December 6, 2019



Dear Brooklyn North Principals,

It is hard to believe that we are already into December and about to close out the year. I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving break and had a chance to reflect on all that we are thankful for this year. In the same tone, I am excited to share that Brooklyn North will again be hosting a toy drive this holiday season for our students living in temporary housing. If you are interested in donating a toy or a non-perishable food item, you may drop the items off at 131 Livingston Street, Room 501, until December 16th. The BCO team will be wrapping all of the donations and hand-delivering them on December 20th. This is an annual tradition in Brooklyn North and I am excited to participate for the first time.

This month, a reminder that all principals should be working with their superintendents and BCO assigned staff to clean up Section 4 of the CEP. Principals must share the feedback with their SLT members and finalize their CEPs this week. Progress monitoring must occur across all schools; however non CSI, and TSI schools must maintain this practice separately since there is no place to embed it in this current CEP template. Everyone is expected to engage in progress monitoring. Finally the BCO’s ILF Action Plan will be shared with all schools and districts by next week. I ask that everyone review it once it arrives via email.

Please see below for the notes from the Cabinet Committee meetings earlier this week.

Focus Area/Driver # 1, Comprehensive School Support, CSS: Committee Chair, Andrew Gallagher, Director of School Improvement for Brooklyn North

Meeting objective: To unpack the new Progress Monitoring expectations released by the Office of the First Deputy Chancellor on December 3, 2019 and to determine how this will impact Brooklyn North schools (of all designations).

Impact for schools as an outcome of this meeting:

  • Discussed each District’s plan for moving ahead with revising CEPs and supporting with monitoring progress
  • Looked at recently released documents to try and anticipate questions principals may have and to think about how to support schools with deadline for 12/13 for TSI/CSI/Receivership schools
  • How to support with navigating iPlan for CSI/TSI schools

Focus Area/Driver # 2, Instructional Leadership Framework, ILF: Committee Chair, Sandra D’Avilar, Executive Director for Brooklyn North

Our objectives were:

  • to understand and get a feel of ownership for collaborative efforts to support ownership of the yearlong ILF plan;
  • to strategize support as we monitor the impact of the ILF Action Plan as it rolls out this year; and,
  • to create spaces for collaborative learning among all members in an effort to identify and share best practices across Brooklyn North community.

Meeting Minutes:

The Committee reviewed a draft of the Brooklyn North ILF Action Plan and it was updated as members shared what is already happening in our schools. District triads were created to foster collaboration and sharing to determine what is working in the field and where there are gaps that need to be resolved. Some of the take-aways included:

* Most schools have ILT and have selected a priority

*Some schools focusing on an instructional Hallmark

*ELL Team and SPED teams looking at ILF and how all components align with Advanced Literacy/CRSE

*ART Team-streamlining assessments and aligning instruction

*Sense of urgency exists

*Schools now have actual plans for the year

*Some schools looking deep into the book and some using other pathways

*Guidance counselors have to do the heavylifting with the SEF framework

*Sharing out Phase 1 work at Principal conferences

*A need to Bridge the gap between planning and implementation

*It fosters Principals working together in cohorts to share best practices

*Need for more professional learning identified by ES Watts which lead to the Six Part Series

*Six part series - aligns ILF with all of the content areas as well

We looked at the Action Plan and conducted a cross walk between the Citywide and the BCO priorities. We referenced the fact that it is a two year plan for the roll out. We discussed that there are urgencies; however different schools will be in different places. Everyone reminded to roll it out but do it with fidelity. Reminded of the goal being the deep knowledge and a strong understanding by all constituents. References made to the use of the Principal Conferences to continue the monthly ILF roll out with support from the BCO instructional personnel.

Focus Area/Driver # 3, Supportive Environment Framework, SEF: Committee Chair, Steven Strull, Director for Student Services for Brooklyn North


  • Review of last committee meeting
  • Brief overview of work that Brooklyn North is doing with the David Lynch Foundation.
  • Inquiry work – Evidence of Practice. (What are we seeing in our schools that support SEF practices) - report from the field
  • Refining our committee vision / In what ways are we impacting schools? Are we messaging effectively?
  • Celebrations – Distribution of certificates

Next Steps:

  • Central Partners, BCO, and schools should reflect on Restorative Justice work to date and support schools requesting assistance on any mid-year adjustments
  • Spring dates for Sanford Harmony trainings for Elementary Schools in Brooklyn North will take place this winter at LIU in Downtown Brooklyn - Dates, TBD from Central
  • Field staff school visits should include an inquiry component into familiarity and usefulness of our Supportive Environment Framework
  • SAVE THE DATE - June 4, 2020, Youth Summit - Please see here.

Focus Area/Driver #4, Equity through STEM/eSTEM: Committee Chair, Sheila Gorski, Superintendent for District 32

On December 3rd we met at MakerBot industries. We were given a tour of the facility and made connections to how MakerBot products can support stem across Brooklyn North. We also looked at data, both qualitative and quantitative, that we have collected about STEM programs and emerging STEM needs Based on this data, we identified subcommittees for the work to support equity through STEM across Brooklyn North.

Focus Area/Driver #5, Developing Leaders: Committee Chair, Alicja Winnicki, Superintendent for District 14

The first presentation was from the TRQ team who shared their work with teachers’ leaders project.

  • Offered coaching to all teachers’ leaders, model and collaborative teachers
  • 2 questions for their work with teachers: common thread in teacher leadership work
  • kept the attendance in all sessions under 20
  • attendance in D13 schools dropped in 2nd and 3rd session
  • schools will launch in January 2020 how to support teachers’ leaders in schools without lab sites
  • coaching options: peer coaching, practice protocols, low inference note taking
  • teachers’ leaders are working in their respective teams on creating structures to measure the impact of their work on teacher performance and student learning
  • At Unison, teams are looking on how to spread ILT videos and co-planning and debriefing the visits
  • At Evergreen, student panel gave feedback on lessons
  • D14 has schools that pioneered the teachers leaders work (318)

The next presentation was by Karyn Nicholson school leaders project

  • Ms. Nicholson is a facilitator at LEAP and has access to many lead/master teachers who are ready to become APs or principals
  • BN has 13 apprentices in the program
  • Information in p-weekly about LEAP informational session on 12/12 at Brooklyn Arts HS
  • How to create opportunities to communicate directly with teachers about leadership positions--- maybe through teachers blog or via UFT chapter leaders who can disseminate the information or create a distribution list
  • Invite Cahn fellows to talk to teaher leaders to motivate them to build their leadership capacity
  • Change the narrative about school leadership positions… talk positively about principal job and how rewarding it might be to motivate teachers to apply for this job

The third presentation was about New Teachers Development project---by Fady and Adriane

  • Project was designed by New Teacher Center and TRQ office
  • The goal was to retain new teachers in our districts
  • 30 schools were selected by the BNBCO staff with guidance from the superintendents
  • series of four PL sessions for principals and another person from their schools who supports new teachers
  • schools were selected with high number of new teachers, TSI/CSI or new principal in place
  • session one was held on 11/01 and the goal was to introduce participants to effective mentoring conditions
  • participants engaged in an open discussion where they were able to uncover their own biases about supporting new teachers in their schools
  • planning team is in the process of making changes to next session to imbed the work in equity practices

Please see attached for a listing of upcoming events and important dates.

Upcoming Deadlines/Meetings/Events:

12/6—Professional Learning Series for Superintendent AAs

12/6—Census 2020 Job Fair

12/10—Brooklyn North Leadership Cabinet meeting

12/10—Know Your Rights Forum at Brooklyn Borough Hall

12/16—Due date for toy drive donations

12/18—Inclusive Education Student Summit


2/14/20—Last day to complete the Sexual Harassment Training

6/4/20—Youth Summit

1. Please view the opportunities on the Special Education professional learning calendar and the SESIS professional learning calendar.

2. Please review this PowerPoint regarding students in temporary housing that was created by the Institute for Children Poverty and Homelessness (ICPH) and highlights the challenges our students in Brooklyn North face. Please remember that all staff listed as the Students in Temporary Housing School Based Liaison (STH SBL) are required to participate in this webinar by December 20th. If you have district convening we are interested in participating to raise awareness around students in temporary housing and how your school community can combat it. Brooklyn North STH Regional Managers Wayne Harris (Districts 14, 15, 16, 19, and 32) and Rahul Patel (Districts 13 and 23) are available to visit your meeting along with a student/parent/alumnus for a Q&A. Please reach out to Wayne and Rahul to learn more.

3. Recently, Kevin Rank (Citywide Coordinator for Child Abuse & Maltreatment Prevention) had the privilege to present at the New York State School Counselor Association Annual Conference in Ellenville, NY. The conference was well-attended. Kevin and Stacey Haley (High School Guidance and Postsecondary Planning, BCO) co-presented Mindfulness as a Tool to Empower Students from Elementary through High School and shared a photo.

4. ThinkCERA has provided a PowerPoint detailing their Advanced Literacy supports. You can review the PowerPoint and reach out to Tim Powers with questions.

5. The New York Historical Society Museum and Library has a number of opportunities available for students. Please visit their website to learn more.

6. Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow has a number of programs available for young adults looking to obtain a career or a better job. You can find additional information here. For questions, please reach out to at

7. In accordance with an agreement between the DOE and the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the DOE's websites, including all school websites, must be accessible to persons with disabilities by December 2020. As part of the DOE's ongoing work to ensure that all NYC school websites are accessible to people with disabilities, we are asking that every school designate a webmaster in Galaxy. Here is the list of schools missing a webmaster. Secondly, if school webmasters needs further training to help make your website accessible, see this list of upcoming professional learning on how to create accessible content.

8. Verizon Innovative Learning and Arizona State University are looking for Title 1 middle schools in the New York area to apply for their STEM grant! They will be hosting a webinar on December 10th to talk about this grant opportunity. They will be discussing the ins and outs of the program, technology packages, future training opportunities, and our program expectations. At the end of the webinar, there will be plenty of time for Q&A with Arizona State University staff members. Click here register!

9. Celebrate Computer Science Education Week! Week of December 9, 2019

Computer Science Education Week (CS Ed Week) is an annual, nationwide event that started in 2009 to raise awareness about the need for computer science education for all learners and highlight its importance in 21st century careers. This year it’s celebrated the week of December 9th. All NYC schools are encouraged to participate in CS Ed Week. It’s a great opportunity for every student to try computer science.

Not sure what to do? Click here for activities, event guides, posters, etc.

Already have an event planned for CS Ed Week? Share your idea with CS4All and we will follow up with you on how to go beyond an Hour of Code and keep you up-to-date on CS4All opportunities.

How many schools have already pledged to do something for CS Ed Week? Take a look:

How do you promote your event? Get social!!! Twitter! Instagram! Facebook! Let the world know the great work you are doing with your students. Don't forget to add these hashtags: #CSEdWeek #CSForAllNYC and #CodeBrooklyn

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Amy Hobson, Computer Science Education Manager for Brooklyn North Borough Office.

10. On behalf of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and CUNY Rising Alliance you are cordially invited to join us to reflect and participate in a Know Your Rights Forum – What to do when interacting with the police. Tuesday, December 10 from 4:30 PM-8:00 PM the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (209 Joralemon Street) and CUNY Rising Alliance will host an event, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Know Your Rights Forum. The goal is to bring together our diverse communities, under one roof to identify the procedures with engaging the NYPD and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and what public resources are available if arrested.

Please RSVP: in advance. (If you have questions, please contact Hercules Reid,

11. As was shared in Principals Weekly, please register for the Inclusive Education Student Summit on December 18. The summit brings together students with and without disabilities, and provides them with the tools needed to engage in "Charting the Course for Inclusive Schools with the Power of Language," this year’s conference theme. Students will engage in conversations and activities around accessibility, diversity, and inclusion, and return to their schools as advocates for inclusion. For more information or to register for the summit, see this website. For specific questions, email

12. Please see here to learn more about the high school internship program offered through the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. To apply, please visit: to upload transcript, essay and resume. Only the recommendation letter should be emailed as an attachment to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office at, with the subject line: Recommendation Letter (Applicant’s First and Last Name). All application materials must be received no later than December 22, 2019. For questions or assistance please contact (718) 250-3191.

13. Partnership for After School Education (PASE) is accepting applications for our Strengthening College Persistence in Afterschool program. Through this program, a cohort of 10-15 New York City community-based organizations (CBO) will participate in a six half-day workshop series designed to provide a range of support and relevant research to strengthen their college prep and success work. The series includes content delivery by experts and peer learning opportunities. You can learn more about PASE here and access the application here. Applications are due by January 3, 2020.

14. The Brooklyn North Borough Office, in partnership with the Central STEM Team and Amplify Science is announcing an upcoming 5-Part Professional Learning Series for Amplify Science Schools. This series is open to all schools in District 13, 14, 15, 16, 23, and 32 who have opted-in to Amplify Science and will take place in two cohorts. You may find the elementary and middle school announcements here.

Please note that schools in District 19 are not eligible for this series as they are already involved in a separate PL Series with the Borough Office.

The series begins at the end of January 2020 and concludes in June 2020. Please commit to sending the teacher you are registering to all five dates. Follow-up coaching visits, inter-visitation, and June Planning are all built into this series.

Please register for either Elementary Schools or Middle Schools. *Note K-8 Schools will need to register Elementary teachers for K-5 and Middle School Teachers for 6-8

For questions or concerns, please reach out to Keith Wynne or Marji Parker at the Brooklyn North Borough Office.