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UMA WEEKLY UPDATE
August 9, 2021
UMA Community - 

We have been monitoring the continuous flow of changing information and are now able to bring together information from a wide variety of sources on best recommendations for returning to school this fall.  We are reflecting now on what a great job all of the UMA community did as they navigated through the past school year.  UMA will follow the CDC and MDH/MDE strong recommendations that In-Person Learning be the high priority. 

Cleaning and sanitizing protocols will remain in place.

In order to support our students and staff to be in person in the building, we will continue to follow a masking requirement for all students and staff.

  • Masks will be required by every student regardless of age or vaccination status when in the building.  We have a number of members in our community that are not yet eligible for vaccination due to age or health scenario.

  • Staff will wear masks when students are present.  In a meeting with all adults, they will ask if there is a preference and all adults in that meeting will wear masks if anyone has that preference.

  • Staff who are working alone in their room or office are not required to wear masks, but will put on a mask if someone enters their space.

At this time, masks are required on public transportation including school buses. As changes in this occur, we will update the UMA community.

In-Person Learning will be the priority for all grade levels and classes.  Teachers and Paraprofessionals will all be in the building teaching and working with students every day.  Authentic, hands-on learning will be the model in which UMA supports students in accessing information and advancing learning.

  • Distance Learning will not be an option at UMA for 21-22 unless another emergency situation arises.

  • Quarantine recommendations have shifted away from entire classes/grade levels to individuals who test positive.

  • Individuals who do not follow masking protocols may be asked to quarantine if a positive covid tested individual has been a close contact.

  • The personal distancing space will be 3 ft when available and limited close contact when necessary (less than 30 mins per session).

  • Classes/Lunch groups will take the opportunity to be outside as often as it supports learning and weather permits.

Cafeteria space and school lunch will be available for students as planned. 

  • Cafeteria seating meets the current recommendations for eating.

  • An area of the cafeteria will be available with 6 ft spacing for those comfortable with a more spacious seating area.  

  • The screen porch will be used  as weather permits with limited seating available.

  • Off campus lunch with appropriate signed forms by parents and students:

    • 11th and 12th graders will begin September 13, 2021.  

    • 10th grade student permission for off campus lunch will begin Quarter 2, November 8, 2021. 

    • 9th grade student permission for off campus lunch will begin Quarter 3, January 31, 2021.

If you are aware of a student or household that would like to join us at UMA, we have expanded our sections in order to keep our class groups under 25 students.  We are continuing to enroll students at all grade levels.

As in the past year, we will be posting a slide deck with all of the information on our website.  We look forward to seeing everyone at our back to school Open House from 5-8 pm on Thursday, August 26.
                                 Welcome, Back, School, Board, Empty, Slate, Blackboard

Back to School News & Resources

Math Testing - Students new to UMA 
Does your child excel in math? Are you unsure of which math class your child belongs in? The UMA math department will be conducting math placement exams to determine which math class  is best for your child. UMA does accelerate students who are strong in math to ensure continued success and challenge, and offers support for students who are struggling. Testing will be conducted on Tuesday, August 17.  Due to COVID policy, UMA will require masks during testing and there will be social distancing. For further information, feel free to contact Kelly Winter at kelly.winter@umissacademy.org for middle school testing or Bill Hauer at bill.hauer@umissacademy.org for high school testing. 

Infinite Campus
A new feature will be added to the Infinite Campus (IC) parent portal that will allow parents to reset their password with a recovery email sent to the email address in our system.  This change will be implemented Tuesday, August 10.  When accessed, all parents with an existing IC parent portal login will need to create a new password.  

Families new to UMA will be sent an email on Wednesday, August 11 with instructions and a personal identification code to be used to create an account in the Infinite Campus (IC) portal.  IC accounts are not transferable from another school, so parents will need to use the UMA credentials in the email to access your UMA student's information.

School Supply Lists 
Lists for grade levels can be found on the school's website here.
Advisory and optional classroom supplies should be gathered by student's advisory teacher.

School Year Calendar
The online website calendar is a good source of information for school special events, meetings and student clubs & activities.  A 2021-2022 calendar with vacation dates, student release days and conferences can be found here. First day of school is Monday, August 30.

Shopping with Amazon
An easy way to support our school is to designate Upper Mississippi Academy as your designated charitable organization with AmazonSmile program.  Shop at smile.amazon.com and .5% of eligible purchases will be donated directly to the school.
What's Happening at School
UMA is actively engaged in creating an inclusive and accepting school climate.  Students, former students and staff helped table a booth at the Twin Cities Pride Festival at Loring Park in July.  
Hiring Opportunity
Monarch Bus Service is hiring school bus drivers. This is a perfect job for college students, retirees or someone who just loves to drive!  No day care, no problem, bring your kids to work.  Free training, good pay & benefits. Any new hire that was referred by UMA will result in a $1,000 school credit for field trip buses.  Contact 651-829-4112 to learn more or apply online at Monarch Bus Service. 
Family Resources

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

2021-2022 Enrollment 
UMA still has open seats for new students wanting to be an OTTER in the 2021-2022 school year.  Current UMA families are the school's best marketing tool, we often see on enrollment forms a new student heard about UMA from a friend. If you see our social media posts on Facebook or Instagram, please share to your network.  Interested families can find enrollment information on our website in the Prospective Families tab.

                                       
Upcoming Dates
Thursday, August 26 - Back to School Open House - 5-8 pm
Monday, August 30 - First Day of School
September 6 & & 7 - No School Holiday Break
October 21 & 22 - No School for Students
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