The Unity Scoop – September 8
Dear Families of Unity,
It was an honor to welcome our students back to school this week! On behalf of our entire team, we are excited to engage in a full week of school this coming week and are committed to getting off to a strong start in the 2023-24 school year!
In this edition of the Unity Scoop, we offer a number of photos and some video footage of students and staff in action over the first two days of school. Do take a moment to look over the photos and footage, and appreciate all that your children are experiencing on the first few days of school. And, of course, please take some time over the weekend to have conversations with your kids about how they are feeling about school, what went well over the first two days and what they hope for in the coming week. I encourage you to reach out to your child’s advisor(s) if there is information shared that you feel could be helpful to us in best serving your child. Our collaboration with you is invaluable, particularly at the outset of the school year.
In addition to the photos and video footage, we recap a host of information that was included in last week’s Scoop edition. Please take a minute to review to ensure that you are fully informed on all things Unity going into the coming week.
Have a fantastic week!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of September 8, 2023:
1. New – Highlights from the First Two 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!
2. New – STAR Assessments in Reading and Math Are Being Administered: Unity students are now in the process of taking their first round of STAR assessments in both reading and math this week These short, these computer adaptive tests will allow us to measure student progress and growth in reading and math skills over the course of the school year.
3. 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.
- HIGH SCHOOL BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT FOR ALL FAMILIES (IN PERSON)!, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH, 6PM
- MIDDLE SCHOOL BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT FOR ALL FAMILIES (IN PERSON)!, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST, 6PM
4. 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:
5. 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.
6. Recap – 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:
- Tryouts for the following sports teams will take place the week of September 11th:
- Cross Country
- Flag Football
- Permission slips will be distributed on Wednesday, September 6th – Friday, September 8th. Students must turn in a signed permission slip in order to try out.
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.
7. 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.
8. 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:
9. 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.
10. Recap – AP scores from the 2022-23 school year are now available!: Students who completed their AP exams in May can sign into their College Board accounts and use this website to obtain their scores. In addition, students can also see notes on the scoring here. Course selections for the 2023-24 school year, including AP courses, will be finalized in late August.
11. 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.
12. 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