UAI Staff News
November 27th, 2017
[School Days 54-58]
AnnouncementsAlthough last week was a very short week, we made the best of it at Girls Inc at UAI! Last Monday, ten middle school students attended School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play, written by Jocelyn Bioh, in the MCC Theater. This is a play based on the true story of Ghana promoting an American born Ghanaian to be Ms. Ghana in the Miss Universe Pageant. In this powerful play, Bioh addresses colorism, deceit, cliques, friendship, acceptance, and common insecurities faced by school girls around the globe. It was smart, funny, and touching. Afterwards, our young women were invited to stay for a Q&A with the stars of the play including the writer and producer. It was such an enjoyable evening for our students!
This Week's To Dos
Announced Observations Round Finishes this Week. There were some last minute changes due to the early dismissal on Wednesday. See below for the updates! Remember, we want to give you feedback on lesson plans prior to your visit, so please make sure your most recent versions of your lessons are linking into your Pacing Guides. LDC teachers, please email Annie & me the PDFs of your LDC lessons. We want to help you plan for Turn & Talks, Writing, and Feedback!
Monday PDs in December. This year's over-arching school goal is to increase instructional rigor and student thinking (intellectual engagement) during our lessons. Thus far, we have been using Monday PD to work on your lesson plans and increase your ability to be specific and intentional about your look-fors. As mentioned earlier, we are now ready for our next step, Assessment.
- Focus School Goal. Our main priority goal this year is to increase instructional rigor and student intellectual engagement [Rigorous Instruction & Collaborative Teachers]. To achieve this, we have focused on through improved planning & assessment. Between now, and your midyear review, reflect on your progress with the following:
- Improvement in Planning (e.g. UAI Pacing Calendar, Narrative Lesson Plans, Backwards-Designed Unit Plans)
- Impact on Student Learning (e.g. samples of Student Work with your feedback, Student achievement (grades in course or performance on tests/benchmarks), Student Academic Growth)
- Growth in Co-planning with Peer Teachers/Coaches (e.g. quality of planning, quality of lesson execution (Advance Observations) impact on student learning, outcomes of co-planning survey - this will be coming to teachers during PD tomorrow!)
- Second School Goal. The second goal that we will discuss during midyears is our school goal around increasing Strong Family Ties. Our goal is to increase strong family community ties by increasing both quantity and quality of in-person and phone interactions between teachers and families. This year, each student in your advisory should have had at least 4 interactions and at least 1 in person, all documented in Skedula: 1 welcome to UAI phone call in September; at least 1 in-person visit during MP1, MP2, or SLCs; and at least 2 10-15 minute phone calls for MP1, MP2, or SLC. Specifically, review and reflect on the following data points:
- Number of successful contacts (in person and phone) per advisee (as evidenced by Skedula anecdotals)
- Growth Advisee attendance rates from September (you can see this in Skedula)
- Academic Performance of Advisees from MP1 to MP2 (again Skedula)
- Midyear Reflection and Refocus. The Midyear is your opportunity to stop, review your various data points, and reflect on your growth and development. As teachers, we often get too wrapped up in keeping students doing and busy and we don't make the time to step back and evaluate longer-term progress as shown through student thinking and achievement. This is one of the big times in the year to take stock of our work thus far. Where we are strong, we will continue. Where we struggle, we will analyze and refocus spring goals for growth. Here are some logistical things to keep in mind
- First Year at UAI? Teachers who are in their first year at UAI or are up for tenure can expect to be scheduled first for their reviews (schedule will be released next week). More explicit details on the Midyear will come in next week's blog. For this week, look back at your planning documents and reflect on your student outcomes (Do your lesson plans result in positive student outcomes? How do you know? Why or why not?)
- Are you up for Tenure this year? Teachers who are coming up for tenure are required to submit a formal portfolio of any of the documents or data points listed above. These will become part of their final portfolio of work to be submitted for tenure recommendation. The portfolio consists of three parts (1) a letter explaining why you merit tenure and how the documents you submit are illustrative of your growth and achievement (THIS YEAR - we will add more later); (2) samples of student work (with feedback that shows how students used your feedback to improve performance; (3) complete UAI Pacing Calendar with linked samples of Narrative Lesson Plans and all Units are Linked.
- Everyone else? You will have the same reflection question: Do your lesson plans result in positive student outcomes? How do you know? Why or why not? - most importantly, how do you plan to show Kiri/Annie your progress through planning documents and student work?
NOTE: Please do not wait to prepare. Begin gathering your planning documents and reviewing your student work, exam achievements, & growth. Review and think about what these all say about your growth as an educator and pedagogue. Jot your thoughts down as you reflect. Talk to your planning partners to hash it out!