Sunday, March 22, 2020

Week of 23MAR20

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 29
March 23rd,  2020


A Note from Kiri.  What a difference one week makes within our new pandemic reality.  Last week we didn't know whether schools would be closed.  This week, we do not really know when they will re-open.  In this intense public health crisis, the uncertainty is unmeasurable, and the fear and anxiety is skyrocketing.

That said, I am so proud of our team.  We are ready to launch into an Online Learning School and we made that happen in one very short week.  Because of your commitment to our students and families, and your passion for providing our students and families with an experience that closes the gaps of inequity, almost all of our families are poised and ready to begin their digital learning journey with UAI tomorrow.  I cannot find the words to thank you enough, and words cannot begin to capture the amount and depth of pride that I have in each and every one of you.

All year, I have been questioning the strength and investment of our community.  In this crisis, I question no more.  I have seen you each step forward to support one another, advocate for students, and connect families to much needed resources.  The levels of collaboration that extend between each of you and our community is exactly the type of interdependence that will ensure the best of all outcomes for our students and their families.

This week, in your inevitable bouts of stress and anxiety, I want you to remember that yes it is incredibly hard and unyielding work.  BUT, because of you and your work, you are securing the right to learn and grown for hundreds of UAI children and you are part of a global movement of teachers and support staff that are do the same for millions of children around the globe.  Your work and effort matters more than anyone can say, right now.  When we come through this period (and we will) the work and effort that you will have done will transform the way teachers and support staff are viewed and respected throughout the world.

This is social justice in action, and I am both lucky and proud to lead us through it together!

Thank you UAI for all you've done this week.  Remember, Annie, Jen, and I are here daily to support, and we'll be dropping in to visit and troubleshoot alongside all through this week.  It will definitely not be perfect, but it will be done with care, foresight, and heart.  And through that heart, we will continue to improve and tailor our approach to best suit the needs of us all!

To-Do This Week

Go Through The UAI Online Learning Checklists.  Before you launch your zoom tomorrow, please make sure you have taken the time to test it out and that you've read through the UAI Checklist (CLICK HERE).

Online Schedule of Live Streaming.  Please clarify with students that there are NO individual schedules.  Instead, there is a schedule of when teachers will be live streaming their instruction.  Direct them to THIS document (the list tab is still in development).  Jen is going to post that up on our website too.  It is the schedule, with your Google Classroom Codes and Zoom links.  Rather than have multiple documents for kids and families to reference, I combined all of our info into one.  Please link your zoom links on the Link tab when you make them.  If you change your zoom, you'll have to update the links here, too, don't forget.

Technology Update.  95% of our students have smartphones, tablets, or laptops, now.  There are a handful who still need a laptop or some other device.  I am going into the building on Tuesday to pack up the remaining tech and deliver it to the kids who need it/keep it at my house as back up for those who need it.  If you would like to volunteer to assist me, please text me to let me know.  Please message to the kids, that our goal this week is to make sure everyone has a WiFi enabled device.  Smartphones and Tablets will work.  The Urban Assembly has gathered information around WiFi offers and tech support (CLICK HERE) that students and staff can use to facilitate our transition into online learning.  For those with persistent issues with access to WiFi, we are coordinating with other UA schools to purchase WiFi enabled Chromebooks with Sprint.  That will take some time, however.  So, students will have to make it work with free NYC hotspots and their existing devices (from school or personal) until then.  Please do share the GoFundMe campaign far and wide throughout your networks to help us make this happen.

Read the Letter to Students and Parents.  Please re-read (or read) the letter I sent to you, students and families. This letter contains important links and information. Inevitably, students and families will be reaching out to you for various reasons.  Use the letter (and embedded links) to help you deal or forward that information.

Check the UAI Google Classroom & Calendar Daily.  Throughout our Online Learning at UAI, the UAI Staff Google Classroom will be the main place to check for updates, resources, and zoom invites.  In addition, check your calendar to see any meetings or other events that are being planned.


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