The Unity Scoop – June 25
Dear Families of Unity,
Happy Friday to you! I would first like to commend our students in grades 6-8 for completing their end-of-year Reflection Presentations this week – congratulations to you!
Second, I cannot wait to celebrate our graduates in grade 8 and grade 12 over the coming few days. And to be doing so in-person is especially exciting! See the details on both graduation ceremonies below. I look forward to having so many members of our community come together to rejoice and celebrate!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of June 25, 2021:
1. Recap – Milestone Dates and Events in June: In the spirit of concluding our school year as successfully as possible, here are some key dates for you to have on your radar.
- 6/25: MS Block Party (today!), 3pm – 432 Monroe Street in Bedford Stuyvesant, 3pm
- 6/26: 12th grade graduation – William Sheridan Playground in Williamsburg (Wythe Avenue & Grand Street), 10am
- 6/28: 8th grade graduation – 432 Monroe Street in Bedford Stuyvesant, 10am
2. New – Summer Enrichment at Unity – Register Today!: This summer, Unity will host summer enrichment offerings in Theater, Dance Intensives, Zoology, Intramural sports and much more. The goal is to reconnect students with each other, staff, and enjoy opportunities that align directly with your interests beyond academics. Each program is free of charge. There are limited seats available for each offering. Seats will be given to students on a first come-first serve basis.
- Middle School Sign Up Form (for students entering grades 6-8 this fall)
- High School Sign Up Form (for students entering grades 9-12 this fall)
3. New – College Information for Students and Families of Unity High School: See the updates below from our College & Career Readiness Team!
- Alumni Reunion and Juneteenth Celebration: On Saturday, June 19th, Unity’s Class of 2020 gathered for its first reunion barbeque and to celebrate Juneteenth. Alumni, staff, and parents had a great time remembering the “good old days at Unity High School” and updating each other on the latest and greatest successes of the inaugural class. Unity’s Alumni Website was also revealed at the event – alumni are able to find and apply for jobs, share information, and register for events at the website. Enjoy the photo below!
- Class of 2021 Highlights: As of June 25, 93% of the Class of 2021 have 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.
- Class of 2022 Highlights: 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-
4. Recap – Summer Reading Tutoring Available with Read 718!: Read 718 is a Brooklyn-based non-profit that offers low cost reading tutoring for students who will be entering grades 3-8 this fall. This summer, they are offering 10-weeks of tutoring over Zoom starting June 28th. Students will be paired with a tutor and meet twice a week for 45 minutes. Families can register at https://www.read718.org/
5. 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.
6. New – 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.
7. 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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to return their device.
8. 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 email@example.com or at 347-746-1575.
9. 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
|First day of school for students
|Indigenous People’s Day, school closed
|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 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school closed
|February 21 – 25
|Monday – Friday
|Midwinter Recess, school closed
|April 15 – 22
|Spring Recess, school closed
|Memorial Day, school closed
|Juneteenth (observed), school closed
|Last day of school for students
10. 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.
11. Recap – Issue No. 7 of the Unity Review is Available for your Reading Pleasure!: I am excited to share with you the seventh issue of the Unity Review literary magazine. The Unity Review team continues to work incredibly hard to bring to you the ideas and talents of our young writers and artists. This edition’s theme is Fame and includes a number of powerful submissions created by our students and staff. Enjoy!
12. 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.
1. Parent/guardian completes section I of this form: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/
(Form can be typed directly into and saved.)
2. Email the form to Ms. Kim: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Ms. Kim must also see the student’s birth certificate and a completed physical from the student’s doctor dated within one year OR a letter from the doctor stating the student is physically fit to work also dated within one year. These documents can be emailed to email@example.com OR a Zoom call can be scheduled where the documents can be presented.
4. After these steps are complete, the working papers will be mailed to your home.
If there are any questions about this process, please email Ms. Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
Unity’s School Calendar for Families through the End of June 2021: In the spirit of providing you with the information you need to best support your child with school at home, here are our updated middle and high school calendars through June 2021.
- Middle School Calendar for Families through June 2021
- High School Calendar for Families through June 2021
Requests for a Laptop and Support with Technology or Internet Access: Unity will provide a laptop to all students who need one. If you still need a Unity laptop OR do not have internet access at home, please complete the following form: https://bit.ly/Unitylaptops. After completing this form, somebody from the school will reach out to you. Our goal is for 100% of students to have access to the technology they need to fully engage in their studies.
Creating the Perfect Workspace for your Child at Home: Virtual learning can be challenging, but with a welcoming, comfortable learning environment, students are more likely to engage fully in their studies without distraction. Here are three simple best practices to turn a corner of your home into a workspace:
- Find a spot that has lighting: whether it’s natural sunlight from a window or light from an overhead lamp, it’s important that your workspace has enough light so that your student won’t need to strain to see.
- Make sure the table and chair are comfortable: working while sitting in a chair at a table increases productivity and focus, but it’s just as crucial that students are comfortable, since they’ll likely be sitting for long periods of time.
- Ensure that the workspace is free of distractions, noise, and clutter: games, toys, phones, laptops – they’re all fun, but they can be distracting to students while they try to learn. Therefore, the workspace should be spacious, quiet, clean, and clear of distractions.
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.