Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week of September 26th

UAI Staff News

Volume IV
Issue 4
Week of September 26th, 2016

To Do's for this Week

  • Spirit Week.  Don't forget to show your school spirit and pump up our girls to love school and love UAI!  Monday kicks it off with sports jersey day.  Don't have a sports jersey, wear any UAI t-shirt that you have. 
  • Curriculum Night Outreach.  Advisors need to call all advisees this week to personally invite them to curriculum night.  If you are unable to connect with a family, please let Ms. Carol know so that we can investigate contact information and keep our records up to date!
  • UAI Pep Rally.  Our first full school pep rally will be this Friday.  Student need to report to 8th period classes.  Please hold students until you hear the announcement to come up to the gym. We will be doing a rapid dismissal at the end of the assembly, so please make sure they have all of their things with them in the gym.
  • Technology Requests.  Bookmark George's new Technology Request Form.  George is working on tracking his work and the emails, while efficient for teachers, make it hard for him to monitor his progress.  So please make sure you complete the tech request form whenever you need George's help.

Announcements

Mr. Tom Keeps Calm!
First Fire Drill!  The Adams Street Campus has been open for 9 years and this was our first real evacuation.  The whole campus did spectacularly, but I was particularly proud of our students and staff!  The Adams Campus Building Council is working with custodial on some of the kinks (e.g. no sound on the alarm).  We will have a drill to test these solutions on Friday, 30SEP16 at 9:35AM.  We will also be reviewing exit procedures on Monday, during PD.




Teacher Requested Classroom Removals.  As a reminder, teachers may request to have students removed from class when they are being substantially disruptive or dangerous.  This means that the student's behavior is prohibiting others from learning or is posing a physical danger to the environment.  Defiance and disrespect are inappropriate classroom behaviors, but on their own, they do not necessarily stop classroom learning.  Teachers should utilize management techniques and revisit classroom expectations to redirect behaviors.  For support in creating a strong and positive classroom learning environment, please reach out to your peer coach or one of our social workers or deans.


Spirit Week.  Our first spirit week of the year is coming. Spirit Week begins on Monday, September 26th and culminates of Friday, September 30th with a full school assembly in the gym (starting at 2pm - students report to 8th period and will be called up by grade).  Ms. Jen is working with seniors to promote the week, but please remind students and show your own Uai spirit by also participating!
              • Monday 26SEP - Sports Jersey Day
              • Tuesday 27SEP - Pajama Day
              • Wednesday 28SEP - Celebrity/Character Day 
                • (Also the same day as Curriculum Night)
              • Thursday 29SEP - Blast from the Past Day
              • Friday 30SEP - Dashiki Day

SEL Updates

5 SEL Building Blocks
Week 2 of SEL. Students now know the 5 building blocks of SEL- why they are important, which ones they need to work on, and as out of the classroom reflection looked at who in their life demonstrates these skills and how it betters their life.  This week, we will continue to unpack SLANT and other small choices they can make to align themselves for success in the classroom. They will also create their own planner and learn the importance and efficacy of doing this the rest of their lives (shout out google calendar).  As a reminder, use the 5 SEL building blocks (see the picture) in your classroom this week to remind the students that SEL is not an isolated class, but an understanding throughout the school. Rigor is in the routine, and when we all contribute, the lift is light and easy!



Add this calendar to your own!  See that little "+" sign in the bottom right hand corner?  Click on it to have it show up in your personal google calendar!


Per Session Posting

Ms. Kristin, Q-Tighe, Ms. Jamie
& Marijah at the HS Fair
Mr. Erick is taking the pic
Open House and Recruitment.  Student recruitment season is here!  Many thanks to everyone who helped at this weekend's High School Fair.  We still are actively looking for our incoming class of 6th and 9th grade students now.  We need your help!  If you are interested in supporting Ms. Val's work in recruiting new students, please email her directly at valb@uainstitute.org.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016-2017 Staff Handbook




High School Staff Handbook

2016-2017


ALL STAFF CLICK HERE to test your 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


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Week of September 19th

UAI Staff News

Volume IV
Issue 3
Week of September 19th, 2016

To Do's for this Week

  • Handbook Review.  Please complete this google form to see how familiar you are with school policies and expectations.  If you missed anything, you can read through the UAI Staff Handbook to learn more!  Please complete the form by the end of the day on Monday 19SEP - it will take you 5 minutes (TOPS!)
  • Unit One Upload.  If you haven't done so yet, please upload your first units into THIS FOLDER by the end of the day, Monday.
  • Attend first full staff PD.  On Monday 19SEP is our first Pod PD of the year.  Using this Pod Protocol, we will debrief your visits to classrooms.  Please meet in room 409 at 3PM.  
  • Attend Goal Writing PD.  On Tuesday 20SEP, Kristin and Christina would like to meet with the staff to briefly review how to write effective learning goals for our students with IEPs.  Please come to room 409 at 3PM for this brief meeting.

Announcements

Building Towers in Geometry
Unit Zero, Check!  Congratulations on completing Unit Zero!  Setting the stage for strong learning environments is key to long-term success.  Now that you've uploaded your first units, your focus for the next few weeks should be on creating effective lesson plans.  As Colleen and I continue conducting baseline observations, you should expect a request from us for your lesson plans.  Your plans help us better understand the events and teacher moves we see unfolding before us in the classroom. There is no required lesson plan template at UAI.  However, there are guiding questions that you need to consider as you plan activities:

            • Pedagogy.  What am I hoping to achieve with this lesson/activity?  Why do I want students to complete this particular/activity over another option?  What do I want them to learn from this activity/lesson?  Can I make it better/more challenging/more standards aligned?
            • Assessment.  How will I know when my students have learned what I want them to learn?  
            • Engagement.  Does this activity/lesson lead to participation or intellectual engagement (are they simply doing stuff...or are they required to think about stuff)?  


Family Engagement.  As a reminder, the family engagement time is spread across the five days of the week.  That way, you have time built into everyday to call homes.  
            • Daily Attendance. You need to call home of your advisees who are absent and/or late.  So, if you have an advisee who does not make it to your advisory, you need to call home.  It means they were late or absent to school.  
            • Positive Reinforcement.  Part of the success of our school is through how our parents understand what we do, and what we value.  When we make it a point to call home to connect to families, we show them how much we care.  This week, make it a point to call home (could be an advisee could be one of your students) and share stories of success with parents.
            • Curriculum Night.  Advisors, please call home and personally invite parents to curriculum night.  Curriculum Night is the chance for families to meet teachers, learn about what is being taught, and understand our school.  Curriculum Night is Wednesday, 28SEP16 from 5-8PM.
Spirit Week.  Our first spirit week of the year is coming. Spirit Week begins on Monday, September 26th and culminates of Friday, September 30th with a full school assembly in the gym (starting at 2pm - students report to 8th period and will be called up by grade).  Ms. Jen is working with seniors to promote the week, but please remind students and show your own Uai spirit by also participating! 

              • Monday 26SEP - Sports Jersey Day
              • Tuesday 27SEP - Pajama Day
              • Wednesday 28SEP - Celebrity/Character Day
                (Also the same day as Curriculum Night)
              • Thursday 29SEP - Blast from the Past Day
              • Friday 30SEP - Dashiki Day

SEL Updates

Rigor is in the Routine.  Now that you've established the ground rules during unit zero, the hard work begins!  SEL strategies like SLANTing towards a speaker or using Accountable Talk during discussion are relatively straightforward to explain and teach.  The challenge for teachers is expecting students to consistently employ the strategies throughout the class period.  Remember to plan for and look for opportunities to reinforce SLANT and Accountable Talk throughout your classes.  Prompt students to identify how they know when someone is listening (e.g. they track the speaker) or highlight when students use Accountable Talk (e.g. I like the way you said...)


5 SEL Building Blocks
What's Happening in SEL Classes?  SEL class is off to a great start. The classes are beginning to understand what SEL is and how to interact with new people. This week they worked on connections- how to find common interests with different people. They also worked on first impressions- why they are important and the qualities of a great handshake.  Next week they will continue to unpack what SEL is (the 5 building blocks) and why it's important by assessing their current SEL strengths and weaknesses in school, relationships and life. They will also begin to understand how to create a community in which they feel safe, respected and engaged in learning by creating a social contract (behavioral agreement).  The students have seemed to really enjoy this class and we are excited about the year ahead with this cohort. 




Add this calendar to your own!  See that little "+" sign in the bottom right hand corner?  Click on it to have it show up in your personal google calendar!


Per Session Posting

After School Activity Per Session.  If you are interested in running an after school program with Girls Inc., please contact Kree (kreec@uainstitute.org).  After school positions are 1-2 hours per week and must have a constant enrollment of at least 10 students.  Fewer than 10 students will result in cancellation.  After school teachers must adhere to all Girls Inc requirements.  
Shout outs to the three admin in their new roles

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week of September 13th

UAI Staff News

Volume IV
Issue 2
Week of September 13th, 2016

Announcements


              10th Grade Human Knot                             How we learned...                         Learning to Work Together    
                

Risks and Rewards.  This week students, staff, and school leadership had opportunities to step out of their comfort zone, grow, and experience the positive rewards of learning!  It isn't easy to continually push at the edges of yourself and your current identity, but it can be quite thrilling to arrive at the other side and see how much you've grown.  This is an experience that we want our students feel everyday.  As you plan for this last week of unit zero, here are a couple things you want to remember:
  • Strong systems and routines keep the classroom environment safe and predictable.  When we (kids and adults alike) feel safe, we push ourselves to take risks.  It's only in that spot that we grow.  Please make sure that you are vigilant in upholding the rules and expectations of your classrooms this week.  For example, if you don't want kids calling out all year, make sure you are intentional about who speaks and when.  If you want kids to follow SLANT with meaning, now is the time to make sure you refer to the behaviors, clearly, every time you expect active listening.
  • Greetings and Farewells punctuate each class experience and package the tone of your classroom.  I know there are a million things that can compete for you attention in the flow of a classroom period.  Making sure you are at the door to greet your class and making sure you close the class period and follow them to the door as they exit need to be at the top of your priorities.  Think about a shelf without bookends.  Without something to hold them up on both ends, the most wonderful books in the world still end up in a messy, unintelligible pile.  So make sure you preserve your hard lesson planning work by creating equally strong entry and exit procedures for each class.
  • Content and Rigor can always be infused to SEL.  As you plan your relationship and community building activities, share your plans with a colleague or coach.  Ask each other, is there a way that we can up the rigor of the work?  Can we push kids to think deeply at both the social emotional and the intellectual level?  Think about the activities we did in subject team camps (e.g. the coordinate plan characteristics, geography pictionary/taboo, would you rather in ELA using evidence to support claims).  

Marsha's Reading Class
A smooth launch leads to lots of learning.  I want to give a big shout out to Jen, Val, and Colleen. All three of them stepped into new roles this year and flourished this week.  The three of them worked interdependently to make sure all of our students and staff had a seamless start to the year! Whenever you launch a new school year, there is inevitably some confusion, but all of UAI followed the leadership of these three and this made the launch to the year very smooth!  Jen, Val, and Colleen not only stepped into their new roles with confidence and capability, but they also worked seamlessly together to support each other when needed. Their work established a strong foundation for our staff to excel in the roles so that our students had an amazing first week.  Great work team!


FAQs and Things To Do This Week

FAQs.  
  • Ready To Learn.  Thursday and Friday were our communication days for students. Starting on Tuesday, deans and admin will begin enforcing school policies around electronics, dress code, and food.  Please do the same in your classrooms.  If you need support, do not hesitate to call room 302 and speak to a dean.
  • Scheduling Problems.  This week will see our first Tuesday and Wednesday schedules.  Please review yours and your students schedules to check for errors so we can be proactive.  If you encounter any errors, please alert Val immediately!
  • Groups.  If grade teams wish to make recommendations about groups, they should meet to discuss this week.  Grade teams must submit suggested changes to Val by Wednesday, 14SEP16. 
  • Baseline Observations and IPCs.  Colleen & I will be beginning observations and initial planning conferences this week.  Our goal is to complete all initial observations and conferences by early October.  
  • Don't forget to Pod.  Grade teams set up times to visit their pod leader and take low inference notes on selected indicators.  Please revisit the indicators, goals, and allotted times with your pod leader this week.
  • Table of Organization and Staff Handbook.  Kiri is updating these blog-based documents this week.  They will be live and updated by next week's blog post.


Things to Do This Week.
  • [DUE 07SEP16] Archive Unit Zero and Advisory Lesson Plans.  If you have not already emailed me your advisory lessons for Thursday & Friday last week and/or your Unit Zero lesson plans, please upload them here:
  • [DUE 16SEP16] Upload Unit One.  We are also collecting Unit One plans this week.  Please upload your first instructional Unit into this folder by CLICKING HERE.  When you upload, please name your files like this "YOUR NAME_UNIT ONE_UNIT NAME".  If you'd like to submit other files that go with the your unit, that's fine.  Just make sure you name it "Your Name_Unit One_name of other file".  This will help me keep the file organized.
  • [Daily] Entry & Exit and Ready to Learn.  Please make sure to be present at your classroom doors at each period's entry and exit.  In addition, please make sure that you are enforcing the Ready to Learn school rules in classes this week.


SEL Updates

SLANT.  At UAI, SLANT is a strategy we use to empower students, not to control them.  By adopting and internalizing these behaviors (Sitting Up, Leaning Forward, Asking or Answering Questions, or Nodding, and Tracking the speaker) our students are communicating their active engagement to the listener (whether it is the teacher or another speaker).  How we introduce and teach into SLANT will determine how successful the strategy is with students.   To really get SLANT, students need to first understand why it's important to show others that they are actively listening.  At the start of mini-lessons this week, work with your students this week to establish the significance behind SLANT and the long term benefits of having this pro-social skill.  For support see your coach, Colleen, or me and/or any of our SEL experts (Lauren, Jen JR, Lori, Fatima, Marni or Jen).


Accountable Talk.  Our 2nd strategy of the week is Accountable Talk.  Accountable Talk has been around for ages.  It is an SEL strategy to help our students communicate more effectively with one another (so that they can improve their collaborative problem solving).   In your collaborative reasoning groups this week, please make sure that you are teaching students how to effectively use these stems in their communication.  Avoid the pantomime effect by making time to teach understanding of how effective communication practices support their own and their peers' learning.







Per Session Posting

Coaching Per Session.  Coaches will receive per session to meet and prepare for the training of their peer coaches.  Hours vary as needed.  Coaches are selected by Principal (Kiri) and Instructional AP (Colleen) and have already been identified for the 2016-17 year.  If you are interested in being formally trained as a UAI instructional coach, please reach out to Kiri or Colleen ASAP!  Coach meetings are Wednesdays or Thursdays after school and begin the week of 13SEP and go through May 2017.



After School Activity Per Session.  If you are interested in running an after school program with Girls Inc., please contact Kree (kreec@uainstitute.org).  After school positions are 1-2 hours per week and must have a constant enrollment of at least 10 students.  Fewer than 10 students will result in cancellation.  After school teachers must adhere to all Girls Inc requirements.  
Shout outs to the three admin in their new roles

Monday, September 5, 2016

September PD Agenda


Tuesday, 06SEP16 & Wednesday, 07SEP16

Professional Development Agendas


Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 - 8:30AM-2:50PM

Goals for Tuesday
  • Review and reflect on last year's achievements in preparation for this year's goals.
  • Build strong foundations for staff relationships in preparation for the work of the school year.
  • Develop strong foundational management practices to establish positive learning environments.
Panera Breakfast Sandwiches, Fruit and Coffee will be available at 8:15AM
  • 8:30-8:45 AM Kiri’s Welcome & State of the School Address
    • Leadership Roles & Introductions
    • Review of Past Achievements, Growth Areas, and Goals for the Year
    • Introducing new structures and policies
    • Artisan Coaching and Inquiry Pods (coming soon - Instructional Rounds)
    • UAI Learning Formats
    • Grading Policy"
  • 8:45-10:30 UAI Staff Amazing Race! Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes! Also remember to bring your deposits!
    • In teams, staff will engage in this team building activity to
    • Build Team Relationships
    • Cover School Logistics and Complete UAI Basic Training
  • 10:30-10:45 Break
  • 10:45-11:30 Establishing Positive Learning Environments
    • Presuming Positive Intent & the Ladder of Inference
    • Applying Positive Intent to Classroom Scenarios
    • Classroom Management and School Discipline
  • 11:30-12:30 Lunch
    • Lunch on your own or visit our School Cafeteria - They're making lunch for the building!
  • 12:30-1:00PM School Rules and Procedures
    • Ready To Learn
    • Advisor Forms
    • First Day(s) Logistics
    • Entry & Dismissal Procedures
  • 1:00-2:00 Grade Team Day One & Two Advisory Planning
    • Scripting Advisor Welcome Calls
    • Planning for Advisory 8:30-9:32 on Both Days
    • Community Building Activities
    • Reviewing School Rules & Procedures
    • Setting Goals for First SLCs
  • 2:00-2:50PM Classroom Set Up and/or making Advisory Welcome Calls

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 - 8:30-2:50AM

Goals for the Day
  • Build staff collaborative problem solving and social emotional learning (SEL) teaching capacity
  • Review Resilient Scholars Project and schoolwide SEL learning objectives
  • Prepare for first days of school and complete planning and prep for Unit Zero


    Panera Bagels, Pastries, & Fruit will be available at 8:15AM

    • 8:30-9:30 ZOOM
      • Collaborative Problem Solving and SEL Development
    • 9:30-10:00 The Resilient Scholars Project and SEL and UAI
      • What are the SEL structures at UAI?
      • How does SEL happen in the classroom?
    • 10:00-10:15 - Blog Tour, Handbook, and Policies
    • 10:15-10:30 Break
    • 10:30-11:30 Launching Inquiry Pods
      • CLASS Rubrics
      • Pod Protocol & Objectives
      • Review Schedules
    • 11:30-12:30 Lunch (On your Own)
    • 12:30-1:00 First Days' Logistics and Afternoon Plans
      • Classroom Entry and Exit Procedures
      • Skedula Attendance
      • Professional Periods & Period Schedule for First Two Days
    • 1:00-2:00 Planning Time for Advisory Lessons & Unit Zero
      • By the end of the day on Wednesday, Please CLICK HERE to upload your
        • Advisory Lesson Plans for Tuesday & Wednesday
        • Unit Zero Plans
    • 2:00-2:50 Classroom Set Up and/or Advisory Welcome Calls


    Sunday, September 4, 2016

    Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year

    UAI Staff News

    Volume IV
    Issue 1
    Week of September 6th, 2016

    Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year!


    Kiri's Message

    This is a very special year for UAI.  This year, our founding class of girls are entering their 4th year of college.  Many of them are still in college and are preparing to finish and become our first cohort of college graduates!  At UAI, we are on a mission to change the lives of young women.  It's easy to lose site of of what we do during the day-to-day grind, but this year, we have to remember to make the time to pause and look at why we do the work we do.  Below are the brief stories of two of our founding students.  Like so many of our girls, these two arrived at UAI with a mountain of baggage and challenges.  We worked with them and their families for 7 years to help them reach their dreams.  Each year, we step into the lives of each of our students.  We sometimes forget the power we wield in the future that can unroll.  Today, I want to remind you all, that as we begin another school year, we must remember that we have the most powerful, most meaningful, and most rewarding job in the universe.   No amount of MOSL scores or NY Post articles can ever take away the real work we do.  Here's two of the many, many wonderful girls from that class.  They are true reflections of the success and joy that is working at UAI




    Updates and News for This Week

    This is our 11th year, and it is already shaping up to be a prime one! (insert laugh track here).  Last year was marked by a large transition in leadership and school structure.  This year is already shaping up to be an exciting rebirth for our school and community.  Here are some of the amazing things that are have already happened!

    • Summer School This summer, we had one of the most successful summer credit recovery programs and middle school remediation.  Many thanks go to Michael, Doris, and Matthew who stepped up to run our credit recovery and middle school remediation programs.  Many more thanks to our team of Regents Prep teachers (Ilyana, Elena, Anna, Paula, Mike, Danielle, and Jamie) who worked with our girls to help them prepare for the August Regents.
    • Hiring  Also this summer, many folks volunteered to be part of our hiring process.  Colleen, Val, Jen, Michael, Doris, Paula, Kerry, Kristin, Annie, Martine, Alison, and Matthew all participated in vetting over 500 resumes and interviewing over 100 different candidates this summer.  Through their work and efforts, we have hired 8 amazing new teachers and 2 new deans.  Welcome aboard to:
      • Lauren Haynes, 6th Grade Reading
      • Kristina Coriarty 7th & 8th Grade Writing
      • Kristina Slaterlee 7th & 8th Grade Liv. Environment
      • Cherry Reid 7th & 8th Grade Math
      • Cassandra Guerier 9th Grade Writing
      • Suzannah Tartin 10th/12th Social Studies
      • Tiffany Richards 10th Special Education
      • Meaghan Haugaard, 11th/12th Biochemistry
      • Annie Anunziato, Dean
      • Brandon Valery, Assistant Dean
    • Subject Team Summer Camp  All of our subject teams (except science) had successful summer planning camps where we looked at last year's data sets, analyzed trends, and began unit and lesson planning to address the underlying causes of those trends.  We also made the time to learn about new ways to build relationships through subject-specific ice-breakers and activities.  Together, the teams worked on the classroom environment and collectively ordered supplies for the year.  Way to go subject teams!  The work you've done together has given each member a strong leg up to begin the year.   {Don't fret Science Team - we will meet with you all individually to help you get started!}
    • Peer Coaching  This summer we've also begun launching our new coaching model, using the Artisan Teaching Model.  This year, teachers will use their professional periods to meet with a peer to collaboratively work on unit & lesson planning, management techniques, assessment, strategies to engage learners, and a host of other activities related to developing our craft as teachers.  Working with Colleen or Kiri, each of these pairs will receive weekly support and feedback on their work and thinking to optimize performance (and enjoyment!) of your work in the classroom.  Here are this year's pairs
      • Lauren & Phillan
      • Alison & Matthew
      • Marsha & Kristina C
      • Kristina S & Jamie
      • Natalie & Brodie
      • Cherry & Mike
      • Ilyana & Cassandra
      • Erick & Rebecca
      • Danielle & Tiffany
      • Suzannah & Michael
      • Tom & Elena
      • Martine & Meaghan
    • Professional Period Support  A number of our other teachers are using their professional periods to provide students with critical support services:
      • Kristin & Christina will be using their professional periods to write student IEPs, provide support for teachers, and work with Val to ensure school compliance.
      • Damon will be using his professional periods to provide UFT support and curriculum support for our newest Living Environment teacher, Kristin!
      • Kerry, Paula, Anna, Joanna* and Michelle will be providing academic intervention support for our most struggling students.  *Joanna will be pulled for test-coordinating activities when testing begins.
      • Elana, Sursattie, Tracy will be using professional periods for small-group conflict resolution (e.g. working with students in the Save Room)
      • Annie & Doris will use professional periods for Dean support work.
    • Teacher Programs.  Here is the most up-to-date schedule.  Please review it.  There are a lot of moving pieces and parts, and humans make this!  So, if you see something that doesn't make sense, please do reach out!  It could be that we missed a change somewhere, or it could be that we had to make a change due to staffing and students needs but haven't had a chance to talk to you yet!  If you have any questions or notice a problem, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Val to let her know ASAP!




    Per Session Posting

    Coaching Per Session.  Coaches will receive per session to meet and prepare for the training of their peer coaches.  Hours vary as needed.  Coaches are selected by Principal (Kiri) and Instructional AP (Colleen) and have already been identified for the 2016-17 year.  If you are interested in being formally trained as a UAI instructional coach, please reach out to Kiri or Colleen ASAP!  Coach meetings are Wednesdays or Thursdays after school and begin the week of 13SEP and go through May 2017.

    After School Activity Per Session.  If you are interested in running an after school program with Girls Inc., please contact Kree (kreec@uainstitute.org).  After school positions are 1-2 hours per week and must have a constant enrollment of at least 10 students.  Fewer than 10 students will result in cancellation.  After school teachers must adhere to all Girls Inc requirements.  

    Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year

    Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year!


    Kiri's Message

    This is a very special year for UAI.  This year, our founding class of girls are entering their 4th year of college.  Many of them are still in college and are preparing to finish and become our first cohort of college graduates!  At UAI, we are on a mission to change the lives of young women.  It's easy to lose site of of what we do during the day-to-day grind, but this year, we have to remember to make the time to pause and look at why we do the work we do.  Below are the brief stories of two of our founding students.  Like so many of our girls, these two arrived at UAI with a mountain of baggage and challenges.  We worked with them and their families for 7 years to help them reach their dreams.  Each year, we step into the lives of each of our students.  We sometimes forget the power we wield in the future that can unroll.  Today, I want to remind you all, that as we begin another school year, we must remember that we have the most powerful, most meaningful, and most rewarding job in the universe.   No amount of MOSL scores or NY Post articles can ever take away the real work we do.  Here's two of the many, many wonderful girls from that class.  They are true reflections of the success and joy that is working at UAI.


    Shantia McArthur.  Shantia arrived at UAI at 10 years old.  Her mother was incarcerated and she was living in a foster home.  Shantia was an angry pre-teen, and throughout middle school, her anger and frustration grew.  Often, Shantia was at the center of the drama, and she was often found at the center of many conflicts (both physical and verbal).  UAI partnered with Girls Inc to pair her with a mentor and activities that brought her out of this dark shell and into an experience that opened her eyes to other possibilities.  The partnership between Girls Inc and her teachers at UAI created a safety net for Shantia that allowed her to let down her tough exterior, learn how to be vulnerable and take healthy risks, and to grow.  Shantia is in her senior year at SUNY Stonybrook.  She has spent the last couple of years as a resident advisor and has even hosted many of our girls at Stonybrook when they visited the campus.  Shantia is graduating next spring. In her own words, Shantia says, "Throughout my life, I have been blessed with various opportunities to develop my leadership skills, and empower others to achieve greatness through my compelling stories. Sharing these stories uncovered my hidden passion for pubic speaking and community outreach. Because of this, I would ultimately like to run my very own non-profit organization, providing mental, emotional, and financial assistance for young women pursuing careers in the business field."  Shantia is strong, smart, and bold, and a proud UAI alumni!


    Ashley Triblet.  Ashley came to UAI as a 6th grader in 2006.  Ashley had an IEP and like many of our students with learning disabilities, Ashley struggled with academic language, complex problems, and keeping pace with her grade-level peers.  With our support, we empowered Ashley to turn her failures into life lessons.  Ashley began to hit her stride competing in the Recycle the Runway Competition in her sophomore year.  After graduation, Ashley went to community college and later beauty school.  UAI helped Ashley learn how to manage her academic hurdles.  We also gave her the variety of experiences to discover her dreams.  Today, Ashley runs her own fashion blog, and is pursuing her dreams of being a makeup artist.  We are proud of you, Ashley!







    Updates and News for This Week

    This is our 11th year, and it is already shaping up to be a prime one! (insert laugh track here).  Last year was marked by a large transition in leadership and school structure.  This year is already shaping up to be an exciting rebirth for our school and community.  Here are some of the amazing things that are have already happened!

    • Summer School This summer, we had one of the most successful summer credit recovery programs and middle school remediation.  Many thanks go to Michael, Doris, and Matthew who stepped up to run our credit recovery and middle school remediation programs.  Many more thanks to our team of Regents Prep teachers (Ilyana, Elena, Anna, Paula, Mike, Danielle, and Jamie) who worked with our girls to help them prepare for the August Regents.
    • Hiring  Also this summer, many folks volunteered to be part of our hiring process.  Colleen, Val, Jen, Michael, Doris, Paula, Kerry, Kristin, Annie, Martine, Alison, and Matthew all participated in vetting over 500 resumes and interviewing over 100 different candidates this summer.  Through their work and efforts, we have hired 8 amazing new teachers and 2 new deans.  Welcome aboard to:
      • Lauren Haynes, 6th Grade Reading
      • Kristina Coriarty 7th & 8th Grade Writing
      • Kristina Slaterlee 7th & 8th Grade Liv. Environment
      • Cherry Reid 7th & 8th Grade Math
      • Cassandra Guerier 9th Grade Writing
      • Suzannah Tartin 10th/12th Social Studies
      • Tiffany Richards 10th Special Education
      • Meaghan Haugaard, 11th/12th Biochemistry
      • Annie Anunziato, Dean
      • Brandon Valery, Assistant Dean
    • Subject Team Summer Camp  All of our subject teams (except science) had successful summer planning camps where we looked at last year's data sets, analyzed trends, and began unit and lesson planning to address the underlying causes of those trends.  We also made the time to learn about new ways to build relationships through subject-specific ice-breakers and activities.  Together, the teams worked on the classroom environment and collectively ordered supplies for the year.  Way to go subject teams!  The work you've done together has given each member a strong leg up to begin the year.   {Don't fret Science Team - we will meet with you all individually to help you get started!}
    • Peer Coaching  This summer we've also begun launching our new coaching model, using the Artisan Teaching Model.  This year, teachers will use their professional periods to meet with a peer to collaboratively work on unit & lesson planning, management techniques, assessment, strategies to engage learners, and a host of other activities related to developing our craft as teachers.  Working with Colleen or Kiri, each of these pairs will receive weekly support and feedback on their work and thinking to optimize performance (and enjoyment!) of your work in the classroom.  Here are this year's pairs
      • Lauren & Phillan
      • Alison & Matthew
      • Marsha & Kristina C
      • Kristina S & Jamie
      • Natalie & Brodie
      • Cherry & Mike
      • Ilyana & Cassandra
      • Erick & Rebecca
      • Danielle & Tiffany
      • Suzannah & Michael
      • Tom & Elena
      • Martine & Meaghan
    • Professional Period Support  A number of our other teachers are using their professional periods to provide students with critical support services:
      • Kristin & Christina will be using their professional periods to write student IEPs, provide support for teachers, and work with Val to ensure school compliance.
      • Damon will be using his professional periods to provide UFT support and curriculum support for our newest Living Environment teacher, Kristin!
      • Kerry, Paula, Anna, Joanna* and Michelle will be providing academic intervention support for our most struggling students.  *Joanna will be pulled for test-coordinating activities when testing begins.
      • Elana, Sursattie, Tracy will be using professional periods for small-group conflict resolution (e.g. working with students in the Save Room)
      • Annie & Doris will use professional periods for Dean support work.
    • Teacher Programs.  Here is the most up-to-date schedule.  Please review it.  There are a lot of moving pieces and parts, and humans make this!  So, if you see something that doesn't make sense, please do reach out!  It could be that we missed a change somewhere, or it could be that we had to make a change due to staffing and students needs but haven't had a chance to talk to you yet!  If you have any questions or notice a problem, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Val to let her know ASAP!




    Per Session Posting

    Coaching Per Session.  Coaches will receive per session to meet and prepare for the training of their peer coaches.  Hours vary as needed.  Coaches are selected by Principal (Kiri) and Instructional AP (Colleen) and have already been identified for the 2016-17 year.  If you are interested in being formally trained as a UAI instructional coach, please reach out to Kiri or Colleen ASAP!  Coach meetings are Wednesdays or Thursdays after school and begin the week of 13SEP and go through May 2017.

    After School Activity Per Session.  If you are interested in running an after school program with Girls Inc., please contact Kree (kreec@uainstitute.org).  After school positions are 1-2 hours per week and must have a constant enrollment of at least 10 students.  Fewer than 10 students will result in cancellation.  After school teachers must adhere to all Girls Inc requirements.