Sunday, September 13, 2020

Week of September 14th

 UAI Staff Summer News

Volume VIII
Issue 8
September 14th, 2020

Principal's Message

Tomorrow will be the first time many of you have stepped foot into UAI since we shut our doors in March.  In an ideal situation, we would have all the answers to your many, many legitimate concerns and questions.  But this is anything but an ideal situation.

However, we do have some answers, and you are all in the midst of creating solutions to those questions yourselves.  Both the UFT and principals worked hard to petition the DOE for more time to prepare for a safe and successful re-opening of our schools.  For some schools, time is still not enough.  For us, we are in a privileged and fortunate position relative to many of our DOE colleagues and friends.   We may not be 100%, but we are at like 97% prepared for the year.  Over the upcoming week, we will continue to push toward 100!

I hear concerns about bathrooms.  The bathroom in the locker room (502) is on a separate ventilation system than the other bathrooms in the core.  Therefore, if you do not feel comfortable using the bathrooms until the exhaust can be repaired, then please use that one in 502.  Carlos and the team are working around the clock to repair the bathrooms.  He was working on it on Friday.  I will have updates tomorrow (Monday), but I fully expect that the bathrooms to be fully ventilated and functioning very soon.

The MERV 13 filters are an additional layer of protection as I described in the staff meeting on Friday.  Those filters are still on back-order, but as protection, you will be provided with KN95 masks and Face Shields to use.  Also, on Monday, I'm expecting an update from Carlos on the status of these.

Regardless, even if everything were 100% in place, there would no doubt be a lot of anxiety and concern.  Before my own official report date on 31AUG, I had been in the building several times since March, but STILL there was a rock and pit in my stomach - and I'm not an anxious person!!  In general the unknown is scary, but this year, it is horrifying.

I'm sure that was anything but calming.

However, the truth is that platitudes and cheerleading are not what you need.  You need transparency, truth, and reality.  You deserve that.

In place of cheerleading, I will give you my faith.  I believe in your tenacity, strength, and ingenuity.  I have seen each of you persevere and deliver on a daily basis for our students - year after year.  I have no doubt that you will fight even harder this year to do so again.  I can't take away your fear or anxiety, but I can believe in you, support you, and if needed be there to remind you (not tell you) but remind you that you can do this! AND together, we will make this one year to remember and the best experience possible for our girls and their families.

To Do This Week

Get Tested.
Frequent testing is key to mitigating COVID transmission. All DOE Employees MUST be tested prior to entering DOE buildings. COVID Testing is available throughout the city and it is free. You can also choose one of the DOE Prioritized locations for expedited testing and results. All staff must also complete this HEALTH SCREENING each day you are scheduled to be in the building prior to entering school. If you have a positive result, please contact me immediately. When we all get tested, we work to protect one another. As of today, 14SEP20 at 8AM, I have received no reports of any positive COVID cases at the Adams Street Campus.

2nd Week of Prep for School Opening. This week, all in-person staff are required to report to school from 8:30. Damon reached out with staff concerns. I completely hear your concerns, and am doing what I can to make accommodations. However, there are limitations. Where possible, in-person staff will be able to work from home to complete assigned tasks. Please continue to check out the UAI Staff PD & School Opening Calendar. However, given that tasks like supply distribution or classroom/workspace set up are only in-person tasks, all staff without accommodations will be on site Mon-Thu next week. As a reminder, for all staff, if you are assigned to work remotely, you are expected to be at home working. If you have appointments, you must request and take personal time for those appointments. All non-emergency requests (e.g. personal time or anything EXCEPT calling our sick) should go through your direct supervisor.

Advisory Connections. As a reminder, the time you are given for advisory outreach is given to have successful connections (not just sending emails and making calls - but actually successful communications and information exchange). We not only need you to reach out, but we need our families to respond back. In order to do this, you should using a variety of methods - email, text, phone calls (all numbers and emails of BOTH students and families). There are still a number of kids for whom we do not have information. By Friday 18SEP20, we need concrete data (not that you emailed or called - but rather - actual answers and data in the columns). We're tracking student information - not your activities. So, we need to know the students information - not the teacher actions. Without accurate information from our students and families, we cannot hope to have a smooth opening. We need your help to get that information! Please use your independent work time throughout this week to follow up with your advisees and enter in the appropriate information. If for some reason, your advisees are not listed, please enter their names and their information. Thank you!! Your efforts help us all and is greatly, greatly appreciated! CLICK HERE to access the Advisory Information Sheet.

Per Session Activities

To Apply for any of the following per session opportunities, please COMPLETE THIS FORM and email the appropriate point person listed in this posting.  

Circles Committee.  Marsha & Annie have done an amazing job launching our staff circles this year.  This is a big lift and we are looking to involve more staff to support the planning as we move forward in the year.  We are looking for 2 teachers to work collaboratively 1 hour per week to plan our monthly circles.  Please complete the per session interest form and email Marsha with your interest.  

Student Recruitment CommitteeEven before school starts, we are planning ahead to next year! This year in particular is going to be challenging. So, we are looking to recruit 4 teachers for our student recruitment committee. We will certainly need to shift our historical practices, and as a member of the team, you would be part of developing a new physically distant strategy for getting our school's name out there and to recruit new students for the Fall 2021 semester. This committee runs all year long and hours will vary with a minimum of 4 hours per month. Please complete this per session interest form by 28SEP20 and email Jen. Jen will be making final selections for the committee.

School Culture and Student Activities Committee. We are recruiting staff to join our new Student Activities Committee. We are looking for 4-5 staff members to join Jen, parents, and students in planning and executing all senior activities for 8th and 12th grade, assemblies for all grades, parent events, and other student activities as determined by the committee throughout the year. Please note, this is a new committee and will replace senior activities coordinator and assembly coordinator positions. Members on this committee will report directly to Jen. Jen will select the committee members to equitably represent grades, skills and interests. Please complete this Per Session Interest Form and send an email to Jen in order to apply for this committee. Hours will range depending on activities and needs. Deadline to Apply is Friday 20SEP20.

Equity TeamRebecca C has introduced the idea of the equity team and will re-introduce it on Tuesday to staff. Equity team members will have at least 3 hours per month of per session to meet. If you are interested in joining the team, you must complete the Per Session Interest Form.  NOTE:  completing the form does not mean you are on the team.  Team members will be selected by a specific process that Rebecca will review on Tuesday.  Deadline to apply is 20SEP20.

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