January 9, 2020



Dear Brooklyn North Principals,

As our First Deputy Chancellor, Cheryl Watson-Harris stated last week, we have entered a new decade, but our mission remains the same - ensuring high quality education for our students. A new year gives us time to be reflective on our practices. As you settle back into this school year, we ask that you take some time to reflect on your school goals, as well as your personal goals, and consider the progress you have made. We also encourage you to reflect on the progress monitoring you have in place and continuously ask yourselves about the "why" and its purpose as you question the impact.

We are positive that our work around the ILF framework will continue to grow and awareness will become stronger as your superintendents unpack the process and structures monthly in your conferences. We will continue to ensure that our BCO staff engages in professional learning in this area as well, in an effort to provide you with a high level of support. Here you will find six modules representing the work that needs to be occurring around the ILF framework. These modules can be used in any order to provide professional learning for your staff.

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: MLL/ELL team share of the work they have been engaged in in the past and currently:

Advanced Literacy (AL) started in the ELL world.

Created PLs around AL and academic discourse, gone to PLs that APs and Principals attended, working on how culturally responsiveness is in line with ILF, sessions for teachers and leaders and their responsibilities, created one-size fits all professional development that any school can use, what the hallmarks look like in the classroom. Still working on norming what an ILT looks like, what does it mean to be a team, expectations, etc. Used Zaretta Hammond’s book to bridge the culturally responsiveness with AL. Knowledge of AL/CRSE can be siloed. “Training the trainers in terms of rolling out CRSE/ILF”. Spreading knowledge to all different levels of the school. Finding misconceptions about what CRSE is about. It’s about teachers knowing their students well. It’s about probing the “why” behind decisions. Cross-walking the CRSE Framework with AL, can also be done with Danielson. Providing opportunities for feedback and structures so that work lives beyond PLs.

Q: When does this happen in the conversation at schools? This happens at meetings with principals or liaisons or another structure that we’ve implemented at schools.

Q: Can there be a list of text sets? “Job” of the curriculum to provide the texts according to AL and will depend on community. Maybe guidance for how to create a text set could be offered to schools. This could also be a part of the leadership building.

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

Review of the CEP meeting that was held for CSI schools with the Office of First Deputy Chancellor. Many district superintendents have engaged with principals in CEP clinics utilizing the support of the BCO staff and central SDILS. Principals completed Quarter One of Progress Monitoring. CSI/TSI schools utilized iPlan to articulate their progress while all other schools will engage in Progress Monitoring with their superintendents/district teams. Principals should be poised to begin progress monitoring by the February 14th deadline. The committee wants to ensure Progress Monitoring is not seen just as deadline but that is seen as an ongoing process. At our next meeting, we will explore ways in which the committee can support Borough Office District Teams in monitoring progress of schools as per their articulated benchmarks.

The Committee spent the majority of the meeting looking at how SED will determine if schools have made progress under ESSA and what progress looks like for schools, especially CSI and TSI schools. There was a brief review of how ‘progress’ is determined and what it means under ESSA and how we, as districts and BCO teams can strengthen our understanding of the data and metrics. We engaged in an activity looking at three different fictional schools and their metrics to try and determine if the schools had made enough progress to be removed from the CSI designation list. If schools have questions regarding ESSA, they should reach out to their APPA.

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

Purposes of our work:

· Messaging to Principals through principal conferences

· Alignment among Central, field, and schools

· Supporting superintendents in P and AP conferences – inquiry groups

· Shared goals and values for the year

· Supporting leaders physically, mentally, socially

· Understanding our schools' SEL competencies

Susan Green – Central OSYD – Sanford Harmony

· Actual curriculum schools may use as opposed to a framework – comes to schools as a kit

· CASEL Aligned

· Addresses all SEL competencies

· Effort supported by City Hall – part of mental health initiative

· Free to all schools served – NYC largest implementation district

· Approximately 200 schools in pilot year


· How many schools currently engaged in KN? - (embedded in PP that Susan shared)

· How will schools opt in moving forward? - (same process as this year)

o Messaging coming directly from tweed also

o Borough wide introductory training - for schools that have already been to the introductory – 150 slots available

· Messaging to Brooklyn North schools at upcoming Principal conferences

Aperture Education – Chelsea Shuss and Paul LeBuffe

· Process that involves children and adults

· Increases – attitude, skills, classroom behavior, test scores

· Decreases – negative student behavior

· SEL competencies twice as predictive than socio-economics

· Correlations to career readiness

· Assessments lead to need for specific instruction – curated strategies that teachers may use; not a curriculum with a scope and sequence; tailored approach of interventions tailored to the child

· Screening tool followed by a more involved instrument for children who exhibit a need


· Knowledge around which schools in district use Sanford harmony

· Learn more about schools engaged in SEL work

· Data aligned SEL strategies important

· How do we fit in with larger strategies – implicit bias, etc – especially assessments

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

The committee recommends that every principal and assistant principal join our Brooklyn North STEM Champions Microsoft Team, as this is the place where all resources and opportunities around STEM will be shared.

Executive Superintendent Updates

· Every committee is being asked to create a deliverable with a deadline of May 1st. This purpose of this deliverable is to help support principals with implementation of the 5 drivers. e-STEM committee has a sub-committee dedicated to this work. Keith Wynne is leading that sub-committee.

· Executive Superintendent Karen Watts would like to see more Central partners on this committee. Eileen Marks and Executive Superintendent Watts met with Algebra for All and requested a representative. ES Watts also spoke with Ilene Altshul regarding a Math person from the central STEM team joining.

Central Partners Updates

· Science (Greg Borman) Amplify Science Recommended as the core curriculum K-8. Citywide Professional Learning attached to that throughout this year and through the Summer. To know more email Greg (GBorman@schools.nyc.gov)

· CS for All (Tunisia Mitchell) PD is available for schools, whether or not your school is a part of the program. They provide 3 sessions for Admin of what CS is and how to support teachers. Provide content and pedagogy training for teachers throughout the year. Will have registration link available February 4th.

Ideas for celebrating STEM during 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.

Data Inquiry

· Used the Data Driven Dialogue Protocol to analyze STEM survey data from Brooklyn North Schools.

· The Observations and Inferences from this protocol will be used to drive the work of our sub-committees so that truly reflects the needs of our schools.

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

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

· By 2021, over 400 principals and 800 APs may retire so there will be a great need for school leaders

· Presentation to Executive Superintendent Karen Watts and Brooklyn North Leadership on December 11th

· Superintendents in Brooklyn North received a hiring guide with updated C-30 questions aligned to the Chancellor’s priorities and contacts for leadership pipelines/programs such as LEAP (Bank Street), APLI, ELI (CSA), Wallace Fellows, etc. The Advanced leadership will also re-open soon

· LEAP has an open house for all boroughs on January 27th in Manhattan– there will be an announcement in Principals’ Weekly

· Many APs are not in the Principals Pool; this is an additional challenge

· We need to change the narrative around what the principalship is and looks like

· Buckets of work: instructional core, systems for improvement, and culture and climate

· Leadership pathway system can be accessed online by superintendents

· Mentor Principal Organization also in OOL

· Programs for aspiring APS and teachers starting in Brooklyn North High Schools

· Can we also capitalize on APOs and business or organization teachers/leaders? They may be an untapped reserve

2. The Collaborative Initiative/Teaching Academies – Adrianne Esquilin

à Mike Murphy sent email to teacher leaders and principals about the five Learning Lab sites for teacher leaders with dates and what they are focusing on this year. Please find information here on the Brooklyn North Teacher Leader Learning Labs.

à Teaching Academies: alternate certification programs for potential teachers, who will spend 6 months in a classroom with a teacher and attend classes at night; launching on Jan. 13th; 550 partner teacher participants already have their placements; program designed for teachers to commit to jobs in schools in Brooklyn North in Districts 16, 19, 17,23, 32, 18, 27, and Brooklyn North High Schools; beginning with Trans B

· Schools can email teachersupport@schools.nyc.gov, go onto the Teacher Finder, or contact their HR director to see these potential teacher candidates

· Schools are encouraged to hire these candidates before June, when the pool will include everyone

· Principals are aware of this program; messaged in NT Finder and through HR director

· Adrianne provided a list with the schools which have teaching academies – many have hosted Teaching Academies open houses; this model can be used to organize open house visits for schools which are harder to staff

· We can share paperwork at the next meeting for those districts who may want to organize similar visits

à Leadership That Supports New Teachers – Session 3 coming up 1/16 at Westinghouse, 1-4 pm

· TDECs needed to facilitate table discussions as there will be hands-on work

· The goal is for principals is to create and put a plan in action at the end of the PL series: Marian, Fady, and Andrada volunteered to facilitate

· Another goal is to turn-key t other principals

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Meetings/Events:


1/10—College Awareness Day

1/11—VOICES Leadership Conference

1/15 –Brooklyn North Spelling Bee at Academy for Young Writers

1/20—MLK Day at Brooklyn Borough Hall

1/21—District Principal Meetings

1/28—Brooklyn North Leadership meeting in District 14

2/3 –Leading for Equity for Brooklyn North Leadership and Principal Advisory Members

2/4—Brooklyn North Leadership meeting, District team meetings, and Committee Driver meetings

2/11--Citywide Leadership Meeting

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

2/25—District Principal Meetings

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

2. Please find a listing of the professional learning opportunities offered this spring by the Division of Multilingual Learners, as well as registration links, by clicking here.

3. The second VOICES Leadership Conference will take place at Brooklyn Tech on Saturday, January 11th. The conference is completely student run from the planning of the day and workshops to the facilitation. Please see the conference flyer here and register in advance.

4. Brooklyn North High Schools in partnership with We-Intervene, a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to advocating and supporting NYC schools counselors, will celebrate the work of Brooklyn North’s school counselors during National School Counseling Week. National School Counselors Week occurs every year during the first full week of February 2020.

In addition to a planned breakfast celebration on February 7th at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, each school should nominate a minimum of one school counselor (you can nominate more than one) as part of the National School Counselors Appreciation Campaign.

The submission form is less than 5 minutes and we encourage Administrators to nominate their school counselors. This is open to all schools, K-12. This will allow time for school counselors to be made aware of the nomination and walk them through the Appreciation Campaign. Deadline to nominate is January 11, 2020. Nomination form is here: https://forms.gle/CWynuXREXKan4QA37

5. The following webinar is going to be presented by the STEM Leadership Alliance featuring David Barnes, Associate Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Math and Integrated STEM: It’s More than Counting, Measuring and Histograms. Ever thought that the M in STEM was silent? And what does that mean for STEM learning for students and teachers? Integrated STEM provides a framework to create and engage in learning that values each of the disciplines, including mathematics, and also is beneficial for students. Learn about Integrated STEM and activities, which were developed collaboratively across the STEM field to engage students in mathematics in concert with science, technology, and engineering. Register today for the webinar, which will be January 14th at 3:30pm: https://lnkd.in/e6ZcBHZ.

Also, registration is open for the STEM Leadership Alliance Summit July 12-16, Orlando, FL -


6. The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning is proud to announce another year of Serve & Connect! Serve & Connect is a community/police engagement program designed to bring youth and uniformed police together in a fun physical activity to create informal mentoring, relationship building, and the seamless delivery of a life skills curriculum. We have partnered with the 42nd Precinct to bring this popular program to our community members. A warm meal is provided. The program runs on Saturdays from 4pm – 7pm between January 18 and April 15. Kids of all ages are encouraged to register. Additional information and online registration is available HERE.

7. Please see the flyer advertising MLK Day at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Unlike the various MLK Day events throughout the city, this event was created by youths, for youths. They have created a space that allows for young people to celebrate Dr. King’s vision and work from a youth perspective. Some of the planned activities are as follows:

· Spoken Word Contest- First Prize is $250.00. Content entries must be aligned with the work of Dr. King and other social justice issues.

· Workshops- How To W.I.N (Wisdom Instead of Negligence) When Dealing with Law Enforcement.

· Pre Registration for 16 & 17 Year Old- New laws now allow 16 and 17 year old students to pre-register for all general elections. They will become automatically registered on their 18th birthday.

Please share with all middle and high school students.

8. Brooklyn North is pleased to announce the following opportunities to support our Amplify Science schools with professional learning. There are sessions available for both Elementary and Middle Schools. Participating schools will be eligible to receive follow-up coaching visits from Brooklyn North Instructional Leads and Amplify Science Instructional Specialists.

For Elementary Schools:

Amplify Science Winter/Spring Planning Support Series

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Amplify Science Elementary Schools Inter-Visitation Day

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


For Middle Schools:

Amplify Science Winter/Spring Planning Support Series

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 and Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Using the Digital Platform with Amplify Science Middle Schools, Part 2

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

131 Livingston Street


Amplify Science Middle School Inter-Visitation Day

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Chancellor’s Conference Day: For Elementary and Middle Schools:

Amplify Science June Planning Session – June 4, 2020

9. Pratt Institute is now accepting applications for the next class of Pratt Young Scholars! Please share this information with interested students and encourage them to apply. Brochures will be mailed to all schools. If your school requires additional brochures to distribute to students, we will gladly send some. Please reach out to scholars@pratt.edu.

Pratt Young Scholars is a need-based, three-year scholarship providing instruction in art and design with college preparation to motivated high school students. This scholarship covers three years of studio instruction, all art materials for courses taken, Summer Scholars courses in July, a year-round college access program including SAT preparation, and one-on-one guidance throughout the college application and financial aid processes. This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about art and design, meet other students with similar interests, and prepare for college in a creative environment!


October to April, Wednesdays, 4:30–6:30 PM and Saturdays, 10 AM–1:30 PM

Summer: Two weeks in July, Monday to Friday, 10 AM–4 PM

Students entering 10th grade in the 2020-21 school year are eligible to apply if they:

· attend a New York City public school;

· demonstrate an interest in art and design;

· are academically prepared, highly motivated and have demonstrated persistence;

· commit to attending classes on Wednesdays after school and Saturdays for three years (no exceptions), as well as July summer programs; and

· meet the income eligibility guidelines.

Apply online by March 2, 2020