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Staff face to face time is precious — how we choose to use it:

BLOGMy Co-Director, Santo Nicotera, wrote this to our parents in our weekly newsletter:

When we gather as a staff, the first hour to 90 minutes is spent in a structured conversation about our students.  We start with the writing of ’positive notes’ (each staff member writes and shares a note to a particular student which are distributed to them the next morning during KIVA) and then we each complete a weekly ‘student update’ form (the roster is disaggregated by advisory and spaces are designated after each student’s name for comments).  From that initial process together particular students are identified for more directed staff consultation together resulting in action steps that we agree to implement on behalf of these students.  The middle part of the meeting is designated for working out programming logistics for the coming week.  The last hour of our meeting is set aside for the discussion together of teaching and learning in general at the school and for ‘looking at student and teacher work’.  We use ‘Critical Friends Group’ protocols to guide these conversations about our work and to create a safe and equitable space for this type of conversation.  Here is a video that was taken during our staff meeting on 10/16/13 where we used the ‘Charrette’ protocol to discuss the design of an upcoming interdisciplinary unit of instruction:

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