The Unity Scoop – December 4
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed a delightful Thanksgiving holiday! And I hope that the start of the new month has been good to you.
We have three weeks of school until our winter break. This stretch of the year tends to be both busy and festive, as we continue to engage fully in classes and extra-curricular activities while also embracing an abundance of festivities that highlight our students and enrich our community.
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I offer our December calendar, which outlines the many events and initiatives we have planned over the coming three weeks. Participation among family members is highly encouraged for a vast majority of the events, including Wednesday’s Family Ambassador Meeting and Thursday’s Middle School Fall Athletic Awards Ceremony. We look forward to seeing you!
Well wishes to you and your family in the coming week.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of December 4, 2022:
1. Updated – December 2022 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of December – 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. Three notes of importance this week:
- 12/5-12/9: Random Acts of Kindness Week at Unity High
- 12/7: Family Ambassadors Meeting, 6-7pm (note that is a change in date)
- 12/8: MS Fall Athletic Award Ceremony, 6-7:30pm
- 12/9: Field trips with a focus on History & Civics in NYC, grades, 6, 7, 9, 12
2. New – Unity’s Middle School Art Shine in their First Art Exhibition!: Under the guidance of their Art & Design Teacher, Mr. Berkeley, Unity’s 7th graders proudly exhibited their latest art work this past Thursday evening. The exhibition, entitled My World in Art, was attended by a number of Unity’s faculty and staff, families, as well as students. Enjoy the photos of the event below!
3. New – Help Shape Your Child’s Experience in School by Taking Part in this Wednesday’s Family Ambassadors Meeting!: The next Family Ambassadors of Unity meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, December 7th, at 6pm on Zoom. Note that the date for this meeting was changed so that it doesn’t conflict with another Unity event. Contact Mr. Beckford (grades 6-8) or Ms. Young (grades 9-12) with questions.
One of the many exciting initiatives coming out of our recent meetings is the exclusive Unity Strength in Family hooded sweatshirts, which are available for sale to all families this month. Note that these sweatshirts were designed specifically with the family members of our students.
4. 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 third annual #UnityGives initiative to raise $2023 for a fellow non-profit in Bed Stuy, The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH). The initiative will run from December 4th through December 22nd. 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. If you are in a position to do so, consider making a donation to this important cause today. Simply click here to make your donation!
5. Recap – Congratulations to our Seniors who have Recently Submitted Applications to College!: Eleven seniors have led the Class of 2023 so far by submitting college applications already! They have applied to a combination of amazing public and private universities throughout the northeastern United States. They have also begun the annual tradition of College Application Submission Portraits (see their portraits here and below!), which capture the moment in which they have hit the “Submit” button on their first application. We are so thrilled for them and their families.
6. Recap – Unity High Students Register for Advanced Placement (AP) Exams this Spring!: Congratulations to the 154 Unity High students who recently registered to take an AP exam in May. Overall, approximately 75% of our upperclassmen are taking AP exams this year and will have an opportunity to earn college credit this spring when they sit for their exam! This is a high number of students and we are proud of our students for challenging themselves and taking advantage of their opportunities!
7. New – It is Random Acts of Kindness Week at Unity High!: All this week, Unity High will be impacting the community with random acts of kindness. Family members are welcome to participate by extending acts of kindness toward members of our school community and at home among loved ones!
8. Update – Athletic Spotlight: Unity Panthers in Full Action!: Congrats to our student-athletes for their recent achievements!
Coach O and members of Unity High’s Boys Basketball Team recently attended the 2022 Empire Classic at the Barclays Center. By attending the team, the team was able to watch four Division I basketball teams in action, including St. John’s, Syracuse, Temple, and Richmond.
Adella Turcious represented Unity during the City All-Star Volleyball game this past weekend!
Three members of our MS cross country team – Michael Birgen (2nd), Jason Solomon (8th), and Keyshonte Bornia (10th) placed in the Top 10 of the MSAL NYC Championship Open Race – the 1.25-mile race included 186 runners in total!
And members of the Handball Championship Team in Mr. Coleman’s Physical Education class!
9. Recap – Unity’s Queen Steppers and New Formed Rising Royal Steppers Join Forces!: This year, we are excited to introduce the middle school step team, the Rising Royal Steppers, alongside our nationally ranked high school team, the Unity Queen Steppers. Both teams have begun preparations for their upcoming competition season, which opens in January. Members of both teams have dedicated themselves to team practices 2-3 days weekly, prioritizing their studies and maintaining high grades, and participating in service projects throughout the year that benefit our local community.
Please support both teams by purchasing a T-shirt for $20 by contacting Coach Alley (Unity Queen Steppers – email@example.com ) and/or Coach H. (Rising Royal Steppers – firstname.lastname@example.org) via email. All proceeds will go towards paying for registration fees, uniforms and costumes, and transportation.
10. Recap – Important Information Regarding Vaccinations Requested: As we continue monitoring current health safety protocols, one significant factor in our planning is the extent to which our students are vaccinated. If you are a new Unity family, or have not yet provided your child’s vaccination status, please complete the COVID Vaccination Form at your earliest convenience. Note that we strongly encourage all of our families to take steps in getting their children vaccinated to best ensure that we are providing the highest level of safety for our community.
11. Recap – Attention Middle School Families Who Are Interested in After-school Programming!: The partnership with our middle school and St. Nick’s Alliance continues this year. St. Nick’s offers a rich array of afterschool programming in academic enrichment, leadership development, and extracurricular activities for our middle school students. Programming kicks off on Monday, September 19th. Contact Luis Rodriguez with questions by email at email@example.com or by phone at 646-676-1309.
12. Recap – Unity’s Health Policies and Protocols in 2022-23: Unity will follow guidance provided by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) as of the start of the 2022-23 school year. The NYCDOE’s guidance aligns with the CDC’s current guidance, which we have consistently followed over the past 2.5 years. By adhering to the NYCDOE’s guidance, we believe that we are taking the proper approach to best ensure the health and safety of our community. Details on our policies are provided on the NYCDOE website.
Per the recommendation of the NYCDOE and CDC, we strongly encourage all of our families to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations are now available at select school sites across the city. Visit www.schools.nyc.gov for information on sites and available dates.
13. 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.