Unity Scoop – May 20th
Dear Students and Families of Unity,
I hope this note finds you in good spirits as we embrace the recent spring weather.
With this edition of The Scoop, we offer a few important updates on end-of-year events and summer initiatives. In addition, we continue to honor Unity students and their recent accomplishments. Congrats to our students with stellar attendance this week; we admire your dedication and resilience. We also shout-out (for a second time) our high school students who have been taking their Advanced Placement exams over the past week – we are so proud and wish you well!
On a final note, congrats to the Unity family member who won last week’s trivia contest and a Seamless gift card! We encourage all family members to take part in this week’s trivia!
It’s hard to believe that we are two days away from Memorial Day weekend. I wish all of our families a safe and joyful long weekend with loved ones.
Head of School
Updates as of May 21, 2020:
- Updates for our Unity’s First-Ever Graduating Class – The Class of 2020!: Ms. Bonaminio and Ms. Fuller sent out important updates to the families of seniors via Jupiter this week. Here are are few headlines worth reiterating:
- First and foremost, we are so proud of you! This has been seven years in the making!
- We will have a proper, in-person graduation ceremony when it is safe to do so – this is important to us. In the interim, we will also hold a virtual graduation ceremony on Friday, June 26th, at 6pm. Please save the date; all Unity families are invited to attend. This is a milestone event for our school as we celebrate the accomplishments and future aspirations of our senior class. For now, please mark your calendars. More details will be provided in upcoming editions of The Scoop.
- Virtual Senior Signing Day will take place on Monday, June 1st. This day is meant to celebrate the next chapter of our 12th grader’s educational journey. The event will feature each of our seniors and their college and career plans for 2020 and beyond. For now, please mark your calendars. More details will be provided in the upcoming edition of The Scoop, if not sooner.
- Unity’s Summer Academy will be Remote this Summer: Summer Academy for grades 6-12 will be held remotely this summer. We will provide details to all families whose children are required to attend summer school in the coming weeks.
- High School Grading Policy Update: Please read the attached memo regarding Remote Grading Policy updates at our high school. For questions and clarifications about the policies or your student’s academic standing, reach out to their academic counselor.
- 9th and 10th Grade Academic Counselor: Louise Eason
- 11th Grade Academic Counselor: Lia Simon
- 12th Grade Academic Counselors: Alia Roth and Mr. Eric Gonzalez
- Senior Spotlight of the Week: This week, we are beginning a new Scoop feature in which we spotlight a member of our first graduating class. Today, we celebrate Jhovani D! Jhovani has been with Unity since our founding year in 2013. He is heading to SUNY Oswego this fall to begin his studies in the zoology field. Jhovani’s advice to all future Unity seniors is to “just do your work!” and his favorite quote is, “An ignorant person does no more good than a lazy person.” Congratulations, Jhovani, in making your college aspirations a reality. We are so proud of you – you’ve come far since 8th grade (see the 8th grade graduation photo below – the one and only Jhovani is seated on the far right) and your future looks bright!
- A Flashback to our Student vs. Faculty Games at the Barclays Center: On March 9th, one week before we transitioned to remote learning, our community enjoyed a fun and festive evening at the Barclays Center for our Annual Student vs. Faculty Basketball games. In all, eight of our athletic teams were featured over the course of the evening. Thank you to so many of our families who came out to support our teams and the athletic program. Enjoy the photo below – so many smiles!
- Middle School Roundtable Presentation Update: In order to accommodate the challenges associated with remote learning and the ongoing pandemic, unfortunately, we will not have Roundtable presentations as we have experienced in prior years. Instead, students will create an End-of-Year Reflection in their English Language Arts class. Students will share that presentation with staff and families during the time that was previously set aside for Roundtables in June. Students will also complete projects in all classes that are an appropriate conclusion for remote learning. We will schedule time slots for End-of-Year Reflections in June.
- Congrats to High School Advanced Placement Students!: As we finish out our second year of AP exams, we offer our congratulations to the many sophomore, junior, and senior students who took Advanced Placement exams over the past two weeks. Unity students have been focused and resilient through the many shifts to this process, and we are incredibly proud of you. Also, THANK YOU again families, for supporting your children through these exams and helping them get ready for college! If you want to see even more shout outs, check out this video here.
- More Celebration of Academic Excellence at Unity!: Our students have been working very hard this year, especially over the past month during the transition to remote learning. We are excited to celebrate their achievements in their coursework and learning. Today, we highlight four new students across grades 9-12 who are excelling in their coursework. Congrats again to our middle school Students of the Month for April!
- Middle School Students of the Month for April!
- 6th Grade:
- Katelynn R.
- Francis A.
- 7th Grade:
- Jalicia W.
- Jade B.
- 8th Grade:
- Shaniel C.
- Elizabeth Y.
- 6th Grade:
- High School Student Shout-outs from Teachers for Excellence in Remote Learning!
- 9th Grade: Amber S. – your hard work and resilience don’t go unnoticed. You are a whiz at using the chat function! You also take the extra time to come to tutoring and take feedback very well and implement it. You are so kind and helpful towards your peers. Keep up the good work!
- 10th Grade: Arianna S-W. – you have taken a more active role in class, asking for more work than the usual, and being more reflective! Keep taking advantage of learning remotely because you are rocking it out!
- 11th Grade: Roshawana S. – Shout out to 11th grader, Roshawana. During virtual learning you have increased hustle, continuously showed growth, and are engaging in high levels of self-advocacy. Way to use this opportunity to get better and stronger!
- 12th Grade: Jah’Mir M. – you have almost all A’s in your classes. You are on time to every class and you complete your coursework almost immediately after class. You communicate regularly with your teachers and counselors and you are performing extraordinarily well in all of your classes. All of your teachers and counselors are so proud of you, Jah’Mir!
- Celebrating Stellar Student Attendance!: In addition to academic excellence, it is also worth highlighting the dedication of so many of our students to their studies through their excellent attendance in our remote classrooms. This past week, 120 students had 100% attendance in their classes. Here is the all-star list!
Middle School Students:
|6th Grade Students||7th Grade Students||8th Grade Students|
|Nayaliz V||Tawrey N||Jordyn P|
|Donovan T||Chasity H||Jaleel B|
|Mi-Chai L||Shamira A||Jason M|
|Tymir M||Mohagany B||Christian S|
|Imanni S||Rowmar W||Jalila Nicole R|
|Justin L||Jayden D||Jayden Carlos F|
|Yashim J||Jade B||Ziaire P|
|Derrick J||Celine P||Jaheem A|
|Kester F||Gabrielle S||Kaylah D|
|Jazel J||Keyontae J||J’shai W|
|Zaquon L||Connor S||Krystian M|
|Savion R||Nataliya M||Chalmers L|
|Charmaine J||Junaydah H||Nicholas Daville E|
|Rhondell H||Natalie D||Isarina C|
|Christopher M||Nakayla B||Dymandjie L|
|Isabell C||Nathan R||Shaniel C|
|Reginald F||Triston S||Sakura W|
|Raven B||Jasmine J||Dante J|
|Natelege J||Jalicia W||Nakaylah S R R|
|Taylor B||Preston W||Joshua James M|
|Sani D||Justin J||Roodjahelle R R|
|James M||Brandon G||Charisma C|
|Damani G||Amaya T||Tianna H|
|Julissa G||Najir M||Kamora J H|
|Keianna M||Sokona G|
High School Students:
|9th Grade Students||10th Grade Students||11th Grade Students||12th Grade Students|
|Derriko H||Brian F||Kahleek M||Nigel D|
|Cheyenne A||Jaden J||Alize M||John M|
|Miguel C||Katana K||Fernando S||Jaden F|
|Ashlee D||Kelisha K||Micah W||Horatio J|
|Andrew J||Kaylan M||Corey S||Celina J|
|Joshua W||Desiree P||Jade H||Akameak K|
|De’ana A||Jonathan S||Juan Pablo L||Sebastian L|
|Jessica C||Jennifer S||Ja’Don R||Sanjae C|
|Sarafina C||Gregory W||Gregory S||Sierra C|
|Simon G||Joshua P||Coron S||Jalik D|
|Mekhi H||John A||Franklin F|
|Sean H||Sincere B||Leslie G|
|Aisha J||Damion B||Jordan G|
|Maya M||Isaiah B||Anthony N|
|Giuliano S||Julius C||Vladimir R|
|Amber S||Tayshawn C||Rondell B|
|Nylah W||Michael D||Kayla B|
- Clarification on Unity’s Grading Policy in Relation to Attendance for Remote Learning: The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) recently released its Grading Policy Guidance for Remote Learning, which included a statement that it would not use attendance to calculate grades. A few students and families have since reached out to inquire how this applies to Unity’s grading and attendance policy during remote learning. In terms of attendance, the expectations for Unity students continues to be the same: student attendance during remote learning is mandatory and essential to successful academic outcomes. We are committed to providing instruction and academic support during our remote learning period to ensure all Unity students are best positioned to begin next school year ready for the next grade level. In order to accomplish this, students must engage in online remote learning with teachers every day. Students who are not able to attend classes may fall behind in coursework and may be required to continue classwork during the summer. Please reach out to your student’s middle school teacher or high school academic counselor if you have any questions about attendance.
- Support the Unity Queens Steppers’ as Their Season Continues Virtually!: World of Step has creatively designed a virtual competition that utilizes pre-recorded performance material to allow their hard work to continue to be celebrated in hopes of snatching one last title. The virtual competition will take place during the week of 5/18. The team asks for your help by voting for their performance online. Voting will begin 5/18 and end 5/22 – you can cast your vote by visiting the World of Step website: http://www.worldofstep.com. Please show support by joining the live by following @WorldofStep and @Unity.Queens_ on Instagram.
- Unity’s Weekly Trivia Contest for a Seamless Gift Card: Congratulations to Ms. Francis for winning last week’s trivia contest! Each week, The Scoop will feature Unity Trivia! Answer each question correctly for an opportunity to win a Seamless gift card. The winner will be selected at random and announced in next week’s Scoop. Click here to access this week’s trivia contest (due Friday at 5pm) and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Students and caregivers are both eligible to participate.
Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:
Letter Sent Home to the Families of All High School Students Taking Health this Semester – Last week, all students who are currently enrolled in health class were given this letter from the NYC Department of Education to bring home to their parent or guardian. This letter pertains to the upcoming classes that will focus on sexual health, more specifically HIV/STI prevention. Please review the letter and reach out to your child’s Health teacher, Mr. Martinez (email@example.com) or Mr. Coleman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Resources Regarding Unemployment Due to COVID-19: NYC has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The website will be updated frequently and includes information on employment/unemployment, food assistance, financial assistance, rent arrears, health and medical assistance, and so forth.
Free Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner available for Students and Adults: Any New Yorker, child or adult, has access to three free meals a day at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the city (including PS44), between 7:30am – 11:30am for children and families and from 11:30am to 1:30pm for adults. More details, including a search tool, is available by clicking here.
Resources for Mental Health and Talking to Young People About COVID-19: The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has provided this guide for self-care and strategies for talking about COVID-19 honestly and effectively with young people. In addition, here is a link for webinars for “Parenting During COVID-19” through the Weil Cornell Psychiatry Department. 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 (1888-NYC-WELL) or text (text WELL to 65173) or by internet chat via their website: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/. In addition, a mental health hotline has been established in New York City that will provide FREE emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider. The hotline number is: 1-844-863-9314.
Mental Health Counseling and Social Work Services Available to Unity Students who Receive Counseling: Social workers will continue to hold remote counseling sessions for all students who receive counseling throughout this week. Please reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio via phone or text (347-688-9107) or email (email@example.com) if you have any questions about the continuation of counseling services or if you are concerned about your child’s mental health. Unity social workers can also be of assistance in providing information regarding social services (for example: housing, access to food, access to community mental health services, referrals to mental health providers, crisis intervention, etc.).
Helpful Guidance on Obtaining the Perfect Book for Your Child: With the Unity Library closed for the time being, our public libraries in Brooklyn offer a vast majority of their books and resources online. Additionally, many private companies are stepping up and offering their services for free. Check out this helpful guide to gain access to ebooks or audiobooks from the Brooklyn Public Library. In addition, see the list of resources below:
- Do you have dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, or other reading barriers? Access Bookshare’s free online ebooks.
- Are you an English Language Learner (ELL) and interested in practicing your English? Are you looking to learn a new language? Rosetta Stone is being offered free for three months to all students.
- Are you finding it difficult to spend all day looking at a computer screen? Download BeeLine reader for free, which uses color gradients to make reading just a little bit easier.
- Worried that by spending so much time alone your vocabulary is growing more and more limited by the day? com has free daily activities such as puzzles, quizzes, and a word of the day to keep your vocabulary skills sharp.
- Want to practice your reading and thinking skills? Scholastic has a remote learning program where you can play games and participate in activities.
- Try using Newsela, which is an online news-as-literacy platform that features high-interest articles on everything from current events to myths and legends and from literature to science. Follow this link to create an account.
- Audible is offering free audio books for students. Click here to access a huge selection of audiobooks.
Supplemental Resources to Continue Your Child’s Learning at Home: Between now and the launch of remoting learning, we encourage you to support your child at home in keeping their academic skills fresh. The NYCDOE’s Learn at Home site provides learning resources to students to complete while they are receiving instruction. It is important that students continue to read, write, complete social studies and science activities, and work on math problems. The materials are organized by grade level and include the following:
- Suggested daily study schedules
- Guides and materials for instructional activities
- Recommended educational television shows
- Links to a variety of books, magazines, and websites on a wide range of topics that appeal to children at all ages
Free Internet at Home: A variety of internet providers are offering free internet access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have an internet subscription. Internet access at home will be critical for students to complete their remote learning assignments To enroll, call
- 1-844-579-3743 for Spectrum
- 1-844-488-8395 for Charter Communications
- 1- 866-200-9522 for Optimum
Note that Installation fees will be waived for new households.