Sunday, March 8, 2020

Week of March 9th

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 28
March 9th,  2020

Special Announcements

Celebrate International Women's Day.  Today is international women's day.  At UAI, we celebrate women every day all year long.  I count myself lucky to work alongside of you in this wonderful work!  It is a blow that despite a historically diverse panel of democratic presidential candidates, we are yet again presented with a choice among white men.  However, change, especially change the disrupts the power narrative, takes time, persistence, and a LOT of energy.  I encourage you to focus on the joy of our work today and enjoy the onset of Spring to celebrate the very special women in your lives and build up the women who inspire you!  Happy International Women's Day!!

Updates on Coronavirus.  On Friday, the Chancellor held an informational webinar with the city's principals.  Much of the webinar focused on belaying fears with facts and emphasizing the pro-active habits we should all take to prevent the spread of the virus (washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and coughing into elbows).  There was no explicit instructions about the possible closing of schools, but he did say the this situation is evolving daily.  As soon as I know anything I will share with you. 

For UAI, here's what's happening:  
  • Custodians are cleaning surfaces daily with disinfectant soap.  This includes handles, railings, and surfaces.  
  • There is hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and disinfectant spray available for staff use in addition to custodial cleanings.  We do have limited supply, but ask for some in the main office.
  • Bathrooms are continually stocked with soap. PLEASE let us know if you hear of any supply need in the bathroom.
  • In the event that school is cancelled, we want to gather information to begin to build a contingency plan.  Please take a minute to COMPLETE THIS BRIEF SURVEY
Moving forward, please remind students (AND ourselves & fellow staff) to:
  • wash or sanitize hands frequently (after bathrooms trips, before and after lunch).  
  • limit contact with your faces 
  • cough or sneeze into your sleeves.
Again, the panic of this viral spread is spreading.  While taking precautions It's equally important to focus on the facts and to stay informed CLICK HERE.  Remember Coronavirus has a 3.5% death rate, which means is has also has 96.5% survival rate!!

Happy Birthdays to: 
Sherri-Ann (Girls Inc) 10MAR20 and Vanessa (Girls Inc) 14MAR20!

Last Weeks' Events.  Last week was a busy one with class visitations to SLJ, PSAT/SAT testing, the Summer Opportunities & College Fair, field trips, and two, very important Saturday events - the Hiring Fair and the Recruitment Brunch.

I'd like to extend a thank you to all of the staff who stepped up throughout the week to make these events happen! The events were incredibly successful. It was a truly UAI collaborative event with so many staff giving their time and energy to make these events wonderful experiences for staff, students and families!

A special thanks to 

  • Jen, Lauren, and the entire recruitment team for organizing a fun and engaging morning with prospective students on Saturday!  It was amazing!!  We had a super packed house with several families coming up to us to say  such amazing things, like "This is the first school she has ever felt happy about.  Please let her come here!" 
  • Annie and the entire recruitment team for interviewing over 20 candidates and working hard to find the best candidates for our upcoming school year.
  • Jen, Danielle & Doris and all of the staff who volunteered to share their personal college experiences during our summer opportunities & college fair.  
  • Annie and everyone who stepped up to be on the Culture Committee!  We look forward to the work you do to bring UAI from good to great!

Soft Lockdown Drill. On Tuesday 10MAR20, there will be a Soft Lockdown Drill at 10am. As a reminder, when the drill is initiated - all students and staff must move to the corner of the room, out of sight, with lights off and must remain silent until the drill is lifted. The drill typically lasts less than 5 minutes so it shouldn't interrupt instruction too terribly. Please let Annie know if you have any questions.

Field Trips.  Quick note: Per Chancellor's Regulation A - 670, the high school ratio for field trips is 15:1, and middle school is 10:1. Due to a rapidly disappearing bucket of money for substitute teachers, we need to hold to these ratios for field trips moving forward... Please plan your trips accordingly.

  • Upcoming Field TripsIf you are planning a trip, in addition to communicating with Annie, please remember to inform all relevant teachers via email when you schedule a field trip so plans can be made for missing students! So far these trips are approved:
    • March 11th - Rebecca F and Laura are taking these students to the Met.
    • March 26-27th - 11th graders (list tbd) on College overnight trip.
    • April 7-8th - 10th grade (list) in Washington DC!
    • May 14th - 6th and 7th grades (list tbd) go to Six Flags!

Culture Committee Visits. The Culture Committee (Damon, Suzannah, Judy, Rachel, Jamie, Natalie, Kristina, Courtney, Annie) will be conducting classroom walkthroughs this week! Please expect us to be in and out of your rooms!

Attendance Update. While we are in our series of March Not Madness PDs our next grade team time won't be until April. We still want to update folks on how we're doing attendance-wise. So here are some key stats:
  • Overall School Attendance is holding steady at 90.9% which is above our target goal!
  • Chronic Absenteeism school-wide is currently at 27% which is our target goal!
  • See here for an update on completed home visits by our attendance teacher, Alan!
Benchmarks. Our spring benchmarks will be held on March 19 & 20th. Please review the benchmark schedule (here) carefully and let Joanna know if you catch any mistakes.  Many thanks to Joanna and Rachel & Rebecca who helped us make a mock AP exams happen for our students!

Important Dates.  
              • Week of March 9th It's Spirit Week! Please remind your kids and wear your best outfits!  
                • Monday - Pajama Day!
                • Tuesday - Female Icon Day - dress as your female hero!
                • Wednesday - 90's Day! 
                • Thursday - Twin Day!
                • Friday - UAI Spirit Day!
              • Wednesday 11MAR20. UAI Awards Night & Girls Inc MarchFest.  
              • Friday 13MAR20.  MP4 Ends.  MP4 grades will be due at 3PM on Wednesday 18MAR20.
              • Wednesday, 18MAR20.  Kelly hosts Affinity Schools Visit (will be using room 147).  
              • Thursday 19MAR & Friday 20MAR.  Students Led Conferences and Spring Benchmarks.  
              • Wed 24MAR through Fri 26MAR.  NYS Middle School ELA Testing.
              • Tuesday 07APR & 08APR.  The 10th graders go to Washington DC!
              • Wednesday 08APR.  The day before spring break, we will be having a rapid dismissal at 2:30pm. 
              • Friday 01May20. The GSA is hosting UAI's first drag show - 6-10pm! 

To-Do This Week

Monday March Not Madness Assignments!  CLICK HERE to review your assignments for our March Not Madness series of Monday PDs.  Also, all teachers should review the Survey Questions prior to their Survey Focus group.

Tuesday Outreach - Continue to Schedule 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 this Tuesday 10MAR20.  CLICK HERE to enter your appointments.  

Social-Emotional Learning Update

No updates this week!

Per Session Opportunities

  • March 11 - one representative from each grade team for UAI Awards Night! 5-7pm, first come, first served.
  • May 1 Drag Show - 10 staff
  • May 15 - 8th Grade Prom Chaperones - up to 10 staff
  • May 21 - Senior Prom Chaperones - up to 6 staff

Important Dates.  As a reminder (see blog post of 24FEB for details), here are the important dates:
  • Week of March 9th We were spread thin with everyone out doing recruitment work last week.  So Spirit Week has been moved to next week!
  • Wednesday 04MAR20.  SAT Day
  • Saturday, 07MAR20.  Applicant Brunch and First Hiring Fair.  
  • Wednesday 11MAR20. UAI Awards Night & Girls Inc Marchfest.  
  • Sunday 08MAR through Thu 11MAR.  Kiri @ SXSW presenting with a  panel of principals 
  • Friday 13MAR20.  MP4 Ends.  MP4 grades will be due at 3PM on Wednesday 18MAR20.
  • Wednesday, 18MAR20.  Kelly hosts Affinity Schools Visit.  
  • Thursday 19MAR & Friday 20MAR.  Students Led Conferences and Spring Benchmarks.  
  • Wed 24MAR through Fri 26MAR.  NYS Middle School ELA Testing
  • Tuesday 07APR & 08APR.  The 10th graders go to Washington DC!
  • Wednesday 08APR.  The day before spring break, we will be havin.g a rapid dismissal. 

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!  See the blogpost from 24FEB for descriptions!

    Tuesday Outreach - Continue to Schedule 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 10MAR20CLICK HERE to enter your appointments.  Try to have at least 1/2 of your advisory scheduled by the end of this Tuesday.

    Social-Emotional Learning Update

    Per Session Opportunities

    None this week.


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