Sunday, November 14, 2021

Week of Nov 15th

UAI Staff News

Volume IX
Issue 12
November 15th, 2021

Principal Message

First Power Up Week.  This week, all new instruction pauses as we provide ourselves and our students some time and grace.  Launching this year after a year like no other was bound to have its bumps and curves.  We expected that our best laid plans may not really turn out the way we want.  Turns out we were right, and the same thing happened for our students.

As we travel down the path of competency-based grading, we are still fine-tuning the balance between feedback and progress and summative assessment performance.  Ultimately, we will reach a place where we will have enough information through our student activity and feedback cycles to know how students will perform on their summative, performance assessment.  Ultimately, students will also know how they ill perform on that final assessment.

Today, we are not quite there - but there are definite signs, we are on the right path!
  • On the Parent/Student Check In, responses were overwhelmingly positive across all areas
    • Community and Connections
    • Academic Challenge
    • Engagement and Fun
    • Representation and Individuation
    • Feedback
  • Some key quotes
    • "Enjoy that feedback is given. It helps know where I am at in the class."
    • "They helped my child improve on assignments she had struggles on."
    • "I like how it is easy to communicate with my teachers."
The better we get at providing regular and useful feedback to kids (either written on tasks or given verbally while circulating in class or a combo of written/verbal feedback in conferences), the more our students will be able to improve and achieve.

The fastest way to get better at giving students useful and more frequent feedback is to know precisely what you want students to be able to know and do, and why those skills are essential in your students learning.

Being as clear as possible with your students about what they should be able to know and/or do (or say/write) will help them better understand what they need to shift in order to achieve those outcomes.  

This week, as you target students skills.  Be clear with them why these particular skills are the most necessary for the next (or future) units.  Provide concrete examples of how students will know when they have developed competency in those skills.  Give activities that allow students to independently apply and test their own knowledge this week.

In so doing, you will be laying the seeds of intrinsic motivation, which is the our next pillar of competency-based grading.

Important dates this month.  

  • 15NOV21 through 19NOV21:  Our first PowerUp week
  • 19NOV21:  MP1 Ends
  • 18NOV21:  Next Consultation Committee Meeting
  • 19NOV21:  End of Marking Period 1. 
  • 21NOV21:  Staff Potluck
  • 22NOV21:  MP1 Grades Due
  • 24NOV21: Rapid Dismissal at 2PM for All Students
  • 25NOV21 & 26NOV21:  Thanksgiving Recess - NO SCHOOL
  • 30NOV21:  PTA Zoom Meeting

Committee Updates

Equity Team.  The Equity Team met Thursday 11/17/21 to examine classroom removal data in order to identify disproportionality.

Circles Committee.  No Updates this week.  Our next Staff Circle will be on Monday, 29NOV21 at 3PM in the library (then breaking out into separate rooms)

Consultation Committee.  Elena is setting the agenda for the next Consultation Committee meeting which has been moved to November 18th at 3PM.  Please submit any items you'd like on the agenda to her.  We'll be meeting in room 403.
  • Staff Attendance
    • In light of the amount of absences we as a community experienced this first marking period, we need to update our attendance policy.  We'll be reviewing this in consultation committee on Thursday.
  • Learning Lab 
    • This Learning Lab policy was shared at the start of the school year.  It is not being implemented.  We need to discus and adjust for re-launch of labs for MP2.   


Being Fully Inclusive.  We continue to work on our own biases daily, and still we fall a little short - not out of maliciousness - sometimes simply as a function of time and knowledge.

In this instance, our families who require translation services disproportionately did NOT have completed family conferences this week.  Family connection and partnership are core to the success of our students.  However, if you don't know where to go, it can be an insurmountable hurdle for staff to connect with families.  Luckily, there are many options for language support.  Please make the time this week to support our families whose primary language is something other than English.  Leverage the resources here, and connect with them to give them the same access and opportunities that all of our other students had this week.  You can find all of the below resources HERE.  Individually, they are linked here:

Also, Google Home Assistants (on your smartphone or at home device) also provide translation support if you cannot get support via the DOE services.  Find out how to use this feature by clicking here.  


To Do This Week

This is the stuff that requires your attention AND it's stuff you need to do!

PowerUp Learning Lab Reset.  This week, please reset ALL learning labs to be silent, independent work time.  I will send an email to families and kids this week to clarify expectations.  I need all teachers to enforce expectations.  

In the Principal Advisory Group this week, the kids expressed that they wished their teachers all enforced the same expectations for learning lab.  It is very hard for students to negotiate multiple expectations.  It is very hard for teachers to feel like they are the only one implementing expectations.

THUS, for everyone to be successful, we all must be pulling in the same direction, consistently. Please make sure that in learning labs this week, your enforce that:
  • ONLY students assigned to your learning lab are in your room.
    • Teachers can use small group time to work with kids this week.
    • Please do NOT bring students into your learning lab this week.  It will confuse things.
  • All students must work silently this week to provide quiet time for all students to complete work assigned and/or foundational skill activities assigned by their teachers.
    • If students need to work with peers, they can do so in writing via G-chat or comments on a shared G-Doc.  But there is to be NO talking - only silent work.
  • Students MUST work on academic work this week.  
    • DRP and MAP math data show that almost 100% of students are below or well below grade level.  Therefore, students should be working on fluency work. All ELA and Math teachers should be assigning fluency exercises (via Khan, Delta Math, etc.) or independent reading for students to complete in Learning Lab.
    • Any student with <90% in their courses should be working on course work assigned by their teachers to improve grades.  If students say they have no work, have them show you their Grades in PupilPath.
  • This is the week to catch up and/or solidify skills and knowledge that kids will need the most as they move forward in your course.

<<REPOST>> It's Shopping TimePlease use ShopDoe to submit your orders for the Spring Term.  Submit your order requests to THIS folder by 30NOV21.  We are aiming to enter all submitted orders before the winter break so that items arrive by the start of the Spring Term.  I know it seems so far in advance, but everything in the DOE moves slowly, so we have to create a timeline to accommodate for this.  

MP1 Ends Friday.  Marking Period 1 ends on Friday 19NOV21.  Grades are due on 22NOV21 at 3PM.  

Complete Remaining Parent Conferences.  Overall, almost every single advisor did a great job in connecting with families.  Almost every advisor connect with all advisees or only have 1-2 remaining.  We do have a couple of advisors with more than 2 advisees remaining.  Annie, Jen & I will be reaching out directly to those folks this week to see what's happening and how we can support.  For everyone,

Per Session Postings

  • No New Postings This Week


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