The Unity Scoop – September 15
Dear Families of Unity,
Happy Friday afternoon to you, and congratulations on supporting our students in their first full week of school for 2023-24!
In continuing the strength of this support, there are four things that I kindly ask you to engage in at home and over this coming week:
- Ask your child about their school day and week, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or your child’s advisor.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Kudos to you in advance for engaging in these four things and for getting off to a strong start to the school year!
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, we congratulate our students for a number of milestones, including: receiving highly competitive internships, trying out for fall athletic teams, and the completion of Star exams (gauging reading and math skills as of the beginning of the school year)! We also recap a host of information that was included in recent Scoop editions that are still helpful to families and relevant. Please take a minute to review to ensure that you are fully informed on all things Unity in the coming week.
Enjoy the weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of September 15, 2023:
1. New – Unity’s Back-to-School Night for Families this Coming Week: During this in-person event, family members will meet their child’s educators and learn about curricula and academic programming. We will also discuss ways in which parents and families can access student information systems and support their students’ academic success in the school year ahead. We look forward to seeing you there – see the middle school and high school flyers below!
Grades 9-12, Wednesday, Sept. 20th, 6pm
Location: 584 Driggs Ave. – Williamsburg
Grades 6-8, Thursday, Sept. 21st, 6pm
Location: 432 Monroe St. – Bed Stuy
2. Updated – Highlights from the First Few Days of School!: Enjoy the video footage and photos below of our students and staff in action over the first few days of the school year. The footage features a clip of our staff introductions with Ms. Griffin, Dean of Students, as our energetic host. Enjoy!
3. New – Two Unity 10th Graders Selected as Fellows at JP Morgan’s Fellowship Initiative!: Congratulations to Ibrahima Barry and Evan Ramos who were selected as Fellows in The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) at JP Morgan this past June. Both students began participating in the fellowship this summer and will continue as fellows through their graduation from Unity. As Fellows, Ibrahima and Evan will gain valuable college and career job experience, build their professional network, and learn under the mentorship of current JP Morgan employees. In addition, both students are also eligible to apply for internships at JP Morgan as well as a $10,000 college scholarship. Again, congrats to you both – Unity is proud of you!
4. New – Shout-out to our Students for Completing their Fall STAR Assessments in Reading and Math!: Unity students completed their first round of STAR assessments in both reading and math this past week. These short, computer adaptive tests will allow us to measure student progress and growth in reading and math skills over the course of the school year. Information on the results of these assessments will be made available to families in the next two weeks.
5. Updated – Become a Unity Student-Athlete by Joining One of our Athletic Teams this Fall!: We are excited to cheer on our Unity athletic teams this fall. Information on joining one of our fall teams is provided below. Questions about our middle school athletic program can be directed to Mr. Coleman. Questions about our high school athletic program can be directed to Coach Egharevba.
Middle School Fall Athletics:
- Congrats to our Students who Tried Out for our Fall Athletic Teams this Week!: Kudos to our many, many students who tried out for our fall athletic teams this past week. We are proud of your willingness to try something new, engage in a sport that you are passionate about, and represent Unity as proud student-athletes! We look forward to being your biggest fans this fall season! Contact Mr. Coleman with questions regarding MS athletics.
High School Fall Athletics:
- Tryouts for the following sports teams will take place on the following dates:
- Girls Varsity Volleyball: 9/18
- Boys Varsity Volleyball: 9/19
- Step: 9/21
- Soccer – to be announced
- Football – to be announced
- Note: tryouts for winter sports teams will tentatively take place in late September / early October.
- Permission slips will be distributed during the first week of September 11th. Students must turn in a signed permission slip in order to try out.
- Contact Mr. Egharevba with questions regarding HS athletics.
6. Recap – Attention Middle School Families Who Are Interested in Afterschool Programming!: The partnership with our middle school and St. Nick’s Alliance continues strongly this year. St. Nick’s offers a rich array of afterschool programming in academic enrichment, leadership development, and extra-curricular activities for our middle school students. Programming kicks off on Monday, September 18th. After-school applications will be distributed to scholars on the first day of school. The first 50 new students who sign up for after-school will get to attend a field trip to Dorney Park! Please Contact Luis Rodriguez with questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 646-676-1309.
7. Recap – September 2023 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of September – 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 – Thank you to our Newest Families for Participating in our Meet & Greet with Unity’s Principals! In total, we had over 100 new families participate in our Meet & Greet sessions. Participating families were able to meet our dedicated principals – Ms. Williams of our middle school and Ms. Yun of our high school – along with members of their talented leadership teams. Families learned more about our school’s leadership, our vision for the upcoming school year, and how caregivers can play an active role in supporting their child’s educational journey. Here are the video recordings from both sessions:
9. 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.
10. Recap – Alumni Spotlight – Sebastian Lobos, Unity’s Class of 2020: Congratulations to Unity graduate, Sebastian Lobos, who recently earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Florida International University. He achieved this feat in just three years!
Sebastian Lobos is a member of Unity‘s inaugural cohort – the class of 2020. He graduated from high school with a weighted cumulative GPA of 4.1 and began his post-secondary journey at the University of Miami, majoring in Engineering Management. In 2022, Sebastian transferred to Florida International University where he recently completed his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. We are so incredibly proud of him for this accomplishment! He decided on Computer Science because he sees it as an evolving field where he can always learn something new. He is currently working in communications and applying for jobs and certifications in the Computer Science industry.
11. 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:
12. 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:
- 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.
- 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.
13. 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 Purgatorio, Unity’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 Techniques: This 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:
- Helping Kids Cope with Frightening News from Child Mind Institute
- How to Talk to Kids About War from verywellfamily.com
- How to Navigate Difficult Conversations with Children from The Relation Station
- How to Talk to Children about War: An Age-by-Age Guide from Today.com
- 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