JS Newsletter April 15, 2018

Dear parents,

As we're sure you've heard your child rave about, the JS faculty performed an original play on Thursday, March 15 for our Junior School community audience. We are pleased to share the video of the full performance of Ella below. Stunning! The sense of elation, joy, communal bonding and positivity has spread from the theater to the halls. You and your family can experience these same feelings during the last week of April as Singin' in the Rain takes over the Sylvia Howard Fuhrman Theater at UNIS and closes the 2017-18 UNIS Theatre main stage productions. A cast and crew of 75 members have rehearsed since November(!) to bring the greatest movie musical to life for you.

Pascal Vallet
Junior School Principal
Susan Scullin
Junior School Assistant Principal
Jack Dod
Junior School Drama Teacher, Singin' in the Rain Director

When reading one of the first Hollywood Reporter's original review of the premiere for Singin' in the Rain at Radio City Music Hall in New York, hosted by MGM on March 27, 1952, we realized that by applying very few modifications, this would perfectly fit the amazing performance you are about to see. Enjoy the revised version of Singin' in the Rain 1952 first Hollywood review of our 2018 Junior School Performance!

"Singin' in the Rain contains everything to make it a solid hit. With the versatile talents of our Junior School Cast supported by lilting melodies, wonderful dancing, and some very funny comedy, the show just can't miss being another UNIS top-grosser. Jack Dod's production is a handsome one, with lavish but tasteful settings, enhanced by beautiful special effects which make the play as pleasing to the eye as it is to the ear. Direction is lively, maintaining a tongue-in-cheek quality that keeps the emphasis on laughs.
The production numbers are spectacular, although possibly over-long, but even here is the same kidding quality that makes the film so delightful. Particularly impressive are "Broadway Melody" routine, beautifully danced, and the "Beautiful Girls" number, a colorful and amusing satire of the old-time styles show. And for sheer joy, there is the riotous "Make 'Em Laugh" song-and-dance interlude in which our likable young performer almost slays himself and the audience with his nimble footwork. The only complaint about it is that the more you see of him the more you want. Our students also pull a show-stopper with the title song number, their hoofing ranging from the graceful to the spectacular.
Performances all are outstanding. The Junior School Cast can be covered with one word: Great! The musical direction is superb."

'Singin' in the Rain': THR's 1952 Review

UNIS JS Performance 'The Story of Ella'

  • Tuesday, April 17 - Student Led Conference Sign Up Closes at 7pm (Details Below)
  • Tuesday, April 17 - J4 Camp Ramapo Parent Presentation 8:30-9:30 Cafe
  • Thursday, April 19 through Monday, April 23 – JS Book Sale during SLCs
  • NO After School Activities on Thursday, April 19
  • Thursday, April 19 – Student Led Conferences for J1-J4 (Evening)
  • Friday, April 20 and Monday, April 23– Student Led Conferences for JA-J4 (Day) – No Classes for JS Students
  • Thursday, April 26 to Saturday, April 28 – JS Musical Performances Singin' in the Rain
  • Saturday, May 5 - International Food & Fun Fair
  • Friday, May 11 – Storybook Parade 8:45 – 9:30
  • Author Readings - JA 5-5:50pm; J1 and J2 6-6:50pm; J3 and J4-7-7:50 pm
  • Friday, May 25 and Monday, May 28 – School Closed – Memorial Day Holiday
  • Friday, June 1 – TH Graduation - JS Dismissal at 11:45
  • Tuesday, June 5 – JA Sports Day
  • Wednesday, June 6 – J1 – J4 Sports Day
  • Friday, June 8 - J4 Graduation 8:45am

Junior School Student Led Conferences will be held on the following days:

  • Thursday, April 19 from 5:00 until 8:00 pm (J1 - J4)
  • Friday, April 20 from 8:30 am to 3:00pm (PK/JA - J4)
  • Monday, April 23 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm (PK/JA - J4)
  • Tutorial House will not have parent-teacher conferences on April 23. It is a regular day for Tutorial House students.
  • Sign up is available until Tuesday, April 17 at 7 PM.

Please note that booking on the evening of Thursday, April 19th will not be available for Pre-K and JA parents as it is too late for those students to lead their conferences.

The Student Led Conferences will be an opportunity for:

  • Giving students the responsibility for their learning - ownership
  • Taking the time to reflect on their learning journey
  • Encouraging meaningful communication about learning
  • Encouraging self-evaluation
  • Discussing challenges in a safe and supported environment
  • Celebrating the student's own success!

Taking into consideration feedback from parents and recommendations from our teachers, this year the model will be different from the previous one:

  • One family at a time will be welcome in the Homeroom/Mother Tongue class
  • The conference will last 30 minutes
  • Each conference will be divided into two parts: the student will share their portfolio and lead the conversation (approximately 20 minutes). The rest of the time (approximately 10 minutes) will allow parents and teachers to address remaining questions. For some grades (lower grades), the teacher could use these 10 minutes back and forth during the overall conference.

As we did last year, we will still have:

  • Drop in with Specialists and Sign up Sheets for PE and Science
  • Appointments for Learning Support/ELL
  • Child Care available during sibling conferences

JS Counselor and Psychologist Meetings During Conferences

During Student Led Conferences Dr. Dana Marnin, Amy Iamundo and Camila Dever will post a sign up sheet outside their office doors for parents to sign up for an appointment on the evening of Thursday 4/19, and during the days of Friday 4/20 and Monday 4/23.

During open times, parents are more than welcome to drop in for a time slot if they wish. However, since the sign up sheets will be posted in advance, beginning Friday 4/13, it will be on a first come first served basis for those parents who want to reserve a time to meet.

Lost and Found During Conferences April 19, 20, 23

Please take some time before or after conferences to look through our Lost and Found to locate your child's missing items. The tables will be located near the entry doors. All items remaining after conferences will be donated to a local charity.

Remember to label all possessions that your child brings to school: articles of clothing, water bottles, lunch boxes, backpacks, etc.

How can I book an appointment online?

Follow this step by step in order to book appointments with teachers for one or more children.

  • Go to www.unis.meettheteacher.com
  • Fill out all the details on the page. A confirmation of your appointments will be emailed to you and we may use the phone number to contact you. Make sure to use your child's "preferred" first, last name and date of birth that matches our records.
  • Select the conference
  • Select "Automatic" or "Manual"
  • Choose the teachers you would like to meet
  • Click 'Book' to make your appointment with the teacher for the time you wish. Repeat this for all the teachers you wish to see.
  • You will receive an email confirmation of your appointments.
  • You can also view and print your appointments online by clicking the "My Bookings" button on the left side of your screen. Please bring a print out of your appointment times to the conferences.
  • You can change your appointments by clicking on "My Bookings" > "Amend Bookings".
  • If you have another child to book for the same evening or day, press the "Add another child" button. Then repeat the steps above to add teachers for the newly added child.

MAP Testing presentation from Parent Coffee held on Monday, April 9

Our Junior 3 and Junior 4 students have taken the MAP tests last week. If you were not able to join our Parent Coffee on Monday, April 9 to learn more about how the tests work and how to understand the information parents and teachers receive, you can access the slides below.

UNIS JS Book Fair 2018 - April 19, 20 & 23

What's new this year?

  • Book Fair is held during Parent Teacher Conference - parents can actively participate in choosing the right books together with their children over 3 days.
  • UNIS Book Fair website - for news, updates, volunteer sign up and more...
  • Book Fair this year will extend from the on-site at UNIS to online!
    • Book Fair extends online for the remainder of the week, after the end of the on-site event, until April 29
    • More books are available online than at the onsite Book Fair (including Middle School & High School books)
    • All online purchases will be packaged, labeled individually with free delivery to UNIS (within 1 week of close of Book Fair)
    • Access to Class Teacher & Librarians' donations requests will also be available online.

Book Fair brochure will come home with the children, showcasing some of the exciting books available. Look out for it!

One thing doesn't change ...the need for your help for the Book Fair to be a success for the children! Please sign up as a volunteer! Childcare will be provided to volunteering parents. Please contact Vicki Tse via the UNIS Book Fair homepage to arrange.

The UNIS Book Fair Chairs

Class Lists

Our teachers are in the process of creating class lists for the 2018-2019 school year.

Homeroom teachers and specialists collaborate to create 5 balanced classes across each grade. Teachers take into account friendships and social interactions from this and previous years and are careful to ensure that children are placed in a group with familiar friends and where they will have the opportunity to develop new friendships. Our school psychologist and counselors review all class groupings before they are finalized. This year the class lists will be published prior to the September start of the school year. On Jump Up Day students will visit the classrooms of the next grade and meet the team of teachers.

While we cannot honor specific requests for teachers, if you have any concerns about next year's class placement be sure to contact your child's counselor by April 16.

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.

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.