News from Administration
Dear Unqua Families, August 2020
Welcome back to the 2020-2021 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. We continue to update our protocols with guidance from the Nassau County Department of Health, NYSED and the Governor. ALL students, staff and parents must wear a mask once on school property and keep them on during the day. Mask breaks will be scheduled throughout the day by the teachers; we also are expecting to get students outside often for breaks, specials, recess, as well as for instruction.
Students in grades 1- 5 begin classes on Tuesday, September 8. Kindergarten students begin on Wednesday, September 9, with a student orientation for all kindergarten students on Tuesday, September 8 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 9:12 (changed from 9:15 last year) 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 9:12 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. This year, there will be designated arrival doors for each grade level 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.
Lunch and recess this year will look a bit different. All students will eat lunch in their classroom and, weather permitting, have recess outside. However, in order to provide room on the field for recess, some grades will go to recess first, then come back to the classroom to eat and vice versa. Please note that the kitchen will NOT be selling snacks or bottles of water. 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 since they will be eating in the classroom and will not have access to plastic utensils as they normally would in the cafeterias. If they are purchasing lunch, their lunch will include either the hot lunch or cold lunch choice (according to their preference), a vegetable, a fruit and milk; 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 11:30-11:50 recess 11:50-12:10 lunch
Grade 1 11:30-11:50 lunch 11:50-12:10 recess
Grade 2 12:15 -12:35 lunch 12:35-12:55 recess
Grade 3 12:15 -12:35 recess 12:35-12:55 lunch
Grade 4 1:00-1:20 lunch 1:20 - 1:40 recess
Grade 5 1:00-1:20 recess 1:20 - 1:40 lunch
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 all snack and lunches will be eaten in the classroom. While I 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 can only accept individual pre-packaged items this year. There will not be any exchanging of goodie bags or other items.
With all of the new protocols and keeping student supplies separate for their use only, you will be receiving information from your child’s teacher as to the supplies to bring in for the first day of school, as we will not have room for storage of supplies not being utilized right away. Also, 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 Thursday, September 17th (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
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