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The Unity Scoop – October 6

Dear Families of Unity,

I hope that the week has been good to you and your loved ones.

As we embark on a long fall weekend, I, on behalf of our entire faculty and staff, want to thank you for your continued active support and collaboration.  As mentioned last week, the school year is off to a strong and promising start and so much of our early success is due to our collaboration with you.  Let’s stay the course!

In this edition of the Scoop, I offer an abundance of academic highlights from our middle school students in action.  In addition, linked below is a feedback survey that all families should complete.  Finally, we celebrate our P.R.I.D.E. leaders as of the end of September across grades 6-12.

Have a rejoiceful three-day weekend, and we look forward to reconvening on Tuesday morning!


Josh Beauregard

Head of School / Co-founder


Updates as of October 6, 2023:

1. New – Students and Teachers in Action this Week: We love celebrating the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day.  This week, we spotlight our students and team in action across grades 6-8!

Four Unity 6th graders quiz one another in building their math fluency skills.


Our mathematicians support one another in adding and subtracting integers by creating their own story problems and sharing them with one another.


Unity 8th grade math students engage in tutoring to build their math skills under Ms. St. Louis’ direction.


Unity Middle’s flag football team engages in a mandatory study hall before practice.


2. New – Unity 8th Graders Embrace the Role of Influencer with a Focus on Promoting Healthy Behaviors Across their Networks!:  This past week, Ms. McRae’s health class students completed a project in which they deepened their understanding of the 6 components of healthy behavior, including: Social, Mental, Emotional, Environmental, Physical and Spiritual health (SMEEPS).  They did this by assuming the role of social influencer, and making a case for which  component of health and wellness resonates with them most and why.  They then shared their written thoughts with peers in their school network.  Gotta love the positive influence from our 8th grade leaders!

Sariah Wilson proudly stands in front of her Influencer project, in which she makes a strong case for the power of physical health and how it has shaped who she is, how she relates to others, how she thinks and acts, what she believes, and what she sees as her purpose in life.


3. New – 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 Back-to-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, the first 300 families to complete the survey by Friday, 10/20, at 4pm will be eligible for a raffle of $100 to Amazon. Simply text the survey complete screenshot to 347-746-1575 to 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 the survey by clicking here
  • 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 enter the raffle.


4. New – A Shout-out to our Middle School Student-Athlete of the Month!: Congratulations to our Student-Athlete of the Month, Seneca George, of our talented MS Cross Country team – Congratulations Seneca, and go Panthers!

Seneca George is our Student-Athlete of the Month for September.  Seneca currently has a 4.0 grade-point average.  According to his coach, Coach Nana, “Seneca is an amazing student and has shown that he can excel on the field and in a classroom. He is the perfect representation of how all student athletes should be. He exemplifies intelligence and athleticism.”  In response to being celebrated, Seneca showed both confidence and gratitude: “I very greatly appreciate it.  I thought I might get it later in the year but not this early.  This is great because I worked really hard last year and this year.  So to finally earn it is a blessing to me.”


5. New – Unity High’s Girls Volleyball Team Notches its First Win!: Our girls volleyball team earned their first win of the season by defeating Summit High School 2 sets to 0.  The team is aiming to make another playoff appearance and run this year!  Go Panthers!


6. New – Kudos to our P.R.I.D.E. Leaders for the Full Month of September!: Our P.R.I.D.E. Core Values of Progress, Respect for All, Integrity, Discovery, and Empathy represent qualities that we covet as a school community.  They also represent qualities that we believe empower our students to lead fulfilling lives and, therefore, qualities that we have a responsibility to actively teach and positively reinforce.

The students listed below were leaders for the month of September in being recognized by their teachers for demonstrating our Core Values.  On behalf of our school community, we are proud of these students, and look forward to continuing to shout out all of our students when they demonstrate P.R.I.D.E. in our community.

6th Grade Students

9th Grade Students

Edwin Coronado Le’La Smith
Ethan Lee-Sutherland Elizabeth Pollard
Amora Rogers Amor Johnson-Gregory
Taylor Mathias Amelia Jones
Kaela Alexander Nathaniel Polanco

7th Grade Students

10th Grade Students

Nevaeh Rodriguez Nusiah Foster
Ramon Vasquez Daniel Gabor
Brook’lynn Fields Ibrahima Barry
Matthew Danns Daniel Martinez
Eshyra Miller Lateefah Subair
Agneiszka Thompson Jayden Avila

8th Grade Students

11th Grade Students

Papa Diop Daniella Horsford
Latrust Byrd Destin Mattey
Keon Holley Alice Naranjo
Candace Taylor Stephanie Kwamina
Denver Wilkinson Darnele Nelson

12th Grade Students

Jade Guallpa
Kayla Wright-Martin
Sakura White
Jaylen Prendergast
Jonathan Vega



7. New – October 2023 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.


8. Recap – Urban Advantage Family Science Days – Free Admission to some of the City’s Premiere Museums and Institutions!: Through Unity’s partnership with Urban Advantage (UA), families may take part in UA Family Science Days.  The first two affairs will take place thisnext weekend, on October 8th and 9th, at the New York Aquarium and Staten Island Zoo.  See this flier below for information on all UA events this month.  The flier also serves as an admissions ticket.


9. Recap – Attention 8th Grade Families – Please Join Us for Unity’s Step-Up Night: High School Exploration, Thursday, October 12th, 6-7:30pm: During this in-person session, Unity’s 8th grade families will be supported in the high school planning process.  The agenda for the session includes:

❑ Learn More About What Unity HS has to offer!

❑ An Overview of 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

 Next Steps to be Taken

The in-person, informational session will take place at Unity High in Williamsburg. Transportation from our middle school in Bed-Stuy to our high school will be available with a bus departing from our middle school at 5:25pm.  Families may also travel to the high school on their own.  Additional details on travel will be shared in next week’s edition of the Scoop.  Please RSVP for the event here!



10. Recap – Guidance on Supporting your Child with School at Home: As communicated earlier this month, there are four things that you are encouraged to engage in at home and over the course of this month in getting off to a strong start to the school year.  Congratulations on completing #4 below this week.  And I know that teachers offered similar and expanded guidance during your visits to classrooms on Back-to-School-Night.

  1. Ask your child about their school day, and more generally, how things are going.  If our team can be helpful to your child in ensuring that they are enjoying their school experience, please reach out to help.ms@unityprep.org or help.hs@unityprep.org or your child’s advisor.
  2. Take a moment to check Jupiter for the latest information regarding your child’s progress.  If you are unfamiliar with how to log into Jupiter, here is a brief video tutorial.  And if you have questions about your child’s specific information in Jupiter, email your child’s advisor for support.
  3. Establish a designated space and routine at home for your child to complete any homework or practice the skills they are learning in school.  Establishing routines early will reap dividends over the school year and cultivate sound study habits that will benefit your child at Unity and beyond.
  4.  Attend your child’s Back-to-School Night Session this coming week.  These in-person events are an extremely valuable part of our collaboration, as families learn about curricula, academic programming, and what your child will be learning this year.  Details on dates and times are featured below; you should have also received details  of the event via email and text.  The expectation is that 100% of families participate.



11. Recap – Unity Calendar for the 2023-24 School Year: The table below reflects our key events and vacations calendar for the 2023-24 school year.  In addition, here is the updated PDF version of the table for your convenience.

12. Recap – Updates on 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:


13. Recap – 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:
    1. Tops:
      1. It is 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
    2. Bottoms:
      1. Student bottoms must be long enough that the hem hits the top of the knee, shin, or ankle.
      2. 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.
      3. Bottoms may have rips or tears.
      4. Bottoms may not be leggings, tights, catsuits/bodysuits, basketball shorts or display undergarments.
    3. Shoes:
      1. All shoes must have backs, be closed-toed, and low heeled.
      2. Sandals, flip-flops, and athletic slides ARE NOT permitted (worn with or without socks).
      3. Crocs ARE permitted so long as the backstrap is raised behind the ankle at all times.
      4. For reasons related to safety, the policy for shoes will apply for all dress down days and spirit days.


14. Recap – New Students for Fall 2023 – Unity middle school has a few seats available for rising sixth graders for the 2023-24 school year. Finding the right middle school can be tough, and our current families (you!) are the best advocates. If you know of any interested families, please reach out to Mr. Beckford via email or cell (862-294-0219). For any families that refer a new family, both will be given a free uniform shirt.


Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:

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.  A host of resources are provided below.  Reach out to Ms. Del PurgatorioUnity’s Director of Social Work, with questions.

  • Introducing 988, The New Mental Health Hotline: The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which launched last week, is a new way for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis to quickly reach out for help. Anyone in the US can now call or text 9-8-8 to be connected to a trained mental health professional at one of more than 200 local crisis call centers around the country. Learn more here.
  • INCLUDEnyc Presents: How to Talk to Your Children about Sexuality: This webinar will help parents and guardians of children with disabilities become more comfortable discussing sexuality and relationships, and cover some of the most effective ways to talk about this sensitive topic. Learn more and register here.
  • Free Summer Meals for Students – begins Tuesday, June 28th: NYC’s Summer Meals program offers free breakfast and lunch throughout NYC for anyone age 18 and under. No registration, documentation, or ID is required.  Visit here for details on time, locations, menus and other helpful information.
  • Free Book Giveaway for Kids and Teens: As part of our largest summer program ever, The New York Public Library is giving away 500,000 books for kids and teens to take home and keep. Drop by one of our neighborhood branches to choose yours—plus, explore free events, our summer writing contest for kids, the opportunity for teens to contribute to a new magazine, and more with Summer at the Library.  Visit here for more information.
  • DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents Self-Regulation TechniquesThis 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.
  • 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:
  • Below are flyers for lists of low-cost dental providers in each borough:
  • Free Child Nutrition Webinar Series: Register for the “An Alarming Rise in Excess Weight and Diabetes in Children: Strategies and Solutions” webinar on Monday, March 7th.  The webinar is presented by French-American Aid for Children as part of the new Child Nutrition Webinar series. Parents and educators will learn about practical nutrition tips and accessible information to encourage children to adopt good eating habits in school—and at home—through an interactive dialogue between Dr. Juliana Cohen, nutrition epidemiologist and associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Ileana Vargas-Rodriguez, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of New York. A Q&A session will follow the webinar.  Check out previous recordings of past webinars, including:
    • Engaging Children in their own Nutritional Journey
    • Smart Summer Shopping and Cooking
    • Nutrition’s Powerful Impact on Children’s Physical and Mental Health
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