News from Administration
Dear Unqua Families, August 2021
Welcome back to the 2021-2022 school year! We are so excited and ready to begin the new school year. We hope that you have all enjoyed a safe and restful summer. The Unqua staff has been busy preparing the building for all of our students for a healthy, successful year. Our building construction continued throughout the summer and the classrooms look beautiful! We know the students will notice the updates and we look forward to all of you seeing them soon as well.
We continue to update our protocols with guidance from the Nassau County Department of Health, NYSED and the Governor. Please continue to check the district website for updates as to our Opening Plan; email blasts will also be used to communicate with you all.
Students in grades 1- 5 begin classes on Thursday, September 9. Kindergarten students begin on Friday, September 10, with a special ‘Meet & Greet’ student only orientation for all kindergarten students on Thursday, September 9 from 10:00-11:00 (see K Placement Letter for detailed information). Students will be expected to be in class ready to start the day by 9:25. The first bell rings at 9:15 which allows students ample time to walk to their classroom, unpack and begin the day. Students are considered late if they are not in their classroom by 9:25. Please do not bring your child onto school grounds or drop them off at the building until 9:15 in order to avoid large groups congregating at the entrances.
We have included a map which includes a summary of our arrival and dismissal procedures. Again this year, there will be designated arrival doors to alleviate crowding during arrival. Please also remember to use the Stop, Drop and Go procedure on Unqua Road in front of the building for arrival to keep the area safe for all children. Please help us ensure their safety by not parking in this area and not remaining for more time than it takes for your child to safely exit the car. Students should always exit the car on the curbside, not onto the street side, as Unqua Road is extremely busy. At dismissal, students will line up by bus lines within the hallways, spacing students out within these areas. We will also continue to assign seats on buses, having our kindergarten students sit in the front of the bus and continue seating by grade level so our fifth grade students are in the back of the bus.
Students will be eating lunch in our cafeteria and GP Rooms this year. See the schedule below and notice that students only have 20 minutes to eat in order to get all grade levels through our cafeterias. Please note that the kitchen will NOT be selling snacks or bottles of water to begin the school year (this will be reevaluated once school begins, and you will receive information if this changes). Please keep this in mind when preparing lunch for your child. If your child is bringing lunch, please be sure to pack utensils and napkins in their lunchbox as this will assist in getting students out to recess as quickly as possible. If they are purchasing lunch, they will go through the kitchen to obtain their food; if your child does not drink milk or is allergic, please have them bring in a drink, as well as a snack if needed. The lunch and recess periods will be as follows:
Kindergarten (Cafeteria) 11:40- 12:00 lunch 12:00 - 12:20 recess
Grade 1 (GP Room) 11:40- 12:00 lunch 12:00 - 12:20 recess
Grade 2 (Cafeteria) 12:15 -12:35 lunch 12:35-12:55 recess
Grade 3 (GP Room) 12:15 -12:35 lunch 12:35-12:55 recess
Grade 4 (Cafeteria) 1:00-1:20 lunch 1:20 - 1:40 recess
Grade 5 (GP Room) 1:00-1:20 lunch 1:20 - 1:40 recess
Please note that due to many children with allergies to several food products, particularly peanut based products and tree nuts, please be respectful and if possible, try to refrain from sending your child to school with any peanut based products as snack will be eaten in the classroom. While we understand many of our students enjoy these food items, whenever possible, please try to send in other items. Students will be expected to clean their hands before and after lunch. As for class celebrations and birthdays, we will only accept individual pre-packaged items again this year. There will not be any exchanging of goodie bags or other items.
In keeping with proper hygiene, we are asking each student to bring in their own small bottle of hand sanitizer and individual tissues. While we will have these in the classroom for all to use, we are also looking to minimize students moving around the room. We also ask to send in ear buds or headphones for your child’s chromebook, if this was not already on the grade level supply list. Supply lists are on the district website on the Unqua page. We truly appreciate your cooperation.
Staying informed is also key to a successful school year. Please continue to find information on the District website, especially all updated information about the reopening of our schools from Mrs. Iconis. We will use our email blast system to keep you informed, so be sure your email address(es) are updated in PowerSchool. We will also continue to use twitter - please follow us at @UnquaElementary.
Also, note that we cannot change a child’s dismissal routine after 1:30 pm. Please be sure to send in a written note to your child’s teacher if there needs to be a change in their regular dismissal routine so that we can notify the appropriate staff members and ensure a safe dismissal. If your child receives a bus pass from transportation, they will be put on that bus at dismissal unless you notify the classroom teacher that you will be picking your child up.
As a parent, we hope you will stay in contact with your child’s teachers throughout the school year about these and other important programs. We hope you will participate in PTA meetings and volunteer your time when needed. Most of all, we know you will be your child’s greatest advocate. These are the qualities that make Unqua parents so wonderful and appreciated. Back to School Night will be held on Monday, September 13th (more information to follow).
Please refer to the following numbers to be sure your concerns are addressed in the appropriate manner:
General Office 308-5601 Attendance 308-5621 Nurse 308-5691
We look forward to the journey of another school year with all of you and know you will be an active part of your child’s educational life. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Mrs. Deanna Catapano, Principal
Mrs. Laura Hulsaver, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Stefanie DelGiorno, Special Education Supervisor