My First Week at Unity: A New Mom’s Perspective

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in 07960, Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Education, Positive Discipline, Sustainability

By Wazila Rawat

As with many other parents and families, last week was a big milestone for our family. My older son, Naeem, started kindergarten and though he had attended daycare and pre-school, this was different – this was “big kids’ school” (to quote him 🙂 ).

As a parent, I had mixed feelings about this milestone. On one hand, I couldn’t figure out how 5 years had flown so fast – I wasn’t ready to let go of the pre-school years just yet. On the other hand, I was extremely proud to see Naeem go off to school in the school bus on his own.


I was also excited about being part of Unity as a parent. After learning about Unity at the open house last fall, I knew that Unity would be a good fit for my child and family. The school felt “right” for many reasons – the hands on learning, the approach to discipline and the commitment to sustainability among many other things.

This feeling was reinforced during the first week of school. At both the kindergarten play date organized by the PTO and the teacher meet and greet, everyone we met was extremely warm and welcoming. My favorite experience so far has been the school wide morning meetings – I love that the whole school gets together to start the day together.

On the first day of school, you could feel the excitement in the air as the kids returned back to a new school year. Looking over at Naeem, I saw a wide eyed look of awe at seeing so many kids in one place. 🙂 Though he was definitely overwhelmed that first day, I knew he would he would be ok.

After a great first week of school, I’m looking forward to continuing to learn more about Unity, meeting more parents and teachers and participating & volunteering in the various activities throughout the year.

About the Author

Wazila Rawat is a mother of two living in Morris Township. Her older son, Naeem, started kindergarten at Unity this year. Wazila’s hobbies include reading, yoga and cooking, especially baking!

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Unity Charter School. Unity Charter School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.

Unity Charter School staff helps out at Habitat for Humanity in Madison, NJ

Written by blogadmin. Posted in 07960, Civic Responsibility, Uncategorized

The Unity Charter School staff went for community service last Wednesday, February 12th in Madison. We helped to build two out of the three homes that they are building on Strickland Pl. We did everything from caulking, scraping foam, electrical work and cutting wood! It was a great day!!

–Amanda DiBattista


Mike B. and Jillianne S. team up


Savannah focusses on details


Julia focusses up


Lynn & Amy V don their safety gear!

Community Earth Movie Screening Tells Interesting Story

Written by Stacy Havens. Posted in 07960, Sustainability

Community Earth Movie Screening Tells Interesting Story

By Alethia Stone

The screening of the documentary Drill, Baby Drill at Unity Charter School on Friday, October 4 was an interesting event and yielded a few surprises. When I first read that the school would be hosting the film followed by a panel discussion to include testimony from someone personally affected by the results, I expected a hefty turn out. It had been well promoted in the communications from the school as well as by the sponsoring organizations, Community Earth and Food & Water Watch. While the turnout was respectable, I had expected more for such a charged topic, particularly when it has such grave implications for our own lives.

The audience profile was a surprise. There was only one other Unity parent and in general the attendees were older, much older which left me to wonder do people understand what the drilling process also known as fracking is, or do they just not care? Perhaps it was that it was a Friday night or that the topic was too political. Whatever the reason those in attendance were committed to learning more and spreading the word.

The film itself was also a surprise. I was expecting something political but instead what I watched was the story of two towns an ocean apart. One has been living the consequences of gas drilling for four years; the other just seeing the dawn of drilling in their country. Based on they learned about other towns where drilling had, a group of farmers in Poland were inspired to become activists and fight the introduction of drilling in their village.

Both the film and the ensuing discussion provided food for thought. Questions were answered thoughtfully and candidly. In screening this documentary, Unity gave the larger community access to information and resources about a subject that is not often highlighted in the media. In the end I was left with questions about the integrity of our food and water supply and wondered if it could happen here.

You can watch the trailer for Drill, Baby, Drill on Vimeo,

Learn more what happened in panelist Ray Kemble’s hometown of Dimock, PA.

There are two sides to every story. I would be remiss if I didn’t include a link to those in Dimock who still support the drilling. Consider both sides and decide for yourself what you believe.


Photos by Alethia Stone

Unity Charter School enjoys a day at Morristown Partnership’s Festival on the Green

Written by Stacy Havens. Posted in 07960, Uncategorized

Over 10,000 people came out for a beautiful day at Morristown Partnership’s Festival on the Green.  Unity’s booth was manned by  teachers, parents, and Board members who actively told visitors about all that Unity has to offer its students.

Don’t forget  about our upcoming Open Houses!  Doors open at 7pm on both October 24th and November 19 at the school.  These are your opportunities  to get a glimpse into a day at Unity Charter School before the January lottery.

Applications are available on our website, and are due Friday, December 13 at 4:30pm for the January 8, 2014 lottery.

Visitors decorate "tree cookie" necklaces

Visitors decorate “tree cookie” necklaces

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Parent Amy Ghelli, Assistant to the Director Michael Piacenza, and Administrative Assistant Christine Thorsen smile for the camera at Unity's Festival on the Green Booth

Parent Amy Ghelli, Assistant to the Director Michael Piacenza, and Administrative Assistant Christine Thorsen smile for the camera at Unity’s Festival on the Green Booth

Unity Charter School Teachers visit the Urban Farm in Morristown, NJ

Written by Stacy Havens. Posted in 07960, Uncategorized, Whole Child Education

About every other Wednesday during the school year, Unity Charter School has scheduled half days for the purpose of teacher development.  You can read more about the goals and reasons for this here.

This past Wednesday, our staff visited the Urban Farm in Morristown as a Professional Development Workshop.  The teachers walked to the farm on Hazel Street and were taught numerous ways to integrate our garden into all curricular areas.  The teachers were inspired by all that Farmer Shaun had to share and have a better grasp on how to utilize our garden more effectively.

Our 4th Grade teacher, Amy Vanderstad, and our 1/2 teacher, Amy Hoffman, took some photos along the way.  Enjoy!

Photo by Amy Hoffman Photo by Amy Vanderstad Photo by Amy Vanderstad Photo by Amy Vanderstad