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What's New at Urbana Middle School

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.

IMSA Fusion

September 29th, 2014

Urbana Middle School

IMSA Fusion Information Night

Thursday, October 2, 6:00-7:00 P.M at UMS

We are excited that the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) has partnered with Urbana Middle School to sponsor IMSA FUSION.  This extracurricular math/science enrichment program is for students who are talented, interested, and motivated in science and mathematics. You and your student are invited to attend an informational meeting about IMSA FUSION.  At the meeting you will learn more about the program, and you will be able to pick up an application packet.  Attending the IMSA Fusion Information Night is not required for students to apply, but it is recommended if you have not attended in the past.  Completed applications with parent signatures must be returned to the main office on or before Friday, October 10 for consideration.  Returning FUSION students do not need to attend the informational meeting, but do need to complete the Continuing Student Enrollment form (available from Mr. Pound or Mrs. Hlinka).

IMSA Fusion New Student Application 2014 ENGLISH

Escuela Urbana Middle School

Noche de Información de IMSA – Academia de Matemáticas y Ciencia de Illinois

Jueves 2 de octubre 6 a 7 pm en UMS

Estamos muy emocionados de que esta academia está colaborando con UMS para patrocinar el programa IMSA FUSION. Este programa extracurricular de enriquecimiento en matemáticas y ciencias es para estudiantes que tienen un gusto, talento y están muy interesados en las ciencias y en matemáticas. Usted y su estudiante están invitados a participar en esta noche de información para aprender más sobre el programa IMSA FUSION. En esa noche usted aprenderá todo lo que necesita saber sobre el programa y recibirá una copia del paquete de aplicación. No se requiere que los estudiantes asistan a la noche de información para aplicar pero si es recomendado que lo hagan si nunca han participado en e l programa. Las aplicaciones completas y firmadas por los padres deben regresarse a la escuela antes del viernes 10 de octubre. Estudiantes que ya han participado en este programa no necesitan asistir a la reunión de información pero si necesitan completar la forma de registro de continuación en el programa (visita Mr. Pound o Mrs. Hlinka).

IMSA Fusion Aplicacion para los Estudiantes Nuevos 2014 SPANISH

Si usted desea asistir pero necesita un traductor por favor pónganse en contacto con Lucia Maldonado a 531-7163.

UIUC Bullying Study Cancelled

September 25th, 2014

Dear UMS Families,

Earlier this week I notified parents of sixth and seventh graders that UMS would be participating in a research study investigating reducing bullying behaviors including sexual harassment.  Information was sent home to families in four different forms so that you would be aware of the research and that sixth and seventh graders would be completing a survey.  Due to strong concerns expressed by many families about the content of the survey and the lack of requiring active parent consent to complete the survey, UMS is no longer participating in the survey, and no students will complete the questionnaire.

I appreciate the many parent opinions on this issue and that so many of you were willing to communicate openly with me about your concerns.  The school is committed to reducing bullying behaviors and creating a positive learning climate.  UMS will continue to implement Second Step—a key component of this overall study and a proactive program aimed at reducing bullying behaviors—as this is already part of our Social Emotional Learning curriculum, and we will continue to cooperate with researchers when possible in order to enhance our programming as well as to help contribute positively to educational research.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions, comments, or feedback.


Scott Woods

UIUC Bullying Study Information

September 18th, 2014

UPDATE:  This survey has been rescheduled for seventh grade students and will not take place on September 25.  The survey is tentatively scheduled for October 16.  At this time, the survey is still scheduled for sixth graders on October 2.

Dear UMS Families,

Urbana Middle School is participating in a research study with the University of Illinois.  This study is looking at reducing bullying behaviors including sexual harassment that may occur at the middle school level.  The study is built around a behavioral intervention program called “Second Step” which is already part of our core instructional program.  UMS is participating in this study along with nearly 30 other middle schools from across the state.

It is my hope that you will choose to have your child participate in this project by allowing your child to complete the survey portion of the study.  However, it is important that families have the opportunity to opt out of allowing participation.  For this study, there are several sensitive questions in the survey related to sexual harassment.  I have included a web link to the full survey (UIUC Second Step Survey) so that you may review the content of the survey.  Additionally, a paper copy of the survey is available in the main office for your review.

Along with this letter from me, you will find the UIUC Second Step Consent Letter from the project researchers.  If you do not want your child to participate, please return the consent form to school or contact me directly (217-384-3685 or swoods@usd116.org).  You are welcome to contact me directly if you have any questions or the lead researcher, Dr. Dorothy Espelage (217-766-6413 or espelage@illinois.edu).

Seventh grade students are scheduled to complete the survey on Thursday, September 25, and sixth grade students are scheduled to complete the survey on Thursday, October 2.


Scott Woods

UIUC Second Step Consent Letter

UIUC Second Step Survey

PTSA Newsletter

September 8th, 2014

Check out what is happening with the UMS PTSA and how you can support UMS.

Sept-Oct 2014


SPLASH Session I

September 8th, 2014

SPLASH Session 1, UMS’s after school program, begins on September 15.  Below is the program booklet if you are interested in having your student participate.

2014 – 2015 Session I Booklet PDF

Principal’s Blog-September 4, 2014

September 4th, 2014

It is the eleventh day of school, and we are off to great start.  It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Curriculum Night on Tuesday.  Thanks to all of our families who have expressed positive comments, and, please, if your student is struggling or having difficulties with the beginning of the school year, let our school staff know.  We want all students to have a successful school experience at UMS. Read the rest of this entry »

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