The Unity Scoop – September 16
Dear Families of Unity,
Happy Friday afternoon to you, and congratulations on supporting our students in their first full week of school for 2022-23!
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. In the event that our team can be especially helpful to your child in ensuring they are enjoying their school experience, reach out to the appropriate resource. If you are unsure about who to reach out to, contact our Family Engagement Coordinator, Mr. Beckford (grades 6-8) or Ms. Young (grades 9-12) for guidance.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for support.
- Establish a designated space and routine at home for your child to complete any homework and / or study or practice the skills they are learning in school independently. Establishing routines early will reap dividends over the school year and cultivate sound study habits that will benefit your child’s at Unity and beyond.
- Participate in next week’s Open School Night Sessions for Families. This event is supplemental to our Orientation Festival last month, as families will learn about and learn about curricula and academic programming. Details on dates and times are featured below and you should have received communication on the event via email and text.
Kudos to you for engaging in these four things. Indeed, it is a busy time for our team and for our families as we work together in support of your children’s educational pursuits and immense promise!
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, we salute a great number for their accomplishments over the first full week of school, including academic achievements and extracurricular achievements. We also provide: information on upcoming celebrations, opportunities for enrichment, as well as opportunities for our upperclassmen regarding college & career readiness.
Best wishes to you and your loved ones – enjoy the fall weekend!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of September 16, 2022:
1. New – Unity’s Virtual Award Ceremony and Back-to-School Night for Families: During this virtual event, family members will meet their child’s teachers and school staff 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. Beyond that, we will honor returning students for their academic excellence and growth during the 2021-22 school year. We look forward to seeing you there!
- Middle School (grades 6-8), Wednesday, September 21st, 6-8pm
- High School (grades 9-12), Thursday, September 22nd, 6-8pm
2. New – 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 athletics. As noted last week, In addition to girls volleyball, Unity High’s fall athletic teams include: football, bowling, dance, step, and basketball training sessions. Information on these additional teams will be provided in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Mr. Martinez (TMartinez@unityprep.org).
3. 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.
4. New – Congrats to our Unity High Students / Future Global Leaders!
Congrats to the following students for moving on to the interview round of the I Am Cultured travel program. These 11th graders will have the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica this Spring along with Unity Staff and the I Am Cultured Team! Visit the I Am Cultured to learn more about the exciting opportunity!
- Ashley Estevez
- Jayden Fajardo
- Malachi Clarke
- Pierrelyn Cineus
- Joshua Carter
- Roland Duroseau
- Jaylen Ayers
5. New – Unity Middle School Celebrates Latinx History Month!: Latinx History Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th to recognize the influence of and contributions to history and culture by Latinx people. To commemorate this month, Unity students will participate in celebrations of Latinx music, dance, and food, and learn about the histories–national, cultural, and personal–that are represented both within and beyond our school community. The date of the celebration is Wednesday, September 28th. Each grade level will have its own assembly celebration at different times of the day. Families: if you are able to donate any items towards our potluck or would like to be involved in the presentation of this event, please fill out the potluck sign up form that was distributed to students or reach out to a grade-level dean by Thursday, September 22nd:
- Mr Thomas, 6th grade – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Griffin, 7th grade – email@example.com
- Mr. Bryant, 8th grade – firstname.lastname@example.org
6. New – Unity High Students are Off to a Strong Start with All Things College and Career Readiness!: Here are some highlights and upcoming event information! Enjoy the photo below of our seniors learning about their options with the State University of New York (SUNY) system of colleges.
- SUNY Presentation: On Monday, September 12th, over 20 seniors participated in a presentation about the State University of New York (SUNY) system of colleges. They learned about the 64 colleges in the system, what they each offer, and the grades necessary to earn admission. Our seniors are clearly serious about starting their college research and application process off early!
- College Now: Four talented students – Ashley Estevez, Jamari Edmunds, Ziaire Pettis, and Chase Grimes – are enrolled in college courses through Unity’s partner CUNY City Tech. Each of these brilliant students will take actual college courses and earn college credit this fall. This is a major challenge, and we’re very proud of their courage and ambition.
- Seeds of Fortune Scholarship Information Session: On September 20th, from 3:30pm-4:30pm, female students in the senior class are invited to a special presentation about scholarships and financial aid from Seeds of Fortune, a longtime partner of Unity Prep that supports young women with accessing higher education and financial literacy. Students who attend will learn about the best ways to access scholarships for college, and will gain access to special tools and workshops from Seeds of Fortune. Any student interested in attending this information session should contact Mr. Gonzalez immediately (email@example.com).
- Postsecondary Fair: On Wednesday September 28th, from 1pm-3pm, Unity will host its first “Postsecondary Fair” of the year! Representatives from 20 colleges and career-training organizations will be at our high school to meet and speak with Unity students. Caregivers and family members are welcome to attend!
- Financial Aid Workshop #1: A few hours after the Postsecondary Fair, on Wednesday September 28th, from 6pm-7pm, Mr. Gonzalez will host the first Financial Aid Workshop of the year. This workshop is MANDATORY for all seniors and their families – during this session, families will learn about and begin the financial aid process, which can provide over $12,000 in free money for college or career training after high school. Seniors will earn an assessment grade based on attending the workshop in person with a family member. Please contact Mr. Gonzalez with questions or to request more information.
7. New – High School Club Fair on September 30th!: We are excited to host our annual club fair after school Sept. 30th. During the fair, students will have the opportunity to meet the club facilitators and sign up for clubs like: sewing, climbing, gaming, and more!
8. New – Upcoming Events of Interest to Unity Families!: Brought to you by Mr. Beckford, we are happy to highlight upcoming events across Brooklyn for our families. Here are three such events!
Third Annual Brooklyn Bagelfest
Date and Time: Sept. 17-18th, 9:30-4:30pm
Location: Brooklyn Studios at City Point (445 Albee Square West, Brooklyn, NY 11201)
Description: Immerse yourself at the 3rd Annual Brooklyn BagelFest, a bagel-themed extravaganza where you’ll devour unlimited signature offerings from 30 bagel & bagel-centric food and beverage vendors, including cream cheese, smoked salmon, coffee, and more!
Italian Culture for Children – Cooking and Arts & Craft
Date and Time: Fridays, 5-7:30pm
Location: Speakitaly NYC Brooklyn (110 York Street, #Floor 5, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Description: They offer a combo of Italian Cooking and Arts & Craft for your child! Your child will have the chance to have fun by getting their hands dirty while learning how to cook Italian basic recipes and also do a variety of activities such as creating a book, making precious jars with color salt, painting beautiful landscapes, trying to reproduce famous paintings, and more.
Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”
Date: Open through January 29, 2023, 11-4:30pm daily
Location: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy
Description: Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, is the first museum exhibition devoted to Abloh’s work and spans two decades of his practice, including collaborations with artist Takashi Murakami, musician Kanye West, and architect Rem Koolhaas, among others; material from his fashion label Off-White; and items from Louis Vuitton, where he served as the first Black menswear artistic director.
9. Recap – Back to School Without Skipping a Beat!: Enjoy the photos below of our students and staff in action over the first few days of the school year. Let the good work continue strong this week!
10. Recap – Thank You Engaging in our Family Orientation Festival to Kick off the Year!: Again, we thank our families for engaging in our festival and orientation just over a week ago. And we thank our families who participated in the required orientation sessions last week. If you have not yet participated in an orientation session, expect to hear from a Unity staff member to schedule an alternative session. Participating in these sessions is essential to best supporting your children’s education at school and at home. One key item of discussion during sessions is our Community Pledge as a school, which 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!
11. 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 extra-curricular activities for our middle school students. Middle school families who are interested in learning more about St. Nick’s offerings are encouraged to attend an orientation this Wednesday, September 14th at 4pm. Programming kicks off on Monday, September 19th. See the details for the orientation session below:
12. Recap – September 2022 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.
13. Recap – Student Weekly Class Schedules: Weekly class schedules were disseminated to students in school this week. Families may access schedules from home through Jupiter. If families need help logging in, they should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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 – 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.
16. 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:
17. 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:
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 (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.
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.