The Unity Scoop – November 13
Dear Families of Unity,
Congratulations on completing month two of the 2021-22 school year. These continue to be unprecedented times for families and schools – we appreciate your continued collaboration, as it gives us strength and purpose.
In the coming week, we will engage in a fairly regular week of school before embarking on fall conferences with families on Monday evening and Tuesday during the day. Details on conferences are provided below. We look forward to a productive week ahead and to conferring with you on the Monday and Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break.
- November 22nd (Monday): normal day of school for all students with evening family conferences online from 5-8pm
- November 23rd (Tuesday): daytime family conferences online – no classes for all students
- November 24th-November 26th (Wednesday-Friday): no school for all students (Thanksgiving break)
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, I spotlight a number of recent student achievements. I also offer updates on upcoming community events and initiatives, including family conferences.
Enjoy the weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of November 13, 2021:
1. New – Congrats to our Middle School’s January Students of the Month!: Kudos to our Students of the Month from October for showing exemplary scholarship, citizenship, and growth – we are proud of you!
- Citizenship – Jason S.
- Scholarship – Papa D.
- Scholarship – Jayden C.
- Citizenship – Dacota P.
- Growth – Sydney D.
- Citizenship – Taylor B.
- Scholarship – James M.
2. New – Celebrating Stellar Student Attendance!: In addition to academic excellence, it is also worth highlighting the dedication of so many of our middle students to their studies through their excellent daily attendance. The students featured below achieved exemplary attendance over the month of October. Congratulations to you all – we are proud of you!
|Damilola A.||Abilene B.||Francis A.|
|Keyshonte B.||Gwyneth C.||Ibrahima B.|
|Jimmy D.||Jayden C.||Jabari B.|
|Papa D.||Nia C.||Raven B.|
|Jonathan F.||Sasha E.||Eliza C.|
|Emrick F.||Gabriel G.||Sebastian C.|
|Arianna G.||Khaya K.||Sean D.|
|Ava G.||Brooklyn M.||Jeshaun E.|
|Jencarlos H.||Kyleah M.||Kester F.|
|Morgan J.||Dacota P.||Julissa G.|
|Hailey J.||Amani P.||Damani G.|
|Khloe K.||Nyah-Simone R.||Mekhi J.|
|Loic L.||Adewale S.||Jazel J.|
|Amani M.||Katelynn R.|
|Amiyah M.||Savion R.|
|Tenajah R.||Isaias T.|
|Nahla S.||Jayden W.|
|Brooke T.||Allizson Z.|
3. New – Family Conferences, grades 6-12 – November 22nd-23rd: Family conferences for all Unity families will be held on the evening of November 22nd and during the day of November 23rd. Conferences will be held virtually. Students will have classes on the 22nd, however, there will be no classes for students on the 23rd. Here are the details by campus:
- Middle School (grades 6-8):
- Students will have an abbreviated day of classes on Monday, 11/22. Students will be dismissed at 1:15pm.
- Families will receive a request to RSVP via Jupiter and text message early this coming week. If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Charles (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- High School (grades 9-12):
- Students will have an abbreviated day of classes on Monday, 11/22. Students will be dismissed at 2:30pm.
- Families will hear from their students’ advisors or staff beginning early this coming week to schedule a conference date and time.
4. New – Introducing our High School Government for the 2021-22 School Year!: Congratulations to the newly elected members of Unity High’s student government. We look forward to your leadership and service impacting our school community in meaningful ways.
5. New – A Shout-out to our Fall Student-Athletes!: As the end of the fall season approaches, we commend our athletics for their determination, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Thank you to Mr. Coleman and Mr. Noblia for producing an impressive fall program with more student athletes taking part in sports than ever before. Enjoy the team photo of our MS soccer team below. Go Panthers!
6. New – Unity High School Celebrates Spirit Week, November 15-19!: High school students are encouraged to show their spirit each day of the week in a host of fun and wacky ways this coming week. See the flyer below for details. We look forward to our students showing their school spirit and having fun while doing so!
7. New – After-School Clubs Launched at Unity High!: Last week, our high school students participated in our first annual college-style club fair (see the photo below). Students had the opportunity to sign up for one (or more) of our 9 teacher-led clubs including: Double Dutch, Dance Exploration, Zoology and Culinary, to name a few. Meeting once a week, students will explore different cultures, participate in non-competitive athletics and explore various career paths through our diverse club offerings. Teachers are excited to share some of their out-of-school passions with students. As Ms. West, mathematics teacher, states: “It’s exciting to share my love for dance with students and see how interested they are in learning new things no matter how scary it may be.”
8. New – Attention 8th Grade Families: Registration for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is happening now!: The deadline to register for the test is this Monday, November 15th. If interested, families may be able register for the test at myschools.nyc. Note that you will need your child’s account creation code in order to create your account. Welcome letters were sent from the NYCDOE with this information. Contact Mr. Beckford (email@example.com) if you do not have a creation code and he can assist. Additionally, Mr. Beckford is able to register your child for SHSAT. Please reach out via email or Jupiter confirming that you would like your child to take the test, and provide a list of the specialized high schools in your families true preference order.
9. Recap – Attention Senior and Families of Seniors: Information re: College Applications and Scholarships from Mr. Gonzalez: See the updates below from our College & Career Readiness Team!
- Congratulations! – Please join us in congratulating the following seniors for submitting their college applications last week:
- Samija Thomas
- Jessie Vidal
- Gregory Ward-Plante
- Katana Kirton
- Desiree Pilgrim
- Personal Statement and Financial Aid – All seniors should now have their personal statements completed and should have met with Mr. Gonzalez to discuss college lists. Families should prepare their taxes from last year and be ready to use those to apply for financial aid with Mr. Gonzalez this month. For more information, please contact Mr. Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule an appointment with him here: https://calendly.com/mr-
- Student Programs: Apply to CUNY’s STEM Research Academy!
- The City University of New York (CUNY) just released the STEM Research Academy Pre-College Research Course registration materials for spring 2022. The College Now STEM Research Academy program is a two-part program designed to provide high school students with an opportunity to develop strong college-level research skills by engaging in authentic science inquiry and research activities. 25 student applicants will be enrolled into our spring pre-college research course. Please note that this course will be hybrid for the spring 2022 semester, therefore all participants will be required to submit COVID-19 vaccination verification upon enrollment.
- Upon successful completion of the spring course, students will have the opportunity to apply for the 2022 STEM Summer Research Internship. Those who complete the summer internship program will earn a $1000.00 stipend.
- Students interested in applying for the STEM Research program should see Mr. Gonzalez immediately. The required documents need to be completed and submitted by Monday, December 27th. The application is also available for download on the website: STEM RA Application Spring 2022. Please note that all applications must include the following:
- Application Form
- Parent Consent Form
- HS Transcript
- Response Essay
10. Recap – We Want to Hear from You! Please Complete this Important Survey this Week!: In the spirit of wanting to be the best school we can be for our families, we want to hear firsthand from you. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey by Friday so that we may have your ideas and preferences fully in mind when making important decisions that impact our experiences and collaboration as a community. We are aiming to have 100% of our families provide responses. Families who complete the survey by 5pm Friday and email the screenshot to email@example.com will be entered into a contest for a $100 amazon.com gift certificate. Thanks in advance for helping us be the best school for your family!
11. Recap – Ms. Eason, High School Family Engagement Coordinator, Has Three Announcements for Unity Families:
- Virtual Session on Providing Academic Support at Home: On Monday, November 15th from 6pm-7pm, Unity High School will host the following workshop for families: I Don’t Understand the Content: Providing Academic Support for Your High Schooler at Home. During the virtual session, families will be introduced to strategies and tools they can use at home to academically support their child when they don’t understand the content. It will be a great opportunity to meet other parents and add to your parenting toolkit. Please see the flyer below and complete this RSVP form by November 14th.
12. Recap – A Message from Mr. Coleman and Mr. Noblia about Playing on Unity’s Basketball Teams this Winter: As announced on August 20, COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all students (ages 12 and over) who participate in high-risk sports during the 2021-22 school year. This requirement applies to all participants in high-risk sports, including students, coaches, and administrative staff. Basketball is a high-risk sport. Participants (aged 12 and over) in winter high-risk sports must receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by Monday, November 22nd. Contact Mr. Coleman (Acoleman@unityprep.org) or Mr. Noblia, (PNoblia@unityprep.org) with any questions.
13. Recap – A Few Open Seats Remain for Prospective Students at Unity Middle School and at Unity High School – Spread the Word!: Unity Middle School has seats available in Grades 6, 7, and 8 and Unity High School has seats available in grades 10 & 11! If you refer a student that enrolls at Unity by November 15th, you will receive a $100 amazon.com gift card for school supplies. Please contact Mr. Doscher for more information or if you know a family that might be interested in Unity.
14. Recap – Regular COVID-19 Testing of Students Conducted This Week: During the 2021-22 school year, Unity will be testing 20% of our unvaccinated student population once per week. This additional safety measure is intended to complement—and not replace—our current health and safety measures and other adjustments we have made to keep our community safe and our buildings open. The goal of this type of screening testing is to be able to identify individuals who have COVID-19 and enable them to take precautions immediately to protect themselves, their families, and the broader school community.
15. Recap – A Resource for Supporting Adolescent Mental Health During a Pandemic and Back to School: Unity’s social work team would like to share a helpful resource with our families on how to best meet the needs of our students as they transition back to school ’ mental health as they (and we) all experience the transition back to school after a very challenging 18 months.
16. Recap – Slides and a Quick Recap from our Open School Night for High School Families: Here are the slides that Ms. Yun and Ms. Louisma shared. Below is the slide that Ms. Eason presented regarding our HS Family webpage. Visit the page for high school-specific updates and resources.
17. Recap – Slides and a Quick Recap from Thursday’s Open School Night for Middle School Families: Thanks again to our middle school families for participating in Thursday’s session. Here are the slides that Mr. Burns and Ms. Williams shared. Below is a list of 5 ways that middle school families can best support their children at home in getting the most out of their Unity education this school year. Note that our Middle School Student & Family Handbook is on our website.
18. Recap – Update on Dress Code: During our Listening & Sharing sessions last month, a number of families inquired about our dress code for the coming year. One question that came up is whether families will be able to use past uniforms this year. The answer is yes! All past uniforms will be permitted this coming year. Details on dress code for the 2021-22 school year for the middle school and high school are listed below:
- Middle School:
- High School: There are key components of our dress code that we would like to highlight – see below. Additional details can be found here.
- TOPS: Unity tops are strongly encouraged and can be purchased at unityprepuniforms.com/ for high school students. All tops must fully cover the torso and shoulders.
- BOTTOMS: Bottoms must be knee-length or longer. No skin can be visible under small rips or tears.
19. 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
|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|
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
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.
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.
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.