UAI Staff Handbook
ALL STAFF, please CLICK HERE to sign off and attest to your review and understanding of school rules & procedures
- School Table of Organization and Contact Numbers
- General Code of Conduct & Responsibility
- Community Values
- Individual Choices
- Communal Interdependence and Positive Social Interactions
- Clear Expectations through Routines and Norms
- School Rules
- Dress Code
- 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
Who's who at UAI High School
School Administration, Instructional Support, and Partners
- School Leadership
- Ext. 40111 - Kiri Soares, Principal
- Ext. 20111 - Annie Annunziato, Assistant Principal, Instruction
- Ext. 30111 - Jen Cusa, Director of Student Support Services
- Ext. 14542 - Val Binyard, Assistant Principal, Operation & Facilities
- Ext. 50311 - Damon Noland, UFT Chapter Chair
- Ext. 51111 - Nina Granberry, UFT Chapter Delegate
- School Deans
- Ext. 30211 - Courtney Lemm, Dean
- Ext. 30221 - Jelissa Adams, Assistant Dean
- School Counselors
- Ext. 14542- Danielle Insel, College & Career Readiness Counselor
- Ext. 14542 - Doris Twin, College Counselor and Parent Coordinator
- Ext. 30421 - Jennifer Jackson Robbins, Counselor, Report Cards & Transcripts
- Ext. 30431 - Marni Brand, Counselor, SEL Staff Support
- Ext. 30421 - Lauren McGuinness, Counselor, FLSE Staff Support, Recruitment
- Girls Inc. Partners
- Ext. 20514 - Vanessa Santiago, Director of Girls Inc. Programs
- Support Staff
- Ext. 14552 - Delmeter Carey, Purchasing and Payroll Secretary
- Ext. 14553 - Nancy Johansen, Pupil Accounting Secretary
- Grade Teams
- Multi-Grade Teachers
- Ext. 20514 - Tracy Kornrich, Art and Movement
- Ext. 50311 - Elana Green, Physical Education
- Ext. 50311 - Sursattie Hariprashad, Dance
- Ext. 14711 - Rebecca Fitle, ESL
- Ext. 14711 - NEW HIRE, ESL TBD
- 6th Grade Team
- Ext. 30911 - Alison Green, Math
- Ext. 30911 - Amanda Nowicki, Science
- Ext. 31111 - Phillan Greaves, 6th Humanities & 6th ICT
- Ext. 31111 - Sarah Moser, 6th Humanities
- Ext. 30911 - Meaghan Haughaard, ICT Science
- 7th and 8th Grade Team
- Ext. 30711 - Kristina Coriarty, 7th ELA
- Ext. 30511 - Marsha Derice 8th ELA, MSQI & LDC Leadership Coach
- Ext. 30311 - Cherry Reid, 7th & 8th Grade Math
- Ext. 40511 - Matthew Turner, 8th Grade CC Algebra, and 7th ICT Math
- Ext. 30311 - Joanna Tirone, 8th Grade ICT Math
- Ext. 31511 - Megan Goodwin, 7th Grade Science
- Ext. 51511 - Damon Noland, 8th Grade Living Environment
- Ext. 30911 - Amanda Nowicki, 8th Grade Earth Science
- Ext. 51511 - Meaghan Haughaard, ICT Science
- Ext. 20511 - Natalie Rudolf and Jake Cagle, 7th & 8th Gr. Social Studies
- Ext. 20514 - Christina Choi, 7th & 8th ICT and 7th ELA
- Ext. 20511 - Nadine Fishelson, ICT Social Studies
- 9th and 12th Grade Team
- Ext. 40511 - Jamie Ross, Algebra and 12th LINCT Math
- Ext. 40511 - Danielle Romano, ICT Math
- Ext. 40311 - Cassandra Guerrier, ELA and 9th SEL classes
- Ext. 40911 - Rebecca Candela, ELA and 12th AP English Lang
- Ext. 51511 - Damon Noland, Living Environment
- Ext. 51511 - Meaghan Haughaard, ICT Science
- Ext. 40311 - Freida Steiner, ICT ELA
- Ext. 50711 - Zach Utter, Global History and 12th Govt & Econ
- Ext. 50711 - Annie Annunziato, ICT Social Studies
- Ext. 40511 - Matthew Turner, 9th Grade Computer Science
- 10th and 12th Grade Team
- Ext. 41511 - Kristi Lee, 10th & 12th Earth Science
- Ext. 41511 - Kiri Soares, ICT Science 10th
- Ext. 41511 - Brodie Crawford ICT Science 12th
- Ext. 40711 - Elena Brollo, Spanish I and Spanish II
- Ext. 51111 - Nina Granberry, Geometry & 12th LINCT
- Ext. 51111 - Danielle Romano, ICT Math
- Ext. 40911 - Tiffany Richards, 10th & 12th Grade English
- Ext. 40911 - Freida Steiner, ICT ELA
- Ext. 50911 - Suzannah Tartan, 10th Global History & 12th Govt. & Econ
- Ext. 50911 - Nadine Fishelson, ICT Social Studies
- 11th & 12th Grade Team
- Ext. 84311 - Kelly Preston, US History and Civics/Economics
- Ext. 85711 - Giselle Vitalit, ICT Social Studies, Spanish II, and AP Spanish
- Ext. 85311 - Joey O'Connor, 11th & 12th Grade ELA
- Ext. 85311 - Frieda Steiner, ICT ELA
- Ext. 84925 - Tom Wilson, 11th Environmental Science and 12th AP Env. Sci
- Ext. 84925 - Meaghan Haughaard, ICT Science
- Ext. 84511 - Judy Cappuccio, Algebra 2/Trig and Pre-Calculus
- Ext. 84511 - Danielle Romano, ICT Math
- Subject Teams
- Math Team:
- Alison, Cherry, Matthew, Jamie, Danielle, Nina,Judy
- Science Team:
- Amanda, Meaghan, Megan, Damon, Kristi, Tom
- Social Studies Team:
- Phillan, Sarah, Natalie, Jake, Zach, Suzannah, Kelly, Nadine
- English Team:
- Phillan, Sarah, Kristina, Christina, Marsha, Cassandra, Rebecca C., Tiffany, Frieda, Joey
- Breadth Area Teachers (Art, PE, and Language
- Elana, Sursattie, Tracy, Elena, Giselle, Rebecca F, NewENL TBD
GENERAL CODE OF CONDUCT & RESPONSIBILITY
What do we value as a community of learners?
At UAI, we expect that all students and staff make appropriate choices that will ensure academic, professional and personal success. UAI has a series of instructional formats (mini-lessons, work time, collaborative reasoning, shares, and conferences) which emphasize accountability, individual choices, communal responsibility, positive social interactions, and clear expectations through routines and norms, the UAI community pushes for a collective greatness. Our belief is that we must hold each other and our students to the highest standards.
In order for our school to run smoothly and safely, we must all be accountable for our own actions. We are accountable in the sense that we must recognize not only what we are doing, but also how what we are doing impacts those around us.
For students, accountability lies in their learning choices and school-wide behaviors. We would ask our students:
- Are you Ready to Learn and thinking through class activities and discussion?
- Are you providing yourself with opportunities to be self-reflective - taking stock of what you can do well and making commitments to improve and work on your growth areas?
- Are you open to suggestions towards improvement and how do you use those suggestions to grow?
As staff, accountability lies in our job to offer students a safe, structured and nurturing learning environment and to model desired behaviors and communication. We would ask ourselves:
- Am I effectively planning?
- Am I actively seeking and receiving feedback to improve my planning and lesson execution?
- Am I teaching students how to self-regulate and am I using SEL strategies to help them develop the skills to do so?
- Am I fairly addressing student behavior? Is the behavior a function of a flaw in my planning? Is the behavior typical for the age group? Have I made my expectations clear? Am I consistently following through and fairly applying consequences?
- As a role model, am I acting and speaking in the same way that I would expect from my students and peers?
At UAI, our belief is that one of the major components of individual success (and failure) is determined through personal choice. Discipline means “self-regulation”, which is an essential component in all facets of life. Discipline is not what happens when something is wrong; it is something that we use every day to be our best. Supporting students and colleagues to make the best choices possible, for both themselves and our larger community, is our goal. In order to make positive choices, we all must be aware of two things:
- Expectations – Is what is being asked of us clear, concise and uniform? If not, how can I bring clarity?
- Consequences - If poor choices are made and my community is impacted, do I know what the consequences will be and why? If not, how can I find out and share?
Expectations and consequences are explicit when we all choose to carry out the rules of the school in a uniform way, demonstrate consistency and use terminology that is recognizable.
With social interactions being a fundamental component to learning and community building, peer-to-peer, student-to-staff, and staff-to-staff interactions are integral components of a functioning, happy and healthy school environment. Creating an environment where opinions and ideas can be respectfully shared, where the impact of our choices are explored and where rules of communication are established, generate positive learning opportunities. As staff, we support community development by creating continuous opportunities for positive social interactions and chances for self-reflection, model positive behaviors and establish clear expectations throughout our building. Students, in return, need to commit to participating in social opportunities (classroom norms, school-wide events, informal interactions) to the best of their abilities, follow school rules and expectations and demonstrate a willingness (with support) to reflect on actions, build on strengths (and when necessary, change maladaptive approaches).
Clear Expectations through Routines and Norms
Creating a well-functioning environment requires that all facets of our day to day operations are clear, as uniformed as possible and predictable. Making expectations known, following protocols and procedures across the school and responding to problems with consistency helps students develop routines. Routines and predictability support learning and overall positive behavior. We create expectations and routines by consistently following classroom formats, establishing positive social norms, adhering to agreed upon rules/policies, and developing clear consequences for our actions.
SCHOOL RULES AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
What are the basic policies and student responsibilities at UAI
Ready to Learn at UAI. We have three simple school rules that apply to all spaces and all individuals in our community. It's important that the rules we ask our students to abide by are applied to us all.
- Dress Code - All community members (staff and students) must be in school dress code
- Electronics - All personal electronics are put away out of sight and for students, they are turned off.
- Food & Drink - Are all food and non-water drinks put away (not out in classes or halls during class or passing). This applies to coffee, breakfast shakes and other edible items during instructional time.
UAI Dress code is standard. We ask that all students and staff look professional. The school defines professional attire as followed:
- No hats/scarves (unless for religious purposes) or hoods in the building.
- No spaghetti straps, no halter/crop tops (no exposed stomachs), nothing that is shear or overly revealing.
- Skirts/dresses and shorts should come to the knee (or be accompanied by solid tights/leggings)
- No articles of clothing with offensive language/messages or inappropriate graphics should be worn.
- The school also has no tolerance, per NYCDOE Discipline Code, for clothing or jewelry that depicts or represents gang affiliation.
Each morning, UAI’s Deans and Administrators check students in the morning PRIOR to the start of classes. If a student attempts to enter your classroom and she is out of dress code, it is your responsibility to:
- Ask them to make a simple change their behavior to follow school rules – for example, take off their hat, remove their hood or put on leggings under dress/skirt/shorts.
- Call 30211, the dean's room, for intervention if student is out of dress code and refuses to comply with your request to change.
Classroom technology will be provided to each classroom. Each classroom teacher must sign a teacher technology contract and put down a $75 deposit on the classroom's cart. The classroom teacher(s) are responsible for the maintaining the carts in good condition. Students are not allowed to use personal technology (including headphones) in school.
If a student has had their electronic device confiscated, the item needs be given to a dean and can be picked-up at the end of the day. Deans will also follow-up with a phone call to the student’s home.
All food must be eaten in the cafeteria. If students are seen eating in class or the hallways, again, give them the initial warning and ask them to put the item away/throw it out. If the student does not follow your directive, refer incident to the Dean/Administrator on your floor.
|Click HERE to view the whole code|
Responsible behavior by each student is the only way in which the rights set forth in this document can be preserved. Violation of some of these responsibilities may lead, in accordance with the Discipline Code, to disciplinary measures. Full acceptance of responsibility with the exercise of rights will provide students with greater opportunity to serve themselves and society. Students have a responsibility to:
- attend school regularly and punctually and make every effort to achieve in all areas of their education;
- be prepared for class with appropriate materials and properly maintain textbooks and other school equipment;
- follow school regulations regarding entering and leaving the classroom and school building;
- help maintain a school environment free of weapons, illegal drugs, controlled substances and alcohol;
- behave in a manner that contributes to a safe learning environment and which does not violate other students’ right to learn;
- share information with school officials regarding matters which may endanger the health and welfare of members of the school community;
- respect the dignity and equality of others and refrain from conduct which denies or impinges on the rights of others;
- show respect for school property and respect the property of others, both private and public;
- be polite, courteous and respectful toward others regardless of actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, weight, sexual orientation, physical and/or emotional condition, disability, marital status and political beliefs, and refrain from making slurs based on these criteria;
- behave in a polite, truthful and cooperative manner toward students and school staff;
- promote good human relations and build bridges of understanding among the members of the school community;
- use non-confrontational methods to resolve conflicts;
- participate and vote in student government elections;
- provide positive leadership by making student government a meaningful forum to encourage maximum involvement;
- work with school staff in developing broad extracurricular programs in order to represent the range of physical, social and cultural interests and needs of students;
- observe ethical codes of responsible journalism;
- refrain from obscene and defamatory communication in speech, writing and other modes of expression, including electronic expression, in their interactions with the school community;
- express themselves in speech, writing and other modes of expression, including electronic expression in a manner which promotes cooperation and does not interfere with the educational process;
- assemble in a peaceful manner and respect the decision of students who do not wish to participate;
- bring to school only those personal possessions which are safe and do not interfere with the learning environment;
- adhere to the guidelines established for dress and activities in the school gymnasium, physical education classes, laboratories and shops;
- be familiar with the school Discipline Code and abide by school rules and regulations;
- provide leadership to encourage fellow students to follow established school policies and practices;
- keep parents informed of school-related matters, including progress in school, social and educational events, and ensure that parents receive communications that are provided by school staff to students for transmittal to their parents.
The UAI Campus consists of shared space on the 1st floor, the 2nd floor and the gym. UAI has exclusive space on the north side of floors 3, 4, and 5. UAI students are only allowed on our designated areas of the building and in shared spaces only during designated times (e.g gym class or lunch). Students found in other schools' areas will be subject to consequences for entering a school building without authorization (Citywide Discipline Code B21). In the hallways students are expected to adhere to conduct themselves appropriately (walk, maintain low volume, move efficiently to the next class).
Teachers are expected to provide hallway support by monitoring student activity in the halls. All staff should help each other to ensuring that:
- Teachers establish positive learning environments by standing at the door to welcome students into class.
- Teachers help adhere to school rules and student responsibilities by monitoring and redirecting hallway behaviors.
Blocks of Lockers will be assigned to each grade at the start of the year. Locker assignments, however, cannot be given to students until ALL of their school paperwork has been handed in at the start of the year– updated blue card, completed lunch form a signed locker contract. Advisors will be responsible for holding onto student locker contracts (which should contain a copy of the student’s locker combination). Locks that require a key are not allowed.
Lockers are NOT to be shared or defaced in any permanent way (markers, paint, stickers that cannot be peeled off). Students will be reminded that misuse of lockers can result in loss of privilege. Students will also be made aware that lockers are not personal property, but property of the school and are subject to administrative searches.
Students Leaving the Classroom
To avoid issues and ensure student safety outside of your classroom, only one student is allowed out of class at a time. Bathrooms are locked during the day. Students must go to room B35, 508, or 302 for a key. Students leaving the classroom must have the teacher's verbal permission and must have a pass. Teachers are expected to monitor students so that they do not take advantage of pass privileges (e.g. the same student should not be asking to use the bathroom everyday).
Here are some specific details on passes to the nurse, bathroom or lockers.
- NURSE – Our Nurse is located in room 151 X15111. Unless there is a medical emergency, students should follow above stated instructions on how to leave a classroom. Students returning from the nurse should bring a note from the nurse verifying their visit. Students with excessive visits to the nurse should be referred to their assigned social worker for follow-up.
- BATHROOM - Students should not have access to the bathroom during the first ten minutes of class nor during passing. This rule ensures that students do not arrive late to class or miss class min-lessons.
- LOCKERS – Refer to above stated locker policy and leaving the classroom policy
B03 in The City Wide Standards– Reporting to school and failing to attend one or more programmed classes. Cutting class will result in a teacher phone call home and in-school disciplinary consequences. Repetitive cutting requires a dean referral and a parent conference. Teachers are expected to notify deans for students with habitual cutting behaviors.
Discipline and Student Behavior
Consistency and clarity around expectations and consequences is of the utmost importance when establishing classroom and school-wide norms. To support and promote positive social and academic (student) choice, teachers are expected to collaboratively establish classroom expectations during Unit Zero and to revisit those expectations throughout the school year.
Students who fail to self-regulate and follow the norms of classrooms will need to be removed from the learning environment. At this stage, the Citywide Standards of Intervention and Discipline are used to deliver consequences to students who are either unable to control their behavior or commit actions that egregiously violate school rules and create an unsafe learning environment. Both classroom norms and the discipline code are designed to build pro-social behaviors in our students. We want to:
- Make students aware of how their behavior impacts their own and their peer's learning
- Hold students accountable for their choices and actions
- Understand discipline as a “teachable moment” with the goal of developing self-regulatory behaviors.
All behavioral issues within our building are met with guidance interventions. Even when there are disciplinary consequences for student action, students (and families) are always asked to: explore maladaptive choices, examine the impact of their (behavioral and academic) choices and develop commitments for change moving forward. Per Citywide Standards of Intervention and Discipline Measures, guidance can be achieved through (but is not limited to): Parent outreach, Individual conferences, Group conferencing, Mentoring, Peer Mediation, and Contract Development.
The Citywide Standards are written to accommodate individual student needs and school community values. Consequences for students behavior are largely dependent on the individual student, the specific situation, and relevant consequence. The end message is always the same. We need rules to have positive learning environment and breaking school rules is never OK. However, just as students need different learning paths to reach instructional goals, how we approach individual students and circumstances must also differ in order to empower all students to make the right choices and positive behavior outcomes.
The Citywide Standards take into account student strengths and weakness, past interventions and student patterns of behavior. Under this umbrella of individualized student interventions, The Citywide Standards provides a Range of Disciplinary Responses. These responses not only fit the infraction, but also leave room for school interpretation and provide a guideline on how to implement fair, consistent and restorative practices.
Consistently using the language provided by The Standards and connecting behaviors to Infraction Codes, Guidance Interventions and Disciplinary Responses has allowed UAI to a develop a disciplinary system with clear parameters.
Behaviors that warrant a Classroom Removal follow the Citywide Standards of Intervention and Discipline Measures. Infractions that fall within Levels 3, 4 and 5 of the discipline code will result in an immediate behavior conference with the Dean and disciplinary follow-up at the discretion of the Dean (based on findings of investigation and Citywide Standards Range of Disciplinary Responses).
If a student has been removed from a classroom, the classroom teacher must complete the follow through steps:
- Call the student’s home that day to speak to a parent/guardian about specifics of incident
- Log the incident in Schedula
- Meet with the dean and student to discuss classroom re-entry and expectations.
Used for but not limited to: Level 3, 4 and 5 Infractions that create an unsafe situation and/or an environment where learning is being seriously jeopardized due to student choice.
Examples of Incidents Requiring Classroom Removals:
- B24- Shoving, pushing or engaging in a minor altercation.
- B29 – Knowingly possessing property belonging to another without authorization.
- B35- Posting, distributing, displaying or sharing material containing a threat of violence, injury or harm.
- B36- Engaging in physically aggressive behavior other than minor altercations.
- B39 – Engaging in harassing, intimidating or bullying behavior – Towards staff and Peers.
- B41- Possessing controlled substances or prescription medications without appropriate authorization
Outside Lunch Privileges
Due to capacity issues in our cafeteria and to support positive decision making skills in our students, all grades 7-12 students have the opportunity to go outside for open lunch. In order for a student to obtain outside lunch access they must:
- Have handed in an outside lunch permission slip signed by their parent/guardian
- Have a valid school ID
- Have arrived to school ON TIME (Morning Scanning Log will be used)
- Have not returned late from lunch the previous day
- Have not had privileges revoked as a consequence to behavior choices.
Only Deans can take outside lunch privileges away based on student infraction and appropriate Disciplinary Response (E. In-School disciplinary Response).
At UAI, grades are numeric and based on a scale of 50-100. For all course work and assessments, the lowest grade students can receive is a 50 and the highest grade is 100. The 50-100 scale is a mathematically aligned scale to the traditional letter grades of A, B, C, D and F.
For Progress Report and final Report Card Grading in particular:
- The ONLY failing grade we use on report cards and transcripts is 55. If a student has another actual grade (e.g. 57, 63, 51), only 55 may be entered for failing. There is ONE exceptions to this rule. If the grades being entered are for marking periods two or four, then teachers may elect to use the grade of 60. This grade indicates that the student is currently failing, but will likely pass for the semester. Administratively, we differentiate failing grades of 60 and 55 for Promotion In Doubt letters and Summer School programming.
- All Passing Grades are integers > 65 but < 99. We do not use the final grade of 100. The minimum passing grade is 65. The maximum course passing grade is 99.
- A student's overall course grade is 50% Performance activities, 30% Progress, and 20% Participation. In the unit arcs, teachers must specify which activities and assessments fall into each category so that students have a clear understanding of how they are being graded.
- All courses are annualized (except for NYU Poly courses). Students officially receive their final grade and credit in June of the school year. Students will receive a progress report for 5 marking periods, and the final (6th) report card will issue the grade for the course. If passing at the 3rd marking period (end of the fall term), at least 1 credit is guaranteed. If passing at the end of the 6th marking period (end of the spring term), then the students will earn both credit.
What are the basic policies and expectations around attendance & lateness at UAI
Staff and student attendance is at the heart of academic success and student social emotional development. Without consistent attendance, instructional time is lost and the valuable social interactions and exposure to policies and expectations are delayed. Our first commitment as a community is to be present!
The official report times for staff are:
- Mondays through Fridays: 8:30AM-2:50PM
- Extended Day on Mondays 3:00PM-4:10PM: Staff PD and Meetings each Monday
- Extended Day on Tuesdays 3:00PM-4:05PM: Advisor Outreach & Teacher Work Time
Upon arrival, staff must move their time cards, located in the main office above the water cooler, from "OUT" to "IN". Ms. Del, our payroll secretary, will collect the time cards at 8:30 and mark teachers late or absent. To avoid incorrectly being marked late or absent, it's very important for you to remember to move your time cards. At the end of the day before you leave the building, please move your timecards back to the "OUT".
DOE staff are entitled to 10 days of sick/personal time per year. Three of these days can be used for personal business. Sick days do not require any documentation except for the case of being sick for multiple days in a row. If you are sick for three or more consecutive days, you must return to school with a valid doctor's note addressing your reason for absence.
To request a personal day, you must get the request form from Del in the main office at least three days prior to the requested day, and submit it to Brodie for approval. Please do not request days immediately preceding or following school holidays or weekends. They will not be approved. Also, please do not request multiple personal days in a row. These will also not be approved. All other requests for personal days will be automatically approved.
Steps for Calling in Absent or Late
If you are going to be late or absent, please follow these steps.
- Call Brodie at 646-239-6667 or Kiri at 917-776-0460 to let us know what's happening and why you're are going to be late/absent. A phone call is necessary so that we can ascertain what needs to happen in order to cover you. Texting and emailing is not sufficient. You must call. If you are just going to be late, this is all you have to do. If you are going to be absent, you need to inform Brodie or Kiri no later than 6:30AM of the day you will be absent.
- After speaking to you, Brodie/Kiri will let you know if you are going to have colleague coverage or if you should call in a sub. If you are going to be absent, please log into Sub Central and request a substitute teacher. Once you have successfully completed the request, email the sub central confirmation to Del.
- During the call, Brodie/Kiri will also check on your lesson plans for the day. Please make sure you have substitute lesson plans. You will need to email all of the following people
- The Main Office: Del (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Nancy (email@example.com). Del, as the payroll secretary, is primarily responsible for staff attendance. When Del is absent, Nancy is her backup and vice versa.
- School Administrators: Kiri (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jen (email@example.com), Annie (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Brodie (email@example.com) As school administrators and discipline support, we need to know who is out of the building so we can coordinate our efforts to provide extra support where it's needed.
- Your grade team. As a courtesy, please notify your grade team of your absence so they, too, are prepared to provide support where needed.
If you know that you will be absent PRIOR to the morning of your absence, please inform Brodie who will in turn inform Del. You'll still be expected to follow through on all steps listed above (with sub central and emails to staff), but you won't have to call in the morning.
Student Attendance - Be in it to win it!
In our 10th months of school, there are only 166 days of instruction. When you take out the half days for parent conferences, UAI testing days, and Regents Exams days, that number comes down to 148. Each day a student misses has an impact on learning. When we look at student credit accumulation and regents pass rates relative to student attendance, the data overwhelming shows that the students who are passing and doing well are the students who come to school. The bottom line is that students have to "Be In It to Win It!" (where winning is their education and not a statistically impossible chance of millions of dollars)
Our goal for this year is to support all students in achieving 95% attendance. In more concrete numbers, this is only missing 8 days for the year, or less than one day a month! In addition, we will be targeting student tardiness. To address both of these issues, we have several policies in place.
Lateness to School
School begins at 8:30 with an advisory check in. All advisors should encourage students to plan to arrive to school for breakfast at 8AM. The 10min check in is designed to give students a window for arrival. If they make it to advisory, they are not late to school.
Students who report to school after the official start of 2nd period at 8:40 will be required to scan their ID card until 9:00 AM. Students who come in after 9:00 will be asked to report to room 302 for a pass to class. Students who are late to school lose their open lunch privileges.
All students who miss your advisory and thus arrive late need to receive a daily phone call home from their advisor. Students who are excessively late to school will be monitored by their Advisor. If outreach by the advisor fails to correct student attendance, the advisor is responsible for reaching out to Ms. Jen to coordinate additional support. Personalized interventions and parent outreach will be utilized to support student needs around individual student attendance issues. Advisors are expected to outreach to Ms. Jen (firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 40111) for support around advisees who miss more than one day per month and/or are late to school more than once a week (and/or habitually once a week).
Lateness to Class
If a student is late to your class, please direct them to room 302. Only a that office can write a late pass. A late student will be given a late pass and their name will be entered into a Google Document that will track student lateness. Excessive period lateness will result in outreach to the family and a parent conference if necessary.
Absence and Eligibility for Participation in School Events
To be eligible for participation or attendance in school events or activities on a given day, a student must be in school and attending her classes for more than half of THAT day. This means that students must be present in at least 4 out of the 7 instructional periods of the day. Students with sanctioned excuses (e.g. excuses verified by deans or admin) will be allowed to participate. Activities include (but are not limited to) school dances, performances, games, after school clubs, etc.
In addition to disciplinary eligibility (e.g. not on suspension), students must have a minimum 90% attendance rate to be eligible to attend school dances. Ineligible lists will be posted in the cafeteria the week prior to each dance.
Chronic absenteeism (CA) is a serious issue and one that plagues many of our high school students. In conjunction with DOE policies, UAI defines chronic absenteeism as having attendance at 90% or less. To put CA into perspective, a student only has to miss approx. 2 days a month to be considered CA and someone who is at a much higher risk of academic failure.
As a Community, How Do We Combat Chronic Absenteeism
- What are my professional responsibilities for student attendance?
- What resources does UAI have to support attendance?
- What can I do to help my students want to come to school?
- Where can I get support to help my students be able to come to school?
Take accurate and timely attendance every period – Knowing which students are present, late or absent starts with accurate classroom attendance. Staff with teaching periods are expected to take attendance within the first five minutes of class and make any attendance changes as needed.
Know which students in your grade are identified as Chronically Absent:
Review the Chronically Absent Lists as they are provided – CA Lists will be provided throughout the year. Knowing the attendance of the students we teach, especially students who struggle with attendance issues, allows for personalized attention and interventions. Addressing attendance issues with support and concern is the foundation for creating a warm and welcoming environment. It also gives us a lens to understand how a student may need support. For students who struggle, attendance should be a focal point for academic interventions, conferences and parent outreach. The goal is twofold:
- To create learning environments that are welcoming and provide students with multiple success experiences that help them develop a growth mindset of learning, and thus a desire to want to be in class. If kids are successful and feel like that they can and will achieve growth, they will want to be in school.
- To help your students set and reach academic goals that require consistent attendance in your classes. Setting goals like "come to school everyday" seem like direct goals, but often fail to achieve the desired outcome. Instead, coach students to set goals that require attendance. For example, signing up for learning groups, participating in extra Unison Reading groups, working with peers, etc. can be ways of engaging students in the social community to achieve academic learning goals.
Make Connections Where they Count: While we cannot solve every issue a student may confront in their effort to get to school, research suggests that one of the most important factors in student attendance is school climate and expectations. Students that reported a high sense of school attachment (they felt welcomed and a part of the learning community) reported high levels of support and believed that there were high demands being asked of them. They also had the best attendance (even with other life factors making it challenging).
In the day to day, what are some of the ways that we can create a positive school climate in an effort to support student attendance?
Corrective reminders are essential to teaching students how to develop the skills needed to self-regulate. Another important component is creating welcoming, positive learning environments, both within the classrooms and in the school community at large.
There are several simple activities that we can all do on a daily basis to collectively create a place where our girls want to come to school every day.
- Greet students in the halls and at the entrance to your classroom. Be warm and welcoming to both your own students and the students of your colleagues.
- Make expectations around attendance, for the school and individual classes, explicit. Use the concrete numbers (e.g. missing more than 1 day a month or 8 total days in a year).
- Set high standards, challenge students to meet them and provide the necessary supports to help them achieve their goals.
- Reinforce explicit expectations for positive behavior and academic success
- Make sure students know where supports in the school can be found – Students that can name (at least) one positive adult connection (Teacher, Advisor, Social Worker, etc.) have higher attendance rates
- Create an environment where students can have daily successes – No matter how small - and find ways to publicly honor achievement in your classes.
- Reach out – personalized calls make a tremendous impact when trying to build relationships and make positive connections. It also helps us obtain important information that may need to be passed on to our social workers, our parent coordinator or administration about the status of a student.
What Resources Does UAI Offer to Support Student Attendance
- Attendance Team- The UAI Attendance Team consists of different staff members that meet weekly in an effort to: 1)Help track student attendance, 2)Offer personalized interventions to students and families, and 3) Work in conjunction with the entire school to implement supports and policies to improve school-wide attendance rates. Staff can refer students to the attendance team for additional supportive services.
- Advisors – Advisors are identified as an important student point person. Advisors will be responsible for calling student’s homes every day if a student does not arrive to AM advisory. Advisors are also responsible for checking in with their students in an effort to provide personalized support and act as a resource.
- Grade Team – Teachers and support staff will explore Chronically Absent students with their team during weekly grade team meetings. Grade Team is an opportunity for staff to come together to discuss individual students – both those that continue to struggle with attendance and those that have made improvements, share best practices, create grade-wide supports around attendance incentives (trips, opportunities for recognition etc) and do outreach.
- Social Workers and UAI Deans – If you feel that a student needs additional supports, you can always make a referral to your grade identified social worker or a Dean.
- Academic/Behavior Interventions – Academic and Behavior Interventions act as an extensive personalized support for students who are struggling and not responding to school-wide policies and interventions. Along with staff and administration, students and parents are given the opportunity to explore attendance issues and develop strategies to support improved attendance rates
- School Climate Committee – In an effort to develop a school climate with a high rate of student school attachment, the Culture Committee is responsible for creating and implementing school-wide activities and policies that emphasize fun, community, support and skill building.
- Keepers of the Culture – Peer support is an integral component of student success. Positive peer relationships and opportunities to model desired peer behaviors helps foster school community, supports a culture with high expectations and allows for targeted interventions. Connecting students that struggle with attendance issues with their peers is an active intervention we will be utilizing in the 2014-2015 school year.
Attendance Procedures and Expectations.
- Official Attendance. The official attendance period for the school is 4th period. This attendance period is the official attendance report for city accountability purposes. Teachers are expected to accurately complete the bubble sheets at the start of 4th period and put it in the folders on the outside of classrooms to be collected by Ms. Nancy.
- Period Attendance. Period attendance must be taken for ALL periods (including 4th period). Period attendance is recorded in Skedula and must be completed before the end of the period. For example, teachers can take period attendance immediately following the mini-lesson while students transition into work time. Taking accurate attendance is part of the professional responsibilities (Danielson Domain 4) teachers have in the classroom. As such, teachers are accountable to the validity and accuracy of their attendance records.
- Advisory Outreach. As per the newly negotiated contract, family outreach is another part of a teacher's professional responsibilities. At UAI, we've taken the 40 minutes of family outreach and divided it up daily. So, every day is extended 8 minutes for teachers. During those 8 minutes, teachers are expected to call the homes of advisees who fail to make it to 2nd period on time.
- Students Taking Attendance. Do not give students access to Skedula to take attendance. To take attendance, they need a teacher's level of access which would also give them access to grades. Access to grades is definitely not allowed. Thus, access to Skedula is not allowed.
Outside of the classroom, what SES are available to UAI students?
Social Emotional Support Staff
In addition to advisors, teachers and peers in their classroom learning communities, students at UAI also have access to a host of different support systems. Often, on their own, students will seek out support to aid them in a host of issues. Sometimes, however, students need help in making connections to adults in supportive roles. We have a team of social workers, deans, and teachers who are here to support our girls.
If you need support for a student, please contact Ms. Jen (email@example.com or ext 40111 in room 401). She will coordinate support services with you.
Mandated Reporting. What do I do If I suspect that one of my students is being abused or neglected?
As staff working with children, we are all mandated reporters. Mandated Reporters, by law, must report suspected child abuse or maltreatment to the New York State Central Register (SCR) of Child Abuse and Maltreatment, also known as the Child Abuse Hotline.
The law also assigns civil and criminal liability to those professionals who do not comply with their mandated reporter abilities. Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment – or cause a report to be made – when, in their professional roles, they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect abuse or maltreatment.
Procedures For Reporting Child Abuse or Maltreatment
If you suspect that a student is being abused, YOU MUST report concerns to Ms. Jen or Ms. Kiri.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS. Gathering information, conducting a student interview and reaching out to the NYS Central Register takes time. There are also incidents when students may refuse to go home to threaten to run away. The more time we have during the school day to develop a plan of action, the better.
- Staff identifies that a child may be experiencing abuse by an adult at home
- Staff member reports concerns to the appropriate social worker or Administrator immediately
- Investigation by Social Worker (in conjunction with staff knowledgeable of events)
- If concern is low, the situation will be monitored on an ongoing basis/If there is reasonable cause to believe that there is abuse taking place, Call will be made to SCR
- If call is made and accepted by SCR, Social Worker will obtain a caller ID number and share with Jen C. who will complete appropriate DOE and State Report
Suspected suicidal/self-harming actions. What do I do If I have reason to believe that a student is suicidal/ Has made comments about wanting to harm themselves?
Similar to our jobs as mandated reporters, we are also responsible to respond in a structured way of we have reason to believe that a student wants to harm themselves. In situations regarding our student’s lives, it is always best to air on the side of caution and react, rather than not.
If you have any reason to believe that a student may want to harm themselves (ie. has written about the topic in their work, has openly expressed a desire or you have been told by a peer), you must report your concerns to a social worker or administrator immediately. If you are with a student and they have expressed suicidal ideation, do not leave them alone. If you are able to, walk the student to the social worker’s office. If you cannot leave with the student, request that the social worker or an administrator picks the student up from your location.
Once the student is in the care of a social worker or Administrator, a more thorough assessment will be made and appropriate follow-up will be made based on findings.