JS Newsletter March 5, 2018

UNIS Junior School | Monday, March 5

Dear Junior School parents,

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go back in time and become a J2 student.

Welcomed in the morning by Lucy, who agreed to let me shadow her, and by her friends in J2JH, I followed their class through the school day. My main focus was, "How does time impact the learning experience of our students?" For that specific purpose, I targeted quantitative data all through the day.

However, I also needed some qualitative information from Lucy and her friends: "What do I learn? What do I feel? How much space do I have to interact with others? How do I feel about myself? How do I perceive others? What support do I feel I need? How tired or excited am I? etc..."

I needed to become a student, participating in the activity, being part of a group, or working individually, playing soccer and "tag" during the recess time, sharing lunch with my peers, and calming down in the middle of the afternoon listening to the story that became alive through the talent of the teacher. But at the end of the day, I missed my snack. as my mum or my dad couldn't kindly and discreetly put it in my backpack before leaving home in the morning, as they are in France.

Seeing school through a student's eyes, will help us to pinpoint meaningful opportunities to improve the experience of our UNIS students, and take insight-driven action to create change. Therefore, it is now a time for reflection, for summing up what I have learned along with the rest of the observations we have collected from the teachers, students, and parents since the beginning of the school year.

Thanks to Mrs. Hiebl, her students, and all the teachers who participated in this "Shadow a Student Challenge".

Pascal Vallet
Junior School Principal
Susan Scullin
Junior School Assistant Principal


    • Agenda
    • Food & Fun Fair
    • Annual staff appreciation luncheon
    • Project Cicero
    • Bit of News
    • March 5 to March 9 – Project Cicero
    • Friday, March 9 – Faculty Appreciation Lunch 11:00-1:30
    • Thursday, March 15 – JS Parent Coffee 8:30-9:30 Cafe
    • Thursday, March 15 - Deadline to Re-Enroll for 2018-2019 (instructions below)
    • March 19 through March 30 – No Classes for Students – Spring Break
    • Monday, April 2 – Classes Resume
    • Thursday, April 5 - J4 Open House for Parents (Country Projects) 12:00-12:45
    • Friday, April 6 – PA General Meeting 8:30 Café
    • Thursday, April 19 – JS Student Led Conferences (Evening)
    • Friday, April 20 & Monday, April 23 – Student Led Conferences (Day) – No Classes for JS Students

    This year's UNIS International Food and Fun Fair will take place on Saturday, May 5th. The Fair is an annual school-wide event and one of the absolute highlights of our Parents Association's activity.

    Planning for the event is now underway and the Food Committee Co-Chairs need your help to ensure we can reach out to as many UNIS families as possible and encourage them to contribute their country's wonderful and unique food specialties to the food buffet. For that purpose we kindly ask you to fill out the Food Fair Form below, with the following information by Thursday, March 15th:

    • Student's first and last name
    • Country 1
    • Country 2 (if applicable)
    • Parent's email

    This information should enable us to compile more accurate regional food contact lists that Regional Food Coordinators can then use to reach out to the families from their "food regions."

    We would like to emphasize that filling out the online form by Thursday, March 15th, is essential to ensure efficient communication to parents about this year's International Food and Fun Fair. 545]\;,

    We greatly appreciate your assistance.

    Monique Navarro, Victoria Espada and Irina Ivleva
    Food Co-chairs
    International Food and Fun Fair 2018

    Help us celebrate the wonderful members of the UNIS staff for their commitment and support for our students and families! Each year, the parent community at UNIS show their appreciation for the teachers, support personnel and the administration by hosting a luncheon in the 3rd floor Staff Lounge. This event is a highlight of the year for our staff and we like to make it as memorable as possible to thank them for all that they do!

    For this year's luncheon, we are requesting the following:

    • MAIN COURSES : JA, J1, J2, M1, M4, T1, T4
    • DESSERTS & FRUITS : M3, T3

    Note that:

    • We suggest that your contribution serve at least 8 people.
    • Drop off in the UNIS lobby the morning of Friday, March 9th.
    • Food MUST be in disposable containers (nothing will be returned).
    • Please label with the name and ingredients in the dish

    Please do NOT send items which need ANY preparation, refrigeration, or reheating.

    Parent volunteers are needed between the hours of 8:00AM and 2:30PM to set up, serve and clean up.
    Please sign up to:

    1. let us know what you will be preparing and
    2. if you are available to volunteer on Friday March 9th

    Thank you in advance for your help and participation!

    UNIS Parents Association Executive Committee (PA ExComm)

    Project Cicero is a not-for-profit organization whose primary goal is to create and supplement classroom libraries for children in under-resourced New York City public schools through an annual citywide book drive. Project Cicero also puts books into homeless shelters, juvenile detention facilities, community centers, pre and after school programs, and wherever else there is a need. This past year, its 18th year of operation, Project Cicero distributed more than 150,000 books. To date, Project Cicero has placed more than three million books into classrooms and school libraries reaching over 1,000,000 children in under-resourced schools in New York City. More detailed information on the program is available at www.projectcicero.org

    The types of books needed are new and gently used hardcover and paperback books for preschool through high school, including board books, picture books, early readers, reference books, test prep, fiction, nonfiction and biographies.

    Project Cicero does not accept discards from school libraries, textbooks, adult books, or out-of-date nonfiction/reference books.

    Book collection bins will be located in the lobby next to the UNIS Cafe entrance as well as at all JS homeroom classrooms.

    Parent volunteers are needed for sorting and packing books each morning after drop off through the collection period from March 5 to March 19. To volunteer please sign up !

    If you have any questions, please email JS PA Coordinators Maricruz Setien (maricruz.setien@pa.unis.org), Irina Ivleva (irina.ivleva@pa.unis.org ) and Jinhwa Jo (jinhwa.jo@pa.unis.org)

    Good Sportsmanship on the JS Playground

    In order to promote good sportsmanship amongst the JS students who play soccer during play time, Mr. de Rosa has been giving short intensive workshops, with the participation of Ms. McMahon and Ms. Dever, clarifying doubts and reviewing the rules of the game. This has helped students gain a deeper understanding of the distinction between a tournament and playing soccer at recess. The students have found this to be very helpful and are working on their soccer skills, as well as connecting with their peers. At the same time they're having fun and minimizing incidents that could arise.

    2018-2019 Reenrollment Reminder - March 15 Deadline

    In order to enroll your child for the 2018-2019 academic year you will be asked to complete an electronic enrollment contract by 15 March 2018.

    Your personalized Enrollment Contract is available by visiting the UNIS Parent Portal: navigate to My BackPack → My Forms/Documents → Enrollment/Re-Enrollment. You will need to complete separate enrollment contracts through the online process for each of your children.

    If you have any questions about the online enrollment process, please contact enrollment@unis.org.

    2018 International Food and Fun Fair: Ideas for Raffle Prizes Needed!!!

    The raffle is one of the most exciting and fun features of the UNIS annual fair. Our Raffle Committee is looking for ideas for prize items with a focus on the students and family fun. We encourage UNIS parents to find out from their kids what they would want to win so that we can get ideas of what to go after. Also, please let us know if you can help with a contact or securing an item from a particular company. Please reach out to Amy Cohen, Raffle Committee Chair, at amycohen2010@gmail.com with ideas and suggestions by March 9, 2018.

    Raise funds for UNIS with tickets to NY Int'l Children's Film Fest!

    UNIS earns $3 back for every ticket you purchase!

    To buy tickets and raise money for UNIS simply:

    1. Go to www.nyicff.org/tickets/
    2. Select our school from the "Select My School" Menu on the top of the page (IMPORTANT!!!!)
    3. Purchase tickets

    Voila! Our PA earns $3 of each ticket you purchase!

    JS Attendance

    To report your child's absence or lateness, please contact your homeroom teacher by email with a copy to jsattendance@unis.org no later than 8:30am each day that your child will be absent. If email is not available to you, you may leave a phone message at 212-584-3113 to let the JS Office know and a note will be sent to the homeroom teacher.

    Junior School Library Protocols & Etiquette

    The JS Library is a quiet place for UNIS JS students to read with parents before and after school when supervised by a parent or caregiver.

    A respectful reminder about Library protocols and etiquette:
    During school hours (8:30am - 2:55pm) the library is a classroom and is open only to JS students and faculty.
    Please remember there is no eating or drinking in the library.
    There is a "No Cellphone" policy in the Junior School Library.
    The library is open for checkout at 8:20 am. We welcome parents for quiet reading time with your children at 8:00 am. Checkout ends at 3:15 pm.

    Early Dismissal of JS Students Requires a Pass

    If your child will be picked up from school at any time before the 2:55 JS dismissal, please ensure that you or your caregiver obtains an Early Dismissal Pass from the JS Office or your JA teacher. Security will not permit a student to leave the premises before 2:55 without this pass.

    Lost and found

    Please take the time to write your child's name in all outer garments, lunch boxes and water bottles. Our staff does their best to return misplaced items to their owner, but without a clearly written name, it may not be possible.

    Updating Family Contact Info in the Parent Portal

    Please review your family profile and contact information to ensure that your phone numbers and email addresses are up to date. All departments at UNIS, including the Nurse, rely on the information that you provide here to contact you. After logging in to the UNIS Parent Portal, you may review and update all of your family contact information by visiting ->My BackPack -> Settings -> My Profile -> Edit.

    Caregiver Access to UNIS

    To give permission for a new caregiver to enter UNIS to pick up or drop your child, please log in to the UNIS Parent Portal (->My BackPack -> Settings -> My Profile -> Edit) and enter that caregiver's name as an Additional Contact in "My Profile" section in My Backpack. Click EDIT and scroll down to ADD as many Additional Contacts as you need. After you do that, your caregiver can have a UNIS ID made that will allow him/her access to the school to pick up and drop off.

    In the interim, until the ID card is made, please have your caregiver be prepared to present a photo ID to Security at the front gate each day, along with the authorization form below.

    If your caregiver is temporary, or a visiting family member will be picking up or dropping off, please follow the same procedure (adding their name to your family profile and giving them the authorization form to present at the security gate with a photo ID). However, in temporary situations, there is no need for a UNIS ID card to be issued.

    In either case, in addition to your homeroom teacher, please email jsattendance@unis.org and securitybandg@unis.org in advance to alert the school that a new or temporary caregiver has permission to pick up your child, providing their full name and all dates and times that they will arrive. If the pick up will be after 2:55 because your child is in an after school activity, please also notify afterschool@unis.org, or gevans@unis.org for athletics.