Weekly Memo

Life Sciences Secondary School

Kim's Message

December 14, 2015

Dear Staff,

A huge thank you to the entire middle school team for opening up their classrooms to our Learning Partners Program cohort schools for a visit last week. We hosted teachers and administrators from the School for Global Leaders, School for the Urban Environment, and Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School. Shari, Christy, and Ron did an incredible job facilitating the visit, sharing the work we have been engaged in this semester and leading our visitors through an Instructional Rounds Protocol. We asked our visitors to provide us with feedback on our Learning Targets, the rigor of our tasks, and evidence of the middle school team's change idea in the classrooms we visited. They left us with several questions to consider as we move forward in our work for the year. A few of these questions were closely aligned with the feedback provided by our Superintendent during her visit the previous week:

  • Do you have a shared understanding of what rigorous student work looks like?
  • What do you use as evidence of student understanding?
  • How is the Hess Rigor Matrix used for daily planning?
We will be exploring these questions, as well as others that arose from the visit during one of our PD sessions following break.

Today during professional development, we will be meeting in the auditorium. You will engage in a Tuning Protocol with one of your colleagues where you will provide each other with feedback on the lesson plan you began working on last week. Please bring two hard copies of your plan to PD this afternoon. If you are unable to print, please email me your plan by 6th period and I will print it for you.

The is our last full week before break. Please be alert and sensitive to your students' behaviors and social-emotional needs this week. The holidays can be a difficult time for students. Please take the time to speak with any of your students who appear to be having a difficult time and make a guidance referral where appropriate.

Finally, Mark Ossenheimer's visit was rescheduled for this Tuesday morning. Please have hard copies of your lesson plans available tomorrow morning in case we visit your classroom.




  • A huge shout out to Ms. Zaharakis for all of her hard work on the College Fair. Students were able to meet with representatives from many public and private universities. Another big thank you for all of the staff members who brought their students down to visit the fair.
  • Thank you to our staff who accompanied students on the college visit on Nov. 17th: Ms. Merritt, Ms. Zaharakis, Mr. Jean-Baptiste, and Ms. Karantzalis. Thank you for making sure our student had the opportunity to experience a college campus for the day!

Important Dates

December 14th: Winter Show Dress Rehearsal from 3:00-5:00 pm

December 15th: Mark Ossenheimer from the Superintendent's team visiting in the morning (he will be visiting classrooms so please be sure to have a paper copy of your lesson plan on hand)

December 15th: SLT Meeting at 5:00 pm

December 16th: Winter Show Dress Rehearsal from 3:00-5:00 pm

December 17th: Winter Show at 6:30 pm- All staff are strongly encouraged to attend!

December 22nd: STEM Trip to Kingsborough Community College

December 24th-January 3rd: Winter Recess