The Unity Scoop – January 19
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the month of January continues to treat you and your loved ones well.
As we approach the weekend and prepare for the coming week, I want to commend our entire community – staff, students, and families – for our ongoing efforts to make the most of the 2023-24 school year. This coming week, we have the opportunity to honor our efforts as students complete their second interim assessments (IAs).
As the January calendar below reflects, our middle school students will take their English Language Arts (ELA) mock exams on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Exams will be administered in the morning with our regular arrival and dismissal times in effect. In addition, our high school students will complete their Semester I final exams Tuesday through Friday. Each high school student has a unique schedule over these four days – schedules were shared with students today during advisory and will be shared via email with students and families Monday morning. Monday is a regular day of school for all students.
Families of students at both sites can support your children in excelling on these exams by taking the following four actions:
- Ensure that your child eats a healthy breakfast and arrives to school on time with their full set of supplies and materials.
- Ask your child about how things are going in their classes and their exams, and provide encouragement such that they feel confident and supported.
- Help your child prepare for school by ensuring that they have a quiet, designated space and time to study each night. Of course, feel free to pull up a chair and help them study! Studying together can be a fun experience for all.
- Be proactive in your communication with your child’s teachers about any questions or concerns.
Note that the actions above are helpful on any given day or week, not just during IAs. We are grateful to you for your continued collaboration in supporting your child at home with their studies at home.
Enjoy the weekend and best wishes in the coming week!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of January 19, 2024:
1. New – Congrats to our Middle School’s Students of the Month!: Kudos to our Students of the Month from December for showing exemplary scholarship, citizenship, and growth – we are proud of you!
- 6th Grade:
- Taylor Mathias – Citizenship
- Liza Martynanko – Scholarship
- 7th Grade:
- Dylan Phillips -Citizenship
- Amara James-Bird -Scholarship
- 8th Grade:
- Joshua Corbin – Citizenship
- Jahlysa Edwards -Scholarship
2. New – Information from Last Night’s Middle School Grade Level Family Meetings: Thank you to all families who participated in last night’s Grade Level Family Meetings for Trimester 2. The slides, which include an abundance of important information for all families, are provided below. Click on the image to access all of the information and updates that were provided, including: academic updates, upcoming events, and end-of-year trip information.
3. New – Unity High’s Advanced Placement (AP) Art & Design Students Visit the Whitney Museum: Unity High’s AP Art & Design students recently took the opportunity to deepen their study of American art, as well as gain inspiration by visiting the Whitney Museum. Thank you to Ms. Glickman for organizing the trip and making it possible!
4. New – Kudos to our P.R.I.D.E. Leaders for the Full Month of December!: Our P.R.I.D.E. Core Values of Progress, Respect for All, Integrity, Discovery, and Empathy represent qualities that we covet as a school community. They also represent qualities that we believe empower our students to lead fulfilling lives and, therefore, qualities that we have a responsibility to actively teach and positively reinforce. The students listed here were leaders for the month of December in being recognized by their teachers for demonstrating our Core Values. On behalf of our school community, we are proud of these students, and look forward to continuing to shout out all of our students when they demonstrate P.R.I.D.E. in our community.
5. New – Save the Date! Unity’s Middle School Dance Recital is on February 15th, 5:30pm!: Please support the middle school scholars by attending our Winter Dance Recital on Thursday, February 15th in our middle school auditorium (432 Monroe Street). See the flier below for additional details!
6. Updated – College & Career Readiness in Full Force at Unity High!: It continues to be an exciting and busy time in the world of college & career readiness for Unity High students and staff. Recent events include:
- Seniors Tour their Prospective College Campuses!: As our seniors continue to receive acceptance letters from colleges for which they have applied, they are now weighing their options as they begin to make decisions. To inform their decisions, many of our seniors are now visiting/revisiting college campuses with their families and our staff to inform their decisions. This past week, two Unity seniors, Ziaire Pettis and Jaheem August Jr., visited the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Poughkeepsie with Mr. Warner, Unity’s CCR Manager. The CIA is one of premier culinary arts colleges in the country. Both Zaire and Jaheem took part in our culinary arts club as underclassmen. Enjoy the photos below from their visit!
- Unity Students Begin Studying for the SAT!: Kudos to Unity High’s 10th and 11th grade students who begin preparing for the SAT this week. Students are preparing under the guidance of Testive, an organization that specializes in supporting students prepare for major exams like the SAT. Participating students will be meeting weekly after school on Wednesdays until the test this spring
- Attention all 12th Grade Families – Support with Financial Aid!: All senior families are invited to attend our FAFSA workshop on Saturday, January 20th at UPHS. We will be hosting support office hours from 9:30am-12:30pm on that day and students should attend with their caregiver. Please plan to bring a copy of your 2022 tax returns (your 1040) and any additional benefit letters you have. Members of Unity’s College and Career Readiness team will be on hand to support you with completing your FAFSA and TAP, which are both necessary to get money for college! Contact Ms. Behan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
7. Updated – Unity’s Student-Athletes Continue to Shine in the Winter Season!: There have been a number of recent highlights worth sharing with Unity’s athletic teams this winter season. Here are a few!
We congratulate Unity High’s most recent Student-Athletes of the Month!
Congratulations to our Student-Athlete of the Month from December, Liliana Diaz-Garcia, of our talented MS Dance team. According to Coach McCrae, “Liliana is a scholar-athlete that has been showing up and giving 120% of herself with learning new material and executing it. She demonstrates high energy and focus in practice and a willingness to help others or herself improve. Liliana works hard in her academics and takes pride in being a scholar athlete. She demonstrates her love and passion for hard work and dedication in how she carries herself and how she motivates others.” In response to being celebrated, Lilana showed both gratitude and pride:”It feels really good to be awarded the Scholar Athlete of the Month for December. I am proud of myself.” Congratulations Liliana, and go Panthers!
8. Recap – Unity High Hosts a “Send-off” Alumni Event in Honor of our Alumni as they Return to College for Semester 2!: Unity proudly welcomed its alumni back to our building earlier this month to reconnect, network, celebrate, and support one another as they gear up to return to their respective college campus for the second semester of their academic year. Alumni from all four of our graduating classes were represented. A shout-out to Ms. Hack, Unity’s Alumni Success Manager, for organizing the event!
9. New –Unity’s Queen Steppers are in Action this Weekend and Welcome your Support!: Unity High’s nationally ranked Step Team will be competing at Xplosive’s 2nd annual Go Hard or Go Home competition in Brentwood, NY along with our middle school step team, The Unity Royals. Come out and show your support!
10. Recap – Attention Families – We Need Your Help in Upgrading our Library!: Our middle school is looking for family volunteers to upgrade our library on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday mornings from 10am -12pm. See the details below and contact Ms. Terry via email if you are able to help out. Many thanks in advance!
11. Updated – Revised January 2024 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is an updated school-wide 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.
12. Recap – Unity Calendar for the 2023-24 School Year: The table below reflects our key events and vacations calendar for the 2023-24 school year. In addition, here is the updated PDF version of the table for your convenience.
13. Recap – New Students for Fall 2023 – Unity middle school has a few seats available for rising sixth graders for the 2023-24 school year. Finding the right middle school can be tough, and our current families (you!) are the best advocates. If you know of any interested families, please reach out to Mr. Beckford via email or cell (862-294-0219). For any families that refer a new family, both will be given a free uniform shirt.
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
Free Resources for Unity Families: Unity’s social work team is always looking for resources that may be helpful and of interest to our families. A host of resources are provided below. Reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio, Unity’s Director of Social Work, with questions.
- Introducing 988, The New Mental Health Hotline: The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which launched last week, is a new way for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis to quickly reach out for help. Anyone in the US can now call or text 9-8-8 to be connected to a trained mental health professional at one of more than 200 local crisis call centers around the country. Learn more here.
- INCLUDEnyc Presents: How to Talk to Your Children about Sexuality: This webinar will help parents and guardians of children with disabilities become more comfortable discussing sexuality and relationships, and cover some of the most effective ways to talk about this sensitive topic. Learn more and register here.
- Free Summer Meals for Students – begins Tuesday, June 28th: NYC’s Summer Meals program offers free breakfast and lunch throughout NYC for anyone age 18 and under. No registration, documentation, or ID is required. Visit here for details on time, locations, menus and other helpful information.
- Free Book Giveaway for Kids and Teens: As part of our largest summer program ever, The New York Public Library is giving away 500,000 books for kids and teens to take home and keep. Drop by one of our neighborhood branches to choose yours—plus, explore free events, our summer writing contest for kids, the opportunity for teens to contribute to a new magazine, and more with Summer at the Library. Visit here for more information.
- DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents Self-Regulation Techniques: This workshop will provide parents, caregivers and students strategies for reducing stress and improving the ability to self-regulate, with simple routines and activities that reduce anxiety and reactivity and promote calm and happy students and families. Spanish and Mandarin interpretation available. Learn more and register here.
- DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents How to Access Supports for Students with Behavioral Challenges: This workshop covers the educational rights of students who face behavioral challenges in school, including different kinds of behavioral supports and interventions , along with the opportunity to share advocacy tips. Learn more and register here.
- The Child Mind Institute offers great (free & remote) caregiver workshops on a seasonal basis! Take a moment to visit their site and appreciate their offerings.
- The recent events in Ukraine may be a source of stress and anxiety for some children. Below are four resources that may be helpful for families:
- Helping Kids Cope with Frightening News from Child Mind Institute
- How to Talk to Kids About War from verywellfamily.com
- How to Navigate Difficult Conversations with Children from The Relation Station
- How to Talk to Children about War: An Age-by-Age Guide from Today.com
- Below are flyers for lists of low-cost dental providers in each borough:
- Free Child Nutrition Webinar Series: Register for the “An Alarming Rise in Excess Weight and Diabetes in Children: Strategies and Solutions” webinar on Monday, March 7th. The webinar is presented by French-American Aid for Children as part of the new Child Nutrition Webinar series. Parents and educators will learn about practical nutrition tips and accessible information to encourage children to adopt good eating habits in school—and at home—through an interactive dialogue between Dr. Juliana Cohen, nutrition epidemiologist and associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Ileana Vargas-Rodriguez, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of New York. A Q&A session will follow the webinar. Check out previous recordings of past webinars, including:
- Engaging Children in their own Nutritional Journey
- Smart Summer Shopping and Cooking
- Nutrition’s Powerful Impact on Children’s Physical and Mental Health