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June-25-2020

The Unity Scoop – June 25

Dear Families of Unity,

Congratulations to our 8th grade families on their graduation earlier this week!  Moreover, we look forward to this Friday’s virtual graduation ceremony for our high school seniors!   We are so proud of what you have accomplished at Unity and are excited for you as you embark on a new chapter of your educational journey.

In this edition of the Scoop, there are a number of updates on end-of-year festivities and school initiatives for the summer.  I have also included updates on the coming school year.

In unity,
Josh Beauregard
Head of School

Updates as of June 25, 2020:

1. High School Graduation is Tomorrow, June 26, at 6pm: We are especially excited to celebrate the achievements of our 12th graders as they graduate and embark on a new chapter in their education.  Here are the details:

  • When: Friday, June 26th at 6pm
  • Ceremony link to access
  • Please make sure to have Zoom installed on your computer or mobile device
  • Who to contact with questions: Ms. Bonaminio at abonaminio@unityprep.org
  • If you have any trouble with access, please call Mr. Doscher at 347-746-1575

2. Congratulations to Matthew D., 8th Grade Graduate! – Matthew is a talented scholar and team player.  Among his many accomplishments this year, he made the city-wide all-star team for flag football and played an important role on the boy’s basketball team. We wish you the best in high school, Matthew!

3. Chromebooks Return and Care –  All students returning to Unity for the 2020-21 school year can continue to use any laptops that were borrowed until further notice. Please continue to keep them safe and in good working condition as we look ahead to the fall.

Graduating High School Seniors and 8th Grade Students Not Returning to Unity High: Those 8th grade students who are not attending Summer Academy must return Chromebook laptops on Monday or Tuesday of next week (6/29 and 6/30) between the hours of 12:00PM and 3:00PM to our high school site, 584 Driggs Avenue. Since we have very limited access to our middle school at 432 Monroe Street, we will be utilizing our high school site located at 584 Driggs Ave.

  • Chromebook & Charger Return for 8th Graders & 12th Graders
  • Where: 584 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn
  • When: 6/29 and 6/30, between 12pm – 3pm

Again, this does not pertain to your child if he/she is attending Summer Academy. Please contact Mr. Alli (kalli@unityprep.org) if you are unable to return your Chromebooks during the times listed above.

4. Middle School Summer Academy:  Middle school Summer Academy is mandatory for assigned students and will run Monday – Friday, 7/6 – 7/31.  Ms. Conner shared specific class schedules this week with all students who are required to attend.  Please reach out to Ms. Conner (lconner@unityprep.org) or Ms. Green (agreen@unityprep.org) with any questions about Summer Academy.

5. Middle School Summer Book Clubs:  Research shows that reading over the summer is the most important way to prevent summer learning loss.  We are excited to offer book clubs to all interested students this summer.  Teachers will be reaching out to students to share the book for each club and schedule 4 times to meet over the month of July.  If you did not sign up for book clubs but would like to participate, please contact Ms. Williams at (awilliams@unityprep.org).

6. High School Summer Academy – Students who have not completed their coursework in Quarters 3 and 4 of the 2019-2020 school year must do so this summer, when possible. For courses that are not available over this summer, there will be opportunities in the fall to make up that course work.  Summer Academy will consist of three, 2-week sessions, with Session 1 beginning on July 13th. Courses will be held virtually Monday through Friday from 8-11am.  Students who are eligible for Summer Academy will be notified of their course schedules during the week of July 6th via Jupiter and phone calls.

7. Brief Survey on Your Remote Learning Experience at Unity – The New York State Education Department is seeking to learn from you what went right and what can be improved with regard to your children’s education during the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to learn directly from you, the NYSED has created a brief survey.  Anonymity is assured so please be comfortable providing any honest feedback you feel is appropriate.  We believe your input is essential to inform both policy and practice as we move toward the re-opening of our schools.

To complete the brief surveyClick here to enter the survey or you may copy and paste following link into your browser:   https://tinyurl.com/csoparentcovid19 and enter the password: csoparent

It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and must be completed in one sitting, as you cannot save it and return to it later. The survey will be available to complete until 11:59 PM on Friday July 3, 2020.

8. First Day of School for the 2020-21 School Year: Wednesday, September 9th – While we are still awaiting for the New York City Department of Education calendar to be released, we wanted to provide you with the first day of school at Unity in the 2020-21 school year.   The first day of school will be Wednesday, September 9, 2020.  We hope to release our full calendar for the 2020-21 school year in the next two weeks.  We appreciate your patience.

9. Unity’s Format of Instruction for the 2020-21 School Year: We are now considering our options for operation in the coming year.  At this time, there are three possible scenarios for how we will facilitate instruction:

  1. In-person classes that follow public education guidelines for social distancing
  2. Remote learning, as we have over the past three months
  3. Blended learning, in which students experience a combination of socially-distanced, in-person classes and remote learning

We intend to make decisions on which format we will adopt in late July, when we have more information from state and city on guidelines and best practices.  As always, our decisions will be based on what ensures the safety of our community, and what offers the best possible education to our students.

10. Unity to Provide All Students with Laptops Next Fall – As we build on our experiences and plan forward to the coming year, every Unity student in grades 6-12 will be equipped with a laptop computer this coming fall.  We are excited by this move as it will ensure that all students have full access to the technology they need to fully engage in their studies, regardless of whether classes are conducted in-person or remotely.  We will provide additional details on policies and logistics over the summer leading up to the start of the new year.

11. Supply List for the 2020-21 School Year – Supply lists for the 2020-21 school year will be made available in late July via the Scoop and posted on our website.  Stay tuned.

12. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!  We are so excited for our seniors to engage in the next chapter of their educational lives.  Below is an updated list of postsecondary institutions that will be represented by a member of Unity’s first graduating class.  Class of 2020 – we could not be prouder of you!

Name of Institution

CO-OP Tech Mohawk Valley Community College
Concordia College Penn State University
CUNY Baruch College Quinnipiac University
CUNY Bronx Community College St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn)
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College SUNY Buffalo State
CUNY Brooklyn College SUNY Cobleskill
City Tech – New York City College of Technology SUNY Cortland
CUNY College of Staten Island SUNY Fredonia
CUNY Guttman Community College SUNY New Paltz
CUNY Hunter College SUNY Oneonta
CUNY John Jay College SUNY Oswego
CUNY Kingsborough Community College SUNY Plattsburgh
CUNY LaGuardia Community College SUNY Potsdam
CUNY Medgar Evers College SUNY Purchase
Dickinson College SUNY Suffolk County Community College
Hampton University University of Miami
Howard University Vassar College
Ithaca College  
Lincoln Technical Institute  

Reminder: Free 6-Week Summer Enrichment Program for Students entering Grades 6-9 – Apply Today! – Practice Makes Perfect is offering a six-week virtual summer enrichment program for children who have just completed grades 3 – 8. Over the course of six weeks, children will engage in 18 instructional sessions with a Practice Makes Perfect Fellow and a small group of peers. Children will also be given one additional hour of self-paced work in math and reading to help with content retention.

The program is FREE for students attending NYC Public Schools. To be considered for a spot you must complete and submit this form by June 29th, 2020 (el formulario está en español aquí here). Your child’s enrollment will be confirmed by July 3rd, 2020. Spots are limited!

Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:

Emergency Respite Reimbursement – Funding is available to help families pay for respite services in an emergency situation.  Covered emergencies can include:

  • medical hospitalization and recuperation
  • attending a funeral
  • family member sickness
  • assistance with challenging behaviors

For more information including eligibility requirements, please email: cheryl.jones@yai.org.

Resources Regarding Unemployment Due to COVID-19 – NYC has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The website will be updated frequently and includes information on employment/unemployment, food assistance, financial assistance, rent arrears, health and medical assistance, and so forth.

Free Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner available for Students and Adults – Any New Yorker, child or adult, has access to three free meals a day at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the city (including PS44), between 7:30am – 11:30am for children and families and from 11:30am to 1:30pm for adults. More details, including a search tool, is available by clicking here.

Resources for Mental Health and Talking to Young People About COVID-19 – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has provided this guide for self-care and strategies for talking about COVID-19 honestly and effectively with young people. In addition, here is a link for webinars for “Parenting During COVID-19” through the Weil Cornell Psychiatry Department. If your child or family member is experiencing a mental health crisis, NYC Well is available 24 hours a day and can be accessed by phone (1888-NYC-WELL) or text (text WELL to 65173) or by internet chat via their website: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/.  In addition, a mental health hotline has been established in New York City that will provide FREE emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider. The hotline number is: 1-844-863-9314.

Mental Health Counseling and Social Work Services Available to Unity Students who Receive Counseling – Social workers will continue to hold remote counseling sessions for all students who receive counseling throughout this week.  Please reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio via phone or text (347-688-9107) or email (tdelpurgatorio@unityprep.org) if you have any questions about the continuation of counseling services or if you are concerned about your child’s mental health. Unity social workers can also be of assistance in providing information regarding social services (for example: housing, access to food, access to community mental health services, referrals to mental health providers, crisis intervention, etc.).

Helpful Guidance on Obtaining the Perfect Book for Your Child – With the Unity Library closed for the time being, our public libraries in Brooklyn offer a vast majority of their books and resources online.  Additionally, many private companies are stepping up and offering their services for free.  Check out this helpful guide to gain access to ebooks or audiobooks from the Brooklyn Public Library.  In addition, see the list of resources below:

  • Do you have dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, or other reading barriers? Access Bookshare’s free online ebooks.
  • Are you an English Language Learner (ELL) and interested in practicing your English? Are you looking to learn a new language? Rosetta Stone is being offered free for three months to all students.
  • Are you finding it difficult to spend all day looking at a computer screen? Download BeeLine reader for free, which uses color gradients to make reading just a little bit easier.
  • Worried that by spending so much time alone your vocabulary is growing more and more limited by the day? Dictionary.com has free daily activities such as puzzles, quizzes, and a word of the day to keep your vocabulary skills sharp.
  • Want to practice your reading and thinking skills? Scholastic has a remote learning program where you can play games and participate in activities.
  • Try using Newsela, which is an online news-as-literacy platform that features high-interest articles on everything from current events to myths and legends and from literature to science. Follow this link to create an account.
  • Audible is offering free audio books for students. Click here to access a huge selection of audiobooks.

 

Free Internet at Home – A variety of internet providers are offering free internet  access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have an internet subscription. Internet access at home will be critical for students to complete their remote learning assignments To enroll, call

  • 1-844-579-3743 for Spectrum
  • 1-844-488-8395 for Charter Communications
  • 1- 866-200-9522 for Optimum

Note that Installation fees will be waived for new households.

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