The Unity Scoop – May 8
Dear Families of Unity,
I want to begin by wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Unity mothers in our community. You are absolute superheroes and deserve hugs and appreciation each and every day of the year!
Congratulations to all of our high school students who completed their Advanced Placement (AP) exams this past week. We are immensely proud of you! To our AP students who have exams coming up, we are so excited for you to show off all that you have learned this year, with the opportunity to earn college credit even before stepping onto campus!
As we gear up for the week ahead, one important note that I want to reiterate: Unity will re-establish our mask requirement starting tomorrow, given the increase in cases throughout the city and within schools. The requirement will be in effect for a minimum of two weeks. We will provide updates during the week of May 16th based on our assessment of health and safety within our community.
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I spotlight a number of recent events and accomplishments. In addition, details on a number of exciting opportunities for students this spring and summer are provided.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of May 8, 2022:
1. Updated – May 2022 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of May – 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:
- 5/9-5/12: AP Exams at Unity High
2. New – Unity Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week!: This past week, our community showed gratitude to amazing educators. Thank you to our families, students, and fellow staff for showing serious love to our teachers throughout the week!
3. New – Updates from Mr. Gonzalez and Unity High’s College & Career Readiness Team: This time of year is typically marked by excitement – college admissions and career-training programs usually notify students in the spring and families then get to make some big decisions. Each week for the past few months, our students have received wonderful news about their college and career aspirations – they have been admitted to incredible schools and programs. Please join us in celebrating the impressive resilience and strength of our young people. It is truly inspirational. Here are few other updates from Mr. Gonzalez:
- College Application and Admissions Updates: As of April, members of our senior class have been admitted to the following colleges and universities with scholarships totalling over $400,000: 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, George Washington University, Skidmore College, SUNY Albany, SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY New Paltz, Clark University, Dickinson College, Penn State University, St. Francis College, Spelman College, Marist College, Hampton University, Howard University, Hofstra University, Ithaca College, Long Island University, Temple University, Vassar College, and Quinnipiac University.
- Unity High Celebrates College Signing Day in Style: On Friday, April 29th, Unity celebrated “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. In our ceremony – which was the first time Unity has been able to hold this event because of the pandemic – the entire school community and families of our seniors, gathered in our gym. Our culinary club cooked breakfast for seniors and their families. 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 on their journey. As each senior announced where she/he would attend college, the entire gym erupted in applause. It was a beautiful event!
- Co-op Tech Applications: NYC’s premier career-training program, Co-op Tech, has begin accepting applications for students who are interested in entering the building trades (carpenters, plumbers, HVAC, etc.), service industries (automotive repair, culinary arts, and cosmetology), IT (web design, computer networking, and advertising), and health careers (medical health careers, nurse assistants, and vision technology). In addition to having top-notch programs, Co-op Tech is free! Students who are interested in applying to Co-op Tech should make an appointment with Mr. Gonzalez immediately using this link.
- Attention all Seniors: College Financial Aid Comparison Sheet: By now, you should have received financial aid packages from all the colleges that have accepted you. If you have not received aid packages yet, please see me immediately! You have approximately two-three weeks to decide the college in which you will enroll. To help you make this decision, please use this Financial Aid Comparison Tool. Follow these instructions to use the tool, take the following three steps:
- Make a copy (“File -> Make a Copy”)
- Enter information for each financial aid package into the “Net Cost” sheet.
- Make an appointment with Mr. Gonzalez using this link.
4. New – Athletics Spotlight The Unity Panthers Middle School Track Team!: In this edition of the Scoop, Mr. Coleman would like to spotlight the student-athletes of our middle school track team. A congratulations on the first meet of the season is due to Coach Berkeley and the team! Continue to represent our school with sportsmanship and pride!
5. Updated – 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.
- New – DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents Self-Regulation Techniques: This workshop will provide parents, caregivers and students strategies for reducing stress and improving the ability to self-regulate, with simple routines and activities that reduce anxiety and reactivity and promote calm and happy students and families. Spanish and Mandarin interpretation available. Learn more and register here.
- New – DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents How to Access Supports for Students with Behavioral Challenges: This workshop covers the educational rights of students who face behavioral challenges in school, including different kinds of behavioral supports and interventions , along with the opportunity to share advocacy tips. Learn more and register here.
- The Child Mind Institute offers great (free & remote) caregiver workshops on a seasonal basis! Take a moment to visit their site and appreciate their offerings.
- 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:
6. Recap – Students and Teachers in Action this Week: We are thrilled to continue celebrating the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day. Last week, we spotlighted our middle school scientists-in-training. Sixth grade scientists have been exploring different body systems and their functions. Scholars are learning how these human body systems are all interconnected and dependent on one another. In the attached photo, Ms LaPlaca, Mr Thomas, and our scholars are playing a quick game of “Ms. LaPlaca says” to learn about the different muscles in the human body.
In other grades, our seventh grade scientists recently completed their “Stop the Shake” earthquake project, which required them to build an earthquake-proof structure using craft materials. Scholars first built their structures and presented their buildings to their peers. In doing so, scholars explained the choices they made in terms of building materials, base, the design process, etc. Finally, these structures were tested on a shake table representing a 5.0 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale.
Eighth grade scientists have been wrapping up their sexual health education unit. Next week, scholars will be learning about genetics and how scientists can predict what specific traits an offspring will most likely have by completing punnett squares! Scientists will also be completing three labs in preparation for the upcoming state test in science.
As a bonus, Ms. Diaz would like to bring the following opportunity to the attention of middle school scientists! The Black in Physics organization (https://www.blackinphysics.
7. Recap – Congrats to our Middle School’s Students of the Month in April!: Kudos to our Students of Month for showing exemplary scholarship, citizenship, and growth – we are proud of you!
Scholarship: Zaeyah Rush
Citizenship: Ester Pollard
Scholarship: Nina Pitter
Citizenship: Kymani Pilgrim
Most Improved: Khaya Khan
Scholarship: Taylor Beckles
Citizenship: Naishae Wilson
Most Improved: Julissa Garban, Damani Green
8. Recap – Registration is now open! Summer School Rising – NYCDOE Summer School Programming for Grades K-8 & Summer Youth For High School Students: The 2022 Summer Rising application is now open for students currently in grades K-8 and Summer Youth Employment for high school students. Parents and students can find more information here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/
9. Updated – Upcoming Events of Interest to Unity Families!: Brought to you by Mr. Beckford, we are happy to highlight upcoming events across Brooklyn for our families. Here is one!
Free Film Screening at Von King Park: Hold your Fire, Saturday, May 9th, 7pm: The screening will take place in Von King Park in Bed-Stuy, just blocks from the location of the historic events depicted in the film. Following the screening we will present a conversation with filmmaker Stefan Forbes, producer Fab 5 Freddy, and special guests. Details on the event can be found here.
10. Recap – Take Part in our Career Fair for Unity Middle School Students, Wednesday, May 25th, 11am-1pm!: We are excited for our middle school students to be inspired by the many career paths available to them in the not-so-distant future! We would love to have family members of our students participating as presenters (see the flier below). Interested in learning more and potentially taking part? Contact Ms. Gillies (firstname.lastname@example.org).
11. Recap – Helping Your Child to Continue their Learning This Summer: Ms. Eason, Academic Counselor, offers a presentation – Avoiding Summer Slide – that offers valuable links to paid internships, volunteer opportunities and other things your child can do over the summer to promote critical thinking and learning during the months of July and August. Click on the image below to see her presentation slides. Feel free to reach out to her with questions: email@example.com.
12. 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.
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.
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.