October 1, 2021

UMA Community,

Thank you for a smooth start to the school year, we appreciate your continued partnership in your child’s education, and your commitment to keeping the UMA community safe.

You may be aware that schools across the nation, along with COVID, are dealing with various TikTok trends. September was the month of “devious licks”, a trend of vandalism and theft that targeted bathroom fixtures and other school property.  UMA had minor infractions around this trend.

Unfortunately, there is a monthly calendar circulating on TikTok that outlines the trends for the remainder of the school year. We need your partnership again, as October’s challenge is particularly dangerous. This month’s school activity according to TikTok is  “slap a staff member on the back, and pretend it was an accident.”  Please speak to your child and remind them that UMA is a learning community that comes from a place of respect for others.  This behavior, circulated on TikTok, is considered assault and will not be tolerated. Any behavior of this kind warrants a suspension and further disciplinary action including, but not limited to assault charges. 

Pg 26 of the UMA Student Family Handbook  defines the act and the subsequent consequences.

Assault: Physical - Acting with intent to cause fear in another person of immediate bodily harm or death, or intentionally bullying, inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon another person. Any intentional, harmful or potentially harmful physical contact or bullying initiated by a student against a staff member will be considered to be assault.

Refusing to obey an order to cease striking, hitting, or attacking another student with the intent to cause physical harm.

Bodily Harm, Inflicting - Committing a reckless act or negligent act that inflicts bodily harm upon another person.

We know that some adolescents are more likely to engage in risky behaviors as a function of their developmental stage, but we also know that all teenagers are capable of making good decisions, especially those at UMA.  Our staff will discuss this trend in Advisory with students and the possible consequences if they choose to make a poor choice. 

We appreciate your partnership and look forward to the remainder of the school year.    

Counselor Corner
October kicks off College Knowledge Month. In addition to the FAFSA opening this month, many schools are offering free applications for specific weeks in October, or the entire month. Visit Minnesota Goes to College for a download of a comprehensive list of participating institutions.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filling season starts on Oct 1. Students and families are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA as early as they can to make sure they have access to the financial aid available to them. Completing the FASFA opens the door to scholarships and grants, work-study and loans and is the most important step for students to receive help affording college.

Your student can send FAFSA to up to 10 post secondary institutions. Even if they have not applied to the school yet, filling out the FAFSA early is encouraged. The earlier you file the better, as more money is available early on. 

The FAFSA form can be found at  You can visit for tips and directions on next steps. There is also the mystudentaid mobile app available through the Google Play or IOS App store
What's Happening at School
Staff Sergeant Jennifer Honan-Abarquez, a recruiter for the U.S. Marine Corps stopped by UMA to obtain school records for 12th grader Luis Dominguez Kubes.  Luis has enlisted with the Marines and will be reporting to basic training in June 2022 after graduation.  Luis started at UMA in 7th grade, resides in Minneapolis and is the son of Carol Kubes.  UMA staff are proud of his resilience, drive and motivation to serve his country.
Family Resources

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 postponed due to a staffing shortage of photographers.  A rescheduled date will be shared with families when available.    

St. Paul families looking for additional after-school activities and programming can check-out Sprockets, a network of many after-school organizations.

Upcoming Dates
October 21 & 22 - No School for Students
Friday, Nov 5 - No School Student Release Day
Copyright © 2021 Upper Mississippi Academy, All rights reserved.

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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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