The Unity Scoop – November 7
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that marathon Sunday is treating you well and that you enjoyed the extra hour of shuteye last night.
I wish to congratulate our high school students for completing their interim assessments this week. We applaud them for putting forth their best effort on these assessments and for showing off all that they have learned under the direction of their teachers thus far this year.
I also want to congratulate a number of our seniors who experienced milestone achievements this week by submitting their college applications and by voting in their first elections!
As we look forward to the rest of November, I want to again flag a few special dates in our school schedule so that you are clear on programming and can plan ahead accordingly. Note that this is an extension of what I presented last week.
- November 11th (Thursday): no school for students in grades 6-12 (Veteran’s Day)
- November 12th (Friday): no classes for students in grades 9-12 (students in grades 6-8 will experience a normal Friday schedule)
- November 22nd (Monday): normal day of school for all students with evening family conferences from 5-8pm
- November 23rd (Tuesday): daytime family conferences – 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 bring to you a number of updates on recent community events and initiatives, including vaccinations for students ages 5-11 and family conferences.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of November 7, 2021:
1. New – Vaccination Appointments Available at our 432 Monroe Street Campus (Middle School) on Friday Afternoon, November 12th, through the NYCDOE – Students Aged 5-11 are Now Eligible: This coming Friday, November 12th, from 12:30-4:00 PM, there will be an onsite vaccination clinic for students ages 5-11 in Room #116. All Unity students are eligible – here are the details:
- Students aged 5-11 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or by an adult designated by the parent or guardian, while receiving their vaccine. If the student is accompanied by an adult who is not the parent or guardian, the vaccine provider must either obtain verbal consent from the parent or guardian by phone at the time of vaccination, or parent/guardians may choose to send a completed consent form with the adult designee.
- You will not need to provide proof of immigration status or a social security number to get vaccinated.
- You do not need health insurance to get vaccinated – the vaccine is free.
- All records and information associated with vaccination are kept strictly confidential.
- Vaccines are administered by trained medical professionals.
- On-site telephone interpretation in multiple languages will be available.
2. New – Save-the-Date: 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 a regular day of school on the 22nd, however, there will be no classes for students on the 23rd. Further details on scheduling will be provided in next week’s edition of the Scoop. For now, save the date!
3. New – 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 email@example.com, 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
- Upcoming College Events – New York Urban League College and Career Fair, November 13th, 11:00am-3:30pm
- Seniors and recent graduates, please sign up to participate in the New York Urban League’s annual College (and Career) Fair this year! Join us as we return to Riverbank State Park to connect scholars to college admissions, scholarships, resources, and more! High School Seniors can register here: New York Urban League College and Career Fair | NY Urban League (nyul.org).
- Considering COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines we will only be hosting 1500 High School and College Seniors as well as recent college graduates. Be sure to RSVP today as you don’t want to miss this event.
- Note: All attendees must present COVID-19 vaccination cards upon registration and admittance into the fair. Questions regarding this event, please contact Joery Francois, Director Of Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. New – Congrats to Unity’s Student-Athlete All-Stars!: Congratulations to the following middle school student-athletes for being selected by their coaches to represent Unity in the Middle School Athletic League’s all-star games.
- Nia Culpepper – Volleyball
- Khaya Khan – Soccer
- Seth Johnson – Flag Football
5. Recap – Highlights from Unity High’s College Fair!: Our high school students met with a host of college representatives during Unity High’s College Fair. Thank you to Mr. Gonzalez and the College & Career Readiness team for organizing the event!
6. 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!
7. 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 10th.
- Attention – Families of 10th and 11th Graders: If your student is in 10th or 11th grade and is eligible for College Now, you should have received a Jupiter message about next steps, including an information session scheduled for November 11th. Please reply to that message if your student is interested. Thank you!
- Getting Ahead! Academic Enrichment Program Virtual Fair, Wednesday, November 10th, 6-7:30pm: During this webinar, families will get to explore over a dozen free programs that can support their students’ academic success. The event will showcase programs specifically for students in grades 4-10. The event will be hosted in English and Spanish. Participating programs include: A Better Chance, Breakthrough New York, Boys Hope Girls Hope, De La Salle Academy, ESPI: City Smart Scholars, George Jackson Academy, Harlem Educational Activities Fund, Let’s Get Ready, Oliver Scholars, Prep for Prep, REACH Prep, and REACH at Regis High School, SEO Scholars, and The TEAK Fellowship. Interested families can register here.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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 12 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.