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The Unity Scoop – February 13

Dear Families of Unity,

It has been a busy month of assessing student academic growth and progress at Unity.  As a school, we utilize testing as one measure to gauge learning and strive to have all of our students experience positive growth.  I want to shout-out our students for showing their full effort on their recent assessments.  We are thrilled by their progress this year and we are supremely proud of them!  I want to thank our staff for both their encouragement of our students and for their continued good work in meeting students where they are in their learning.  With this in mind, our team continually provides a high quality of teaching and learning.  Finally, I want to express gratitude to our families for your support of students over the past few weeks as they experience and re-familiarize themselves with formal in-person testing for the first time in almost two years.

In the coming week, we continue to honor Black history through a host of meaningful festivities and events.  As I described in my introductory message last week, as a school, we take pride in honoring, celebrating, and learning about Black history every month and each day of the calendar year. We are also excited to pay special tribute to Black history in February each year through a host of events and festivities within our school community and beyond.

As we celebrate Black history this month, we have been learning about and honoring the great many figures in history who have made the world a better, more creative, more vibrant place and pushed for progress in our country and around the world.  At the same time, we also acknowledge and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives too soon due to racism in all forms, including acts of brutality and extreme negligence among law enforcement.  Alas, this has continued to happen all too often in recent years.  I want to take a moment to honor Amir Locke who, at 22 years old, was tragically killed last week in Minnesota at the hands of law enforcement while they were exercising the very problematic no-knock warrant practice.  As a community, our hearts go out to Amir’s family and loved ones.  Moreover, as a community, we will continue to take action that effectively eliminates systemic racism in our country and empowers our students with the skills and knowledge to build a better and more just future.

In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I highlight a number of upcoming events as well as some notable recent student achievements.


Best regards,

Josh Beauregard

Head of School / Co-founder


Updates as of February 13, 2022:

1. New – Students and Teachers in Action this Week: We are thrilled to continue celebrating the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day.  This week, we feature our 7th grade English Language Arts (ELA) students and our 12th grade history students.  In the first photo below, our 7th grade ELA students are led by Ms. Vela and Ms. Knuckle in their historical fiction unit; students are considering how they may be changed by what they read through  character development analysis and recognizing what they most admire about the characters in their novel.  In addition, we feature our high school history team who have been highlighting inspirational Black leaders in both the past and present all year.  In the photo below, Ms. Tartan and Mr. Baez highlight entrepreneur, Janice Howroyd, who desegregated her home town’s previously segregated high school in North Carolina.

2. Updated – February 2022 Schoolwide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of February – print it out and throw it on the refrigerator door!  It is possible that events could change and/or new events could be added.  An up-to-date events calendar can always be accessed on our website.  Notable events this coming week include:

  • An after-school Valentine’s Day dance for middle school students
  • Middle school mock exams in math on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • A remote, asynchronous learning day on Friday for our middle school students only.  Note that high school students have an in-person Advisory Day on Friday.
  • A Zoom chat with our middle school co-principals on Friday afternoon.
  • Various athletic events

3. New – Take Part in a Zoom Chat with our Middle School Co-Principals, Friday, February 18th, 2pm: Please join us Ms. Williams and Mr. Burns next Friday afternoon to discuss the latest initiatives and updates at our middle school.  Here is the Zoom link.  Feel free to email Ms. Charles with any questions.

4. New – Unity Middle School’s Girls’ Basketball Team Wins Tournament!: This past Saturday, our Girls Middle School Basketball Team competed in the 3rd Annual Pink Classic and took first place!  Congratulations to the team and to Unity’s Jayda W., who was selected the Tournament MVP!

5. New – Unity’s Alumni Success Counselor Visits Unity Graduates on Campus!:  Ms. Ramjan recently visited Unity alumni who are now attending colleges in upstate New York.  The photo below features Ms. Ramjan with five of our graduates who are enrolled at SUNY Fredonia.  In addition, Ms. Ramjan provides a snapshot of the myriad of services provided to our alumni to support their postsecondary pursuits in college and career guidance.

  • We currently have 42 students from the Class of 2020 and 55 students from the Class of 2021 enrolled in college. We are so proud of them! They are members of our Alumni Success Program, where they can receive support for:
    • Navigating financial aid
    • Credit and degree requirements
    • Anything else that they may need to be successful in college
  • Other Unity graduates have entered the workforce and are supported via:
    • Resume writing
    • Developing LinkedIn profiles
    • Job and internship opportunities posted in the Alumni Website
    • Networking and more to reach their highest potential
  • Financial Aid- FAFSA/TAP Applications and Renewals are open! Please contact our Alumni Success Counselor, Ms. Ramjan, at nramjan@unityprep.org to set up an appointment.
  • If you are interested in attending a Family FAFSA/TAP Workshop on February 17th at 6:00pm, please reach out to Mr. Gonzalez egonzalez@unityprep.org or Ms. Ramjan, nramjan@unityprep.org to RSVP.
  • Rethinking what you want to do since you have graduated from Unity?  It is never too late to choose or change your path! We want to help all Unity graduates find a meaningful college or career path. Reach out to nramjan@unityprep.org to get started!
  • This past weekend, Ms. Ramjan visited our alumni at the campuses of SUNY Fredonia, University at Buffalo, and Buffalo State College. Unity students continue to be connected to our community after graduation. These alumni, through our success program, are able to connect with and advise current students who may follow in their footsteps attending colleges in New York State and beyond.
  • Many Unity alumni attend the following colleges: SUNY Albany, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY New Paltz, CUNY Lehman College, Trinity College, Georgia State University, Bard College, Dickinson College, and more!

6. New – Unity Celebrates Black History this Month through a Host of Festivities!: Following the administration of mock exams in mathematics on Tuesday and Wednesday, middle school students will celebrate Black History Month by decorating classroom doors, visiting our hallway museum, competing in trivia games, watching movies/documentaries, and writing letters to black influential figures. Check out our flier for our BHM Spirit Week below!

At Unity High, students and staff will also honor Black history this week with a host of events, including an Opportunity Fair and celebration on Friday in addition to a number of festivities detailed in the flier below.

7. Recap  Kudos to our Middle School Students Who are Demonstrating our Core Values!:  We are excited to promote and celebrate moments when our students are demonstrating our P.R.I.D.E. values: Progress, Respect for All, Integrity, Discovery, and Empathy.  Below, we recognize our P.R.I.D.E. leaders for each grade level.  Kudos to these students!  Keep it up!



Total P.R.I.D.E. Shout-outs

Jamari P.



Steven T.



Dacota P.



London K.



Jason S.



Ester P.



Kylee A.



Loic L.



Brooke T.



Melody B.



Eliza C.



Valerie E.



Ali Q.



Emrick F.



Jassaun T.



Jeremiah D.



Kamariyah L.



Savion R.



Epiphany W.



Malcolm C.



Dmiyah W.



Kester F.



Tymir M.



Jerafrica T.



Mekaliah D.



Salematou B.



Xyonia G.



Wyatt T.



Kamari T.



Lanashia S.



8. New – Upcoming Virtual Open House for Prospective Unity Families, Wednesday, 2/16, 6pm: Unity invites prospective families from elementary schools across Brooklyn to join us for an informative and engaging virtual event. Prospective families will get to hear from school leaders, staff, and stakeholders from Unity. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about all the amazing resources Unity has to offer.  Here is the RSVP form and the Zoom Meeting link.  Please take a moment and forward the RSVP to families of 5th grade students in your networks!

9. Recap – Free Resources for Unity Families: Unity’s social work team is always looking for opportunities that may be helpful and of interest to our families.  Two such opportunities are provided below.  Reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio, Unity’s Director of Social Work, with questions.

  • Free Parenting Classes and Resources: The Parenting Resource Center at Catholic Guardian Services offers a free 4-week class for expectant parents and those with children aged 0-3 months. Classes are offered in English and Spanish, and cover topics including self care, breastfeeding, safe sleep, and more. All participants are eligible to receive a free crib. The Parent Resource Center also offers support with immigration, housing, childcare support services, and more. Learn more here.
  • Get Covered – Apply for Health Insurance for 2022: Visit NY State of Health or call (855) 355-5777 to get free, one-on-one help enrolling in health insurance plans including Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and more. Open enrollment continues through January 31, 2022. Learn more here.

10. Recap – Footage from our Zoom Session on January 12th regarding our Revised Safety Protocols: Thank you to our families who participated in our recent Zoom session regarding our revised safety protocols. This includes our moves to provide increased testing and our adoption of the NYCDOE’s test-to-stay policy.  If you missed Wednesday’s session, here is a recording and here are the informational slides.  Any questions regarding our revised protocols may be directed to covid@unityprep.org.

11. Recap – How to Obtain Free COVID Home Tests:  Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS.com. The website is here:  https://special.usps.com/testkits.  Here’s what you need to know about your order:

  • Limit of one order per residential address
  • One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January

Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:

2021-22 School Year Vacation Calendar for Students and other Key Dates: So that you may make plans for the 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


September 8


Wednesday First day of school for students
October 11


Monday Indigenous People’s Day, school closed
November 2 Tuesday Election day, remote school day
November 11


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
January 17


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
May 30 Monday


Memorial Day, school closed
June 20 Monday Juneteenth (observed), school closed
June 27 Monday Last day of school for students

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.

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 (tdelpurgatorio@unityprep.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.us/en/.

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.

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.

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