The Unity Scoop – October 15
Dear Families of Unity,
Congratulations on making your way through a short, but eventful week. We celebrated our Fall Spirit Week at Unity and it lived up to the hype. Enjoy the photos below of the festivities, and thank you to our team at both sites for orchestrating the festivities, including but limited to: Mr. Thomas, Ms.Griffin, Mr. Bryant, Ms, Jaquez, Mr. Lopez, and Mr. Coleman.
We also held our first ever Family Ambassadors Meeting last night. Thank you to Mr. Beckford and Ms. Young for hosting the meeting and thank you to our families who took part. We are excited to have our Ambassadors contribute to our collective initiatives over the coming months and school year. There are a number of promising initiatives already in the works!
In this edition of the Scoop, we feature students in actions in their classes and enrichment clubs this week, highlights from our Fall Spirit Week and Family Ambassador Meeting, and a spotlight of our new high school speech & debate program. We also provide exciting information on an upcoming meeting related to Unity’s proposal to open an elementary school!
Enjoy the weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of October 15, 2022:
1. New – Students and Teachers in Action this Week: It is always inspiring to feature the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day of school, particularly during Spirit Week! This week, we feature 8th grade students in their Algebra I class as they think through a series of tricky algebraic word problems involving inequalities. In addition, we highlight 6th grade students in their theatre class as they learn about the concept of character motivation. Also featured is an impressive visual of research conducted by one of our 6th grade theatre students on one of their favorite actresses. Expect more photos of students in action in coming editions of the Scoop!
2. New – Thank you, Families, for Taking Part in our First Family Ambassadors Meeting of the Year!: We are grateful to our families who participated in our Family Ambassadors meeting on Zoom Thursday evening. The meeting was productive, energizing, and, of course, 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, November 11th, at 6pm – all families are encouraged to attend.
3. New – Unity Proposes Opening an Elementary School – Support our Efforts by Attending a Virtual Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 25th, at 5:30pm!: We are excited by the prospect of being able to serve families of students in grades K-5 as well as in grades 6-12. We see the benefits of being able to partner with a family throughout their child’s K-12 education as incredibly powerful in delivering fully on our mission to empower our students as scholars and citizens so they may lead fulfilling lives. We recently took the initial step in this process by applying to the New York State Education Department for approval to expand Unity to serve students in grades K-5. The next step in the process is participation in a public hearing that provides an opportunity for community members to voice their input on the proposal. The voices of Unity family members matter a great deal here, so we encourage families to participate in the hearing, which will take place via Zoom. Please RSVP here by Friday, October 21st, in order to participate. Here is the official notice of the hearing.
4. New – Unity High’s New Debate Competes in its First Brooklyn Debate League Competition!: Unity High’s Founding Debate Team recently competed in its first ever debate competition with the Brooklyn Debate League. Congratulations team, and congrats, Ms. Tartan and Coach Conyers! We are excited to have you take Unity to new heights and represent our community with eloquence and pride. Check out this inspiring article that appeared in the Washington Post this spring about Coach Conyers and his successful efforts to bring much needed funding to the Brooklyn Debate League.
5. New – Unity’s Fall Week of Spirit! Staff and students alike took the opportunity to show off their school spirit this week through fun and festive dress, the promotion and celebration of our Core Values, and our showing pride and sportsmanship on the playing field. Kudos to all who demonstrated their Unity spirit over the week. We look forward to celebrating school spirit again in the spring. Enjoy the photos below!
6. New – Enrichment Clubs Have Launched at Unity High!: Unity High’s enrichment club programming commenced last week with seven clubs offered, including Sewing, Culinary Arts, Climbing, Speech & Debate, Gaming, Math-letes, and Personal Fitness. Enjoy the photos of members of our sewing club. The club is led by Ms. Eason, Unity High’s Director of Academic Counseling. As a first project, members are making accent pillows.
7. Recap – High School Informational Session for our 8th Grade Families on October 20th!: As you know, it is so important for families of 8th graders to be fully informed about the high school admissions process and options available from which to apply and select. Please join us on Thursday, October 20th, from 6:00-7:30pm for the Unity Prep Virtual High School Info Session. During the virtual info session, we will cover:
❑ Learn More About What Unity HS has to offer!
❑ An Overview of the NYC DOE High School Admissions and Timeline
❑ The MySchools High School Directory and Admissions Guide
❑ Exploring Schools and Programs
❑ Creating an Account Online (MySchools)
❑ Welcome Letters
❑ Plus, next Steps
Please RSVP here today! And here is the Zoom meeting link. Finally, contact Mr. Beckford with any questions.
8. Updated – October 2022 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of October – 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.
9. Recap – Unity High Upcoming College Visits!: Unity High students in grades 9-12 will have an opportunity later this month to visit and gain exposure to a number of college campuses. See the colleges and dates in the flier below. We are seeking family chaperones. If you are able to serve as a chaperone, please reach out to Ms. Young.
10. Updated – Your Feedback Empowers Us – Please Take a Moment to Share Your Experiences With Us By Completing our Fall Family Perception Survey: As mentioned during our Open School Night sessions, our purpose as a school is to best serve you and your child’s educational aspirations. And we are best positioned to fulfill this purpose when we have honest and direct feedback from you. With this interest, we request your feedback on how we are doing as we kick off the school year by completing one of the surveys below. The survey includes questions about family communication, engagement, fit, support, school climate, and safety, among other things. Your answers are anonymous; we will use your collective feedback over the coming months to drive our decision-making and best position us to best serve you. As a small gesture of appreciation for your time, all families completing the survey by Friday, 10/21, at 5pm will receive a $5 amazon.com gift card in addition to the entry for a raffle of $100 to Amazon. Simply text the survey complete screenshot to 347-746-1575 to receive your gift card and enter the raffle. We thank you in advance for your invaluable feedback, and, more importantly, we thank you for positioning us to act on your feedback.
- Complete this Survey if your child is in grades 6-8
- Complete this Survey if your child is in grades 9-12
- Note: in the event that you have children attending both our middle school and high school, please complete the high school survey.
- Text the survey complete screenshot to 347-746-1575 to receive your $5 gift card and enter the raffle.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.