This Week

Fahari's Weekly Staff Memo: 4/27/2015 - 5/01/2015

A Message from Fahari's Principal: Stephanie Clagnaz, Ed.D.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

What does research tell us about the importance of students feeling a sense of belonging in schools?


The literature about the importance of students feeling a sense of belonging (often referred to as belongingness) indicates that an important part of student success in schools includes students’ feeling a sense of attachment or being in relationship with adults and peers at school. Maslow tells us that after the basic needs of food, warmth and shelter are met, the next human needs in his hierarchy are those of belonging.


“In terms of instructional practices and pedagogy, teachers who encourage high levels of student participation in activities, particularly those who ensure equal participation from all students, are likely to foster a sense of class belonging. Importantly, this benefit is most likely to occur when participation is designed as cooperative and focused on the individual pursuit of understanding and mastery, rather than as demonstrating one's knowledge before classmates or competing. Students' sense of belonging can also be fostered through participation in decision-making within class, such as helping to develop class rules for behavior, or having some limited choices in terms of academic tasks. Teachers who are perceived as committed to their students' learning, holding high expectations for student success and providing assistance when it is needed, also are likely to promote a sense of belonging. Beyond the strictly pedagogical aspects of classes, the interpersonal and affective tone of classes also will support students' sense of belonging. Teachers need to communicate their own warmth and availability to students but they also play a critical role in setting the climate for interactions among students in class. Teachers can communicate the importance of pro-social and cooperative attitudes, active participation and mutual respect among class participants. Taken together, this research suggests that teachers will be most likely to promote and maintain students' sense of belonging when they are able to balance a strong focus on students' learning and academic progress with a climate of warm and supportive interpersonal relationships in class.” (Anderman, 2011)


Danielson’s research dealing with belongingness is found in Domain 2 and directly correlates with other literature on the topic. Component 2a (Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport) indicates that “an essential skill of teaching is that of managing relationships with students and ensuring that relationships among students are positive and supportive. Teachers create an environment of respect and rapport in their classrooms by the ways they interact with students and by the interactions they encourage and cultivate among students. An important aspect of respect and rapport relates to how the teacher responds to students and how students are permitted to treat one another. Patterns of interactions are critical to the overall tone of the class. In a respectful environment, all students feel valued, safe, and comfortable taking intellectual risks. They do not fear put-downs or ridicule from either the teacher or other students.” (Danielson, 2013)


REFLECTION


  • How have you provided an environment that allows students to feel a sense of attachment or belongingness in your classroom?
  • How have you built meaningful relationship with our children?
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Culture News

This week I’d like to continue our study of the Social Discipline Window and its connection to our work at Fahari. Specifically, I’d like to connect it to Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. Lets revisit component 2A, which is mentioned above:


“An essential skill of teaching is that of managing relationships with students and ensuring that relationships among students are positive and supportive. Teachers create an environment of respect and rapport in their classrooms by the ways they interact with students and by the interactions they encourage and cultivate among students. An important aspect of respect and rapport relates to how the teacher responds to students and how students are permitted to treat one another.”


How does this align with our work as restorative practitioners? The qualities Danielson uses to characterize relationships in the classroom are “positive”, “supportive”, and “respect”. Danielson’s characterizations align with the qualities outlined with the “high control/high support” box social discipline window:

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Restorative practices call us to create a classroom where relationships are described as “empowering” and “cooperative”. Indeed, if you followed component 2A or other areas of Domain 2 across the spectrum--from ineffective to highly effective-- you find that the “empowering” and “cooperative” language align closely with effective and highly effective practice. Meanwhile, the restorative language of “ignoring” and “reactive” align closely with ineffective practice. In other words, no matter which framework we use to understand relationships in the classroom, both Danielson and the restorative practices, call us to create very particular kind of classroom environment that is driven by the relationships of the members of the classroom.


Thanks for all that you do,


Jared Roebuck

Assistant Principal for Administration and Culture

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Technology, Data and Testing Updates

Tech Tip of the Week: Revisiting Google Drive


File Backup in Google Drive

We know that Google Drive provides us file sharing and document collaboration. Did you know that you can back up files from your computer onto the Google Drive? It is an easy and highly accessible backup solution. Your files can be accessed from any machine thereafter once logged into your Google account.


Step 1:

Launch Google Drive, click on New and then click Folder.


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Step 2:

Name your new folder.

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Step 3:

Your new folder will now be located in your Google Drive under My Drive. Click on your folder to open it.
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Step 4:

You can now to drag and drop files and folders into your newly created backup folder on your Google Drive. You can also click the New button while in your backup folder to upload files and folders.
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Test Scoring Consortium

The Charter Center hosts a Charter School Test Scoring Consortium to coordinate the scoring of the constructed responses of the statewide English Language Arts and mathematics exams for grades 3-8. Fahari Academy teachers are participating in this electronic scoring program which guarantees the tests are completely randomized and that teachers conduct true “blind scoring” (e.g., makes it difficult for them to identify the students and/or the schools whose tests they are scoring). This helps to increase the validity and reliability of the test results.


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Report Cards - Important Dates

April 27 - Final Grades in Datacation and Comments Due by 8AM.

April 28 - Report cards submitted to Dr. Clagnaz for review

April 29 - Report Cards mailed out to all families.


2015 State Testing Dates

NYSESLAT Speaking Exam Window - April 14 to May 15

NYSESLAT Listening, Reading, and Writing Exam Window – May 4 to May 15

Grade 8 Science Performance Exam Window – May 20 to May 29

Grade 8 Science Written Exam – June 1

Algebra I Common Core Regents – June 17

Living Environment Regents – June 16

Thank you,


Jonathan Destine

Director of Data, Technology and Testing

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This week's schedule updates

Will it be an A or B week?

We will be following a B schedule this week.

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Who Will Be Out?


Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Willie Jackson


Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Kim Hunter (PM Out)

Peter Margulies

Sherri Smith

Tamara Destine


Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Monica Lloyd

Joanna Pannell (ELA Scoring)

Sonia Browning (ELA Scoring)

Robin Singleton (ELA Scoring)


Friday, May 1st, 2015

Bertshunia Hillard (ELA Scoring)

Rachel Ignacio (ELA Scoring)

Suzette Lopez (ELA Scoring)

Joanna Pannell (ELA Scoring)

Robin Singleton (ELA Scoring)

Jonathan Destine (ELA Scoring)

Sonia Browning (ELA Scoring)

Upcoming Events

Monday, April 27th, 2015 (Critical Day)

No Students in Attendance - Staff PD Day


Friday, May 15th, 2015

Midterm of Quarter 4


Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 (Critical Day)

Parent Teacher Conferences


Monday, May 25th, 2015

Memorial Day - No School

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Funny Business

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