Safe, Efficient, Effective Learning Environment
Developing potential and tapping existing internal expertise to promote learning and improve practice
Roles & Responsibilities Charts
Given the complexity of overseeing a complex, multi-faceted school organization, each Administrator, under the direction of the Principal, has been assigned specific functional roles/responsibilities to maximize efficiency and reduce redundancy and overlap in supervision. These roles are assigned in the summer, before the fall semester begins, but have been reevaluated and modified as needed. at regular intervals throughout the school year. Having specific responsibilities has provided each administrator with a targeted area to focus on. These AP specific roles were not assigned randomly, but done in a manner that has evaluated each AP’s instructional strengths and proclivities. However, these defined roles have not precluded one administrative member from filling in for another when an emergency arises or when we are experiencing a severe staff shortage.
School Budget & Purchasing
School Budget: Purchasing, Hiring and Per-session funding are directly aligned to the vision and mission of our school. Staff members are asked to interview for team positions and per-session activities. During interviews for team positions and per-session activities, interviewees are expected to communicate how their understanding of our school's vision, mission, and instructional focus impacts their practices and how they can apply this understanding to the betterment of our school.
School purchases are strategically aligned to our vision and mission for the improvement of instructional and student outcomes. Regularly scheduled meetings are held between the school's administration, secretaries and purchasing manager. Surveys regarding instructional programs and supplies have been distributed to teachers and related service providers to ascertain their needs to identify instructional resources for our school. Requests to purchase many of these new programs were initiated by staff members in our school.
This year, funding was allocated for a teacher leader. The teacher leader is part of our school's ILT and curriculum committee and has an active role in the purchasing of instructional resources. The teacher leader supports instructional staff and teacher teams through classroom inter-visitations, information conversations, and targeted support.
Covid & ARPA was used to ensure the safe reopening & Homecoming of our school. Funding was used to develop reopening plans, identify instructional initiatives, and to plan for successful student outcomes. The ways in which these finds were utilized was communicated with school staff and parents to ensure a transparent, comfortable and safe reopening.
College and Career Readiness funding was used to support our transition programs through staffing and supplies. Chrome Books were ordered for our transition-aged students. Per-session funds were allocated for transition support and family outreach.
Curriculum and resource surveys have resulted in the purchase of Boom Cards, Freckle, iXL and Social Express licenses for our school. Staff who have provided their feedback on instructional programs have included teachers, deans, guidance counselors and speech therapists.
Our use of COVID funding allowed for a safe school reopening. Students, staff and parents felt at ease in sending their children into our school, as evidenced by parent feedback during our monthly "Bright Side" parent town hall meetings. COVID funding also provided digital instructional resources and programs such as Boom Cards for use by our remote and blended classes.
CCR funding allocations for human capital have allowed our Transition Team Leader (TTL) and a worksite teacher to provide family outreach to over families of students who are transitioning out of our school at the end of this school year as well as others who aged-out at the end of the 2020-21 school year but are still in need of support. The TTL also provides support for the transition planning of an additional students over the age of fifteen. Due to the challenges many of our students and their families have experienced during COVID and the COVID-related obstacles faced when exploring post-secondary programs, these one-on-one conversations and support has provided families with the support needed to navigate the 'aging out' and transition process.
P. 177 Q consists of a vast network of different , yet intricately connected components. These include, but are not limited to instructitional, behavioral, social/emotional, safety, parental and community involvement, as well as the basic operational requirements of budgeting and building maintenance that are necessary to run an extremely busy school organization. We have been able to distribute oversight of each component to dedicated and empowered individuals This distribution has provided for a more efficient and cohesive level of school operations.
We currently have one dedicated individual, along with ancillary staff, who are responsible for overseeing the IEP process from the initial student mandate until date of implementation. This is maintained through email communication, staff meetings, workshops and individual training and support. This has enabled our school organization to keep a concise and up to date record of IEP compliance. In addition, staff members have utilized the Coordinators expertise if any impediments to an IEP implementation arises.
School surveys have ensured that all stakeholders in our school organization feel empowered, and also that their input is valued and accounted for. Being transparent with the results of these surveys demonstrates a real and tangible commitment by the Administration to create a truly inclusive school environment. Most importantly, we have demonstrated tangible and concrete actions that were taken as the result of.surveys that have been distributed.
Attitudes, knowledge, behaviors and beliefs that characterize the school environment and are shared by its stakeholders.
Our Staff Handbook is monitored and updated for each school year, as well as for the 683 Summer Program. The handbook provides guidance and a blueprint of what are the expectations and responsibilities of all staff members throughout the organization. The handbook is a collaborative document, as Unit coordinators from our different sites, as well as other specialists, such as Deans, Food services and the UFT all provide input for the final document. This Staff Handbook clarifies and delineates all staff responsibilities and is used as a reference point for any questions/concerns about what specifically is expected.
For the 2021-22 school year, the staff handbook was converted to a live document with links and online resources. This allows for up to date information to be shared with all staff and provides on-demand access.
Safety Team / Deans
Our Deans have been instrumental in helping to maintain a safe and orderly school environment. This year they have taken a more proactive approach by walking through the school building at regular intervals, visiting classes, monitoring the hallways and checking on the vestibules and staircases. The students have come to expect these regular visits by the Deans, and as a result have developed measurable positive relationships. This has led to a decrease in many of the negative Dean intake interactions that a less student centered approach can sometimes engender..
A team approach of student, staff and parents/guardians input.has been instrumental in maintaining an exceptionally low level of student behavioral occurrences. Each of the incidents that do occur are followed up with immediate parental/guardian notification by the teacher, counselor, parent coordinator or Administrator. We look for any changes in routine, setting, family/student situation or perhaps illness that may have precipitated any incident. At times there may be a language barrier, with the parents/guardians feeling uncomfortable communicating information in English. If so, our Parent Coordinator or a guidance counselor will reach out in Spanish. We also have utilized the DOE translation unit on several occasions for other languages or dialects that may be required. Being able to communicate in one’s dominant language has the effect of opening up a more forthcoming line of communication with our students and parents/guardians.
STARS Programming, Encounter Attendance & IEP Compliance
High expectations are implemented regarding the importance of mandates for student learning. Students are programmed accurately to reflect their required learning ratios and special education needs. Students are receiving their mandated services on their IEPs and STARS programming and SESIS encounter attendance is entered to reflect these services.
Our IEP Team and Special Education Coordinator work hard to ensure all students are receiving their services. The team frequently checks the reports on SESIS, STARS, and Power BI to ensure all mandates are being met.
Currently, data shows students are at 99% mandates fully matched via the SESIS-STARS programming report. Students are at 100% for a valid SESIS subject and the special education program matches IEP recommendations. Additionally, our inclusion students at 139Q and 190Q are fully programmed at 100% for their SETSS push-in and pull-out mandates.
For related services, we are currently at 94.4% for all related services that have been encountered and/or first attended in SESIS. Additionally, we are at 96% in regards to encounter attendance/first attend for those students who are mandated for counseling services.
IEP Compliance Report: IEP compliance is implemented by our IEP Team and Special Education Coordinator to ensure that all IEPs are held within one year and follow SOPM Guidelines.
One of our core values in our school’s mission statement is Welcome. We welcome all students, families, students and staff who enter, creating a warm environment for all individuals.
Attendance is one of the key points that drives our core value of welcome. Our school attendance team is composed of an assistant principal, the special education coordinator who also serves as the attendance coordinator on the school’s consolidated plan, the school’s attendance teacher, and the pupil accounting secretary. Guidance counselors and unit coordinators serve as support secondary members for the school’s attendance team. The attendance team meets weekly to review attendance reports from the DOE Insight platform and to discuss strategies and interventions based upon the DOE Every Student Every Day handbook for increasing the attendance of those students with little to no attendance and who are chronically absent to improve the school’s attendance rate. Some interventions which are implemented are PIF conferences for students over 18 and utilization of the school transportation coordinator to resolve any issues related to bussing which may be affecting attendance. Additionally, the attendance team has been assisting families that are still wary of sending their child in due to COVID-19 concerns in the application processes for home instruction and home schooling in order to prevent a substantial loss of skills for these students.
As of December 2021, our school’s attendance rate is at 84% compared with the city’s overall rate of 90%. Out of our 508 students currently on register, 65 students are flagged as chronically absent, 37 students have an attendance rate of between 16%-60% and 12 students have still not shown.
A school wide activity calendar is created on a monthly basis. This calendar contains important dates/holidays/events that are taking place and is distributed to all stakeholders within and outside of our organization. The calendar has proven to be especially important given that the P. 177Q school Organization is not community based, but rather our school sites rely overwhelmingly on School Bus transportation to bring the students in each day. Everyone has been able to keep track of events by receiving either a hard copy or an electronic version which is posted on our website.
A focus on continuance and meaning beyond the present moment, contextualizing today’s successes and improvements as the legacy of the future
Organization and Time Management Systems
Organization & Time Management Systems: Part of maintaining the organizational practice of a school is to use a Principal checklist, Power BI for Compliance calendars, and conduct regular meetings with administration and extended cabinet. Additional organizational measures include maintaining organizational folders at the office/computer/email and logging into DOE workspace systems on a regular basis. This ensures that all Central, District and School wide items are taken care of. During the week, additional items from the Chancellor's Digest and Superintendent's Digest are deciphered and distributed to ensure timely completion of all items. Items and tasks of importance are clearly articulated in all job postings and through meetings with APs, extended cabinet members, teachers, paras, RS, secretaries and school aides. All aforementioned stakeholders understand that it is their role and responsibility to complete action items before the due date.
All APs have a clear job responsibilities list with stakeholders they supervise. Each AP understands the high expectations that are set forth for them and all stakeholders they supervise.
These effective organizational structures have been important for the daily and long-term operations of our school. By planning ahead, adhering to the deadlines and organizing structures, the school is run effectively and time is well managed.
Unit Coordinators: Communicative & organizational practices
P 177Q currently comprises our main site and four additional off sites. This year we added P177@435, which is located at Martin Van Buren High School. All of our sites are supervised by a Coordinator or a lead teacher. Each Unit specializes in servicing a specific student population, and all are an integral part of the host buildings. However, our offstites are still intimately connected to the P 177 organization, with a centralized structure that enables us to communicate directly with our coordinators. The coordinators, under the auspices of a Supervising A.P., are responsible for disseminating important instructional, parental and operational information. For example, all teachers, irrespective of which site they are assigned, attend monthly grade conferences, and Principal Duffy regularly hosts an informal chat for all staff via Zoom. These initiatives provide all staff with a concrete means of belonging to our organization as a whole. In addition, all of our compliance components such as IEP’s are centrally generated and synthesized, but our Coordinators take a leading role in their oversight and implementation. Overseeing a large school Organization can be unwieldy and complex at times, but our coordinators have first hand knowledge and information about what specific needs and supports the students in their buildings require.
The major emphasis for all stakeholders at P. 177Q is the health and safety of our students. An area of specific focus are transition times, with morning arrival and afternoon dismissal requiring a meticulous attention to detail to ensure safety for all. With input from the students, staff, busing personnel and our tech team, a live, electronic, color coded bus map was created. The map shows each individual bus on our building perimeter and in the schoolyard, and also what departure or arrival status each bus is currently in. This bus map is available to everyone in the building, and can be downloaded to any computer or smartphone. This has mitigated excessive congestion in the hallways or bus yard. Students and staff are now able to safely navigate their way to the buses without undue delay or safety concerns. Our students, especially those on the Autism spectrum often have difficulty with unclear waiting expectations, so knowing exactly when their bus is departing goes a long way towards lessening any incipient anxiety that they may be experiencing. In addition parents report a great deal of satisfaction knowing more precisely when their children will safely arrive home by bus.
School Safety Meetings
School safety meetings are regularly scheduled once monthly. Stakeholders from several disciplines and with different roles are regular participants. This year, the School Safety Committee has been instrumental in working towards ensuring that the physical structure of the building, (most notably the Main Site), has become structurally safe, in light of the devastating flood that was experienced earlier in the year. Our Parent, Head Custodian and UFT Chapter chair members of the Safety Committee have been instrumental in monitoring and providing oversight about any and all facets of this building's structural recovery. In addition, the Safety Committee has been keeping track of any safety concerns about the ongoing and long term construction project that the Main Site is undergoing. These concerns have been brought to the attention of the School Construction Authority. who have thus far, been responsive to the school’s concerns.
Our Dean’s office has evolved into a well functioning and all purpose de-escalation location. On a daily basis, the room has become a place where students can feel comfortable in times of duress, well before any behavior escalates to something negative. All of our Dean’s are trained in Positive Behavior Support methodologies, and these techniques are used to mediate and mitigate any feelings of anger or anxiety that may be simmering in a student under duress. Sensory items are regularly utilized for our functionally non-verbal students who have great difficulty expressing their feelings of frustration they may be experiencing.
Our school Leadership Team has embodied our focus on Distributed leadership this year. Given the confounding challenges that we were faced with -- those being the Covid Pandemic as well as the devastating flood that disabled our entire phone and internet systems, productive input from all members of the team became even more vital. Our UFT representative, and the parent members were especially concerned about the general safety of both staff and students as everyone came back into the building. They provided real time suggestions and solutions that have been implemented and put into place in a timely and safe manner.
Design and delivery of high quality curriculum that produces clear evidence of learning
ILT & Curriculum Team Purchasing
Surveys and feedback from students and staff are utilized when making decisions about purchasing curriculum. In the fall of 2021, teachers were provided with informational resources about the ULS and Freckle programs. Upon reviewing the information. staff chose one of the two programs to use with their classes and site licenses were purchased.
The ILT and curriculum teams meet with vendors and reviews programs to identify instructional programs for our school.
This team has expanded to address the needs of students and their families to focus on equitable access. The team participates in a book club with parents that highlights culturally responsive and inclusive texts.
Substitute teachers and paraprofessionals
A major challenge of running a busy school operation has been finding available and competent Substitute teachers and paras to fill certain vacancies. Each of our coordinators is responsible for filling these vacancies on a daily basis, and they have worked closely with Sub Central to fill these needs. Substitutes are evaluated regularly for punctuality and effectiveness, and we have a screening process in place to identify our most effective substitutes.
This year, we have three substitute teachers in long-term coverage positions. The substitutes work closely with coordinators and coaches to receive training and support.
Since the summer of 2021, 177Q has hired one full time teacher and 7 full time paraprofessionals from our substitute pool.