October 22, 2021

UMA Community,

As a strong community, UMA strives to enforce the values of teaching, learning, inclusion and diversity in a brave and safe space. This means not shying away from difficult conversations, whether they pertain to the world, country or our own school community.  Over the past couple of weeks, you have been informed of two incidents that have challenged us to engage in these difficult conversations.  

There have been many follow up conversations with students, parents/guardians, staff, and community members.  

UMA is grateful for the ongoing counsel and support of the following community partners:

Equity Alliance Minnesota

Minnesota Education Equity Partnership

Minnesota School Safety Center

St. Paul Police Department

As a team we were able to reach out, investigate, process, and determine a course of action in each scenario.  After that, we opened the communication and reflection up to the entire community and had more challenging conversations.  Your questions, support, frustrations, suggestions, wonderings and connections have all helped us move forward as a community.  

We will continue to learn and grow in every situation.  We will also continue to provide brave space for listening and speaking about us as a school and what we need to change, strengthen, and repair together.

This year, the UMA Board is laying out a strategic plan for the next three to five years.  Parents, guardians, students, staff and community partners will be given voice and opportunity to participate in a variety of ways throughout the planning and implementation.  I encourage you to ask questions, voice concerns, bring ideas and support action through these opportunities.  UMA is growing, strengthening and providing a space for all of us to flourish.

Thanks for your continued support for UMA - 

Amy Erickson-Executive Director
A friendly reminder that UMA does not allow Halloween costumes to be worn at school as they are distracting in our learning environment.  Students costumed in clothing or makeup will be asked to change and could result in a call home to bring a change of clothes.
What's Happening at School
If passion and commitment are enough to change the negative impacts of climate change, then UMA's Climate Changers Club is on their way to making a difference.  With staff support, these student leaders organized and led a Climate Summit on Wednesday, Oct. 20.  Local experts and policy makers shared information with students on the impact of climate change and what can be done to change it.  After the information sessions, students took part in hands-on service projects such as identifying storm drains that lead to the river, making art from trash and recyclables, beautifying the school with Earth themed artwork and picking up trash in the community.
Family Resources

Kids Deserve a Shot Campaign
Getting as many people vaccinated as possible is critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19. Right now, only 50% of Minnesotans 12-15 and less than 60% of Minnesotans 16-17 are fully vaccinated — the lowest vaccination rates of all eligible age groups. The 'Kids Deserve a Shot’ campaign rewards Minnesota teens for completing their vaccine series and building the broad community protection needed to keep our families, schools, and state safe.

Incentives for getting youth 12-17 years old their COVID-19 vaccination include eligibility  for a $200 Visa gift card and a chance to win a $100,000 Minnesota College Scholarship.  

Learn about the rewards below and visit the website for more information:

The latest COVID-19 updates can be found on the Minnesota Dept. of Health website. This includes vaccine and testing locations.

Options for free COVID-19 vaccines:
• Walk in or make an appointment through Minnesota’s Vaccine Locator Map. If you
have questions or need language assistance, call the Minnesota Department of Health
COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053 (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
• Use the CDC Vaccine Finder to find pharmacy appointments and search by vaccine
type (e.g., Pfizer).
• Stop by one of these YMCA locations.
• Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
• Visit for locations of community clinics operated by
our public health department.

Options for free COVID-19 testing:
 Walk in or schedule an appointment at one of the state’s COVID-19 CommunityTesting Sites.

• Order a free at-home test kit: COVID-19 Saliva Testing at Home.
• Additional testing options: Find Testing Locations.

Picture Day with Lifetouch Photo has been rescheduled for Thursday, November 18. Families interested in purchasing a photo package can do so online at and enter UMA's Picture Day ID EVTKSJKVN
Holiday Art Fair
Upper Mississippi Academy will be hosting our very first Holiday Art Fair!  On Friday, December 3 (5-8 pm) and Saturday, December 4 (9am - 1pm), UMA community members - students, staff, family members - will have the opportunity to reserve a table to display and sell their creative works.  Table reservations are $5.  Just in time for the gift giving seasons, please join us either to sell your wares or buy gifts for your friends and loved ones!  Contact UMA art teachers Mickey Jurewicz or Brian Nagel with any questions. 
Upcoming Dates
October 21 & 22 - No School for Students
October 28 4-6 pm - Flu Shot Clinic @ UMA
Friday, Nov 5 - No School  Student Release Day
Thursday, Nov 18 - Picture Day
Nov 24-26 - No School-Holiday
Dec 3 - 4 - UMA Holiday Art Fair
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19 Exchange Street East
St. Paul, MN  55101

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Upper Mississippi Academy · 19 East Exchange Street · St. Paul, MN 55101 · USA

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