The Unity Scoop – March 27
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the past week has been good to you and loved ones. I want to congratulate our high school students for completing their third quarter interim assessments this week. We are proud of our students’ efforts and are excited to continue to engage students in their coursework in powerful ways.
I would also like to celebrate our middle school students and team for their hard work in preparing for next week’s state ELA exams. We are excited for our students to show off the reading and writing skills they have developed this year during these exams on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please show your children much love and encouragement over the coming week. And, of course, be sure that they are well-rested, well-nourished, and feeling happy, healthy, proud, and confident as they arrive at school fully ready to give 100%.
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I highlight the recent work of our middle school students in their science courses. Information on our upcoming Trimester II Awards Ceremony for students in grades 6-8 is also provided.
Have a terrific weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of March 27, 2022:
1. New – Students and Teachers in Action this Week: This week, we spotlight our middle school scientists-in-training as they create, simulate, explore, design, and experiment!
Ms. LaPlaca supports her 6th grade scholars as they learn about different body systems. In this lab, scholars created a model of the digestive system. They simulated the process of mechanical and chemical digestion and explored the route that food takes through the digestive tract.
Ms. McPerson has her 7th grade scholars simulating seismic waves (waves produced by earthquakes) using slinkies. In the previous lesson, students learned the vocabulary behind the simulation and how these waves are produced in real life. This activity is leading up to a final project in which students will design and engineer earthquake-proof structures that will be tested at a 5.0 magnitude on a shake table.
2. New – Upcoming Tri-2 Awards Ceremony for Grades 6-8 via Zoom!: Unity MS will be presenting Trimester 2 awards in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, March 31st, at 6:00 PM via Zoom. During the ceremony, we will recognize students for honor roll, high honor roll, academic excellence, academic progress, attendance, and other areas of distinction. Please see the flyer below for more information–we look forward to seeing you all there!
3. Updated – March 2022 Schoolwide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of March – 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. Notable upcoming events include:
- Middle state ELA exam on 3/29-3/30
- Various athletic events and trips
- End of 3rd academic quarter at the High School on 4/1
4. Recap – Full Calendar for the Remainder of the 2022-23 School Year: Here is a schoolwide calendar for March through June. As with the March calendar above, print it out and throw it on the refrigerator door! An up-to-date events calendar can always be accessed on our website. We are now working on our calendar for the 2022-23 school year and plan to share it in late April.
5. Recap – Unity’s Step Team Takes 1st Place!: The Unity Queen Steppers earned first place in a competition earlier this month. They beat out four other teams with a score of 370 (just 2 points shy of Grand Champion). Enjoy this short clip of the team as they accept their 1st place trophy! We wish the team well as they now prepare for their next competition in Houston, Texas on March 26th. Continue to make us proud, team!
6. Recap – Attention All High School Students: Updates from Mr. Gonzalez and Unity’s College & Career Readiness Team: It is a busy time in the exciting world of college & career readiness at Unity!
- Celebrating Two of Unity’s Seniors! – For the past three years, Kenny Ramos and Sincere Baptiste have been participants in Summer Search, a multi-year program designed to expose students to leadership and adventure through travel and internships. Unity partnered with Summer Search five years ago. Kenny and Sincere attended Summer Search’s annual gala on Tuesday March 8th, and spoke about their experiences with the organization with hundreds of people in attendance. Check out the attached photo to see them – they look sharp!
- College Application and Admissions Updates: Two exciting updates here!
- As of March 10th, 81% of seniors have applied to college!
- As of March 10th, 60% of seniors have been admitted to at least one college! As we get into spring, more seniors should hear about acceptances, especially from CUNY and private colleges across the country. So far, Unity seniors have earned admission to: CUNY Brooklyn College, CUNY Hunter College, CUNY Hostos Community College, CUNY Kingsborough Community College, CUNY Guttman Community College, CUNY LaGuardia Community College, CUNY College of Staten Island, CUNY John Jay College, CUNY City Tech, CUNY Queensborough Community College, CUNY Medgar Evers College, SUNY Albany, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY New Paltz, Clark University, Penn State University, St. Francis College, Spelman College, Marist College, Hampton University, Howard University, Hofstra University, Ithaca College, Long Island University, Temple University, and Quinnipiac University.
- FAFSA and TAP deadlines are coming up! Applications for FAFSA (free money from the federal government) and TAP (free money from New York State government) must be submitted immediately! Please contact Mr. Gonzalez (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make an appointment to apply for this free money for college!
- Career Path Applications – congratulations to these two students in taking steps to realize their career aspirations!
- Kaylan Mosley is on track to become a welder! She applied to and has earned admission to San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas! This will be the farthest any Unity student has traveled for post-secondary training. We are proud of her accomplishment and the maturity and strength she has demonstrated throughout the college exploration process.
- Michael Downes has applied to a pre-apprenticeship program to become a carpenter! In earning admission to several different colleges, Michael has worked to set up vocational opportunities for himself – he has many options to choose from for next year. Congratulations to him and his family!
- Upcoming CCR Events: Again, it is a busy time in the exciting world of college & career readiness at Unity!
- Best Fit Workshops – This session will help seniors identify which colleges or career training options best fit them for next year. Sign up with Naseeba Ramjan, Unity’s Alumni Success Counselor, via email (email@example.com).
- Accepted Student Weekend @ SUNY Fredonia – On March 25th, over a dozen Unity seniors who have earned admission to SUNY Fredonia will travel to the school for the weekend. They will stay on campus for the weekend and take part in SUNY Fredonia’s Multicultural Student Weekend, during which they will check out classes, dining options, and school culture. We are excited for them to experience this opportunity and learn more about college life!
- Our Sixth Annual Career Fair is on Friday March 25th, from 12:00pm to 2:05pm (details provided in the flyer below). We would love to have family members of our students participating as presenters. If you are able to take part, please complete this survey of interest. Thank you!
7. Recap – Free Resources for Unity Families: Unity’s social work team is always looking for resources that may be helpful and of interest to our families. Three such resources are provided below. Reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio, Unity’s Director of Social Work, with questions.
- The recent events in Ukraine may be a source of stress and anxiety for some children. Below are four resources that may be helpful for families:
- Helping Kids Cope with Frightening News from Child Mind Institute
- How to Talk to Kids About War from verywellfamily.com
- How to Navigate Difficult Conversations with Children from The Relation Station
- How to Talk to Children about War: An Age-by-Age Guide from Today.com
- Below are flyers for lists of low-cost dental providers in each borough:
- Free Child Nutrition Webinar Series: Register for the “An Alarming Rise in Excess Weight and Diabetes in Children: Strategies and Solutions” webinar on Monday, March 7th. The webinar is presented by French-American Aid for Children as part of the new Child Nutrition Webinar series. Parents and educators will learn about practical nutrition tips and accessible information to encourage children to adopt good eating habits in school—and at home—through an interactive dialogue between Dr. Juliana Cohen, nutrition epidemiologist and associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Ileana Vargas-Rodriguez, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of New York. A Q&A session will follow the webinar. Check out previous recordings of past webinars, including:
- Engaging Children in their own Nutritional Journey
- Smart Summer Shopping and Cooking
- Nutrition’s Powerful Impact on Children’s Physical and Mental Health
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
2021-22 School Year Vacation Calendar for Students and other Key Dates: So that you may make plans for the 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:
Day of Week
|Wednesday||First day of school for students|
|Monday||Indigenous People’s Day, school closed|
|November 2||Tuesday||Election day, remote school day|
|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|
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.
Update on P-EBT Benefits for Families: New York State is providing Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) food benefits to all households with children who are eligible to receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act and whose school was closed or operating with reduced in-school attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 academic year. Issuance of the food benefit will continue for several months, due to the large number of eligible children and schools participating in the National School Lunch Program across the state. For additional information visit NYSOTDA P-EBT Benefits Information Page.
- If your child(ren) is eligible and has not received P-EBT benefit by November 2021, you may fill out the P-EBT Information Form.
- If you have misplaced a P-EBT Food Benefit card issued to your child[ren), you may order a replacement card by calling 1-888-328-6399. If your child(ren) received P-EBT benefits on a Medicaid card and you need to order a replacement NYS Medicaid card or select a PIN, go to otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/P-
EBT-Medicaid-Card-PIN- Instructions.asp for more information.
- Once you have set up a PIN to access your P-EBT food benefits, you can check your family’s P-EBT food benefits balance by visiting www.connectebt.com or by calling 1-888-328-6399.
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.
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.