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What's New at Urbana Middle School

Illinois Youth Survey

April 27th, 2016

Between May 3 and May 11, eighth grade students will participate in the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS).  Details about the survey are listed below including a link to the IYS’s main website.  Hard copy letters informing you of the survey and how to opt-out are being sent by mail, and the opt out form is linked below for your convenience.

The purpose of the IYS is to better understand youth attitudes and behaviors that can impact student problems and academic success. It will ask about topics including nutrition, physical activity, bullying, tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use. Students will be asked to complete a survey (with no names or identification numbers) that will be confidentially administered during one class period. The survey is completely voluntary and privacy will be strictly protected.  More details about the IYS may be found here Illinois Youth Survey Homepage .

If you would like to have your child not participate in the IYS, please complete the opt-out form here IYS Spanish Opt-Out or IYS English Opt-out or contact your child’s social studies teacher.

Meeting for Families of Middle Schoolers New to USD

April 25th, 2016

If you are the parent or guardian of a student in grades five through seven who currently is not enrolled in but considering Urbana School District, you are invited to attend an informational session with your student on May 3. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an orientation to our school including an overview of curriculum, clubs and activities, and enrollment procedures. During your visit, you will also receive a tour of the school and have the opportunity to ask questions of our administrators and counselors.

Each year we have many students who enroll with us from private, parochial, homeschool, international, and other out-of-district settings, and we want to help make sure your student is successful.  At the same time, we want to make sure that you are making a well-informed decision about your student’s schooling.

We will offer two sessions on May 3, and each session will be similar.  Our morning session is from 9:30-11:00 in room 1520, and the evening session is from 6:00-7:30 in the band room.  Parking is available in our north lot along Vine Street, and visitors should enter through the main entrance (Door #1, located under the front awning).

If you have additional questions or cannot attend, please feel free to contact me directly.

A copy of this letter is provided here: Informational Meeting for non-USD Families

Illinois Black Caucus Youth Day Event

April 7th, 2016


Attention 8th Graders:  UMS has been invited to participate in the Illinois Black Caucus Civic Engagement Youth Day Event in Springfield which will take place on May 19.  This event includes a trip to Springfield to visit the capitol, visit with state representatives, and see our government in action. This trip is no charge to the students, lunch is provided, and a UMS staff member will serve as your chaperone. If you are interested in being considered to be one of the UMS representatives at this event, please pick up a form in the main office or at our website.  Applications are due in the main office by Monday, May 2. UMS will be able to take only 9 students.

2016 Illinois Black Caucus Civic Engagement Youth Day Event

Eighth Grade Promotion

April 7th, 2016

Below is the invitation letter that was sent home to families of eighth graders who are eligible to participate in the Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony.  The event will be held in UMS’s gymnasium on Friday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m.  Students must arrive before 8:45.

2016 Promotion Announcement Letter

Principal’s Award

April 7th, 2016

One Principal’s Award is given annually to one eighth grade student.  Students have the opportunity to nominate themselves for this award.  Students must complete an application and submit an essay in order to be considered.  All applications will be blind-reviewed by a committee, and the committee’s assessments of the applications will remain confidential.  The winner of the award will be announced at the Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony.  The winning student will receive an individual plaque and will have his/her name added to a permanent plaque in outside the main office.  All applications are due in the main office by Tuesday, May 2, 2016.

Prin Award Nomination 2016 WORD

Prin Award Nomination 2016 PDF

Message from UMS PTSA

March 29th, 2016

Hello UMS friends and families:

The time has come to nominate a new PTSA board for the 2016-17 school year.  The process is relatively easy.  Each candidate requires two nominations, one of which may be a self-nomination.  You may email your nominations directly to urbanamiddleschoolptsa@gmail.com.  Positions with more than one candidate running will require a less than two-minute speech introducing themselves, giving their previous experience, and stating their goals at the April 19 PTSA meeting, where voting will follow.

Please have your nominations in by April 11.

Thank you for your continued support of the PTSA

3rd Quarter Honor Roll Recipients and Recognition

March 28th, 2016

3rd Quarter Honor Roll Recipients and Recognition

Due to the timing of the end of the quarter along with Spring Break and our state testing schedule: This Friday, April 1st - will be when we acknowledge our 3rd quarter honor roll recipients. Students who are on honor roll (a 4.0 GPA or higher) will receive a small snack and recognition certificate during their regularly scheduled grade level lunch. If this is your child’s first time making honor roll this year, please feel free to celebrate with them by joining them for lunch this Friday. A list of those who made honor roll this quarter can be found Q3 Honor Roll Lists.

Enrichment Showcase

March 22nd, 2016

The Spring Enrichment Showcase is Tuesday, March 29  from 6-7 pm in and around Room 1520.  More than 50 students will be displaying and/or performing their enrichment projects.  You may arrive early to set up!  Bring your families!  Refreshments will be served!

If you are interested in seeing who is presenting and what will be presented, check out the program HERE

Check out one of our enrichment projects HERE.  For the second time this year, a small group of students has been working in an enrichment group to produced a student-led version of our new school newspaper.

5th Grade Family Orientation and Curriculum Night

March 15th, 2016

On March 16 all families and students are invited to attend our Fifth Grade Family Orientation and Curriculum Night. The program begins at 6:30 in the cafeteria and will end by 8:00. The purpose of this evening is to provide a general overview of the middle school program including academics, activities, and athletics. For parents new to UMS, parking is available along Vine Street in our north parking lot and west of the building in the parking lot next to the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center. All visitors should plan to enter through door number 1 on the north side of the building under the canopy.

Handouts from the event are available here:

2016 Parents Presentation for Publication

Parent Letter

Math Placement Tests-March 14

March 10th, 2016

On Monday, March 14, all sixth and seventh grade students will take a math placement exam. This exam is designed to assess student’s math readiness for next school year and to help determine which math course is appropriate for each student. The test will be used as one of several data points to assist math staff. There is no need to prepare your student for the exam; however, discussing the upcoming exam at home may help alleviate any test anxiety that students may have.

We anticipate notifying students and families of the recommended math placement by mail by May. At that time, any questions or concerns you may have about the math placement should be directed to the grade-level counselors: Andrea Kirkland (akirkland@usd116.org) for current seventh graders; Cindy Sikes (csikes@usd116.org) for current sixth graders.

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