February 8, 2020



Dear Brooklyn North Principals,

This month we celebrate Black History Month. I am sure you have all provided varied opportunities for our children to learn about the numerous contributions African Americans have made to our society. I am sure our children have been allowed to research, create, and share information across our many schools. The Brooklyn North Leadership team and Principal Advisory had the opportunity to spend the day together on Monday to engage in work around leading for equity, using the book Unconscious Bias in Schools as the anchor text. The work was powerful, and probably uncomfortable for many, but our students deserve no less than an equal and loving classroom with high expectations in every school. As we know, the Equity and Excellence for All agenda is driving our work and I am excited for the third session in May, as we work to bring Chancellor Carranza’s charge to fruition.

Congratulations to all of the high school students who recently took January Regents exams. I know many of our schools are now gearing up for the upcoming ELA and Math exams, which begin shortly as we enter testing season. Please keep in mind that all schools must be engaging in Quarter 2 CSS progress monitoring by the February 14th deadline. SLTs must be engaged in this work to determine if your school is on track to meet the goals in the CEP. As shared in Principals Weekly, additional information on progress monitoring can be found in this PowerPoint. As a BCO we will be providing you with a progress monitoring document. You will get to try it for the next two quarters and provide us with feedback for full usage during the 2020/2021 school year.

I recently met with the Dean and a professor from the Education Department within Medgar Evers College to join forces with their pipeline. There is currently an opportunity for 20 of our middle school students to attend a Computer Science Coding class from Saturday, February 29th-Saturday, April 4th. Use this link to see more information and to apply. The deadline is Thursday, February 13th. A part of the Pipeline also deals with Generation Citizen which is a program that partners with Middle and High schools to implement action civics in social studies, history, government elective, and/or advisory classes for 6th-12th graders. Click this link for more information and to apply. The deadline is February 11th. I encourage you to push our students to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities and respond by each of the two deadlines. I am also happy to announce that a part of this Pipeline will provide professional learning for our Guidance Counselors and our teachers across Brooklyn North (more information will follow.)

All Algebra For All schools are reminded to review the latest data reports on your participation in this grant program. You are also reminded to ensure that your teachers are attending the rich professional learning sessions that have been developed for your schools.

You all recently received letters to be backpacked to our families regarding the Coronavirus. Please make sure these letters are sent home. Also make sure our school communities are following best practices when it comes to keeping the surrounding clean. Everyone needs to be reminded to wash their hands. Make sure our children have appropriate soap and paper towels after using the bathroom. Remind everyone to cough and sneeze in their elbows, and basically follow good hygiene measures.

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. Here are some suggested ways to work with your students to celebrate.

Each Title 1 School is expected to have a PAC in place. There must be monthly meetings with an agenda. This committee is separate from the SLT and the PTA.

All Middle Schools are reminded about IDNYC. This is an opportunity to get ID cards for all of your students.

Pennies for Patients has asked that all of our schools become their partner in raising awareness and funds for the cause. Kindly have your Parent Coordinators, or Guidance Counselors reach out and help in the cause.

Promotion In Doubt information was due in the system on Friday, February 7th. Remember to generate the student letters to send home to parents. Have our teachers get ready to meet with parents regarding their children's progress/lack there of. Refer to our Chancellor's notes from the January 22, 2020 Principal's Weekly.

Respect For All week will take place from February 10-14. You were all provided with a letter to teachers and a letter to parents. Please make sure the parent letters are backpacked home. These letters may be found on the Respect For All page on the principals' portal. Your Respect for all posters must be visible around your school and discussed with all the students.

Summer In The City is on its way. All principals are reminded to to go into the ATS screen and confirm placement/location.

Please join me in congratulating Ana Anglada, Principal of 32K106, for being chosen as the Member of the Month of February 2020 for NYS TESOL. Sylvia Gimenez nominated Ms. Anglada because she has 20 years of service in education and is dedicated to her work. NYS TESOL (New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a statewide organization that advocates, advances and enriches TESOL education and professionalism. Their mission statement: NYS TESOL is an association of professionals concerned with the education of English language learners at all levels of public and private education in New York State. Our interests include classroom practices, research, program and curriculum development, employment, funding, and legislation. It is an honor to be recognized by such a prestigious organization. Congratulations!

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the new staff and principals within Brooklyn North:


Kathryn O’Brien, School Improvement Coach for TSI/CSI schools in Districts 13 and 23

District 13:

Emma Pelaez Velazquez – Interim Acting Principal at PS 54

Fatimah Ali- Principal at PS 9

We bid farewell to Anthony Pirro who served as the Principal of PS 54 for the last 5 years

John McLaughlin, DCI for Districts 13 &15

District 14:

Jill Amott - PS 250

Dana Raciunas - PS 110

Brian De Vale - Principals of PS 257 retired as of February 2

Idalys Tolentino - Interim Acting Principal in PS 257

Emily Chang - DCI for Districts 14 & 32

Alisa Mooklall - Brooklyn North APPA for District 14

District 15:

Gina Keller- District Diversity Coordinator

John McLaughlin, DCI for Districts 13 & 15

Maria Diaz, Principal of 15K024

High Schools:

David Newman- Principal of Brooklyn Technical HS

Lastly, for those who will be on vacation during Winter Break, I wish you a relaxing and restful week.

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

Focus Area/Driver # 1, Instructional Leadership Framework, ILF: Committee Chair, Sandra D’Avilar, Executive Director, Brooklyn North

Best Practice Share-Out from Teaching and Learning:

· Using next ELA content meetings to identify any confusions and nuances that need to get hashed out, focus on norming language

· D32 principals conferences – institute principals cohorts, able now to visit ILTs, “Word work and Word play”

· D14 Collaborative share – focusing on ILF and sharing best practices

· Working with Dual Language

· Unpacking Priority Area 1 and CRSE principles

· Challenge: scaling the work from the schools that need it most to all, how do we know what’s going on on the ground

D19 all working on an shared curriculum in ELA and in Math. They continue to unpack this work. Intervisitation between D19 and D23 in ELA

Brooklyn North Action Plan - District teams worked to refine the action plans for each district

As a reminder, all Principal Conferences must be inclusive of ILF and the other drivers. Time must be allotted each month for the unpacking and sharing of ILF practices within our schools. The administration of each school is expected to turn key this information with the ILT, who in turn then works with the staff across the school to implement within our classrooms. Schools are reminded that they will be in varied places with the implementation. You are to work with your DILT and ILT to create your district plan/road-map around ILF.

Focus Area/Driver #2 , Comprehensive School Support, CSS: Committee Chair, Andrew Gallagher, Director of School Improvement, Brooklyn North

· Central reported that the NY State visit in District 23 to the Receivership school went very well. Receivership reports will be available shortly on the DOE web page.

· There are SIG reports due shortly for four school.

· Central will be putting together a webinar for schools falling under a designated status shortly once the list is released.

· There is a working group comprised of Central and Field staff, as well as school-based staff, who have been tasked with revising the CEP template for 2020-2021.

· SAM 92 (School Improvement Grant) has been released and schools should review it for additional details.

· Progress monitoring for all schools should be completed by February 14th. This is an ongoing process and not a one-time event. Quarter 3 progress monitoring runs from February 3rd through April 9th.

· The Committee created three sub-committees:

o CEP/SLT – to develop a Brooklyn North rollout plan of the CEP (including communications of expectations and roles and responsibilities). This committee will also consider the needs of schools’ SLTs and how to ensure they are fully trained on the new CEP rollout.

o Progress monitoring – to develop a suite of progress monitoring tools for Brooklyn North districts to use with schools. Progress monitoring is a process, not a date, so what tools can the sub-committee create to ensure schools engage thoughtfully in the process of monitoring their progress?

o Data literacy – to develop tools, materials, resources, and PLs to ensure data literacy regarding state and city designations is built across the BCO, districts, and schools.

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

Over view of Restorative Expansion – middle and high school 2019-2020 – James Olearchik, Borough Director (Brooklyn and Queens North)

Expansion to over 300 schools city wide

All Sups and P's (Janice Ross, Thomas McBryde, Kamar Samuels, Alicja Winnicki, Yolanda Martin, Sheila Gorski) - schools were picked based on suspension data

Resistance comes from P's who feel that suspension is a reliable practice; time and band-width; school size and available resources (human) [community schools may also have an RJ component – but not necessarily connected to the current expansion]

First year focuses on community building, Sups on board; P's on board – then introductions to staff

Theory and practice need further alignment

Need merger between SSEL and academics

NEED – outreach/messaging to parents/guardians/local elected officials, etc.

What might it take to eliminate suspensions completely as a remedy to clinical behavior

Value Add from B/CO - continue messaging, keep the focus on SEL and Academics; what does an inventory of the school yield – biggest need is attention

Calendar of supports are Superintendent/district specific

Bent on Learning

Yoga in classroom platform – DOE Vendor – Anne and Jasmine

Additional certification beyond the 200 hour; Teacher Training Program

Started 2001; PK-12

Yoga and mindfulness as part of core subject offerings

Focus Area/Driver #4, Equity through STEM/eSTEM: Committee Chair, Eileen Marks, Director for Instructional Technology, Brooklyn North

We had a guest, Meryem Bencheikh-Ellis, parent in PS 20 and on the CEC for District 13

· Shared information about H3AT Program in Navy Yard. All schools associated with this program are in Michael Prayor’s districts. Why aren’t Brooklyn North schools taking part?

· The Navy Yard is interested in partnering with all schools in D13

*There are 8 Brooklyn North schools that are part of the Brooklyn STEAM Center, an innovative career and technical training hub for 11th and 12th grade students, immersed within a robust industry environment, which prepares a pipeline of talented young adults who will thrive in the rapidly evolving manufacturing, technology, and creative fields.

STEM office updates

K-12 students can now apply for Spring Break Enrichment Programs This is due 2/10. This is a lottery, and in the past Summer Enrichment programs, only 30% chosen represented Brooklyn North. Want to get that number up, especially because they only have locations in Brooklyn South. If we can recruit more for Spring and Summer STEM enrichment, then Dennis (operations director) can advocate for a space in Brooklyn.

Black History Month

  • Guest speakers from the field/Assemblies (Dreamwakers is a free non for profit that can help schools with this) https://www.dreamwakers.org/
  • Book of the month that make connections
  • Visuals/posters throughout school buildings
  • Classroom level conversations/projects
  • Workshops for students and parents surrounding STEM
  • Student presentations on Modern Day Scientists and Mathematicians
  • Viewing the movie Hidden Figures- doing interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary projects sparked by discussion
  • 13 days of Black Lives Matter where each day 1 of the 13 guiding principles is examined, then allowing students to use low tech or high tech makerspace resources to create a representation of their understanding of those principles.

CTE Month

28 Ways to Celebrate CTE Month

Events updates

  • Eileen reported that in collaboration with Eric Adams office, SCA and selected vendors, she is working to host a Capital Funding Summit first week of March, the purpose of which is to help school leaders align their capital grant spending with the vision and mission of their schools.

The T in STEM Talk

  • Discussed lack of knowledge of where to get both tech and instructional support from our vendors.
  • We encourage all SPOCS and principals to access all DIIT resources and support at DIIT Info Hub.

Sub-Committee Work: Goal is to have a deliverable for principals by May

  • This document will be grounded in the STEM Framework’s four domains and STEM Handbook, produced by the office of STEM.
  • This will also include a Tech component.

Focus Area/Driver #5, Developing Leaders: Committee Chair, Fady Ishak, Advance Policy Lead, Brooklyn North

1. Cahn Fellows – Supt. Winnicki and Dr. Mckeon


· Program founded in 2003

· PL for distinguished principals (data as well as interviews used in the selection process to determine acceptance)

· Now in 8 cities, but participants mainly from NYC since it is the home (currently 20 principals)

· Participants choose an ally to build capacity in leadership and they both go through the program for the year

· Core and responsive curricula – adult development, change systems, communication styles, & ethics, IB, equity, social justice, wellness, and mindfulness, respectively

· They develop a problem of practice specific to their building

· Assigned alumni advisors

· Inter-visitations with NYC, Chicago and Denver

· Deadline for nominations: 4/15

· 3/27: next study session at TC; ethics in the morning and leadership re-imagined in the afternoon led by three Chicago principals

2. School Leaders Project (400/800) – Karyn Nicholson, Office of Leadership

· Creating a pipeline for future leadership

· Field Guide for Superintendents was shared

· We looked at PSEL, NELP, and OOL competencies, as well as a sample principal pool report and the updated C-30 process

3. Leadership that Supports New Teachers – Fady Ishak, Advance Lead

· Last workshop on 3/27 at Westinghouse (8:30-1) will combine two sessions in one as per principals’ request

· Principals and plus 1s should bring their current action plan to revise/finalize it

4. Teaching Academies – Adriane Esquilin, Benjamin Zipf, and Andrew Perricone-Dazzo, TRQ

· Schools where pre-service teacher candidates complete a robust, semester-long, clinical experience under the guidance of trained/current teachers, admin, and NYC DOE staff

· School partnerships are developed strategically

· New UFT contract includes Teacher Development Facilitators, who coach pre-service teacher with the gradual release model

· Teaching Academies benefits: prepare aspiring teachers, strengthen school culture, and build a hiring pipeline

· Currently, 17 teaching academies in Brooklyn North (86 teacher leaders and 99 pre-service teachers)

· There are 6 school criteria to select schools

· Process and timeline included in provided PPTs: schools express interest (can be done anytime), TRQ determines needs, principal engagement and application, TLs are qualified and recruited – teachers must be qualified for the positions of TDF and PCT

· Candidates will be eligible for hire later in March

· Preemptive approach to hiring season

· Encouraged to seek vacancies in D16, 19, 23, and 32

· PCTs also go to training to support coaches

· TDECs encouraged to stop by and visit partner/pre-service teachers

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Meetings/Events:

2/7 - National Wear Red Day

2/8 - Summer Enrichment Program Fair

2/10-2/14 - Respect for All Week

2/10-2/14 - Career Discovery Week

2/10 - Citywide Leadership Meeting

2/13 - Training at Microsoft for Principals

2/14 - Last day to complete the Sexual Harassment Training

2/17-2/21 - Schools closed for Winter Break

2/25 - District Principal Meetings

3/2-3/6 - Civics for All Week

3/10 - Brooklyn North Leadership meeting, District meetings, and Cabinet Committee meetings