The Unity Scoop – July 1
Dear Families of Unity,
Congratulations on concluding the 2020-21 school year – what a year it has been!
As I mentioned during our 8th grade graduation on Monday, our families and caregivers have been superheroes over the past year! I commend you for your adaptability, your collaboration with us throughout the year, and your love and support of your children and their education through all that we experienced.
I would also like to convey a special congratulations to our graduating 8th graders and our Mighty Class of 2021 – please continue to make us proud!
As summer begins, I bring to you in this edition of the Unity Scoop a number of important announcements and some helpful guidance on how to best collaborate with us in preparation for the coming school year. The next edition of the Scoop will be disseminated during the week of July 12th.
Enjoy your summer, be safe, and have a terrific 4th of July!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of July 1, 2021:
1. New – Highlights from our Graduation Ceremonies!: Our graduation ceremonies this past were milestone events for our school and our families. Thank you to all who contributed and took part. Here are a few of the highlights from the ceremonies:
8th Grade Honorees:
12th Grade Honorees:
- Valedictorian: Kayla Tipton
- Salutatorian: Aniyah Lawrence
- Golden Panther Award Recipients: Jemuel Bartholomew, Damion Smith
Principal’s List (cumulative GPA of 4.0 or higher):
High Honor Roll (cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 3.99):
|Maimouna||Diallo||Georgia State University|
|Sharicia||Grant||Saint Francis College|
|Nayeli||Mejia||John Jay College|
|Elena||Mondesir||Georgia State University|
|Genesis||Otuonye||SUNY New Paltz|
|Ahmir||Pope||Guttman Community College|
Honor Roll (cumulative GPA of 3.0 to 3.49):
|Saafia||Elshabazz||University at Albany|
|Semaj||Gonzaque||Saint Joseph’s College|
|Jade||Hogan||University at Albany|
|Juan Pablo||Laboy||Hostos Community College|
|Damion||Smith||Guttman Community College|
College Matriculation: Over 90% of the Class of 2021 has been accepted to and enrolled in college or a career training program. Despite all the adversity they experienced this year, they have still been able to carve out their desired paths. We are SO proud of them! Next year, members of the Class of 2021 will be attending: Bard College, CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY Brooklyn College, CUNY College of Staten Island, CUNY Guttman Community College, CUNY Hostos Community College, CUNY John Jay College, CUNY Lehman College, Georgia State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Russell Sage College, Skidmore College, St. Francis College, St. Joseph’s College, SUNY Albany, SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY University at Buffalo, and Trinity College.
2. New – We Want to Hear from You as We Prepare for 2021-22! As we prepare in detail for the 2021-22 school and our return to in-person learning, we would like to hear from you. We invite all of our middle school and high school families to take part in a virtual meeting with school leadership in mid-July. During these meetings, families will have an opportunity to share ideas, hopes, questions, and concerns as we prepare for the coming year. Information provided by families during these meetings will then inform our ongoing planning and preparation. Your participation is greatly appreciated – simply RSVP by clicking on the middle school (grades 6-8) or high school (grades 9-12) link below depending on your child’s grade level of the fall of 2021.
3. New – Report Cards for the Spring Term and Year: Here are the descriptions for report card distribution for students by grade level:
- Grades 6-8: Report card links were sent out via email to families on June 30th.
- Grades 9-12: Report cards will be sent out via email to families on July 2nd.
4. New – Summer Assignment Information: Here are the descriptions for summer assignments for students by grade level:
- Grades 6-8: Summer assignments for all incoming middle school students were sent out via email on June 30th.
- Grades 9-12: There are no formal summer assignments for high school students. Students who are attending Summer Academy should focus on the summer course studies and assignments. All high school students are encouraged to participate in Unity’s summer enrichment offerings (see #7 below).
5. New – Summer Academy Information: Here is information on Summer Academy by grade level:
- Grades 6-8: Letters were distributed to all families of students who are required to attend Summer Academy. Student schedules are now being created and will be shared.
- Grades 9-12: Letters were distributed to all families of students who are required to attend Summer Academy. Student schedules are now being created and will be shared.
6. New – July Hours of Operation: Here is information on July office hours by site:
- 432 Monroe Street (grades 6-8): July 8th – July 30th; 9am – 3pm; 718-455-5046
- 584 Driggs Avenue (grades 9-12): July 12th – July 30th; 9am – 3pm; 718-682-3725
7. New – Summer Enrichment at Unity – Register Today!: Summer Enrichment spots are filling up quickly. We have released two new updated forms with programs still containing seats. If your child already dreams of running their own business, has interests in becoming a published author, wants to refine their basketball skills, or simply wants to connect with peers and potential teachers, fill out the survey by Friday July 2nd to claim a seat. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Ms. Olivier: firstname.lastname@example.org
8. New – College Information for Students and Families of Unity High School: See the updates below from our College & Career Readiness Team!
- Class of 2022 – Register Now for a Summer Consultation with Mr. Gonzalez: Believe it or not, but the Class of 2022 is already working on applying to college and to career-training programs! They have been hard at work with Mrs. Eason and Mr. Gonzalez crafting personal statements, discussing their preferred pathway after high school, and attending virtual college visits. Many have already signed up to meet with Mr. Gonzalez this summer to continue this work and to visit local colleges! As a reminder for rising seniors, please make an appointment with Mr. Gonzalez immediately to begin working on your plan for senior year! Use this link to schedule your appointment: https://calendly.com/mr-
9. New – Issue No. 8 of the Unity Review is Available for your Reading Pleasure!: I am excited to share with you the final issue of the Unity Review literary magazine of the 2020-21 school year. The Unity Review team has worked incredibly hard to bring to you the ideas and talents of our young writers and artists. This edition’s theme is A Walk Down Memory Lane and includes a number of powerful submissions created by our students and staff. Thank you, Unity Lit Mag team!
10. New – Technology Return for Students: For all students that are not enrolled in Summer Academy, we are asking that they return their technology, including their Unity laptop, chromebook, and/or hotspot (if applicable). If they did not show up to return their device earlier this week, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to return their device. Students should be returning their devices according to the schedule below:
- 432 Monroe Street (grades 6-8): July 8th – July 30th; 9am – 3pm; 718-455-5046
- 584 Driggs Avenue (grades 9-12): July 12th – July 30th; 9am – 3pm; 718-682-3725
11. Recap – Summer Reading Tutoring Available with Read 718!: Read 718 is a Brooklyn-based non-profit that offers low cost reading tutoring for students who will be entering grades 3-8 this fall. This summer, they are offering 10-weeks of tutoring over Zoom starting June 28th. Students will be paired with a tutor and meet twice a week for 45 minutes. Families can register at https://www.read718.org/
12. Recap – Upcoming Food Benefits from Federal Covid Relief: This article shares details about an upcoming benefit for all NYC families. Families will receive $132 for the months their child was out of school buildings for more than 12 days. That includes those who learned exclusively online, which makes up a majority of New York City students.
Families in charter schools and private schools who receive free meals through the federal school lunch program are also eligible. Families do not have to apply to receive the benefit. For those who already receive food assistance, the money will be automatically added to their benefit cards. Children enrolled in Medicaid, whose families successfully used their food benefits last year, will see the money once again added to Medicaid cards. For those who received the pandemic relief funds on food benefit cards last school year during the first round of federal food relief — when all families received about $420 per child — the money will be added to the same card. All others will receive a new benefit card in the mail.
To order a replacement card, call 1-888-328-6399. If the cardholder receives Medicaid through the state’s marketplace, order a replacement by calling 1-855-355-5777.
13. Recap – 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.
14. Recap – An Important Update on School Programming in the 2021-22 School Year: As we begin to close out this school year and continue in our planning of the coming year, I have two important updates regarding our format of schooling for this summer and for the 2021-22 school year.
First, our Summer Academy classes in July and August will be facilitated remotely. We will continue to provide Panther Pods for select students who would especially benefit from such a setting.
Second, we intend to be full in-person for our entire school, grades 6-12, for the 2021-22 school year starting in September. Based on the guidance we have received from state and city officials, and from CDC, we are confident that we are able to provide a safe in-person setting this fall. We are encouraged by the current health climate in the state and city, and we are excited to welcome our students back to our campuses. While our remote program has had its successes, we, as a school and community, are at our best by serving your children when we are interacting in-person and alongside one another.
In July, we will provide details on the safety protocols that we will have in place as we return to in-person schooling. We plan to offer a series of informational sessions for families as well as offering in-person school tours of our campuses for interested families.
If you have questions or concerns regarding our plans to return to in-person learning this fall, please contact Chris Doscher, Unity’s Director of Administration, at email@example.com or at 347-746-1575.
15. Recap – 2021-22 School Year Vacation Calendar for Students and other Key Dates: So that you may begin making plans for next 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:
- In addition to the dates listed below, there will be at least three additional days during the year in which students will not have in-person learning. During these days, students will participate asynchronously from home as our staff participate in training. These additional dates will be announced in late July.
- We will follow suit with the New York City Department of Education next year in providing remote classes on days in which in-person learning is cancelled due to inclement weather. Additional details on how these days will be structured will be provided this fall.
- We will hold Information sessions, orientation for families and students, and other fun events as we kick off the 2021-22 school year. The dates for these events will be announced in late July.
Day of Week
|Wednesday||First day of school for students|
|Monday||Indigenous People’s Day, school closed|
|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|
16. Recap – 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.
17. Recap – 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 12 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.
Free Breakfast & Lunch are available for Students – Any student has access to free meals a day at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the city. More details, including a search tool, is available by clicking here.
Helpful Guidance on Obtaining the Perfect Book for Your Child – With the Unity Library closed for the time being, our public libraries in Brooklyn offer a vast majority of their books and resources online. Additionally, many private companies are stepping up and offering their services for free. Check out this helpful guide to gain access to ebooks or audiobooks from the Brooklyn Public Library. In addition, see the list of resources below:
- Do you have dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, or other reading barriers? Access Bookshare’s free online ebooks.
- Are you an English Language Learner (ELL) and interested in practicing your English? Are you looking to learn a new language? Rosetta Stone is being offered free for three months to all students.
- Are you finding it difficult to spend all day looking at a computer screen? Download BeeLine reader for free, which uses color gradients to make reading just a little bit easier.
- Worried that by spending so much time alone your vocabulary is growing more and more limited by the day?