Sunday, July 26, 2020

Week of 27JUL20

UAI Staff Summer News

Volume VIII
Issue 2
July 27, 2020

Principal's Message

How Uncertainty Fuels Anxiety [] | ACEsConnection

Uncertainty and Anxiety.  Last week, I was supposed to be on vacation. I did manage to get some beach time in (between the meetings and mandated Principal professional development), and during those precious hours on the sand, I stumbled across this article from The Atlantic on uncertainty and anxiety.  While written in the time before COVID, many of the tenets still ring true.  

I don't have any more answers today than I did two weeks ago.  But I do know that this is the last week of July, which means that summer is halfway over.  If you have not yet fully unplugged and given yourself the break we all need, then you need to make that time a reality in August.  I do know that we are going to be facing THE most challenging year we have ever faced as a community.  We all need to have a full well, and we all need to be our strongest versions come September.  

So...if you're reading this and you're supposed to be relaxing - stop.  There's nothing in this that can't wait.  If you still can't stop, well then promise yourself and name for yourself the time you will create for you to unplug, recharge, and relax.  The work will always be there.  This time to relax will not!  So take it now!

Enjoy yourself, take in the sun, stay safe & healthy, and have fun with your family, friends, & loved ones!


Happy Summer Birthdays!!!
Matthew (19AUG); Rebecca F(21AUG); Doris (26AUG)

Blended Learning Mock Up.
   The SLT made the final decision to select the Chancellor's recommended model of Alternating Days.  Through some ingenuity and inspiration from our friends at SLJ, we may be able to keep some type of alternating weeks model for staff while having our students still come to school each week.  CLICK HERE for the Mock Up. This is still very much in draft there will be inconsistencies and lots of room for feedback!  Once you review the Mock Up, please share your feedback on this SURVEY.

Budget Overview. 
 I led the Summer Restructuring Committee through a workshop around our budget and fiscal standing for next year.  CLICK HERE for the document and explanations I shared with the committee.  CLICK HERE for the first half of the video recording (thank you Nina! - I messed up the second half when we switched over - sorry!).  Long story short - we have enough to keep everyone on staff, BUT that doesn't leave us with a whole lot of funds for much of anything else!

Summer Restructuring Committee (SRC) Work.  The Summer Restructuring Committee held its first meeting on 16JUL20.  That meeting focused on identifying the work and structures for the summer.  The Committee decided to break into three sub-committees to achieve the work:  Programming (goal is to create blended learning schedule); Professional Development (goal is to create PD plan for staff); Grading (goal is to create equitable grading policy).  You can CLICK HERE to see agenda and notes.  Our next meeting is this Thursday to review the work of the sub-committees, provide feedback and next steps.  In addition, the committee will discuss how to establish an UAI Equity Team using the training from the DOE Office of Equity's Launching Equity Teams PD that I attended with Rebecca C.   

Per Session Delay.  Apologies to all for the 01-15JUL pay period.  Those hours will be processed at the next pay period (ending 31JUL2).  We ran into some budget technical difficulties.  We could not process any per session until my budget was formally approved by our BCO budget director.  I just had my budget meeting with our budget director last week & all was approved, but we missed the closing date for submitting per session.  Now that the budget is approved, the budget lines are released for use.  So, we'll be able to process all July pay periods on 31JUL.  

Monday, July 13, 2020

Week of 13JUL

UAI Staff Summer News

Volume VIII
Issue 1
July 13, 2020

Principal's Message

Summer Blog Posts.    Summer blog posts will be much less frequent than school year posts.  I'll also be experimenting with how to more effectively share information in the blog so that you can more readily access it.  So please, do email me your feedback!


Happy Summer Birthdays!!!
Ms. Aisha (30JUN); Ms. Cassandra (05JUL); Mr. Joey (13JUL); Ms. Joanna (16JUL); 
Natalie (20JUL); Marsha (24JUL); Matthew (19AUG); Rebecca F(21AUG); Doris (26AUG)

School Re-Opening in Fall 2020.   This summer, the Chancellor has set up regular meetings to discuss plans for school re-opening with principals.  All info points to an actual opening in September.  Until we hear otherwise, we have to move forward in planning for this to occur.  So far, we've had two of these meetings with the Chancellor.  More are forthcoming.  Here's what we know so far:
  • UAI will possibly adopt an Alternate Days Model.  There are limited models available - Alternate Days or Alternate Weeks.  We must choose one as a community.  The Chancellor's preferred model is Alternate Days, as is true for our SLT parents and students.  CLICK HERE to learn more.
  • Two Important Surveys are out on Wednesday, July 15th.  The DOE will release two surveys on 15JUL20.  For students and families, they will be able to indicate whether or not they want to be REMOTE ONLY for the start of the fall.  Staff will be able to request COVID accommodations in a survey to be released that day.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

  • Schedules may not be available until August.  With the surveys not due until August 7th, we will not be able to produce a program until after we get back that information.  There are many unknowns as of yet.  Without all the information, we cannot fully program the school.  CLICK HERE to learn more.
  • PPE and other COVID Mitigating Factors will be in place The DOE is centrally providing PPE to schools, and school facilities are currently undergoing enhancements to equip them with electrostatic disinfecting tools (the kind airplanes use to disinfect between flights), update HVACs to improve ventilation, and ship masks and sanitizer supplies to schools.  We will never reach a point where there is 0% risk of COVID transmission, but with a combination of prevention steps, the plan is to mitigate transmission as much as possible.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

Technical Training.  Our original goal was to be able to provide teachers with at least WHAT they will be teaching by July 15th.  However, without know who will be remote only (students and staff), we cannot really say for sure.  That said, course assignments are highest priority, and we're pushing to get that to staff as soon as we can.  We don't want to rush and tell you something now, only to have to shift it later when more facts are in play.  So please be patient as we try to gather all the necessary info for a final decision.
In the meantime, if you are itching to get a jump on next year, you can still use these next few weeks to deepen your skills in platforms that we know for sure we will be using:
Personal Professional Development.  There are many, many options available to staff to explore new skills and learning.  Here are two you may wish to explore

Summer Restructuring Committee Work.  The Summer Restructuring Committee will be continuing the work of the SCI and ACT committees as we prepare to open the school for the 2020-2021 school year.  This week, we will be working collectively as school leadership and school staff to co-create our goals for the summer and clearly articulate the work that needs to be done (and by whom and by when).  On the committee are Annie, Cherry, Jen, Kiri, Nadine, Nina, Rachel, Phillan, and Tiffany.  The committee will be deciding on how best to share our work, discussions and progress with the rest of the UAI community.