Sunday, February 23, 2020

Week of February 24th

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 26
February 24th,  2020

Welcome Back from The Break!
Hopefully everyone enjoyed the time off and made sure to prioritize self-care and restoration!  We will return for another 6 weeks before the long Spring Break, after which, it will be a rapid whirlwind to the end of the year.  Each year, the time just keeps flying faster and faster!

School Culture Reset
Guest Post from Annie:

With the return from break, it is a perfect time reset behavioral expectations for both staff and students.  Before break, we received feedback from teachers which helped us identify key areas of need.  The Culture team has narrowed in on these areas and created a plan to address them.  Please CLICK HERE to see the full plan.  Here are some highlights:

  • Midyear Discipline Snapshot. Overall, our suspension rate and classroom removal rates are lower than last year, with an increased number of mediations.
  • Recidivism & Progressive Discipline. Survey Feedback, "There is a lack of progressive discipline for low-level repeat behaviors." To address to this, Restorative Circles and Grade Team Interventions will be instituted. CLICK HERE for details. 
  • Expectations Reset.  This week we will be re-establishing schoolwide expectations.  The plan:
    • Expectations Tour.  School Leadership & Deans will visit each sections of all grades to set expectations for behavior and compliance with school rules.
    • Culture Committee.  Those teachers interested in joining a committee to support this work should email Annie and CLICK HERE for details. 
    • Hallway Duty.  Staff stationed on hallway duty will be given more explicit details and expectations.
Traditionally, the shift from winter into Spring and Summer brings with it a rise in behavioral challenges.  By establishing strong systems of expectations as a united team of educators, we can collectively work to ensure that our students have the safe and healthy learning environment they deserve!


Happy Belated Birthdays to: 
Kelly 16FEB20, Kimberly 18FEB20,
Elana 19FEB20, Alison 22FEB20

Survey Responses Data is In!  All staff will be given the opportunity to sit down with Annie or Kiri to dig deeper into the survey responses (click to see the Survey Questionsto better understand the outcomes and develop ideas for improving performance.  Please take your own time to review the results, and come prepared with ideas for school improvement to your assigned Survey Focus Group session during our March Not Madness PD series.

Summer Opportunities & College Fair during MS and HS Lunch.  We are looking for volunteers to come talk with students during their lunch period about your own college experiences and your personal journey to college, including your experiences outside of school (extra curricular clubs, sports, activities, jobs, etc.).  In addition, we're looking for staff to help us help our girls get involved in extra curricular activities both inside of UAI and outside of the school this spring and summer.  If you are interested and are willing to spend your lunch period on March 6th chatting with our wonderful young women, please reach out to Jen, Kiri, or Danielle I.

Important Dates.  We have six and a half weeks until the next big break, and it is jammed packed with events.  The calendar is always the main source for information, but here's some highlighted events to keep on your radar for this upcoming month+.

  • Week of 24FEB.  Home Visit Blitz. Throughout this week, the recruitment committee (Marsha, Phillan, Lauren, Jen, Jennifer, Marni, Kiri, Annie, and Jen) will be out of the building conducting home visits to over 500 student applicant's homes.  The goal is to maximize the number of students committing to UAI so that we can meet our enrollment goals for 2020.  The team will be out of the building this week (Annie & Kiri will be alternating days out).  So if you need to reach any of them, please email!
  • Friday 28FEB20.  Black History Month Assembly.  This Friday will be our annual celebration of Black History month.  We will be having an assembly during last period.  Please look out for more details and directions via email as we get closer to Friday!
  • Week of March 2nd.  We are kicking off celebrating Women's History Month with a Spirit Week Celebration (stay tuned for details).  The spirit week will culminate in a Summer Opportunities and College Fair on Friday 06MAR20. 
  • Wednesday 04MAR20.  SAT Day for 10th & 11th Graders.  There will be no Classes for 9th and 12th graders on SAT Day (they stay home).  All other grades (middle school, 10, and 11) will be at school that day.
  • Saturday, 07MAR20.  Applicant Brunch and First Hiring Fair.  We are hosting two events on Saturday.  The first is our Applicant brunch where we are inviting folks from our round of home visits to learn more about UAI and the application process in general.  The second is our first hiring fair of the season where we will be interviewing candidates for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Wed 11MAR20 - UAI Awards Night & Girls Inc Marchfest.  We will be celebrating our young women during this month of women's history by honoring their achievements and supporting their artistic expression.  Please join us for a night of fun and festivities.
  • Sun08MAR through Thu 11MAR.  Kiri will be out of the building representing UAI and the Urban Assembly at South by Southwest (EDU).  She will be presenting on a panel of principals from across the country, describing the challenges and rewards of leading a school in an urban setting.
  • Friday 13MAR20, MP4 Ends.  Marking Period 4 ends on Friday, March 13th.  Final MP4 grades will be due at 3PM on Wednesday 18MAR20.
  • Wednesday, 18MAR20.  Kelly hosts Affinity Schools Visit.  The Affinity Schools Network is three superintendencies spanning schools partnered with New Visions, the Urban Assembly, Outward Bound, and many more.  Kelly has been honored with the selection of having her classroom host teachers from across all affinity schools to visit her classroom as a model class.  Congratulations on this great honor for you and UAI Kelly!! 
  • Thursday 19MAR & Friday 20MAR.  Students Led Conferences and Spring Benchmarks.  Our next round of benchmarks and students led conferences are only  3.5 weeks away.  This is an important round because we focus on choices and changes students need to make in order to finish the year strong and successfully promote.
  • Wed 24MAR through Fri 26MAR.  NYS ELA Testing begins on Wednesday 24MAR for grades 6-8 and ends on Friday 26MAR20.  Special testing schedules will be shared with teachers and students as we near those dates.
  • Tuesday 07APR & 08APR.  The 10th graders are leaving UAI for their trip to Washington DC!
  • Wednesday 08APR.  The day before spring break, we will be having a rapid dismissal.  All staff and students must exit the building.  All after school activities are cancelled for that day.

To-Do This Week

March Not Madness PD.  This Monday we will be kicking off our March Not-Madness Annual PD Series.  Here are the final assignments for the month!  As a reminder, here's the description of those workshops:
  • Pedagogical Effectiveness Workshops
    • Developing Strategies to Support Students with IEPs:  Hallie from the Affinity Support team will be running a PD to help teachers understand how to best leverage student IEPs and develop strategies to better support the academic success of those students in their classrooms. March 9th ONLY. 
    • Classroom Management Techniques:   Ms. Nina will be hosting a classroom management PD to share her strategies and techniques for creating a safe, warm, and orderly learning environment.  March 23rd ONLY. 
    • Scaffolding Readings & Assessments to Support ENL Students: Ms. Rebecca F & Ms. Laura will be running a workshop on supporting teachers to develop strategies and approaches that increase ENL student entry into rigorous texts and more accurately assess their learning. March 16th ONLY. 
    • Independent Work Time with Co-Planning Team:  Teacher teams may elect to choose a Monday to get a jump on the week's planning.  Repeating Sessions.

  • Mindfulness & Well-being Workshops
    • Learning Walks:  Walking with a colleague and just talking about pressing topics is a great way to process your thinking and collaborate on new ideas around issues that have been persistent struggles.  On the learning walks, staff can choose a topic, colleague and destination (e.g. walk across the Brooklyn Bridge). Repeating Sessions.
    • Yoga: Exercise and Meditation combine to provide staff with a means to manage stress, health, and exhaustion.  We will have a yoga class offered to those who are interested in joining!  Exact Date still TBD.
    • It's Game Time!: By popular request, we have created a Game Day PD.  Come join your colleagues in blowing off steam with games and puzzles.  I'm bringing Elena's cards against humanity and Dashiel's new game called "Joking Hazard."  I also have Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, and others.  Bring in your favorites (puzzles and games alike). Repeating Sessions.
    • Sip and Paint:  Also back by popular demand is the Sip and Paint workshop.  The "Sip" portion of the Painting PD will be open to all at the UAI staff happy hour on March 20 (after our PM SLCs have completed) and the Paint portion will happen the following Monday on March 23 ONLY.

Tuesday Outreach - Begin Scheduling SLCs.  Student Led Conferences are on March 19th and 20th.  Please begin scheduling SLC appointments for all of your advisees.  SLCs will be from 5-8PM on Thursday (19MAR20) evening and 12-2:50PM on Friday (20MAR20) afternoon.  As usual, Spring Benchmark exams will be happening on those days as well.  All appointments need to be scheduled by the end of Parent Outreach on Tuesday 10MAR20.  

Social-Emotional Learning Update

Per Session Opportunities

None this week.


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