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What's New at Urbana Middle School

Progress Reports and PPAC

November 26th, 2014

Yesterday, Tuesday, November 25, progress reports for second quarter were mailed home to all families.  Included with the progress report was a letter inviting all parents/guardians to participate in this year’s Parent Principal Advisory Committee.  See the attached letter for more information. PPAC2014

PTSA Holiday Vouchers

November 20th, 2014

The PTSA is selling Holiday Gift Vouchers to give to teachers, staff, teams, school groups, or the PTSA.  Your recipient is notified of your gift, which is deposited in their UMS account.  Recipients can choose to use their gift funds for any type of educational purchases.  To purchase vouchers, complete the form sent home last week (copies available in Main Office, attached below, or via email from urbanamiddleschoolptsa@gmail.com), include payment, and return to the UMS office by Friday, December 12, 2014.  Holiday Voucher 2014

Principal’s Blog–Bullying Behavior

November 18th, 2014

During the middle school years, it is not uncommon for students to experience bullying behaviors.  At the same time, it is not uncommon for young adolescents to exhibit bullying behaviors.  During this time of exceptional physical and emotional change, students tend to test both physical and emotional boundaries, and these actions may take the form of physical and verbal bullying behavior.  It is important for adults, however, to recognize that because a student may exhibit these inappropriate behaviors it does not mean the student is a bully.  At the same time, just because a student experiences unwanted physical or verbal interactions does not mean a student is being bullied.

Bullying means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  1. Placing the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.
  2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.
  3. Substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance.
  4. Substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Whether or not the behavior rises to the level of bullying the school does take these behaviors seriously.  It is important that if your student is reporting any unwanted physical or verbal behaviors that you report behaviors as soon as possible to the school by contacting your child’s dean or counselor.  Your child can also complete an anonymous reporting form available outside the main office and any of the deans’ offices.

For more information about bullying behaviors, please see our Bullying Behavior FAQ.

Principal’s Blog–11-12-2014

November 11th, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to travel to the Association for Middle Level Education’s national conference with a small team of UMS staff.  This was an exciting opportunity for us to learn from other middle schools from across the country.  At the same time, it was reassuring to know that we are on the right track and providing an excellent school that supports, educates, and advocates for young adolescents.  I can say proudly that UMS stands alongside the best middle school programs in the country.

For many families, the middle school years are a challenging time because your child is changing rapidly and dramatically.  At no point in your child’s life, other than infancy, will he or she experience so much physical, emotional, and intellectual growth so rapidly.  Educating children at this age level requires a staff that specializes in working with, understanding, and organizing young adolescents in ways that are developmentally appropriate, challenging, empowering, and equitable.

As a school, we are committed to providing an outstanding middle school education to all of our students.  To do this, we remain focused on the needs of young adolescents while working constantly to improve curriculum and instruction, culture and climate, and safety and security.

If you are interested in learning more about the core beliefs of middle level education, I encourage you to visit this link:  http://www.amle.org/AboutAMLE/ThisWeBelieve/tabid/121/Default.aspx#122516-the-16-characteristics

As always, if you would like to discuss any issues or concerns with me, please do not hesitate to contact me.

PTSA Newsletter

November 11th, 2014

Please check the documents below for important updates and information from our PTSA.

Nov-Dec 2014 – ENG

Nov-Dec 2014 – SPA

PTSA Meeting November 5

October 30th, 2014

You’re invited to the PTSA’s next meeting!

  • When:  Wednesday, November 5, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Where:  UMS Band Room
  • Guest Speaker:  Mr. Matthew Stark, UHS Principal.

Mr. Stark will be speaking about making the transition from UMS to UHS, how 8th graders will register for 2014-15 UHS courses, etc.  He will also answer questions from the audience. Brief Business Meeting following Mr. Stark’s presentation.

Free Pizza Dinner and Childcare:  Provided by the UMS PTSA and the UMS Student Council.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

October 21st, 2014

Parent-Teacher Conferences are next week on Tuesday and Thursday evening.  On October 28, conferences are 4:30-7:30 and October 30, 4:30-6:30.  Generally, conferences are hosted with your child’s academic team.  If you would like to meet with your child’s team teachers, you are asked to contact the team facilitator and he or she will schedule a time with you.  Please call the school’s main line, 384-3685, or email the facilitators at the emails listed below.  Please note, many of the teams have already sent home information about scheduling parent-teacher conferences, and you may already have an appointment.

6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade
Endeavor cpond@usd116.org Armonia jbrown@usd116.org Divergent jpece@usd116.org
Stellar dfrye@usd116.org Aspire lbrownfield@usd116.org Hercules lhlinka@usd116.org
Superstars talvarado@usd116.org Visioneers kskarzynski@usd116.org Incredible ckoplinski@usd116.org
Trailblazers cray@usd116.org

If you would like to meet with a specific Physical Education, Health, Special Education, Music, Art,

Foreign Language, Family and Consumer Sciences, Technology or other teacher, please call the office and a secretary will direct you to the teacher for scheduling.

As always, if you are unable to attend parent conferences, you can contact your child’s teachers directly by phone or e-mail and you can request a meeting for another time.

Si su estudiante esta en clases bilingues, de favor llame a Srta. Moreno (mmoreno@usd116.org).  Tambien, si necesita servicios de traduccion, llame a Sra. Maldonado (lmaldonado@usd116.org).

Box Tops Fundraiser until October 27

October 19th, 2014

Over the next week, the UMS PTSA will be holding its annual Box Tops for Education Fall fundraiser.  Our goal is to raise even more than $2,000 for UMS this year.  If every student and staff member turns in at least 10 Box Tops labels, we can meet this goal.  Each label is worth 10¢ for the school and you may already have some labels on products you’ve purchased. (See http://www.boxtops4education.com/participating-products for examples of products that have Box Tops for Education labels).  Please look around your home for products that have the Box Tops label on them, clip the labels and have your student turn them in to their academic team.  Every team facilitator has a Box Top collection jar, and there is also a jar located in the UMS office.  The team with the most Box Tops collected by October 27th will win a prize!  Thank you for supporting our fundraiser.

Cross Country at State

October 19th, 2014

Congratulations to UMS Cross Country for a great season. At Saturday’s State Meet, our girls took 19th in the state. Olivia Rosenstein won All-State honors with a top 25 finish in 11:53. Miranda Kowalski added a personal best and Payton Borich also ran another PR in the boys State Final race.  Thank you all for your great efforts this season!  Official results are posted here .

Principal’s Blog–The Gym

October 15th, 2014

Update 10-19-2014 Mensaje a Familias en Espanol Mensaje a familes del gym

Update:  10-16-2014 Letter to UMS Families gym_letter_10-16-2014

Most of our UMS families are probably aware of the issues in our main gym because our students have not had full access to the gym since the start of the school year.  These problems do not apply to the gym’s east and west decks.  While the problems in our main gym have been on-going for a while, we have just started to receive interest from our local news outlets.  We have had discussions at a PTSA meeting and multiple Urbana School Board meetings about it, but I wanted to make sure all of our families were aware of the work being done in the gym so that there are no misconceptions.

  • The gym experienced flooding and mechanical problems that resulted in damage to the floor and mold on the ceiling.  This started with flooding on July 12.
  • As soon as the district identified possible mold growth, we had the gym’s surfaces and air tested, and the testing showed no danger.
  • The district is working with contractors to remediate fully the mold and damage to the floor.
  • Because the main gym floor is not useable at this time, we have made accommodations for our PE classes as well as our UMS sports teams so that they have spaces for classes, practices, and competition.
  • We anticipate that the gym will be useable by mid-December.

Although this is an inconvenience, our teachers and coaches have been doing an excellent job of being flexible so that students are still getting a full educational and athletic experience.  If you have any questions about this situation, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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