Sunday, September 8, 2019

Week of September 9th

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 4
September 9th, 2019


School Opening.  Thank you to all who shared their feedback on the survey.   Overwhelmingly, the feedback was positive, particularly with respect to the PD workshops.  There were some common logistical concerns:

  • More Time to Set Up ...   There never is enough time to start the year.  Unfortunately, two staff days is never enough time to get through all that we need to do.  It's one of the reasons we provide per session the week before so teachers can have time for classroom set up.  Last week, teachers spent a collect 217 hours to come in and set up their rooms and those who were able to do so did a great job in creating a warm and welcoming space for our students!  This time has been and will continue to be made available to teachers each year.  It will always be the last Tues, Weds, and Thurs, of August from 8:30-12:30.  
  • More Time with the Staff Handbook...The Handbook was released for your review on September 2nd.  It was designed for you to read on your own, and the review during PD was solely aimed at highlighting specific policies that changed.  If you haven't had a chance to do so yet, please make the time to read through the Staff Handbook (Please CLICK HERE to review the handbook).  This handbook is made for your reference.  It will answer your questions about who is doing what this year and how to contact them (School Table of Organization and Contact Information), it will also explain in detail any School Policies and Expectations that may have gone too quickly for you during PD. If after reading through the handbook, you still have questions or require clarification, please submit your questions HERE.
  • General Supplies... We didn't get a chance to get you general supplies. To be honest, it fell through the crack as we focused on getting you the items that were ordered over the summer! Annie made moves to get folks supplies at the end of last week. If you still need general supplies (like paper, tape, etc.), please submit a request HERE and we'll get those supplies to you by the end of the day on Monday!

Initial Planning Conferences.  Annie, Val, and I will be completing all Initial Planning Conferences this week.  Read through the School Table of Organization and Contact Information to see who your evaluator is and email Annie or Val if you haven't been scheduled for your IPC by the end of the day on Monday. 

Schedule Changes or Problems.  Despite the many efforts, inevitably small mistakes with the schedule happen.  There are a million minute moving pieces in a schedule, and that's before you even include the kids!  So mistakes will happen.  They don't always become evident until we've moved through the schedule.  Thank you to everyone who has brought the errors to my attention.  Running through the schedule is an important step to making final corrections.  Please continue to use THIS FORM  to ask for student change requests AND to notify me of problems within the schedule. 

To-Do This Week

Monday Professional Development.  The PD Committee met on Friday to begin planning for the year.  The committee currently consists of Marsha, Rebecca C, Rebecca F, Rachel, Joey, and Jamie.  It is open to everyone.  Please let Kiri know if you want to join.  Currently, we meet in 401, but if more want to join, we will relocate to a larger space.  Here is the plan for the year

  • First Mondays.  Grade Teams will meet the first Monday of each month to review Attendance Team agendas and begin preparing Present Levels of Performance for the IEP reviews that are coming up for the month.
    • Grade Team Agendas for 07OCT, 04NOV, 02DEC, 06JAN, 02FEB, and 03MAR
      • 3:00-3:05 Announcements
      • 3:05-3:30 PLOP Writing
      • 3:30-4:10 Grade Team Attendance Meeting
  • Teacher-Led Consultancies.  For the 2nd and 3rd Mondays we will be working collaboratively to support colleagues on pushing each other to work to eradicate the "soft bigotry of low expectations" and collaboratively problem-solve to help one another provide equitable access to rigorous tasks within each of our classrooms.  For this first round, we will be working in Grade Teams to deepen working relationships and strengthen connections and trust.  We are looking for teachers to sign up and volunteer to present for one of these Mondays.  Once you sign up, someone from the PD committee will meet with you one-on-one to prepare you.  CLICK HERE to sign up.
    • Consultancy Protocols for 16SEP19, 23SEP19, 21OCT, 28OCT
        • 3:00-3:05 Announcements
        • 3:05-3:20 Presenters Present Dilemma
        • 3:20-3:25 Group Asks Clarifying Questions
        • 3:25-3:35 Group Asks Probing Questions
        • 3:35-3:50 Group Discusses Dilemma without Presenter Participation
        • 3:50-3:55 Presenter Reflects
        • 3:55-4:00 Groups Reflects on Process
        • 4:00-4:10 Individual Journal Reflection
  • Last Mondays.  We will use the last Mondays to continue to plan and take the opportunity to recharge through wellness and self-care activities.  

School Opening Checklist.  Many of you were able to complete the checklist.  Use your prep time and independent work time after parent outreach to complete the checklist, including uploading your Pacing Guides and Courses Syllabi (please reference the checklist for directions and the links). 

Teacher Observations.  We will begin the first round of teacher observations this week.  As you know the number evaluations are minimum requirements.  At UAI, you can expect to have more than your minimum number required.   For this first round, we are following through on the thread that Kelly, Suzannah, and Nadine helped illustrate in our Workshop on Planning for Thinking last week.  Please refer to THIS DOCUMENT for our own observation look-fors.  We will be evaluating planning and preparation in Domain 1, so please have your lessons linked in your pacing guides by the end of Tuesday.   If lessons are not linked in pacing guides, please have lessons and units pre-printed and ready for collection upon evaluator entry into classrooms.

Social-Emotional Learning Updates

Per Session Opportunities

After School Clubs and Activities.  If you are interested in working after school, we have hours available to pay per session to teachers to run clubs and activities.  All clubs and activities must sustain a minimum of 10 students in each session.  If sessions routinely have less than 10 students, they will be canceled.  Teachers are responsible for recruitment and will report to Ms. Vanessa or Ms. Kim of Girls Inc, our after school partner that coordinates all after school activities.  All after school teachers are required to participate in all Girls Inc mandatory activities like Winterfest and Springfest.  If you are interested, please submit your idea (just a paragraph description is fine) and the number of hours/days you are willing to work each week with students to Jen at  We will send out final approvals with total hours in next weeks' blog post.


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