Just some stuff I found out today...
Another student lost a family member who lived in another country. The family is concerned that when they leave to attend the funeral, they might not be able to get the kids back into the US.
Another student's father told one of our teachers, well, quite a bit of background, including past drug addiction by both parents.
We are now looking at a much simpler implemention of the 37 1/2 minutes, mainly because the turnaround for an SBO and then for implementation is so quick, and it seems like a good idea to keep it really simple. I'm not against the new plan, which is essentially just remedial reading & math, as I predicted. It is sensible and trying anything more complicated would probably just over-extend our already stretched-thin staff. At the same time, I have no illusions that anyone is going to enjoy this. Those teaching reading will have it comparatively easy, as the ELA teachers said that the struggling readers are simply not doing their reading, so one use of the time would be to enforce the ELA homework, which is to read for 30 minutes and keep a reader's log every night. The kids who are not good readers tend to avoid doing this homework, but maybe by giving them time in school, they will get more reading practice under their belts... We are also going to look for a supplementary program in math that doesn't require a lot of prep by the teacher and that meets each child where he or she is weakest.
Current argument at my school is over what is going to be done with the kids who want to do enrichment afterschool but aren't mandated to attend the 37 1/2 minutes? Most of us think members of our administration and/or school aides should supervise them in the cafeteria, let them have a snack, etc. The administration seems convinced that it will be too many kids for any one person or space. They are using this to suggest sneaky ways for us to take more kids, something we are standing firmly against (and regularly pointing out that these ideas are going to be just plain unacceptable to the UFT even IF a school staff voted in favor, which we would NOT).
One of our teachers is pregnant. She confessed this to me last week, when I made a joke that turned out to be right on. I thought I was the only one who knew, but today she told pretty much everyone. Yay for her!
It won't happen, but one can still hope.... for a snow day.