The Unity Scoop – May 29
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that you and your loved ones have enjoyed the beautiful weather this holiday weekend.
This coming week, we officially enter the last month of the school year. With the month of June comes a strong and festive finale to the year with Roundtable presentations at our middle school, Regents exams for students in grades 8-12, end-of-year trips, and, of course, graduation ceremonies for our 8th graders and seniors!
A comprehensive June calendar is now available – see the updates below. In addition to the new month’s calendar, this edition of The Scoop features a recent college trip by our 6th graders, some photos from last week’s Senior Prom, information on Unity’s charter renewal by the Board of Regents, and a host of community highlights from the past two weeks.
Well wishes to all in the week ahead!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of May 29, 2023:
7. New – 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.
2. New – 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!
3. New – 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!
4. New – 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.
5. Recap – Unity’s Young Artists Exhibit their Works at a Local Gallery!: Unity students, staff, family members, and community members recently participated in our full school art exhibition at the Art Cave Gallery on Broadway. The affair featured artwork and essays created by Ms. Glickman’s and Mr. Berkeley’s art students this year. A highlight of the evening was having our students provide guided tours of their work and offer their thoughts, inspirations, and methods behind their work. Congrats to Ms. Glickman and Mr. Berkeley and their students for bringing this glorious event to our community! And thank you to our families who came out to support!
6. Recap – Unity High Students Learn about Careers in Orthopedics!: A group of our high school science students learned about the field of orthopedics earlier this month during a visit to New York-Presbyterian/Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. During the visit, students engaged in lively discussions and hands-on activities with doctors, faculty, and staff.
7. Recap – Unity’s Dance Students Perform in Winter Recital!: Unity’s dance students across grades 6-12 performed in front of a full audience of students, families, and staff earlier this month. Congratulations to our many students who performed and showed off all that they have learned in their class thus far this year. Thank you to many families and staff who came out to take in the performance and support the cause. And, finally, congratulations to Ms. McRae and Ms. Parnell on continuing to bring our dance program to new heights!
8. Recap – Unity High Celebrates College Signing Day in Style: Unity recently celebrated our annual “College Signing Day”! This tradition began by former First Lady Michelle Obama; it provides high schools the opportunity to honor seniors as they declare their postgraduate plans. During the ceremony, the entire high school community and families of our seniors gathered in our gym. As you can tell from the photos, the space was filled with excitement and pride. Seniors each gave thanks to family members and staff who helped in their journey. As each senior announced where she/he would attend college, the entire gym erupted in applause. It was a beautiful event!
9. Recap – Unity’s Spring Athletics Teams Continue to Rally!: Our spring athletic season continues to be in full swing. Enjoy the full gamut of photos of our middle school spring athletics teams below. Overall, we have 116 middle school students who are participating in scholastic team sports this spring – almost half of our entire middle school! It is thrilling to have so many of our students developing their teamwork skills, experiencing the impact of practice on performance, and learning about how to best overcome challenges to reach common goals. Go Panthers!
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. Updated – 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.