Sunday, September 6, 2020

Week of September 8th, 2020

UAI Staff Summer News

Volume VIII
Issue 7
September 8th, 2020


Principal's Message

It's been years since I've been on an actual roller coaster.  My last ride was on the Cyclone.  But I can still remember the pit in my stomach and the flutter of anxiety in my chest as I moved one step closer to the front of the line.  I remember stepping into the questionable security of the metal car with all the horror stories I've heard of the Cyclone's history flooding through my memory.  As I triple checked all the "safety" equipment...I asked myself "What the fudge am I doing?"

These last 6 months have been a roller coaster of stress, non-stop work, and wide-ranging emotions and anxiety.  I wish I could say there were as many thrills as chills, but this isn't entertainment, and I'm not paying to be on this ride.

Despite this, today, I feel a sense of calm and intense focus.  Yes, I could be on that part of the ride that is flat and designed to calm you before the next ridiculous hill or spiral.  But if I've learned anything since March, it's that you need to be present and savor the good moments when they happen.  

Today, I feel good about our school launch, because we have all come together to do what we can to be ready.  Here's a recap:

Professional Development.  Last week, our team came together to offer and participate in a range of PDs aimed at getting everyone ready to welcome and engage our students back to school next week.  Many thanks to Jen for leading the summer PD subcommittee and many thanks to the entire committee (Phillan, Damon, Annie) and all the staff who helped plan each PD

      • Circles & Relationship Building:  Lauren, Natalie, Suzannah, & Jen
      • Technology Support:  Brodie, Tom, & Rachel
      • Supporting Student Engagement:  Alison & Nina
      • Supporting ENL & SPED students:  Laura, Rebecca, and Nadine

COVID Readiness.  Last week the DOE finally gave us the time and space we needed to ensure that our building is safe and we have the appropriate equipment and protocols in place to maximally mitigate COVID transmission.  We are rapidly moving through our campus checklist and are ready to welcome staff and students back to the building.

Connections, Learning, and Phasing In.  With our added time, we have been able to use the extra time to make time to reconnect as a community, provide more support and training so that teachers are ready to plan for remote learning, and we have three days to phase in students and staff so that we can stress test our safety protocols before launching the first day of school.  

In a normal school year, each year is a little bit of a ride.  This year will definitely amplify that.  However, I've seen what we can do when we come together as a community to work towards our common goals.   So, I am taking some time to pause and relish this moment of calm and peace.  I am taking the time to examine and appreciate how I arrived here.  

I know you must all be feeling a little bit of that roller coast anticipation as we prep for the new year.  I encourage you to remember that you do have the power and the help of your colleagues to do the work needed to create your own moments of calm and peace.  When you do, make sure to take a beat and remind yourself how you got there.  When you do, you'll have the safety and security you need to weather the hills, loops and thrills that are yet to come!

 

Happy Birthday This Week

Jennifer (Guidance Counselor) Thursday 10SEP20
Junior (Building Custodian) Friday 11SEP20


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.



Remote Prep. Next week, all meetings, professional development and co-planning time will be virtual and all staff will be working from home. If you would like to come in to do classroom set-up, please let Annie know. Please continue to check out the UAI Staff PD & School Opening Calendar for more detail.


In-Person Work Begins. All In-Person staff are required to begin reporting on Monday, 14SEP20. Remote Only staff remain working from home. That week will have a mix of In-Person and Remote Only PD that will continue the training and provide the time needed to be ready for the first day of school on Monday, 21SEP20.


Planning Materials Due. Over the next two weeks, you will have training and time to prepare for school opening and to connect with your advisees. By next Friday, three main tasks are due:

Pacing Guide with Linked Lessons. All members of your planning team need to have editing access to a shared pacing guide with linked lessons. Please make sure you share EDITING rights with your planning team. Upload your pacing guide to THIS FOLDER withe the naming convention "COURSE NAME_TEACHERs" If needed, you can use this Pacing Guide Template  

Course Syllabus with Zoom Links. Please use this Template to create your Course Syllabus. You'll see clarifications on the Attendance and Grading Policies that will be in place school wide this year. We'll be reviewing all school policies during Friday's staff meeting. Please make sure to also include the Zoom Links for each class on the syllabus. 

Staff Bio and Headshot.  Please submit your headshot and updated bio so that we can post this up in our website so families and students can see.  This year, with so many students and families remote, we need to go the extra mile to connect and let our students and staff know who we are.  Please submit your headshot and bio in THIS FOLDER


School Calendar. The DOE finally released the school calendar and the UAI calendar (see below) is finally out. Please see below!




Per Session Activities

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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