Nyack Professional Academy
Spring 2020
Book Clubs
Registration will close January 3, 2020
Go to MLP and in the search bar, type "NPA" to see the listing of Spring 2020 courses.
NPA 05-1920 Cognitively Guided Instruction Book club

This book provides a detailed account of the development of children’s mathematical thinking and how teachers can promote this development in ways that honor children’s thinking. It provides a framework for understanding children’s thinking in whole number arithmetic and describes how this thinking evolves over time. It also illustrates how teachers have created powerful learning communities in which students engage with one another’s ideas to build their understanding of mathematics. The district has implemented a CGI initiative in K-5 classrooms during the 2019-20 year. This book club will provide teachers the opportunity to further their professional development by:
  • Deepening their understanding of how children solve problems using their intuitive understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Understanding the development of children’s mathematical thinking throughout the primary grades
  • Building instructional practices that promote children’s active engagement in mathematics
  • Making connections between children’s strategies and powerful mathematical concepts

1 in-service credit
Instructor: M. O'Sullivan
Audience: VCE classroom teachers & ELL support staff only due to split times
Time: 7:25 - 8:25 AM and 3:40 - 5:10 PM
Dates: 2/5, 2/6, 2/12, 2/13, 2/26, 2/27
Location: VCE multi purpose room
NPA 06 - 1920 Special Education Consideration for English Language Learners book club

Data shows that the classification rate of all students with disabilities is just around 17%, while the classification rate for ELLs is close to 23%. Joyce James’ report following her presentation at Superintendent’s conference day, found that Nyack staff expressed a disparity in Special Education in the amount of students of color and ENL students. Furthermore, the staff recommended using data to look for biases and exploring multiple, diverse means to showcase student learning rather than relying solely upon biased standardized tests. A knowledge of the unique needs of English learners and reasons for misidentifications will help equip staff to achieve the goals put forth by the district’s equity plan.  Participants will learn the myths and reasons for misidentification of Special Needs among ELLs. Participants will learn to gather information about challenges students are encountering, suggest interventions and monitor progress. Participants will learn to better describe typical ELL behaviors, related to second language acquisition and consider personal and family factors, physical and psychological factors and previous schooling, before diagnosing them.

1 in-service credit
Instructor: A. Sebalos
Audience: K-12 teachers and special subject area teachers
Time: 3:45 - 6:15 PM
Dates: 1/14, 1/21, 2/4, 2/11, 2/25, 3/3
Location: LIB elementary, room TBA
N PA 07 - 1920 Morning Meeting - How to Implement Social and Emotional Learning Into Your Classroom

The Morning Meeting Book completely explains how to incorporate various aspects of social and emotional learning into the classroom. In just 20 minute a day, teachers can develop students’ listening, communication and observational skills, empathy and ability to work with others. There are four components of the Morning Meeting that include learning how to greet each other (eye contact, smiling, hand shaking) which goes along with the district’s “Start with Hello." The next component is a sharing which directly teachers students how to listen to each other, how to appropriately express things that are important to them, and to create a safe space in the classroom for students to be heard. The third component is an activity. Activities help students practice many skills including observation, listening, concentrating, focusing, as well as academic skills such as vocabulary, math skills, spelling, literacy skills, following directions. These non-competitive games and activities can be used at other times, so that all teachers and support staff can incorporate them into their teaching/groups. The final component is “news and announcements” which helps children transition between morning meeting and the rest of their day. While called morning meeting, the whole thing or its components can be used at any time in the day.

1 in-service credit book club
Instructor: S. Kaufman
Audience: K-5 general and special education classroom teachers
Time: 3:45 - 5:45 PM *last class will only be one hour
Dates: 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/25, 3/3, 3/10
Location: UNE, room TBA
NPA 08 - 1029 The Reason I Jump book club

In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.” The goal is for teachers and staff is to become more aware of students with special needs and students who learn differently. Through this account, we can foster discussions and reflections on past experiences, methodology, and ways this impacts our instruction and handling of behaviors. This point of view should also help in conversations with parents, about their youngsters. A specific focus will be on communication and thinking (processing).

Instructor: M. Handt
1 in-service credit
Audience: K-5 general and special education teachers
Time: 3:45 - 5:45 PM *Last class will be one hour
Dates: 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/25, 3/3, 3/10
Location: VCE multipurpose room
NPA 09 - 1920 We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy book club

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment. Participants will be able to identify how the voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged in the Obama era have impacted the concept of equity for children of color. The goal is that with continued reflection and discussion, teachers are becoming more immersed in their understanding of both racism and equity and their role in both as educators .

1 in-service credit *approved for 60+
Instructor: M. O'Sullivan
Audience: VCE general and special education teachers and support staff
Time: 3:45 - 5:45 PM
Dates: 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13
Location: VCE multipurpose room
NPA 10 - 1920 Confronting Racism in Education COURSE

This course will encourage participants to use an equity lens to allow them to recognize and have “Courageous Conversations” about the importance of breaking institutional practices and barriers, to help develop an awareness of their own teaching practices.

3 in-service credits *approved for 60+
Instructor: J. Brooks
Audience: K-12 general and special education teachers
Time: 3:45 - 6:45 PM
Dates: 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/27, 3/5, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28
Location: UNE room TBA
NPA 11 - 1920 Creating a Collective Perspective of Place Through Local History COURSE

In September, 2018, Racial Equity Consultant Joyce James asked a groups of students, parents, teachers and administrators, "How do we work together to establish a culture that embraces all cultures within our school community and ensures an education that maximizes achievement of all students regardless of race, ethnicity or socio-economic status?” Developing a collective perspective of the Village of Nyack through a careful examination of local history is a critical first step toward the goal of educational equity by allowing instructors to develop a better understanding of the setting that shapes and nurtures their students.

Instructors will become more familiar with five significant cultural/demographic segments that shaped the history of the Village of Nyack including,

•   The Ramapough-Lunaape Nation
•   the Dutch and British early immigrants
•   Early African American free and enslaved peoples
•   recent Haitian immigrants and Women

Like a person, places are made up off multiple cultural identifiers, that include race and ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, social economic status. No place is shaped by one segment of its current or historic population. Therefore, the more you understand about the contributions of each constituent part of a community, the better appreciation you have for the whole community and the individuals that form that community.

1 in-service credit *approved for 60+
Instructor: Bill Batson
Audience: K-12 all teachers and special subject area instructors
Location: OFF-SITE, see dates, locations and times below:

 Session 1 :
4:00 - 6:30
Strawtown Studio
640 N Midland Ave, Nyack, NY
Session 2 :
4:00 -6:30
St. Philip's AME Zion Church
14 North Mill, Nyack NY
Session 3 :
4:00 - 6:30
The Historical Society of the Nyacks
50 Piermont Avenue, Nyack NY
Session 4:
4:00 - 6:30
Center for Safety & Change
9 Johnsons Ln, New City, NY
Session 5:
4:00 - 6:30
Rockland County Commission on Human Rights
50 Sanatorium Road, Building A, 6th Floor - Conference Room, Pomona, NY
Session 6 :
4:00 - 6:30
Nyack Center
58 Depew Avenue
  • All courses are approved by the accreditation committee and are subject to credit guidelines which can be found on MLP.
  • Please do not register for two or more courses, either through NPA or an outside institution, if they have conflicting meeting dates. Credits may not be issued due to multiple absences, as per NPA guidelines.
  • Once registration closes, we will notify you if a course is running.
  • YOU DO NOT PAY FOR THE COURSE UNTIL YOU ARE NOTIFIED REGISTRATION IS FULL AND IT IS RUNNING. Once notified, your course must be paid before the first meeting date.