October 2, 2020
Dear UMA Families,
Already conferences are upon us, a time to meet with your student's advisory teacher to confer about student progress.  Conferences will be conducted online next Thursday, October 8 and Friday, October 9.  If they haven't already done so, advisory teachers will be in touch to schedule a meeting time.  Students are encouraged to attend and participate in the conference as well.  
Community Friday
One aspect that makes UMA so special are the opportunities on Fridays to learn outside of the classroom.  Last year, using public transportation students ventured near and far, visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Allianz Field, nearby colleges and many other places.  

Today's Community Friday found students online in groups exploring a variety of topics and activities. Middle school students led online board games, Spanish teacher Mr. Nordwall shared his expertise on model railroading, students wanting an artistic outlet could join an open art studio for drawing or another for spooky storytelling.  High school student options included a virtual field trip to the International Space Station, attending a lecture series from the Morrison Planetarium, as well as using the day for 1:1 academic help and self-care. Once it is safe to do so, UMA students will be out in the community again exploring in person.
UMA students in 2019-2020 school year visiting Saint Paul Airport and the Union Depot.
Family Resources
TechPak is an initiative that brings computers, internet and digital literacy training into the homes of Ramsey County residents who have experienced economic impacts due to COVID-19.

The current TechPak period is open until Oct. 2. Additional enrollment periods will be offered in November and December. Due to high demand, not everyone who applies will receive a TechPak. TechPaks will be awarded to eligible Ramsey County residents who have experienced job loss, reduced hours, change of household income or have other barriers due to COVID-19.

Do you need face masks for you and your family? Free masks are currently available through the A Mask for Everyone initiative. Ramsey County residents can request masks online and pick them up on one of three dates in October. Both adult and child size masks are available.

The Minnesota Department of Health is partnering with local public health officials and other community partners to offer access to free, no-barrier COVID-19 testing the week of Oct. 5 in St. Joseph, Willmar, Fairmont, Inver Grove Heights, Ely, and Cloquet.

Testing will be free, available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and will not require insurance. The six events next week are part of a four-week push to provide increased access to “no barrier” COVID-19 testing following increased levels of community spread statewide. The Minnesota National Guard will continue providing logistical support for a number of these events.

Testing will be done with a nasal swab, processed either by Mayo Clinic Laboratories or the University of Minnesota.

Anyone who wants to be tested is encouraged to come, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. No insurance or identification is needed. To avoid long lines, people are encouraged to pre-register for a time slot. The details and pre-registration links for all six events can be found on the Dept of Health website. Those who are unable to sign up online or need interpretation can call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.

What's Happening in Class
UMA's Design & Engineering curriculum exposes students to creative and technical challenges. Incorporating the processes of design and engineering, students collaborate with one another to take their ideas from paper to product.  From this type of experiential learning students learn curiosity, creativity, collaboration, integrative thinking and willingness to experiment and take risks.

This week 6th grade students learned how to use power tools and cut out plywood shapes. Students were told they were building “Outhouse Piggy Banks” but little did they know the outhouses were going to explode. Watch this video to find out how careful you need to be when dropping your coins!
Design & Engineering Class Makes Outhouse Style Piggy Banks
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We think Upper Mississippi Academy is pretty special and unique. If your family thinks so too, please let friends and neighbors know about our hands-on, experiential learning.  We still have open seats in all grades for the 2020-2021 school year.  Our website features a virtual tour for those interested in learning more about us.  Families interested in attending should complete an online 2020-2021 application.  

Even better, share this newsletter via your social media using the options below.  
Upcoming Dates
October 8 - Early Release at 1:05 pm for Hybrid Students   
                   Conferences-times to be determined
October 9 - No School - Conferences-times to be determined
October 15 & 16 - No School
November 5 - End of Quarter 1
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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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