Monday, August 31, 2020

Week of August 31st



 UAI Staff Summer News

Volume VIII
Issue 6
August 31st, 2020

Principal's Message

Next week, staff and students return to school (presumably).  There are so many unknown answers and an endless array of questions coming from each and every one of us.

Many of you are now dealing with the very difficult decision that if our Mayor and Chancellor continue with the calendar and school opening plans as is, you may be the first NYC teachers to strike in over 50 years.  The opacity of what actually happens to you if you violate the Taylor law does not make the decision any easier.

However you decide, please know that Annie & I will always have your back and always support you.  It is remarkable to me that the mayor continues to parade individual school leaders as exemplars of the "can do it" attitude that he consistently champions as the bedrock of all New Yorkers.  At the same time, he continues to ignore the requests from the unions, school leaders, teachers, and central staff to slow down and give more time to safely opening our doors to 1.1 millions students, 175,000 teachers in over 1500 school buildings.   Striking is never an easy option.  But when confronted with such a deep refusal to listen (or even acknowledge) the concerns of so many of those in your charge, sometimes job-action is precisely what is needed.  

The media and mayor will likely rail against you.  He is quite the spinner, and the media has never really been that great of a friend to teachers in general.  However, as your school leaders, we DO know you. We honor you, we support your decision, and we know that however you decide, you are doing so with the love and commitment that each of you have to the success, health and safety of our students, their families, and yourselves.   


Schedule Release & Program Look Up. The Program Look Up tool is not as intuitive as I would have hoped (You win some, you lose some). I cannot upload schedules into STARS and Skedula yet because every day more and more kids are continuing to opt out of Blended and into Remote Only. As a result, to keep advisories balanced, it is a constant game of whack-a-mole. My plan it run the programs on Friday, and run with the numbers that we have. Until then we have to use the Program Look Up tool and Student Program Tab with student. If students reach out to you, will you please help them to try to understand how to use it? The biggest problem happens, I think when multiple people are using the doc at once. The way out of that is to just wait a minute, THEN enter the ID number. Being patient is a learned skill (I'm still working on that one!), so our students will definitely need some support there.

Town Halls. Students and Parents have been invited to a series of Town Halls.  Just as with staff, we are asking that they complete THIS FORM to submit their questions.

Instructional Planning. You will learn more about this in PD this week, but here's some quick notes to answer a frequent  question. "How many lessons should I plan for in this new program of blended learning?"

  • Every course at UAI will have a mix of Live (Synchronous) and Independent (Asynchronous) learning. ACADEMIC COURSES: For all academic courses (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Language), students should receive two synchronous (aka live zooms) lessons per week and two asynchronous lessons (e.g. recorded flipped lesson (like the video I did for ordering NYSTL stuff), other videos, and independent work activities). Each day you are in-person, you have a "RL (remote learning) prep" to complete this. I understand that this may run counter to what you are hearing in the media and from the union, but then again, so does our entire program. It can't be easy navigating all these mixed messages, so keep the questions coming!! In addtion, teachers should rely on student class data and coordinate with grade teams to form targeted small groups and meet with students during office hours and small group Fridays to provide feedback, and additional intervention or enrichment support as needed. ALL OTHER COURSES: For all other courses Theater: Two Live zooms per week (plus office hours - no small groups) PE & Health: 1 live zoom & 1 async lesson per week (+ office hours, no small grp) SMALL GROUP TUTORING: If you have small group tutoring on your program, you are doing reading/writing intervention for that grade. Work with grade teams and individual students to pull kids into small group work as needed.

PD Kicks Off Today. As a reminder, next week kicks off a series of PD and planning time to prepare for the upcoming school year. Please CLICK HERE to register by (Training rate per session will be paid to all registered participants!)

No comments:

Post a Comment