The Unity Scoop – November 22
Dear Families of Unity,
I want to thank our families who participated in our fall conferences yesterday and today. It was energizing to connect with family members and students, to discuss experiences thus far this year, and consider how we can best collaborate moving forward so that students are getting the most out of their experience at Unity! High school families who missed conferences should reach out to their child’s academic counselor and advisor to schedule a time to meet. Middle school families who missed conferences should reach out to your child’s advisor to schedule a time to meet; middle school report cards will be sent home next week.
On behalf of Unity’s staff and faculty, I wish all of our families a delightful Thanksgiving holiday. We are immensely grateful to you for supporting your children at home and at school to be their best each and every day. We look forward to our continued collaboration over the coming months and school year.
In this edition of The Unity Scoop, I highlight a number of recent achievements among our students as they apply to college, register for Advanced Placement exams, and represent our school and themselves on the athletic field.
The next edition of the Scoop will be disseminated on December 2nd.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of November 22, 2022:
1. New – Congratulations to our Seniors who have Recently Submitted Applications to College!: Eleven seniors have led the Class of 2023 so far by submitting college applications already! They have applied to a combination of amazing public and private universities throughout the northeastern United States. They have also begun the annual tradition of College Application Submission Portraits (see their portraits here and below!), which capture the moment in which they have hit the “Submit” button on their first application. We are so thrilled for them and their families!
2. Updated – November 2022 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of November – 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. Three notes of importance this week:
- 11/30: MS Core-Value field trip to Brooklyn Museum
- 12/1: MS – My World in Art Student Art Exhibit, 6-7:30pm
3. New – Unity High Students Register for Advanced Placement (AP) Exams this Spring!: Congratulations to the 154 Unity High students who recently registered to take an AP exam in May. Overall, approximately 75% of our upperclassmen are taking AP exams this year and will have an opportunity to earn college credit this spring when they sit for their exam! This is a high number of students and we are proud of our students for challenging themselves and taking advantage of their opportunities!
4. New – Athletic Spotlight: Unity Panthers in Full Action!: Congrats to our student-athletes for their recent achievements!
Adella Turcious represented Unity during the City All-Star Volleyball game this past weekend!
Three members of our MS cross country team – Michael Birgen (2nd), Jason Solomon (8th), and Keyshonte Bornia (10th) placed in the Top 10 of the MSAL NYC Championship Open Race – the 1.25-mile race included 186 runners in total!
And members of the Handball Championship Team in Mr. Coleman’s Physical Education class!
5. Recap – Unity’s Middle School Students Engage in All Things Science!: Unity students in grades 6-8 took advantage of the city’s abundance of educational science offerings by visiting the Staten Island Zoo, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and Brooklyn Aquarium earlier this month. We are so fortunate to have such resources in NYC and are eager to take advantage of them whenever we can. Enjoy the photos of our 7th graders taking in the exhibits at the AMNH below!
6. Recap – Voter Registration & Mock Ballets: This past week in classes, Ms. Tartan and Ms. Glickman organized important lessons around elections, including voter registrations and the creation of “Get Out The Vote” posters. High school students reviewed the impact of the midterm election, including the governor’s race and other ballot initiatives.
7. Recap – Thank you, Families, for Taking Part in our Second Family Ambassadors Meeting of the Year!: We are grateful to our families who participated in the Family Ambassadors meeting on Zoom earlier this month. As with our first gathering, the meeting was productive, energizing, and fun! Here are the slides from the meeting. Contact Mr. Beckford (grades 6-8) or Ms. Young (grades 9-12) with questions. Unity’s Family Ambassadors will meet again on Thursday, December 8th, at 6pm – all families are encouraged to attend.
One of the many exciting initiatives coming out of our recent meetings is the exclusive Unity Strength in Family hooded sweatshirts, which will be available for sale to all families this month.
8. Recap – Congrats to Unity High’s Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS)!: The following 14 Unity High students were recently celebrated as Unity‘s High’s newest inductees to NHS! Congratulations – we are proud of you!
- Jaheem Auguste
- Arayah Brannon
- Roland Duroseau
- Antonio Espinal
- Ashley Estevez
- Jayden Fajardo
- Alina Franklin
- Destin Mattey
- Nataliya Miller
- Melani Paucar Siguencia
- Michelle Paulino Siri
- Jade Springfield
- Sakura White
- Jonathan Vega
9. Recap – Unity High’s 9th Grade Visits St. Francis College!: Our college visit extravaganza continued this week with our 9th grade students visiting St. Francis College in downtown Brooklyn. We are proud to report that all of our high school students have now had the opportunity to visit a college campus and be exposed to a new college option following their graduation from Unity. Thank you to Mr. Gonzalez and our high school staff for doing their part to make these visits possible. We look forward to additional visits this spring!
10. Recap – A Recap of Unity’s Virtual High School Info Session: On behalf of Unity, Mr. Beckford would like to thank all of the caregivers who were able to join us for last Thursday’s information session. It was great to see so many caregivers engaging in their 8th grader’s high school admissions process. In case you missed the event or wish to review the information shared, here is the session on video. In addition, Mr. Beckford is offering weekly High School Admissions Office Hours for all 8th grade families on Wednesdays from 1-4pm. Office hours will be offered through December 1st. Family consultation sessions may also be scheduled at other times during the week by appointment. Appointments can be made here.
11. Recap – Unity’s Queen Steppers and New Formed Rising Royal Steppers Join Forces!: This year, we are excited to introduce the middle school step team, the Rising Royal Steppers, alongside our nationally ranked high school team, the Unity Queen Steppers. Both teams have begun preparations for their upcoming competition season, which opens in January. Members of both teams have dedicated themselves to team practices 2-3 days weekly, prioritizing their studies and maintaining high grades, and participating in service projects throughout the year that benefit our local community.
Please support both teams by purchasing a T-shirt for $20 by contacting Coach Alley (Unity Queen Steppers – firstname.lastname@example.org ) and/or Coach H. (Rising Royal Steppers – email@example.com) via email. All proceeds will go towards paying for registration fees, uniforms and costumes, and transportation.
12. Recap – Important Information Regarding Vaccinations Requested: As we continue monitoring current health safety protocols, one significant factor in our planning is the extent to which our students are vaccinated. If you are a new Unity family, or have not yet provided your child’s vaccination status, please complete the COVID Vaccination Form at your earliest convenience. Note that we strongly encourage all of our families to take steps in getting their children vaccinated to best ensure that we are providing the highest level of safety for our community.
13. Recap – Attention Middle School Families Who Are Interested in After-school Programming!: The partnership with our middle school and St. Nick’s Alliance continues this year. St. Nick’s offers a rich array of afterschool programming in academic enrichment, leadership development, and extracurricular activities for our middle school students. Programming kicks off on Monday, September 19th. Contact Luis Rodriguez with questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 646-676-1309.
14. Recap – Unity’s Health Policies and Protocols in 2022-23: Unity will follow guidance provided by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) as of the start of the 2022-23 school year. The NYCDOE’s guidance aligns with the CDC’s current guidance, which we have consistently followed over the past 2.5 years. By adhering to the NYCDOE’s guidance, we believe that we are taking the proper approach to best ensure the health and safety of our community. Details on our policies are provided on the NYCDOE website.
Per the recommendation of the NYCDOE and CDC, we strongly encourage all of our families to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations are now available at select school sites across the city. Visit www.schools.nyc.gov for information on sites and available dates.
15. Recap – 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 (email@example.com)
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.