Union Middle Weekly Update V2.09!

October 10th. 2021

A Message From Mr. Feinberg

Week 9. It felt like a loooong week for many of us. October is known to be one of the longest months of the school year. Limited holidays or breaks. The push to end first quarter and start the second on a good note. After school sports playoffs. Just a ton going on.

Just the usual short reminders below plus a quick video with "special guest" Bryant. Please take a moment to review.

The Weekly Reminders:

2nd Reminder: Halloween is approaching. For those of you who like to plan in advance, here is a quick write-up on how to ensure your student has a fun, positive costume day at UMS on Friday, October 29th. It should answer most of the questions our students and their families have about Halloween at UMS. If not, please do contact me.

We will be ordering PE sweatpants and PE sweatshirts this week for distribution relatively soon. If you haven't ordered them and want to do so, please go to the UMS store asap to place your order. If you miss the deadline (Tuesday, October 12th at 12 pm), there might be an opportunity to purchase at a later date. Thanks!

If you purchased the ASB kit at the beginning of the year, your student will be receiving their ASB UMS shirt soon. We are just waiting for the shirts to arrive; everything seems to be delayed shipping-wise right now. Once they do arrive, we will distribute the shirts to those students who purchased the ASB kit.

If you haven't already filled out the following link as soon as possible in indicate if your student has received their vaccination card or not, please take a look and consider doing so. This Google Form simply asks for their basic information and if they're vaccinated. You can also "decline to state" if you so please.

Don't forget to sign your student up for Grapefruit. Here's the link.

Mask guidance continues to be for both indoors AND outdoors for all individuals, vaccinated or otherwise. Thank you for your support here.

Please visit the sports website for athletics information.

Todd Feinberg, Principal

Weekly UMS Newsletter 10/10/21

News & Information @ Union Middle

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) @ UMS

This year our school is excited to implement a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum called Character Strong. In the spring, our district provided funding for all of the school sites to purchase SEL materials and we chose Character Strong because it matches with our school goals of promoting a collaborative school environment, explaining and supporting empathy & compassion amongst our students, developing goals for both social and academic growth, and establishing our values and purpose as part of the UMS community. Perhaps most importantly, this curriculum discusses leadership and teamwork and how to develop agency as we work together to support ourselves and one another. For more information on Character Strong please visit Character Strong. I will continue to update you throughout the year about the implementation of this program!

Covid-19 Testing @ UMS via Grapefruit

We began our free 2x/weekly covid-19 testing at Union Middle School. Our Superintendent Dr. Andrews sent out updated information a week ago Friday (also available HERE) for your review.

As shared in that letter, our health partner Grapefruit and their direct partner Predicine will perform the no cost COVID testing at all our school sites and our Community testing pod at Dartmouth school. Students will only participate in the no cost COVID testing if families have submitted the one-time consent form at least 24 hours prior to your school’s testing day. I would like to encourage families to sign their child up for Grapefruit no cost COVID testing through the following link: http://bit.ly/usd-testing.

Aside from being free for all involved parties, our partnership with Grapefruit also takes the burden off of our families from having to either attend early mornings at UMS for any close contact warnings or address finding a local provider for a covid-19 test. When you sign your student up via weekly Grapefruit, they'll be escorted to the cafeteria during their PE period to take the covid-19 test. It is a short process that won't disrupt their physical education class. It will be seamless as possible. Please note that for close contact situations, we may have those students test during non-PE periods, based on testing availability. Also, just FYI, we no longer test early in the morning; everything is handled during the school day.

And if you have signed up your student but for whatever reason do not want your student participating, simply have your student inform their PE teacher that they do not want to be tested that day. If your student provides that response, they will be excluded from having to participate. Simple as that.

If you have questions, please reach out. If I can't answer them, I'll find someone who can.

Reminder: Tic Tok Challenges

Let me start by saying that I often wonder when I'll reach the age where I no longer think internet memes, dance routines, and challenges are creative and funny. Leave it to Tik Tok to push me directly into the "oh, that's really not a good choice" camp with the latest alleged challenges that students may be peer-influenced to do in school.

Most of our students' families will probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Essentially, someone somewhere created monthly challenges for students to do at school. It went viral. Last month was destroying school bathrooms. This month, it's "slap a staff member". Next month is "kiss someone else's girl". The list continues to include destroy school signs, make a mess in the courtyard / cafeteria, flip off the front office, and a few other ones I can't even include in this newsletter due to the sexual (and thus strongly illegal) content it encourages.

While these "challenges" seem to be mostly occurring at the high school level, I've been asked by a few parents if we were aware and what the consequences would be for a student who participates in one of the challenges. In short, we are aware and there (obviously) would be serious repercussions for any student who participates, as our student handbook clearly details.

One of the things I love most about Union Middle is how our students, as a whole, treat our staff. It's not uncommon for students to share with me how much the adore their teachers, how much fun they have in their classes, and how happy they are to have Teacher X this year. Our students send positive emails to their teachers, they write kind notes for the staff, and they truly go out of their way (as much as a middle school student can) to be respectful and considerate of the work all of our Union Middle staff members do. However, great kids can sometimes make bad choices. I'd like to suggest that each student's parent/guardian take a moment to discuss the above, share how you'd react if they participate in these challenges, and encourage them to make choices for good at (and after) school. Your help, as always, is appreciated.

Thanks for partnering with us on this situation. It takes a village.

Morning Clinics

Our morning clinics are in full swing! For our new-to-UMS parents, you might be wondering what our morning clinics are (and are not). Here's a quick summary:

Morning Clinics are a place to:

1) ask a UMS teacher specific questions on the previous night's homework

2) ask a UMS teacher questions regarding an upcoming assessment

3) get re-teaching of the previous day's instruction

Morning Clinics are NOT a place to:

1) hang out with friends

2) play on your cell phone

3) stay warm because it's cold outside

There are limited spots in these clinics, so we do expect students to be using the time effectively to participate.

Here is our schedule:

ELA: Monday & Thursday in Room 4

MATH: Wednesday & Friday in Room 3

SCIENCE: Tuesday & Friday in Room 30

All clinics are held from 8:05 to 8:25 in the morning.

UMS Daily Announcements

As many of you know, we start to keep our UMS community updated on all things UMS. As one parent said in the Help Desk Zoom from back to school night, "there is so much information and everything is so long and there's no way I can read it all." One way to keep updated in a daily digest is to read the daily announcements... and starting soon, we will begin emailing a copy of the student morning announcements to all parent/guardians listed within PowerSchool.

To keep emails clutter down in your inbox and help with organization, we suggest that you create a folder for UMS Announcements and then create a rule/filter directing ALL emails with UMS Announcements in the subject line be sent to that folder. Read, delete, ignore as you wish. Please do not unsubscribe as doing so will end all email communications from the school and district - not just the daily announcements.

If you have questions, contact Mrs. Adams adamsj@unionsd.org.

UMS Sports Website

We have a NEW location for UMS Athletics: bit.ly/unionathletics!

As the seasons progress, more information will be added for whatever after-school sports become available. Please visit the website for tryout information and other key topics. Questions: Mr. Barbara is our athletic director and would love to hear from you: barbaraM@unionsd.org is his email.

Parking Lot Reminders Below

Please review the below PDF for a review of our parking lot. Key reminders:

1) Only drop off against the curb or from the parking spot areas.

2) Always pull forward. When done pulling forward, pull forward some more.

3) There are two lanes to enter the parking lot. Please use both.

4) Only use the crosswalk to get from the parking lot to campus and visa versa.

5) Exit from the curbside of the car at all times (right side).

6) Drive slow. Phones down. Eyes up.

7) No scooters, e-bikes, skateboards, etc.

8) See #2

9) Don't cross the entrance or exit of the parking lot by bike or walking

10) Please consider walking the last lap to get to school tomorrow; the parking lot will be full.

Thanks everyone!

Teacher Team Websites

We understand that it can be challenging to keep up with your middle school student's assignments. Your "what happened at school today" question might get a response such as "stuff" or "I don't know" or "leave me along; I just want to go to Costco." Knowing how middle school students struggling with communication at times, we are pleased to share with our parents that all teacher teams have put together a Google Website with their team Hyperdoc and daily slides.

This means that thought one click, you'll be able to see the daily slides of what happened in each of your student's classes. This will be helpful as often homework assignments and due date reminders are included in these daily slides. I believe it is a lot easier for parents to stay current with assignments coming due rather than dealing with the aftershocks of the inevitable "0" put into PowerSchool because your student didn't complete the work.

The links are available through Teams & Staff on our homepage (via unionms.unionsd.org) and listed below. Your student should know which team they're on. And of course, please bookmark the below link for usage throughout the school year.

6th Grade Baby Yoda

6th Grade Pandas

7th Grade Warthogs

7th Grade Meerkats

8th Grade Mustangs

8th Grade Penguins

Have you visited the UMS Store yet?

UMS has a new web store! it's available at www.umsstore.org. While we plan on running all of our yearly donation requests and school purchases through the web store, currently we are offering:

1) PE Uniforms, Sweats, & PE Lock

2) Donation Requests for HSC

3) ASB Kit (includes yearbook & planner & more)

Please do take a minute to venture to the store and place your order so your student can start day 1 with everything they need.

Also, there's a glitch where you can only use a credit card if you go through PayPal first. I'm working to correct this... Thanks for your patience and understanding.

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