The Unity Scoop – July 31
Dear Families of Unity,
It is hard to believe that we are halfway through the summer and that August is upon us.
Right away, I want to thank the large turnout of families who took part in last week’s Listening & Sharing sessions. We share your interest and excitement in having your children re-engage in the social benefits of in-person learning this fall. Please know that the input and recommendations provided are invaluable as we put our best foot forward in providing the safest and strongest educational experience possible in the 2021-22 school year.
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, I bring to you a number of updates on the upcoming school year, including family events in August and September, the most current information on our safety protocols for the start of the year, as well as other updates on start-of-year logistics. Also included are some updates from the summer, including recent events and achievements by our athletics program.
The next edition of the Scoop will be disseminated during the week of August 16th.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of July 31, 2021:
1. New – Save-the-Dates in August and September: we have two important events for families. Please reserve these dates and times in your calendars!
- Virtual August Information Session for Families – during these sessions, you will learn about critical back-to-school information, including uniform details, the school year calendar, the daily schedule, and information on how to access your child’s grades and attendance:
- Middle School: August 19th, 6pm
- High School: August 19th, 7pm
- Back to School Night for Families – during this event, you will have the opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and learn about our curriculum and programming for the school year:
- Middle School: September 23rd, 6pm
- High School: September 30th, 6pm
2. New – Important Information Vaccination Requested: As we solidify our safety protocols for the coming year, one significant factor in our planning is the extent to which our students are vaccinated. We ask that all of our families take a moment to complete this short survey by Wednesday, August 4th, so that we may plan with the best information at hand. We thank you in advance for supporting our efforts here.
Note: we strongly encourage all of our families to take steps in getting their children vaccinated to best ensure that we are providing the highest level of safety for our community. Information in doing so is available below.
3. New – Information on Getting Your Child Vaccinated Against COVID-19: Per the recommendation of the NYCDOE and CDC, we strongly encourage all of our families to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations are now available at select school sites across the city. Visit www.schools.nyc.gov for information on sites and available dates.
4. New – Latest Information on a Safe Return to School: We thank our families for participating in our recent Listening & Sharing sessions. As relayed during the sessions, we will abide by all state, city, and CDC safety guidelines as we return to school in September. As of now, here are the measures we are taking:
- We are strongly promoting families to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.
- We are requiring our staff to be vaccinated or take part in regular testing per NYCDOE guidelines.
- We will require mask use among all staff, students, families, and visitors when inside our buildings.
- We will promote physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.
- We are in process of equipping all of our classrooms with air purifiers per NYCDOE guidelines.
- We will continue in our cleaning and disinfection protocols per NYCDOE guidelines.
- We are updating our procedures for test screening, contact tracing, and quarantining per the latest guidance from the NYCDOE.
Note: We will update our measures according to any new guidelines received by the NYCDOH & CDC.
5. New – Update on Dress Code: During our Listening & Sharing sessions last week, a number of families inquired about our dress code for the coming year. One question that came up was whether families will be able to use past uniforms this year. The answer is yes! All past uniforms will be permitted this coming year. Details on dress code for 2021-22 for middle school and high school will be disseminated during the week of August 2nd via Jupiter. Questions regarding dress code may be directed to Ms. Charles at our middle school or to our operations team at our high school.
6. New – Information on Supply Lists by Site: The middle school supply list for the coming school year will be disseminated via Jupiter this coming week. Questions regarding our middle school supply list may be directed to Ms. Charles.
The high school supply list is now being compiled. An update will be provided via Jupiter in the next two weeks. Questions about our high school supply list may be directed to our operations team via email@example.com at our high school.
7. New – Unity’s Step Team Puts on a Series of Clinics for Summer Camps Across Long Island!: Our talented Queen Steppers visited 11 different summer camps over the course days in July to teach and educate over 1,000 campers on the art, culture, and history of step. Enjoy the photos below!
8. New – Two Long-Time Unity Coaches Honored by Unity’s Athletics Department!: Coach Champ and Coach Alley, both veteran Unity coaches of five years, were honored by their fellow coaches this month for their contributions to our athletic program and student-athletes.
During his five years at Unity, Coach Champ has coached both middle and high school students. In 2018-19, he coached the Junior Varsity Boys Basketball team to a championship. In 2019-20, his Varsity Boys Basketball team recorded an undefeated season under his leadership and coaching.
Coach Alley has built the Unity Step program into a powerhouse in Brooklyn. Over the past five years, she has led the team to place in 10+ local and national competitions. Enjoy the photo of both coaches being presented with Golden Whistles to commemorate their dedication to our school and students.
9. New – Summer Enrichment at Unity in Full Swing!: This summer has been a busy and exciting one for our students, many of whom are participating in some of our 18 different enrichment offerings. Enjoy the photos below of our students taking part in trips to local museums, rock climbing, and basketball camp!
10. Updated – Summer Hours of Operation: Here is information on August office hours by site:
- 432 Monroe Street (grades 6-8): August 16th – August 31st; 9am – 3pm; 718-455-5046
- 584 Driggs Avenue (grades 9-12): August 2nd – August 31st; 9am – 3pm; 718-682-3725
11. Updated – 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): August 16th – August 31st; 9am – 3pm; 718-455-5046
- 584 Driggs Avenue (grades 9-12): August 2nd – August 31st; 9am – 3pm; 718-682-3725
12. 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).
13. 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.
14. 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-
15. 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!
16. 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.
17. 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|
18. 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.
19. 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.