UAI Staff Summer News
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.