March 5, 2021
Message from Executive Director

Video Message on YouTube

UMA Community - 

Today I'm broadcasting to you from the flex space on the second floor! I want to thank all of you for being with us for conferences over these past two days.  If you have not had an opportunity to connect with your child’s advisory teacher, please watch for an email or a phone call.  This is a great opportunity for us to work together as a team to finish the school year in the best manner possible.

This past week we sent the online form for those students who intend to return to UMA for next school year.  We are actively aligning our courses and we want to make sure that we have space for everyone that wants to be a part of Upper Mississippi Academy. If you have questions about this process, please contact Sally in the front office or send us an email and we'll get in touch with you so we can get your questions answered.

In addition to our returning students,  we are actively recruiting students for next year.  Our first round of recruiting is coming to a close this weekend and enrollment information for new students will be sent out early next week.  Throughout March, we will continue to recruit students through some of our partnerships, through a virtual Charter School Fair and other opportunities. If you have friends or family members who were considering Upper Mississippi Academy, we would love to hear from them soon.

We want to welcome on board some new staff members.  Sandy Session will be joining us as a building substitute so nearly all students will have an opportunity to interact with her.  Manny Calderon is joining us as a student teacher in middle school science, particularly with 6th and 7th grade, but he will also have an opportunity to work with students in other course areas. 

I want to thank everyone at home and here on campus for their support over the recent transition to hybrid learning. There has been a lot of information and I feel that staff, students and households have had to deal with a variety of new challenges. I want you to know that we are doing everything that we can to support each student in the learning model that works best for them. Please continue to ask your questions and we will continue to make as many adjustments as we can while keeping the safety of the UMA community in mind.

Currently we are watching for more guidance from the State of Minnesota, from the Department of Ed, and the Department of Health regarding things like testing, graduation, end-of-year picnics, and other opportunities that we might want to make available for our students. We will get updates and information to you as soon as possible. 

From campus here at Upper Mississippi enjoy the sunshine - 

Amy Erickson - Executive Director
Intent to Return to UMA 2021-2022
Thank you to the 125 families that have completed the Intent to Return form.   We are all looking forward to a fresh start and are excited to see many families will continue to be part of the UMA community. For families that have not gotten to completing, please take a few minutes to fill out the brief form indicating your decision to return to UMA next school year. A response by March 15 would be helpful in our planning for next school year.
What's Happening in the Classroom
Senior Steven Wielenberg has been busy the last few months, designing, building and installing a hydroponic system for the Edible Schoolyard learning pathway.  This was the culmination of Steven's Senior Capstone project where students identified a community need and then utilized their interests and talents to implement a project that meets the need.  Working with UMA's Culinary teacher Dina Berray, Steven was able to construct a system that will hold 84 plants. Ms. Berray was thrilled! The hydroponic system will allow for homegrown herbs and plants that will be used in culinary classes.  Steven's plans after graduation is to pursue a career in electrical engineering with the US Navy.  Thank you Steven for a lasting gift that will enhance the culinary experience for all UMA students! 
2021-2022 Enrollment 
UMA is looking for new students wanting to be an OTTER.  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.  Our priority enrollment deadline is March 5. Interested families can find enrollment information on our website.

Family Resources

Vaccine Connector
Roll up your sleeves, Minnesota - Vaccine Connector

The Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector is a new tool that helps Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

The Vaccine Connector will:

  • alert you when you are eligible to receive a vaccine;
  • connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment; and
  • notify you if there are vaccine opportunities in your area.

This tool is for all Minnesotans 18 years of age and older who have not yet been vaccinated. Insurance and identification are not needed, and signing up is free.

Sign up at Vaccine Connector. It is easy, safe, and secure.

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

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! 

Upcoming Dates
March 19 - Student Release Day - No School
April 5-9 - Spring Break - No School
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St. Paul, MN  55101

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