Sunday, January 9, 2022

Week of Jan 10th

UAI Staff News

Volume IX
Issue 19
January 10th, 2022

Principal Message

Making it Work.  Last week was definitely not a smooth return to school from the winter recess.  Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks have doubled down on their commitment to keep schools open, and that is exactly what we did.

It wasn't pretty, and "school" was definitely a stretch at times, and now we need to figure out how to adapt (yet again) to a set of circumstanced that we've never encountered before (and hopefully never will again).

We are facing a huge number of obstacles this month.  As Omicron sweeps through the country, COVID cases are rising rapidly.  As a result, we do not have the consistency we need to be successful in our current lesson plans, and now we have to pivot to a new approach to find success.

That pivot is also an opportunity.  Rather than continuing forward in our curriculum, this is a chance to go deep and to use this time to close the learning gaps that were also challenging instruction throughout the fall.  

Our choices are not great.  We can either get mad about how difficult and unfair everything is and turn to each other to complain about it OR we can find some shred of self-efficacy and turn to each other to find a way through this time.

I will always choose the latter approach.

So, on Monday during PD, subject teams will meet together to collaboratively brainstorm how to best support students (and each other) in closing their foundational learning gaps.  Additionally, team members will share ideas and best practices to help one another leverage online resources and in-class structures to optimize instruction in a classroom with low and rapidly shifting attendance.  

The goal of this work is to find a rhythm in this chaos that makes our instruction purposeful, and all of our students learn and grow.  This work won't be perfect, but it will be worthwhile, and it will also be useful and applicable in the years to come.  What you develop over the next couple of weeks will be invaluable resources to use for any future students, in need of resource and support to close learning gaps.  One thing we can say for certain, we will be working with students with major learning gaps for some time to come.  So taking this pause is not only good for right now, it is also an investment in future instructional plans. 

Important dates this month.  

  • 10JAN21:  Lady Eagles Home Basketball Game at 4:30
  • 10JAN21:  Monthly PD Meeting - Rescheduled Circles (from the cancelled Dec Circle)
  • 11JAN21:  Monthly Grade Team Meetings
  • Week of 17JAN - Principal Advisory Student Group Meetings

  • 17JAN21:  MLK Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL
  • 18JAN21:  Lady Eagles Home Basketball Game at 4:30
  • 21JAN21:  Lady Eagles Home Basketball Game at 4:30

  • Week of 24JAN21:  Power-Up Week
  • 28JAN21:  End of MP2 
  • 31JAN21:  Chancellor's PD Day (Remote Day)
  • 01FEB21:  Lunar New Year - NO SCHOOL
  • 02FEB21:  MP3 Begins

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.  This week's agenda is in the consultation committee notes.  Our meeing is scheduled for 12JAN21. 


Staff Testing.  We will be giving out COVID tests on Fridays so that teachers can test on Sundays before returning to work (or Monday if Monday is the holiday).  Please take a COVID test on Sundays and if the test is positive, please complete THIS FORM and immediately reach out to Kiri so that she can walk you through the next steps.

New Outreach Team.  During this month of January, with so many students out the level of outreach is significant.  Jen is forming an outreach team with our counselors and deans to take on the outreach to families this month.  This folks will be contacting homes about attendance issues in place of advisors for the month of January.  If needed, these folks will ask advisors to follow up with any non-attendance related issues (e.g. social emotional supports, academic needs, etc.). Advisors will need to connect 

To Do This Week

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

Feedback & Improvement.  Now that the outreach team is picking up on attendance outreach, please use this new time to make contact with homes about academic progress for students in your classes. Please use your programmed feedback time to make sure students are receiving timely verbal and written feedback to improve academic performance and social emotional skills in your classes.
  • All students should have feedback from you about how to improve their performance in your class.   HOWEVERAll students who are failing MUST have had a conversation with you about what they need to do in order to pass by the end of MP2 by the end of this week.  If you cannot get in touch with a student, please email Kiri directly, and she will provide support.  Please document these conversations in Skedula. 

<<REPOST>> Grades.  With the change in course codes, cumulating MP1 with MP2 is not happening automatically across the board.  The best way to make sure MP1 is reflected in MP2 is to use the final MP1 grade as a performance grade in MP2.  It will be the teacher's discretion on how much to weight MP1.  Is this a method you would like to continue for the year? Share your opinion here.

Per Session Postings

Please complete THS PER SESSION INTEREST FORM and email Kiri to let her know that you are applying for a per session position.
  • Scheduling Committee (POSTING CLOSES 18JAN)We will begin programming for next year.  This committee will review & refine processes used this year for course selection.  Committee members must commit to time outside of school hours to train in STARS programming and they will be responsible for actually programming the school in STARS for next year.  Committee members will also be charged with integrated constituency voices (students, staff, families, partners) and aligning NYCDOE academic & union requirements to constituency requests.   Committee members can expect to meet weekly for 1 hour and put in at least 2-3 hours independently (remote work ok) on work products related to programming and scheduling.  Committee members will work in conjunction with Instructional Leadership Team and School Leadership to finalize program options and implement programmatic needs. 
    • Required Skills - Facility with MS Excel required
    • Preferred Skills - Strong communication skills, someone who likes solving puzzles with multiple variables with multiple outcomes, willing to learn DOE systems and academic/union requirements for programming and scheduling

    • Staffing up to 5 members to begin meeting after posting closes on 17JAN21
  • Hiring Committee (Posting CLOSES 18JAN).  We are forming our hiring committee.  During hiring season, members selected to the committee should be ready to spend 1-5 hours per week doing the following activities:

    • Candidate Recruitment
      • Outreach to colleges and universities - Including NYS & NYC, and also HBCUs, 
      • Researching and finding and attending hiring fairs for people of color
      • Present at hiring fairs and actively recruit attendees to UAI Interviews
      • Outreach to communities and community organizations
      • Leverage Social Media, and current UAI Community Connections to find staff
      • Develop creative approaches for reaching and maximizing the number of candidates of color applying to work at UAI.
    • Create a strong presentation of who we are (visual and verbal)
      • Leverage what makes us special!
        • Highlight anti-racist work, creative programming, Juneteenth, all-girls, college and career focused, mission as a whole, teacher growth focus, teacher-centered/planned PD’s
      • Provide content on UAI Website around hiring, staffing, and UAI community to provide a public facing sense of what it is like to be part of our community
    • Facilitate interviews and demo lessons/debriefs
      • Conduct panel and individual interviews
      • Review demo lesson plans, and independently learn any new content to be prepared to conduct comprehensive debrief of demo lessons

    Candidates for this Position will be Selected using the following criteria:
    Ability to present the school well - focusing on things to highlight
    Capacity to remain open and intentionally weigh many factors, and refrain from making quick judgements
    Commitment to criteria and the the UAI hiring process
    Commitment to anti-racist work and mission of UAI
    Effective teachers with a solid understanding of instruction and discipline
  • Staffing up to 5 members to begin meeting after posting closes on 17JAN21

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