Monday, January 15, 2024

Week of January 16th

UAI Staff News

Volume XI
Issue 21
January 16th, 2024

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

The Tireless Exertions Towards Equity.   Happy MLK Jr. Day!  Hopefully, this 3-day weekend afforded all of you a bit of time to recharge and catch up with the mountain of work you must have!

We are in the final stretch of the fall term, and the exhaustion is palpable in adults and kids alike.  However, it is not exertion in vain.  In line with Dr. King's quote, I want to raise up two of our core values for a closer look:  Rigor & Equity.

Rigor:  At UAI, the expectation for all classroom and out of classroom staff is to hold students to high academic and social emotional standards.  Students should be challenged daily to think deeply and push & grow their neurons with questions, reflections, and reassertions of their own ideas.  We push students to challenge themselves beyond completion and to cultivate & leverage their social emotional skills to meet academic goals.  All staff are expected to set and hold to high bars. 

Equity:  At UAI, all students are supported, challenged, and pushed in ways - according to their needs - that bridge students from their current levels of performance to the high standards set by the adults who teach them.  All staff are expected to find ways to support all students to achieve & meet or surpass the high bars.

Doing both of these is our tireless struggle.  Our staff is in a constant struggle to plan engaging activities to push student development, and then to push their own brains into novel approaches to find ways to support students to thrive - without lowering rigor.  It is not easy...(and explains why the role of teacher requires so many degrees).

BUT - the fire of your passion & dedication keeps burning.  Your love for the kids and your work keeps pushing each of you.  As humans, we all tire and let down our guard, but today, on MLK Jr. Day, I'm going to ask you to look inward to reconnect with your passion & dedication to make for a final push to end the Fall strong and well!

  • (>95) Some of your students are soaring!  Celebrate those wins with them, and think about what worked and why it worked for these students.
  • (>85) Some of your students are doing pretty well!  Celebrate those wins with them, and think with them how they can do even better to finish the term.
  • (>75) Some of your students are making the grade. Recognize their achievements.  Start to unravel the hurdles.  Push beyond the facts (they don't come to school/come on time; they don't complete work) and lean into understanding why.  Talk to them - find out what's going on. Connections & bridging to where they are if the first step to bringing them to where they need to be.
  • (<75) Some of your students are falling off track.  Catch them.  Now, more than ever, they need your love and support to get back on track.  You are the ones who are in the positions and with the capacity TO help them thrive.  For them, we need to pull together and work as a team of deans, counselors, administrators, teachers, & paras to support our neediest kids and bridge them from a place of failing to a pathway of success.

And when we take the path of one brown or black young women from one of failure to one of achievement, we set the path of one amazing young person to be a path of Rigor AND Equity.

Thank you for your passion & tireless commitment to this work.
It DOES make a difference.
It DOES bring justice to our crazy world.

Important Upcoming dates

  • Tuesday, 16JAN24 - Benchmarks Begin (see below)
  • Wednesday, 17JAN24 - Adams Street Campus Varsity Girls Basketball Home Game
  • Friday, 19JAN24 - Adams Street Campus Varsity Girls Basketball Home Game
  • Tuesday, 23JAN24 - Regents Week Begins

    • January Benchmark Schedule
      • For Grades 8-12:  2nd AND 3rd period Benchmarks
        • Wed 17JAN23 ELA Benchmarks
        • Thu 18JAN23 Social Studies Benchmarks
        • Fri 19JAN23 Science Benchmarks
        • Mon 22JAN23 Math Benchmarks
      • For Grades 6 & 7th graders:
        • CHANGE:
          • 4th & 5th will be MAP & Benchmark testing periods
          • Mon/Tue 22/23JAN - MAP Math(23) and MAP ELA (24)
          • Wed - normal schedule
          • Thu/Fri 25/26JAN - Math Benchmark (25) and ELA (26)
      • All staff will have grading time build into their Regents Week Schedules.

    • Please Prepare your students for these benchmarks
      • They should be seeing spiral review of MP1 and MP2 topics throughout all of MP2
      • They should have practice with Benchmark questions for BOTH content and literacy
      • You should schedule some type of practice benchmark prior to the actual benchmark so students have an idea of what to study.  This could be in any form you choose - but you need to provide it for them.  Please see your ILT lead or Kiri or Annie if you need more support on this

Announcements & To Dos

Reminder of Official Work Hours.  With the new UFT contract, we have a slightly different workday than in years past.  As a reminder, as a single session school, we have a 60min weekly PD period, a 40min work time period, and 55 minutes of outreach each week.  This is true for BOTH teachers and full time (not sub) paraprofessionals.  

Please see here for the Staff Handbook which outlines staff work hours. All full-time teachers and paraprofessionals work until 4:30pm for Monday PD, and should be conducting 55 minutes of outreach each week and logging it here.

Some folks have been leaving early on Mondays.  As clarification, unless you receive written permission from Kiri, Annie, Dai, or Jen to leave prior to 4:30pm, all staff are expected to be in the building until 4:30pm, failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Kiri. 

Regents Week and Benchmark Week.  There are some schedule changes in the coming weeks as we get ready for a variety of assessments

  • THIS WEEK:   The benchmark schedule is now finalized.  You can find that schedule on the second green tab of the schedule.

    This week, students follow their NORMAL schedule EXCEPT for testing periods.  

    • So, for 1st period on Tuesday, students report to their normal first period class, and then they go to their assigned Benchmark Testing room for periods 2 and 3.  Then after lunch, normal schedule resumes.  NOTE:  On Thursday & Friday, we're MAP testing, so that's a special MAP schedule (all the bright blue is special schedule - everything else is normal)
    • This table on the benchmark schedule tab of the schedule tells the course, section, teacher, and assigned benchmark room & proctor.

    • Classroom teachers should tell students where to go in their subject classes.  So, for example, the AP Lang teachers (Frieda, Pauline, & Patricia) will tell their students IN CLASS on Tuesday which room to go to for benchmarks.  They'll also send out a message in google classrooms the AM of and post the announcements in Google Classrooms.

    • On the day of testing, 1st period teachers should save 5min at the end of class to verify that all students know where to go for 2nd period.  The notes in this table will help you help kids.  Please read them (on the right "How do I help kids know where to go?" and on the left "Where do I find the rosters")

  • REGENTS WEEK:  The Regent exam schedule is also now finalized. 
    That said, there could still be mistakes!  
    • We will be grading in subject teams, following the regent rules where teachers of students cannot grade their own students.  Team leaders will coordinate grading to make sure folks will not be grading their own students.  We will also be grading the math & science exams of two other schools (AIL and Design Works).  However, the total numbers of student tests is still small.

    • Folks do have planning and grading time built into schedules.  

    • Please review your schedule carefully.  Make sure you do not see any mistakes or conflicts, and if you have questions, please just ASK!  There is ZERO shame in asking ;-)

<<RePost>> Preparing for the End of the Semester.  

Benchmarks.  As you prepare students for the final summative Benchmarks, you need to make sure you are giving them a chance to see how they would do on the big test PRIOR to the big test (a trial run).  For example, students should do a practice test that they can then grade themselves (or exchange to grade) to see which topics for which they are ready to demonstrate competency and to understand which topics need more review, study and preparation prior to the benchmark.  Please make sure you are backwards planning from the benchmark to provide students with this type of learning opportunity.

Intervention & support.  Please continue to provide and monitor impact of your MP2 Interventions.  By the EOD on Friday 12JAN24, please update the document with the current grade of your students.  NOTE:  Students who have grades <75 will be scheduled to come in to meet with you during regents week to get extra help and complete necessary work to develop their competencies in your course and merit a grade of >75.   We all will be using the information in the MP2 Interventions to discuss regents week programming with students.


<<RePost>>  RPET Work.  The RPET is planning three major experiences for our community this spring.  They will be (1) A schoolwide teach in, (2) A series of PDs for staff around SEL, and (3) A series of staff equity circles.  The RPET is planning a more detailed workshop for our January 29th PD to review each of these in detail and to get staff feedback on each.  Here's the draft PD calendar for the rest of the year.

  • January 
    • 8th:  Grading Work Time
    • 15th:  MLK Jr. Day
    • 22nd:  Benchmark Grading Time
    • 29th:  Remote Full Day PD (and RPET Presentation)

  • February
    • 5th:  SEL PD for All Staff (#1 of 4) - with UA!
    • 12th:  TBD by ILT 
    • 19th:  Vacation WOOHOO
    • 26th:  SEL PD for All Staff (#2 of 4) - with UA!

  • March
    • 4th:  SEL PD for All Staff (#3 of 4) - with UA!
    • 11th:  Staff Equity Circles - Building Trust
    • 18th:  TBD by ILT
    • 25th:  SEL PD for All staff (#4 of 4) - with UA!

  • April
    • 1st:  Easter Monday - NO SCHOOL
    • 8th:  All Staff Prep for School Wide Teach In
    • 15th:  All Staff Prep for School Wide Teach In. (TEACH IN on April 16th)
    • 22nd:  Spring Break - WOOHOO
    • 29th:  STILL Spring Break - DOUBLE WOOHOO

  • May
    • 5th:  Staff Equity Circles
    • 13th:  Staff Equity Circles
    • 20th:  TBD by ILT
    • 27th:  Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL

  • June
    • 3rd:  Staff Equity Circles
    • 10th:  Staff Equity Circles
    • 17th:  Regents Week Proctor Prep


Per Session Postings

For ALL per session activities, please complete Per Session Application Form"

After School Clubs.   If you are interested in running an after school club, please complete THIS form by EOD TUESDAY 26SEP23  AND submit the Per Session Application Form.  Clubs are slated to start next week.  Clubs must have a steady roster of at least 8-10 students per week in order to NOT be cancelled.  Rosters & Attendance lists MUST be submitted with per session time cards.  If your club goes three consecutive weeks with less than 8 students, your club will need to be cancelled (so that we can optimize funds for other uses - so sorry...wish we could fund everything all the time, but unfortunately, we don't have endless sums of funds).  After school sessions can be 3-4PM or 3-4:30PM or 3-5:30PM (teacher's choice)up to three days per week.  So per session hours can range from 1-7.5hrs per week).  Posting Expires 10OCT23.

Please continue to help promote your after school clubs.  Please make sure you are getting a reliable group of at least 10 students.  Help our after school classes get off the ground! - I will be collecting final rosters on 30NOV - you have additional time to recruit!!
  • Black Student Union - Joanna & Pauline (Rm 411) - Tuesdays & Thursdays 3-4:30
  • Arts & Crafts Club - Tiffany & Jennifer (Rm 311) - Mon/Tue/Weds - 3-4:15PM
  • Theater Production Club - Noelle (Rm 315) - Tues/Thurs/Fri - 3-5:30PM
  • Student Government - Sue, Marsha, Phillan, and Girls' Inc's Kassi (Rm 309) - Tuesdays - 3-4PM
  • Youth Leadership Council - Kelly  (Rm 307) - Tuesdays 3-4PM
  • Photo Club - Tom(Rm 205F) - Wednesdays 3-4:30
  • Cheer - Mary & Lia - Various days depending on Game Days
  • Anime & Art Club - Adelle & Francis (Rm 409) - Tuesdays & Thursdays 3-5PM
  • Running Club with Camryn (starts after the marathon is over)
  • Dance Club - Girls Inc - Room 503
  • Students Against Racism & Bias Club - Jelissa (Rm 305) Tuesdays & Thursday 3-4PM
  • Muslim Student Association - Laura (Rm 404) TBD
  • GSA Club - Amanda - Rm 407

PSAL Supervision.   Posting Expires 10OCT23. PSAL Games are starting up soon. Please submit the Per Session Application Form if you are interested in supervising student spectators.  Hours vary depending on games.  Each game (basketball or volleyball) is usually 4-6pm (is) so each supervision session is about 2hours.  Staff are welcome to sign up for as many games as they'd like.  Please see UAI calendar or PSAL website for game dates. Duties include making sure
  • students remain safe and orderly during games
  • only eligible students are admitted to games
  • all students fully dismiss from the building at the conclusion of the games

CSI Planning & Supervision.   Posting Expires 10OCT23. This posting if for supervision per session to plan, supervise, monitor and coordinate extra improvement efforts to address UAI achievement gaps and improve student performance in target metrics.  Activities include analyzing and reviewing data, planning and executing professional development experiences to improve staff performance, analyzing and editing video footage to improve teacher lesson execution and lesson implementation, and supervising out of school activities - including recruitment, staff planning, and after school activities.  Hours vary per week depending on task and work completed.  Hours range 1-7.5 hours per week.

Classroom SetUp.  All classroom staff are invited to come in to set up and plan for up to 10 hours all together any day this week Monday-Friday 9AM-2PM.  Staff must clock in AND out each day, and cannot be in the building after 2PM.  Please adhere to guidelines set out in the blog post above.  All Staff MUST also apply to this position by completing the "Per Session Application From" - see link above.  [Posted 27AUG23] - Posting CLOSED and JOB is over.

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