Sunday, June 16, 2024

Week of June 18th

UAI Staff News

Volume XI
Issue 37
June 18th,  2024

Happy Father's Day!! Happy father's day to all you fathers and all of your fathers (and father figures)!!
I hope you enjoy a fabulous day!! 

This blog post has lots of Info. We don't have a PD meeting for the remainder of the year, so this blog will have to serve as the primary source of communications.  There is a lot of extremely important information for you in this blog post, so please make sure you make a point of reading through this carefully.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • MON 17JUN - Eid Al Adha - NO SCHOOL
  • WED 19JUN - Juneteenth - NO SCHOOL

  • MON 24JUN - High School Graduation
  • TUE 25JUN - 8th Grade Stepping Up
  • WED 26JUN - Last Day of School

  • MON 01JUL - Summer School Staff Set Up Day
  • TUE 02JUL - First day of Summer Splash and Summer Rising Summer School

    Announcements & To Dos

    Check your Schedule.  Tuesday is our last late day of testing. So, some folks will start late.  Please make sure you are CHECKING your June Regents Schedule.  Please reach out to Kiri & Liza with any questions or conflicts you might have!

    Final Grades Are Due.  We have a couple of new things this year with final end-of-year grades, so we need to do a couple of things differently.  Firstly, we are doing grade averages of MP1-MP4 to come up with the final grade for the year.  Lastly, we used interdisciplinary codes (beginning with ZJ) to mix our grades.  Now, we have to expand those codes so kids in specific grades get the correct code.  Here's what you need to do:

    1. Enter your MP4 Grades into the UAI Final Grade Calculator (in the Column with the Blue Text)
    2. Then, The Final Grades will calculate in the column with the Red Text.
    3. Enter The FINAL GRADES in the STARS Grade File.  Please do NOT copy and paste.  The students are not alpha sorted.  They are sorted by their expanded codes.  You'll have to enter manually.
    Final grades for EVERYONE (6-12) are due at 3PM on 20JUN24.  Please do not be late with your grades.  There is an incredibly TIGHT turnaround time for report cards, and we need all the time to prepare final grades, review transcripts and print diplomas.

    If an 8th grader or a 12th grader is failing your class as a final grade, please make sure you email and text KIRI immediately.  We are beginning final preparation for graduation and we need to inform students ASAP if they will not graduate.

    2024-25 Schedule and Budget Implications.  As per contract, HERE is the 2024-25 schedule.  As a reminder, the schedule is subject to enrollment and budget changes over the summer.  To be fully transparent, the WHAT & WHERE you are teaching is pretty firm (although again - there may be changes due to student needs).  They WHO & WHEN you are teaching (grades and periods) is much more flexible.  Please email Kiri & Liza with any questions or concerns you may have.

    This program reflects a significant shift in staffing - all of which is due to budget shortfalls.

    I finally was able to meet with our Affinity Budget and HR team to review the 2024-25 budget and what it means for our school. Our overall register decreased by 42 students from this year to next year.  That resulted in a loss of over $900K in Fair Student Funding.  While the mayor and city has been able to restore some funds, we are still in the red, and we still need to contract our budget by about $500K, and that translates into reducing our staff by five positions.

    When excessing occurs, the guidelines are first to preserve as many classroom personnel as much as possible and to keep sufficient staff to meet legal mandates.  That means that we start by seeing where we can trim down staff outside of the classroom - and that is on the admin side and in our counselors and deans.

    It is the principals' responsibility to decide which areas are to be contracted in order to make up budget shortfalls.  I have decided to trim three areas:  Admin, Counseling, and Special Ed.  

    • Admin.  I have had to make the very hard decision to excess Dai.  Dai has been such an incredible asset to our school and has done so much to add to our community.  However, classroom instruction and student direct service will always be the priority at UAI.  Unfortunately, for the first time in UAI history, this means we have to excess.

    • Counseling.  We have always had a strong commitment to counselors and providing robust College Advising and Mental Health support to our students and families.  We currently have four guidance counselors (Ms. Thomas, JJR, Tiffany, & Jelissa) and two social workers (Jen & Danielle I) on staff.  We no longer have the resources to support this level of service, and that means we need to reduce the number of guidance counselors we have.  Following seniority rules, that puts Jelissa in excess.

    • Special Education Teachers.  Unfortunately, we were not able to avoid the classroom all together.  Our enrollment issues are particularly pronounced in the lower numbers of SPED students that we will have next year.  As per our budget & HR folks, we currently have 11 SPED people on staff, and we need to bring that number down to 7 in order to meet all mandates.  Coincidentally, Alison is leaving for Sabbatical next year, so that left a reduction of three.  Following seniority rules (last in first out), those three teachers are Yasmeen, Kaitlyn, and Akelia.

    • Special Note.  There is still some uncertainty in positions.  I do know that folks are looking, but I do not yet know if they have landed positions.  I greatly appreciate everyone who has been upfront with me about their search.  It has allowed me to minimize excessing in other areas.  If you are searching for another position, I ask that you please tell me.  I would like to be able to communicate with folks to let them know if they have a chance to return if folks leave - thereby opening up funding for someone's return from excess.  For this year in particular, transparency helps the school AND helps your colleagues.
    Excessing does NOT mean fired or laid off.  Folks will still have positions within the DOE, and specifically within our District (I'm not sure if this means Affinity-AKA citywide or District 13-Geographic).  Here's the exact verbiage from the union.

    As of the summer of 2021, in most cases, the DOE no longer places newly excessed staff in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool. Instead, the DOE says, “Superintendents, executive superintendents (or a designee) and Borough Central Office staff will find funded vacancies within their district for all newly excessed staff who have not found a job though Open Market in preparation for the upcoming school year.” So, if a staff member does not find a position via Open Market, they will be placed in a school in their district and remain there until they transfer or leave the system.

    Nonetheless, it is still a hard move to have to leave a community.  It is hard for the community to have to let them all go, too!  Of course, if staffing, enrollment and/or budget change over the summer (i.e. if we get more students, more money, or staff leave), things may change.  I am always hopeful, but given how many students we are short (42), I am not optimistic we'll be able to make up all of that gap this summer.

    <REPOST>. Year End To Dos.    
    1. UAI Pacing Guides.   All courses will need to be linked into THIS DOC using THIS TEMPLATE.  The goal of cataloging your lessons for the year is to streamline capture the work that you've done for your classes this year in one place and to make the planning process for you (or whoever takes over the course next year) much more smooth.  To maximize our collective improvement, we have to stop reinventing wheels.  This is the first step!  You do NOT need to rewrite anything.  I'm just looking to take stock of what you did this year and put it all in one place.  Your lessons do not need to be perfect.  This is an organizational tool to help us expedite our improvement for next year!

      PLEASE Make sure you link in your docs before the last day of school.  You WILL be able to leave as soon as your checklist is signed off on and complete AND this is ON the checklist!

    2. EOY Checklist.  Make a Copy of the EOY Checklist for yourself.  This is a comprehensive list of things you need to do prior to leaving on June 26th.

      • As a reminder, students will be told to come to school at 8:30 and collect their report cards/transcripts no later than 10:30.  

      • We'll meet in the farm for our final staff meeting at 10:45AM.  If your EOY checklist is complete and has signatures from everyrone, then it will be collected and you will be released for summer at 11AM.  If not, you'll have to stay until you complete the list.

    Per Session Postings

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

    NO New Activities at present

    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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