UMA Update: Week of May 29Denise Goldman
As you know, UMA’s mission statement celebrates the idea of “lifelong learners.” As adults in the community, we model this concept through our exploration of new projects, our rejection of the fear of failure, and our passion to learn from our mistakes.
Looking back at our year, we are proud of the growth of our school, but we are even more proud of the learning that has pushed us to continue to improve. As we reflect and strive to learn from our past, we have taken on the following initiatives to improve:
- Bussing: Because the release of our bus routes was too late for families this past fall, we have already sent our current database of returning and new students to the bus company. We will share 2017-2018 bus routes with families in June.
- Pathways: We are pleased with the creation of a cross-curricular Design & Engineering framework and of the progress of our 6th and 9th grade Pathway classes. However, we realize that we need to improve the understanding and integration of all four Pathways into all of our curriculum. Thus, we plan to have all grades begin next year with active engagement in our Pathways during the first week of school. We are also developing a common language for the Pathways and are contacting collaborative community partners to enhance the experiential element of each Pathway.
- Wellness: This past year, we experimented with using some of Wellness time for advising and health education, which led to less time outdoors. In order to allow for maximum time outside for our students next year, we are in the process of reorganizing our health education to be integrated into social studies, culinary, and science curricula. We are also exploring alternate advisory structures.
- Teaming: Our first dedicated high school team did an outstanding job of collaborating across disciplines and planning for new ideas next year, but we realized that our middle school grade level teams were challenged to come together because many teachers teach across multiple grades. To improve on this model next year, we will have one 6th-grade team and a combined 7th- and 8th-grade team next year. This simplified structure will result in more effective planning and improved learning opportunities during collaborative planning time.
- Discipline: Students change behavior through education and learning how to face their mistakes. We know that suspensions and detention do not often lead to changed behavior; however, there are instances when disciplinary consequences are necessary to ensure safety and clear expectations. Thus, we are investigating ways to improve responses to behavioral issues through more clarity in our student handbook, continued teacher trainings in classroom management, and more involvement between grade level teams and students working towards positive behavior outcomes.
As we look forward to next year, I marvel our student’s and staff’s intrinsic motivation to learn more. I encourage all of you as parents to take on lifelong learning this summer by reading books that challenge your understanding, taking art classes or music lessons, reflecting on how to be a better parent, and/or trying something new. These are the types of learning experiences that benefit our entire community.
END OF SCHOOL CELEBRATION
Please be sure to sign and return your student’s permission slip, so they can attend our end of the year celebration next week!
Permissions Slips must be turned in before END OF DAY JUNE 6th.
MUSIC CONCERT TONIGHT
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 TONIGHT, 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!
LOST & FOUND
The lost and found will be donated TOMORROW, June 2nd!
Please check the basement hallway for any items your students might have left behind.