Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week of December 22nd

UAI High School Staff News

Volume II
Issue 19
Week of December 22nd  2014


Last Post of 2014!  It's hard to believe how quickly this term has flown by, but here we are at the last blog post of 2014!!   It has been a year of many changes, but as a ending punctuation point to 2014, UAI has had an amazing fall term.  Monday and Tuesday are regularly scheduled classes.  Monday, we will have our usual grade teams and Pods.  On Tuesday, we will all be rapidly dismissing at the end of 7th period to launch into a well-earned vacation!

Policy and Procedure Reminders.  The end of the calendar year is a great time to do a little refresher on school policies and procedures.  In particular, two questions seem to arise more often than others these days.  One - what's the policy on cell phones, and two - the reminder system - when do students get removed?  We'll be discussing this in more detail during PD today, but here's some refreshers

  • Throughout the reminder system, students are reminded and given option to correct their behavior three separate times.  On the 4th time, they are removed from class and given a disciplinary consequence as defined by the Citywide Discipline Code.
  • Unless provided explicit direction from the teacher having/using a cellphone is breaking school rules.  According to our system of reminders, when students break a rule, they receive one reminder to correct it.  If after one reminder, they cannot correct the behavior (e.g. put the phone away), then they jump to a principal's referral.
Here's the section from the UAI Staff Handbook that explains this policy.   

Classroom technology will be provided to each classroom. Each classroom teacher must sign a teacher technology contract and put down a $75 deposit on the classroom's cart.  The classroom teacher(s) are responsible for the maintaining the carts in good condition. Students must also sign a student technology contract to be eligible to use classroom technology.

Student-owned technology use within the classroom is at grade team's discretion. All students, prior to using any student-owned technology in the classroom, however, must return a signed electronics policy contract back to their advisor. Examples of personal electronics in the classroom are Kindles, iPads and other eReaders (like Nooks). Smart Phone use in the classroom is not approved. As with all electronics, it is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to make all electronics expectations (how, when and what) explicit and monitor individual student use during the day. Inappropriate use of electronics consists of (but is not limited to): Facebook, YouTube, eBay, Games, Texting, Web Searches and completing work for other classes.   There is NO Electronics use outside of the classroom (Stairwells, hallways, bathrooms). As with all school rules, students are given a reminder to change behavior and adhere to rules. Failure to do will result in confiscation of device. All devices must be immediately submitted to the dean/admin closest to you by the end of the period.

If a student has had their electronic device confiscated, the item will be given to the Dean and can be picked-up at the end of the day. Dean will also follow-up with a phone call to the student’s home.

All food must be eaten in the cafeteria.  If students are seen eating in class or the hallways, again, give them the initial warning and ask them to put the item away/throw it out. If the student does not follow your directive, refer incident to the Dean/Administrator on your floor.

Tuesday, December 23rd. We will be dismissing everyone at the end of 7th period on Tuesday. Please escort your 7th period class from the building at the end of the day. Prior to starting 7th period, make sure all students have everything they need from their lockers. No one will be allowed back into the building. There is no after school . Please make sure that prior to dismissal you have secured all technology and any other valuables that you do not want stolen or damaged. The building will be closed over the break for cleaning and minor repairs.

The first day back to school is Monday, January 5th.

That's the only important date I'm going to share right now ;-)

Have a safe, wonderful, and relaxing winter recess!! You all deserve it for the incredible work that you've done to make UAI HS so amazing this year!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week of December 15th

UAI High School Staff News

Volume II
Issue 18
Week of December 15th  2014


Bookends of Celebration.  We started the week with Well-Developed news and ended it with good times with the UAI family.  We've worked long and hard to make UAI a great school.  It was a wonderful win for everyone to finally get the recognition that we deserve, and finally to celebrate with our UAI family.

The Last Full Week of School Before the Winter Break.  In between the good times, the kids have gotten frisky.  The Chancellor is putting extra emphasis on the 7th and 10th grades, as grades in need of some TLC.  She's not wrong.  Something happens in the neurological development of kids at these critical stages.  That coupled with the social status of a middle grade makes for quite a volatile combination.  In addition, the holidays is a stressful time for everyone, and our young ones have not quite mastered handling stress.  So to help them this week, we need to make sure that we're on our A-games this week.   In particular for this week please

  • Stick to the system of reminders and call me/Jen/Colleen/Pamela if students cannot correct their behavior after the 3rd reminder.
  • If you hear rumblings of drama, please outreach to the grade social worker immediately.  Don't assume that someone else has done it.  It's better for us to be repetitive than to miss something.
  • Grade teams should coordinate calendars.  When all their teachers have tests/due dates on the same date, this exacerbates stress (and subsequent drama).  Try to stagger dates as much as possible!
As a final reminder, kids sometimes just want to know we care.  So, take a moment to check in with the quiet ones this week and make some good calls home so that those kids can enjoy some extra holiday cheer.

How cool is this (and the questions that it raises).  A friend of mine who teaches science at PS295 posted this video on her Facebook page.  She called it "How the Chinese Multiply".  It is super cool and made me think about the kinds of questioning that could happen.  On the one hand, there's the mechanical understanding of the process (e.g. How do you use this method?  How can you check you work? What happens if a column adds up to a sum >9?).  On the other hand, there are higher order questions like (Can I use math principles like place value or distribution to explain why this works?  Wait...why does this work?)  Take a minute or two to enter into this same thought exercise.  What kinds of questions did this video raise for you?  Would your kids develop the same type of questions?  How would they see this video and what would be their perspective.

Sorry for the lack of pretty pictures this week.. Xmas cookie cooking all AM and now I'm late for the Packer game!

Important Dates

  • Thursday 18DEC14. Winterfest Talent Show
  • Tuesday 23DEC14.  Last School Day of 2014
  • Monday 05JAN14. First School Day of 2015

Per Session Posting

No new postings this week.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Documents and Resources for 13K527's School Quality Review

School Quality Review Resources for 13K527 High School 

Proposed Schedule for 08DEC
  • 8:00-9:30 Meeting with Leadership
  • 9:30-10:30 Classroom Visits
  • 10:30-11:10 Students
  • 11:10-12:00 High School Pod
  • 1:00-2:00- Classroom Visits
  • 2:00-2:30 Parents
  • 2:30-3:00 Teacher Teams
  • 3:00-4:00 Work Time
  • 4:00-5:00 Final Debrief

High School Documents

Click on the links below.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week of December 8th

UAI High School Staff News

Volume II
Issue 17
Week of December 8th  2014


Quality Review Time!  Today Superintendent Karen Watts will be joining our community Monday to see how far we've come since her last visit, our first year of Learning Cultures.  We have a lot to proud of when we look back on where we've come since our last review.  I'm personally excited to show her how amazing you all are!  Here's the schedule:  8:00-9:30 Meeting with Leadership
9:30-10:30 Classroom Visits, 10:30-11:10 Student Meeting in 145, 
11:10-12:00 High School Pod:  Martine, Kristin, Kerry, and Michael, 1:00-2:00 Classroom Visits, 2:00-2:30 Parent Meeting, 2:30-3:00 Teacher Teams 3:00-4:00 Work Time For Superintendent, 4:00-5:00 Final Debrief

Anna Rodriguez & her Dad pose with
teachers, Mike, Ilyana, Anna & Hassan
Our 7th NYU Poly Engineering Cohort is the most successful yet!  Many thanks to Mr. Hassan and his work with our NYU Poly Partners to revamp the program to enable our young women to be the most successful cohort to date.  Last Thursday, all our 18 young women successfully completed 100% of their assignments for the term and successfully commissioned their robots.  Staff joined our students to celebrate their achievements.  We cannot be more proud of them, and we happily give a big shout out to Mr. Hassan for helping us elevate the quality of our partnership with NYU-Poly!

Click HERE to see the wonderful clip that Noam shared of the evening!

Annual Staff Party is THIS FRIDAY!  Our annual winter staff party is on Friday 12DEC14.  We'll once again be having it at Sharlene's Bar from 4-6PM.  We're asking for $20 from staff for an open bar and light appetizers.  Family and friends are welcome to join us at 6PM.   I'm trying to get a head count for Friday so I can budget and plan food and drink.   Please RSVP using this LINK by Wednesday, 10DEC14 and if you are coming, please give me your $20 by Thursday, 11DEC14.   We have a lot to celebrate together this year!  Looking forward to Friday!!

Important Dates

  • Monday 08DEC14.  School Quality Review
  • Monday, 08DEC14.  Staff PD and Grade Team Meetings
  • Friday 12DEC14. Full UAI Staff Winter Party.  Come and be merry!
  • Thursday 18DEC14. Winterfest Talent Show
  • Tuesday 23DEC14.  Last School Day of 2014
  • Monday 05JAN14. First School Day of 2015

Per Session Posting

No new postings this week.