About UMA

Upper Mississippi Academy is a public charter school providing high-quality education for students in grades 6-12. UMA’s experiential, collaborative environment encourages dynamic teaching and learning through an interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional instructional approach.

We have designed our learning program to eliminate the hierarchy of subjects, recognizing that the arts, the sciences, humanities, languages, physical education, and mathematics all have equal and central contributions to make to our students’ educations.

Finally, at UMA we understand that learning is a distinct, personal process for every student. As such, we encourage individual learning styles and natural abilities while moving toward academic and lifelong goals.


Upper Mississippi Academy
is a collaborative community
engaging lifelong learners
in active, authentic experiences.

Our Values

Together, we are more than the sum of our parts.

We achieve more by working together. Our Students, Parents, Faculty, Administration and Board nurture a collaborative environment to remove artificial barriers between subjects, grade levels, and our school and community. This collaborative spirit allows us to do more with less, develops important 21st-century skills, and produces a welcoming environment for all.

We learn best when exercising our creativity.

We recognize that all students are inherently unique and creative. Our focus on active learning and design-thinking requires our students and teachers to innovate throughout the learning process.

We engage our communities.

We are a presence in our dynamic community. Our students see academic content in real world context, network with neighbors and local business leaders, exhibit their creations, and shape their current and future role in a global society.

These values guide our program design, inform academic experiences and provide significant and meaningful opportunities for collaboration with peers, teachers, and community experts in all content areas.

We celebrate the freedom to discover.

We view failure, not as an end itself, but as a way to nurture learning, innovative thinking, and persistence.

Quick Facts

School Hours
9:20 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Office Hours
Monday – Friday (including student release days)
8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

UMA is located at 426 Osceola Ave. S., St Paul, MN 55102, just off West 7th Street at Randolph. We will be spending at least the next two school years at this location.

If you have questions or feedback regarding future site selection, please send us a message, and we’ll be happy to have someone get in touch with you!

UMA is authorized by Innovative Quality Schools (IQS).

IQS is a “Single Purpose Authorizer” meaning that, unlike other authorizers, their only mission is to authorize charter schools. Like UMA, IQS is a non-profit corporation with 501 (c)(3) status. IQS was approved by Commissioner Alice Seagren as an authorizer on December 1, 2010 and currently authorizes more than 20 schools.

By the Numbers
Average Class Size: 25
Teacher to Student Ratio: 14:1
Estimated Enrollment 2017/2018: 290

Daily Schedule
UMA uses a block schedule with alternating days (A/B).

Each day consists of four 90-minute blocks, including one split block that meets every day. The 2 morning blocks are separated from the afternoon blocks by a 60-minute Lunch/Wellness/Advisory period.

Confused? Check out a graphic of our daily schedule.

Primary School Contacts

Harry Adler
Executive Director
651.528.8091 ext. 303

Amy Elverum
Associate Director &
Director of Special Education
651.528.8091 ext. 420

Chris Mortenson
Board of Directors, President

Stephanie Oyen
Office Manager
fax: 651.683.2042