The Unity Scoop – January 13
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the week was good to you and your loved ones. I want to thank our families who participated in last night’s Family Ambassador meeting. Your ideas, partnership, and leadership makes our school stronger, and we are grateful to you!
On behalf of our entire faculty and staff, I wish you a safe and joyous long weekend in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his lasting legacy.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of January 13, 2023:
1. New – Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Event: Students are Encouraged to Take Part in New York’s Largest Public Celebration in Honor of Dr. King, Monday, January 16th, 10:30am: See the details for this celebration below. To promote participation in this event either in person or virtually:
- Any Unity student who attends the event in person will earn 10 Unity Pride Points for Discovery.
- Any student who participates in the event virtually will earn 3 Pride Points for Discovery.
To claim your Points, simply take a selfie of you engaging in the event either at BAM or via livestream and upload it here. Finally, the students submitting the best selfie from the event will win a $25 gift card to Amazon!
Tickets for the in-person event are free, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8am on Monday, January 16th in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House lobby. Please note that an RSVP does not guarantee entry. The link to the livestream will be made available on BAM.org on Monday, January 16th. The livestream will not be made available after the program.
2. Updated – January 2022 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of January – 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.
3. Recap – Unity Engages in a Day of Service!: Unity students took part in a number of community service initiatives in late December, including a holiday toy/clothing/food drive, handwritten letters of recommendation, and providing a number of helpful services within our community. Enjoy the photos below of our middle school students preparing gifts for families in the community who are facing hardship and proudly bringing the items collected to a local shelter. Again, thank you to all families who contributed to the holiday drives!
4. Recap – The Winter Athletics Season is in Full Swing!: Congratulations to our athletic teams for a very successful week! Below are photographs of our Varsity basketball teams just following their games at the Barclays Centers. Also featured are our middle school basketball teams, who were cheered on by our high school student-athletes during home games this past Thursday. Finally, our middle school teams were in action on Saturday. All three teams won their games and did so with sportsmanship and pride!
5. Updated – Thank you, Families, for Taking Part in Last Night’s Family Ambassadors Meeting!: We are grateful to our families who participated in our Family Ambassadors meeting on Zoom. The meeting was productive, energizing, and fun! 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, February 9th, at 6pm – all families are encouraged to attend.
6. Recap – Unity Raises $700 to Fund Over 500 Meals for Local Families Facing Hardship!: In the spirit of giving during this holiday season, Unity is engaged in our third annual #UnityGives initiative to support the cause of a fellow non-profit in Bed Stuy, The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH). As a school, we raised $700 on behalf of TCAH. This funding will go directly to increasing access to nutritious food, social services, and a wide range of programming to underserved and disenfranchised members of the Bed-Stuy and greater Brooklyn community. TCAH extends a hearty thank you to our school community for its generosity!
7. Updated – Round 2 of STAR Assessments in Reading and Math Being Administered this Week in Grades 6-8: Unity middle school students completed their second round of STAR assessments in both reading and math last month. These short, computer adaptive tests allow us to measure student progress and growth in reading and math skills over the course of the school year. We are excited to acknowledge students and the growth they have experienced over the past several months. Assessment results will be disseminated to families in January.
8. 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.
9. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.