The Unity Scoop – April 1
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the last week of March has treated you and your loved ones well. As we move into the month of April, we have a short week ahead – three days of school – before enjoying a long and well-deserved spring break.
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I share with you Unity’s April calendar as well as a nod of formal support from State Assemblymember Cunningham. I also share an exciting update on our high school girls basketball team and a number of relevant updates on all things Unity from last week’s edition.
Enjoy the spring weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of April 1, 2023:
1. New – April 2023 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of April – print it out and throw it on the refrigerator door! It is possible that events could change and new events could be added. An up-to-date events calendar can always be accessed on our website.
2. New – High School Semester 2 Conferences – Grades 9-12, April 19-20th: We have our second round of family conferences coming up on:
- Wednesday, 4/19 (in-person or virtual evening hours, 5pm-8pm)
- Thursday, 4/20 (daytime virtual hours on Zoom, 9am-2pm)
School staff and advisors have made several rounds of outreach to families to schedule appointments, but we are still waiting on some responses and reservations. Our goal is that 100% of our students have at least one adult family representative attending conferences.
You can use this link to RSVP: https://forms.gle/
If you have any questions or need additional support, call Unity’s main office at 718-682-3725.
3. New – State Assemblymember Cunningham Joins Assemblymember Zinerman in Offering Formal Support to Unity and Our Expansion!: Assemblymember, Brian Cunningham, recently provided his formal support for our school and its expansion to serve students in the elementary grades (see his letter of support here). Approximately 200 members of our school community, including families, alumni, and staff, reside in the Assemblymember’s district and are represented by him in Albany. We thank Assemblymember Cunningham for his support and look forward to collaborating with his office on initiatives that benefit and empower our students, families, and local community! Visit the Assemblymember’s website here to learn more about his background and priority initiatives. He joins Assemblymember Zinerman who also recently provided her formal support for our school and expansion (see her letter of support here).
4. New – Unity High’s Varsity Girls Basketball Team are Conference Champions!: Congratulations to our Varsity Girls Basketball Team on winning the New York Scholastic Athletic Association (NYSAA) championship this week! Congrats to Coach Harvey and all team members – go Panthers!
5. Updated – Unity’s Admissions Lottery for the 2023-24 School Year will be Held on April 1st at 6:00pm – If you know any students entering middle school or high school for next school year, please make sure they apply online at www.unityprep.org by April 1st in order to have a spot in the lottery. For any questions or to set up a school tour, please call Mr. Beckford at the middle school at (862) 862-294-0219 or Mr. Doscher at the high school at 347-746-1575.
6. Recap – Citywide Step Competition Hosted by Unity’s Step Teams Featured in Local News!: Unity’s step teams, the Queen Steppers and Rising Royal Steppers organized and hosted a step competition this past weekend that included 20 teams from across the city. The event was a major success and featured in the local news. Click on the photo below to view the News 12 clip! Thank you to all community members who came out to support!
7. Recap – Alumni Spotlight of the Month – John Martinez, Unity’s Class of 2020: We are thrilled to share with our entire community the accomplishments of our alumni whenever we can. This month, we proudly provide an update on the postsecondary success of John Martinez, who is now in his third year at St. Joseph’s College. Kudos to John in making the most of his college experience thus far!
John Martinez has attended St. Joseph’s College (SJC) since graduating from Unity in 2020. John was a member of Unity’s first class and began at Unity as a 6th grader in fall of 2013. John was a proud and enthusiastic member of Mr. Beauregard’s first advisory – go 602 (City College)!
- John was a long-time participant in Film Club throughout his time in Unity’s middle and high school. He is passionate about film and video editing.
- College Acceptances: SUNY Purchase, St. Joseph’s College, SUNY Oswego
- John has completed the core curriculum at SJC and is currently majoring in Computer Science. He is well on his way to earning his Bachelor’s Degree!
Advice for Unity Underclassmen (middle and high school):
John’s advice for Unity seniors is that the main thing to consider is what you are going to college for, because you want to care about what you are studying and pursuing. That will really help you stay motivated. Get the higher education YOU want to get that will be useful in your future.
Expressions of Gratitude:
John is grateful for the return to synchronous, in-person learning since he enjoys getting to know his professors and classmates and having a positive higher education experience.
8. Recap – Unity’s Athletic Department Celebrates our Winter Season and Student-Athletes!: Awards ceremonies were held last week to honor the winter sports teams and student-athletes. Congratulations to all of our teams, our coaches, and our athletes. Go Panthers!
9. Recap – Make-up Conference Appointments for Families of Grades 6-8 Students – Please Schedule ASAP! – For families who were unable to attend conferences earlier this month, please contact one of your child’s two advisors as soon as possible to schedule a separate appointment to discuss your child’s academic progress over the second trimester of school. We expect to meet with 100% of our families so that we are best supporting our students in collaboration with families – the stronger the collaboration, the better! Contact Ms. Morel in our main office (718-455-5046 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need contact information for your child’s co-advisors.
10. Recap – Volunteer to Participate in Unity High’s Student Career Fair!: Unity High will host its Seventh Annual Career Fair on Wednesday April 5th, from 12:00pm to 2:05pm. During the Fair, students will have the opportunity to speak with adults about the work the adults do. Students will visit several different professionals and inquire about their work, their professional backgrounds, and ask for tips to enter their career field. Should you or anyone in your network be interested in participating in the Career Fair, please complete the Unity Prep Career Fair RSVP Survey. Our goal is to have at least forty (40) adults from a range of career fields including, but not limited to:
- Technology (programmers/coders, engineers),
- Trades (HVAC, carpentry, electrical, plumbing)
- Design (graphic design, animation, architecture),
- Science (biology/marine biology, chemists, researchers),
- Arts (music, visual, performing arts)
- Medicine (OB/GYN, veterinarian),
- Law, and
- Humanities-related careers.
Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Gonzalez via email (email@example.com) should you have questions.
11. Recap -Students May Now Apply to NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYED): The SYEP application is now live, and applications are due by March 31st. SYEP provides young people aged 14-24 with paid summer jobs in a variety of fields, from retail to government agencies to nonprofits. Any young person who resides in the 5 boroughs is eligible to apply. Apply online or by calling DYCD Community Connect at (800) 246-4646.
12. Recap – 2022-23 School Calendar of Key Events and Vacations: The table below reflects our key events and vacations calendar for the 2022-23 school year, including key events we ask for your collaboration with caregiver involvement. In addition, here is the updated PDF version of the table for your convenience. We look forward to meeting our newest families and reconnecting with our returning families at Family Kick-off-the-Year Festival & Family Orientation on August 31st!
Day of Week
Applicable to Grade Levels
|8/31/22||Wednesday||Orientation Festival, 4-7pm||6-12|
|9/7/22||Wednesday||First day of school for students||6-12|
|9/21/22 (New date)||Wednesday||MS Back to School Night, 6pm||6-8|
|9/22/22 (New date)||Thursday||HS Back to School Night, 6pm||9-12|
|10/10/22||Monday||Indigenous People’s Day, school closed||6-12|
|11/8/22||Tuesday||Election Day, In-service day for all staff / remote asynchronous day for all students||6-12|
|11/11/22||Friday||Veteran’s Day, school closed||6-12|
|11/21/22 – 11/22/22||Monday – Tuesday||MS & HS Family Conferences (11/21 – 5-8pm; 11/22 – 9am-1pm||6-12|
|11/23/22 – 11/25/22||Wednesday – Friday||Thanksgiving Recess, school closed||6-12|
|12/22/22||Thursday||Early dismissal (1:15pm for MS; 2:30pm for HS)||6-12|
|12/23/22 – 1/3/23||Friday – Tuesday||Winter Recess, school closed||6-12|
|1/16/23||Monday||Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school closed||6-12|
|2/17/23||Friday||Remote asynchronous day for MS students only||6-8|
|2/20/23 – 2/24/23||Monday – Friday||Midwinter Recess, school closed||6-12|
|3/16/23 – 3/17/23||Thursday – Friday||MS Family Conferences (3/16 – 5-8pm;
3/17 – 9am-1pm)
|4/6/23 – 4/14/23||Thursday – Friday||Spring Recess, school closed||6-12|
|4/19/23 – 4/21/23||Wednesday – Friday||MS ELA state exam window||6-8|
|4/19/23 – 4/20/23||Wednesday – Thursday||HS Family Conferences (4/19 – 5-8pm;
4/20 – 9am-1pm)
|4/21/23||Friday||Remote asynchronous day for HS students||9-12|
|5/1/23 – 5/12/23||Monday – Friday||Advanced Placement exam window||9-12|
|5/2/23 – 5/4/23||Tuesday – Thursday||MS math state exam window||6-8|
|5/12/23||Friday||College Signing Day event||6-12|
|5/29/23||Monday||Memorial Day, school closed||6-12|
|6/14/23 – 6/20/23||Wednesday – Tuesday||MS Roundtable presentations||6-8|
|6/14/23 – 6/23/23||Wednesday – Friday||Regents exam window||8-12|
|6/19/23||Monday||Juneteenth, school closed||6-12|
|6/23/23||Friday||Last day of school for students||6-12|
|6/23/23||Friday||8th grade & 12th grade graduation ceremonies||8 & 12|
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
Our Community Pledge as a school outlines the actions our staff, families, and students are committed to taking. By following through on our commitments, we will undoubtedly have an enormously successful school year!
Information and Guidance on Unity’s Dress Codes for the 2022-23 School Year: Unity’s dress codes by grade level are provided below.
- Grades 6-8: Here is a link to all things dress code for all middle school students.
- Grades 9-12: Unity High’s dress code is outlined below:
- It is strongly encouraged that an official Unity top is worn in the spirit of school pride and in being united in our collective focus on learning. “Official” is defined as a top (T-Shirt or Polos) purchased from an approved vendor.
- In cases where students do not take our recommendation, students can wear tops of their choice so long as the top covers their entire torso and shoulders.
- Tops must not bear any offensive and/or inappropriate language and/or images and may not be crop tops, tube tops, halter tops or tank tops.
- Student bottoms must be long enough that the hem hits the top of the knee, shin, or ankle.
- Bottoms must properly fit and be worn at the waist. A belt must be worn if bottoms are unable to fit at the waist without sagging.
- Bottoms may have rips or tears.
- Bottoms may not be leggings, tights, catsuits/bodysuits, basketball shorts or display undergarments.
- All shoes must have backs, be closed-toed, and low heeled.
- Sandals, flip-flops, and athletic slides ARE NOT permitted (worn with or without socks).
- Crocs ARE permitted so long as the backstrap is raised behind the ankle at all times.
- For reasons related to safety, the policy for shoes will apply for all dress down days and spirit days.
School Supply Guidance: Having all of our students equipped with the supplies they need is essential to getting off to a strong start to the school year. We offer guidance below on school supplies by grade level:
COVID-19 Vaccines: Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines: the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines. The vaccine can prevent COVID-19 symptoms and severe COVID-19 illness. People 5 and older are eligible for the vaccine. Those who are fully vaccinated can more safely gather with friends and enjoy other benefits of vaccination. Many vaccination sites in the city no longer require appointments.
- See a list of sites where you can get a walk-up vaccination today. To find a vaccination site near you, including those that take appointments, use the City’s Vaccine Finder.
- Note, people who are 12 to 17 years old can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Mental Health Counseling and Social Work Services at Unity: If you would like to speak to a social worker about your child’s mental health or if you would like your child to receive support from a social worker in school, please reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio via phone or text (347-688-9107) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Unity social workers can also be of assistance in providing information regarding social services (for example: housing, immigration, access to community mental health services & referrals to mental health providers, food security / access to food, public assistance, crisis intervention, etc.).
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 (1-888-NYC-WELL) or text (text WELL to 65173) or by internet chat via their website: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.
Discounts on Home Internet Services Available: If your household is struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a monthly service discount through the Emergency Broadband Benefit. Please visit this information page or call 833-511-0311 for more information.