The PROSE Newsletter: September 2016 Issue
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Volume 3 | Issue 1 | September 2016

PROSE Back to School Basics

The PROSE Panel welcomes all PROSE schools back to an exciting new year through our now quarterly PROSE Periodical correspondence.  We are excited to start the year off with the continuation of Option PROSE, which is our alternative Teacher Evaluation system that allows teachers to have input in their areas of professional focus and growth.  Read more about it in the Policy Updates below.

We are excited to begin the PROSE Pathways leg of PROSE which serves as a gateway for schools that are not yet in PROSE to learn more about current PROSE schools as they go through an accelerated PROSE application process.  We will be holding a general meeting for all 36 schools who've expressed interest in PROSE Pathways, which details program expectations, structure and goals moving forward in the year.  To assist all PROSE schools in their yearly planning
process, we have compiled a PROSE events calendar which lays out all PROSE dates for the year. The calendar will be mailed to your schools. We have heard our constituents' requests and plan to hold meetings in one of the boroughs every month.  All meetings will be open to everyone, but to make it more convenient for all, we will meet in each borough (excluding Staten Island) throughout the year.  The PROSE meetings are open to PROSE and PROSE Pathways principals and chapter leaders.  Each meeting will consist of  separate meetings for PROSE chapters/teachers and PROSE principals exclusively, and then culminate in a joint meeting around the month's theme.  

We encourage all PROSE assistant principals and teachers to submit a resume (if you haven't already) and a current OP-175 form to be compensated for attendance at all PROSE after-school events. Cheers to a great school year!!

Beacon Pioneers Special Education Flexibility!

The Beacon School passed a new initiative through a partnership with PROSE to create an innovative and flexible model for Special Education. The model allows special education students to participate in a rigorous curriculum alongside their peers, as students are fully integrated into general education and are offered the ultimate flexibility in programming supports. Academic services for students with learning differences are provided by both the special educators in SETSS, as well as General Educators during small group instruction, which meets once weekly in any and all content areas the student requires. By offering small group instruction alongside general education classes, students gain the confidence and strategies
necessary to participate in whole class activities in a fully integrated classroom. This consultative model between Special Education Teachers and General Education Teachers not only operates without pulling students from their core and elective classes, but also offers more time for both content and skill-based work. Through PROSE, the Beacon School has met the requirements of the UFT and has the funding necessary to service students with IEPs in the least restrictive environment. This PROSE initiative has received overwhelming support from faculty, students, parents and the DOE. 
 September 29 - PROSE Meetup In Manhattan: The PROSE panel invites all PROSE and PROSE Pathways schools to come to the first PROSE meeting on Thursday, September 29th from 4 PM - 6 PM at 52 Broadway. Please bring all interested teachers.
Option PROSE Implementation 

Schools wishing to vote on Option PROSE for the first time in the 2016-2017 school year, can access the implementation guide on the PROSE wiki.  Similar to last year, the implementation guide provides schools with an overview of the Option PROSE process, steps to the structured review process, final scoring and other notes pertaining to support and implementation. Read the Policy Update next to find out about the voting process. 

Answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions from PROSE schools have been posted on the PROSE Knowledge Base.

Option PROSE:
Option PROSE will allow schools who make this choice to give teachers the option to focus on a specific area of their teaching with a defined purpose in mind. This alternative to the system-wide observation options includes two informal observations, a plan designed by teachers in collaboration with school leaders, and structured review of the teachers' activities throughout the year.  Option PROSE was extremely popular in many of the schools that used it last year because schools worked alone, across grades, or across interest areas, and they often used this evaluation option to strengthen the collaborative structures they already had in place.  Details about Option PROSE are in the Resource Center.  If you are not yet an Option PROSE school, voting will take place for interested PROSE schools between September 20th and September 28th on a ballot provided by the Panel. Please contact the PROSE panel if you are interested in voting Option PROSE in.

NOTE: NYC is currently working to finalize a new evaluation plan citywide. That plan, along with Option PROSE must be submitted to the state for review.  We are cautiously optimistic that the state will allow Option PROSE to go forward.  For schools that wish to vote to offer this option to teachers, we encourage you to do so.  If our work with the state is not successful, or if it is not finalized expeditiously, we will let you know in time for a smooth transition, and we will facilitate that transition. And, if you have already conducted IPC’s, we will assist you in making adjustments to observation forms.
On the PROSE End of Year Two Survey, over 97% of principals that responded indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
"Giving teachers the tools, time, and trust they need to succeed is essential for strong schools and a healthy, respected teaching profession.....So much evidence—whether data from the Teaching and Learning International Survey and the recent National Conference of State Legislators study of international best practices in education or examples such as the implementation of extended learning time in Meriden, Connecticuit, and the creativity and innovation in some of NYC’s PROSE schools—points us in this common-sense direction."
~ Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers
Copyright © 2016 Office of School Design & Charter Partnerships, PROSE, All rights reserved.

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