The Unity Scoop – December 5
Dear Families of Unity,
I want to thank our families who participated in our fall conferences just before the holiday weekend. It was energizing to connect with family members and students to discuss experiences thus far this year and how we can best collaborate moving forward so that students are getting the most out of their experience at Unity!
We are now approximately three weeks away from closing out the 2021 calendar year. We look forward to ending the year on a strong note and moving into the new year. Over the coming two weeks, our middle school students will be completing their second interim assessment of the school year. Congratulations to our teachers and administration for working diligently to prepare our students for these exams. And congrats in advance to our students for putting forth their best effort on these assessments and for showing off all that they have learned under the direction of their teachers thus far this year.
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I highlight some of the recent academic work of our high school students in their history classes. I also offer updates on upcoming community events at our middle school. Finally, I honor our middle school students with stellar school attendance over the month of November.
Well wishes to all in the coming week.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of Decemer 5, 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 high school history (HS) classes. Ms. Marron, our HS History Chairperson, would like to shout out her teaching team and our students as young historians. Specifically, she commends:
- Our 9th grade students for engaging in thoughtful and intense debate about India and China in the early modern period. Our 9th grade historians are learning about how Buddhism and Confucianism-made empires gain and maintain power.
- Our 10th graders for their in-depth study and reflections on the film Roots, and how racism and nationalism are related.
- Our 11th grade students for their assessment of the impact of the Three-Fifths Compromise on perpetuating slavery but also putting off the debate, which led to the Civil War.
- Our 12th grade government students for their critical thinking and discussion on the negative impact of fake news on our society and politics in our country. Enjoy the photo of Ms Tartan working with several seniors during office hours.
2. New – Exciting Events at our Middle School this Month!: December will undoubtedly be a spirited month for middle school students with three big events in the mix, including a talent show, Spirit Week, and coat drive. Details are provided in the flyer below!
3. New – 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!
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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:
- In addition to the dates listed below, there will be at least three additional days during the year in which students will not have in-person learning. During these days, students will participate asynchronously from home as our staff participate in training. These additional dates will be announced in late July.
- We will follow suit with the New York City Department of Education next year in providing remote classes on days in which in-person learning is cancelled due to inclement weather. Additional details on how these days will be structured will be provided this fall.
- We will hold Information sessions, orientation for families and students, and other fun events as we kick off the 2021-22 school year. The dates for these events will be announced in late July.
Day of Week
|First day of school for students
|Indigenous People’s Day, school closed
|Election day, remote school day
|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 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school closed
|February 21 – 25
|Monday – Friday
|Midwinter Recess, school closed
|April 15 – 22
|Spring Recess, school closed
|Memorial Day, school closed
|Juneteenth (observed), school closed
|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 (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.
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.