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UMA WEEKLY UPDATE
February 19, 2021
Message from Executive Director

UMA Community - 
Thanks so much for all the support, questions and smiles as we roll back into our hybrid learning model.  Right after our planning, our meeting with the MDH Regional Support team and a lot great work by all of our staff - Governor Walz announced more information regarding Middle School and High School students.  When we looked at our plan, and then looked at the MDE/MDH/Governor's recommendations - UMA is right in line with the broader thinking.

We know that each school and each district will take their own steps forward as will UMA.  We have a plan in place and are advised to move forward with that plan.  We continue to balance the availability of staff with the number of households requesting hybrid opportunities.  As we increase our capacity, we will increase our student numbers and the amount of time for students and staff in the building.  

This week we had a successful roll out for a hybrid learning model in grades 7,8,9 and 10.  Next week we will add grades 6, 11 and 12.  Hybrid 6th graders will begin on Monday, February 22, and will be in the building Mon - Thursday.  Hybrid 11th and 12th graders are assigned to either a Mon/Tues group or a Wed/Thurs group. 

Reminder-Families will be contacted by their students advisor to schedule an online conference Thursday, March 4 or Friday, March 5.  This is a great time to discuss new strategies for finishing the school year strong.

Enjoy the warmer weather, 
Amy Erickson - Executive Director

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.



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.  Locations, dates/times of covid test sites can be found here.

Please share information about testing opportunities with families in your school communities. Learn more at mn.gov/covid19/testing.


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 joclyn.tiedt@umissacademy.org  612-208-3854 
Elizabeth Sullivan, Social Worker elizebeth.sullivan@umissacademy.org  612-466-0446
Anna Walters, School Counselor anna.walters@umissacademy.org  612-888-2153
From the School Counselor

Upper Mississippi Academy will be administering the ACT college entrance exam, FREE to ALL 11th grade students on Tuesday, March 30th.  In cooperation with Upper Mississippi Academy, Advantage Educational Programs will provide students an opportunity to prepare for this test through their Virtual ACT Prep Course.  This course is designed for students who want to maximize their ACT score, as well as students feeling uneasy about their test-taking skills or unsatisfied with results from a previous exam. 
 
The Virtual ACT Prep Course consists of four, three-hour, synchronous classes that meet on Thursdays from 5:45 – 8:45 PM.  This course includes diagnostic testing, instruction in time management, overcoming test anxiety, science reasoning, English strategies/review, essay writing, reading comprehension, and math strategies/review.  Students enrolled in this course benefit from live, remote instruction provided by experienced Advantage instructors, and students will also be able to interact with the instructor.  

The Virtual ACT course fee is $150, register online by February 22.

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Walters: anna.walters@umissacademy.org

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 Explorica.com/Nordwall-3016 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 erik.nordwall@umissacademy.org (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
February 26 - No School for students - Student Release Day
March 4 - Distance Learning for All - Early Release Day
March 4 - Conferences 
March 5 - Conferences - No School
April 5-9 - Spring Break - No School
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