The Unity Scoop – August 21
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the summer is treating you and your loved ones well.
We are excited to connect and reconnect with you during our Orientation Festival on August 31st! Details on the event are provided below, including a RSVP link. In general, the key motivation for the required event is to bring our comm:unity together before the school year begins. This is an opportunity to showcase and bring awareness to the wide array of programming offered by our school and to engage in valuable orientation sessions. These sessions will allow our families to be fully informed of our collective work towards our mission: that all students experience an exceptional education in the coming year.
In addition to the details provided on our Orientation Festival, this edition of The Unity Scoop also offers a brief update on health and safety protocols, a spotlight of our students in action this summer, some shout-outs to our Summer Math Challenge participants and awardees, and an update on summer Advanced Placement workshops for students in grades 10-12.
Wishing you a fantastic week!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of August 21, 2022:
1. New – Unity’s Orientation Festival is Approaching! August 31st, 2022, 4-7pm at 431 Madison Street: We are excited to come together as a full school community for family orientation and for some fun! On Wednesday, August 31st, from 4-7pm, we will kick off the school year in style with music, FREE food and a complementary Unity water bottle, games, events, informational booths, a raffle, and even some Unity trivia! Unity teachers and staff will be present and are excited to connect, reconnect, and share information on the host of services provided in the coming year.
As a key feature of the event, we will be holding required orientation meetings for all middle school and high school families. While families are not required to stay for the entire festival, they are required to attend orientation meetings scheduled for your child’s grade level. Participating in these meetings is essential to best supporting your children’s education at school and at home as we embark on the year. Orientation meetings will be brief in length and will occur on a rotating basis. The orientation meeting schedule is below:
- 6th grade, 9th grade, and all new students and families orientation | 5:00pm-5:30pm
- All returning students and families orientation | 5:45pm-6:15pm
- Orientation for any remaining students & families | 6:30pm-7:00pm
During meetings, we will share and discuss our Shared Commitments as a school. All families are required to sign off on these commitments before Day 1 of school. In the event that a family is not able to attend the orientation, a make-up session will be required before the first day of school.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to Unity’s Family Enrichment Coordinators, Mr. Beckford (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the MS and Ms. Young (email@example.com) at the HS, with any questions. We look forward to the festivities! Please don’t forget to RSVP here.
2. New – Updates to Health Policies and Protocols in 2022-23: We look forward to kicking off the school year with the safety of our community as a continued priority. In light of the recent news of additional COVID variants, updated CDC guidance, and revisions to state and local policies, we are in the process of reviewing our health and safety protocols under the consultation of school and health officials and will provide revisions to our protocols and policies in the coming two weeks.
3. New – Unity High School’s Step Team Go on a Summer Camp Tour: Earlier this month, Unity’s talented Step Team spent four days visiting 11 different summer camps around the state to teach campers the basics of step and have fun while doing so. In total, the team worked with over 2000 campers! Kudos, team – continue to make us proud!
4. 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||Orientation Festival, 4-7pm||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|
5. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grades 9-12:August Regents Exams have concluded. There are no full-grade summer assignments.
6. New – Congrats to All Unity Students who Participated in our Summer Math Challenge!: We salute all of our students who engaged in our Summer Math Challenge. I hope that the experience was valuable to you in keeping your critical thinking skills sharp during the summer and perhaps even transforming the way you see math applied in everyday life. Ms. St. Louis and Ms. West were incredibly impressed with the thinking students demonstrated in the solutions they submitted. They would especially like to shout-out the following students, including Sariyah Gordon for consistency, accuracy, and impressive thinking demonstrated over the summer and Kevin Gaskin for the creativity he demonstrated with each solution he provided. Both students will be awarded with a $50 gift card. Moreover, the students listed below will take part in a Math Challenge VIP party in September. The final standing and final solutions for the Challenge can be the Summer Math Challenge website. Congrats again!
Summer Math Challenge Star Participants:
|Sariyah G.||Rising 10th|
|Kevin G.||Rising 9th|
|Saniyah H.||Rising 9th|
|Aleia B.||Rising 10th|
|Arayah B.||Rising 10th|
|Ibrahima B.||Rising 9th|
|Jaelyn W.||Rising 9th|
|Steven T.||Rising 7th|
|Rahiem H.||Rising 9th|
|Jayden W.||Rising 9th|
|Kamari M.||Rising 9th|
|Savion R.||Rising 9th|
|Chasity K.||Rising 9th|
|Bryan S.||Rising 9th|
|Richard B.||Rising 9th|
|Lounha E.||Rising 7th|
|Ciara C.||Rising 10th|
|Jeremiah W.||Rising 9th|
|Zion C.||Rising 9th|
|Amir L.||Rising 9th|
|Jabari B.||Rising 9th|
|Wyatt T.||Rising 9th|
|Jamari P.||Rising 7th|
|Lanae W.||Rising 8th|
|Keilani T.||Rising 8th|
7. Updated – 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.
8. 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
9. 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.
10. Updated – Unity Students Engage in Summer Enrichment!: Summer Enrichment has provided students the opportunity to meet with prospective teachers, make new friends and explore interests. This summer our students have kayaked, tried new foods, got active, and even began preparing for upcoming college applications.
11. 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
12. 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: email@example.com.
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 (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.