February 5, 2021
Message from Executive Director

Information on UMA's return to a hybrid model of instruction was emailed to all UMA families this week.  Please check email accounts for this important information.

UMA has worked with our Regional Minnesota Department of Health team and on their recommendation we will again use our two-day-a-week model, stabilize that, and then move to a four-day week situation when it is safe and possible. The first layer of hybrid will begin on Tuesday the 16th with grade 7 and 8 + 9 + 10 in two day a week groups.  Grades 11 and 12 will begin on Monday, February 22nd in two day a week groups and Grade 6 will begin on Monday, February 22nd in a 4 day a week model.

Additional information on which school day grouping, transportation and other items will be emailed to families next week.  Distance learning for students wanting that option will continue on the same schedule. We are grateful to offer both students and staff the opportunity to continue learning and teaching from a distance so that we can meet the needs and the concerns of everyone. 

What's Happening in the Classroom
Are you a fan of the Discovery Channel's show MythBusters, the show that mixes science, curiosity and all things hands-on? Fortunately for UMA, if you haven't seen the show, just watch high school science teacher Danr Kretchmar's YouTube channel.  Danr is always tinkering and exemplifies hands-on, experiential learning.  Check out how to build a marshmallow launcher or watch how the properties of the Ideal Gas Law crush a large metal canister. Search MythBusters in YouTube for episodes that will surely keep you entertained and enlightened this frigid weekend, they even have one about how easily viruses spread!
Learn how to make your own PH indicator using red cabbage.
Family Resources

PTA Podcast

Notes from the Backpack features real conversations with real parents, experts and educators who offer real-life advice, ideas and strategies parents can use to help their children succeed in and out of school.

Since the 2021-22 FAFSA® form became available on October 1, 2020, completion rates among high school seniors are down 12% compared to the same time last year. Minnesota Goes to College host sites are uniquely poised to engage students in the FAFSA completion process. In partnership with Federal Student Aid, the American College Application Campaign invites school sites to join a webinar on understanding the 2020-21 FAFSA. February 10 at 1:00 p.m. (CST) or February 16 at 3:00 p.m. (CST) | Understanding the 2021-2022 FAFSA - Register here – space is limited. Learn about resources available on FSA’s digital platform at and the myStudentAid mobile app, discover new ways to engage students, and how to utilize FSA resources to increase FAFSA completion.

Tech Program

Calling all individuals and businesses to lend your support to young women in Minnesota to become our next, best technology talent.  The Minnesota Aspirations in Computing (MNAiC) program seeks sponsors, virtual mentors, summer internship providers, skill development partners, and volunteers for many other meaningful engagement opportunities.  More information can be found on their website.


COVID-19 Data
The Walz-Flanagan Administration has launched a public vaccine data dashboard to detail the progress of COVID-19 vaccine allocation, distribution and administration across Minnesota.

The dashboard provides a visual and user-friendly way to view key vaccination data for our state and is updated daily.

The Minnesota Department of Health's recently-updated COVID-19 testing recommendations focus primarily on young Minnesotans - especially those ages 12-25. The recommendations expand the category of people who should get tested to include students returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities, among others.

Minnesota has an extensive statewide testing operation. Parents and guardians have several ways in which they can access no-barrier testing for their children outside of school. This includes more than 20 community testing sites, a mail-order at-home test program, and clinics and hospitals across the state. A reminder, tests remain no-cost to the individual but they are asked to provide their insurance information so the state can seek reimbursement from insurance companies.

Please share information about testing opportunities with families in your school communities. Learn more at

If you have a specific need and would like help finding resources please feel free to contact the following staff, we would like to talk with you;

Joclyn Tiedt, Social Worker  612-208-3854 
Elizabeth Sullivan, Social Worker  612-466-0446
Anna Walters, School Counselor  612-888-2153
Post-Secondary Enrollment Options for High School Students

Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) allows students to earn dual credit for college classes while still in high school. Approximately 15 juniors and seniors take advantage of this program each year. There will be a virtual information session for UMA students and their parents and guardians on February 10th, at 7:00pm. We will cover topics on how to apply, materials needed, how to choose courses, expectations, requirements, and the benefits and potential drawbacks of pursuing PSEO. 

Please RSVP here if you are interested in attending. A link invite will then be provided. 

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Walters:

High School Costa Rica 2022 Trip!

Calling all current 8th-11th grade UMA students! An adventure awaits if you are interested in broadening your horizons and opening your mind even more with an international trip to Costa Rica.  Continue reading for answers to your first questions! 

Where do I go to see all the details of the trip? - You go to and start clicking around!

When is this trip? - This trip will happen around UMA’s Spring Break 2022. 

Who do I contact in order to ask questions and show interest? - Start your conversation with UMA's Spanish teacher Erik Nordwall by sending an email to (please indicate the student traveler in your inquiries).

Who can go on this trip? - You must be an enrolled high school student at UMA (You DO NOT have to be in Spanish class to go on this trip, nor do you need to know Spanish).

What about COVID-19? - We have had to postpone this trip twice due to COVID-19, however we believe that we will be in a safe place to travel by Spring Break next school year 2021-22 (but we will be recommending that you purchase Explorica’s best insurance plan in order to play it safe). 

If you’d like a visual taste of what this trip is like, please check out this YouTube playlist from our UMA Costa Rica 2018 Trip! 

¡Gracias y pura vida! 

Class Materials/Supplies for Semester 2
The UMA school building will be open Mon-Thurs from 9 am - 3 pm for families still needing to pick-up student materials and supplies for semester 2.  Please return to UMA any novels, books or other supplies that were used by your student in semester 1.
Virtual Singing Valentines to Benefit Our Neighbor the History Theatre
Be a sweetheart this Valentine's Day and send a virtual musical greeting to your Valentine. This unique gift is a great socially distant way to let someone know you are thinking of them.

Donate $25 or more and History Theatre will send a Valentune message of your choosing to your Valentine.  Proceeds will support History Theatre in paying artists and producing more stories you love. 

Your virtual Valentune will include a video of a popular musical standard performed by History Theatre actors and a personal message from you! Whether you want to express "Puppy Love," tell a friend "You Rock" or a simple "Love You" to your family, we have four wonderful love songs to choose from:
  • You Are My Sunshine, performed by Tyler Michaels King
  • What'll I Do, performed by Ann Michels
  • I Ain't Got Nobody, performed by Jen Maren
  • All of Me, performed by Erin Nicole Farste
To learn more about Valentunes (song choices or FAQs), click here.
Upcoming Dates
February 11 - No School for students - Teacher Work Day
February 12 - No School for students - Student Release Day 
February 15 - No School - Holiday
February 16 - Hybrid Learning Begins
February 26 - No School for students - Student Release Day
April 5-9 - Spring Break - No School
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St. Paul, MN  55101

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