Panther Press

Lead with empathy

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Thank you for your tireless advocacy on behalf of our students. Those of us who choose this work do so knowing that it will be difficult, time consuming, and sometimes heartbreaking. But there is also so much love and joy as we help our young adults learn, and thrive, and grow. Thank you for your absolute dedication to our students, to our school, and our district. We are so lucky to have you.

To show our appreciation, we've ordered lunch for you- we'll serve it on Friday, May 12th- this is field day, so all teachers (even from off sites!) should be on hand. We also have some other surprises in store as the week goes on...

Meeting for teachers with graduates Monday, May 8, 2:45 PM

Please join the meeting via Zoom for updates and information.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 967 2503 1578

Passcode: 051572

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Observed annually in May, AAPI Heritage Month is a time to reflect upon and celebrate the remarkable role of the AAPI community in our nation’s history.

Resources on the 373K drive

Resources from the Library of Congress

Mother's Day spa event

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help pamper our moms.
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Mental health awareness month

May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. The various impacts of the pandemic have drawn even more focus to the mental, social, and emotional health of not only our students, but our own mental health as well. We must always remember to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.

As DOE employees you are entitled to many valuable benefits related to mental health.

Emblem Health Neighborhood Care offers free wellness classes including yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and there are other special discounts through Emblem such as 25% off massage therapy and acupuncture therapy. Visit for more information and a variety of other resources on mental and physical health.

Finally, click here for virtual webinars, toolkits, and workshops offered by the city through Work Well NYC.

interview with Tim Hwang

Tim Hwang was interviewed recently to share tips on teaching mindfulness to kids, including considerations for neurodiversity and the importance for customization of mindfulness practices for individuals.

This is a great article for all of us, and for our families. Nice work, Tim!

honoring the memory of Jordan Neely

Several of our students honored the memory of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who was senselessly murdered on an F train last week.
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cinco de mayo

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Hello beautiful people! Please read this message in its entirety even if you are already familiar with SANDI because the process has changed!

The end of year SANDI window is open. SANDI is a district-wide assessment and must be completed. The school-wide deadline is May 31st.

  1. ALL students have to be tested in reading, writing, math, social emotional, and communication.

  2. Speech teachers are responsible for completing the communication subtest for the students who they currently serve. Homeroom teachers can work together with their speech teachers and if a speech teacher agrees, they can complete the communication subtest for that class if they agree to. Otherwise, the homeroom teacher is responsible for completing the communication section. If you have specific questions about the communication subtest, reach out to Maria Ladenheim.

  3. Find your student's IEP flag for each subtest. If the current IEP goal does NOT match the SANDI indicator, UNFLAG it. Then find the SANDI indicator that most closely matches the IEP goal and flag it. Remember that your IEP flag should have a score of a 2 or a 3. A score of a 4 means that the student has mastered that skill and can complete it independently. There should be only 1 IEP flag per subtest. If there is no IEP flag that matches your current goal, then use your discretion and find a flag to represent a good starting point for the following teacher to use.

  4. Use the attached SANDI rubric or have it open for easy access. SANDI is NOT SUBJECTIVE but is OBJECTIVE because there is a detailed rubric. SANDI measures both the prompt level and the accuracy. A score of a 4 means that a student is accurately answer 9/10 questions with 1 prompt. The score IS adjusted for the number of prompts needed, regardless of the accuracy level. This is because SANDI tests both accuracy level and prompting. The more prompts that you give, the lower the score becomes! Prompts should be given ONLY to maintain attention to task. Any repeat of a question is considered a prompt and the score will decrease. Prompts should NOT be given to increase the number of correct answers. Once a student responds, score the response – do NOT prompt for correct answers.

  5. All of the virtual and printable SANDI documents are available in the Google Classroom. Do not print packets and hand it to a student to test. Assessments need to be completed by a trained and certified teacher.

  6. For reading, writing, and math subtests -- Do not start at indicator 1! Begin testing -10 SANDI indicators BEFORE the updated IEP flag. Continue testing +10 SANDI indicators after the updated IEP flag and continue until a student gets five scores of a 0 in a row. Then immediately stop testing. Then certify the subtest. Remember that the hope is that because we are teaching our students, that they are making some progress, even if it is small. Realistically our students may only be increasing 1-5 points per subtest.

  7. For communication, social emotional, and transition education, do +/- 5 indicators. This is your testing range.

  8. If a student has not been in school and is absent during the end of year SANDI window, please email me separately to let me know. If a student does not come to school in between May 1st and May 31st, a note needs to be placed onto their account. The note needs to say, "Attempted to assess student in between May 1st and May 31st, 2023, but was unable to assess due to excessive absences." Do NOT certify those students SANDI subtests. There is a video explaining how to insert a note into a student profile in the Google Classroom.

  9. To check if your subtests were certified, click on "SANDI subtest," then click on the class you'd like to view. A bold score indicates that section is complete.

    A grey score indicates that section is incomplete. For a section to be completed, first, all numbers must be scored. Use the auto-fill tool if they are not. Secondly, the subtest must be certified by checking the certification checkbox at the top/bottom of the subtest.

  10. If a student receives a score greater than or equal to 370 in reading and 350 in math, then they need to be tested in Map Growth afterwards.

  11. All Map Growth testing students still need to complete the writing, communication, social emotional, and transition education SANDI subtests. Map Growth is for reading and math ONLY.

Many people do not understand the importance of SANDI and why it is that we do it as a school. Our entire district uses SANDI to assess beginning of year, middle of year, and end of year student growth. While SANDI might not be the best assessment, it is the only one that is used district-wide to keep track of all of our students' learning.

Our schools' SANDI results are a huge part of what drives our school's data making decisions on what we use for our CEP goals for the following year and in future years. For example, if our students are not making progress in writing, our school may choose to create a reading goal to increase SANDI reading scores by 5% and may implement a writing program such as Lexia. The more accurate your SANDI scores are, the better our administration can create a goal that is reflective of our student needs.

Any questions, just email/call/text Kat at x3071 in the main or 917-353-7992. She is here to help and support you all in any capacity that she can!

Gotham Hygiene fair

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GED celebration

The GED class celebrated Eric Dominguez at Dave and Buster's this week. Eric is our most recent GED graduate!
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Earth Month letter writing campaign

Dates to remember

5/12 BTC Field Day

5/15 Update IEP Data Tracker

5/16 STEM FAIR – Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum

5/19 Senior Trip

5/23 BTC Celebration of the Arts

5/26 NYSAA Deadline

5/31 Spring SANDI Closes

6/1 Update IEP Data Tracker

6/2 BTC Awards Ceremony

6/8 Chancellor’s Conference Day, BTC Prom

6/9 Clerical Day, All IEPs MUST be completed

6/14 BTC Graduation

6/15 Update IEP Data Tracker

6/16 Report Card Grades due

6/19 Juneteenth- no school

6/27 Last Day of School

shout out

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To our Gotham team, who hosted a hygiene fair on Wednesday, May 3rd.

Students trained with volunteer Cross Fit instructors, learned about personal care, and participated in art projects.

Thank you for supporting our students in such a creative way as they move toward independence and adulthood.

song of the week

Field Day is this Friday. Which cohort will be crowned champion?
Queen - We Are The Champions (Official Video)