Monday, December 13, 2021

Week of December 13th

 Post Wednesday after school strategies Wrap Around care

 UAI Staff News

Volume IX
Issue 16
December 13th, 2021

Principal Message

Many thanks to all.  First and foremost, I want to say thank you to our amazing students. Last week. the NY Post tried to paint a racist and violent narrative of who they were. With the support of their amazing teachers & leaders (special shout out to Rachel, Joey, and Annie), they composed their thoughts and gave the NY Post a much deserved clapback that was picked up by a number of news outlets, including the Daily News.

Now, the incoming Chancellor, David Banks, has made their message THE message. We heard our students and empowered them to speak. When that happened, they not only flipped the narrative, they made the narrative.

What happened on our campus was probably the most scary thing that has happened in all of my 25 years of teaching in New York City. However, the way our community came together to support our students, and the way our students took control of their own narrative and choices, was the best of all possible outcomes.

On Thursday 02 and 03DEC, a total of 38 "weapons" were found on the Adams Street Campus, roughly 1/3 of those (stunners and pepper sprays) from UAI.

Last week, over the course of 5 days, about 7 items were found, 2 (a pepper spray and a stunner) from UAI.

Our students recognize the rules and the overwhelming majority are following them. Now, we need to listen to their calls, and find ways to help them feel and be safe to and from school each day.

To that end, we are currently
  • working with our Girls Inc Partners to bring back "Action for Safety" a self-defense program for youth.
  • As per suggestion of the Student PAGs, we will have student sign ups this week (look for announcement later today) for kids to sign up by train/bus stop to travel together.
  • we're going old school and purchasing UAI whistles for students to travel with
If you have other suggestions, please do share!

In the end, when our young people feel heard and empowered, they will have many more effective tools than pepper sprays or stun guns. Their ability to rally community and call attention to danger or issues will be much more effective methods of protecting themselves and others.

In the mean time, please do check in with advisees and homes this week on how folks are doing. Use circles to surface student concerns around safety, and please raise up any issues that need to be addressed ASAP to Jen, Annie, or myself.

Important dates this month.  

  • 20DEC21:  Staff Circles - Remote at 4PM
  • 23DEC21: Rapid Dismissal at 1:45PM for All Students (Same Staggered Dismissal as Thanksgiving)
  • 24DEC21 - 02JAN22:  Winter Recess - NO SCHOOL

Committee Updates

Equity Team.  No Updates this week Please review the meeting minutes.

Circles Committee.  Our next circle will be via zoom at 4PM on Monday, 20DEC21.

Consultation Committee.  No Updates this Week.  Please review the consultation committee notes from the last meeting on Thursday, 18NOV21.  The next meeting is scheduled for 12JAN21.  The agenda will be shared out in the Sunday blog on 09JAN21.  Damon will be facilitating, so please do share agenda items with him!


Coding Update.  Jennifer finished updating the codes last week (Thank you Jennifer!!!), and now you'll notice that your courses may have multiple codes.  You can unify these codes in Skedula (see Brodie's post from earlier in the year - Brodie do you mind re-sharing).  You can go ahead and upload grades now too.


To Do This Week

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

Fluency Work in Learning Labs.  If students say they have nothing to work on during learning lab, direct them to work on ELA and Math Fluency Assignments - posted on Google Classrooms and in this DOC
    • If they finish All of their work, students can always read or journal!  Please have paper or direct to news articles online available for students.
    • If students need help - have them use email or G-chat to get help. Learning Labs are to be silent work time for all during MP2.  Please do not make an exception in your own learning lab.  It makes everyone else's learning lab 10 times harder than it needs to be.
Hallway Presence. This week, administrative & counseling support staff will once again be pulled into managing ongoing campus logistics as we continue to work through this latest safety event.  Please be present and in the halls to help keep them clear and to check in with any students to provide them connection and stability throughout this week.

Wrap Around Support.  Some staff have requested that we have meeting time to discuss how we're strategizing to support our neediest students.  Currently, because students have opted into their programs this year, grade teams no longer capture all of their teachers (except for 6/7/ teachers).  Thus, we need another structure to bring folks together to meet.

Starting after the break, we will begin holding meetings on Wednesdays via zoom at 4:30PM to discuss strategies for supporting students.  There is no commitment necessary, but each week via the blog, teachers will be welcomed to submit student names, and based on need, those students will be on the docket for the Wednesday meeting.  I'm calling these meetings Student "WARM-UPs" - Wrap Around Research Meeting to Uplift Performance.  As you all know, I'm terrible at naming things - so please do share your other ideas!  Please complete THIS FORM if you would like to meet to discuss the student.  All participants will receive per session for the meeting.  The first meeting will be Wednesday 05JAN.

Per Session Postings

  • Club Teachers.  If you are interested in running a club during Lunch, Learning Lab or After School, please email Kiri and complete the Per Session Interest Form.  For Lunch/Learning Lab clubs, you will be paid a prep period coverage.  In-day clubs must be during your prep time for a prep-period coverage.  After school clubs can meet as often as you'd like.  Clubs must have at least 8 students to be viable.  Teachers will submit student attendance along with per session sheets.  <Posting Remains Open for more clubs>
    • Applied:  Kristina (Book Club), Tom (photography club), Jenetta (Astrology Club), Rebecca (Crafting), Rachel (Journalism), Shana (STEAM)
    • Staffed:  Kristina (Book Club), Tom (photography club), Jenetta (Astrology Club)
      Rebecca C (Crafting), Rachel (Journalism & Tutoring), Shana (STEAM)

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