UAI Staff News
November 28th, 2022
Finishing 2022 strong. Welcome back from the Thanksgiving Holiday! Hopefully you enjoyed fabulous food with friends and families, and hopefully you were able to steal some time to rest and recharge!
As we turn the corner into December this week, we have 4 solid weeks of uninterrupted learning. This is an excellent chance to settle into a rhythm and focus on accelerating learning to end the calendar year on our strongest note yet. Here are some big picture habits for students that we can all collectively support and cultivate over the next few weeks.
- Joy & Power - Address Absenteeism and Lateness. Student attendance is a huge issue that we need everyone's help to curtail. Nicole and Aisha are working hard in the morning to collect IDs from students who arrive late, thereby making it impossible for students to go out for lunch. This is a school wide push tactic to curtail student lateness. It has had positive effect, but it's not sufficient. We also need 1st period teachers to create a pull tactic. Students need a reason to be to your classes on time. Through conferences, calls home, and/or grades, students need help making the connection between being in your class on time, everyday and excelling in your class. Students will vote with their feet if you help them see how much power they build by being in class on time, and how much joy they feel by being successful in your class as a result.
- Rigor & Equity - Learning Lab. Math & ELA teachers should have already (or will be this week) assigned independent fluency work (math) or independent reading (ELA) for their students. Students need to be working during Learning Labs at all times. They should be working independently and silently at all times. Students often complain that they want to be able to work with classmates on an assignment. Please affirm them, but be firm in saying that Learning Lab time is designed to be independent time to close learning gaps (as shown on the MAP and DRP assessments). The homework is important, but so too is firming up skills that are not yet solid. Students need to understand that closing the holes in their foundational skills is necessary for them to be able to successfully engage in rigorous tasks, and that this engagement is necessary for them to be able to equitably compete with peers in college and careers beyond UAI.
Content instruction is clearly important, as these topics and skills are the items measured by state exams. However, these key habits - in this case coming to school on time everyday and shoring up foundational numeracy and literacy skills - are the engine to accelerating content acquisition and mastery. Helping our students make the connection between coming to school on time everyday and practicing foundational skills will be a key motivation to accelerating their growth and learning in all of our classrooms.
- Monday, 28NOV22. Circles & Subject Team Meetings
- Tuesday, 29NOV22. Progress Report Updates
- Monday 05DEC22. Courageous Conversations
- Monday, 06DEC22. Eagles Home Basketball Game
- Wednesday, 07DEC22. UAI Paint & Sip
- Friday, 09DEC22. Staff Holiday Celebration
- Monday 12DEC22. Competency Based Grading
- Tuesday, 13DEC22. Progress Report Updates
- Monday 19DEC22. Advisory PD
- Tuesday, 20DEC22. UAI Staff Holiday Potluck
- Friday, 23DEC22. Rapid Dismissal for Holiday break
Announcements & To Dos
MP2 Planning. As you prepare for the next few weeks of MP2, please remember some key learnings that came out of Instructional Rounds visits this fall.
- Plan for the Removal of Scaffolds. An ultimate goal is to move from scaffolds and worksheets to student-directed note-keeping. For example, in college or even in our current professional develop work, rarely if ever are we provided worksheets to sustain or support our learning. As we introduce thinking and concepts to students, scaffolds and worksheets make sense to provide entry points and guidance. However, they never seem to go away. As you go into MP2 lesson planning, please make it a point to make a target date for weening and ultimately removing scaffolds from student learning. For example, think about how you will move them from a worksheet with guiding questions to being able to generate those questions for themselves.
- Feedback and Independence. Three teams of instructional rounds observed a high amount of student dependence on teachers. Students rely on teachers to lead them through the activity, make the questions the need to answer, and tell them exactly what they are supposed to be doing at each point in the activity & lesson. As you move into MP2, think about how you are cultivating students independence and their own inquiry. How are they learning to ask their own questions and to navigate their own pathways through activities? When and where are you teaching them not only the content of your course but also a pattern of thinking and analysis in your classroom? How do you provide feedback that helps students cultivate that independence?
- Thought Partners & Support. These are hard things to develop and do well. To do this well, you need feedback from your co-teachers, students, instructional leaders, and school leaders. Reach out to folks for support to get their feedback on your ideas and lessons. In order to move our students from doing to thinking, we must first move ourselves from doing to thinking. Get ahead in your planning and think through your lesson choices with a colleague and/or trusted students. Talk through your ideas and use that feedback to grow your practice!
Gradebooks & Google Classrooms. Google Classroom grades must be kept up to date. The expectation is that there is at least one graded assignment (Progress or Performance) entered in Google Classroom Gradebooks each week. This upcoming Monday, ILT leads will work with subject teams to provide support to staff in making sure we all follow through on this expectation. In order for your students to thrive in your class, you must give them regular, accurate feedback on their performance. This can be with grading conferences and/or with updates to the gradebooks each week.
Progress Report Updates. This is a new feature we're introducing this marking period. We continue to try to work through a reliable & regular system of communicating student progress with families. For Marking Period 2, we are going to rework Tuesday outreach time to strengthen this communication with homes. For 3 Tuesdays in MP2, we will convene in our Circle Groups rooms to transfer Google Classroom Grades to THIS FORM. Then we'll merge that data into progress reports that students can take home and advisors can email home. The goal is that with more regular communication with students and families, there will be fewer surprises when MP2 ends.
The Tripod Survey & Benchmark Exams. The Student Tripod Survey will be giving in January along with our Midyear benchmarks. To prepare...
- Student Tripod Survey. This survey is a student survey about their teachers & classroom instruction. This survey provides feedback from students for teachers in various categories. You can see the questions HERE. Please review the questions for yourself and personal reflection now. We will do a sample survey in December to provide teachers with initial feedback prior to the January, formal administration.
- HS Benchmark Exams. During the week of January 17th, we will be giving benchmark exams for courses terminating in regents exams or AP exams for all students in grades 8-12. Regents-based classes will be provided with the assessment (so we can do school wide analysis). All non-regents based courses should develop their own final assessment for MP2. Non-regents/AP exam courses should plan to have their final assessments for MP2 on the assigned days below:
- Tuesday, 17JAN22. ELA Assessment Day
- All students in Course A-D will take ELA Regent Benchmark (provided by UAI)
- AP Students should take an AP Benchmark, teacher created
- LINCT Students should take LINCT assessment, LINCT created
- Wednesday, 18JAN22. Math Assessment Day
- All students in Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra 2 will take Regent (provided by UAI)
- All students in Pre-Calc or Calc will take teacher created assessment
- All students in LINCT will take LINCT assessment, LINCT created.
- Thursday, 19JAN22. Science Assessment Day
- Friday, 20JAN22. Social Studies Assessment Day
- Monday, 23JAN22. Theater, ENL, Spanish, Computer Science, PE Assessment Day, MP2 Ends, Grades due 3PM on THursday
- Tuesday, 24JAN22. Regents week begins - no classes for students in grades 9-12. 8th graders will be in attendance, but with special schedule for that week.
- MS Benchmark Exams. During the week of 23JAN, we will be giving benchmark exams in math & English for grades 6 & 7.
- Monday, 23JAN22. Social Studies Assessment Day - teacher created
- Tuesday, 24JAN22. ELA Assessment Day - NYS ELA benchmark (UAI Provided)
- Wednesday, 25JAN22. Math Assessment Day - NYS ELA benchmark (UAI Provided)
- Thursday, 26JAN22. Science Assessment Day - teacher created
- Friday, 27JAN22. PE Assessment Day & Computer Science Assessment Day
Per Session Postings
For ALL per session activities (view all 2022-23 postings here),
please complete Per Session Application For
Organization Committee. We always need folks to help keep things in order in the school. We have tiny spaces, and many things. We need many Marie Condos to help us! If you are interested in working on a committee that is aimed at organizing UAI closets and storages spaces, please fill out the form and email Kiri apply! Posting closes 28NOV22.