UAI Staff News
Late Friday, the DOE and UFT came to an agreement that essentially sanctioned our existing program. I received the agreement on Saturday morning, and our Superintendent and Executive Superintendent are pulling us together into a meeting this week to review and better understand the guidance. Once I have a clear understanding of what the agreement signifies, I will be sure to share fully.
The roller coaster keeps on rolling, but to the extent possible, I'm hoping to insulate you, and our students and families from too many thrills and chills. As we make sense of this new agreement, we will continue to move forward as we have done since getting on this crazy ride, we will continue to do what we have been doing within the safety of our bubble - best serve our families and students!
To Do This Week
- 6th Grade: 16 In-Person out of 68 Students --->> 76% of students are Remote Learning
- 7th Grade: 12 In-Person out of 44 Students --->> 73% of students are Remote Learning
- 8th Grade: 25 In-Person out of 65 Students --->> 62% of students are Remote Learning
- 9th Grade: 45 In-Person out of 104 Students -->> 67% of students are Remote Learning
- 10th Grade: 23 In-Person out of 88 Students --->> 73% of students are Remote Learning
- 11th Grade: 17 In-Person out of 64 Students --->> 73% of students are Remote Learning
- 12th Grade: 20 In-Person out of 61 Students --->> 67% of students are Remote Learning
Friday Small Groups. So, all new ideas inevitably need to tweaking! Our attendance was way lower on Friday than on any other days last week. That was most definitely a function of our own internal communication bumps, plus students being confused about what this new genre of learning actually is.
Last spring, one of the major calls for the program was to create support and intervention mechanisms for our students who need it. So, Friday Small Groups and Grade Based Intervention Groups (more on those below) were born!
For these first two Fridays (25SEP and 02OCT), Advisors are using Small Groups to get to know their students and families and help students successfully connect to online learning. On October 9th, we are holding an in-day Curriculum Lunch for parents and families (more on that below).
On Friday, 16OCT20, Regular Friday Small Groups will begin. Friday Small Groups are dedicated times where teachers can pull students for small group intervention (or enrichment) and live feedback sessions to better support student learning. The groups are intended to be tools you leverage to intervene and prevent student failure. Students who do not require this intervention should be assigned asynchronous work for the day.
Teacher Driven. Each teacher individually determines who is assigned to their Friday Small Groups and is responsible for making sure the students are there (so, reason for attendance is explained, zoom links shared, parent contact, etc.).
Grade Team Coordinated. Grade teams should coordinate with each other so that you're not all pulling the kids at the same time. Grade teams should decide (1) Who is seeing which teacher, (2) when they are seeing that teacher (what period), and (3) for how many weeks they'll be working with that teacher. Regular Times will be given to grade teams during Thursday staff meetings to coordinate Friday Groups.
In order for Small Groups to work, we need the support of Advisors. Each advisor should be working with their advisories each week to make sure they understand their plans for Fridays (whether they are in small groups or working asynchronously). In addition, Advisors need to remind students that zoom classes like Theater and PE are required zooms. It is NOT the case that students have the "day off" on Fridays.
On Fridays, Attendance needs to be tracked by:
Live Zoom Classes. As with any other day, if you have a live zoom class (Advisory, PE, Theater), please take attendance.
Small Group Zooms. All teachers should put a "P" for students who show for their Small Group, an "A" for those that were assigned but didn't show. Small Group teachers need to also contact home and email advisors if students do not show.
Advisors. All advisors have a check-in period for advisory (or a live zoom) on Fridays. Advisors should connect with all of their advisees on Fridays (phone call, text, quick zoom check in). The goal of the (1) check in is to make sure they know their assignments for Friday Small Groups (or asynchronous work if no groups); (2) simply check in to see how their week went; and (3) record these check ins as "P" for attendance purposes on Fridays.
Whew!! That was a LOT of information about Friday Small Groups. Well, with anything new, that is expected to be the case for a while. Please read and re-read as many times as necessary, and then if you have any questions/concerns/ideas, please put them in Annie's Parking Lot.
Grade-Based Intervention Groups. In addition to Friday Small Groups, several teachers on staff have periods assigned to work with individual students requiring extra help and support. Teachers should communicate with the teacher leading these groups and refer students on an as-needed basis. In addition, teachers with these periods should populate these groups with students in their grade bands who have IEPs and/or are ENL learners. In these intervention groups, the teachers will do one-on-one and small group support to provide the feedback and help needed for students to successfully complete assigned work from their classroom teachers. Here are the teachers who currently have grade-based intervention group. If more groups are needed, we may have the capacity to add more. For now, we'll being with these:
6th & 7th Grade: Alison, Marsha
8th & 9th Grade: Cassandra, Marsha
10th & 11th Grade: Rebecca C, Joey
12th Grade: Joey
In addition, Tiffany, Christina, and Nadine are working with students with IEPs who have SETTS and Rebecca F, Laura, and Suzannah each have groups to work with our ENL students.
Please reach out to these teachers with questions you have about individual students with whom they are working and/or to refer students for extra intervention. As with all things now on the blog, please, if you have any questions, please put them in Annie's Parking Lot.