Sunday, May 15, 2022

Week of May 16th

UAI Staff News

Volume IX
Issue 31
May 9th, 2022

Final Two Full Weeks!  These are the final two full weeks of new instruction. This has been another super challenging year, and we are in the final stage of the year.  

We're all feeling the stress right now.  The kids's skills are behind where they would normally be in a school year with COVID, and they know that as much as we know that.   We, as adults, have had our own bucket of struggles as each of us navigated a sea of personal stress & challenge with the backdrop of COVID still looming large.

Dude... this has been a hard year...after year... after year...

BUT - The finish line is finally in site.  We have only 11 instructional days left in May, and when we get to June there's only 8 teaching days left for the high school (and 11 for the middle school).   June 1-14 will be our final Power Up "week" for the high school (with June 21st for the MS).  

These next two weeks are our opportunity to grasp for and root some level of normalcy for ourselves and our students.  
  • Kids will continue to test us and push the boundaries - which is normal - because they're teenagers
  • Teachers & Paras will continue to find new ways to cajole, encourage, challenge and motivate their students - which is normal - because you're awesome at what you do
  • Counselors will continue to listen, guide, and push our students to reflect on their choices, learn from their mistakes, and make better paths for themselves as they grow and develop - both normal and essential!
  • School Support Teams will continue to manage all of the endless pieces of operation that allow the school to run - so normal and soooo endless!
  • School Leadership will continue to find ways encourage and push everyone to be their best in their roles at UAI - which is admittedly annoying at times - but also super normal and what is to be expected.
After a sea of uncertainty, I reach for these elements of normalcy like life rafts bringing stability and centeredness.  In these next few weeks, we will all be in our feels at some point or another, but I encourage you to step out and look at those reactions in the context our larger experience this year.  We have a lot to fix, but we also have to honor what we have achieved in light of what we have all experienced together.

UAI, we got these next few weeks because we've had this all year long!!  

In the words of my 14 year old boy ---- Let's gooooooo!


Important dates this month & next.  

  • Monday, 16MAY:  Full Staff Meeting in the Library at 3PM
    • Scheduling Committee Report Out

  • Mock Regents: Please Review the Mock Regents Schedule
    • Friday, 20MAY:  US History Mock Regents 12:10-2:50PM
    • Monday, 23MAY:  Algebra I Mock Regents 12:10-2:50PM
    • Tuesday, 24MAY:  Science (Earth/Living) Mock Regents 9:00-11:10AM

  • Monday, 23MAY:  Full Staff Meeting in the Library at 3PM
    • Hiring Committee Report Out
    • Regents Exam Grading

  • Monday 30MAY:  Memorial Day
    • No School

  • Wednesday, 01JUN:  USH Regents Exam Day - NO CLASSES

  • Monday, 06JUN:  Final Circle PD

  • Tuesday, 07JUN:  Correction to Calendar - we DO have school!

  • Tuesday, 07JUN:  Final Day of Regular Classes for Seniors
    • NOTE:  List of Seniors Failing Your Class Due on 03JUN so we can communicate programming for students mandated to small groups

  • Thursday, 09JUN:  Brooklyn Queens Day - Remote PD Day

  • Tuesday, 14JUN:  Last day of classes grades 9-11

  • Thursday, 16JUN:  High School Graduation at 11AM @ City Tech

  • Week of 15JUN-24JUN:  Regents Week - Regular Classes for Grades 6 & 7
    Here are the exams we are giving:
    • Wed 15JUN:  
      • 9AM:  ELA Regent Exam
      • 1PM:  Living Environment Regent Exam
    • Thu 16JUN:
      • 9AM:  ALG 1 Regent Exam
    • Fri 17JUN: 
      • 1PM:  EARTH SCI Regent Exam
    • Tue 21JUN: 
      • 9AM: GEOMETRY Regent Exam
      • 1PM: LOTE Regent Exam 
    • Wed 22JUN:  
      • 9AM:  ALG 2 Regent Exam

  • Friday, 17JUN:  Last Day for Teachers Going on Vacation!
    • Must Complete End of Year Exit Sheet Prior to End of Day

  • Monday, 20JUN:  Juneteenth - NO SCHOOL

  • Tuesday 21JUN:  Middle School Portfolio (ELA/MATH) week begins (Schedule TBD)

  • Monday, 27JUN:  Last Day for Students 

  • Tuesday, 28JUN:  Last Day for Staff

Committee Updates

Scheduling Committee. The scheduling committee is currently working on making sure students meet pre-requisites for required courses.  They will be presenting their work to staff next Monday 16MAY to provide folks with a progress report.  You can see the agenda and notes here.  

The Hiring Committee.  Our next fair is On May 24, 2022.  Please SHARE OUT THIS FLIER to anyone you know who may be looking for a job in teaching next year!   
    • You can always view our notes and decisions on THIS DOC

Equity Team. Please complete the survey that Joey sent out. The com.  Agenda

Circles Committee.  No Updates this week

Consultation Committee.  Next meeting is on Thursday 19MAY -  at 3PM in room 403.  See consultation committee notes.   

Instructional Leadership Team. Mock Regents dates have been set (see below for details).  Also, all teachers with formal observations should be meeting with their ILT leader to prepare for their final observations with Kiri & Annie.


Mock Regents.  The instructional leadership team finalized dates for Mock Regents for students who will be taking exams in June.  Teams should have already heard from their ILT leads.  (ELA - I am still waiting to hear back from your team on a date...).  We don't have the capacity to hold Mocks for all the regent exams, so we're holding them for the exams required for graduation:  ELA, USH, ALG 1, Earth/Living.  

The main goal of a mock regent is to provide students an experience with extended time testing.  Students have not tested for longer than a single class period for years, at this point.  By creating a schedule to imitate Regents testing conditions, teachers will have the opportunity to coach students to build stamina and persistence throughout the exam.  These are not actual exams, the point of these exams is to help students develop the testing resilience they need to accurately demonstrate what they know.

Framing the exams is important for students.  Teachers should definitely use the following information to help frame the exams in a positive frame for students so that we limit anxiety and maximize student ability to show us what they can do and what they really know.
  • Generous Grading Curves.  It is highly likely that given NYS wanted to suspend regents again this year (the Federal Government said no) that the state will create more generous curves on the Regents Rubrics.  So, it's very possible that students could end up scoring very well on the exams this June - despite having had huge disruptions in learning this year.

  • Unknown Content & Strategic Thinking.  Disruptions in learning this year (remember our late start and almost non-existent instruction during Omicron in December & January) were unavoidable.  So, it's also unavoidable that kids will run into concepts that they may not have fully mastered (or even covered).  However, students have acquired the reasoning and thinking skills necessary to make educated guesses.  The mock regent is a time to engage students with building their test-taking strategies to eliminate answers and make educated guesses!

  • Format & Stamina.  Students have not yet had a full experience of a multi-hour exam this year. This mock regent is designed to provide teachers the opportunity to teach into the format of the entire exam and to coach students during testing to build their stamina and resilience - e.g. finding the students who are putting their heads down and giving up and giving them feedback and ideas on how to regroup and keep trying.  Certainly things can't happen during the actual exam, but as this is their first extended testing experience - a lesson on learning how to manage the experience is required.
Another goal of mock regents, of course, is to provide teachers with the content data needed to tailor the final days of instruction for their classes.  Staff will have time to grade regents exams during PD time, and if necessary, per session hours.

Special Notes:  
  • SCIENCE TEACHERS:  Many of the kids on your lists already have a science regent exam (except 8th graders - all 8th graders must sit for their science regent).  However, traditionally, students have had the greatest success with a 2nd science for their Plus One.  Students who need a science regent or a Plus One will automatically be registered to take their science exam.  Science Teachers will have the option to make final recommendations for lists, factoring in student needs and performance on the Mock Exams.

Calendar Changes.  In reviewing the calendar, and then double checking with the powers that be, June 7th is a REGULAR school day for us.  The clerical day is for schools with only grade 6-8 or K-12, not 6-12.  So, we have a regular school day that day!

STARS Updates.  Please check your class lists - Gen Ed and Special Ed.  There were some mistakes in students who were assigned to teachers.  To be honest with the staffing changes that happened (Teachers resigning, being hired) and the new programming model we used this year, it was super hard to track everything that was in motion.  However, I did finally get to this item that was constantly pushed off my plate - which was to check and double check STARS assignments.  There are a million tiny moving pieces in the program - just ask anyone on the scheduling committee!  So, please raise up any mistakes you see to me as soon as you seen them.  Jennifer & I tried to catch as many as we could, but we are mere humans.  We need multiple eyes to catch everything. So please help!

Monday Full Staff Meetings.  On Monday, we will once again meet in the library to continue our work to build up our general community connections.  This will continue each Monday for the remainder of the year.  For the upcoming Mondays, here are the topics of the meetings.
  • 16MAY - Scheduling Committee Update
  • 23MAY - Hiring Committee Update & Regents Grading
  • 06JUN - Final Staff Circle
  • 13JUN - Regents Schedule Review for HS Staff - No meeting for MS Staff

<<REPOST>>Small Group Instruction.  All small groups are launched MP4 Small GroupsFor students who are not responding to outreach or who are not attending small groups, please escalate those names to Kiri by Friday, 13MAY22.  If you missed that deadline, please email me before EOD today. Before escalating, please make sure that you have attempted to call home with the student first (e.g. pulled the student and called home with them from their cell phone).    As a reminder, students who are still failing by May31st will be assigned to attend school for extra help in small groups during Regents Exam testing days in June.

Staff PicnicOur first ever Staff Family Picnic is this Saturday, May 21st at 11:30 in Prospect Park. Look out for a details in an upcoming email from the planning team!  Please bring your own food and drink & something to sit on! 


To Do This Week

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

Do Small Group Outreach.  All teachers with small groups must call families on Tuesday to let them know that small groups will launch on Tuesday.  Please update the form  HERE once outreach is complete.  If you have any issues or problems with outreach, please contact Kiri directly!  

Please Celebrate Our Students.   Our Student Awards Ceremony is in two weeks and we still need nominations...Please take a minute to nominate a student!

Per Session Postings

Please complete THIS PER SESSION INTEREST FORM and email Kiri to let her know that you are applying for a per session position.

School Organization.   We are now ready to begin organizing stuff! Dai will be supervising all efforts, but I've appointed chiefs of certain areas to work with her.  

Science Supplies Chief - Liza with Team:  Judy, Tom, Sarah R, Nina, Phillan
Student Schwag Supplies Chief - Kelly with Team:  Jen, Elena, Aisha

2022 UAI SUMMER Camp.  


  1. Jenetta (Summer School Coordinator, Social Justice Course) - Staffed - Social Justice Course
  2. Kelly (Summer School Coordinator, Regents Prep Coordinator) - Staffed (Summer/Regents Coordinator)
  3. Jelissa (SYEP, Student Recruitment) - Staffed - SYEP coordinator, Student Recruitment
  4. Adelle (Student Recruitment) - Student Recruitment
  5. Freida (Summer Arts Elective) = Staffed Summer Arts Elective
  6. Nina (Regents Prep) - Staffed - Regents Prep
  7. Nicole (SYEP, Student Recruitment)- Staffed - SYEP Support,Student Recruitment
  8. Juelle (Student Recruitment) - Staff Student Recruitment
  9. Brodie (Summer School Administrator) - Staffed - Summer School Admin
  10. Shana (STEAM Summer Elective) - Staffed - STEAM Summer Elective
  11. Rebecca (Pottery with a Wheel)- Staffed - Pottery
  12. Olympia (Creative Writing) - Staffed - Creative Writing

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