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Remote Learning for Fall 2020

Dear Families of Unity,

Greetings to you and your families in the final week of July.  I hope that the first half of the summer season has been good to you and I wish you continued joy and well-being in your summer pursuits.

I want to thank all of our families and students who participated in Tuesday’s Family Forum to learn about our plan for the 2020-21 school year and their contributions.  In case you missed it, here is the recording and here are the slides from the Forum.  I also share below some of the highlights of the Forum and what was presented.  I encourage you to watch the recording as well as review the slides and updates below.

Regarding the slides, there are three slides that I want to bring to your direct attention.

First, here are the key features of our model for the fall; see the full deck of slides for sample weekly schedules for middle school and high school students.

Second, here are 6 things that all families should do over the month of August in supporting your child/children to get off to a strong start in the 2020-21 school year.

Third, here are two save-the-dates that all families should have in their calendars:

Any questions may be posed via email at info@unityprep.org – expect a response within 48 hours.  The next edition of the Unity Scoop will be disseminated during the week of August 10th.

Again, I hope that the summer has been good to you and your families.  We look forward to picking up where we left off in just over a month!


In unity,


Josh Beauregard

Head of School


Updates as of July 31, 2020:

  1. More ProudGraduates of the Great Class of 2020!: Enjoy a few additional photos below of our proud graduates with their high school diplomas!
  2. Congrats to our Middle School Summer Book Club Participants!:Congrats to our 60 middle school students who participated in virtual book clubs this past month.  As a result of your participation, you are now a more powerful reader than ever before.  We hope you enjoyed the books you read and the discussions with your classmates and teachers.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!  Finally, thank you, Ms. Williams, for coordinating!
  3. An Important Message from Community Board 3 (CB3):The Black Lives Matter Mural on Fulton Street is a source of great community pride and has become, in little over a month, an iconic tribute to Black Lives. This week, CB3 is launching the roadway with local artists showcasing themselves through the arts. If you would like to host a workshop or activity, clickhere to register. All activities are free to families, so feel free to bring your folding chair and enjoy the vibes.

Also, starting August 1st and every Saturday through August, CB3 will have a full day of activities for all ages. Dance, roller skating, Yoga, Jam sessions and much, much more. Schedule will be posted on IG.

  1. Reminder -Support our Graduates as they Transition to College!:  Our academic counselors recently created a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $29,000 since June 15th!  Donations will support students in need of financial support as they transition to college.  Our fundraising goal is $35,000.  We aspire to the community school model, in which a school and the community it serves band together to support young people.  Please join us in our efforts by donating whatever you can to support our inaugural graduating class of students.
  2. 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.  Our full calendar for the 2020-21 school year will be provided during the week of July 27th.
  3. Reminder -Unity to Provide All Students with Laptops This 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.

Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:

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.
  • https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-03305

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: cheryl.jones@yai.org.

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.us/en/.  In addition, a mental health hotline has been established in New York City that will provide FREE emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider. The hotline number is: 1-844-863-9314.

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 (tdelpurgatorio@unityprep.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.
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