Sunday, March 31, 2019

Week of April 1st

UAI Staff News

Volume VI
Issue 30
April 1st, 2019
(46 Instructional Days Remaining)


Sci-Ed Expo.  This weekend Ms. Nina took a group of students to show off their scientific prowess at the Sci-Ed Expo. Nina is a current Sci-Ed Innovation fellow and this amazing fellowship not only provides her with on-going professional development, networking, and new experiences, but it also provides our students with opportunities like this Sci-Ed Expo to connect to other teens who love math and science.  Thank you Ms. Nina for all you do!

PSAT/SAT and Field Trips.  Many thanks to all the staff who emptied out our high school so that the 10th and 11th grade could take their P/SATs in calm and quiet settings.  Many great shout outs and applause go to Ms. Joanna who executed BOTH P/SATs and HS Benchmarks with her typical smooth, professional, and seamless skill!

Photo Credit:  Ms. Rebecca F with students at the Met

NYS Middle School Exams.  Our Middle School State Exams are on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  Please limit HS bathroom breaks in the morning to limit traffic on the 3rd floor.  MS teachers will meet with Ms. Joanna to review the schedule on Monday during PD.

Staff Out This Week
  • Monday 01APR:  
    • Jamie out - LINCT Prof. Development
    • Meaghan leave early - personal business
  • Tuesday 02APR: NYS ELA Exam
    • Nina out - LINCT Prof. Development
  • Wednesday 03APR:  NYS ELA Exam
    • Joey & Tiffany out - LINCT Prof. Development
  • Thursday 04APR: 
    • Cherry out - personal business
    • Megan out - AP Bio Prof Development
  • Friday 05APR: 
    • Cherry out - personal business
    • Damon out - personal business
    • Kelly leaving early - personal business

To Do This Week

Monday PD.  Monday is the first Monday of the month, so we'll all meet in 409 for Grade Team meetings to review MS testing and/or complete grading for HS benchmarks.

Tuesday Outreach. There are only two marking periods and 46 instructional days remaining in the year.  Please review the report cards of your advisees and create a watch list of students who failed 1 or more core content courses (ELA, Math, Social Studies, or Science) this past marking period.  These are the students you should be prioritizing for contact each week from here until the end of the year.  Please also make sure to enter the outcomes of your contact with these students into Skedula as that will serve as one piece of evidence of intervention and support on the schools' part.  Classroom teachers, you should also be making weekly contact to all students who failed MP4 (emailing parents updates is fine).  Communication is key to intervention.  We need families to be our partners and help us keep our students on the path to success!

SLC Outcomes.  Here are our outcomes for the Spring Student Led Conferences.  Many congrats and thanks to the teachers in blue who were able to schedule and complete the most conferences in their grade.  Parent engagement with our students' learning is critical to our students' academic achievement.  Teachers play a pivotal role in that relationship.  Thank you for reaching out and making these conferences happen!

Survey Deadline Extended to April 11th.  We are short of our parent survey percentage goals. Last year we had 57% of our families complete and the year before we were at 60%.  Currently, we're only at 43%.  To reach our goal of at least 60%, we need each advisor to get 3 more surveys from their advisees.  Please check the SLC appointment document to see which of your advisees have yet to turn in their survey.

Student Support Services Update


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Week of March 25th

UAI Staff News

Volume VI
Issue 29
March 25th, 2019
(51 Instructional Days Remaining)


The last week of March is here! The first full official day of Spring was last Thursday and this week is the last week in March.  April is close which means our April break a few short weeks away.  Monday is the start of our 2nd to the last marking period of the year, and next week.  Our Middle Schoolers sit down to take the New York State ELA exam next week, and our High Schoolers are taking the SAT and PSAT on Wednesday.  The end of the year is fast approaching!  Before we know it we'll be sitting in front of the stage celebrating our 8th and 12th graders as they move on to their next life chapters!  So, while March may be wearing you down, don't get too tired.  Spring is springing and summer is just around the corner!  

Staff Out This Week
  • Monday 25Mar:  
    • Annie out - bereavement
    • Laura out - personal day
  • Tuesday 26Mar:
    • Annie out - bereavement
    • Zach out - personal day
    • Nancy out - professional development
    • Christina out - professional development 
  • Wednesday 27Mar:  P/SAT Day
    • Jennifer JR leaving early - personal business
  • Thursday 28Mar: Evening SLCs
    • no scheduled absences
  • Friday 29Mar: Afternoon SLCs
    • no scheduled absences

To Do This Week

Monday PD.  Now that Jen was able to get Yoga rescheduled from our March 4th Snow Day, PD assignments for Monday have shifted.  Please click HERE and check the 2nd tab, "March Assignments" to see what your assignment is for Monday.  We will be celebrating our end of March Not Madness PD series on Friday at 3:30PM with another staff hang out at the Randolph Pub

SLCs and Assessments.  Reach out to families to remind them about SLCs, P/SAT Wednesday, HS Benchmarks and next week's Middle School exams.  We also need to complete parent surveys during SLCs.  We need to prioritize in-person conferences for this reason.  For those families requesting phone conferences please give them the survey code (see the SLC appointment sheet) and have them send you a screenshot showing they completed the survey so we can enter them into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon gift card.   During SLCs, we will be asking families to complete the survey prior to reporting to your appointment.  If you have updates to SLCs,  please update the SLC appointment document.

Student Support Services Update


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Week of March 18

UAI Staff News

Volume VI
Issue 28
March 18th, 2019
(56 Instructional Days Remaining)


Congratulations to the Adams Street Lady Eagles! After a hard-fought and well-played season, our very own Adams Campus Lady Eagles finished 2nd in the Division B bracket of the Girls Varsity PSAL Basketball League!  While they were not victorious in the final, their grit and passion showed throughout the entire game.  Give a big shout out to our basketball players in class and in the halls when you see them this week.  They have earned our recognition and accolades!  Many congrats also go to Coach Elana, and her assistant coaches Damon & Nora for pushing and supporting our girls to this amazing accomplishment.

  • Class of 2019:  Ayanna Brown and Deshawna Carter
  • Class of 2020:  Jasmine David, Marleen Orelien, and Paige Thompson
  • Class of 2021:  Teagan Crisamore
  • Class of 2022:  Ja Shae McLean
  • Also many shout outs to our  SLJ teammates:  Olayinka Ajayi, Hailey Galvin, Kaitlin Isaacs, Ashante Jones, Ashanti Luckie, and Yasheba Peace

Check out the MANY shout outs in Jen's Update below! Last week was a big week as we continued our celebration of Women's History Month.  Jen and the team put together an amazing Awards Night to celebrate the accomplishments of our own young women.  Also, Mr. Tom & Ms. Suzannah helped our seniors organize another walk out - this time demanding that we protect and care for our planet.  Be sure to scroll down to read more!

Staff Out This Week
  • Monday 18Mar:  
    • Kiri, Annie, and Jen will be leaving early on Monday 18MAR and out Tuesday 19MAR where they will be presenting UAI's work in SEL at the 2019 ASEL conference in Albany NY
  • Tuesday 19Mar:
    • Kristi Out - personal business
    • Rebecca C Leaves Early - Prof Dev 
  • Wednesday 20Mar: 
    • Kiri and Brodie will be out on Wednesday 20MAR for a LEAP meeting.
    • Kristi Out - personal business
    • Nadine Out - prof dev.
  • Thursday 22Mar:
    • Suzannah Out - Personal Business

To Do This Week

Monday PD.  There have been some minor adjustments to the PD assignments for Monday.  Those of you who were originally assigned to Survey Focus group have been reassigned to collaborative planning (because Annie & I need to leave early on Monday with Jen to get up to Albany for the ASEL conference).  We'll catch folks up on the Survey Focus group either next PD or the Monday after.  Please click HERE and check the 2nd tab, "March Assignments" to see what your assignment is for Monday. Many thanks to all who made it out for the "Pinots" on Friday.  For those who didn't, we'll do another one on March 30th!  With games, good food and nice drinks - I think we may have found a new UAI hangout!

Tuesday Outreach. 

  • Marking Period 4 ends on Friday (I know, right?).  All teachers must call the homes of ALL students who are currently failing your class.  It's important that we have an open line of communication with the home to create a team between school and home that can intervene against failure.  Please indicate in Skedula your contact and outcome of the conversation.  Conversational Contact MUST be made for MP4 failures (so please no texts or emails - this kind of news requires explanations, goal setting, and giving ideas for parents to support at home). If you cannot contact the home, please see Brodie,  Jen, Annie, or myself for support.  
  • SLCs and HS Benchmarks are next Thursday and Friday.  Some MS teachers have expressed concern of loss of additional class time given that they already had half days for their benchmarks and the state exams are fast arriving.  So I'm making the executive decision that MS will have a full day of classes during HS benchmarks next week.  HS students will have their usual benchmark schedule.  All teachers need to finish scheduling parents for SLC by the end of this weekPlease update the SLC appointment document.

Women's History Month Career Day.  On Monday, 18MAR19, we will be having a School Wide Career day where women from a wide variety of careers and experience will talk with our students.  The event is slated for 1st and 2nd period on Monday.  Please refer to the schedule and reach out to Jen with any questions you may have!  We will resume normal school schedule at 3rd period.

Student Support Services Update


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Week of March 11th

UAI Staff News

    Volume VI
    Issue 27
    March 4th, 2019
    (61 instructional days remaining)


    Congratulations to Coach Elana and the Lady Eagles!  This Sunday at York College, our very own Adams Campus Lady Eagles claimed a beautiful and well-earned victory over Bedford Academy.  Our Lady Eagles are now moving on to the FINALS.  This is the first time that they have every made it this far, and if they win the finals on Saturday, 16MAR10 (at LIU - time TBD), we will be the champions!

    Pi Day for Prospective Students.  Jen and the counseling team put together a fantastic Pi Day event designed to encourage prospective students to commit to UAI for the fall.  The cafeteria was booming with lots of activities, and both families and prospective students were excited to join the fun!  It was a fabulous event that was capped with ice cream and toppings.  Well done Jen and team!!

    Actual UAI Pi Day is this Thursday, and students will be celebrating in their math classes with their math teachers.  To spread the Pi Day Love, on Thursday, find ways to weave in math and Pi into your own lessons for the day!

    Staff Out This Week. Here's this week's staff out calendar
      • [1] Monday 11MAR19
        • Professional Development:  Jamie @ LINCT PD
      • [4] Tuesday 12MAR19
        • Professional Development:  Nina @LINCT PD; Marsha & Sarah w/ Kiri PD 11-1
        • Personal Business:  Rebecca our 1st -3rd period
      • [1] Wednesday 13MAR19
        • Professional Development:  Joanna @ IEP Teacher PD
      • [3] Thursday 14MAR19
        • Professional Development:  Tiffany & Joey @ LINCT PD; Nancy at Secretary PD
      • [0] Friday 15MAR19
        • Nobody Out

    To Do This Week

    Sign up to see Planning and Circulation in Science.  Marsha, Megan, and Meaghan will be hosting a visit to a science classroom to see how Megan and Meaghan are implementing what they've learned from our lesson planning and circulation PDs this year.  We'll be visiting their class on Tuesday 12MAR19 at 1PM.  If you are interested, please email Kiri or Annie.  If you need coverage just let us know and we will arrange it!

    Classroom Walkthroughs.  Over the next couple of weeks, Annie & I will be conducting periodic walkthroughs to assess check in on classroom practice for the school.   These walkthroughs will not evaluative.  The walkthroughs will be short and it will not be unusual to see us multiple days in a row or multiple periods in a day.   Our Classroom Observations will continue as usual as we wrap up the final observations for folks.  We are looking at student thinking and teacher circulation (and feedback to students).  We're looking to see how much of our PD from our workshop on planning for thinking (Election Day PD) and teacher circulation and feedback (January PD) is taking root across the school. 

    Monday PD.  March NOT Madness Begins!  Monday marks the start of our March NOT Madness series of Mindfulness and Wellbeing.  Each Monday, we will still begin together in 409 each week to revel in my rendition of the spoken word version of the blog.  Please make sure to be prompt at 3PM, so that we can start on time and move quickly into our planned workshops for that Monday.  This Monday's assignments are:

    • Aroma Therapy w/Vanessa.  The snow day put a little snafu in our yoga okabsm byt Aroma Therapy is stll a go in room 409.  [98] Teachers Assigned are:  Phillan, Jamie, Kelly, Danielle R., Tracy, Rebecca C, Christina, and Nadine
    • Bulletin Board Updates.  This session provides teachers the time to update the bulletin boards in the halls and classrooms in preparation for Student Led Conferences at the end of the month and in celebration of Women's History Month.  [4] Teachers Assigned are:  Giselle, Judy, Kristina, and Nina
    • Co-Planning Time.  Those having planned to be in co-planning will get ahead in the planning for March by working with their collaborative teaching teams.  Teams need to prepare lessons, review student work, and refine units for March and April.  [15] Teachers Assigned are:  Natalie & Jake in ROOM 205,  Megan, Meaghan, and Marsha in Rm 315,  Tiffany, Freida, and Rebecca Fin ROOM 403, Alison, Cherry & Matthew in Rm 303, Sarah & Laura in ROOM 307, Zach and Suzannah in ROOM 509

    • Survey Focus Group.  This session will be a collaborative meeting to better understand the results of our survey and to get feedback from staff to find ways of celebrating our strengths and improving our areas of growth.  Teachers assigned should review the survey results from the UAI Teacher survey and the NYCDOE's Tripod Student Survey results. We will meet in ROOM 407.    [8] Teachers Assigned are:  Damon, Casssandra, Kristi, Tom, Joey, Elana, Elena, and Amanda

    Tuesday Outreach.  I'd like to share the power of positive phone calls.  I started working with Amanda at the start of February and every day, I would have to ask Kizara to sit up, pay attention, and not sleep through class.  One day, I had a breakthrough with her and she perked up, finished her work and handed it in. I shared this story with Laura who then called home.  The next day, Kizara was literally walking on sunshine, asking questions, playing with dry ice in class and unleashing her curiosity.  There was no sleepiness and she was literally smiling from ear-to-ear.  It was magical!  So, continue to spread the magic this week.  Reach out to find and spread positive stories to our homes.  As a reminder:
    • Find something genuine and rooted in academic achievement.  Every student in our school, even the ones who struggle the most or challenge us the most, have had academic growth somewhere.  It's impossible for a young person to NOT grow.  Growth is biologically encoded for teens.  Leading up to student-led conferences, we want to focus these calls on ACADEMIC success.  For each of your advisees, if you don't personally know an example to share, connect with their other teachers to find one. 
    • Make this call in person.  Texts, emails, and other similar forms of communication are great for expedient and efficient transfer of information.  You'll want to make these positive calls in person.  It will make the families feel fantastic and their response to you will make you feel fabulous.  Texts and emails will never achieve this for you.  Good calls are good for families and students AND you!
    • Keep it Positive. Resist the urge to go over corrective behaviors. If the family asks, answer their questions, but don't feel shy about saying that while there may be other concerns, your call today is to focus on the positive.  We don't always make the time to celebrate what's going right.  There's always time for corrective feedback. 
    • End with an Invite to SLCs.  Wrap your call up with an invitation to learn more about how their child is doing by inviting parents/families to come to our SLCs.  You can use this SLC Appointment Document to record your appointments. 

    Student Support Services Updates