UAI Staff News
May 30th, 2023
Tech Tools and Learning. I'm old. ;-)
Let me illustrate that fact in my history of tech tools
- When I was 6, my parents brought home one of the first computers made for home use, the Apple 2e. I loved that thing. I learned how to program in Turtle, and played adventure games by reading text and typing in commands like "Take the Scroll" or "Eat the berry" at the blinking green prompt. I had no idea what my parents did with it, but I played... and learned.
- By college, Apple had created the first shoebox Mac, and my college roommate, who was a math major, introduced me to this instant electronic messaging - via Berknet, which used a Unix messaging code. Yes that's right.. I am older than email....I used these messages to communicate with professors and even submit paper via FTP protocols (file transfer). That little shoebox Mac helped me so much... it streamlined so much of my work flow and communication. It made me ... so much more efficient!
- After grad school, I moved to NYC and landed my first teaching gig. At some point during those early years, cellphones became so much more cheap and more globally accessible. My first one was a StarTAC flip phone that I used to think looked exactly like a Star Trek communicator. Suddenly, I had the ability to call anyone, anywhere, at anytime. I could text (well it took forever since I had to spell out words using the letters on the number pads of the phone), but suddenly instant communication was possible. And I used it to connect with friends and loved ones more frequently and economically! Long distance used to be a real racket! Cell phones helped me build my community.
I didn't even talk about the rise of the internet, social media, or even Alexa of Google Home Assistants...
Yes, I'm old, but that also has given me the advantage of experiencing the tectonic shifts in culture that each of these tools brought about. AND I have simultaneously been awed by the intransigence of education during these exact shifts.
For reasons I still question, learning standards are filled with facts and figures that we supposed need to know, as if there weren't machines built to help hold this exact same information. The content requirements of the common core makes it impossible to cover both the sea of content listed and develop the critical thinking and reasoning skills.
Today, I can just ask Siri or Google what I need to know, and it tells me. But who teaches me how to ask the right question or sift through the results? How do I verify my sources? What information can I trust? How can I use the information I find to create new understandings? What patterns do I look for? How do I recognize patterns to form predictions and/or construct arguments?
It is true that we need the information in order to apply and develop our critical thinking skills. However, too often, because current standards and exams emphasize the content over skills, our instruction mirrors that imbalance in our classroom instruction.
This is the real root of our fears around ChatGPT. ChatGPT may be the Apple 2E of our students' generation. We have been in the pattern of having to provide and test for content acquisition for so long that a tool like ChatGPT, which could completely replace that role, is threatening.
But ChatGPT can also be the tool to help us accelerate and improve teaching and learning - just as computers have done since the 1970s.
Yes, Resident Evil, Terminator, and a whole host of movies have warned us about the challenges of AI. But movies about how AI makes our lives easier and happier probably wouldn't have made as much money. AND movies are fiction....
I am old, but I am far from dead. Learning is the true fountain of youth, and I am just as excited to learn what this new ChatGPT can do as I was to when I first played with my Apple 2E, toyed with Email, and wielded my StarTAC like a Star Trek communicator.
Summer is almost upon us. I encourage you to explore and learn about the tools that can make your own pedagogical practices deeper, stronger, and more effective. There are many books to read (I'm sure you already have some of those on your lists). There are also many articles to peruse and tools to explore.
I encourage your curiosity, and I urge you to learn more by playing, experimenting, and sharing with friends!
SO.. I hope you all grow old happily - but stay young & curious and that you push to continuously learn, question, and acquire new tools to ever expand your capacity to do whatever it is you want to do!
- Tuesday, May 30th Outreach Time - MP4 Progress Report #2 Grade Entry
- Please Update Progress Report Grades by EOD 30MAY23
- Final MP4 Progress Report Distributed in Advisory on Mon 05JUN or Tue 06JUN
- Thursday, Jun 1st - US History Regents -
- NO School for grades 8-12, regular 6th & 7th grade classes
- 8-12 Students who are failing ANY course, must attend school for intervention classes
- Friday, Jun 2nd - 8th Grade Prom
- Monday 05JUN - Tuesday 06JUN - Senior Overnight Trip to Dorney & Hershey Park
- June 5th - 12th - These are the final performance tasks of the year.
Final Exam Week - all finals happen during regular class time
- Monday 05JUN - English Final Exams
- Tuesday, 06JUN - Social Studies Final Exams
- Wednesday, 07JUN - Math & Science Final Exams
- Thursday, 08JUN - Brooklyn Queens PD Day - NO Classes
- Friday, 09JUN - Math & Science Final Exam
- Monday, 12JUN - Breadth/Elective Final Exams
- Tuesday, 13JUN23 - Last day of High School Classes
- June 14th-June 23rd Regents Week
Please see June Regents Exam Schedule and Student Lists
- Wednesday, 14JUN - AM English; PM Living Environment
- Thursday, 15JUN - AM Global; PM Algebra 1
- Friday, 16JUN - AM Earth Science; PM Chemistry
- Tuesday, 20JUN - AM Geometry; PM Spanish
- Wednesday 21JUN - AM Algebra 2; PM None
- Thursday 22JUN - AM Physics; PM None
- Friday, 23JUN - Rating day
- Monday, 19JUN23 - Juneteenth - NO SCHOOL
- Friday, 23JUN23 - High School Graduation at City Tech Theater
- Monday, 26JUN23 - 8th Grade Stepping Up
- Tuesday, 27JUN23 - Last Day of School
- Students meet advisors in Advisory from 8:30-10AM
- Pick up final report cards
- Clean out lockers
- Return Tech
- Monday, 10JUL23 - First Day of Summer School (Mon-Thu only)
- 10JUL - 27JUL - Summer Splash (Enrichment & Credit Recovery Classes)
- 31JUL - 15AUG - Regents Prep
- 16AUG - 17AUG - August Regents Testing
Announcements & To Dos
Final Progress Reports. Tuesday outreach time will be used for our Final Progress Report entry for the year. Please enter current grades for students in the Progress Report sheet by the end of outreach time on Tuesday 30MAY23. Comments are required for any failing student.
UAI Grading Policy Reminder. For this final progress report, please make double sure you are correctly following the UAI grading policy. The grades you enter on the final MP4 STARS report card will be the final, permanent, transcript grades. So, please double check your grade books with this progress report to make sure you are ready for the end of year grade entry.
As a reminder, here the UAI grading policy:
As a reminder, here the UAI grading policy:
- The UAI Grading Scale is 50-100. The UAI grading scale is 50-100. There is no lower grade than 50, on any assignments or assessment. Please do not use grades lower than 50 for anything. This is exactly the same as if we used letter grades A-F. You can't enter grades of G-Z because those grades just don't exist. Similarly, grades 0-49 just do not exist in the UAI grading scale.
- The ONLY failing grade is 55 or F (if Advisory Pass/Fail). If a student is failing your class, please only use the grade of 55. If a student has a grades higher than 55, you must decide to pass (i.e. give the 65) or fail (give the 55). We do use the grade of 60 as a messenger grade (e.g. the current is currently failing but will likely pass). But for the FINAL grades, the only failing grade is 55.
- Use 100 as an exceptional grade only. When we give a student a grade of 100, we are signaling to colleges that this students is perfect. You should not give a 100 if that grade was earned using any sort of extra credit (use a 99 instead). When we give grades of 100s (particularly in core content classes), colleges and universities inspect those grades and call into question the rigor of our expectations. So, you can give the grade of 100, just make sure that it is earned perfection and not gifted to honor other than academic excellence.
Finals Week & Course Summative Assessments This is the final week of new instruction. You are not required to give a final exam or test. However, all classes are required to give a course summative assessment (could be final presentation for example). This summative assessment should ask students to demonstrate skill & content mastery of the entire course (not just the last unit). Students who pass this summative assessment have demonstrated a level of course mastery from minimal (65) to mastery (>85). For any student who is failing your course, they MUST pass your final course assessment in order to demonstrate at least minimal course mastery. If you have students who are failing your course(s) (including Advisory), please complete this form and link your summative assessment plus any other assessment you wish students to complete for course credit.
Summer School. UAI Summer School is Ready to Kick Off. Many thanks to folks for signing up to join our summer school. Our summer school is broken up into three components
- Summer Splash! - Fun Learning Experiences to stoke the creative and ambitious fires of our young, brilliant minds. Summer isn't supposed to be punishment! Summer is another way to get kids to plug into a lifetime of learning. That is our goal for UAI Summer Splash. Getting kids STOKED to learn! This program runs 10JUL-27JUL Mondays-Thursdays
- Summer Credit Recovery. We use June Regents Exam week to leverage the instructional component of traditional summer school. Students learn best with their teachers, and most teachers need summer breaks! So, June Regents time is the best happy medium of these two truths. For those students who are not able to complete the required assignments during the June Regents intervention time, we will have our sub teachers working with them to complete those assignments in July. This program runs concurrently with Summer Splash 10JUL-27JUL, Mondays thru Thursdays (Students can enroll in both). Students are automatically enrolled in Summer Credit Recovery, based on final June Grades.
- Regents Prep. For those students who didn't quite reach their exam goals in June, we offer another at bat during the summer. From 31JUL-17AUG, students can attend regents prep classes run by their teachers (Mon-Thu only) with testing on 16AUG & 17AUG. Enrollment is automatic (based on June Regent scores), and mandatory for graduation requirement regent exams (E.g. Earth/Living, Algebra 1, ELA, and USH/GLO). We do not have staff to offer GEO, ALG2, or other exams during the summer. Students can take those again in January 2024.
Summer Splash Sign Up. Please Share THIS FORM with your advisory students. All middle school students who sign up will also be enrolled in our Girls Inc Summer Camp and will have the opportunity to stay until 3PM each day.
- Digital Design & 3D Printing with Ms. Judy. Learn how to turn your creations into reality with Ms. Judy's Digital Design and 3D Printing Class this Summer! Open to all students!
- US History Through Comics with Mr. Sean. Love US History?? How about Comic Books or Graphic Novels? Come join Mr. Sean this summer to have a fun exploration of our nations history!
- Fashion Design with Ms. Freida. Are you interested in exploring or deepening an interest in Fashion? Join Ms. Freida this summer to do just that!
- Visual Art with Ms. Frances. Visual Art is both a beautiful and therapeutic process. Come join Ms. Frances to explore various art forms and to add some beauty to your summer.
- Cosmetology with Ms. Syan. Do you have an interest in hair and makeup? Are you interested in learning how to develop your own products that are both natural AND work? Then join Ms. Syan this summer to learn from one of the best!
Technology Collection. We will be collecting student technology this year to make sure all equipment is fully updated and inventoried this summer. Please be on the look out in morning announcements for specific plans to collect (i.e. the specific where and how of collection). For now, please message to students and families that we will be collecting beginning the week of 12JUN.
June Regents Schedules & Intervention. Please review the June Regents Exam schedule. It is still in draft form, and still needs to be reviewed for mistakes and conflicts. We're also still finalizing lists.
So, please if you see anything, do email Kiri!
So, please if you see anything, do email Kiri!
- Regents Week Advisory/Tutor Outreach Period. All advisors will have a period to tutor advisees to help them finish Everfi work. All advisors should also be calling students who are required to attend school for intervention time with teachers. Please make sure you have the cell phone number of your students AND their parents so that you can call them each morning they are required to be in school.
- Core Class Tutoring Periods. All teachers have been given time to work with students who are failing classes. If students are no longer failing, then they do not have attend intervention sessions. Each intervention session will be limited to no more than 5 students at a time so that you can work with them. If you have more than 15 students failing, those sections will have be bigger. If you have fewer than 5, we'll put all your students into one section, and you will have the rest of the time as your own independent work time.