Sunday, October 4, 2020

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 11
October 5th, 2020

Principal's Message

Fall is definitely upon us now!  The leaves are changing colors, there's a cool brisk wind in the air, daylight hours are waning, and we have officially launched in-person learning!!  

We have certainly weathered our share of bumps and curves this year, but we have all done so fairly well.  That is a true testament to the hard work and dedication you each have to your work with our students and their families.  The work is never ending, and it seems like the hours of work never stop, but each & every one of your efforts is so wonderfully appreciated by me, Annie, and Jen, but most significantly by our students and their families.  Thank you all!

As we move on from our launching phase to the next phase, the work and efforts will continue be demanding.  I do not know precisely what this next phase will be, but we have found a way to create our own rhythm in this sea of change.  As we move ahead, there will be more bumps and curves, and I know, as we move forward in the year, we will weather them all with skill and grace.  

Happy October UAI! Keep up the excellent work!

Staff Birthdays This Week

My calendar says there are no birthdays this month?
Is that true? Email me if it's wrong!!

STARS Program Updates.  Tomorrow students should be following the 01OCT Program.  I have run into a bit of a wall in uploading this program into STARS.  They've changed some things on the backend to align with their new program "models" - none of which we are following.  As a result, STARS isn't taking our program upload.  I know this will have to change now that they are allowing schools to SBO program variants.  So, I am working with our program support folks to do a work around.  I know that this is super annoying, but I appreciate your patience as I try to find a work-around, yet again.  I'm aiming to solve this issue this week, but in the interim, please use (or continue to use) Google Classroom to track grades and assignments.  In addition, please continue to take attendance in our usual attendance sheet (see next)

Attendance & Advisor Outreach.  Please use the Attendance sheet to track student attendance this week.  It has been updated with the new groups.  Please note, that students with individualized programs may not appear in the group list.  To take their attendance, please search for their names and mark their attendance for your course.  Some key things
  • Attendance Sheet Mistakes.  If you see a mistake on the attendance sheet, please put that in Annie's Parking Lot so that we can fix it!
  • Advisor Contact Log.  I created a tab for you to log your advisee outreach.  This week, we need to be particularly vigilant with our advisees to ensure they are settling into a positive routine and not getting lost.  Please review the attendance sheet daily and use your Advisory Tutoring and Friday Outreach time to connect with advisees who missed any zooms or is falling behind in work this week.  It's particularly important that we be proactive and get ahead of any issues our students may be having before they develop into course failure.  Advisor interactions and outreach are the first tier of intervention.  Please use these three extra periods per week to stay on top of your advisees & help them where needed!  Log your outreach & support in the tab called "Advisor Contact Log" 
  • Advisory Contact Information.  Please feel free to update the "Advisory Contact Info" tab with any more reliable information that you have.
  • Attendance Outreach.  If you are having problems connecting with your advisees, please reach out to Annie for support.  You can track that support in the "Attendance Outreach Log"

Grading, Feedback & MP 1 End.  The first marking period ends on November 13th.  We did start late, so this marking period will be shorter than the others, but please remember to follow the grading and feedback expectations set to you at the start of this year in our UAI Staff Handbook.  Here are the highlights:

Minimum Number of Grades.  For MP1, you should have a minimum of (adjusted for our now 8 week quarter)
  • 20% Participation - 8 participation grades
  • 30% Progress - 8 progress grades
  • 50% Performance - 4 performance grades
Feedback.  In addition, through your Office Hours, Class Time, or Small Groups on Fridays (starting 16OCT), you should have small group or individual feedback sessions for all students, but in particular for students who are not yet mastering course content and skills (and thus in need of some feedback and guidance).  In addition to in-person feedback, all students should be receiving written feedback on formative tasks to understand how better to improve their performance and be ready to demonstrate mastery on the performance tasks you assign.

Google Classroom Turn In.  All assignments should be turned in via Google Classroom.  Google Classroom allows you to readily provide written feedback and can track your grades and which of your students have yet to turn in work.  Also, once parents (and advisors) are associated to your GCs, a report will be issued to let them know which assignments are missing.  Please use this tool.

Per Session Postings

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

Testing Coordinator.  Joanna has moved on from UAI, and we are in need of someone to coordinate all testing and compliance activities.   The testing coordinator manages all components of schoolwide testing.  Historically, tests include DRP, SAT, AP Exams, Regents, Middle School Exams, NYSESLAT, Regents etc.  This year, we do not yet have a clear picture of what exams are being offered, but the testing coordinator will be charged with tracking and organizing around that information as it arises. The testing coordinator reports to Kiri.  Teachers with prior testing coordination experiences preferred (please write about that when completing the form).  Hours will vary as testing periods come and specific requirements of exams.   Please apply by completing the form above and emailing Kir by 19OCT20.

Anti-Racist Committee Work. The Summer Restructuring Committee met to discuss next steps and set plans for the remainder of the year incorporating the feedback that some of you shared in last week's survey (thank you for that!).  Moving forward, the SRC will now be known as the SCHOOL restructuring committee, and we will begin recruiting and selecting members for the committee.  This committee will work in conjunction with the Equity Team to evaluate systems and policies at UAI and take the steps necessary to ensure that they are equitable.  Please COMPLETE THIS FORM by 13OCT20 if you are interested in joining!

Google Classroom Turn In Function and Gradebook

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