Sunday, November 29, 2020

Week of November 30th

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 19
November 30th, 2020

Principal's Message

I do hope wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!!  Hopefully, you also all found the time to rest and recharge, too!  We have three and a half work weeks left in 2020.  This year was....oof...AND we're finally near the end of it.

These next few weeks are traditionally difficult in "normal" times.  But this is the holiday season under COVID.  Just when we want to be closest with our friends and loved ones, we still must continue to physically keep our distance in order to keep this second wave at bay.  So, this season, the holiday stress and anxiety is at all time highs.

The holiday season poses many different stresses and anxieties for each of us and all of our students and their families.  In order to support ourselves and our students through this time, it is important that we teach through grace and empathy - for yourself, for your peers, and most importantly, for your students and their families.

Over the next three and half weeks, the best thing you can do is to be intentional about your time and efforts.  
  • Planning and Grading.  Work assigned requires time planned for grading and/or feedback.  While you plan, make sure you are planning lessons AND planning time for yourself to use to grade.   
  • Outreach and Relationships.  All advisors have time built in to do outreach, but too often that time is dedicated to issues or problem-based outreach.  This month, prioritize building relationships with your time.  Make contact just to say "Hi" and "How are you" or "We're just checking in to see how we can help".  Yes, we will need to address any issues students are having, but make sure you are checking in and connecting to people, first.  You'll find that when you take the time to connect and build relationships, when the time comes to supporting a struggling learner, families who trust and have relationships with you will be the first to answer your call!

  • Work Hard and Self Care.  Strike the balance this month.  Zooming IS fatiguing.  Make sure to plan breaks for yourself in between those zooms.  Give yourself a break between the zooms.  REALLY!  Make sure you have enough time to get up from your desk, walk around your apartment, maybe even do a quick 7-minute workout!  After work, make the time to talk to or zoom with those who refill and recharge you.  Schedule time for you to be outside and away from screens and electronics.

There have been no shortage of challenges this year.  Through each of those, each of you has persisted and grown.  Today, you have a whole new set of skills that you didn't have last March.  Tomorrow, you will begin to develop even more.  Through all of it, these challenges have only made you all stronger, and more skilled in your work.  Keep at it, and stay strong!


Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings

Birthdays This Week

No Staff Bdays this week!
In fact, I don't have listed in DEC....that can't be right!
DO EMAIL ME if this is incorrect!
Sunday, 29NOV:  Mawadda (12)    
Monday, 30NOV:  Brenda (12)
Tuesday, 01DEC:  Nisa (8), Akillya (9), Mina (9)
Wednesday, 02DEC: Heba (6), Alea (9)
Thursday, 03DEC: Amy (6)
Friday, 04DEC: Zaria (6), Nyama (6), Afhnan (11), Reeham (12)
Saturday, 05DEC:  Kaliyah (12)

UAI Committee Updates.  

Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) In our last Circle, we reflected on our journeys into education and exploring the assumptions we’ve made about our students. There weren’t many responses from the survey, but the results are still valuable. Most staff members enjoy getting to know colleagues more and more. The survey also showed a desire to mix up the groups and more think-time on the breakout prompts. The SC Committee will meet this Wednesday to take an in-depth look at the survey feedback to finish planning the next Circle. Our last staff Circle of 2020 is December 11. Our discussion will be a continuation of the last one, with a special attention to our students and families during Covid.

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM).  The SRC met to finalize new school wide policies (see below).  These policies are in effect starting Monday, 30NOV, and the committee plans to re-engage staff on 08JAN21 to check in and revise policies as needed.  Our next meeting is on Monday 30NOV20 and we will begin working on policies and systems to better support our SPED and ENL learners.  

The Equity Team (Suzannah, Nina, Elana, Kelly, Phillan, Annie, Nakita, Rebecca C, Damon, Ms. King (Kianna’s mom), Ms. Barnes (Alyssa’s mom), Ms. Martuscello (Veronica’s mom), Kianna King, Emily Payamps, Jerlai Tyner, Jamilah Alshawish, Salia Naschel).  No updates this week.

Tech Tuesday.  This Tuesday will be another opportunity for students to come in to school and exchange tech.  Kiri will be at school to support students who want to exchange tech from 8:30-10:30 only.  Any staff who need to access the building at that time will be allowed to join me (only from 8:30-10:30).  No students will be allowed entry to the building, however.  If you have any advisee that needs replacement tech but cannot come to UAI, please email Kiri.  Kiri will be dropping of tech to students this week.

Weekly Grade Upload.  Teachers should be uploading grades weekly into Skedula.  Last week was a short week, but all teachers should still have asynchronous and synchronous grades to upload from Mon-Wed of last week.  Please upload grades by the end of the day on Monday. 

Mandated Office Hours.  Any student who missed an assignment last week or the week before should be mandated to Office Hours.  Teachers should inform students and families and let advisors know so they can assist with follow up during their outreach.  As per the new grading policy, missed assignments can only be made up during office hours.  Students who miss office hours this week will receive failing marks for the assignments and advisors will hold parent conferences with students and families about the failing work on Friday.

School Wide Policy Updates.  The SRC met to update policies around Zoom, Google Classrooms, and Grading.  These policies were created with input from the UAI community, particularly our staff, engaging staff in interactive discussions about Google Classrooms and Grading.  We also used survey data to gather input from staff, students, and families.  Please CLICK HERE to review the policies.

Grade Team Meetings.  This week we will have our first actual weekly grade team meetings.  In addition, grade teams will meet at the end of the day on Friday to complete PLOPs for students.  The meeting time does feel like a lot of time, but this is the most efficient means of creating a strong safety net for our students and providing time for teachers to complete required components of IEPs.

Register Parents and Students in Pupilpath.   We need to leverage the tools provided in Pupil Path to increase our ability to communicate with families and students.  Students should already be registered, but advisors can use this powerpoint on how to register for Pupil Path to help students and families sign on.  Advisors can find registration codes on Skedula under the "Pupilpath" link.  Please use the slides to register all students during advisory this week (if they have not already done so), and please use the emails we collected during parent conferences to share registration codes and the slide show with parents.  The goal is to have your entire advisory (parents and students) registered in Pupilpath by the end of the day on Friday.

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.  

The 8th Grade Yearbook Club Supervisor:  Please apply directly to Jen via email AND complete the form linked above.  For this position, you will receive 1 hour of persession each week to lead the 8th Grade Yearbook Club. Your responsibilities include recruiting students for the club, collecting pictures from staff and students from the last three years for the class of 2021 and assisting students in the formatting of the yearbook on our purchased software. Kelly will handle the logistics of purchasing and contact with the company - your role is to guide and support students through the construction of their senior yearbook while simultaneously building their digital literacy skills.   This position requires someone who has contact and relationships with the current 8th graders, who can successfully motivate students to participate in creating a digital yearbook, and who has strong organizational and technical skills to use software, coordinate student meetings, and meet deadlines.  (one position available)

Please CLICK HERE to indicate that you’ve read all the blogpost for this week.

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