Sunday, October 17, 2021

Week of October 18th

 UAI Staff News

Volume IX
Issue 8
October 18th, 2021

Principal Message

Shifting our Minds to Mastery.  This is the 6th week of the school year, leaving about a month until the first marking period wraps up.  

Many of you have already begun to think through your first steps into mastery grading and how to work through this new paradigm in your instructional practices.

The first thing to remember is that anything new is never perfect, give yourself the grace to learn.  As a reminder, all of our grades are split into to categories Performance (60%) and Progress (40%).  For this marking period, have the goal of being clear on what the summative, Performance assessment will be.

Here's an analogy that may help.  An athlete or musician will have countless practices or rehearsals before the race, competition, or show.  These final performances do not occur without countless efforts to rehearse, refine, and perfect their skills.  In any given season, there are only a set number of games and endless hours of practice.  In any given musical tour, there are only so many concerts, and endless days and nights of rehearsals.

In your classes, what are those final performances?  What are you using to assess student skills - not for testing the acquisition of learning, but rather for seeing the level of their capacity to perform.   These 1-2 things will be your performance measures this marking period, and they will constitute 60% of the students' grade.  

Just as is true for athlete and musicians, we want our students to be as prepared as possible for their competition or show.  Leading up to these final performance grades, you want to give students as much practice (or at-bats) as possible.  Using language like "this is a practice" will help.  Or even language like "The real <<assessment>> is on <<this date>>.  This is a practice to show you how you would do if you took the real <<thing>> today."

In order to shift grading practices, we have to shift our mindsets - kids and adults.  Policies set the stage, but it is language and actions that enact the shifts in our practice.

This week, please reach out to your Instructional Leads for support and ideas in talking through your classroom practices and grading.  Do not expect to conquer it all this MP.  Focus on achieving clarity on Performance pieces and setting up students with enough practice to be as successful as possible on the first time they sit for those performance assessments.  

Committee Updates

Committees are Staffed and Meeting!  Weekly updates from committee leaders will begin in next week's blog.

To Do This Week

Meet in the Library at 3PM on Monday.  We will be having a staff circle on Monday at 3PM.  All staff should meet in the library to start, and then we'll break out to separate spaces for smaller circles.  This circle will be another step in our community's work to heal this week.  Further steps include, circles with senior advisories, and then working with students and their other teachers to rebuild trust in their other classes. 

Tuesday Zoom Curriculum Night.  We will be using our Family Outreach time to have our curriculum night on Tuesday at 6PM.  

Join Zoom Meeting:
                                    Meeting ID: 815 9278 4110
                                    Passcode: UAI123
  • 6:00PM - Welcome to UAI Curriculum Night!
  • 6:15PM Meet the Teachers
    • 6th & 7th Grade
      • Will all be in same breakout room together
      • Each teacher will have 10 minutes each to talk
      • Order will be: English, Social Studies, Science, Math, Project STEM
    • 8th grade - 12th grade
      • (10min) English Teacher Breakout Rooms
      • (10min) Social Studies Teacher Breakout Rooms
      • (10min) Science Teacher Breakout Rooms
      • (10min) Math Teacher Breakout Rooms
      • (10min) Breadth Teacher Breakout Room (Language, PE/Dance, Theater, Project STEM)
  • 7:05PM Extra Curricular Activities and Girls Inc After School
  • 7:15PM Parent Engagement Opportunities
  • 7:25PM Wrap Up of Curriculum Night

Advisory Leadership Council.  I'm launching the student PAGs this week, but I'm still missing some representatives.  If you emailed me, and you're not on the list, please fill in your rep on THIS FORM so I can invite them to the meetings (which I split up, because having everyone on the same Friday would have been too many students)
    • Wednesdays:  
      • 3rd Period:  8th Grade PAG
      • 4th Period:  6th & 7th Grade PAG
    • Thursdays:
      • 1st Period:  11th Grade PAG
      • 3rd Period:  9th Grade PAG
    • Fridays: 
      • 1st Period:  12th Grade PAG
      • 3rd Period:  10th Grade PAG

Finalize Learning Lab Small Groups.  Folks should have sent in their final learning lab small groups to me by now.  Please send them to me now, if you have them.  Small groups will finalize on Monday, and small group teachers should small group direct students to  meet them in their assigned small group classrooms.  (scroll to the bottom of the Learning Lab tab to see the list of kids assigned to each small group teacher)

Per Session Postings

  • PAG Teacher Coach.  Work for 1 hour a week to plan PAG meetings and student supports with Kiri.  Teacher will receive per diem coverage to join in meetings with student PAG.  Posting closes 26OCT21


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