Sunday, February 28, 2021

Week of March 1st

 UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 31
March 1st, 2021

Principal's Message

Congratulations to our newest Chancellor,  Meisha Ross Porter! Chancellor Porter is the first black, woman chancellor in New York City.  Additionally, she is a lifelong New York City public school educator, Chancellor Porter brings much needed experience AND perspective that will sheppard us through the end of this crisis and a reboot into in-person learning.  I was lucky enough to work with Meisha as a fellow Urban Assembly principal for many years, and like so many who have worked alongside her, I am absolutely thrilled to have her caliber of leadership, care, and competency at the helm of the DOE.  It is an exciting and wonderful way to begin Women's History Month with Meisha as our new chancellor.  Our schools and our students are in good hands with Meisha, and I am excited to see what she has to bring, and I am thrilled that our school and our students get to see her as a role model for activism and leadership!


 

Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings
There's QUITE A FEW NEW ONES this week!!!

Birthdays This Week

No Birthdays this Week!


Student Birthdays
Sunday, 28FEB21:  Bryanna V (11), Zaria BM (6)
Tuesday, 02MAR21: Diana A (11), Soha H (10)
Wednesday 03MAR21: Stephanie M(11)
Thursday, 04MAR21: Savay (6)  
Saturday, 06MAR21:  Meagan Z(11) Ashlee S (10)



Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) No updates this week.

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM).  The SRC met to review reopening plans for in-person learning in the middle school, and plans to do targeted intervention for students with 3 or more NXes from MP2.  This week will be the first full week of MS in-person learning, and it looks increasingly likely that High School will return in the upcoming weeks.  Middle School staff met on Tuesday to review plans for both reopening and working to better support students who are not successful in remote learning.  We will be reviewing those plans with high grade teams in phases in the upcoming weeks.

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).  This past week the equity team meeting to review teacher and student questionnaire responses and review readings from Fair Isn't Always Equal.  Both teacher and student questionnaires revealed that there is still some confusion around the current UAI grading policy.  The reading this week was focused on grading for effort and participation. Next week we are meeting with the Mastery Collaborative to learn more about what mastery based grading actually means.  


Elevate Coaches Start This Week! Grades 6-9 advisories will begin their series of study skills lessons with Elevate coaches this week.  Please double check your scheduled time and make sure your links work.  If you have not received an email from our Elevate contact, Mike Honiball (mike@elevateeducation.com) with your coach information and lessons, please reach out to him directly and cc Jen so that she can provide support where needed.

Support our Students! Sophomores Oyinade Falope and Hussna Buldan are in need of our help. They formed a petition fighting for the representation of black women in Brooklyn NYC monuments.  They did a lot of promotions to get people's signatures on the petition and they were able to secure 85 signatures within 3 days but they haven't had any for a while. If they are able to secure enough signatures they might be able to see the statue of one of the black heroes we chose, Jane Bolin, in Brooklyn. Please let's help them!  Please share their link: https://www.change.org/p/joseph-r-biden-displaying-black-heroes-in-brooklyn-nyc (And you can also search Displaying Black Heroes In Brooklyn NYC on change.org) in your own personal social media  and please share with your advisees and families this week to really get the word out!  Let's see if we can turn that 85 to 850 by the end of the week!!


Peer Mentoring Program.  Damon is leading the work to build our first Peer Mentoring Program. There were an outstanding number of applications from students, but we still need staff recommendations for students who could benefit from having a peer mentor. Here's where you can make this a success...
  1. Open Peer Mentorship Teacher Recommendations and enter the names of students who would benefit from this program
  2. Please talk o the student you are recommending. We don't want to cold call them and have them be upset about being contacted to be supported. A quick mention in advisory or email would be sufficient.

March Not Madness. Next week, we will share plans for our annual March Not Madness celebration of mindfulness, self-care, and general appreciation of our staff!   So, please make sure we have the correct mailing address for you for the month of March.  There's still some folks who haven't given us their most up to date information, so please let us know your mailing address by completing this FORM.  

First Full Week of MS In-Person Learning. We are still refining the in-person return to learning program, so teachers, please continue to check the program as it is not yet final as in-person changes are still occurring.  For example, for students who are already in-person, we are opening the option to them to join us four days a week.  Many of Amy's advisory already said yes, and we'll hear from Sarah & Phillan's advisories tomorrow!  In addition, we're bringing our 6/7 graders who had three or more NXes in MP2 for four days a week to better support them in their academic growth and success.  So, as these changes occur, we will need to accommodate students needs.  

Post Grades Weekly. Please review the UAI grading policy and make time in your week to grade and provide feedback to students each week.  Grades should be posted weekly, as a reminder.


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.  

Hiring Committee.  Posting closed.  Thank you to everyone who applied!

Applied:  Cherry, Damon, Doris, Judy, Kelly, Marsha, Nadine, Nakita, Nina, Phillan, Rebecca C, Sarah R, Suzanna

Staffed:  Still TBD



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

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Week of February 22nd

 UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 30
February 22nd 2021

Principal's Message

Welcome back from the Midwinter Recess!  Hopefully, each of you were able to recharge and relax over the vacation.  This past year has been a challenge and a marathon, and making sure we prioritize time to recharge will be key to the longevity of our success this school year.

In a few short weeks we will reach the one-year mark of teaching and learning in Remote School.  Too frequently, it's too easy to focus on everywhere we fall short.  It's a testament to your commitment to excellence and providing the highest quality education & learning experiences for our students.  This past year has been a year of firsts for all of us - students, staff, and families alike!  As we have learned to master new ways of teaching, our students & families are learning to master new ways of learning.  Our success rate is far below what would happen in the usual, in-person learning world.  But when you take a step back and flip the perspective, another view is that the overwhelming majority of our students have managed to thrive in this brand new way kind of school.

Focusing on where we can continually improve is essential for continued growth.  However, just as rest and recharging is essential for stamina and persistence, making time to appreciate your students' achievements (and thus your own success) is essential for your own sense of self-efficacy.  

So, as we move forward into the Spring term and pass the one-year mark of learning in the time of COVID, create a new routine for yourself that allows you to take regular stock of all that went well in the week.  Recognize that your students' successes are the results of your thoughts, ideas, and efforts in planning and executing lessons and learning experiences that lead them to those achievements.  Celebrate your students and then, celebrate yourself!  


 

Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings
There's QUITE A FEW NEW ONES this week!!!

Birthdays This Week

Happy Birthday Alison (Monday, 22FEB)!!


Student Birthdays
Sunday, 21FEB21:  Jenese V(6)
Monday, 22FEB21:  Daliah G (7)
Tuesday, 23FEB21: Sky C (8)
Wednesday 24FEB21: Sumaya(12), Fatima(11), Abijayil(10),
Eman(9), Adrianna(9), Ciara (8)
                                                    Thursday, 25FEB21: Madison W(11)
                                                   Friday, 26FEB21:  Geriyah (9)



Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) No updates this week.

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM).  The SRC will be meeting to review scheduling plans for the return to In Person learning for the middle school.  All middle school will receive their program updates once the SRC has approved all changes (Tuesday 23FEB).

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).  The equity team will resume work this Thursday, February 25th by researching equitable grading practices by reading Fair Isn't Always Equal and analyzing the data collected from the teacher and student surveys regarding the UAI grading policy.



UAI Final Black History Month Activities.  This week is our last week of Black History month.  Many thanks to all the folks who have pulled together a fabulous month of activities.  Please show your support with our students by joining as many of these activities as you can to finish out this month of celebration strong!




March Not Madness.
We are planning some activities for our annual March Not Madness celebration of mindfulness, self-care, and general appreciation of our staff!  Because we are in COVID, we're going to need to mail some things home to you all.  So, please make sure we have the correct mailing address for you for the month of March.  Please let us know your mailing address by completing this FORM.  

Middle School Return to In Person Learning. The SRC will be meeting on Monday afternoon to review program changes for in-person learning.   On Tuesday afternoon, Office Hours will be cancelled for all Middle School Teachers and Paras for a mandatory meeting about the re-opening of in-person learning on Thursday, 25FEB for students in grades 6-8.   Please join the meeting at 2PM to review the schedule changes and important announcements:  
Meeting ID: 918 5840 3438
Passcode: mTRf9N

Town Hall for Middle School Families. We will also be holding a Town Hall meeting for Middle School students and Families on Tuesday at 5PM.  Middle School Advisors, please share with your families and students:
Meeting ID: 960 7827 3960
Passcode: UAIwelcome

Post Grades Weekly. As a reminder, please make time to post up weekly grades into Skedula so students and families have a timely understanding about how students are growing and performing in your classes.  Our next round of family conferences are in three weeks.  Regular posting to Skedula ensure that students and families aren't surprised by anything come SLC time!


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.  

Hiring Committee.  We are forming our hiring committee.  During hiring season, members selected to the committee should be ready to spend 1-5 hours per week doing the following activities:

  • Candidate Recruitment
    • Outreach to colleges and universities - Including NYS & NYC, and also HBCUs, 
    • Researching and finding and attending hiring fairs for people of color
    • Present at hiring fairs and actively recruit attendees to UAI Interviews
    • Outreach to communities and community organizations
    • Leverage Social Media, and current UAI Community Connections to find staff
    • Develop creative approaches for reaching and maximizing the number of candidates of color applying to work at UAI.

  • Create a strong presentation of who we are (visual and verbal)
    • Leverage what makes us special!
      • Highlight anti-racist work, creative programming, Juneteenth, all-girls, college and career focused, mission as a whole, teacher growth focus, teacher-centered/planned PD’s
    • Provide content on UAI Website around hiring, staffing, and UAI community to provide a public facing sense of what it is like to be part of our community
  • Facilitate interviews and demo lessons/debriefs
    • Conduct panel and individual interviews
    • Review demo lesson plans, and independently learn any new content to be prepared to conduct comprehensive debrief of demo lessons


Candidates for this Position will be Selected using the following criteria:
Ability to present the school well - focusing on things to highlight
Capacity to remain open and intentionally weigh many factors, and refrain from making quick judgements
Commitment to criteria and the the UAI hiring process
Commitment to anti-racist work and mission of UAI
Effective teachers with a solid understanding of instruction and discipline

8 positions available (representing all positions in HS & MS) Posting closes 22FEB21.  Please complete the per session interest form and email Kiri & Annie.



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

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Week of February 8th

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 29
February 8th, 2021

Principal's Message

Today I want to celebrate the amazing work that nearly all of our staff have done this week.  Nearly every single teacher found meaningful and important ways to center and celebrate black history and individual black achievements in math, science, politics, and art.  Throughout multiple subjects and multiple grades, our students are learning about their rich histories and in so doing, we are beginning to build and nurture within them the strength and self-love that knowing themselves and their cultural histories & achievements brings.

New York State Standards (and related exams) and College Board Exams center the white American and European histories & achievements.  This year of global transformation has not allowed the time for these standards to catch up to the world that we are now inhabiting.  As we begin to re-open our buildings, we must remember that this is not an invitation to return to "normal".  Our old "normal" did not center the culture and history of our black and brown students.  That "normal" is now done.  Our return needs to bring with it a transformation - not only in our school policies, but also in our school curriculum and pedagogical practices.  We have begun the work to transform our school from a global perspective with policy shifts.  Now, we are beginning the work of making ideas and thoughts into real change my creating changes within classrooms - which is precisely where our students and their families will benefit most.

Without a doubt, this is an amazingly huge lift at the same time that you are all feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stretched thin.  However, it is a true testament to your own strength & incredibly commitment to our students and our school community that so many of you have dug deep  (and in many cases first taught yourselves about the histories & culture).  As a result of your incredible work, our students have these experiences happening in almost every grade and every discipline! Here's some samples that I pulled from just surfing through Google Classrooms as a student:

Social Studies:  The social studies team is using a variety of resources (both externally and internally created) to help students understand the systems & development of American Systemic Racism and the modern day impact it has on communities of color.  Here are some of the things they have done (and are continuing to work on) so far this month.
Science:  Like the social studies team, UAI science teacher teams are using a variety of self-created and external resources to learn about and teach about issues impacting our black and brown students.
  • Middle School & Living Environment students are studying COVID 19, the vaccines, and the impact on black and brown communities in particular through a Health Equity unit 
  • In both Middle and High School Science Classes, students are learning about the Black Women Scientists behind the vaccine and Learning about many other black scientists contributing to both Biology and Earth Science.
  • APES and 11th Grade Environmental Justice students have been and will continue to examine the impact of Environmental Racism on marginalized communities and communities of color.

English:  In their English classes, students are learning about a wide variety of black culture. Here are some highlights:
  • Middle schools students are studying Langston Hughes and The Great Migration.
  • In high school the 10th and 11th graders are starting their unit on Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me
  • Seniors in LINCT ELA are in the midst of their psychology unit, in particular learning about Cognitive Bias.
Math - Most math classes are continuing along their current syllabi.  Ms. Nina incorporates Highlights of UAI's Black History Month activities, and Mini Lessons on how Black Americans have contributed to the social, political, and cultural mosaic of America in addition to her usual math instruction.  I encourage all of the math team to do the same AND to check out this week's UAI Black History Month activity with Ms. Phillan & Jaeda Lacey as they interview the hosts of the podcast, Abolition Science.


There are many other activities and electives, like Ms. Elena's senior elective on the Afro-Latina culture and her 10th graders sharing their own personal identities while learning basic adjectives and familial nouns.  Overall, as a community, we have come together to leverage the spark of Black History month to shift our instruction to create a learning environment where our students and our families feel seen, valued, and loved.  

I am so proud of the work that each of you have done this week.  I am so impressed by your commitment and grit it required to pull this through in your own personal exhaustion and whelm.  I thank you, our families thank you, and most of all, our students thank you (or will one day, when they look back and see the impact that your work and curricular choices made on their own lives)

Thank you UAI - Let's keep it going throughout this entire month, for sure, and throughout the remainder of the year and into next.  Curricular change is the beginning of what real change towards becoming an Anti-Racist school looks like, and it is one of the most significant levers we can pull to move our school forward in attaining our goal of being an Anti-Racist and fully inclusive school.

  




 

Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings
There's QUITE A FEW NEW ONES this week!!!

Birthdays This Week

Happy Birthday Kelly (Next Week, 16FEB21)!!
Happy Birthday Elana (Next Week, 19FEB21)!!

Student Birthdays
Monday, 08FEB21:  Danae W(6)
Tuesday, 09FEB21: Kyra F (8), Jamie S (8), Daniela SD(8), Saniyah (10)
Wednesday 10FEB21: Jovana (12), Mariam C (10)
Thursday, 11FEB21: Fahima A(12), Gaboul (7)

                                                         



Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) No updates this week.

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM).  The SRC next meet on Monday 08FEB21.  The SRC Subcommittees will begin meeting this week to begin their work on Scheduling and collecting COVID lessons learned.  We will be releasing updates to the Grading, Zoom, and Google Classroom Policies, integrating your survey feedback later this week! Thank you to all who contributed!

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


UAI Black History Month Activities.  Many thanks to all who joined in on the activities this week.  It definitely sends a strong message to our students that we are there with them!  Participating in these activities that our School Culture Committee worked hard to organize also shows our support and respect for the teams' work!  So, please join in and encourage your students to also join when they can!





SPOTLIGHT on The Importance of Outreach. 
Calling homes and remaining in constant contact with families is a big lift, and sometimes can feel futile.  However, persistence always pays off.  I want to highlight Ms. Cherry's success with family outreach this marking period.  Like many teachers, Ms. Cherry had an inordinate amount of students who were not turning in assignments and/or not attending live zooms.  Continually, Ms. Cherry reached out to families and listened to frustrated parents and guardians and unmotivated teens.  Countless hours and non-stop efforts finally paid off when students began to turn around.  They began completing the work and coming to class, and Ms. Cherry's constant contact with her students and their families helped everyone better understand what needed to be done to achieve standards and what support existed to help them get there!  As a result, more than half of her students who were not meeting standards in December managed to work hard, get support, and turn those grades into passing grades.  Excellent work Ms. Cherry!  We appreciate all your efforts and hard work and our students and their families do too!


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.  

Peer Mentoring Program.  Posting Closed

Applied:  Phillan, Jelissa, Damon, Nina, Kristina, Emma
Staffed:  Damon (lead), Phillan, Jelissa, Nina, Emma, Kristina

Hiring Committee.  We are forming our hiring committee.  During hiring season, members selected to the committee should be ready to spend 1-5 hours per week doing the following activities:

  • Candidate Recruitment
    • Outreach to colleges and universities - Including NYS & NYC, and also HBCUs, 
    • Researching and finding and attending hiring fairs for people of color
    • Present at hiring fairs and actively recruit attendees to UAI Interviews
    • Outreach to communities and community organizations
    • Leverage Social Media, and current UAI Community Connections to find staff
    • Develop creative approaches for reaching and maximizing the number of candidates of color applying to work at UAI.

  • Create a strong presentation of who we are (visual and verbal)
    • Leverage what makes us special!
      • Highlight anti-racist work, creative programming, Juneteenth, all-girls, college and career focused, mission as a whole, teacher growth focus, teacher-centered/planned PD’s
    • Provide content on UAI Website around hiring, staffing, and UAI community to provide a public facing sense of what it is like to be part of our community
  • Facilitate interviews and demo lessons/debriefs
    • Conduct panel and individual interviews
    • Review demo lesson plans, and independently learn any new content to be prepared to conduct comprehensive debrief of demo lessons


Candidates for this Position will be Selected using the following criteria:
Ability to present the school well - focusing on things to highlight
Capacity to remain open and intentionally weigh many factors, and refrain from making quick judgements
Commitment to criteria and the the UAI hiring process
Commitment to anti-racist work and mission of UAI
Effective teachers with a solid understanding of instruction and discipline

8 positions available (representing all positions in HS & MS) Posting closes 22FEB21.  Please complete the per session interest form and email Kiri & Annie.



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

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Week of February 1st

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 28
February 1st, 2021

Principal's Message

Black History Month kicks off on Monday!!  We at UAI should be celebrating Black History every month - not just the shortest one.  February is our chance to EXTRA celebrate Black History.  In addition to the wonderful work that our UAI Culture Committee has done (see below), please find ways within your classes and advisories to make meaningful connections to Black History and find ways to center the black experiences in your lessons and activities.  Scroll down to the announcements to see some ways you can do this!

In addition to work in your own classes, please support our Culture Committee!

The Culture Committee is super excited about our Black History Month line-up of events and activities. 
In addition to in-day and after-school programming, Suzanna and Rebecca will also be sharing slides with you that cover African American Art and Culture and Historical Figures that can be used as Intro slides and attendance questions to engage kids in conversation. 

The month will not be successful, however, if staff does not hype-up and celebrate these activities with our  students. With student engagement and morale at a low, this is a perfect opportunity to insert fun, meaningful and culturally responsive activities into our everyday school experience. 

I know the 10th grade team is going to use a point system with students to encourage participation in activities and make the month a fun competition. Other ways to encourage student engagement: Offer extra to join, Join an activity as a class, Make daily announcements in Advisory and Classes, Post events in your GC, Invite parents from advisory, Assign student ambassadors from your grade to promote events on tik tok and social media. 

Thank you!
Jen, Nina, Elana, Phillan, Rebecca F. and Suzannah 

  




 

Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings
There's QUITE A FEW NEW ONES this week!!!

Birthdays This Week

Happy Birthday Nadine (Today, 31JAN21)!!
Happy Birthday Pauline (Tomorrow, 01FEB21)!!

Couldn't Post Student Bdays this week
Lost the Doc when I upgrades my OS
And then ATS was down today
Next week we'll return!

                                                         



Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) No updates this week.

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM).  The SRC next meet on Monday 08FEB21.  The SRC Subcommittees will begin meeting this week to begin their work on Scheduling and collecting COVID lessons learned.  We will be releasing updates to the Grading, Zoom, and Google Classroom Policies, integrating your survey feedback later this week! Thank you to all who contributed!

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).  This week the Equity Team met to plan interview questions for Friday's staff PD to gain a better understanding of how teachers implement the grading policy.   We were able to conduct interviews and find examples of how teachers grade participation, progress, and performance.  Thank you everyone for your helpful insight and information! We will be discussing this data along with readings from Fair Isn't Always Equal in our next meeting on Thursday, February 4th.  

DOE Fall Learning Survey.  Thank you to all already completed the DOE Fall Learning Survey in their advisories this week.  We had 11 teachers, 108 students, and 3 families complete the survey.  Please make it a priority to complete this survey with your advisory (you should also complete it too) AND please encourage your families to also provide us feedback!  The deadline is Friday, 05FEB21. 

NX Tracker and Final MP2 Grades.  Please complete and upload your final MP2 grades by 3PM tomorrow, 01FEB21.  In addition, please complete the NX tracker for any student receiving an NX in your course by 3PM tomorrow.

PD Agenda for Tomorrow.  Here's tomorrow's Agenda and Zoom Link (We'll use the same link all day).

  • Agenda
    • Goals
      • Reflect on and evaluate our fall work towards becoming and Anti-Racist School in order to inform our work for the spring and beyond.
      • Revisit Co-teaching agreements and reflect on the health and function of co-teaching relationships to inform and refine agreements for increased productive work for the spring.
      • Build community relationships to create stronger foundations for our work as a school community.
      • Streamline Google Classrooms to remove unintentional barriers to learning for students.
    • Sessions
      • 8:30 - Reflecting and Refinine our Anti-Racist Work
      • 9:30 - Co-Teaching Relationships
      • 10:30 - Co-Planning Time
      • 12:00 - Lunch
      • 1:00 - Staff Circles
      • 2:00 - Google Classroom Standardization
      • 2:40-4:10 - Co-Planning Time

>>REPOST<< Planning Ahead.  As you prepare to plan for the Spring Term, remember to be the light!  You are sanctioned to take a break from the "typical" curriculum path.  On Friday Pedro Noguera tweeted a quote that perfectly encapsulates the why this is so important now.

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine the world anew. This one is is a portal between one world and the next. We can walk through dragging our prejudice and hatred, or we can walk through ready to imagine a new world.- Arundhati Roy (author of The God of Small Things)

No one is mandated to work collaboratively on interdisciplinary projects, but all are actively encouraged to find ways to take advantage of the current state of the world.  Whether is it within your discipline or alongside a peer, reach through the world's current events to maximize the relevance of the historical moment we are all living through to hook the excitement and engagement of our students.  Here are some ideas that Annie & I have had the opportunity to discuss with teachers during check-ins in the last couple of weeks.
  • How do vaccines work and how is the COVID vaccine a huge scientific leap forward (and very different) from traditional vaccines?  How can I educate my community to better understand and thus feel safer about taking the vaccine when it becomes available? 
    • Center The Black Experience now - how has COVID impacted black communities? Why?  What needs to happen now in order for this to be corrected?

  • What is the "Point of No Return" when it comes to climate change?  Why do they describe it so and how close are we really?  How do we know? What can I as a young person do to help reverse our trajectory towards this point?
    • Center Communities of Color - How does climate change disproportionately impact communities of color?  Why is that happening, and what needs to change?

  • How have the structures and laws put in place by America's "Founding Fathers" created the institutionalized racism that exists today? What changes need to happen today to demolish these structures and rebuild a more equitable and just nation?

  • What impact does social isolation have on mental health?  In particular, what is the impact of social isolation on the mental health of student of color? What are the symptoms of these impacts and what can I do to support myself and my community in rectifying these negative impacts? 

  • What is the socio-economic impact of a college education for black and brown students living in poverty?  How can I know if college is a good investment for me and my family?
There's a bajillion other things to do.  Reach out to Kiri, Annie or Jen if you have an idea (or need ideas) and/or need help with developing activities, lessons or units!


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.  

Peer Mentoring Program.  In a dual effort to provide students with academic support AND opportunities for leadership, we are launching a peer-mentoring program.  We are looking for 1-3 staff members to develop & lead this program that will be able to provide students with academic support from peers as well as provide students with leadership and mentoring experience.  In addition to building academic and mentoring skills, the goal of this program is to build student relationships and school community.  Please complete the per session form and email Annie with your interest.  Hours will range from 1-3 hours per week per staff member. Posting closes 01FEB.

Hiring Committee.  We are forming our hiring committee.  During hiring season, members selected to the committee should be ready to spend 1-5 hours per week doing the following activities:

  • Candidate Recruitment
    • Outreach to colleges and universities - Including NYS & NYC, and also HBCUs, 
    • Researching and finding and attending hiring fairs for people of color
    • Present at hiring fairs and actively recruit attendees to UAI Interviews
    • Outreach to communities and community organizations
    • Leverage Social Media, and current UAI Community Connections to find staff
    • Develop creative approaches for reaching and maximizing the number of candidates of color applying to work at UAI.

  • Create a strong presentation of who we are (visual and verbal)
    • Leverage what makes us special!
      • Highlight anti-racist work, creative programming, Juneteenth, all-girls, college and career focused, mission as a whole, teacher growth focus, teacher-centered/planned PD’s
    • Provide content on UAI Website around hiring, staffing, and UAI community to provide a public facing sense of what it is like to be part of our community
  • Facilitate interviews and demo lessons/debriefs
    • Conduct panel and individual interviews
    • Review demo lesson plans, and independently learn any new content to be prepared to conduct comprehensive debrief of demo lessons


Candidates for this Position will be Selected using the following criteria:
Ability to present the school well - focusing on things to highlight
Capacity to remain open and intentionally weigh many factors, and refrain from making quick judgements
Commitment to criteria and the the UAI hiring process
Commitment to anti-racist work and mission of UAI
Effective teachers with a solid understanding of instruction and discipline

8 positions available (representing all positions in HS & MS) Posting closes 22FEB21.  Please complete the per session interest form and email Kiri & Annie.



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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Week of January 25th

UAI Staff News

Volume VIII
Issue 27
January 25th, 2021

Principal's Message

As we bring this semester to a close, each of you have worked so hard to reach through the silica screens to connect with and challenge our students.  Each day, you have wracked your minds to find new ways to help our students achieve the standards you have set.

Yet, each day, I know if feels as if it is just not enough.  Each day, I know I ask more of you and you feel overwhelmed and frustrated.  That sense of endless giving for little reward can be oppressive and darkening to your efforts and mood.

However, each day I see what is hard for you to see.  I see your faces, your love, and your care shine through the screens to your students.  I hear our families speak of the warmth and care our staff has when you reach out to them.  I can witness this easier than you.  As the amazing Ms. Gorman said, "There is always light if you are brave enough to see it."  I imagine that for each of you it is hard to see the light, because you are the light.  

So, today, as we begin our pivot to the Spring Term, I want to pause and be your mirror and encourage you to be brave enough to see yourself through the eyes of our students and families.  You are the light in their darkness!  You are the one who brings the structure of normalcy (classes, learning...and school).  You are the light who brings warmth and love when you call home and when you put firmly push for excellence - as Dr. Carrerra always called it - your firmth!  You are the light that brings reason and sense to their world that has been upended, blended, and just plain crazy.

Next week, we begin the Spring term and take our steps on the path back to some normalcy.  Make sure to create time to tend to your light and to be brave and strong enough to let it blaze fiercely.  You are leading us all back to a more just, culturally responsive, and enriching learning environment!  This Spring, allow yourself the joy of exploring the possibilities of teaching & learning and push yourself to achieving true wonder in your classes.   That is when your light shines brightest and when your students and our families find inspiration, love and support to grow and achieve!
 

Don't Forget To Scroll To the Bottom to See This Week's Per Session Postings
There's QUITE A FEW NEW ONES this week!!!

Birthdays This Week

No Staff Birthdays This Week

Wednesday, 27JAN:  Bashair (6), Sapphire (8)
Thursday, 28JAN:  Jamara (6)
Friday, 29JAN:  Aysha A (8)
Saturday, 30JAN:  Elysia (10), Haneen (10)

                                                         



Staff Circles Committee (Members: Annie, Jennifer, Juelle, Marsha, & Nakita) No updates this week.

School Restructuring Committee (Members: Annie, Courtney, Jen, Kiri, Laura, Marsha, Nadine, Nina, and SarahM).  The SRC will meet on Monday 25JAN to review plans for moving forward with Sub Committee work on Hiring, Scheduling, and Thinking about what to Keep from our Lessons learned during COVID and Remote Learning.

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).  The equity team met on Tuesday 1/19 to compare 8th grade ELA and Math Scores and GPA to ELA and Math Regents Scores and GPA throughout high school.  We identified that most students who enter UAI in 9th grade do make academic gains, but there is still disproportionality between our Black and Asian students' grades.  

We continue our work by breaking off into two teams to do research.  One group will be reading Fair Isn't Always Equal to explore and discuss what it means to equitable grade.  The other group will work with students and teachers to interview about our current grading policy and how it is implemented.


Last Chance!  Thank you to all who provided feedback on the Grading, Zoom, and Google Classroom Policies.  We got 32 responses!!  There's still a few more that we would like to hear from.  Please take a minute to complete this survey as soon as you can!

NX Communication.  MP2 ends this Wednesday, 27JAN21.  For any students who will be receiving an NX for your course, please make sure to do the following by Friday 29JAN21:
  1. Please contact home and discuss with the families why the student has not yet met course standards and what they need to do in MP3 in order to meet standards by the end of MP3.
  2. For any family that you are unable to speak to, please let Kiri, Annie or Jen know and we will provide you with assistance and support.  It's super important that you have conversations with families so that they understand why their child is not yet passing and they understand what they can do to better support learning at home!
 
Weekly Grade Upload.  This week, please work on finalizing MP2 grades.  If you can upload grades from last week, great!  If not, prioritize finalizing MP2 grades for upload into Skedula and for submission into PADs by next Monday.

Planning Ahead.  As you prepare to plan for the Spring Term, remember to be the light!  You are sanctioned to take a break from the "typical" curriculum path.  On Friday Pedro Noguera tweeted a quote that perfectly encapsulates the why this is so important now.
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine the world anew. This one is is a portal between one world and the next. We can walk through dragging our prejudice and hatred, or we can walk through ready to imagine a new world.- Arundhati Roy (author of The God of Small Things)

No one is mandated to work collaboratively on interdisciplinary projects, but all are actively encouraged to find ways to take advantage of the current state of the world.  Whether is it within your discipline or alongside a peer, reach through the world's current events to maximize the relevance of the historical moment we are all living through to hook the excitement and engagement of our students.  Here are some ideas that Annie & I have had the opportunity to discuss with teachers during check-ins in the last couple of weeks.
  • How do vaccines work and how is the COVID vaccine a huge scientific leap forward (and very different) from traditional vaccines?  How can I educate my community to better understand and thus feel safer about taking the vaccine when it becomes available?

  • What is the "Point of No Return" when it comes to climate change?  Why do they describe it so and how close are we really?  How do we know? What can I as a young person do to help reverse our trajectory towards this point?

  • How have the structures and laws put in place by America's "Founding Fathers" created the institutionalized racism that exists today? What changes need to happen today to demolish these structures and rebuild a more equitable and just nation?

  • What impact does social isolation have on mental health?  What are the symptoms of these impacts and what can I do to support myself and my community in rectifying these negative impacts?

  • What is the socio-economic impact of a college education for black and brown students living in poverty?  How can I know if college is a good investment for me and my family?
There's a bajillion other things to do.  You could analyze Amanda Gorman's speech in your English classes, take a deep dive into the Impeachment process, or study the Paris Climate Accords.  You could analyze the impact on of COVID on communities of color and conduct a research project on why that is and what needs to happen to ensure that those same communities are not further oppressed as vaccination begins to be more wide-spread.  Allow yourself to dream, and then reign it in to make it achievable and exciting for you and your students!  Above all, if you find something that excites and inspires you, you'll be giving yourself a little chicken soup for your own soul, and in so doing, you'll be strengthening your light!

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.  

Peer Mentoring Program.  In a dual effort to provide students with academic support AND opportunities for leadership, we are launching a peer-mentoring program.  We are looking for 1-3 staff members to develop & lead this program that will be able to provide students with academic support from peers as well as provide students with leadership and mentoring experience.  In addition to building academic and mentoring skills, the goal of this program is to build student relationships and school community.  Please complete the per session form and email Annie with your interest.  Hours will range from 1-3 hours per week per staff member. Posting closes 01FEB.

Summer School Curriculum Writers.  In preparation for summer school, we need teachers to work collaboratively to write units and lessons plans for summer school NX students.  These curriculum writers will be expected to work 1-2 hours per week to meet/write/review units and lesson plans for the summer.  The goal will be to have fully complete lessons that can be reviewed with summer school staff by Monday, 14JUN21.  The team will be working on core subjects and working in conjunction with Annie and Kiri.  There will be 4-6 positions available.  Posting closes on 25JAN21.  Please complete the per session form and email Kiri to apply. Posting closes 25JAN.

SRC Sub CommitteesPositions Staffed

Applied: Scheduling Subcommittee - Damon, Brodie, Jean COVID Lessons Learned - Damon

Staffed: Scheduling Subcommittee - Damon, Brodie, Jean COVID Lessons Learned - Damon

Data Team.  The Equity Team and SRC are in need of data support.  We need a team of folks who have experience with basic functions in excel (using formulas, sorting, filtering, creating charts, etc.) and have a willingness to learn to master DOE data platforms (ATS, STARS, New Visions Data Portal).   The job will be to access DOE data platforms to pull requested data (as requested by the Equity Team or SRC) and use tools (like Excel) to present that data in accessible formats for the Equity & SRC teams and for the staff and community in general.  Hours will vary as needed, but will average at 1-2 hours per week (in training and working).  Posting is open through 25JAN, please complete the per session interest form and email Kiri if interested. Posting closes 25JAN.

Academic Skill Development Advisory Lesson Developer. The Counseling Team is looking for on person to help create advisory lessons that will support student academic skill building. Topics include, but are not limited to: Navigating GC efficiently, How to use Google Calendar to support time management and work submission, How to Navigate Pupil Path to support Informed decision making. The Ideal candidate will create at least 1 unit of lessons (8-10 lessons) . Lessons must include both the lesson plan for advisors and accompanying slides and student activities. Approx 20 hours of per session total. Posting closes on 25JAN. Please complete the per session interest form and email Jen if interested. Posting closes 25JAN.

Black History Month Community Activity Submissions. The Culture Committee is beginning to plan Black History Community Activities and we are looking for a wider range of staff voice and ideas. If you would like to help plan a community event for February, please complete the per session form ASAP. This year’s theme for Black History Month this year is: The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. Approx 10 hours of per session total per position with a minimum of two positions. 
Posting closes 25JAN.

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