Sunday, April 29, 2018

Week of April 30th

UAI Staff News

Volume V
Issue 31
April 30th, 2018
[School Days 145-149]
[25 Days Remaining in MP6]      [29 Days Remaining in HS School Year]      [39 Days Remaining in MS School Year]


Image result for college decision day may 1stCollege Match Day.  This week on May 1st, our seniors make their final commitments to their colleges and universities.  As of Friday, about 52/67 students had already made their final decision.  Make a point to celebrate their future this week by asking the seniors where they decided to go!  It's a huge decision for each of them and their families.  Knowing that we are happy for them and that we celebrate their work is exactly the encouragement and assurance that they need!

Science Expo.  This weekend Ms. Meaghan took a group of 6th graders to present at a science expo.  Ms. Meaghan said,"6th graders ...went with me to the science expo where they presented their health outreach efforts. Everyone complimented them on how well they carried themselves, and how knowledgeable they were! They did an amazing job! It was Kimora, Anaia, Manal, Hikari, and Jaeda. Cynnia was also part of it but wasn't able to come."  Thank you for sharing Ms. Meaghan and thank you for being there to help our young girls show off their learning and presence!

6th Annual Operation Prom.  For the 6th year in a row, Ms. Doris has coordinated efforts with Operation Prom to support our young women in crafting the most memorable prom night.  From dresses to shoes to accessories, Operation Prom provides our students and students from around the Borough with high quality items that transform our young students into sophisticated and beautiful young women! Thank you Ms. Doris for your commitment to our girls!!


To Do This Week

Monday PD and EOY Conferences.   All staff should meet in room 409 (For HS) and room 305 (for MS) to review testing this week for the NYS Middle School Math Exam and to review the HS Benchmark schedule.  After Brodie and Joanna review expectations, the schedule and any questions folks have, teachers will continue to have independent work time to link up their lessons and unit plans.  Starting this week, Annie and I will begin having End of the Year Conferences with teachers.  You will be pulled from grading for your meetings and the meetings will be no longer than 30min.  During this meeting we'll be using the Pacing Guides to see the evolution of your planning and we'll be sharing your MOTP thus far to discuss how the planning aligns to your observed teaching practice.  By the end of this meeting, we will also be using the Pacing Guides to select a unit upon which you will focus your revision efforts for the retreat.  If you are interested in earning per session to continue this work (see the Per Session Posting below), please let Kiri or Annie know during this meeting.

Per Session Opportunities

Summer School.  This summer we will be sharing our summer school MS with Unison.  So our students will be together.  HS Summer School will be just UAI.  Here are the teachers who were selected for summer school.  Summer school for both MS and HS begins on July 5th.  We will have an orientation for students.  Summer school teachers begin on Monday, July 9th.  Classes are Mondays through Thursdays only.  MS Runs through August 2nd.  HS Credit Recovery runs 09JUL through 02AUG, and Regents Prep Runs August 6th - 15th.  Regents and Regents Grading will be August 16th, 17th, and 20th.  Teachers who sign up for Regents Prep are signing up for Regents Grading and Proctoring as well. Teachers will also receive 1/2 hour of prep per day during instructional days.

  • 8:30-10AM Grades 6/7 ELA - Ryan Mack, Unison
  • 10:00-11:30AM Grades 7/8 ELA- Ryan Mack, Unison
  • 8:30-10AM Grades 7/8 Math - Cherry Reid, UAI
  • 10-11:30AM Grades 6/7 Math - Cherry Reid, UAI
  • 8:30-11:30 AM High School Core Course Credit Recovery 09JUL - 02JUL - Jamie Ross, UAI & Giselle Vitaliti UAI
  • 8:30-11:30 AM HS PE Course Recovery - Elana

  • Regents Prep (Hours TBD based on our June Regents Outcomes)
    • Cassandra - English
    • Jamie - Math (TBD based on June outcomes)
    • Kelly P - USH and GLO
    • Giselle - Science Regents Prep 
NOTE:  Kristina and Cassandra, depending on our numbers, I may need to open additional sections of course work in July.  You're both on the waitlist. 

Prom Chaperone.  The following four people were chosen for Prom Chaperone:  Sursattie, Elana, Damon, and Jamie.

Summer Planning.  Teachers who are interested in receiving up to 40 hours of per session for planning this summer should email Kiri by the end of the day on Friday.  Hours can be used flexibly to accommodate your summer plans.  In order to be eligible for this position, your UAI Pacing Calendars must be complete and fully linked to the lessons you used this year.  This planning time will be used to refine this year's lessons and units in preparation for next year, and in order to best prepare to work with you, Annie and I need to have access to your lessons and units.

SEL Update:

After watching a video clip on kindness in their SEL class a group of 6th graders were inspired to start a community service campaign to help those in need. As a result, we will be dedicating the Month of May to community service in our SEL classes. Students will develop their own Public Service Announcements related to a topic of their choice. We will be holding a PSA Fair at the end of May.  One of the themes will be a Red Nose Day to bring awareness to Childhood Poverty.  We can’t wait to see them learn about ways they can make a difference & become inspired to take action! 


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Week of April 23rd

UAI Staff News

Volume V
Issue 30
April 23rd, 2018
[School Days 140-144]
[5 Days Remaining in MP5]      [34 Days Remaining in HS School Year]      [44 Days Remaining in MS School Year]


Habitat H20.  This past spring break Mr. Damon took a group of students to swim with the manatees!  Each year, students have the opportunity to take their classroom learning to the real world and study marine biology in Florida.  Having the chance to match abstract learning of textbooks and the classroom to real world experience is such an important experience for our young women.  Who knows, perhaps one of the young women pictured here will become the marine scientist who solves the ocean pollution problem!

Barclay's Center Fundraiser for our Adams Campus Lady Eagles.  Last Sunday, our Adams Street Staff faced off against our Lady Eagles.  While they may be younger, the staff showed that experience and communication pays off.  It was a wonderfully fun game and a super special experience for adults and students alike.  Thank you again to Ms. Elana for organizing, and special shout outs go to MVPs Nina, Damon, Courtney and Isaiah for helping bring home the "W" for the grownups!

Student Activism Continues.  Last Friday, our seniors joined the National Student Walkout to continue bringing attention to gun violence and the need for gun control.  It is an absolute pleasure to watch our young women find and use their voices to truly make our world great again.  Keep it up Class of 2018!

The Class of 2024 and Red Nose Day.  Taking inspiration from their bigger sisters, the Class of 2024 (yeah it took me a moment,'s the 6th graders) are coordinating their own community service event.  On their own a group of gregarious girls came up with the idea to do a fundraising campaign to combat childhood poverty.  This campaign will kick off in May.  They'll be working with Ms. Jen and Ms. Vanessa to organize and prepare.  Keep your eyes on these young ones.  They are well on their way to becoming social justice warriors!

Staff Spotlight

Damon Noland.   Over spring break, Mr. Damon took our students on an exciting educational trip to Florida for the third year in a row.  Habitat H20 provides students with the opportunity to experience science in real life and learn about marine habitats.  In addition to making the time to coordinate important experiential opportunities in science, Mr. Damon also supports our Lady Eagles as an assistant coach.  This weekend, Mr. Damon showed off his skills on the court as the Adams Street staff took the win against our students!  In addition to all of this, Mr. Damon always fights for the rights of our staff as chapter chair from representing at Albany to collaborating with me and UAI leadership!  Thank you for all you do both in and outside of the classroom, Mr. Damon!!!

Kelly Preston and Jake Cagle.  This year Kelly and Jake have worked collaboratively with Annie to put together a brand new US History curriculum that is rooted in the study of primary sources and is crafted to push student thinking in each and every lesson.  Their narrative lesson plans put student thinking at the center of their plans and as a result, all other teacher moves (assessment, questions, student work) falls directly from that.  Of course not every lesson was as perfect as they would like, but they are now well-poised to refine their work in preparation for next year.  Take a look at their pacing calendar to get an idea of what you should have ready to go for our retreat to Tarrytown!

To Do This Week

Monday PD.   Please meet in room 409 this week.  We will be doing some announcements prior to releasing you for planning.  (I didn't say that last week!).  We will continue to use Monday PD to link this year's lessons into our Pacing Calendars.  Last week, you should have linked all of September and October lessons.  This week, please work on November and December.  Next week, please be ready to work on January, February, and March.

Tuesday Family Outreach.  The 5th Marking Period ends on Friday.  On May 9th from 5-8PM, we will be having traditional parent-teacher conferences so that parents have a chance to check in with all teachers prior to the end of the school year.  Please prioritize calling the homes of any of your advisees that are failing any class.  We will be using the conferences as interventions and supports for students.  Please call home and invite them in on the 9th!

MP 5 Grades are Due.  MP5 Grades will be due on Wednesday, May 2nd at 3PM.  On May 1st-3rd, we will be having benchmarks as well as the MS Math exam.  Your schedules will be a mix of proctoring and grading exams on those days, so get ahead of your grading this week!  Because we use this marking period to plan for summer school, we need you to follow this rule very explicitly:

  • USE the grade of 60 if a student is currently failing your class AND you predict passing by the end of June.  Otherwise, use the grade of 55.

May/June Absences and Subs.  So many folks had the opportunity to go out to PD events this year!  Our social studies, math and science teachers had the opportunity to participate in PD with New Visions and Algebra for All.  Our English Teachers had the opportunity to participate in PD with our partners, the Literacy Design Collaborative.  Many of you have asked for days to attend PD, and all have been met with a yes!

But now we're at the end of the year.  Because of register loss, we had to give back nearly $200K to the DOE.  Until now, I've been able to shield you from that pain.  
We are nearly out of money for coverages and subs.  I'm still trying to move and shake some levers to fix this, but we should always plan for the worst and hope for the best.

For May and June, please do not assume that you are going to be able to go to PD.  Each PD request will be considered individually and must have explicit approval from me or Annie.  Additionally, if you are sick, please make sure to email me, Annie, and Brodie with your lesson plans.  Being low on coverage money, one of us will have to take over your classes for the day you are sick.  Please do not email lesson plans that require us to make copies and/or use technology.  Additionally, if you have coaching periods on your schedule or other comp-time duties, please be prepared to be pulled from those periods to cover classes in the event that someone is sick.

Per Session Opportunities

Summer School.  I know I asked about summer school a while ago.  I've finally coordinated with the other principals and have better specific ideas.  If you are still interested in teaching summer school, please email me by the close of school on Monday, 24APR18.

Prom Chaperone.  Please email me if you are interested in chaperoning the prom.  If you plan to do so, you will miss the evening portion of our retreat and will join us on Thursday for the day.  You can email Danielle (R) for details on Prom.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Week of April 16

UAI Staff News

Volume V
Issue 29
April16th, 2018
[School Days 135-139]
[10 Days Remaining in MP5]      [39 Days Remaining in HS School Year]      [49 Days Remaining in MS School Year]


Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, sky, shoes, cloud and outdoorCollege Trip.  The Class of 2019 is kicking off their college application journey with our annual College Trip.  This year students went upstate to see SUNY Oneonta and Syracuse.  Our students were curious, asked amazing questions, and represented both themselves and UAI beautifully.  In the upcoming weeks, more college trips are in the planning works for many grades.  Stay tuned to hear more!
Image may contain: text
Barclay's Center Fundraiser for our Adams Campus Lay Eagles.  Many, many thanks to Coach Elana for organizing the opportunity for our staff and student to play on a professional basketball court AND raise money fro our team.  In case anyone wants to buy additional last second tickets today, they are still available.  If you still want to go, you have the option to buy tickets at the door today.  Barclays will have staff there helping people purchase tickets. They will not be able to accept cash, however.  Please make sure to enter the arena at the Calvin Klein VIP Entrance on Atlantic Avenue. Enjoy the game!

Staff Spotlight

Del Carey.   Last week Ms. Del moved mountains to make sure we met all of our budget deadlines!  Every day, Ms. Del greets our staff and students with smiles and good cheer.  She also makes it a point to keep us all on our toes when it comes to payroll, benefits, and all other DOE details that are designed to be confusing.  She does all of this to make sure we get what we need to be excellent at our jobs.  Managing the details of over 40 staff members plus spending and tracking orders from everyone can be crazy at times.  Thank you Ms. Del for helping us get through it all with your charm, love, and great spirit.

Doris Twine.  This week Ms. Doris joined our juniors and seniors in the garden level to lend some more disciplinary support and to enter into a new role.  As we prepare for Ms. Martine's leave next year, Doris is stepping up to learn  the college ropes.  Wearing multiple hats is not easy, but Ms. Doris always rises to the occasion.  As the mother of a teenage daughter in high school, Ms. Doris brings a perspective to the college advising process that will deepen our college offices' capacity to support our girls.  At the first college meeting that the Class of 2019 had last month, only one family indicated that they have older children in college.  With this many families new to the college application process, Ms. Danielle and Ms. Doris certainly have their work cut out for them for the Class of 2019! 

To Do This Week

Monday PD.   Our annual retreat to Tarrytown is booked!  More details on the trip will come soon.  For now, save the date.  We will be leaving UAI Wednesday afternoon (06JUN17), spending the night and returning Thursday afternoon (Brooklyn Queens Day 07JUN17).  The retreat will be focused on refining and preparing curriculum for next year.  So, for the remaining Monday PDs in April and May, teachers need to use the time to upload lessons and units into their UAI Pacing Calendars.  Beginning Monday, we will work on making sure all September and October units and lessons plans are linked into the UAI Pacing Calendars.  Next Monday (23APR), we'll work on November and December.  On 30APR, we'll upload January, and February.  Monday, May 7th will be our last grade team meeting of the year, and Monday May 14th & 21st, we'll finish out the uploads for March, April, and May.  The goal is that by Jun 6th, all courses have completed Pacing Calendars (with daily linked lessons, materials, and units) so that we can use these as platforms for our curriculum work during the retreat.

Tuesday Family Outreach.  The DOE just recently extended the deadline for the online version of the NYC School Survey to April 20 for teachers, parents/guardians, and students.   Please reach out to your families who have not yet submitted their surveys (CLICK HERE to see who has) and you can find the parent codes HERE.  Families can go to and then click on the survey link (bottom right) to complete the survey. If there are any students in your classes or advisory that still have not completed the survey, they can go to the same website and you'll find their survey codes HERE.  Please also invite parents to our next PTA meeting where we will be giving out the prizes to the survey raffle winners ($50 Amazon Cards).  It will also be our annual PTA elections, so we really need folks to come!  Our next PTA meeting is Tuesday, 08MAY2018 at 6PM.  Sursattie is also organizing a dance performance for our families that same night!

SEL Update

Digital Citizenship.  SEL classes are focusing on digital citizenship this whole month and using a social awareness and responsible decision making lens to dig deeper in to how digital media influences and impacts their lives.  Last week they were thoughtful and honest with themselves and their peers about their digital habits and especially their use of social media and its influence.  They also revisited cyberbullying and how to be brave and help if someone they know or themselves were experiencing it.  This week after they have acknowledged the benefits of being able to socialize online they will learn about safe online talk, will be asked to consider the outcomes to presenting yourself in different ways online and learn about gender stereotypes through dressing up their own avatars! 

Per Session Opportunities

None this week

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Week of April 9th

UAI Staff News

Volume V
Issue 28
April 9th, 2018
[School Days 130-134]
[15 Days Remaining in MP5]      [44 Days Remaining in HS School Year]      [54 Days Remaining in MS School Year]


Image result for accepted to collegeAcceptances are Rolling In!  We are bound to hear more as our seniors return from break, but already the news is astounding.  Already 87% of our students have been accepted to multiple schools, and some have already committed to attend next year.  This year's cohort is setting new standards for UAI.  This year, more than any year previous, our students are being accepted to some of the most competitive private colleges in the country, including Barnard College, New York University, Vassar College, George Washington University, and Weslyan University.  On top of of these stellar admissions, our young women are also bringing home acceptances from some of the top CUNY and SUNY schools including Stonybrook, Geneseo, Baruch, and Hunter.  In the next few weeks, our young ladies have some really great choices to make.  By May 1st, all of them will have committed to a college for next year.  Save the date on May 18th for the UAI field day (organized by the Class of 2018) and the celebration of their college achievements!

Nearing the End.  With only one and a half marking periods remaining in the school year, time is quickly moving and the end of the year will be upon us and our students before you know it!  For the Middle School, we have state exams right on the horizon!  This week is the NYS ELA exam and during the first week of May, the NYS Math exams begin.  For the High School, we have about 8 solid weeks of instruction before we hit June, which is primarily filled with assessment days - both final exams and Regents Week.  This is the time to help our students double down and focus on finishing the year strong! 

To Dos This Week

Monday PD Grade Team Meetings.  As the first Monday in April (that we are in school), we'll be doing grade team meetings.  For this month, high school teams should meet in their usual grade team meeting rooms, but Middle School teachers need to report to room 409 to review testing procedures and expectations for the NYS ELA exam.

Tuesday Family Outreach.  This Tuesday, please take a look at your advisee's attendance rates in Skedula.  Prioritize calling students who:
  • Are failing any class
  • AND/OR has <90% Attendance
  • AND/OR has been removed from class more than three times in March
You want to bring up this points as concern and then pivot to the opportunity that April and May have.  With improved attendance/effort/behavior, students can end the year strong and being academically successful.  Keep the conversation focused on specific, small achievable goals (e.g. let's see if we can get to school everyday on time this week, or turn in all assignments on time this week in math, or use SEL strategies to adjust behavior (e.g. like SLANTing or Accountable Talk Stems).  These are just examples of what you can say - the object is to give parents and students concrete plans to improve in April and May.  Please log the calls and goals in Skedula.  Brodie will share those anecdotals on Wednesday so that all teachers can follow the conversation.

Per Session Opportunities

None this week