Semester 2 Update

Semester 2 Update

Announcements and calendar items to move us from Semester 1 into Semester 2. This information was also emailed to UMA families on January 13, 2021.  For the calendar –

  • Friday, January 15th: no school for students:  this was announced before the winter break that there would be no school for students on Friday January 15th staff will be working, but no school for students.
  • Monday, January 18th: no school for staff and students: Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
  • Tuesday, January 19th and Wednesday, January 20th: there will be regular school, regular classes online, but the building will not be available. The UMA building and gate will remain locked both days.
  • Monday January 25th: no school for students: End of Semester 1, our regular student release day
  • Tuesday, January 26th: first day of Semester 2 – new classes and new schedule
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (January 26th, 27th and 28th): pick up materials for Semester 2. Staff available for materials pickups from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

With our change into Semester 2,  we’re going to be making an adjustment in the daily schedule.  We will continue on an A Day/B Day,  but we want to move closer to our block schedule. We’re going to be moving some of our asynchronous or independent/alone learning time back into the class block.  The class blocks will move from 45 minutes to 60 minutes, starting on Tuesday the 26th, for Semester 2. Teachers and Advisors will work with students to make sure they have the schedule for their semester 2 classes correct.  The day will be as follows:  regular advisory, then two blocks before a lunch break, and then 2 blocks in the early afternoon. Our end of the day time being approximately the same.  We will preserve some independent/asynchronous time in the afternoon and then school will end at 4:00 pm.  Teachers will continue with their end of the day additional prep time as designated by the Governor.

Given that the Governor has moved elementary schools back into hybrid and full in person learning, our question is ‘When is it our turn? When can we move middle school and high school back into the building?’  I have to report that even as of this morning there is no new information on this. All of the guidance is the same for middle school and high school as it was in the fall. Which means, we are watching those county numbers for Hennepin and Ramsey County and we are looking at a ratio of students and staff so that we can follow the requirement that education be safe and educationally sound when we bring students back into the building. For UMA, that is numbers in Hennepin and Ramsey County and also our ratio of students that have requested in person hybrid learning and our staff that is available to facilitate.

We’ll be keeping you up-to-date as we have more of that information and as guidance changes. As of now will be starting semester two in our distance learning model. We are aligning our classes, groups, our thinking, our schedule, and everything to be ready to come back when it is safe and when we can staff the building.

Please let me know what I can help with in terms of supporting this change of daily schedule. If it created a conflict at home or perhaps with a PSEO class, we want to be able to support you in making those adjustments.  Every semester brings changes and adjustments and we support all of the independent changes that have to happen. We will definitely support changes and adjustments again.  So from all of UMA, from all of the staff, we miss seeing you in person every day and we’re grateful to have this great Community to live and work and learn in and we look forward to spring semester. For us in Minnesota that means longer days, more sunshine and spring is around the corner. So thank you and I appreciate all of your time and have a great afternoon.

Amy Erickson, Executive Director

A video message can also be viewed at https://youtu.be/6mZA3GLfybQ

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