UMA Update: Week of May 22

UMA Update: Week of May 22

Hello UMA Community!

This is a time of year to reflect and have closure. As I think back over the past year, we have demonstrated our desire to engage our staff and students in collaboration, to build community, and to challenge students to learn how to effectively express themselves. Two recent examples are:

  • Seventh graders wonderfully displayed and discussed the boxes they created as part of a collaborative communications project. The students’ boxes gave insight into their passions and the variety of means by which they communicate verbally and non-verbally.
  • Through three packed performances of The Castaways of UMA, the Theater Club wowed the audiences with their acting, singing and staging. I am so appreciative of our staff’s creativity and collaboration as they worked with students on developing this awesome musical.

This year marks a milestone for UMA since we have our first ever graduating class. The majority of these graduates have grown with us from the start, as they entered the school as 9th graders during UMA’s first year. As seniors, they are clearly going through a time of reflection, closure, and looking ahead. I want to share some quotes from a few of them in the spirit of collaborating on this update as they approach this juncture in their lives:

  • “I feel like I will miss the entire school when I am not here next year.”
  • “I don’t think about the future too much. I take things day by day. I don’t have the  tolerance and energy to handle all the little worries.”
  • “Throughout the senior year, we are forced to face the reality of adulthood and start to prepare for it whether or not we’d prefer to remain oblivious. Doing so helps us mature as people.”
  • “I already have my retirement plan figured out. What else do I need to do?”
  • “I am ready to work. I have really grown up. I picked up some responsibilities which caused my brain to work harder and made me realize how much I can achieve. Life is a source of power that you only get once.”

The experiences that we all faced this past year, whether at school or elsewhere, give us an opportunity to reflect on who we each want to become. I look forward to hearing from our graduates about their new journeys. As a school, I am excited about what we have learned this year, as we prepare for a great 2017-18 school year. I plan to share some of our hopes for next year in the two remaining updates.

Harry Adler
Executive Director


The Gala Committee would like to give a shout to students in our UMA Community. Thanks in large part to them, the Yuba Bike Raffle raised $3,250 and students sold 265 of the 325 tickets. That’s 81% of the total tickets sold! Our top seller was seventh grader Jacob Hong, who sold 51 tickets.

All participating students are to be commended for helping to support their school. And just in case you didn’t hear, Ms. Jurewicz’s father was the winner of the bike!

Look for a complete GALA update in next week’s Director’s Message email.


Mr. Schneider’s and Mr. Frensz’s classes are coming together for an end of the year concert! The evening of music will include student-led bands, a piano ensemble, and the UMA Funk Band. We will feature music by Michael Jackson, Foo Fighters, Queen, Adele, and some of the students’ original works.

Come show your support on Thursday, June 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets are free, but donations will be accepted and will go straight to the music program. See you there!


The lost and found will be donated on Friday, June 2nd!
Please check the basement hallway for any items your students might have left behind.

Looking for Free Summer Fun?
Check out your local library!

Your library offers much more than books: classes, reading clubs, snacks, programs, prizes, and more!

St. Paul Public Library
Summer Spark Program

Hennepin County Library
Summer Learning Programs

For a full listing of Minnesota libraries and a book search visit

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