September 27, 2019



Dear Brooklyn North,

It has been a busy September, as it always is, in the DOE! Schools are open and running smoothly, PLs have begun, and District teams are hard at work planning additional supports for our schools. I want to take a moment to thank you all as I have been so warmly received here in the Borough Office and by my superintendent colleagues. It is never an easy choice for any of us to step out of our school building and take that leap, but I have landed on my feet with the support of so many great people, so thank you!

Karen has listened to the concerns voiced by so many superintendents and has chosen to move District team meetings to the following Tuesdays: October 8, December 3, January 7, February 4, March 10, April 7, and May 5. All meetings will take place at 131 Livingston Street from 10:00am – 12:00pm. Carmela has been working on reassigning rooms for us and your calendar will be updated shortly. If you have questions, please reach out to the Director assigned to your District team.

The Leadership Team had a great day on Tuesday, September 24th at 23K156/23K392 – thank you to Mia for organizing our visit with the schools! We had an opportunity to hear from Interim Acting Deputy Chancellor Adrienne Austin about changes to FACE and the creation of the Brooklyn Family Empowerment Support structure. We spent time with our CEC Presidents and look forward to engaging in a more parent-facing capacity this year. And of course, we toured the school campus and visited some phenomenal elementary and middle school classes to see how ILF is slowly unfolding.

WE Day was a huge success! It gave our children a platform to be empowered and provide service projects around the world. This event which was held at Barclay Center brought innovation, empathy and compassion to the forefront. We extend a mighty thank you to Leo Macias for coordinating our attendance.

I want to take this opportunity to say farewell to Fausto Barros, our Field Language Access Coordinator (FLAC) and tech support go-to. Fausto has taken another position in the DOE effective October 1. In the short time I have known him, he has been a tremendous help to me and he will definitely be missed in the Borough Office.

Please see below for some announcements and updates.

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

*CEP revisions are due by October 18. Please continue to support schools, as necessary, with their revisions.

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

*Thank you to everyone on the ILF Committee who attended the three Friday training sessions. I am excited to begin the committee work as we map out how to unpack this framework with all of our schools.

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

*Please join Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Tuesday, October 8 as he welcomes the David Lynch Foundation’s Center for Health and Wellness in co-hosting a town hall on the Science of Meditation. This town hall will feature medical professionals presenting a scientific exploration of a simple, effortless technique known as Transcendental Meditation, and its positive impacts on Veterans, students, and overall health. To attend this free event, please RSVP HERE.

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

*November 8 is National Stem Day and we are planning to host an event at Brooklyn Tech for students. Additional information will be forthcoming shortly.

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

*Please complete the Annual Employee Survey as soon as possible. The Annual Employee Survey is an important part of one of our core DOE priorities—Develop People—an effort to continue building a learning culture within the agency. You can access the survey here.

For your Information:

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

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

3. The Special Education department is proud to begin supporting schools in implementing multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). MTSS is a framework that merges instruction and

behavior support and aligns to our five drivers of CSS, ILF, SEF, developing Leaders, and our secret sauce eSTEM. It includes universal screening of all students, multiple tiers of

instruction and behavior support services, and an integrated data collection and assessment system to inform decisions at each tier of support. This was a true cross divisional project for

the special education department as they attended several trainings on behavior and collaborated with the Office of Safety and Youth Development, the Division of Specialized Instruction

and Student Support, and the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center. The result of their enormous collaborative efforts is a scope and sequence of monthly in-

school coaching with accompanying aligned PLOs that is designed to be school-led and involve all stakeholders, in order to tailor to the unique needs of each school community. Later this

month three pilot schools will be chosen based on behavior and anecdotal data. Selected schools will begin by completing a self- assessment using the Tiered Fidelity Inventory which will

also be used as a growth indicator throughout the year as they receive ongoing support. We applaud the efforts of Asher Samuel, Jenna Colin-Patel, and Patrice McGowan for designing the

PLOs, as well as Kelitha Spence-Bisi, Margaret Moowad, and Morgan Peaceman for designing the scope and sequence, and delivering monthly in-school supports. The MTSS committee

meets every other Monday and is open to any BCO staff who is interested in joining. If interested please contact Asher at

4. Please continue entering School Link entries using this link Making the entries will help ensure that we’re able to monitor our support plans for our

schools during district team meetings and assist us in determining our impact. Please make sure that all school link entries are up to date by 10/4 in preparation for our next District Team meeting on 10/8.

Superintendents to Share with Principals:

1. The Community Education Council for District 19 will host a Town Hall with Chancellor Richard A. Carranza on October 3rd from 6-7:30pm at W.H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School. The Council and Chancellor will be discussing issues pertaining to Community School District 19. Please share the attached flyers with parents, staff, community members, etc. You can submit questions for the Chancellor before October 1st by sending them to

2. The YouVisit Foundation is hosting the first annual Hackathon on October 5. Students DO NOT need to be a tech-savvy. High school students interested in the arts, politics, marketing, business, environment, and any other topic are welcome. This is a great opportunity for your high school students to work with other students, listen to incredible speakers from Fortune 500 companies and build a project they can add to their portfolio for a college application or scholarships. Please see the attached email for additional information and reach out to with questions.

3. 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.

4. CUNY is hosting the Supporting Immigrants in Schools Video Series Premier and Panel moderated by Joe Torres of ABC News on October 15th from 5-7pm. This video series highlights ways educators can protect, educate and uplift their immigrant communities through examples of schools doing right by immigrant students and information about current policies and actions they can take. Following a screening, a panel with some of video participants and the producer will take place. The event is free and open to all! If you have any questions, reach out to Tatyana Kleyn ( Please see the attached flyer for additional information.

5. As part of the Learning Technology Grant, all schools only in Districts 13 and 19, including high schools, are invited to join Jason Green and his team from LINC (Learning Innovation Catalyst) as they support schools in implementing 21st Century Learning. Teachers in these districts interested in implementing instructional 21st Century strategies and school leadership in these districts interested in developing the mindset and vision for implementing blended should register. Please note, school leaders and teachers who are already in the grant are required to register, while all other schools in Districts 13, 19 and high schools are invited. If you are not sure if your school is part of this grant, visit our list of schools. If you have questions, please email Allison Sciandra at

6. 2019 NYSED Parent Conference at NYU on Tuesday, October 22nd. This event is intended for parents/families, parent coordinators, ENL/Bilingual coordinators, and other interested parties working directly with English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners. The registration link can be found in the fliers, which are attached in five languages.

7. The 8th Congressional District will be participating in the 5th Annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) and we would love for your school to partake in it this year. This contest is an ideal stepping stone for young coders and programmers. This contest gives students the opportunity to showcase their amazing abilities and the opportunity to compete to have their applications featured on the official U.S. House website and the CAC website. This challenge has spread nationwide because this challenge has shown extremely great potential in inspiring students to explore STEM careers; giving participants in the program extensive exposure to resources such as the opportunity to practice coding hands-on. This exposure helps students realize their capabilities in this field and thus, drives them to want to excel in STEM fields. Please visit for additional information.

Upcoming Deadlines/Meetings/Events:

10/3—Town Hall Meeting with Chancellor Carranza in District 19

10/5—Parent Leadership Empowerment Conference

10/5—You Visit Foundation Hackathon

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

10/18—AA professional learning at Brooklyn South on FAMIS

11/8—National STEM Day