Monday, September 2, 2019

Week of September 1st

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 3
September 1st, 2019


School is Starting!  We all have a wide spectrum of feelings as the start of September approaches.  For me, one of the things I love most about my job is that each year I have the opportunity to take the best of the year before, learn from the worst and start anew a little bit wiser and with a lot of hope and excitement for a positively wonderful year.

You'll learn more about this on Tuesday, but for the last four school years, these lovingly learned lessons and painstakingly achieved achievements has put our school on a constant upward swing in almost all categories!  This is an exciting time to work at our school and a wonderful time to be part of the staff who are bringing increasingly excellent learning experiences to our students and families.

Some quick logistics:  Students report on Thursday 05SEP19.  Breakfast for students begins at 8:00AM. We will have an adjusted schedule for the first few days of school which will review with you in PD this week.  Teachers report on Tuesday 03SEP19 to prepare for the new year!  Tuesday and Wednesday are professional development days (PD days).  The day length for pedagogues is 6 hours and 50min on PD days.  For all PD days this year, teacher hours are 8:30-3:20PM. 

Well Done AP for All.  The AP for All Boot Camp was a huge success.  Both students and teachers were excited for the year and we are thrilled to be providing our students the support they need to excel in advanced-level course work.

Schedule Changes.  The schedule has been uploaded and you should be able to check your rosters in Skedula.  If you do not have access to Skedula, please email Phil ( to set up access.  If students reach out to you regarding their schedule, please help us help them first.

  • Accelerated Student.  Students who were accelerated (e.g. they took Earth Science instead of Living Env last year or they took Geometry instead of Algebra) will take a second year of the course if they DID NOT pass the regent.  If students were not accelerated, they can move on to the next math or science course without the regent exam.  The next course will be their next chance to pass a math/science regent (they only need one to graduate).
  • "I want this teacher not that one". Students who want to change teachers (e.g. same course, but different teacher) will not be allowed to do so.  We do not change teachers.
  • "I didn't sign up for this AP.  I don't think I can do it" Students enrolled in AP Classes are going to remain in their currently assigned AP courses for the first few weeks of September.  Many students have never experienced the AP level work and have limited experience on which to make valid decisions.  The goal is to give them a taste of the course and the experience before making a judgment.  We are aiming to encourage and push our students to push themselves.  After the trial period, students who still want to switch their AP courses at the end of September will be allowed to do so.
  • "I want to be in an AP class" Students who did not get into any AP course need to complete the program change request form.  Where there is space, we will find them a seat!
  • "I don't want to be in class with xyzOn a case-by-case basis we will change the programs of students who have pre-existing issues.  Typically, we have already put in the work (mediations with students, mediations with students and parents, etc.)  Sometimes, theses mediations do not have the desired outcomes and we will separate the girls.  Annie & Jen are tasked with making these final decisions.  Please send students to them and they will make the final call.
  • Use the Schedule Request Form.  I cannot track email requests.  I get about 500 emails a day.  Emailed schedule requests will be lost in the haystack.  So, THIS FORM helps me keep track and follow up on the change requests.  Please enter and/or direct students to enter all change requests into it.

To-Do This Week

Staff Handbook Review.  The UAI Staff Handbook is updated for the 2019-2020 school year.  Please CLICK HERE to review the handbook, and when you are finished, please CLICK HERE to sign off.  You must review and sign off on this handbook prior to your initial planning conference.  Please check your emails for the calendar requests for you initial conferences.

Staff Professional Development.  We will launch the year with two days of Professional Development.  Here are the agendas
  • Tuesday 03SEP19 Agenda - PD Day (Staff Hours 8:30-3:20) 

    • 8:00AM - Breakfast (Optional)
    • 8:30AM - Welcome & Connections and IceBreaker Activity
    • 9:00AM - The Why of UAI
    • 9:45AM - Workshop I:  Understanding Implicit Bias & Our Charge in Disrupting Systems of Inequity 
    • 11:30AM - Lunch (on your own)
    • 12:30PM - Workshop II:  Planning for Student Thinking & Intellectual Engagement
    • 1:30PM - School Opening Checklist & Initial Planning Conferences
      • IPC Schedule - Your individual IPC appointment will be sent to you via google calendar invite so check your email!

  • Wednesday 04SEP19 Agenda (Staff Hours 8:30-3:20)
    • 8:00AM - Breakfast (Optional)
    • 8:30AM - Welcome & Connections and IceBreaker Activity
    • 9:00AM - Staff Handbook & School Policies Update
    • 9:30AM - Workshop III:  Professional Goal Setting
    • 10:30AM - Workshop IV:  Grade Team Meetings
    • 11:30AM - Lunch (on your own)
    • 12:30PM - First Day(s) Logistics Review
    • 1:00PM - School Opening Checklist & Initial Planning Conferences
      • IPC Schedule - Your individual IPC appointment will be sent to you via google calendar invite so check your email!

School Opening Checklist.  On Thursday 05SEP19, we welcome our students to another school year.  Please makes sure to complete all the items on this checklist (which is the same stuff that I listed in last week's blog) to be ready for the first day of school!


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