The Unity Scoop – June 5
Dear Students and Families of Unity,
While the past week has been among the most emotionally exhausting times of our lives, there has been a collective strength among our school community through our care and support of one another. The honest discussions about our feelings, our reflections, and our ideas in how we move forward have been uplifting and resulted in stronger bonds among members of our community, including family members, students, and our staff and faculty.
In many ways, our community has demonstrated those qualities that we aspire for in our broader society, including courage, empathy, dignity, love, and truth. I continue to feel blessed to be part of our community and firmly believe that our actions at Unity each and every day are impacting our larger society in profoundly positive ways. Be proud, Unity, and continue to take pride in being a catalyst for positive and lasting change.
Head of School
Updates as of June 5, 2020:
1. Update – End-of-Year Events to Honor Unity’s First-Ever Graduating Class – The Class of 2020!: We have one update for you this week re: end-of-year activities for our “one and only” senior class:
- Our Virtual Senior Signing Day has been rescheduled to Friday, June 12th at 2pm. We look forward to having our students and staff come together in an informal but important way to connect and rejoice in all that we’ve experienced over the past seven years, and look forward to exciting times ahead. This day is meant to celebrate the next chapter of our 12th graders educational journey. More details will be provided early next week.
- We will have a proper, in-person graduation ceremony when it is safe to do so – this is important to us. In the interim, we will also hold a virtual graduation ceremony on Friday, June 26th, at 6pm. Please save the date; all Unity families are invited to attend. This is a milestone event for our school as we celebrate the accomplishments and future aspirations of our senior class. For now, please mark your calendars. More details will be provided in upcoming editions of The Scoop.
2. Sexual Education Resources for Middle School Families: Due to concerns about not being able to create a safe and supportive space for students while teaching remotely, we decided to hold off from teaching our sexual education unit in science classes this spring. We plan to adjust our curriculum next year so that students cover developmentally appropriate and relevant topics, including what they would have studied during this school year. In the meantime, we are providing these resources to families to facilitate discussions around relevant topics, including an Overview of Puberty, Menstruation, Puberty for Boys, Pregnancy and Reproduction, What is Consent?, Forms of Contraception, Being Safe Online, Sexual Orientations Explained, Gender Identity and Transgender, and additional resources. Each topic has a short video clip and discussion questions for caretakers and students. If you have any questions or concerns, our Science Department Chair, Ms. Diaz, and our Founding Physical Education & Health Teacher, Mr. Coleman, are available as resources.
3. More Celebration of Academic Excellence at Unity!: Our students have been working very hard this year, especially over the past month, during the transition to remote learning. We are excited to celebrate their achievements in their coursework and learning. Today, we highlight four new students at our high school who are excelling in their coursework and our middle school Students of the Month for May!
- Middle School Students of the Month from May!
- 6th Grade:
- Adriana Pollard
- Donovan Taylor
- 7th Grade:
- Tawrey Norman
- Connor Sylvester
- 8th Grade:
- Nicholas Edwards
- Jayden Fajardo
- 6th Grade:
- High School Student Shout-outs from Teachers for Excellence in Remote Learning!
- 9th Grade: Joziyah – congratulations! You are always so high energy and you know the best time to do so without interrupting the class! you are always showcasing PRIDE, participating, and are very engaged in all that we do. Great job on all your growth throughout the year!
- 10th Grade: Gertorian – your bounce-back game is strong! You had a moment where you were falling off due to circumstances that you couldn’t control, but you are back and the ball is now in your court! You’ve signed up for help from SGA, and you’ve reached out to your teachers often. We are so happy to see you at your best!
- 11th Grade: Genesis – you have such a powerful hustle and positive energy! Thank you for keeping that spirit alive during regular school and remote learning alike! Your work ethic is consistent and you make things happen for yourself! Keep up the great work!
- 12th Grade: Maurice is our Senior of the Week! Maurice has been on top of all his work, attending classes and communicating immediately if/when he cannot attend. He has shared positive energy consistently over online learning. We can’t wait to see how well you do next year as you head to college!
4. Celebrating Stellar Student Attendance!: In addition to academic excellence, it is also worth highlighting the dedication of so many of our students to their studies through their excellent attendance in our remote classrooms. This past week, 139 students had 100% attendance in their classes. Here is the all-star list with the 6th grade leading the way!
Middle School Students:
6th Grade Students
7th Grade Students
8th Grade Students
|Danville Nicoy E.
|Jayden Carlos F.
|Joshua James M.
|Kayon Shawn C.
|Malachi Chris C.
|Nakaylah Shyann Renee R.
|Nicholas Daville E.
High School Students:
9th Grade Students
10th Grade Students
11th Grade Students
12th Grade Students
5. Senior Spotlight of the Week Leslie G. is heading to Guttman Community College next year to earn her associates degree in liberal arts. After two years she plans to transfer to a senior college to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. She will miss all of her teachers and the amazing staff at Unity. Leslie will also miss her wonderful friends and her step team, the Unity Queen Steppers!
6. Unity Student-Athlete to be Interviewed on IG Live, 6pm tonight!: Tune in to view Unity Senior and Student-Athlete, Ade Fasanmi discuss his basketball career, his MVP season, and his future plans in college and beyond on IG Live. We are proud of you, Ade!
7. The Queens Steppers of Unity High Take 2nd Place in Virtual Competition!: Congrats to our talented step team of Unity High in taking 2nd place in the World of Step’s virtual competition last week. The team thanks its fans for their support!
8. Unity’s Weekly Trivia Contest for a Seamless Gift Card: Congratulations to Mr. Oke for winning last week’s trivia contest! Each week, The Scoop will feature Unity Trivia! Answer each question correctly for an opportunity to win a Seamless gift card. The winner will be selected at random and announced in next week’s Scoop. Click here to access this week’s trivia contest (due Monday at 5pm) and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Students and caregivers are both eligible to participate.
9. Reminder – Middle School End-of-Year Reflections Update: Please see the video clip and slides below with important information about End-Of-Year Reflections at the middle school! .
10. Reminder: Unity’s Summer Academy will be Remote this Summer: Summer Academy for grades 6-12 will be held remotely this summer. We will provide details to all families whose children are required to attend summer school in the coming two weeks.
11. Reminder: High School Grading Policy Update: Please read the attached memo regarding Remote Grading Policy updates at our high school. For questions and clarifications about the policies or your student’s academic standing, reach out to their academic counselor.
- 9th and 10th Grade Academic Counselor: Mrs. Louise Eason
- 11th Grade Academic Counselor: Ms. Lia Simon
- 12th Grade Academic Counselors: Ms. Alia Roth and Mr. Eric Gonzalez
12. Reminder – Clarification on Unity’s Grading Policy in Relation to Attendance for Remote Learning: The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) recently released its Grading Policy Guidance for Remote Learning, which included a statement that it would not use attendance to calculate grades. A few students and families have since reached out to inquire how this applies to Unity’s grading and attendance policy during remote learning. In terms of attendance, the expectations for Unity students continues to be the same: student attendance during remote learning is mandatory and essential to successful academic outcomes. We are committed to providing instruction and academic support during our remote learning period to ensure all Unity students are best positioned to begin next school year ready for the next grade level. In order to accomplish this, students must engage in online remote learning with teachers every day. Students who are not able to attend classes may fall behind in coursework and may be required to continue classwork during the summer. Please reach out to your student’s middle school teacher or high school academic counselor if you have any questions about attendance.
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
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 (email@example.com) 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.).