The Unity Scoop – January 29
Dear Families of Unity,
Congratulations to our high school students on showing off all that they have learned over the past few months on their quarter 2 final exams this past week. In addition, kudos to our middle school students for demonstrating their newly developed reading and math skills on their winter Star exams. As a school that is keenly focused on the long-term growth for all students, we look forward to celebrating the new skills demonstrated by students. Moreover, we look forward to continuing to identify and implement best practices that result in 100% of our students experiencing positive growth and reaching their potential as learners.
In this week’s edition of The Unity Scoop, I bring to you information on forthcoming events during the month of February. I also spotlight a number of festivities from this past week Finally, I feature the recent good work and accomplishments of our students in classrooms and beyond!
I wish you a warm and restful weekend.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of January 29, 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 middle school mathematician applying the strategies they are learning in math classes. In the first photo below, a 7th grader is using a number line to practice inverse operations when solving equations. In the second photo, a 6th grade mathematician is using manipulatives in math to practice integers in 6th-grade math.
2. New – 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. Note the following important notifications for this coming week:
- Feb. 1st (Tuesday) – Regular day of classes for all Unity students (note: Unity is in session even through NYCDOE schools are not)
- Feb. 4th (Friday) –
- Grades 6-8: Regular day of classes for middle school students
- Grades 9-12: No classes for high school students (workshop day for staff)
- Feb. 4th (Friday) – Coffee with High School Principals (via Zoom) at 10:45am: Link
3. New – Unity Student-Athletes in Action!: Unity’s athletic program and teams have had a busy few weeks, with a number of highlights that Mr. Coleman and Mr. Noblia would like to celebrate. Recent accomplishment include:
- Unity’s MS boys basketball team won their first game of the season, 24-20.
- Unity’s MS girls basketball team won their first basketball game of the season, 33-32.
- Sariah Wilson, 6th grader, set a Unity MS record for points in a game, with 24 points!
- Unity HS step team placed 3rd in their competition and earned an invitation to Nationals.
- Nicholas Thomas, 6th grader, was accepted into the BTS NYC Junior League Academy to wrestle until the end of the school year.
4. 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 28th, 76% of seniors have applied to college. Congrats to the following students for recently submitting their applications!
- Ryan Parker
- Zaveion Hoyte
- Joshua Lewis
- College Acceptances: As of January 28th, 43% of the Class of 2022 have been offered admission to at least one college! We are still very early in the admissions process – typically, colleges offer admission during the early spring months (March, April), so this is truly special. Congratulations to the following students on their recent acceptances!
- Jasmin Quamina (SUNY Brockport) with a $8,000 Scholarship
- Antwon Dacosta (SUNY University at Buffalo’s engineering program)
- Melody Roy (SUNY Oneonta) with a FULL RIDE!
- Julius Cabrera (SUNY Potsdam)
- Marquis Greene St. Louis (SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Morrisville, and SUNY Buffalo State College)
- Cierra Newkirk (SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY Albany, and St. Francis College)
- Jennifer Smith (Clark University) with a $20,000 scholarship
- Shanice McBean (SUNY Purchase)
- Sincere Baptiste (SUNY Oneonta)
- Joel Watson (SUNY New Paltz)
- Aisha Blades (SUNY Oswego)
- Malika Saphy-Perret (SUNY Oneonta and SUNY University at Buffalo)
- Zavieon Hoyte (Alfred State College)
- College/Career Application Information: FAFSA/TAP – These two applications for financial aid can earn 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.
5. New – Unity Day Festivities at our Middle School!: Staff and students engaged in an afternoon of community-building festivities this past Wednesday, including a door decorating contest among Advisories and a range of games and fun events. Enjoy the photos below!
6. New – An Advisory Outing at our High School!: As a part of our Advisory events last Friday, our 9th grade class took part in the seasonally festive event of ice-skating at Prospect Park. Of course, hot chocolate was also in the mix! Thank you to Ms. Eason, Ms. Terry, and others for making the event possible.
7. 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 of 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!
8. New – 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.
9. 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 email@example.com.
10. 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/
- 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 (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.
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.