UAI Staff Summer News
School Re-Opening and Your Value. Almost daily, the press, social media, everyone is sharing their opinions about whether or not schools should open. It should never be the case that we are pitting health and safety against learning and development, but here we are.
We are all struggling with the tension between protecting our own (and our family's) health & safety and providing the quality instruction that our students deserve. Again - an impossible dilemma - but here we are.
Throughout everything, please know that you are valued. Whether blended with in-person work or working fully remotely, I know each of you will continue to bring your best efforts and creative thinking to providing our students with the learning they deserve. For that I thank you, and I appreciate everything you do.
As we move forward in the planning processes for school re-opening, I know it will not be possible to find a solution that will perfectly satisfy everyone, but we will create systems and policies that represent our best efforts to educate, safeguard, and promote the intellectual, social-emotional, and physical well-being of our students and their families.
Despite the external chaos, this fact is my beacon of hope for the upcoming school year. We are a fantastic team of smart thinkers who are committed to social justice and equity for our young women. When we all work together to bring our best, it is always our girls who win. This will be a year unlike any other, but with our UAI team, I see a bright beam of wonderful possibilities shining through the cloud of COVID.
- What Triggers a School Closure? Both the CDC and the DOE are strongly encouraging cohort (or pod) programming for schools. As a result, here are the plans for when schools will close in case of a COVID infection:
- 1 positive case in a class - If a person (staff or student) tests positive for COVID, that class (and any other person/class(es)) that the COVID positive person had close contact with will quarantine (staff and students) for 14 days and work in Remote Learning. The rest of the school will remain open.
- 2 or more positive cases in 2 or more classes - The school will close for a 14 day quarantine, and all teaching and learning will happen remotely.
- What About Testing? The DOE s asking all school community members who are participating in In-Person learning (staff and students) to take COVID tests at least 7 days prior to the start of school (which they still say is September - tho they are not saying which day in September, yet). Additionally, they are encouraging staff and students to get tested every three weeks, and shared that DOE staff will have priority testing status for access and results.
- Building out an Equity Team. Rebecca & I attended a workshop from the DOE Department of Equity around how to Launch Equity Teams. We discussed the our learnings with the SRC, and Rebecca C. is putting together a proposal of how to construct the team - which voices should be on the team. The next step is for the SRC to decide the who those voices should be. If you have ideas or suggestions that you would like to include, please email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Grading Subcommittee. The next meeting for the grading subcommittee will be facilitated by a member of the DOE Department of Equity who will help us do some root cause analysis around student performance, teacher expectations and equity. The team is asking for teacher feedback in the survey below. If you are interested to learn more, I've also attached the document that links to the team's research and data around UAI student performance.
- Professional Development Subcommittee. The PD Committee is working with teachers to plan a sequence of PD experiences aimed at preparing teachers for the upcoming school year. Damon shared out a survey earlier. If you can, please do reach out to the PD committee (Jen, Damon, Phillan, or Annie) with any suggestions or feedback!
- Damon shared a PD survey (I don't have that link- sorry!)