The Unity Scoop – September 25
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 last week’s virtual Open House Nights for our middle school and high school. As a result of your participation, you now are better familiar with your child’s teachers and what your child will be learning in their classes this year. This, in turn, positions you to best support their education success at home. Again, thank you. If you were unable to attend the virtual sessions, I have included video footage and the slides presented.
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 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.
Kudos to you for engaging in these three things. As I mentioned last week, 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 recap our Open School Night festivities, ask for your invaluable feedback by completing a brief survey, and recognize students for their achievements last spring, including middle school honor roll students and our Core Value champions. We also provide information on our upcoming College & Career Fair, Latinx Heritage Month celebrations, fall athletic team try-outs, and Enrichment Club Fair at our high school.
I wish you well in the week ahead. Note that, per our school calendar, we do have regular classes on Monday (tomorrow) and Tuesday even though the NYCDOE district schools are off. See our calendars below for more information on our schedule this month and over the school year.
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of September 25, 2022:
1. New – Slides and a Quick Recap of our Open School Night Events this Week: Thank you again to our families for participating in this 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):
- Open School Night Slides
- Open School Night Video Footage (forthcoming next week)
2. 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 Open School Night sessions, our purpose as a school is to best serve you and 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, 9/30, 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.
3. New – Congratulations to our Middle 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 middle school honorees! We look forward to celebrating our Fall Term Honor Roll students for this year in just a few months! We will spotlight our high school honorees in next week’s edition.
4. New – Unity’s High College & Career Fair – Open to All Middle School and High School Students and Families, Wednesday, September 28th, 1-3pm: Unity High 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 and their families. Family members are welcome to attend! This includes middle school families –
Attention Middle School Families: if you and your child are encouraged to attend the Fair from 2-3pm to gain early exposure to the college search process. If you plan to attend, please RSVP here by Tuesday, September 27th. Note the Fair will take place in the gymnasium of our high school – 584 Driggs Avenue – in Williamsburg.
5. New – 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.
The date of our middle school celebration is Wednesday, September 28th (see the first flyer below). 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
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.
6. New – More Tryouts for our Fall Athletic Teams are Happening this Week!: We are excited for our fall athletic teams to represent Unity with pride! Details on trying out for our step teams and high school boys basketball teams are provided below. In addition, enjoy the archived photos of our Unity Hall of Fame teams! Contact Mr. Coleman with questions regarding athletics.
- Step Team (any and all students are encouraged to try out!):
- Try-out Dates:
- Friday, September 30th, 4-6pm
- Saturday, October 1st, 9-11:30am
- Permission slips are located in the main office.
- Try-out Dates:
- Step Team (any and all students are encouraged to try out!):
- Try-out Dates:
- Wednesday, September 28th, 3:20-4pm
- Thursday, September 29th, 3:30-5:30pm
- Saturday, October 1st, 10-2pm
- Try-out Dates:
- Boys Junior Varsity & Varsity Basketball Teams:
- Try-out Dates:
- Wednesday, September 28th, 3:30-5:30pm
- Try-out Dates:
- Permission slips are located in the main office.
- Note: In addition to girls volleyball, boys basketball and step, Unity High’s fall athletic teams include football and bowling. For more information, please contact Mr. Martinez.
7. Updated – 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.
8. Updated – 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. Results of these assessments for our middle school students were distributed to students this week. Ms. Williams also provided a brief tutorial on interpreting results during Wednesday’s Open School Night session. See the video footage from Open School Night for more information.
9. Updated – 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 email@example.com or by phone at 646-676-1309.
10. Updated – High School Club Fair on Friday, September 30th, 3:20-4:30pm!: 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!
11. 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.
12. Recap – 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
13. Recap – 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- 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.
14. Recap – Student Weekly Class Schedules: Weekly class schedules were disseminated to students in school earlier this month. Families may access schedules from home through Jupiter. If families need help logging in, they should reach out to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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:
18. 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|
19. Recap – 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 two such events!
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.
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 (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.