The Unity Scoop – August 2
Dear Families of Unity,
On behalf of the entire faculty and staff, I hope that the first half of summer has treated you and loved ones well.
For our faculty and staff, the month of July represents a sacred time each year to spend time with loved ones, engage in meaningful personal adventures, and recharge the mind and body. It provides time for our educators to appreciate and reflect on the past school year as well as plan forward for the coming year and all that we want to achieve in collaboration with you.
In addition, July also represents an opportunity to provide invaluable service to our students beyond the regular school year through customized small-group interventions during Summer Academy, preparing students for success in their studies this coming year. Finally, it represents an opportunity to expose students to new passions or deepen their interests and skills through our summer enrichment programming. As of now, we are pleased to offer free programming in over a dozen enrichment areas this summer, including but not limited to Basketball, Step, Soccer, Dance, Ecology, Climbing, Art in NYC, Food Blogging, and Baseball.
This past week, our school leaders returned from a much deserved vacation to resume planning and preparation for the coming school year. As we near our tenth year as a school, we are excited to put our best foot forward in building on our prior successes in making the 2022-23 school year our strongest year yet!
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I bring to you a number of updates, initiatives, and resources both at Unity and beyond. We also highlight our students as they engage in summer fun and enrichment along with revisiting our graduation ceremonies from June. The next edition of the Scoop will be disseminated during the week of August 15th.
Have a terrific first week of August!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of August 2, 2022:
1. Updated – 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! Details on the event will be provided in the next edition of the Scoop during the week of August 15th.
Day of Week
Applicable to Grade Levels
|8/31/22||Wednesday||Kick-off-the-Year Festival & Family Orientation, 3-7pm||6-12|
|9/7/22||Wednesday||First day of school for students||6-12|
|9/14/22||Wednesday||MS Back to School Night, 6pm||6-8|
|9/15/22||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|
2. Recap – Report Cards from the Spring Term and 2021-2022 School Year: Grades 6-12: report card links were sent out via email to families on July 1st.
3. Recap – Summer Assignment Information: Here are the descriptions for summer assignments for students by grade level:
- Grades 6-8: Summer assignments for all rising 6th-8th grade middle school students were distributed at Roundtables and at the New Families Social in June. Digital copies were also sent via email on June 30th. If you are a new family in need of pickup, please reach out to email@example.com.
- Grades 9-12: Students who are mandated to retake Regents examinations have been invited to participate in in-person summer prep on August 12-15th. There are no full-grade summer assignments.
4. Updated – August Hours of Operation: Here is information on our hours of operation by site through August 19th:
- 432 Monroe Street (grades 6-8): 718-455-5046
- August 1st – August 5th
- 8:30am – 12pm, M-F
- August 8th – August 19th
- 8:30am – 3:00pm, M-Th
- 8:30am – 12pm, F
- August 1st – August 5th
- 584 Driggs Avenue (grades 9-12): 718-682-3725
- August 1st – August 19th
- 8:30am – 4:30pm, M-Th
- 8:30am – 12:30pm, F
- August 1st – August 19th
5. New – Unity’s Summer Math Challenge – All Students are Invited to Take Part!: Unity’s Summer Math Challenge is a great opportunity to keep your critical thinking skills sharp during the summer through weekly interactive problems that will transform the way you see math applied in everyday life.
Your participation in the Challenge will be rewarded through a number of prizes, including:
– An ice cream celebration in September for consistently participating in the Challenge week
– $50 gift card for the student showing the most creative ways to solving problems
– $50 Gift card for the student who most accurately solves problems
To participate in the Challenge, visit the Summer Math Challenge website each week to access the weekly challenge. In solving the weekly math challenge, you are encouraged to think outside the box and use your reasoning skills. Submit your solutions to Ms. West and Ms. Saint-Louis, who will provide you with feedback each week. This week’s challenge problem is now posted!
Congrats to the following Unity students who participated in last week’s Challenge!
- Sariyah G.
- Arayah B.
- Lounha E.
- Ibrahima B.
- Kevin G.
- Antonio E.
- Wyatt T.
- Jayden W.
- Jamari P.
- Kamari M.
- Saniyah H.
- Savion R.
- Ciara C.
- Aleia B.
- Jaelyn W.
- Indigo L.
- Rahiem H.
- Jeremiah W.
- Kayla R.
- Steven T.
- Sydney D.
- Lanae W.
6. New – Advanced Placement Updates: Scores, Workshops, and Resources!: Ms. Marron, Unity High School History Chairperson, is also leading Advanced Placement programming this year. She has a number of important updates for our high school students who completed AP courses this past year and for those who are gearing up to take AP courses this coming school year. Congrats to our students who earned college credit in their AP courses this past year!
- AP scores from the 2021-22 school year are now available!: Students who completed their AP exams in May can sign into their College Board accounts and use this website to obtain their scores. In addition, students can also see notes on the scoring here.
- Save-the-Date: Mandatory AP August Prep Workshops for ALL students taking an AP Courses in 2022-23, August 30th-September 1st, 2-4pm: During these workshops, which are required, students who are taking AP courses this coming year will receive additional preparation to ensure that they get off to a strong start in their courses. Contact Ms. Marron with any questions.
7. New – Upcoming Events of Interest to Unity Families!: Brought to you by Mr. Beckford, we are happy to highlight upcoming summer events across Brooklyn for our families. Here are two!
Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”
Date: Open through January 29, 2023, 11-4:30pm daily
Location: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy
Description: Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, is the first museum exhibition devoted to Abloh’s work and spans two decades of his practice, including collaborations with artist Takashi Murakami, musician Kanye West, and architect Rem Koolhaas, among others; material from his fashion label Off-White; and items from Louis Vuitton, where he served as the first Black menswear artistic director
The Basquiat Project: Looking Back, Moving Forward
Date: August 8th & August 9, 2022, 2-6pm daily
Location: Barclay’s Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue
Description: Barclays Center will host an art show featuring approximately 100 pieces created by Brooklyn middle and high school students, inspired by Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. All of the artwork to be displayed was created by participants in an educational arts program the Brooklyn Nets developed in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) and the Fund for Public Schools, about the work of Basquiat. The Basquiat art program was funded by the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation. The free-admission gallery will be set up in the arena’s main atrium and will be open to the public from 2-6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 8th and Tuesday Aug. 9th.
8. Recap – Voucher for Free Admission this Summer to NYC’s Science Cultural Institutions!: Congratulations! You are receiving this free voucher because your child is at an Urban Advantage School! This voucher is for free admission to New York City’s science cultural institutions. This voucher admits up to 4 visitors (a student with three guests). For more information and updates on how to use your voucher please visit: www.uanyc.science/vouchers. You can visit the following institutions: American Museum of Natural History, Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Queens Botanical Garden, New York Botanical Garden, New York Aquarium, New York Hall of Science, and Staten Island Zoo. The voucher can be reused and expires on 9/7/2022.
9. Updated – Unity Students Engage in Summer Enrichment!: Summer Enrichment at Unity is now in full swing! Enjoy the photos below of our students engaging in batting practice, food blogging, museum touring, basketball drills, and step rehearsal!
10. Updated – Free Resources for Unity Families: Unity’s social work team is always looking for resources that may be helpful and of interest to our families. Three such resources are provided below. Reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio, Unity’s Director of Social Work, with questions.
- New – Introducing 988, The New Mental Health Hotline: The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which launched last week, is a new way for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis to quickly reach out for help. Anyone in the US can now call or text 9-8-8 to be connected to a trained mental health professional at one of more than 200 local crisis call centers around the country. Learn more here.
- New – INCLUDEnyc Presents: How to Talk to Your Children about Sexuality: This webinar will help parents and guardians of children with disabilities become more comfortable discussing sexuality and relationships, and cover some of the most effective ways to talk about this sensitive topic. Learn more and register here.
- Free Summer Meals for Students – begins Tuesday, June 28th: NYC’s Summer Meals program offers free breakfast and lunch throughout NYC for anyone age 18 and under. No registration, documentation, or ID is required. Visit here for details on time, locations, menus and other helpful information.
- Free Book Giveaway for Kids and Teens: As part of our largest summer program ever, The New York Public Library is giving away 500,000 books for kids and teens to take home and keep. Drop by one of our neighborhood branches to choose yours—plus, explore free events, our summer writing contest for kids, the opportunity for teens to contribute to a new magazine, and more with Summer at the Library. Visit here for more information.
- DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents Self-Regulation Techniques: This workshop will provide parents, caregivers and students strategies for reducing stress and improving the ability to self-regulate, with simple routines and activities that reduce anxiety and reactivity and promote calm and happy students and families. Spanish and Mandarin interpretation available. Learn more and register here.
- DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents How to Access Supports for Students with Behavioral Challenges: This workshop covers the educational rights of students who face behavioral challenges in school, including different kinds of behavioral supports and interventions , along with the opportunity to share advocacy tips. Learn more and register here.
- The Child Mind Institute offers great (free & remote) caregiver workshops on a seasonal basis! Take a moment to visit their site and appreciate their offerings.
- The recent events in Ukraine may be a source of stress and anxiety for some children. Below are four resources that may be helpful for families:
- Helping Kids Cope with Frightening News from Child Mind Institute
- How to Talk to Kids About War from verywellfamily.com
- How to Navigate Difficult Conversations with Children from The Relation Station
- How to Talk to Children about War: An Age-by-Age Guide from Today.com
- Below are flyers for lists of low-cost dental providers in each borough:
- Free Child Nutrition Webinar Series: Register for the “An Alarming Rise in Excess Weight and Diabetes in Children: Strategies and Solutions” webinar on Monday, March 7th. The webinar is presented by French-American Aid for Children as part of the new Child Nutrition Webinar series. Parents and educators will learn about practical nutrition tips and accessible information to encourage children to adopt good eating habits in school—and at home—through an interactive dialogue between Dr. Juliana Cohen, nutrition epidemiologist and associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Ileana Vargas-Rodriguez, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of New York. A Q&A session will follow the webinar. Check out previous recordings of past webinars, including:
- Engaging Children in their own Nutritional Journey
- Smart Summer Shopping and Cooking
- Nutrition’s Powerful Impact on Children’s Physical and Mental Health
11. Recap – Unity Celebrates our 8th Grade Graduates!: Congratulations to the families of our newest 8th grade graduates! June’s ceremony was a warm and festive event, and I am so excited for our graduates as they continue their academic pursuits in high school. I thank our families for their contributions to the ceremony. I also want to shout-out our team for organizing the event, including but not limited to: Mr. Burns, Ms. Williams, Ms. Charles and our operations team, Ms. McRae, Ms. Griffin, and a host of other dedicated staff members. Lastly, congrats to 8th grade valedictorian, Mi-Chai Lemmon, and our 8th grade salutatorian, Keianna McGan!
12. Recap – Unity Celebrates our Graduates of the Class of 2022!: We are so proud of our graduates and extremely excited about their college and career pursuits at Unity graduates. A special congrats to the graduates featured below for their academic achievements. Again, we are proud of you!
13. Recap – Students of our Middle School and PS44 Team Up to Create a Community Mural!: In June, students of Mr. Franklin’s art class alongside students of PS 44 created a wonderful mural for the Bed-Stuy community to take in and appreciate as they walk down Monroe Street and pass by our school building. Congrats (and thank you!) to Mr. Franklin and his students!
14. Recap – Updates from Mr. Gonzalez and Unity High’s College & Career Readiness Team: This time of year is typically marked by excitement – college admissions and career-training programs usually notify students in the spring and families then get to make some big decisions. Each week for the past few months, our students have received wonderful news about their college and career aspirations – they have been admitted to incredible schools and programs. Please join us in celebrating the impressive resilience and strength of our young people. It is truly inspirational. Here are few other updates from Mr. Gonzalez:
- College Application and Admissions Updates: As of June, members of our senior class have been admitted to the following colleges and universities with scholarships totalling over $400,000: Adelphi University, Clark University, CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY Bronx Community College, CUNY Brooklyn College, CUNY City Tech, CUNY College of Staten Island, CUNY Guttman Community College, CUNY Hostos Community College, CUNY Hunter College, CUNY John Jay College, CUNY Kingsborough Community College, CUNY LaGuardia Community College, CUNY Lehman College, CUNY Medgar Evers College, CUNY Queens College, CUNY Queensborough Community College, CUNY York College, George Washington University, Hampton University, Hofstra University, Howard University, Ithaca College, Long Island University, Marist College, Marymount Manhattan College, Penn State University, Quinnipiac University, San Jacinto College, Siena College, Spelman College, St. Francis College, SUNY Albany, SUNY Alfred State College, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Canton, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Purchase, SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY University of Albany, Temple University, Vassar College, and Virginia State University.
- Unity High Celebrates College Signing Day in Style: To celebrate our seniors making decisions to continue their formal education and training after high school graduation, Unity took part in College Signing Day, a tradition started by Former First Lady Michelle Obama. Caregivers, Unity staff, and students attended the ceremony on April 29th at our school. Check out highlights from the event in this video.
15. Recap – Helping Your Child to Continue their Learning This Summer: Ms. Eason, Academic Counselor, offers a presentation – Avoiding Summer Slide – that offers valuable links to paid internships, volunteer opportunities and other things your child can do over the summer to promote critical thinking and learning during the months of July and August. Click on the image below to see her presentation slides. Feel free to reach out to her with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
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 (email@example.com)
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.