The Unity Scoop – January 21
Dear Families of Unity,
First and foremost, I want to thank our entire community, including our staff, families, and students, for contributing to a healthy return to in-person learning at Unity under our new safety protocols and policies.
It has been enormously gratifying to be back in our buildings together to engage our students in learning alongside their peers. This is where we are at our best in providing the best educational experience for your children.
In this week’s edition of The Unity Scoop, I bring to you information about upcoming assessments, COVID testing resources, along with college & career readiness updates. I also want to spotlight the good work of our students and teachers back in classrooms this week!
I wish you and your loved ones a warm, healthy, restful weekend.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of January 21, 2022:
1. New – Students and Teachers in Action this Week: We are thrilled to continue in honoring the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day of school. This week, we feature our 6th grade writers hard at work on their literary essays! In the photo below, Ms. Jenkins and Ms. Robinson are teaching students how to find the most compelling evidence by rereading a story through the lens of their claim. Special shout out to this group for picking up where we left off!
2. New – High School Interim Assessments to Be Administered on January 25th-28th: From Tuesday through Friday of this coming week, Unity students in grades 9-12 will take the final interim assessments (IAs) of Quarter 2 in their classes. During these days, students will have an alternate schedule. Schedules will be emailed to families via Jupiter today. Please support your student at home over the course of the week by checking in with them about their schedule, encouraging them to study their review materials, asking them about their day and how their week is going, and ensuring that they arrive to classes on time and are staying healthy and well-rested.
3. New – Middle School STAR Testing on Wednesday, 1/26: Students at our middle school will take their second round of STAR assessments in both reading and math next Wednesday, 1/26. These short, computer adaptive tests will allow us to measure student progress and growth since the fall. We will have a webinar in early February to discuss student results and growth with families.
4. New – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. New – Attention Senior and Families of Seniors: Information re: College Workshops and Scholarships from Mr. Gonzalez: See the updates below from our College & Career Readiness Team!
- College Application Update: As of January 13th, 67% of seniors have applied to college! There is still time to complete and submit applications for next year. Seniors – please contact Mr. Gonzalez immediately to submit your applications!
- College Acceptances: As of January 13th, 28% of seniors have already been accepted to at least one college! This is very early in the process; colleges usually do not announce acceptances until March or April. A number of students have also been awarded scholarships by schools that have accepted their applications. We are so proud of them! So far, students have been accepted to: Clark University, Hampton University, Marist College, St. Francis College, SUNY Albany, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Purchase, SUNY University at Buffalo, Temple University, and Quinnipiac University.
- College/Career Application Information: FAFSA/TAP – These two applications for financial aid can get students almost $12,000 in free money for college! Please contact Mr. Gonzalez immediately to get support in submitting either of them. The State University of New York (SUNY) is also conducting free online workshops to help families submit their aid applications. Sign up here.
6. New – 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/
- 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
|Wednesday||First day of school for students|
|Monday||Indigenous People’s Day, school closed|
|November 2||Tuesday||Election day, remote school day|
|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|
|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|
|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.
- 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.
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.