Middle School Debate Coach Weekly! (12/17/18) - 2 Coach Surveys!

by Erik Fogel | Dec 17, 2018 5:14:16 PM |

Middle School Debate League, Coaches



Hi Everyone!  Hope everyone had a good weekend. And today we are sad to see go but also so excited for NYCUDL Operations Director, Jessica McIntosh who will be leaving us to pursue exciting new opportunities. I've known Jess for close to two decades when I was a middle school debate coach and teacher and our students consistently debated each other all the time!  And when we had the opportunity for Jess to join our team at the NYCUDL two years ago, we were so honored! Jess brought so many creative ideas to the UDL and improving tournaments, feedback, programming and operations.  And an infinite heart and passion for debate education and serving youth. So while sad to see Jess go, excited that she will be starting new opportunities and we will definitely keep you updated there. And you may catch her back at periodic tournaments as well!!  But once again, thank you Jess for your kindness, passion, ideas, and work to make the UDL what it is!   Our longtime accountant, Emily Chiang will tentatively resume some of Jess' responsibilities in operations, invoicing, tournament prep. You can reach her at emily@debate.nyc


On the note of improving tournaments. We have two coach surveys for public forum debate coaches. Please take 10 seconds to complete each survey has they potentially have huge changes on the public forum tournaments. 


1.  New Middle School Coach Survey!! Lunch after Round 3?  Several coaches have asked about this idea since all MS Public Forum Tournaments will be double flighted - it is a longer day.  We did send a poll regarding Double Debating versus Double Flighting - the majority decision was still for double flighting.  But even more importantly the vast majority indicated even if we did "Double Debating" (two simultaneous rounds in the same room at same time with different judges versus "Double Flighting" - 2 rounds back to back in the same room with same judge) - that schools were struggling to find judges. And so the "double debating" model would only work if we had double the number of judges which would be impossible.  BUT one idea from several coaches was using the break after Round 3 and before Awards to do lunch.  There are Advantages (will save time ie 30 min - 1 hour or at least make up for delays 30 min- 1 hour)  as well as Disadvantages (super long day with 3 back to back rounds for kids, judges (they have to judge 6 rounds back to back double flighted - and judges include parents, coaches, etc).  Check out our survey to learn more and PLEASE COMPLETE AND INDICATE THOUGHTS - https://goo.gl/forms/hodycSiiRtRwocSs2.  This survey is only for middle school public forum debate coaches! 


2.  Middle School Public Forum Topic Rotation.  2 Months per Topic?  or 1 Month Per Topic?  So the National Speech and Debate Association did a pilot this year September/October  topic,  November/December topic.  And now its back to monthly topics.  We received some feedback from coaches that they liked the 2 month rotation - gives them time to coach the topics (which are high school level topics).  ie the January topic is on economic job growth versus debt.  Tough for a 6th grader to learn economics 101 in a month or less.  On the other hand, some folks like keeping it to the national calendar and the high school calendar (especially if you are a 6th-12th grade school).  So just gauging interest and ideas. No formal decision yet but how folks liked the 2 month model.... Poll link - https://goo.gl/forms/qxTCmbPfd6M6QUSn2


General Reminders! Top 10 Reminders! 


1.  Free Current Events Debate & Discussion Curriculum!  You can access on our Teachers Portal - https://www.debate.nyc/teacher-resources

NewsCurrents Online delivers a weekly discussion-based current events curriculum to every NYCUDL school member. The program covers important national and international news, as well as developments in science, the arts, and more. Subscribers receive 34 issues during the school year. Every issue contains two components: A teacher’s discussion guide (written on three learning levels), and images that go along with each story. The teacher’s guide gives you everything you need to conduct a teacher-directed discussion about important issues, while students focus on the visuals, answer questions, and express opinions. The visuals contain teaching elements like maps, news and historic photos, charts, and more. Consistent weekly use builds background knowledge, critical thinking, and oral expression skills. Aligns with Common Core.


2.  Middle School Tournament #4 Registration  Reminder - Parliamentary and City Council Debate will be hosted at WHEELS in Washington Heights. Also please check out the topic wording for Parliamentary debate. Public Forum Tournament will be hosted at PS/IS 266 in Queens. FYI this is quite a distance, so please make appropriate plans for transportation. Deadline is still 9am of the day of the tournament because of double flighting and leaving at an appropriate time.




3. TOPICS AND REGISTRATION FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL TOURNAMENT #4!!    Getting Ready for Tournament #4!!!! New topics!!! New Registration! Deadline is always the Monday of the week of the tournament at 5:00pm!  Parliamentary Debate & City Council/Congressional Debate at WHEELS and Public Forum Debate at PS/IS 266 in Queens! 


Middle School Parliamentary Debate Topics for Middle School Tournament #4

    • This House would increase funding for space exploration.

    • This House would close the Rikers Island Jail.

    • This House would grant adolescents the right to their own medical decisions.

Middle School Public Forum Debate Topic for Middle School Tournament #4

Resolved: The United States federal government should prioritize reducing the federal debt over promoting economic growth.

A total of 423 coaches and 1,199 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 65% of the coach vote and 59% of the student vote.


Middle School City Council/Congressional Debate Topics for Middle School Tournament #3

4. Permission Slips!  All students need to complete a 2018-2019 permission slip for the season!  - https://www.tfaforms.com/348080. And please let us know if you do not see your school on the list. 


5. 2018-2019 Tournament Calendar! Save the dates!  NEW CALENDAR SYSTEM! 


We have a new calendar system on our website so you can add the Tournament Calendar to your Google Calendar, iCalendar or other feeds. As well as share via social media, Email, etc. Each tournament location is also linked to Google Calendar for directions. And you will also see a button that takes you to Tabroom.com to register for that tournament. Visit our Middle School Calendar: https://www.debate.nyc/ms-calendar


Middle School Tournament Calendar (Parliamentary Debate & City Council Debate Calendar)
9/29 - NYC Middle School Tournament #1  - PS 161 (Confirmed).  CITY COUNCIL DEBATE WORKSHOP! 
11/10 - NYC Middle School Tournament #2 - Marine Park (Confirmed)
12/1 - NYC Middle School Tournament #3 (Inwood Academy (Confirmed)
1/19 - NYC Middle School Tournament #4. WHEELS  (confirmed)
2/9 - NYC Middle School Tournament #5: Hamilton Grange (Confirmed)
3/16-17 (Sat & Sun) - NYC Middle School City Championships (PS 161 & Hamilton Grange Confirmed)
4/13-14  (Sat & Sun)- New York State Debate Championships (Still need a location!)
Middle School Tournament Calendar (Public Forum Debate Calendar)
9/29 - NYC Middle School Tournament #1: IN Tech Academy (Confirmed)
11/10 - NYC Middle School Tournament #2: Hunters Point Community MS (Confirmed)
12/1 - NYC Middle School Tournament #3: In Tech Academy (Confirmed)
1/19 - NYC Middle School Tournament #4: PS/IS 266 (Confirmed)
2/9 - NYC Middle School Tournament #5 -  PS/IS 281 (Confirmed)
3/16-17 (Sat & Sun) - NYC Middle School City Championships: PS 161 & Hamilton Grange (Confirmed)
4/13-14  (Sat & Sun) - New York State Debate Championships (Still need a location!)


6. Register Now for the 2018-2019 Debate Season! New School Membership Form is now Live!  DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS DECEMBER 31ST FOR NEW SCHOOLS!  After that date you can still register but tournament participation and training will take place the following season.

Our 2018-2019 Membership Form is now Live. Click here! Membership pricing remains the same as last year - $999.00 is our regular membership, $599.00 Title I NYC public schools that demonstrate need, and membership fees are waived for schools that can host Tournaments (minimum requirement of 50+ classrooms, auditorium, cafeteria, and help with set up).  Membership benefits include: monthly tournaments, tournament meals, curriculum, professional development, site visits, drop in Debate Center, Debate Club, Summer Camp scholarships, outreach visits, Girls Debate League, debate field trips, law firm debate nights and more!  We will also be piloting Congressional Debate at our middle school tournaments after rave reviews from City Champs and State Champs and a new grant to support. Questions about membership please contact erik@debate.nyc or 917-455-1079.  When you complete the membership form, you will be sent an invoice. Schools that have not paid 2017-2018 membership invoices - please do so immediately!   Registration for next school year - https://go.debate.nyc/school-registration-2018-2019.


7. Introducing You to Your Support Coordinators! Schedule a Visit! Training! Meeting!
We have several School Support Directors who will be your point person with the league to help you with tournament registration, curriculum, and can even schedule several visits and meetings via phone, video or in person. You must be a registered NYCUDL member school to schedule meetings!!! 

a. Middle School Public Forum Debate Director (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island): Mr. Taylor Wofford (taylor@debate.nyc). Click here to Schedule Meeting.

b. Middle School Public Forum Debate Director (Bronx): Ms. Loretta Brady (loretta@debate.nyc). Click here to Schedule Meeting with Loretta for Bronx middle schools!

c. Middle School Parliamentary Debate Director : Mr. Tyler Beattie (tyler@debate.nyc)

d. High School Director: Mr. Aubrey Semple (aubrey@debate.nyc). Click here to Schedule a meeting with Aubrey for high school member schools.


8.  Getting our Updates? Our Weekly Newsletter and Social Media Updates

Thank You for your support to make debate accessible for all! 



Erik Fogel



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