The Unity Scoop – July 2
Dear Families of Unity,
On behalf of our entire school and community, I congratulate the Great Class of 2020 – our founding class – on their graduation from Unity this past Friday. We thank you for bringing tremendous meaning to our lives and for continuing to strive to be your best selves, impact others in positive ways, and do meaningful things in this world. Continue to make us proud!
As we conclude the 2019-20 school year, I wish to thank all of our families for their collaboration throughout the year. Together, we overcame the unprecedented challenges of not being able to experience school in person for the final four months of the year. I am proud of what we accomplished during this time through our remote learning program. Again, our collaboration is what made our accomplishments possible. I look forward to continuing our good work together in the 2020-21 school year.
In this edition of the Scoop, there are a number of updates on end-of-year festivities and school initiatives for the summer. I have also included updates for the coming school year. The next edition of the Scoop will come out during the week of July 13th.
I wish you and your loved ones a terrific summer!
Head of School
Updates as of July 2, 2020:
1. Congrats to the Great Class of 2020!: Here is a link to footage of the ceremony. And enjoy the photo below of Unity High educators and graduates rejoicing in the festivities!
2. High School Summer Assignments and Report Cards – A Quick Update: Summer assignments will be shared via Jupiter and email by Friday, July 10th. Report cards will be shared via Jupiter and email by Friday, July 17th.
3. Congratulations to Our Colleagues Who Are Celebrating their 5th Year at Unity! Please join me in congratulating our colleagues who are celebrating their 5th year at Unity! We appreciate all that you have contributed to our school and community!
- Darline Charles, MS Manager of Operations
- Jessica Rivers, MS Operations Coordinator
- Leigh Conner, MS Coordinator of Support Services and Advisory
- Gilly Nadel, MS Learning Specialist
- Lisa Knuckle, MS Reading Interventionist
- Chelsea Fuller, HS Co-Principal of Teaching & Learning
- Charles David, HS History Teacher
- Carmen Abreu, HS Spanish Teacher
- Brandon Lopez, HS Manager of Safety & Facilities
4. Reminder – Chromebooks Return and Care: All students returning to Unity for the 2020-21 school year can continue to use any laptops that were borrowed until further notice. Please continue to keep them safe and in good working condition as we look ahead to the fall.
5. Reminder – Middle School Summer Academy: Middle school Summer Academy is mandatory for assigned students and will run Monday – Friday, 7/6 – 7/31. Ms. Conner shared specific class schedules earlier this week with all students who are required to attend. Please reach out to Ms. Conner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ms. Green (email@example.com) with any questions about Summer Academy.
6. Reminder – Middle School Summer Book Clubs: Research shows that reading over the summer is the most important way to prevent summer learning loss. We are excited to offer book clubs to all interested students this summer. Teachers will be reaching out to students to share the book title for each club and schedule 4 times to meet over the month of July. If you did not sign up for book clubs but would like to participate, please contact Ms. Williams at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
7. Reminder – High School Summer Academy: Students who have not completed their coursework in Quarters 3 and 4 of the 2019-2020 school year must do so this summer, when possible. For courses that are not available over this summer, there will be opportunities in the fall to make up that course work. Summer Academy will consist of three 2-week sessions, with Session 1 beginning on July 13th. Courses will be held virtually Monday through Friday from 8-11am. Students who are eligible for Summer Academy will be notified of their course schedules during the week of July 6th via Jupiter and phone calls.
8. Reminder – Brief Survey on Your Remote Learning Experience at Unity: The New York State Education Department is seeking to learn from you what went right and what can be improved with regard to your children’s education during the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to learn directly from you, the NYSED has created a brief survey. Anonymity is assured so please be comfortable providing any honest feedback you feel is appropriate. We believe your input is essential to inform both policy and practice as we move toward the re-opening of our schools.
It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and must be completed in one sitting, as you cannot save it and return to it later. The survey will be available to complete until 11:59 PM on Friday July 3, 2020.
9. Reminder – First Day of School for the 2020-21 School Year: Wednesday, September 9th: While we are still awaiting for the New York City Department of Education calendar to be released, we wanted to provide you with the first day of school at Unity in the 2020-21 school year. The first day of school will be Wednesday, September 9, 2020. We hope to release our full calendar for the 2020-21 school year in the next two weeks. We appreciate your patience.
10. Reminder – Unity’s Format of Instruction for the 2020-21 School Year: We are now considering our options for operation in the coming year. At this time, there are three possible scenarios for how we will facilitate instruction:
- In-person classes that follow public education guidelines for social distancing
- Remote learning, as we have over the past three months
- Blended learning, in which students experience a combination of socially-distanced, in-person classes and remote learning
We intend to make decisions on which format we will adopt in late July, when we have more information from state and city on guidelines and best practices. As always, our decisions will be based on what ensures the safety of our community, and what offers the best possible education to our students.
11. Reminder – Unity to Provide All Students with Laptops Next Fall: As we build on our experiences and plan forward to the coming year, every Unity student in grades 6-12 will be equipped with a laptop computer this coming fall. We are excited by this move as it will ensure that all students have full access to the technology they need to fully engage in their studies, regardless of whether classes are conducted in-person or remotely. We will provide additional details on policies and logistics over the summer leading up to the start of the new year.
12. Reminder – Supply List for the 2020-21 School Year: Supply lists for the 2020-21 school year will be made available in late July via the Scoop and posted on our website. Stay tuned.
13. Reminder: Free 6-Week Summer Enrichment Program for Students entering Grades 6-9 – Apply Today! Practice Makes Perfect is offering a six-week virtual summer enrichment program for children who have just completed grades 3 – 8. Over the course of six weeks, children will engage in 18 instructional sessions with a Practice Makes Perfect Fellow and a small group of peers. Children will also be given one additional hour of self-paced work in math and reading to help with content retention.
The program is FREE for students attending NYC Public Schools. To be considered for a spot you must complete and submit this form by June 29th, 2020 (el formulario está en español aquí here). Your child’s enrollment will be confirmed by July 3rd, 2020. Spots are limited!
14. Congratulations to the Class of 2020! We are so excited for our seniors to engage in the next chapter of their educational lives. Below is an updated list of postsecondary institutions that will be represented by a member of Unity’s first graduating class. Class of 2020 – we could not be prouder of you!
Name of Institution
|Mohawk Valley Community College
|Penn State University
|CUNY Baruch College
|CUNY Bronx Community College
|St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn)
|CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
|SUNY Buffalo State
|CUNY Brooklyn College
|City Tech – New York City College of Technology
|CUNY College of Staten Island
|CUNY Guttman Community College
|SUNY New Paltz
|CUNY Hunter College
|CUNY John Jay College
|CUNY Kingsborough Community College
|CUNY LaGuardia Community College
|CUNY Medgar Evers College
|SUNY Suffolk County Community College
|University of Miami
|Lincoln Technical Institute
15. Air Conditioning to Select Households in NYC this Summer: If you live with any family members 60 years or older and do not already have an air conditioner, the city is providing free air conditioners. Contact New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) using the information below to find out more:
- Division: Maintenance Hotline
- Phone Number: (718) 707-7771
- Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
- Staff is available at all times to handle emergencies and schedule routine maintenance repairs for Mon – Fri: 6:00 AM – midnight. Automated assistance is also available in Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
Emergency Respite Reimbursement – Funding is available to help families pay for respite services in an emergency situation. Covered emergencies can include:
- medical hospitalization and recuperation
- attending a funeral
- family member sickness
- assistance with challenging behaviors
For more information including eligibility requirements, please email: email@example.com.
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.
Free Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner available for Students and Adults – Any New Yorker, child or adult, has access to three free meals a day at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the city (including PS44), between 7:30am – 11:30am for children and families and from 11:30am to 1:30pm for adults. More details, including a search tool, is available by clicking here.
Resources for Mental Health and Talking to Young People About COVID-19 – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has provided this guide for self-care and strategies for talking about COVID-19 honestly and effectively with young people. In addition, here is a link for webinars for “Parenting During COVID-19” through the Weil Cornell Psychiatry Department. 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 (1888-NYC-WELL) or text (text WELL to 65173) or by internet chat via their website: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.
Mental Health Counseling and Social Work Services Available to Unity Students who Receive Counseling – Social workers will continue to hold remote counseling sessions for all students who receive counseling throughout this week. Please reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio via phone or text (347-688-9107) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about the continuation of counseling services or if you are concerned about your child’s mental health. Unity social workers can also be of assistance in providing information regarding social services (for example: housing, access to food, access to community mental health services, referrals to mental health providers, crisis intervention, etc.).
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.
Free Internet at Home – A variety of internet providers are offering free internet access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have an internet subscription. Internet access at home will be critical for students to complete their remote learning assignments To enroll, call
- 1-844-579-3743 for Spectrum
- 1-844-488-8395 for Charter Communications
- 1- 866-200-9522 for Optimum
Note that Installation fees will be waived for new households.