The PROSE Newsletter: December 2014 Issue
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Volume 1 | Issue 1 | December 2014

What is PROSE ?!?!

The PROSE program is a partnership between the DOE and UFT that enables schools to implement innovative practices outside of existing rules. Administrators and teachers in PROSE schools collaboratively engage in school improvement efforts and leverage granted flexibilities in the UFT and/or CSA contracts, as well as Chancellor's and/or state regulations in order to better meet the needs of their students. By September 2015, the 62 current PROSE schools, along with a second cohort identified this spring, will have developed their plans to refine schools practices and will begin implementation.

Student-Led Conferences at the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders

On November 20, Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders in Brooklyn held their fall Student-Led Conferences. Students prepared portfolios and reflections of their work and presented to their Crew Advisory Leaders, parents, teachers, and community members. Conferences lasted 30 minutes per student, and allowed time for participants to ask questions and provide feedback on the quality of the students’ work and presentations. 
Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders' principal, David O'Hara, and chapter leader, Michael Kosciol, used a Calendar Change Request to modify the date of the conferences and align them with the end of the first marking period. Students were released for a half day and conferences were held from 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., allowing for flexible student scheduling that corresponded with their parents' availability.
Visit the PROSE Knowledge Base to access the 2015 - 2106 PROSE application, and PROSE resources such as the School Time Lab Online Modules.

 Policy Update

Answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions from PROSE schools have been posted on the PROSE Knowledge Base.
All PROSE schools have the flexibility to request calendar changes that allow full and partial release days for students, and accommodate teacher professional development or parent engagement activities. For changes during the 2014-2015 school year, Parent Teacher Association and School-Based Option (SBO) votes are necessary to request a change. Other instructional time requirements may be needed. Chapter leaders should submit SBO requests to, and should copy their district representative on the email. Principals should also use the Calendar Change Request System to submit requests for approval. 
 December 17 - Mastery Collaborative Online Session: Join the Mastery Collaborative, led by the Office of Postsecondary Readiness, and the Carroll Gardens School for Innovation from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. as they present on setting clear expectations and administering feedback using mastery. Register Now.

 December 18 - PROSE 2nd Planning Evening:  Over 150 participants have registered for the 2nd Evening Planning Session, which will be held at Satellite Academy High School. Kamar Samuels, principal of Bronx Writing Academy, will take schools through his team's strategic planning process for PROSE implementation. Schools will also have the opportunity to learn from and converse with current PROSE schools and central policy experts in formative professional learning communities around Personalized Learning, Use of Time, and Teacher Evaluation.

 January 22 - PROSE 3rd Planning Evening: Current and potential PROSE school teams are encouraged to participate in the 3rd Evening Planning Session. This planning evening will focus on evaluating PROSE innovations for quality implementation, as well as 2015-2016 application completion. Register Now.

 SAVE THE DATE: February 6 - PROSE Mid-year Symposium. Register Now.
133 flexibility requests were submitted by PROSE schools across several academic policy domains; over half of these requests were related to Teacher Support & Development.
Meet the PROSE Team: Jose Vargas

Jose Vargas is a member of the United Federation of Teachers, who began his career as a paraprofessional at PS 157 in District 7. He has spent most of his career working in the Bronx as an early childhood teacher in Community School 198 and Community School 211. Jose has worked in various capacities at the UFT serving as Educational Liaison, Regional Representative for the Chancellor’s District, District 12 Representative, Bronx Borough Representative and currently, the Coordinator of Special Initiatives working with Renewal Schools and the PROSE program. 
"One of my favorite parts of the new contract is the PROSE initiative - giving schools more room to come up with their own innovations. That's something I would have loved when I was in the classroom."
~Michael Mulgrew, President, United Federation of Teachers
Copyright © 2014 Office of School Design & Charter Partnerships, PROSE, All rights reserved.

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