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Updates as of March 16, 2020

Dear Students and Families of Unity,

I hope this email finds you well, and that each of you are taking the appropriate precautions to ensure your health and safety.  I am writing to provide updates that are most relevant to our school community.  Moving forward, families and students will receive a daily version of The Unity Scoop in their inbox each day.  The Scoop will also be posted on our homepage at unityprep.org.  If you have questions, concerns, and/or ideas in response to the information, don’t hesitate to respond to this note by email.  A Unity staff member will then be in touch at their earliest convenience.

Updates as of March 16, 2020

1. Extension of Remote Learning through April 20th: Unity will extend its suspension of all onsite educational programming, including extra-curricular events, through April 20th.  This timeline and plan aligns with the NYC Department of Education’s plan, as announced yesterday for all of its schools.  Students will not report to our middle and high school sites for instruction during this time.

2. Remote learning begins this coming Thursday, March 19th:  Starting Wednesday, students and families will be able to pick up assignments and materials.  Assignments and materials will also be available in a digital, soft-copy form for families who wish to print out materials themselves.  More guidance to families will be in tomorrow’s edition of The Scoop.

3. Resources to Continue Your Child’s Learning at Home: Between now and Thursday, we encourage you to support your child at home in keeping their academic skills fresh.  The NYCDOE’s Learn at Home site provides supplementary learning resources to students to complete while they are receiving instruction.  These materials do not replace what your child has been learning at school, but during this unusual time 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

4. Breakfast and Lunch Grab-and-Go Meals are available at all NYCDOE Public Schools: Unity students may go to any NYCDOE school building (including PS44) between 7:30am – 1:30pm today and until further notice to pick up a bagged breakfast and bagged lunch for free.  Meals will be in the lobby or cafeteria of each building.

5. Mental Health Counseling and Social Work Services Available to Unity Students who Receive Counseling:  If your child receives counseling, you will hear from their counselor in the coming days to coordinate services and identify needs.  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/

Please reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio via phone or text (347-688-9107) or email (tdelpurgatorio@unityprep.org) if you have any questions about continuation of counseling services or 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.).

6. Free Internet at Home: Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Internet access at home will be critical for students to complete their remote learning assignments To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

7. We encourage families to check NYSDOH’s website and the CDC’s website regularly for updates:  The latest precautionary recommendations, as posted on the NYCDOE’s website as of March 16th, include the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • Monitor your health more closely than usual for cold or flu symptoms.
  • Get your flu shot – it’s never too late.
  • Reduce overcrowding by walking or biking to work, if possible.
  • If the train is too packed, wait for the next one.

In unity,

Josh Beauregard

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