The Unity Scoop – June 2
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the short week has been good to you and loved ones!
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, I highlight our 6th graders for engaging in this week’s Poetry Slam. We also congratulate our middle school students for completing their STAR growth exams and our high school students who completed their US History Regents exam this week. Finally, we bring a new feature to the Scoop – a family member spotlight!
The busy and festive times continue this coming week with our 8th graders completing their state science exam on Monday, our earth science students completing their Regents exam on Thursday, and our high school student-athletes celebrating their end-of-year athletics banquet on Wednesday evening. We also have our middle school students showing off their spring spirit over the course of the full week!
Enjoy the weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of June 2, 2023:
1. New – Unity’s 6th Grade Poets Show off their Skills!: Kudos to our talented 6th grade students for engaging in this week’s poetry slam. And congratulations to our winners!
2. Updated – June 2023 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of June – print it out and throw it on the refrigerator door! It is possible that events could change and new events could be added. An up-to-date events calendar can always be accessed on our website. One important note for the coming week: unlike the NYCDOE, Unity does have school on Thursday (6/8) and Friday (6/9).
3. New – 2023-24 School Calendar Update: We plan to disseminate our calendar for the 2023-24 next week. One date to note is our first day of school for the coming year, which will be Wednesday, September 6th. We look forward to sharing the calendar with you next week!
4. New – Middle School Families – RSVP for Your Child’s Roundtable Presentation Now!: We are excited for our students’ Roundtable presentations, which will take place over three days: June 14th through June 16th. An RSVP form for your child’s Roundtable presentation will be disseminated by email early this coming week!
5. New – Unity Family Ambassador Spotlight of the Month!: We are thrilled to introduce a new feature to the Unity Scoop, a monthly profile of our amazing Unity Family Ambassadors. The Unity Family Ambassadors are a group of caregivers who meet monthly and serve as thought partners for many of our school’s initiatives. If you are interested in learning more about or joining the Unity Family Ambassadors, please reach out to Mr. Beckford (grades 6-8) or Ms. Young (grades 9-12).
Ms. Glenda Charles (Mother of Tylar Charles, Unity 11th Grader)
This month, we are thrilled to profile Ms. Glenda Charles, the mother of Unity 11th grade scholar Tylar Charles.
The Charles family have been members of the Unity community since Tylar entered high school in 2020. Tylar is an active member of Unity Athletics, currently serving on our Volleyball team. Ms. Charles has been a member of the Unity Ambassadors since the group formed earlier this school year.
Ms. Charles works as a Nanny in the childcare industry.
Favorite Restaurant in Brooklyn?
Footprints Cafe – a Flatbush staple!
Your favorite self-care activity? (exercise, aromatherapy, etc.)
Ms. Charles has a wide array of self-care activities which help her to decompress. They include deep-sea diving, receiving deep tissue massages, getting facials and manicures and pedicures.
Why did you choose to send your child to Unity Prep?
Ms. Charles chose to send Tylar to Unity because she was impressed by the academic offerings and curriculum that the school provides as a college preparatory charter school. When seeking schools for Tylar to attend, Ms. Charles made her ultimate choice because she wanted to expose him to a deeper level of learning and leadership skills.
What is the best advice you could provide for an incoming caregiver?
Trust the school administration with your child’s safety.
How do you utilize JupiterEd?
Ms. Charles takes advantage of JupiterEd, our learning management software, by logging in consistently to keep track of her son’s grades.
What is your favorite aspect of Unity Prep?
Ms. Charles enjoys the great community we have at Unity. She stresses the importance of the community between the parents and the teachers, who work together to make sure students at Unity have the best chance at being successful.
What inspired you to ‘give back’ to our community by joining the Unity Family Ambassadors this year?
When thinking about what inspired her to join the Ambassadors this year, Ms. Charles was inspired seeing the ways in which her Tylar’s teachers support him inside and outside of the classroom.
6. Updated – Unity’s Spring Athletics Teams are Finishing Strong!: As our spring season comes to a close, we celebrate our student-athletes, their growth, and their successes. Our middle school spring athletic teams celebrated their seasons this past week. Enjoy the photos below and thanks to our families who came out to support! This coming Wednesday, our high school athletic teams will come together to celebrate their accomplishments this year. See the flier below for more details!
7. Recap – Unity’s 6th Graders Tour Campus at UConn!: Our 6th grade students recently visited the University of Connecticut to tour the campus and learn about what the life of a college student entails. For many of our 6th graders, this was the first time on a college campus away from home. Congratulations on this milestone, Unity 6th graders – this will be your first of many college trips over the coming years!
8. Recap – Unity’s Seniors Celebrate in Style During their Prom!: Our seniors had a great time as they danced the night away during the prom last week. Thank you to Mr. Lopez for his coordination and thank you to our staff chaperones who, as the photo below shows, took full opportunity to dress up and have fun with our soon-to-be graduates!
9. Recap – Unity Granted a Four-Year Renewal by the New York Board of Regents: On May 15th, 2023, the Board of Regents’ P-12 Education Committee voted to approve the New York State Education Department’s recommendation for Unity’s renewal for four years. Essentially, this means that we are able to continue to operate as a school and serve our students and families for four years before being up for renewal again. The maximum renewal term that a charter school may receive in New York is five years. We received a five-year renewal in 2018. Admittedly, a four-year renewal (versus five years) was a bit of a surprise given that we have grown and become stronger as a school over the past five years. At the same time, in the year 2023, there are key areas of our school that we aim to grow and expand. Moreover, there are strengths of our school that we will continue to leverage. Beyond the renewal, NYSED also decided to deny our request to expand downward to serve students in grades K-5. While we requested to expand downward knowing that it was an ambitious proposition, particularly given the decreasing enrollment among existing elementary schools across the city in recent years, we received encouragement from our families and city/state officials to seek an expansion and we wanted to honor that. Unfortunately, our efforts were not successful. As a result, our sole focus in the near term will be on providing an exceptional education to our students in grades 6-12. Details from the Board of Regents meeting can be found here.
10. Recap – New Students for Fall 2023 – Unity middle school has a few seats available for rising sixth graders for the 2023-24 school year. Finding the right middle school can be tough, and our current families (you!) are the best advocates. If you know of any interested families, please reach out to Mr. Beckford via email or cell (862-294-0219).
11. Recap – 2022-23 School Calendar of Key Events and Vacations: The table below reflects our key events and vacations calendar for the 2022-23 school year, including key events we ask for your collaboration with caregiver involvement. In addition, here is the updated PDF version of the table for your convenience. We look forward to meeting our newest families and reconnecting with our returning families at Family Kick-off-the-Year Festival & Family Orientation on August 31st!
Day of Week
Applicable to Grade Levels
|8/31/22||Wednesday||Orientation Festival, 4-7pm||6-12|
|9/7/22||Wednesday||First day of school for students||6-12|
|9/21/22 (New date)||Wednesday||MS Back to School Night, 6pm||6-8|
|9/22/22 (New date)||Thursday||HS Back to School Night, 6pm||9-12|
|10/10/22||Monday||Indigenous People’s Day, school closed||6-12|
|11/8/22||Tuesday||Election Day, In-service day for all staff / remote asynchronous day for all students||6-12|
|11/11/22||Friday||Veteran’s Day, school closed||6-12|
|11/21/22 – 11/22/22||Monday – Tuesday||MS & HS Family Conferences (11/21 – 5-8pm; 11/22 – 9am-1pm||6-12|
|11/23/22 – 11/25/22||Wednesday – Friday||Thanksgiving Recess, school closed||6-12|
|12/22/22||Thursday||Early dismissal (1:15pm for MS; 2:30pm for HS)||6-12|
|12/23/22 – 1/3/23||Friday – Tuesday||Winter Recess, school closed||6-12|
|1/16/23||Monday||Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school closed||6-12|
|2/17/23||Friday||Remote asynchronous day for MS students only||6-8|
|2/20/23 – 2/24/23||Monday – Friday||Midwinter Recess, school closed||6-12|
|3/16/23 – 3/17/23||Thursday – Friday||MS Family Conferences (3/16 – 5-8pm;
3/17 – 9am-1pm)
|4/6/23 – 4/14/23||Thursday – Friday||Spring Recess, school closed||6-12|
|4/19/23 – 4/21/23||Wednesday – Friday||MS ELA state exam window||6-8|
|4/19/23 – 4/20/23||Wednesday – Thursday||HS Family Conferences (4/19 – 5-8pm;
4/20 – 9am-1pm)
|4/21/23||Friday||Remote asynchronous day for HS students||9-12|
|5/1/23 – 5/12/23||Monday – Friday||Advanced Placement exam window||9-12|
|5/2/23 – 5/4/23||Tuesday – Thursday||MS math state exam window||6-8|
|5/12/23||Friday||College Signing Day event||6-12|
|5/29/23||Monday||Memorial Day, school closed||6-12|
|6/14/23 – 6/20/23||Wednesday – Tuesday||MS Roundtable presentations||6-8|
|6/14/23 – 6/23/23||Wednesday – Friday||Regents exam window||8-12|
|6/19/23||Monday||Juneteenth, school closed||6-12|
|6/23/23||Friday||Last day of school for students||6-12|
|6/23/23||Friday||8th grade & 12th grade graduation ceremonies||8 & 12|
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
Our Community Pledge as a school outlines the actions our staff, families, and students are committed to taking. By following through on our commitments, we will undoubtedly have an enormously successful school year!
Information and Guidance on Unity’s Dress Codes for the 2022-23 School Year: Unity’s dress codes by grade level are provided below.
- Grades 6-8: Here is a link to all things dress code for all middle school students.
- Grades 9-12: Unity High’s dress code is outlined below:
- It is strongly encouraged that an official Unity top is worn in the spirit of school pride and in being united in our collective focus on learning. “Official” is defined as a top (T-Shirt or Polos) purchased from an approved vendor.
- In cases where students do not take our recommendation, students can wear tops of their choice so long as the top covers their entire torso and shoulders.
- Tops must not bear any offensive and/or inappropriate language and/or images and may not be crop tops, tube tops, halter tops or tank tops.
- Student bottoms must be long enough that the hem hits the top of the knee, shin, or ankle.
- Bottoms must properly fit and be worn at the waist. A belt must be worn if bottoms are unable to fit at the waist without sagging.
- Bottoms may have rips or tears.
- Bottoms may not be leggings, tights, catsuits/bodysuits, basketball shorts or display undergarments.
- All shoes must have backs, be closed-toed, and low heeled.
- Sandals, flip-flops, and athletic slides ARE NOT permitted (worn with or without socks).
- Crocs ARE permitted so long as the backstrap is raised behind the ankle at all times.
- For reasons related to safety, the policy for shoes will apply for all dress down days and spirit days.
School Supply Guidance: Having all of our students equipped with the supplies they need is essential to getting off to a strong start to the school year. We offer guidance below on school supplies by grade level:
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 5 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.
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.