The Unity Scoop – December 12
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the weekend has been good to you and your loved ones.
Congratulations to our middle school leaders, teachers, and students for showing off all that we have accomplished this year with students’ academic progress on their second round of interim assessments. Your focus, persistence, and support of another is noteworthy!
I want to provide one important note regarding our schedule. Thursday December 23rd will be a synchronous, remote day of instruction at Unity for all students. Students will participate in their coursework in real time with the teachers via Zoom from home; students will not attend school in person. The exact schedule for the day will be provided in the next edition of The Unity Scoop.
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I highlight some of the recent academic work of our middle school students in their history classes. I also offer updates on upcoming community events and initiatives.
Best wishes to all in the coming week.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of Decemer 12, 2021:
1. New – Students and Teachers in Action this Week: We continue to honor the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day of school. This week, we feature our middle school (MS) history classes. Ms. Turner, our MS History Chairperson, would like to shout out her teaching team and our students as young historians. Across all grades at the middle school this past week, our young historians in training presented their end-of-unit essays. Essays ranged in topic by grade:
- 6th grade students conducted research and presented on the extent to which the encounters between Native Americans and European colonizers were positive.
- 7th grade students focused their research and presentation on the extent to which the United States has become more democratic over time.
- 8th grade students conducted research and presented on the extent to which the United States adequately responded to the social issues of the Progressive Era.
In writing their essays, students advanced their skills in crafting clear, persuasive thesis statements and supporting their statements with strong supporting evidence and explanations within the body of their essays. Congrats to our MS history team and young historians!
2. New – Note to Families: All students will take part in their classes remotely on Thursday, December 23rd: Teachers will facilitate their classes in real-time via Zoom. Attendance will be based on students attending and participating in their remote classes. The exact schedule for the day will be provided in the next edition of The Unity Scoop.
3. New – An Opportunity for Unity to Contribute to our Community this Holiday Season: In the spirit of giving during this holiday season, Unity is engaging in our second annual GoFundme initiative to raise $2022 for a fellow non-profit in Bed Stuy, The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH). The campaign began on Friday and all proceeds will go directly to supporting TCAH as it continues its efforts to increase access to nutritious food, social services, and a wide range of programming to underserved and disenfranchised members of our community. What’s more, for every dollar donated from a member of our community, that dollar will be matched by an anonymous donor until our goal is reached. In effect, when you donate a dollar, your donation will have twice the impact, as TCAH will receive two dollars! If you donate $20, TCAH will receive $40, and so it goes. While we are in a better position as a society now than we were at this time 12 months ago, the times continue to be hard on our most vulnerable neighbors and community members. If you are in a position to do so, consider making a donation to this important cause today.
4. New – Middle School Connect with our Co-Principals, Thursday, December 16th at 6pm: Unity Middle will be hosting a remote Connect with our Co-Principals event as an opportunity to discuss Unity’s progress and important updates directly with the Co-Principals, Ms. Williams and Mr. Burns, including a discussion with a Unity social worker regarding mental health. To RSVP, please respond to the message sent earlier this week via Jupiter. Feel free to email Ms. Charles with any questions. Finally, click this Zoom link on Thursday at 6pm to participate in the event.
5. New – A Donation from the Islanders Sets our Students Up to Learn the Ins and Outs of Hockey!: Unity recently received a small grant and donation from the New York Islanders, which included hockey sticks, jerseys and other equipment for physical education (PE) classes. High school students are now learning about hockey in PE classes. Enjoy the photo below of Mr. Noblia and his students as they prepare to engage in some skill work and practice!
6. Recap – Celebrating Stellar Student Attendance!: In addition to academic excellence, it is also worth highlighting the dedication of so many of our middle students to their studies through their excellent daily attendance. The students featured below achieved exemplary attendance over the month of November. Congratulations to you all – we are proud of you!
|Amani M.||Abilene B.||Adriana P.|
|Amir C.||Adewale S.||Allizson Z.|
|Amiyah M.||Brooklyn M.||Amir L.|
|Anaya W.||Carina D.||Christopher F.|
|Blessing F.||Chase S.||Christopher M.|
|Brooke T.||Dacota P.||Darius C.|
|Corey W.||Daniel J.||Erick L.|
|Emrick F.||Deshue R.||Francis A.|
|Ester P.||Destin B.||Ibrahima B.|
|Jan C.||Elizabeth P.||Jaiden C.|
|Jencarlos H.||Emma C.||Jayden W.|
|Jonathan F.||Gabriel G.||Jazel J.|
|Joshua C.||Gwyneth C.||Jerafrica T.|
|Keon H.||Jayden C.||Jeshaun E.|
|Keyshonte B.||Jayla’rae M.||Jonathan C.|
|Khloe K.||Joshua V.||Julissa G.|
|Loic L.||Kaylese’Simone N.||Katelynn R.|
|Lounha E.||Keilani T.||Keianna M.|
|Madison G.||Kelliyan G.||Kester F.|
|Mekhi C.||Madison B.||Naishae W.|
|Melody B.||Nevaeh J.||Nayaliz V.|
|Morgan J.||Nia C.||Nymeek S.|
|Mouhamad B.||Nyah-Simone R.||Omari H.|
|Nahla S.||Radazhae W.||Raven B.|
|NaKeira B.||Sasha E.||Rhondell H.|
|Papa D.||Steven R.||Sajjadul M.|
|Quaton M.||Troy B.||Savion R.|
|Riley B.||Tygene W.||Stephen P.|
|Salif O.||Taylor B.|
|Sariah W.||Zaquon L.|
7. Recap – A Few Open Seats Remain for Prospective Students at Unity Middle School and at Unity High School – Spread the Word!: Unity Middle School has seats available in Grades 6, 7, and 8 and Unity High School has seats available in grades 10 & 11! If you refer a student that enrolls at Unity by November 15th, you will receive a $100 amazon.com gift card for school supplies. Please contact Mr. Doscher for more information or if you know a family that might be interested in Unity.
8. Recap – Regular COVID-19 Testing of Students Conducted This Week: During the 2021-22 school year, Unity will be testing 20% of our unvaccinated student population once per week. This additional safety measure is intended to complement—and not replace—our current health and safety measures and other adjustments we have made to keep our community safe and our buildings open. The goal of this type of screening testing is to be able to identify individuals who have COVID-19 and enable them to take precautions immediately to protect themselves, their families, and the broader school community.
9. Recap – A Resource for Supporting Adolescent Mental Health During a Pandemic and Back to School: Unity’s social work team would like to share a helpful resource with our families on how to best meet the needs of our students as they transition back to school ’ mental health as they (and we) all experience the transition back to school after a very challenging 18 months.
10. Recap – Slides and a Quick Recap from our Open School Night for High School Families: Here are the slides that Ms. Yun and Ms. Louisma shared. Below is the slide that Ms. Eason presented regarding our HS Family webpage. Visit the page for high school-specific updates and resources.
11. Recap – Slides and a Quick Recap from Thursday’s Open School Night for Middle School Families: Thanks again to our middle school families for participating in Thursday’s session. Here are the slides that Mr. Burns and Ms. Williams shared. Below is a list of 5 ways that middle school families can best support their children at home in getting the most out of their Unity education this school year. Note that our Middle School Student & Family Handbook is on our website.
12. Recap – Update on Dress Code: During our Listening & Sharing sessions last month, a number of families inquired about our dress code for the coming year. One question that came up is whether families will be able to use past uniforms this year. The answer is yes! All past uniforms will be permitted this coming year. Details on dress code for the 2021-22 school year for the middle school and high school are listed below:
- Middle School:
- High School: There are key components of our dress code that we would like to highlight – see below. Additional details can be found here.
- TOPS: Unity tops are strongly encouraged and can be purchased at unityprepuniforms.com/ for high school students. All tops must fully cover the torso and shoulders.
- BOTTOMS: Bottoms must be knee-length or longer. No skin can be visible under small rips or tears.
13. Recap – 2021-22 School Year Vacation Calendar for Students and other Key Dates: So that you may begin making plans for next year, with our school schedule in mind, the table below provides the vacation dates for students and families for the 2021-22 school year. Students will not report to school on these dates. Moreover, here are a few important notes regarding next year’s calendar:
Day of Week
|Wednesday||First day of school for students|
|Monday||Indigenous People’s Day, school closed|
|November 2||Tuesday||Election day, remote school day|
|Thursday||Veteran’s Day, school closed|
|November 24 – 26||Wednesday – Friday||Thanksgiving Recess, school closed|
|December 24 – January 3||Friday – Monday
|Winter Recess, school closed|
|Monday||Monday Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school closed|
|February 21 – 25||Monday – Friday||Midwinter Recess, school closed|
|April 15 – 22||Friday –
|Spring Recess, school closed|
|Memorial Day, school closed|
|June 20||Monday||Juneteenth (observed), school closed|
|June 27||Monday||Last day of school for students|
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.
Update on P-EBT Benefits for Families: New York State is providing Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) food benefits to all households with children who are eligible to receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act and whose school was closed or operating with reduced in-school attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 academic year. Issuance of the food benefit will continue for several months, due to the large number of eligible children and schools participating in the National School Lunch Program across the state. For additional information visit NYSOTDA P-EBT Benefits Information Page.
- If your child(ren) is eligible and has not received P-EBT benefit by November 2021, you may fill out the P-EBT Information Form.
- If you have misplaced a P-EBT Food Benefit card issued to your child[ren), you may order a replacement card by calling 1-888-328-6399. If your child(ren) received P-EBT benefits on a Medicaid card and you need to order a replacement NYS Medicaid card or select a PIN, go to otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/P-
EBT-Medicaid-Card-PIN- Instructions.asp for more information.
- Once you have set up a PIN to access your P-EBT food benefits, you can check your family’s P-EBT food benefits balance by visiting www.connectebt.com or by calling 1-888-328-6399.
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.
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.
NYC Rental Assistance Program – The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is a new program that will provide significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance. If you know of somebody who might be eligible for the program, please encourage them to learn more or apply here.