SPOTLIGHT ON SUPPORT
SPOTLIGHT ON STATEN ISLAND TEACHER CENTER SUPPORT
IS 2 is located in District 31 on Staten Island. It is the home of 2 extraordinary UFT Teacher Center site coaches, Celeste Arrigo and Mercedes Gleason. Celeste works closely with the ELA department and Mercedes has extensive expertise in mathematics. Both coaches work tirelessly to support all educators across departments. In addition to content learning, Celeste and Mercedes are facilitating ongoing technical support to meet the rise in need for e-learning due to the COVID 19 global pandemic. Both coaches have provided a variety of CTLE professional learning opportunities around technology tools and digital platforms to enhance the school communities’ skills and knowledge around e-learning.The workshops promote student engagement, equity, and access for all students, SEL practices and community focused classrooms. A Google site was created for IS 2 to house resources to support remote instruction. The website serves as a Teacher Center virtual space for educators to access materials, tutorials, and information to enhance classroom practice.
PS 60, The students in the ASD Horizon Program at 31R060 are thriving even under the unprecedented circumstances in which we now find ourselves. PS60 provides their ASD Horizon students with the opportunity to attend school in-person, 5 days a week. PS60 is a progressive school where there is an established culture of inclusivity for diverse learners. ASD Horizon Program in conjunction with the UFT Teacher Center engages Teachers and Paraprofessionals in ongoing training, workshops, and common planning throughout the school year yielding a high level of consistency of academic, social-emotional, and autism-related support reflected in the school environment and best practices in the classroom.
ASD Horizon Program schools receive ongoing support from a Central ASD Horizon Program Instructional Coach who works closely with teachers and other classroom staff to accelerate individual student growth and learning. PS60 has the added benefit of an internal UFT Teacher Center and ASD Coach, Monica Iacono. Ms. Iacono brings to the program, her experience and expertise as well as her patience and love for the students in the ASD Horizon Program. She works closely with ASD Horizon Program staff and supports staff, students, and families. She is a former ASD Horizon Program classroom teacher, who is still credited by many of our families for providing her students with a strong and comprehensive foundation that has enabled them to excel both academically and socially, in middle school and beyond.
Tottenville HS, At Tottenville HS, located in District 31 on Staten Island, UFT Teacher Center site coach Melissa Balsamello works closely with administrators, teachers, counselors, and paras to build a culture of collaboration and support. She has facilitated ongoing CTLE professional learning around Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education. Tottenville is committed to building a culturally responsive learning community that engages a school population of over 4,000 students in critical thinking within rigorous data-driven instruction.
Melissa works tirelessly to provide professional learning opportunities that are customized for each department. They have included Pear Deck and Edpuzzle for World Languages, The Arts & CTE, Physical Education and Health, English, and Math just to name a few. Teacher Center at Tottenville provides opportunities for educators to showcase and share their successes, skills, and expertise with others.
Melissa coordinates a UFT Teacher Center monthly newsletter to inform the school community about virtual and in-person learning, resources, updates, self-care tips, and more. The Tottenville HS Teacher Center is not only a beautiful physical and virtual space for teachers to meet, plan and collaborate but it has become a vibrant hub for educator support and commitment.