At UNIS students learn in an inspiring, warm environment that emphasis being a good person and doing good for others. A variety of learning styles are incorporated to learn new concepts which often include interdisciplinary projects. There is also a strong emphasis on languages, arts and music.
When reading these reviews you may note many reviews were posted in Sept. 2016. This was shortly after the Principal, through the Parents Association, noted some unfavorable reviews and informally solicited positive feedback.
My son is at a specialized high school. When he started, he was much less prepared for the level and intensity of work than students who attended middle schools with Regents programs. UNIS does not have students prepare or take Regents exams.
My son attended UNIS Queens for 9 years, K - 8 and UNIS Manhattan for 4. (He qualified for Stuyvesant HS but chose to stay at UNIS) . He received an excellent preparation for college and the work force. The teaching staff was incredibly supportive. The small school environment made the entire campus a "family."
The preparation for the International Baccalaureate (IB) in Queens, followed by the full IB was an exception curriculum. Critical thinking and writing skills were emphasized in a way superior to what I saw at other schools.
I have two children who both attended UNIS Queens from K-8. My daughter is in 8th grade and my son went on to attend UNIS Manhattan High School even though he had been accepted by a NYC specialized high school. UNIS overall is a wonderful school, but Queens is especially a hidden gem where each child is treated with respect from an early age and taught to be productive responsible individuals. The teaching method at UNIS is incredibly creative and diverse. One of the upside of a small school is that the teachers can collaborate and teach a theme that touches all disciplines. For example, when my son was in 6th grade the mandala was used by the math teacher to teach patterns and geometry, the art teacher to teach design, and the humanities teacher to teach religious symbols. UNIS places equal focus on all subjects from STEM, humanities, to art and music. The teachers and administrative staff are very responsive. We could not be happier that our kids attended UNIS Queens.
We have 10 years of experience with the school. Our son attended K-8 and our daughter is finished her K-8 this year. Both have gotten excellent experiences through the school, both academic and social. The school is highly diverse with students and faculty from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, both local and international. The students achieve excellent results in national testing scores and NY specialized high school scores. About half of the students last year went on to the UNIS high school in Manhattan (also an excellent school) while a similar amount went on to competitive NYC high schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, etc.
Our kids thrived in the multi-disciplinary project work that spans all grades (Science, Art, Humanities, Math). Both came through loving their subjects and teachers. The students are amazingly cohesive and supportive of each other, and of their teachers. The administration and faculty are highly accessible and aware of the individual students and families. We have recommended the school to several families whose kids have attended and are very happy with the experiences and outcomes.
We noticed that our older child tended to thrive in smaller groups, and being her, needed a little more of a loving environment in general. So started our journey of eventually biting the bullet and deciding on a private school environment for her. We explored a number of schools and composed a fairly detailed spreadsheet of what we were looking for in a school. UNIS met all of our wants and especially our "needs" (caring environment, good student to teacher ratio, allowing her to excel cognitively where she was ahead and helping her where lagging, other children were good to each other, diverse environment, etc). It has lived up to all of those expectations 2 years later and we could not be happier. Our second child just started this year and she has the best Kindergarten teacher EVER. In fact, all of the teachers have been wonderful and the administration completely open to us at any time. It has been a great experience.