The Unity Scoop – September 22
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the weekend has been good to you and your loved ones. I want to express our gratitude to all family members who participated in this week’s Back-to-School-Nights for our middle school and high school. It felt great to reunite with so many of our returning families and connect in-person with our newest families. On behalf of our entire team, we thank you for joining us this week and we look forward to our strong collaboration in the coming months and beyond.
At our Back-to-School-Night sessions, I hope you had a chance to meet your child’s teachers, advisors, and school leaders. Throughout the night, our educators previewed the curriculum for each class and relayed how you can support your child at home. Again, kudos to you! If you were unable to attend the virtual sessions, I have included the slides that were presented.
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, we share a number of photos from this week’s festivities. We also highlight our high school honor roll awardees from this past spring. Finally, we 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 22, 2023:
1. New – Photos and Slides from this Week’s Back-to-School-Night Sessions: Thank you again to our families for participating in this week’s Back-to-School-Night sessions. Below are slides from the high school’s opening session. And enjoy the photos below!
2. Updated – Guidance on Supporting your Child with School at Home: As communicated last week, 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.
- 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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
3. New – Congratulations to our High School Honor Roll Students from the Spring of 2023! As we kick off the new year, it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our students from this past spring. During our Back-to-School Night this week, we took a moment to congratulate our current high school students who earned Honor Roll status in last year’s spring term. Congrats to our honorees! We look forward to celebrating our Fall Term Honor Roll students for this year in just a few months!
4. Recap – 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. Recap –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.
6. 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 student-athletes who began practicing with their teams this week!: Kudos to our many, many students who tried out for our fall athletic teams. We look forward to being your biggest fans this fall season! Contact Mr. Coleman with questions regarding MS athletics.
High School Fall Athletics:
- Congrats to our students who tried out for our fall athletic teams this week!: Kudos to our 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!
- Tryouts for a number of our high school fall teams continue this week. Contact Mr. Egharevba with questions
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 – 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.
9. 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:
10. 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.
11. 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