September 17, 2019



Dear Brooklyn North Principals,

I am excited to welcome everyone to the school year 2019-2020 and I look forward to the many successes we will achieve together. I truly appreciate all of the warm welcomes I have received from so many of you over the last week. My 28 years with the DOE have prepared me to apply my knowledge to this new role. Working alongside you, your Superintendent and our Executive Superintendent will afford me the opportunity to ensure our students are successful. I plan to send a monthly newsletter and welcome your feedback and comments.

I was thrilled to be with you all at Chancellor Carranza’s Back to School Kick-Off a few weeks ago where he reiterated the work for the upcoming school year around the Comprehensive School Support (CSS), Instructional Leadership Framework (ILF) and Social-Emotional Framework (SEF). As you may know, at Brooklyn North we are also focusing on Developing Leaders at all levels, which includes partnering with communities, as well as on eSTEM or Equity through STEM. The Borough Office staff has partnered with Superintendent Teams to create five committees around this work and I am excited for us to share our knowledge with your school communities shortly. Attached you will find a one-pager describing the drivers in more detail and Executive Superintendent Karen Watts and I will share more at our Brooklyn North Day on October 15. (You can read more about this day below.)

Our Committees met for the first time on September 10th and I want to share their goals and meeting highlights with you.

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

Overarching Goal: To share finding of most recent data for Brooklyn North to ensure CSS Committee members have a deeper understanding of how CSS tiering may change, and how this needs to be communicated to our joint District/Borough Office monthly meetings.

Committee Objectives:

· To norm district and Borough Office teams’ language, understanding, and delivery of support models in response to the CSS tiering of schools,

· To disaggregate data from the City and State, as well as from CEP’s to ensure district and borough office teams can identify and respond to schools’ needs,

· To ensure the Instructional Leadership Framework becomes an integral component of Brooklyn North’s CIT/CSS strategy,

· To support district teams, where necessary, in preparing for and conducting their EduStat meetings,

· To communicate critical information to schools regarding the Borough Office’s continuous improvement efforts, city and state expectations, and superintendent priorities,

· To utilize the progress monitoring of CEP goals and action steps to identify areas of success and continued areas of need.

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

Overarching Goal: We, the ILF Committee, are dedicated to ensuring that the roll out of the Instructional Leadership Framework is well-implemented so that all constituents develop a deep understanding of the importance of this work and the expected impact on teacher and student success. Further, we are equally committed to ensuring that there is an understanding of the alignment between Advance Literacy and the Culturally Responsive –Sustaining Education framework, with consistency of expectations across Brooklyn North.

· Survey Results:

o Many schools are in the awareness and pre-awareness phase. Is it possible that principals are confusing Advanced Literacy and Instructional Leadership Framework? Maybe their understanding of Advanced Literacy is deeper than their understanding of Instructional Leadership Framework and they are getting the two confused. Our goal is to clarify this for each principal.

o We will focus on the Instructional Leadership Framework Crosswalk that shows the relationship between ILF CRE and AL. What about MPPR priorities and goals? How does this fit into the work? During our presentation on October 15th, we will reference this for clarity.

o Language needs to be normed.

· Next Steps:

o Everyone needs to fill out the survey by September 13th so we know what our schools know and what they need.

o Can we create a base understanding slide deck for principals to present on a particular Monday? Central has a slide deck that we can tweak for our audience. Slide deck should be ready for Brooklyn North Day on October 15th to present to our principals so they can turnkey with their staff.

o Should the rollout be to principals, or a different group?

o Concern – this needs to be presented in a way so that the process isn’t lost and becomes an exercise in compliance

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

Overarching Goal: Working with the Offices of Equity and Access and School Climate and Wellness through our new program, Students and Educators for Equity (SEE) – the Student Voice Committee/Youth TAC-D merger. Students are joining their equity teams, using the framework with their teams to assess their schools, identifying areas in need of improvement, developing targeted school improvement campaigns around student voice and equity, and giving feedback to the Office of School Climate and Wellness on the framework itself and how to use it to assess schools as well as sharing resources students create along the way.

· Wonderings and Questions:

o Great to hear what is already in place and what is underway so we can see what would be the right opportunity for us.

o What has Brooklyn North set in place for priorities:

§ Focus on Student Voice Committee (SVC): SVC merging with Youth TAC-D (led by Ari Sussman). This is a way of living the SEF given the volume of work around it

§ TCIS will continue – this is a way of having a critical mass trained in a school

§ Yoga and Mindful Intensives – began this work last year


§ Discussion about expanding YMTP2 to leaders as well

§ Formed 5 Driver Committees to implement the initiatives and the priorities

o Functioning of the committee, in turn, how are we held to task? Hold on this for a bit.

o What is the intentional practice around mind shifting? How are we facilitating conversations around mind shifts?

o How can we very intentionally align the CEP and the efforts around SEL?

o Every student every day, how do we strategize and bring to the district level

o How to we marry the SEF and CA.

o Some funding for borough wide work, when do we want to do that (interfaith center) Conference around CA and SEF (content and who should be in the room)

§ Vendor-Partner Management

o Sanford Harmony: may lean on Central for help in understanding

o Kids at Hope: D

o David Lynch: just getting introduced by them, will be part of CASEL, partnering with Columbia for research study on teachers

o Upload Quiet Time info

o Anna: trained about 20 people in her school, had difficulty with the time in the schedule

o WE Day: Sept 25th international program, UN day at Barclays concentrating on 5th – 8th large scale event, community services and how students can give back to the community,

o CFES: scheduling to come to Oct 8th meeting

o Bent on Learning

o Role of Central Partners

§ Chronic absenteeism, how do we support at the district level, using partnership with new visions, preventative interventions,

· Thinking about Chancellor’s priorities, what do we need to do to develop the adults, it begins with us. How do we support leaders in growing the work with themselves, partnered with Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence? Bring resources for Coherence in the system

o How are we helping school teams build capacity strategically?

o How do we promote collaboration: we are part of one system?

o Systemic approach to social emotional learning: how we teach, learn and live

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

Overarching Goal: To foster educational innovation and achievement across Brooklyn North with eSTEM

· Consulting with established voices of the Field:

o Barclays Digital Eagles -A consultant engaged the team in a presentation on coding called, SCRATCH.

o Coding is defined as a language only a computer understands, script, commands

o In-school Professional Learning Offerings (PLO) for teachers are made available via a partnership with Barclays Digital Eagles. They service grades 3-and up

o Why is it a highlight? Well! This opportunity is free to schools!

o Educate, LLC - A team from this entity engaged the team in a brief presentation their work with a high school in Superintendents’ Janice Ross’ District. The team shared their experiences with working with teachers and the collaboration with the District FSL and the superintendents’ support. They demonstrated some of their strategies on how best to engage teachers in professional learning. Some PLOs illustrated were, Boosting Student Engagement, Checking for Understanding and Increasing student collaboration. In addition, they offer a PLO on, Honing Professional Development Plans Crafting the Beginnings of an Edtech vision.

· What’s next?

o The E-STEM team will continue to collaborate on defining a share purpose for the our work

o Delve deeper into the e-STEM work, research and Central resources (CIPL Professional Learning Series: STEM Handbook)

o Continue to support the work Central Staff is working on with the IT Office

o The Team is asking all schools to identify one or two lead pedagogues to become STEM Champions representing their schools at meeting and events (i.e.

o Save the Date: Brooklyn North I-STEM Day- Please send your STEM Champions!

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

Overarching Goal: Build and enhance leadership capacity, with high-leverage strategies and systems, to facilitate coherence in practices for career pipeline, ladder and lattice across all districts in Brooklyn North.

· Collaboration informed by the Central Office – building awareness of existing opportunities and opportunities to grow and develop leaders

o Adriane Esquilin from Central provided information about opportunities for new teachers and other staff.

§ Superintendents received a link to distribute to their schools. The Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality is pleased to announce that the Ed Prep NYC program is open for nominations through September 15, 2019. Ed Prep is part of the NYC Men Teach Village Pathway Program that supports the development of non-teacher staff who currently work in schools (such as paras, school aides, school cafeteria staff and other titles) who are interested in becoming a NYCDOE certified teacher in a classroom of their own. More information will be shared at Brooklyn North Day on October 15th.

· Model and Master Principals – we will continue inviting leaders to share with Brooklyn North

o As a next step, these models will be shared with superintendents in Brooklyn North. First to build awareness of opportunities from Central and then Teacher Career Pathway will be invited to speak with superintendents about creating teacher leadership lab sites.

Staff Announcements:

Over the summer, Borough Offices grew to include the newly-created Academic Response Teams (ART). I am thrilled to welcome my colleague, Arelis Parache, as the Director of this team who joins us from her Principalship at 32K123. She and her 10 specialists are tasked with working alongside the BCO/Superintendent Team Members to ensure that all schools receive the attention and support they need to thrive. The ART team members are Camille Bucknor, Marguerite Campbell, Chandra Connor, Vanessa Copin, Kieshelle Cudjoe, Natalie Francois-Lafleur, Leah Grabelsky, Maria Maravegias, Laura Onwuka, and

Michelle Roberts-Bacchus.

I would like to welcome the new members of the Borough Office and Superintendent teams:

Francisca Andino, Administrative Assistant for District 15 Superintendent Anita Skop

Emily Chang, Director for Continuous Improvement for District 32 Sheila Gorski

Crystal Fairweather, Procurement Specialist for District 13

Christopher Guidarelli, TDEC for District 19 Superintendent Dr. Thomas McBryde, Jr.

Dr. Yolanda Martin, Acting Superintendent for District 16

Morgan Peaceman, Specialized Student Support Lead for Districts 13 and 23

Theresa Piccano, Director for Continuous Improvement for District 19 Superintendent Dr. Thomas McBryde, Jr.

Kenya Smith, Director for Continuous Improvement for District 23 Superintendent Miatheresa Pate

Hoa Tu, Deputy Superintendent for High School Superintendent Janice Ross

Josephine Van-Ess, Deputy Superintendent for District 23

Alison Sheehan, Director for Teaching and Learning, retired from the DOE on September 1st after more than 25 years of service. While we search to fill the position, Elise Abegg, an Instructional Lead for District 13, will be the Point Person. Please reach out to your Instructional Lead first for support, but please feel free to reach out to Elise or myself if we can be of assistance.

I would like to thank the members of the Borough Office team and Superintendents’ teams who have moved on to other positions within the DOE:

Jontra Angrum, HR Director for District 14, is now with the Access Borough Citywide Office

Amanda Bueno, Instructional Lead, is now IA Principal at 15K136

Erika Davis, Instructional Lead, is now IA Principal at 15K261

Jennifer Hughley, APPA, is now Assistant Principal at George Westinghouse HS YABC Program

Barbara Lewis, Director for Continuous Improvement for District 13 Superintendent Kamar Samuels, is now the Director of School Improvement at the Bronx Borough Office

Kathryn O’Brien, School Improvement Coach, is now Assistant Principal at 27Q176

Liav Shapiro, Instructional Lead, is now a TDEC for High School Superintendent Michael Alcoff in the Bronx

I want to extend a warm welcome to all the new principals who have joined Brooklyn North. Congratulations and please know we are here to support you!

District 13:

Everbell Boampong, 13K287

Juanita Brown, 13K301

Edgar Lin, 13K265

Emma Pelaez-Velazquez, 13K009

Pilar Ramos, 13K305

Amy Rodriguez, 13K282

Danielle Scott, 13K915

Frederick Torres, 13K266

District 14:

Jill Amott, 14K250

Dana Raciunas, 14K110

District 15:

Amanda Bueno, 15K136

Erica Davis, 15K261

Erika Gundersen, 15K172

Stamatina Hatzimichalis, 15K131

Sara Panag, 15K039

Pascale Pradel, 15K038

District 16:

Latrace Finney, 16K081

District 23:

Karen Cadogan, Acting Principal at 23K671

Cindy Casseus, 23K298

Loren Cooper, 23K178

Nadya Laborde, Acting Principal 23K284

Arabelle Pembroke, 23K668

District 32:

Nadine Marshall, 32K045

Donna Stalzer, 32K123

Roxana Toro-Ruiz, 32K349

High Schools:

Jane Wharton Andrews, 14K478

Costas Constantinidis, 15K519

Jean Little, 13K499

Uchechukwu Njoku, 15K462

Daphne Rivera, 32K554

Jill Sandusky, 15K464

Sheila Tomlin, 19K504

Katrina Billy Wilkinson, 14K449

I would also like to congratulate our colleagues below for their acceptance into the Advanced Leadership Program for Aspiring Principals (ALPAP). These applicants have been selected as part of the Leadership Pathways and a rigorous vetting process. ALPAP is endorsed by the NYCDOE and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA). ALPAP is designed to identify and build capacity within the existing pool of experienced administrators who aspire to become principals by offering them the opportunity to enhance existing skills and acquire new skills needed for the Principalship. ALPAP is a year-long principal preparatory experience for administrators where the complex nature of decision-making and authentic leadership is explored. Congratulations to the following folks from Brooklyn North:

Elisha Boyd, AP at 23K518

Danielle Capuano, AP at 14K582

Mary Jacob-Alex, AP at 15K230

Ashley Willisch, School Improvement Coach at the Borough Office

Last Thursday, the Brooklyn North and Brooklyn South Borough Offices along with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams welcomed approximately 300 students from across Brooklyn to celebrate Brooklyn Mindfulness Day. Everyone participated in movement, mindfulness, and meditation on the steps of Borough Hall led by participants in our pilot Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Preparation Program (YMTP²). It was a great event and we look forward to partnering again.

Lastly, I encourage you to establish a school Twitter account if you do not already have one. When tweeting, please remember to use the hashtags #WeAreBrooklynNorthStrong, #ChildrensAgenda, and tag @BKNorthNYCDOE and @NYCSchools.

Here are some announcements:

Action Items:

1. The Brooklyn North Fall Professional Learning catalog is available now and can be accessed here. Please register for relevant opportunities and check back daily as new opportunities are being developed and added.

2. In the spirit of equitable inclusion, as per Chancellor’s Regulation A101, please remember that schools may not turn away any student. In the event that you need support or guidance regarding specific student acceptance or admission processing for students with IEPs, please contact the Administrator of Special Education (ASE) for immediate assistance.

District 13 (Superintendent Samuels)-Margaret Moowad (

District 14 (Superintendent Winniki)-Margaret Moowad, Jenna Colin-Patel & Jeffrey Galaise (,,

District 15 (Superintendent Skop)-Allen Bibergal (

District 16 (Superintendent Martin)-Mona Mills (

District 19 (Superintendent McBryde)-Michael Rosenblith (

District 23 (Superintendent Pate)-Kelitha Spence-Bisi (

District 32 (Superintendent Gorski)- Jenna Colin-Patel (

High School (Superintendent Ross)- Maria Edwards, Jenna Colin-Patel (,

3. I am excited to announce the Brooklyn North Partnership with NBC Learn, which will give all 231 Brooklyn North schools FREE access to NBC Learns for the next 3 years. NBC Learn is a collection of more than 23,000 videos, documents, and images that can be incorporated into classroom activities and online learning. Most stories on NBC Learn are 2-6 minutes in length and designed to engage students and help them make real world connections. NBC also offers complimentary curriculum alignment services to support teachers with implementation. If you would like to know more or get access for your staff, see our attached flyer or email

4. In support of Focus Area/Driver #4, Equity through STEM/eSTEM, the Brooklyn North e-STEM Committee has designed the first of many events to build a culture of STEM throughout Brooklyn North. I-STEM Day will disrupt STEM from being just a four-letter acronym with the content taught in silos to connecting the subjects so students have an experience that links the classroom to the real world. Integrated STEM is heavily infused by numeracy and literacy standards to ensure that those standards are addressed and assessed to measure progress students are making in the content as well as in literacy and math skills. This day of inspiration and hands on learning will take place at Transit Tech High School on September 18th from 9:00am to 3:00pm. We are asking that every principal send a STEM champion to this event – could be a lead teacher or an AP. Principal approval is required for attendance. Please register via our professional learning catalogue here.

5. Next week Brooklyn North and Amplify Science are holding three professional learning sessions. Please reach out to Keith Wynne with questions.

Monday 9/23: Getting Started with Amplify Science for Middle Schools: Districts 13, 14, 15, and 16 Only. Register here.

Tuesday 9/24: Getting Started with Amplify Science for Middle Schools: District 19, 23, and 32 Only. Register here.

Thursday 9/26: Getting Started with Amplify Science for Elementary Schools: All Districts. Register here.

6. On behalf of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the David Lynch Foundation’s Center for Health and Wellness, you are invited to a Town Hall on the Science of Meditation on October 8. You can read more about the event in the attachment.

7. Brooklyn North Day for all Principals and Superintendents is October 15. Please be on the lookout for an invitation from Executive Superintendent Karen Watts. This day will be in place of your monthly principal meeting.

8. CEP revisions must be completed by October 18.

For your Information:

1. Please see attached for the opportunities from the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Learning.

2. The High School Science opportunities can be found in the attached email.

3. The Special Education professional learning calendar can be found here and SESIS professional learning calendar can be found here.

4. The NYSED Guide to CBOs for Immigrants can be accessed here.

5. A welcome back email from the Association of Black Educators of New York is attached.

6. Please see the Fall into Literacy opportunities here. Please register early as spots do fill up quickly.

7. Attached is a flyer regarding upcoming open houses and audition dates for the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. Please share with your 8th graders.

8. Attached is an email with information regarding how to partner with the I WILL GRADUATE program.

9. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has released a fall programming and opportunities newsletter for students and educators. Please see the attachment for a description of each opportunity along with links to register.

10. Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) is offering youth free education and job training through the Train and Earn and Parent Empowerment programs, part-time High School Equivalency classes, as well as a series of immigration workshops for Spanish-speaking families. Please see the attached email for additional information.

11. Saturday Night Lights is a free soccer program for young people between 8 and 18. The program kicked-off September 14th and runs every Saturday night. See here for additional information.

12. The deadline for the Fall 2019 TECH360 Program has been extended until Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST. If you have any high school sophomores or juniors this year who can take advantage of the course, feel free to share this information with them! To apply, you can access

the application by clicking here. You can learn more about the program by clicking here.

13. Attached is a flyer with registration information regarding the NYC Eureka Math Professional Development on Tuesday, September 24.

14. Attached is a flyer for any teachers interested in an opportunity with EcoRise on September 25th. EcoRise is offering a hands-on professional learning for teachers to develop the skills and tools they need to help their students evaluate sustainability issues related to energy, transportation, waste, water, food, air, and public spaces.

15. During the 2019 REACH(c) Awards Dinner, the President and CEO and chief architect of the New York State Education Department’s Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) will recognize awardees of several categories aligned to excellent practices inspired and guided by the DTSDE rubric. We are encouraging school districts to nominate superintendents, school leaders, and teachers who fulfill the expectations. The nomination deadline is September 30. You can read more and access the nomination form here.

16. The Parent Leadership Empowerment Conference will be held on Saturday, October 5th, at Clara Barton High School. Please find the flyer attached with the registration link.

Upcoming Deadlines/Meetings/Events:

9/18---Integrated STEM Day, I-STEM. Please register here.

9/21---Garden Train, the Brooklyn Schools Garden Crawl. Please read more about it here

9/25---WE Day UN for students at Barclays

10/5—Parent Leadership Empowerment Conference

10/8—Town Hall on Science of Meditation with Brooklyn Borough President

10/15---Brooklyn North Day, 2019-2020 Kickoff for Principals

10/18—CEP revisions due