The Unity Scoop – October 7
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. So much of our early success is due to our partnership with families. In this spirit, I am excited for our first Family Ambassadors meeting this coming Thursday evening via Zoom (details and RSVP below). I encourage all families to take part, as we seek to enhance our students’ learning experiences this year through a host of family-led initiatives and events. It is appropriate that this first meeting falls during Unity’s Fall Spirit Week – family engagement is essential to our core as a tight-knit, independent community-centered school.
In addition to providing information on our Family Ambassadors Meeting and Fall Spirit Week, this edition of the Scoop also offers information on an upcoming high school information session for 8th grade families, visits to college campuses early next month, and other relevant events and initiatives featured in prior editions.
Have a marvelous three-day weekend and we look forward to reconvening on Tuesday morning!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of October 7, 2022:
1. New – First “Family Ambassadors of Unity” Meeting of the Year, Thursday, October 13th, 6pm!: Join our Family Engagement Coordinators, Mr. Beckford and Ms. Young, as Unity family members convene for our first Ambassadors Meeting of the year (via Zoom). All Unity family members are welcome to take part. Help play an active leadership role in helping provide the best possible educational experience to our students! Ambassadors meet monthly to plan new events and initiatives and play a significant role in accentuating school community experiences. Please RSVP here. The Zoom meeting link is here. Finally, contact Mr. Beckford (grades 6-8) or Ms. Young (grades 9-12) with questions. See you Thursday on Zoom!
2. New – Unity’s Fall Spirit Week is Here! We are excited to embark on our Fall Spirit Week this coming week, October 11th-14th. Spirit is about bringing our best selves to school, as well as showing off our collective school spirit. We have a number of fun initiatives planned for the week, including themed dress days, activities centered on our Core Values, and other extracurricular events that bring out the best of our community – see the abundance of fliers below!
3. New – 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 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
4. 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. Notable events in the coming week include:
- Full School (grades 6-12)
- 10/10 (Monday): No school due to holiday
- 10/11-10/14: Fall Spirit Week
- 10/13: Unity Family Ambassadors Meeting via Zoom
- High School (grades 9-12):
- 10/14: Latinx Heritage Month Culminating Celebration
- Athletic Updates – the following events have been added to the October calendar for the coming week:
- 10/11(Tuesday): JV & Varsity Boys Basketball Rosters will be posted in the gym
- 10/12 (Wednesday): JV & Varsity Boys Basketball practice begins
- 10/12 (Wednesday, 6:30pm): HS Girls Volleyball Parent Meeting
- 10/13 (Thursday, 3:30pm): HS Girls Basketball tryouts.
5. 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.
6. Recap – Unity High Students Participate in College & Career Fair!: Unity High hosted its first Postsecondary Fair (of the year) this past week! Representatives from 20 colleges and career-training organizations were in attendance to engage in discussions with Unity students and their families. Through the events students learned more about their many options after graduation. Enjoy the photos below!
7. 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, 10/7, at 5pm 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 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 enter the raffle.
8. Recap – Urban Advantage Family Science Days, New York Aquarium, Sunday, October 9th, 2022 from 5:00p-8:00pm: Through Unity’s partnership with Urban Advantage (UAs), families may take part in UA’s Family Science Days. The first such affair takes place on October 9th at the New York Aquarium. See this flier for information in English and Spanish on all UA events this month. The flier also serves as an admissions ticket.
9. Updated – Congratulations to our High School Honor Roll Students and Core Value Champions from the Spring of 2022! As we kick off the new year, it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our students from this past spring. During Open School Nights this week, we took a moment to congratulate our current students who earned Honor Roll status in last year’s spring term. Congrats high school honorees! We look forward to celebrating our Fall Term Honor Roll students for this year in just a few months!
10. Recap – Unity Celebrates Latinx Heritage Month!: Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th to recognize the influence and contributions of Americans whose heritage is rooted in Latin American countries. During this month we will share history, heritage, and accomplishments of Latinx Americans of past and present that are represented both within and beyond our school community. Our middle school and high school communities will both be holding formal celebrations.
This past Wednesday,our middle school community engaged in assembly and trivia by grade level and a potluck luncheon that featured delicious Latinx cuisine donated by staff and families. Thank you to Mr. Thomas, Ms. Griffin, Mr. Bryant, and team for organizing. Enjoy the photos of the festivities below!
Our high school community will celebrate Latinx Heritage Month through exploring Latinx Art, Music, Dance and Cuisine on Friday, October 14th from 3:30-4:45pm. If you are interested in contributing to the celebration, contact Ms. Young.
11. Recap – Students and Teachers in Action: It is always thrilling to celebrate the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day. Earlier this month, we spotlighted our high school students in the Advanced Placement (AP) science courses. In the first photo below, Mr. Harvey’s AP Environmental Science students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics (through an active relay race) while carrying rice, representing energy gradually being lost while running. The second and third photos show Mr. Russo’s AP Biology students working in teams to build models of chemical compounds. Shout-out to our high school science team for incorporating so much tactile learning into our students’ study of science!
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 – Slides and a Quick Recap of our Open School Night Events this Week: Thank you again to our families for participating in last week’s Open School Night sessions. Below are slides and video footage from both events.
Middle School (grades 9-12):
High School (grades 9-12):
16. 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.