The Unity Scoop – April 28
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the week has been good to you and your loved ones. I want to thank our families who participated in our Family Ambassadors Meeting last night – your partnership makes us stronger! I also want to shout-out our many families who offered heartfelt words of encouragement for their children and classmates with state exams in this video clip. If you haven’t watched the clip already, I urge you to sit down right now for five minutes to take it in – the messages from families are priceless!
The upcoming week (the first week of May!) is an exciting one. On Wednesday and Thursday, our middle school students will take their state math exams. We are also administering six Advanced Placement (AP) exams for our high school students throughout the week. We ask that you support your child at home in preparation of these assessments by ensuring that they get a good night’s sleep, enjoy a healthy breakfast, receive an abundance of praise and encouragement leading up to the exams, and, of course, arrive at school on time and in good spirits.
In addition to state exams and AP exams, we are also celebrating our esteemed team, including our principals on Monday on National Principals Day and our full team of teachers and staff over the week in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week. As I am sure you appreciate, our team of dedicated educators is one of the greatest features of our school. I encourage all of our families to take a moment next week to show your appreciation of the educators you are working most closely with this year. Such appreciation can be conveyed through a brief phone call or text, or through an email or written note, however you feel most comfortable. Do share your appreciation this coming week – I promise that it will be warmly received!
Our May calendar is provided below for your convenience. In addition, we spotlight one of our talented seniors, offer a convenient space for you to show your appreciation for teachers, and highlight a number of recent academic and extracurricular experiences at Unity.
Have a terrific weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of April 28, 2023:
1. New – May 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 – Senior Spotlight of the Month – Miguel Castillo!: We are immensely proud of Unity seniors and are excited – as all of their hard work in middle school and high school pay off – as they apply to colleges that best align with their postsecondary pursuits. This month, we salute Miguel Castillo by sharing his story and recent accomplishments with the entire Unity community. We are proud of you, Miguel!
Miguel Castillo made this year truly exciting. For some unknown set of reasons, he waited until the winter to begin preparing his college application materials. But, when he started working, he created a powerful personal statement, a perfectly matched college list, and coordinated his letters of recommendation from teachers like a pro. He was also one of the first seniors this year to apply for financial aid by submitting his FAFSA and TAP applications. The speed at which he completed all of these tasks made everything seem easy! Clearly, the materials he submitted with his applications were convincing – he has earned admission to every college he applied to, including the Education Opportunity Program (EOP)! Moreover, he has received incredibly supportive financial aid packages from each college, complete with scholarship money. These impressive accomplishments might make someone think Miguel has it easy – in fact, he works hard in every area of his life: in the classroom, when coding to create computer applications, and when advocating for himself with colleges (he’s truly impressive when speaking with admissions and financial aid staff). As his results demonstrate this year, hard work pays off! We can’t wait to see which college Miguel decides to attend; he is set to announce his decision on College Signing Day (Friday May 12th)!
Miquel’’s recent accomplishments include:
- Earning a 3.48 GPA for the year so far!
- Earned admission to all seven (7) colleges he applied to (100% success rate!)!
- Received $100,000 in scholarships.
Advice for Unity Underclassmen (middle and high school):
Miguel strongly advises other high school students to not “slack off” – he suggests getting everything done on time (personal statement, financial aid, assignments for class, college applications, and scholarship applications).
Expressions of Gratitude:
Miguel thanks his mom, his dad, Ms. Young, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Russo and Mr. Lazar (“thanks for the letters of recommendation!”). And, perhaps most importantly, he wants to give gratitude to himself; he spent weeks in Unity’s Counseling Office working on essays, financial aid, and college applications (not to mention keeping his grades up).
3. New – Take a Moment to Share a Brief Note Appreciation to a Member of our Team: For your convenience, here is a space to share a note of appreciation with a Unity educator. Simply share your note via this survey and the note will be shared with the educator next week. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to the educator directly. Thanks in advance for your encouragement and appreciation!
4. New – New Students for Fall 2023 – Unity middle school has a few seats available for rising sixth graders for the 2023-24 school year. Finding the right middle school can be tough, and our current families (you!) are the best advocates. If you know of any interested families, please reach out to Mr. Beckford via email or cell (862-294-0219).
5. New – Juniors of Unity High Complete Training with Elevate Education: Over the past two weeks, Unity students in grade 11 participated in a series of workshops to boost their study skills in areas such as time management best practices and tips on exam taking strategies. The training, which totalled 8 hours, was free of charge and made possible through Unity’s affiliation as an AP for All school within the New York City Department of Education. We are excited to see our juniors put these best practices and tips into practice as they finish out the school year and prepare for 12th grade!
6. New – Spring Athletics and Festivities are in the Air!: The spring athletic season at Unity is now in full swing. Today, we highlight two exciting elements of our spring programming. First, our high school volleyball teams are hard at work and getting better every day! See the photos of both teams in action below. And congrats to our boys team on their recent win against Capital Prep this week! Second – save the date! Our spring dance recital is happening on May 20th with our middle and high school dance performers joining forces. See the details on the flier below.
7. 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.