In place of Reset weeks, for MP2, we're going to spread the days out throughout the MP2 Fridays.  Here's a calendar of what to expect (Note for PE, Spanish, and Theater, your classes move to asynchronous assignments on Reset days):

      • 20NOV - Advisory Connection & Report Card Distribution
      • 04DEC - Reset Day - Connect with Course students & Families who have missed assignments.  Provide final deadlines for the assignments. Log outreach in Skedula, cc parents and advisor.
      • 11DEC - Office Hours - Traditional Office Hours & Small Group Work  
      • 18DEC - Reset Day
      • 08JAN - Office Hours
      • 15JAN - Reset Day
      • 22JAN - Office Hours
      • 29JAN - Reset Day

  3. 2:00-2:50PM - UAI Staff Meetings
    • Please see Staff Meeting Calendar for Agendas.

Per Session Postings

To Apply for any of the following per session opportunities, please COMPLETE THIS FORM and email the appropriate point person listed in this posting.  

No Postings this week

Please CLICK HERE to indicate that you’ve read all the blogpost for this week.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Week of November 9th

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 16
November 9th, 2020

Principal's Message

The First but Definitely Not the Last!  Congratulations to Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris (and to President Elect Joe Biden)!  VP Elect Harris is the first black, first indian, first bi-racial and first woman to hold the office of vice president in the United States of America.  VP Elect Harris smashed that ceiling and black female leaders like Stacey Abrams and LaTosha Brown helped pave that way.

Today, our own black and brown students have more than just hopes and dreams.  Today, our students are seeing the creation of a new reality in the USA.  These amazing women (and the > 90% of black women who voted Trump out) stand as role models and blueprints for what can be achieved when persistence and faith in oneself and in their own power overcome failure and oppression.  Today we celebrate for ourselves and we celebrate for our students.

Tomorrow, we recognize that the work is not done, and there are so many more glass barriers that need to be revealed, confronted, and smashed.  We are part of that work today, and our students are the future that will shape the dreams of today into tomorrow's nornew ms of equity & inclusion.  

Enjoy the relish in this victory delivered to all of us through the amazing work and magic of these (and more) incredible black and brown women.  Then, let's all honor them by digging in to do the work to provide the future black and brown female juggernauts with the education and empowerment they will need to shape a nation (and world) we will all be proud to claim as home!




Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings

Birthdays This Week

No Staff Bdays this week!

Sunday, 08NOV: Marwa (9), Kira (12) 
Monday, 09NOV:  Rubita (9)
        Tuesday, 10NOV20:  Celeste (7), Davana (9), Xiaa (10)
Wednesday, 11NOV20:  Jaslene (7)
Thursday, 12NOV20:  Sarah L (6), Samarra S (10), Nicole (11), Rayan (11)
Friday, 13NOV20:  Ashley P(8), Junel (8)


Surveys from Friday.  Many thanks to the SRC committee for putting together the first policy and systems engagements meeting with the staff.  We're still learning how to best make this work, and your feedback is essential in helping us do that.  In addition, there were a couple of other surveys & links that were shared. 

Reset Week.  This aim of this reset week is to make sure we are all in a place to start MP2 strong and ready to learn.  We have all learned so much in this first marking period.  We all want to make sure we use this time to clear the slate and have a strong start to MP2.

In "normal" learning conditions, student grades can be expected to follow a normal curve (or normal distribution).  So, in concrete terms, if you have 100 students, about 10 students would be failing.

We can argue about what "normal" actually means, but I don't think any of us would argue that whatever Remote Learning is...it is NOT normal.  We need to leverage the time we have this week to understand what is happening for our students in this new learning environment so that we can adjust instruction and instructional supports appropriately.  We may not yet have the answers to what that is, but our students and families hold key information and ideas that could help us!  So, this week, our overarching goal is to connect with families & students to find out what we can do to improve student outcomes!
  • Classroom Teachers.  On Monday and Tuesday, your targeted outcomes are:
    • For Failing Students (~10 kids).  Create plans to intervene and prevent failure for MP2.
      At minimum, have conversations (zoom or phone) with students & their families.  These conversations need to identify the reason(s) for student failure and construct a plan for intervening on this failure.  All plans need to include a system for regular feedback and updates with families, and an explanation of what families can expect if the interventions fail and/or if the students fail to respond (aka show up or just not grow) to those interventions.
    • For Students Who Could be Doing Better (most students).  Provide feedback on improvement
      At minimum, email families. "Just passing" is just not good enough!  We need to continually celebrate their achievements while at the same time pushing them to be even better.  Imagine if Kamala settled for senator?  What would the world be like if Stacey Abrams just gave up after losing the race for Governor of Georgia?  Leverage the real world stories (also find more than just these - the kids can't hear the same story from five different teachers!).  Email students and cc parents on what they can be doing better for the marking periods to come.
    • For Excelling Students (~10 kids). Direct them to enrichment activities
      At minimum, email or text families.  Celebrate their awesomeness and name what they are doing so that families and students better understand the roots of their success!  Share digital resources to push their learning and interests!  Encourage the learning for the sake of learning and growth.  These high achievers should be pushed to pursue learning as an end in itself and not chase after the number grades!
    • Suggested Schedule You are most welcome to use your time flexibly on Monday and Tuesday to achieve the above goals.  If you have a plan, go ahead and ignore this.  However, if you like suggestions, here is a suggested schedule to help structure your time should you need it!

      • Monday & Tuesday:
        • 8:30-9:30 - Send out Advisory attendance check in and share this survey.  Then,  email half Excelling students & families and post links to enrichment resources and activities.  Examples can include virtual. visits to museums, recommended books, exercises on Khan academy, etc.  These things can be made available to all, but really pushed on for kids who are ready to take on the extra challenge.  Send a group text (via remind) for these families to check their emails and upload or synch Google Classroom grades into Skedula.
        • 9:30-10:30 - Make Five Successful phone calls with students who are on currently failing.  Record the intervention plan in Skedula and cc the advisor and upload grades into Skedula
        • 10:30-11:00 - Take a break, walk around, have a healthy snack, and drink lots of water!
        • 11:00-12:00 - Email "Just Passing" students (e.g. 65-94) and families from 1 sectiona to celebrate their achievements and provide feedback on how to improve for the upcoming marking period upload grades into Skedula
        • 12:00-1:00 - Have some lunch, do some stretching, drink some more water!
        • 1:00-2:00 - Make Five Successful phone calls with students who are on currently failing.  Record the intervention plan in Skedula and cc the advisor and upload grades into Skedula
        • 2:00-2:30 - Check Advisory attendance and call any students who haven't responded upload grades into Skedula
        • 2:30-3:00 - Take a break, walk around, have a healthy snack, and drink lots of water!
        • 3:00-4:10 on Monday - Co-Planning Meetings; on Tuesday - SRC Mtg (to 4:05)

  • Wednesday is Veteran's Day - NO SCHOOL

  • Advisors. Thursday & Friday
    • Advisors should have been scheduling appointments for family conferences since last Tuesday.  Each conferences should be about 20-30 minutes.  Here's a checklist to help guide the conversation and touch on necessary points.
    • Here's a suggested schedule
      • Thursday 8:30AM-8:00PM:
        • 8:30-10:30 - Complete 4 conferences
        • 10:30-11:00 - Break
        • 11:00-11:30 - Complete Survey Info for 8:30-10:30 conferences (see checklist)
        • 11:30-1:30 - Complete 4 conferences
        • 1:30-2:30 - Lunch
        • 2:30-5:00 - Break
        • 5:00-5:30 - Complete Survey Info for 11:30-1:30 conferences
        • 5:30-7:30 - Complete 4 conferences
        • 7:30-8:00 - Complete Survey Info for 5:30-7:30 Conferences
      • Friday 8:30AM-2:50PM
        • 8:30-11:00 - Independent Work time (plan, grade, meetings)
        • 11:00-1:30 - Complete remaining conferences
        • 1:30-2:30 - Lunch
        • 2:30-2:50 - Complete Survey Info for remaining conferences


Per Session Postings

To Apply for any of the following per session opportunities, please COMPLETE THIS FORM and email the appropriate point person listed in this posting.  

Student Attendance and Academic Intervention Committee.  We are looking for at least one representative from each grade-team to meet help innovate and provide Tier 3 supports for students who are non-responsive to Tier 1 and 2 interventions provided to classroom staff.  Posting will close on November 9th.  To apply, email Kiri directly AND COMPLETE THIS FORM.

Student Newspaper Advisors.  
Applied:  Cassandra, Rebecca F, Phillan, Rachel
Staffed:   Cassandra, Rebecca F, Phillan, Rachel

Please CLICK HERE to indicate that you’ve read all the blogpost for this week.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Week of November 2nd

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 15
November 2nd, 2020

Principal's Message

Reset & Recharge.    This week is the last week of live instruction for the first marking period.  Next week you will have time to work with students, meet with families, and get caught up so that we can have a strong start to the second marking period and the rest of the year.

With so many fits and bumps to the beginning of this year, it was inevitable that some staff and students alike found challenge in keeping up with the pace of the year and creating a reliable routine.

As we draw to the end of the first marking period, now a prime time to pause and reset in preparation for the second marking period and the rest of the school year.

This week and next, help your students (and yourself) identify clear, concrete goals to achieve by the end of next Friday.  These goals should be in service of preparing students (and yourself!) to launch marking period two with a strong, fresh start!


Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings

Birthdays This Week

Happy Birthday Cherry!!
Saturday, 07NOV20

Sunday, 01NOV: Fatima (11), 
Monday, 02OCT20:  Janiya (7), Tyshawna (9)
        Thursday, 05NOV20:  Jaydelle (9), Arifa (10)
Friday, 06NOV20:  Cynnia (9), Katherine (10), Sasha (12)



Reset Procedures.  In preparation for wrapping up MP1 and preparing for a strong, fresh start for MP2, teachers should do the following things:

  • Advisors THIS WEEK
    • Advisees Failing 2 or more courses.  If you have any student failing 2 or more classes, please connect with home to analyze the root of the problems and problem solve with families.
      • Does the student have reliable access to a working iPad or UAI Chromebook?
        • If no, email Courtney/Annie to coordinate pick up/tech service with Phil.
      • Does the student have a routine at home and a working learning space for zooms?
        • If no, work with the parents/family to support setting up a routine and space.
        • If you need help with this conversation, please reach out to grade counselor for support (JJR = 6th/7th, Jen = 8th, Marni=9th, Danielle I=10th, Jen=11th Grade, Doris=12th Grade).
      • If you have attempted to correct these issues and/or your attempts have failed, please reach out to Annie (via the parking lot, accompanied with what you've tried and what has happened).  Annie will then assign Courtney or Pauline for additional support.
        • PLEASE NOTE:  Please use multiple forms of contact.  If you cannot reach home via email, use text. If text (or Remind) fails, call or zoom.  If email, text, calls, and zoom fail, then escalate.  Repeated email fails are not multiple attempts.  That is only email.  We have to try multiple methods.

    • Advisees Passing All Classes.  For all your students who are passing their classes, celebrate them AND push them find ways to be even better for next marking period.  Counsel them to advocate with their teachers during office hours or via email.  Help them learn the skills of self-advocacy needed to enrich their skills and grow beyond "just passing" or "breezing through" to self-challenge and growth!

  • Course Teachers THIS WEEK
    • For ALL students in danger of failing.
      • Analyze why are they failing?
        • Are they coming to Live Zooms regularly?  
          • If no, email Advisor for Tech/Home Routine support (log in Skedula)
        • Are they coming to zooms but not turning in work OR are they coming to zooms but turning in work that is missing the mark?
          • Are students coming to office hours?
            • If no, call home.
            • If yes and this is still not working, refer to Grade Small Groups
    • For ALL students who are passing
      • Provide feedback targeting 1 or 2 things students could do to improve performance in your course.  Celebrate their achievements, and encourage sustaining the work they've already done, too!

Preparing for Parent Conferences.  Advisors should all message home this week (and class teachers and in-person teachers should reiterate) that we will not be having in-person classes next week.  We are using that time for teachers to connect with students and families - both as advisors AND as classroom teachers.  

During the week of 09NOV, there is no new instruction.  However, there will be asynchronous lessons (enrichment for those who have already mastered MP1 standards, and re-teaching small group zooms for those who are still behind).  

  • MONDAY 09NOV20 AND TUESDAY 10NOV20 - 8:30AM-2:50PM
    • Classroom Staff Family Conferences
      • Individual Zooms or Calls 
        • For Students who are coming to Zooms, but still failing, schedule Live Zooms with the student and parent to discuss what support can happen at home and what the student should be working on to improve performance.
          • Students who are not coming to Zooms should be referred to Advisors for tech or routine support (e.g. they're not waking up in time or their wifi is unreliable...etc)
      • Emails or Remind Texts (or calls/zooms if preferred)
        • For students who are passing, email (or use Remind) to provide families an update of students' progress and how they can improve (this is an opportunity to reiterate and underscore the improvement conversation you are having with students this week).
          • Please be sure to COMBAT mediocrity!  We want all of our students to EXCEL to be their best (even in this situation which is far from ideal!).  Make sure to find ways families can help our students push beyond "just passing" to THRIVING! 
  • WEDNESDAY 11NOV20
    • NO SCHOOL - Veteran's Day

  • THURSDAY 12NOV20 8:30AM-8PM and FRIDAY 13NOV20 8:30AM-2:50PM
    • Advisor Family Conferences
      • Individual Zooms or Calls 
        • By the end of the day on Friday, 13NOV, all advisors should have successfully made contact and met with ALL advisees.  Please reach out to Annie/Kiri/Jen prior by the EOD Tuesday 03NOV20 if you have not been able to connect with an advisee.
        • Advisors should focus on making sure all advisees have
          • Working tech and reliable WiFi (UAI can provide if needed)
          • Routines for Learning in Place at Home

Girls Inc Updates

This is a newly added section to the blog to help us connect with all the components of UAI in these physically isolated times!  Here are some updates from Girls Inc this week!!  Please help us push out these notifications to our students so they can know more about what's happening and get involved!

  • Student Highlights: 
    • Starasia Carvey - Hired to work as a assistant at the Boys & Girls Club 
    • Yasmine Francois - Shoutout for being focused and driven in Daytime Class & Afterschool 
  • Events
    • This week we hosted a Fall Pumpkin Painting Event for Afterschool: 
    • Kate Spade College & Career Panel:   Tuesday, October 27th 4:30pm 
  • Opportunities: 
    • Mentorship Medical Field Opportunity: 
      • Girls Inc is partnering with Allergan to provide mentoring opportunities for girls interested in medicine.  Students have an opportunity to engage with physicians around their experience and how they got started in the medical field. 3 students will be selected to participate. 
  • Kate Spade Hiring Opportunity 
    • Kate Spade is hiring season workers for their foundation. Further information is soon to follow. 


Please CLICK HERE to indicate that you've read the entire blog


Per Session Postings

To Apply for any of the following per session opportunities, please COMPLETE THIS FORM and email the appropriate point person listed in this posting.  

Student Attendance and Academic Intervention Committee.  We are looking for at least one representative from each grade-team to meet help innovate and provide Tier 3 supports for students who are non-responsive to Tier 1 and 2 interventions provided to classroom staff.  Posting will close on November 9th.  To apply, email Kiri directly AND COMPLETE THIS FORM.

Student Newspaper Advisors.  Jen is looking to recruit teachers to be advisors and supports for a student run newspaper.  Hours will be 1-2 per week.  PLEASE NOTE - even if you have already been working with Jen on the Newspaper, you MUST apply to the posting if you wish to be paid.  Posting will close on November 2nd.  To apply,  email Jen directly AND COMPLETE THIS FORM.




Sunday, October 25, 2020

Week of 26OCT20

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 14
October 20th, 2020

Principal's Message

Mama Necessity.    This year has been a year of firsts for all of us.  The first year of teaching or working in schools is never easy, and returning to being a first year after years of experience and achievements is even harder.  

However, there is always opportunity in adverse situations.  In times of challenge innovation thrives out of necessity.   After the pain of banging our heads against the same wall and after the frustration of realizing that what used to work so well no longer does, we need to stop....be intentional....and take a step back.

The first thought might be, "I've tried everything I can"

The next thought should be, "So what haven't I tried, yet?"

When you turn your mind to that thought, that's when you'll begin to start seeing the open windows sitting next to the doors closed to you.  

So when it comes to getting kids to effectively engage in breakout rooms or class discussions, or figuring out how to get kids to regularly join zooms or turn in work, we need to think... "what haven't we tried, yet?"  

This week, challenge yourself and brainstorm with your planning team.  If your interventions are not creating a path to success for students, dig deep into the individual stories of the students to find things you may have not yet tried!
  • Does this student have success in any class, if so which and why? If no, what could be happening?
  • Does this student have reliable & functioning tech?  Does she know how to use it?  If no, what can we do to help?
  • Who are the friends/family of this student?  Could they form a support/study group to help each other?
  • Why isn't the student completing work (or participating in class)?  Do we know?  How do we find out?
  • What's happening at home?  Do they need support and help that maybe the school can give? 
  • What study structures are in place at home?  Is there a way to help the student set up a space and routine for learning?
  • What other questions or avenues can we explore?
Even then, the answers may still elude you, and the student may still struggle, but that does not and will never mean that you failed.  You will only fail when you stop trying.  As long as we keep trying to help and support our students and their families in this incredibly challenging year, you are winning.  Believe in the eventuality that you will find the perfect combination that works.  When you do, your students and families will love and appreciate all that you did, and then you will know, all the work and effort will have been worth every minute of your time and effort!

You cannot hear it enough - but you are appreciated, your work and support is needed, and you are essential to making sure our students don't merely survive this school year, but rather that they THRIVE!


Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings

Staff Birthdays This Week

NO Staff Birthdays This Week
BUT!! I just found all the kids' Bday data so 
now I can add that in this spot, too!

Monday, 26OCT20: Sofia (8), 
Tuesday, 27OCT20:  Hikari (9), Wadhia (10)
        Thursday, 29OCT20:  Joel (8), Kimora (9), Tiana (10), Fatoumata D (10)
Friday, 30OCT20:  Ashiya (8)
Saturday, 31OCT20:  Roan (9)



<<REPOST from Last Week>>.  Office Hours & Intervention.     
    • Students who have NO documented evidence of intervention cannot receive a failing grade.
    • If a student does not show up to intervention (or refuses intervention), teachers must call home.  Please record notes of conversation in Skedula (and cc Advisor).  
    • If you cannot reach a student, please escalate immediately to advisor and direct supervisor (Annie/Kiri/Jen) for extra support

Attendance Procedures (Repost).  As per the Attendance Updates (Passcode: e10gZ&yp) I received during our principal's meeting last Tuesday, we are now tracking two types of attendance now.  Course attendance and School Attendance.  Course attendance is the exact same as it has been from the start.  Students must attend Live Zooms to be marked present.  We are now separating School Attendance OUT of course attendance.  School attendance will SOLELY be Advisory attendance.   What does this mean?
  • NO CHANGE  Continue to take attendance for LIVE zooms (P=present; A=absent).  This includes course zoom classes (Math, Science, PE, Spanish, etc) and Advisory live zooms (circles or SEL/DL). 
  • CHANGE.  Advisors take advisory attendance FIVE DAYS PER WEEK.   This will be the "School Attendance"
    • TWO days per week:  Take LIVE Zoom attendance (as normal) for Circles and SEL/DL
    • THREE days per week:  Take Friday-Style Advisory Attendance.   So, you send out a text or email or attendance questions or however you want to take advisory attendance (could also just be a quick 10min zoom check in if you wanted).  You mark student P=present or A=absent on all three non-live zoom class days each week.
  • OPTIONAL.  You can continue to take Asynchronous Course Attendance (attendance for your English/Math/Science etc courses - anything but advisory).  use E=present and A= absent.  This is optional and not required.


<<REPOST from Last Week>>. Equity Analysis of Per Session Activities.  Only 1 person provided feedback on the feedback survey.  Please take a minute to look at the analysis and offer your insight?

The SRC will be looking at UAI systems and structures to confront and dismantle any biased practices.  Staffing & Hiring were one of the main priorities raised by staff last spring.  It is important that we keep an eye on our movements and attend to making sure opportunities are offered and staffed equitably.  Here is our YTD data from September (it doesn't not include the PD hours offered to all staff in August).  Please review and share your feedback (anonymously) so that the SRC can make any adjustments as needed. 

Diversity & Equity in Staffing Analysis YTD:  
  • 22 people (of 44 total or 40% of staff) staffed 29 positions
    • 2 counselor/dean (of 5 total) - 40%
    • 2 paraprofessionals (of 4 total) - 50%
    • 18 teachers (of 35 total) - 51%

  • Of the 29 positions filled
    • 40% - 11 positions are filled by black staff (7 people)
    • 10% -   3 positions are filled by non-white staff (2 people)
    • 43% - 15 positions are filled by white staff (13 people)

UAI teams working on co-constructing UAI into an Anti-Racist & Fully Inclusive School
  • Circles Committee:  Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, and Nakita  (not staffed Kristina, Laura)
  • Equity Team: Damon, Elana, Kelly, Nakita, Phillan, Nina, Suzannah & Rebecca C  (all applicants staffed)
  • School Restructuring Committee: Courtney, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, and Sarah M (all applicants staffed)

UAI teams working on school culture and student recruitment
  • School Culture & Student Activities:  Elana, Kelly, Phillan, Rachel, & Rebecca F  (not staffed Jelissa, Nadine, Rebecca C)
  • Student Recruitment Committee:  Christina, Jelissa, Phillan, and Rebecca F (all applicants staffed)

UAI teams working on school operations 
  • Testing & Compliance:  Brodie, Kelly, Jamie (not staffed Kristina)


As an FYI- Here are the UAI Staff Race & Staff Position Demographics:

AsianLatinxBlackWhite
Total42142747
Counselor/Dean00145
Paraprofessional00314
Teacher32102035
Leadership10023
AsianLatinxBlackWhite
Total9%4%30%57%
Counselor/Dean0%0%20%80%
Paraprofessional0%0%75%25%
Teacher9%6%29%57%
Leadership33%0%0%67%


Per Session Postings

To Apply for any of the following per session opportunities, please COMPLETE THIS FORM and email the appropriate point person listed in this posting.  

Student Attendance and Academic Intervention Committee.  We are looking for at least one representative from each grade-team to meet help innovate and provide Tier 3 supports for students who are non-responsive to Tier 1 and 2 interventions provided to classroom staff.  Posting will close on November 9th.  To apply, email Kiri directly AND COMPLETE THIS FORM.

Student Newspaper Advisors.  Jen is looking to recruit teachers to be advisors and supports for a student run newspaper.  Hours will be 1-2 per week.  PLEASE NOTE - even if you have already been working with Jen on the Newspaper, you MUST apply to the posting if you wish to be paid.  Posting will close on November 2nd.  To apply,  email Jen directly AND COMPLETE THIS FORM.

Testing Coordinator. Posting Closed
Applied:  Brodie, Jamie, Kelly, and Kristina
Staffed:  Brodie, Jamie, and Kelly