The Unity Scoop – December 9
Dear Families of Unity,
Season’s greetings to you! I hope that the week has been good to you and your loved ones.
As mentioned last week, December is a busy and festive time of the school year. The festivities were in full swing this week. I want to thank our families who took part in Wednesday evening’s Family Ambassadors Meeting – your ideas and your feedback make our school stronger. I also want to congratulate our fall student-athletes. You represented our school and yourselves valiantly this season, and I congratulate all teams that were celebrated last night during our athletics awards ceremonies. Thank you to the families who came out to honor our student-athletes along our coaches and community. Finally, we had half of our high school engaging in history-focused field trips today, including trips to the New York Historical Society, American Museum of Natural History, and Metropolitan Museum of Art
The festivities continue next week with a theatre showcase, talent showcase, and dance recital. Details on these events are provided below. We are excited to spotlight all of the new skills and talents our students have been working hard to develop and learn over the course of the first few months of the school year!
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I offer our updates and photos of the various events happening this past week. Also featured are details on events coming up this week. Participation among family members is highly encouraged for a vast majority of the events listed. We look forward to seeing you!
One final but important note: state health and education officials recently sent a letter to school districts with updated health recommendations, including wearing masks indoors, in response to the area’s growing number of flu, COVID-19 and RSV cases. Unity is following the guidance of state health officials recommending all individuals in the school building wear a mask whenever possible.
Have a wonderful weekend and best wishes to your families in the coming week.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of December 9, 2022:
1. New – Unity High Students Visit a Number of Historical and Civic Institutions Across the City!: Students in grades 9 and 12 learned about history and civics by visiting the New York Historical Society, the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and American Museum of Natural History today. Enjoy photos of the trips below!
2. 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:
- 12/14: MS Winter Theatre Showcase
- 12/15: MS Winter Wonderland Talent Showcase
- 12/16: HS Generation Citizen Festival
- 12/16: HS field trip to see The Brooklyn Nutcracker at Kings Theater
- 12/17: MS & HS Winter Danceland Recital, 432 Monroe Street
3. New – Unity’s Full School Dance Recital is Just Over a Week Away!: Please support the middle and high school scholars by attending the Winter Danceland Recital on Saturday, December 17th, at 12:00pm, in our middle school auditorium (432 Monroe Street). Doors open at 11:45 am for light refreshments and mingling. Tickets can be purchased in the main office, at the door, or online: Eventbrite link (also see the QR code below). All proceeds fund the MS & HS Dance Teams.
4. New – Unity Drives to Support the Community!: Unity is holding a number of drives this holiday season to support our local communities. The middle school is hosting a general goods drive while the high school is focusing their drive on children’s toys. See the fliers below for details!
5. New – Unity Middle Prepares for its Winter Theatre Showcase, Wednesday, December 14th!: We are excited for our hardworking theatre students to showcase their talents during a theatre performance this coming Wednesday afternoon!
6. New – Unity High’s Student-Athletes Take Part in Media Day, Wednesday, December 14th!: Unity High’s scholar-athletes will take part in Media Day on Wednesday, 12/14. During this event, photos of all winter sports teams will be taken. Enjoy the photo of the boys junior varsity basketball team before a recent scrimmage below. Contact Mr. Egharevba with inquiries.
7. New – Unity Middle’s Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Take in an NBA Game!: Members of both teams got to see professionals in action last Friday night as the Nets beat the Raptors.
8. New – Unity’s First Ever Core Value Auction, Wednesday, December 16th!: Unity’s middle school will hold its inaugural Core Value Auction during Community Meetings on 12/14. During the auction, students will be able to exchange Core Value Points that they have proudly earned thus far this year for a number of amazing items, including gift cards, food, toys, games, electronics and more! Scholars – show off Unity’s Core Values and be ready to bid on Wednesday!
9. New – Thank you, Families, for Taking Part in our Third Family Ambassadors Meeting of the Year!: We are grateful to our families who participated in the Family Ambassadors meeting on Zoom this week. In case you missed it, here are the slides from the meeting. Contact Mr. Beckford (grades 6-8) or Ms. Young (grades 9-12) with questions. Unity’s Family Ambassadors will meet again on Thursday, January 12th, at 6pm – all families are encouraged to attend.
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 in mind. We look forward to having family members proudly sport this exclusive Unity gear in the New Year! Contact Mr. Beckford (grades 6-8) or Ms. Young (grades 9-12) with questions.
10. Updated – 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!
11. Recap – 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!
12. 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org ) and/or Coach H. (Rising Royal Steppers – email@example.com) via email. All proceeds will go towards paying for registration fees, uniforms and costumes, and transportation.
13. 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.
14. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 646-676-1309.
15. 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.
16. 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 (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.