The Unity Scoop – July 16
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the front end of summer is treating you and your loved ones well.
I am excited to have so many of our students taking part in our expanded enrichment offerings this summer (see the second update below). And I am proud of our students who are participating in our summer academies to continue developing important skills in preparation for the coming school year. Finally, I am feeling energized by the prospect of returning to in-person schooling this fall. As a school community, we are at our absolute best when we are learning alongside one another – I am excited to resume our best work together in September.
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, I bring to you a number of reminders from our last edition. Of note, we are holding virtual meetings this coming week with all families who would like to participate to share ideas, hopes, questions, and concerns as we prepare for the coming year. See the first update below for dates, times, and RSVP links. Families are strongly encouraged to take part!
Continue to enjoy the summer and stay cool!
The next edition of the Scoop will be disseminated during the week of July 26th.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of July 16, 2021:
1. New – We Want to Hear from You as We Prepare for 2021-22! As we prepare for the 2021-22 school year 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.
2. New – Summer Enrichment at Unity – Spots Open!: This week closed our 2nd full week of enrichment programming at the middle school. We are excited to announce that we will be launching our Games Unleashed and Parks + Museums programs this upcoming week. If you are interested in participating in any programs please reach out to Ms. Alley Olivier (email@example.com) as seats have opened up for many of our programs.
3. Recap – Highlights from our Graduation Ceremonies!: Our graduation ceremonies last month 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.
4. Recap – 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.
5. Recap – 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).
6. Recap – 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.
7. Recap – 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 16th – July 30th; 9am – 3pm; 718-682-3725
8. Recap – 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. Recap – 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. Recap – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 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 19th – July 30th; 9am – 3pm; 718-682-3725
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at 347-746-1575.
14. 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|
15. 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.
16. 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 (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.
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? Dictionary.com has free daily activities such as puzzles, quizzes, and a word of the day to keep your vocabulary skills sharp.
- Want to practice your reading and thinking skills? Scholastic has a remote learning program where you can play games and participate in activities.
- Try using Newsela, which is an online news-as-literacy platform that features high-interest articles on everything from current events to myths and legends and from literature to science. Follow this link to create an account.
- Audible is offering free audio books for students. Click here to access a huge selection of audiobooks.
Resources Regarding Unemployment Due to COVID-19 – NYC has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The website will be updated frequently and includes information on employment/unemployment, food assistance, financial assistance, rent arrears, health and medical assistance, and so forth.