Sunday, October 2, 2022

Week of October 3rd

UAI Staff News

Volume X
Issue 6
October 3rd, 2022

A Cold Dark Night on the Side of Everest.  Last week, the Chancellor released updates to the middle and high school admissions processes, returning a screening process that have historically contributed to the intense racial segregation of NYC Schools.  On top of that, Principals received their most recent budget sheets which show how their schools actual enrollment will impact their funding.  Almost every school across the city is facing a register loss, including us, which translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars being taken back by the DOE from schools.  For UAI, we are looking at ~200-250K give back.  Ours is a combination of student transfers and student attendance.  We are currently at an average daily attendance rate of about 85%, far away from our goal of 90%, and still many of our students have much lower rates of attendance, and attendance to school on time.

It's quite the cold, dark night on the side of Everest.

I'm actually not being the Debbie Downer or Painful Realist.  I'm fully embracing our current state of affairs, and not succumbing to the stress that it pours on, but rather the opportunity it provides.

Many of you who know me have heard of my obsession with Hidden Brain, a podcast on NPR.  This week on my commute to work, I listed to an 2-part episode Reframing Your Reality.   I highly recommend listening if you have the time!  

The lesson I picked up from it was essentially this...

Every year, every day, every minute in fact - there is and will always be something that his challenging and hard (and even unfair) about our jobs.  I could throw my hands up and kvetch at all of it - changing nothing - OR I can shift my own mindset & perspective - two things I can actually control.

If I start to think about these hurdles as part of the process that I chose (I chose this job, I chose this school, I chose to work with my peers, staff, students, and families), and I chose it for the challenge and the reward.  Do I wish it was easier?  Of course I do!  BUT, I also know that I would never appreciate or value the easy as much as I do the hard work and positive outcomes that come from it.

Similarly, folks who choose to climb Mt. Everest do so for a specific outcome and achievement.  Spending the night on the side of the mountain is part of the process, and spending the night on the side of Everest is going to be cold and hard. But, eventually, the climbers get to the top. And therein lies the worth.

For us, our summit will be many different tops.  

It may be something like having a breakthrough with a student who has pushed your buttons all of September, and that breakthrough leads to a deep an trusting relationship that you only could come about because she pushed & pushed, and you stayed, didn't give up, and earned her trust.

It may be trying to find better ways to spark excitement and engagement in your class.  You continue to work and push on the ideas with your colleagues, challenging each other (sometimes heavily disagreeing), but never giving up on refining and pushing the envelop until you all have see that lesson come alive with your kids in that lesson, with that sequence of activities and questions that blew their young minds!

It may be telling that one student 1000 times to put away her phone and take out her earpods, if only to see her do it on her own, without prompting on the 1001st time.

We are in the flow now.  It is October.  The stresses are real, and they are part of the process.  Push your own mindsets and perspectives to remember that these processes will lead to outcomes that we value, need, and appreciate.  In the moment of stress, reframe your reality.  In the moment of outcome, savor the success and remind yourself of why it is always worth it.

Important dates. 

  • Monday 03OCT -15OCT.  UAI Door Decorating Contest
  • Monday, 03OCT22.  Per Session Due 15SEP-30SEP Pay Period
  • Tuesday, 04OCT22.  UAI Field Trip Day
    • Grades 8-12 History Classes - Trips to the Met & to the movie Woman King
    • Grades 6-7 All Classes - Trip to see Woman King
  • Wednesday, 05OCT22.  Yom Kippur, NO SCHOOL
  • Monday, 10OCT22. Indigenous People's Day.  NO SCHOOL
  • Tuesday, 11OCT22.  Adams Street Campus Eagles Home Volleyball Game
  • Week of 17OCT22.  UAI Spirit Week
    • Monday, 17OCT22.  Pajama Day
    • Tuesday, 18OCT22. Color War Between Grades
    • Wednesday, 19OCT22.  90s Day
    • Thursday, 20OCT22. Rep Your Flag Day
    • Friday, 21OCT22.  Twin Day
  • Monday, 24OCT22. Diwali Celebration After School
  • Monday, 31OCT22.  Halloween - Costume Parade

Announcements & To Dos

Monday PD.  For Monday's PD, we'll be returning to our staff circles, and afterwards, I'm going to walk you through a few online tools to help fill in the gaps that losing PupilPath and Skedula.  In addition, I want to show folks how to reset student DOE passwords, and introduce a portal where you can view student attendance, and historical academic data.  So, at 3PM, please meet up with your team for staff circles, and then bring your computers to the farm at 3:30!

Academic Outreach & Google Classrooms. As stated in Friday's announcements, please make sure that you are entering at least one grade per week for all students in your classes.  As an FYI, I was visiting some learning labs last week and asked kids to show me their google classrooms and their grades.  For the most part, I saw that most teachers & classes are meeting this expectation around posting grades (YAY you!).  However, there are a few folks who have yet to enterany graded work.  Also, there are a few who have entered work, but it is not averaging into an overall grade for students.  Double check your settings and reach out to your ILT person for support to make sure your Google Classroom Gradebooks are set up appropriately.  To double check, ask one of your students to show you their view of your grades.  

For any student who is failing your class as of Monday, 03OCT22, you MUST contact home to inform families as to what is happening and why - even if that why is an attendance related issue.  Please use this Anecdotal Form to record your interactions.  From now until the end of the marking period (10NOV), you should make sure that you are contacting these families weekly to provide them an update on the student's progress in order to give them an opportunity to support from home.  Please make sure to update the anecdotal form weekly.

Attendance App and Tracking.  This week *should be* the week that we iron out the kinks.  Provided that this week goes without a hitch, we will be moving to the Attendance App completely (and releasing the bubble sheets) by next Monday.  Please email me if you are still having issues with your codes this week. 

Some folks have asked for a way to track attendance for their courses.  That is coming (says the DOE), but not until November at the earliest (and then if this history holds, it probably won't be reliable until December).  In the mean time, I've created an old school attendance template for you HERE. Feel free to make your own copy to track your course attendance.  If you scroll to the far right of the document, I've set it up to calculate attendance totals and overall rate for you.

Student Password Reset.  Any UAI staff member can reset a student's email and look up their DOE email account.  With your DOE credentials, you should have access to reset a student's DOE password (you don't need the email - just a student's OSIS - which you can find on their schedule)

  1. Go to external link) and sign in with your DOE credentials. If you don’t have access, scroll down to the bottom of the page for instructions.
  2. Enter the student’s OSIS ID number.
  3. Enter a password for the student.
  4. Provide the password to the student. 
  5. When you give the password to the student, tell them to sign into the Student Password and Account Management tool(Open external link) and reset their password to something unique (if you gave them a generic password).
  6. Once they reset their own password and set up their account, they are all set and can begin accessing DOE digital learning platforms.
UAI Teacher After School to Start 17OCT.  Girls Inc has already started, and now that the After School Posting has been up for two weeks, I can formally announce the after school 
  • Theater Club - Noelle
  • Community Service/Philanthropy Club - Lia
  • MS After School Club - Sarah R & Phillan
  • Digital Design (CAD) - Judy
  • MS Gaming Club - Fatima
  • GSA - Freida
  • Art Club - Freida
  • Guitar Club - Alison
We're still looking for someone to lead the following clubs - please email Kiri if you're interested
  • Black Student Union
  • Muslim Student Alliance
  • Student Council
  • Cheerleading
  • Stoked
All selected teachers should email me a brief blurb on their club and the dates/times you plan to meet (and room) by EOD Tuesday 04OCT.  I'll put out a flier for advisors to review with kids to help get sign ups.  Club Teachers should also actively recruit students for their clubs.  A minimum of 10 students are required for the club to exist.

UAI Teams & Committees.  Here are the teams and committees (I may be missing some folks - please let me know if I am!)
  • Admin Leader - Annie
    • Equity Team.   Rebecca (Teacher Lead), Mike, Amanda, Jelissa, Shan
    • Attendance Team.  Freida (Teacher Lead), Elena, Pauline
    • Instructional Leadership Team. Kelly (Teacher Lead), Marsha, Phillan, Judy, Liza
  • Admin Leader - Jen
    • Parent & Family Engagement.  Martine, Elena
    • Advisory Planning Team.  Rebecca, Danielle I, Phillan
    • Culture committee. TBD
    • Website Maintenance & Social Media.  TBD
    • New Student Recruitment.  TBD

Per Session Postings

For ALL per session activities (view all 2022-23 postings here),
please complete Per Session Application Form


No New Postings this week

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