Union Middle Weekly Update V2.34!
May 8th, 2022
A Message From Mr. Feinberg
19 school days.
It's that time of year where 8th grade parents are flooded with tons of information about the last few weeks of school. This newsletter is no different.
Our HSC is holding a fundraiser via 8th grade Promotion Signs. If you are an 8th grade parent who would like to celebrate your 8th grade graduate with a yard sign, you may purchase one through this link. In doing so, "Sign my Yard" will deliver your sign and put it up in your yard. For every sign purchased, $10 will be donated to UMS HSC. Each sign is $34.95. Please note that HSC provides this yard sign service for those interested in purchasing, but your participation is entirely optional. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
On a more serious note, there's a thing out there called Great Schools. While I'm not a huge fan of the websites that rank schools on quasi-random data points out of a school's control, I do take a bit of pride in how well UMS is represented on the website (with a 9/10) and the nice, positive comments parents, students, and community members have left.
That said, sometimes there's an angry comment that's left. It's anonymous, so I'm not even sure if they meant to leave it for our school or perhaps another "Union Middle School". We do get a lot of odd calls for a Union Middle School that's based in the midwest. Regardless, it's disappointing for two reasons: (1) it means that a parent is angry about their student's middle school experience at UMS to the extent they feel a need to broadcast it publicly (which is their right to do so, of course), and also (2) it means that our school has this negative review lingering on our profile. That's a bummer, especially in the current edu-climate amidst teacher (and admin) resignations and such.
One of my favorite quotes is by George Couros. He said "we need to make the positives so loud that the negatives are almost impossible to hear." I relied on this quote about 6-7 years ago in dealing with some challenging staff members, all of whom have since departed from our district. While our school isn't perfect, I do believe from first hand experiences and conversations with dozens, if not hundreds, of principals that UMS is one of the best middle schools in the state of California, if not nationwide. There are so many talented teachers on staff. The students are adorable and talented (yes, I'm talking about your moody 13 year old). Our district office supports our school site like no other district I've been a part of. And, just as important, our parent community is incredibly supportive.
From our parent community, I've received more than a few emails, asking how they can help recognize our staff and the school in general. Well, while there are many ways to do so, one method I'd appreciate is if you took just a few moments to leave a (hopefully positive) review on GreatSchools. If your student has had a positive experience with a staff member, highlight them. If a club or activity or sports team has meant a lot to your student, definitely bring it up. If you enjoy seeing Nora, Margaret, and Kathy in the front office when you stop by, mention how kind and knowledgeable they always are. You also can just leave a general review if that's your thing. Here's the link. It really should only take a minute. :)
I appreciate your time and kindness in helping make the positives of UMS so loud that the negatives are almost impossible to hear. Thank you.
Anyway, here are a few news snippets. Please see below in the newsletter for larger updates.
Tickets to 8th graders as well as 8th grade basketball players and UMS cheerleaders will go on sale in advance of the Spirit Game. Please have your student pay close attention to the announcements to make sure they don't miss their opportunity to purchase tickets. From there, we will see how many tickets are left for our 7th and then 6th graders. Masking is going to be STRONGLY ENCOURAGED and RECOMMENDED for the Spirit Game. This may change in the near future, depending on county stats and recommendations. Please partner with us in ensuring that we're able to have these events in as safe a manner as possible.
8th Grade Families - you'll be getting more information about promotion in the upcoming weeks. My goal is to make promotion stress free for the families of our 8th graders. We do like to be stress free.
We sent out our 5th grade "welcome to UMS" newsletter last week. If you want to take a peek, feel free. Here's a link.
This is a great time of the year to check in with your child, revisit your shared expectations (academic and behavior), and reboot for this final seven week push. These are some of the best weeks of the school year; here's to a fun, action-packed conclusion to our rather unique school year.
As always, if your student is experiencing any flu-like symptoms or just not feeling well, please have them stay home. It is incredibly important that we all take care of one another during these days and make decisions that best supports all of our families and school community.
If your student is staying home but is able to stay current with their classwork, please have them do so. Student can access the daily slides and google classroom to complete their daily work.
Todd Feinberg, Principal
(Note: It's mother's day, so no video tonight. I'm out at the movies and the four kids are home with the wife. What a better way to celebrate mother's day than with your four children! I hope this Dr. Strange movie is good, or, at the minimum, very very long. Happy Mother's Day everyone!)
5/9 - USD Board Meeting - celebrating our UMS Volunteer of the Year Mrs. Findley
5/11 -Teen Talk Parent Night for 7th grade families (see below)
5/12 - Art Vista Chef's Night Out (see below)
5/17 - 5th Grade Walking Field Trip to UMS - 9-10 AM
5/17 - 5th Grade Parent Night @ UMS Gym - 6:30-7:30 PM
5/27 - 8th Grade Great America Trip (return to school at 4:30 pm)
5/31 - 8th Grade students turn in their Chromebooks/Case/Charger
6/2 - 8th Grade Promotion Party 1-3 PM @ UMS
6/3 - 8th Grade Promotion @ Leigh - 10-11:30 AM - Doors open at 9:30 AM (with assigned seating / no need for the crowd to get there early)
News & Information @ Union Middle
8th Grade Reminder!
As a reminder for all 8th grade students and their families, in order to ensure continued academic success through the 4th quarter, participation in our traditional end of the year 8th grade activities will have the following grade and behavior requirements:
No “F’s” for the 4th quarter in order to participate in Great America (or like activity);
No more than one “F” for 4th quarter in order to attend the Promotion Party;
All students must earn an 1.5 accumulative GPA AND follow UMS behavior expectations in order to participate in the Promotion Ceremony (or like activity)
More information is available on page 13 of your student’s school planner. There are many different ways for your student to get support on campus (Homework Center, Morning Clinics, Meetings with Teachers, School Counselor etc.).
Teen Talk Parent Night - 5/11 @ 5:30
7th Grade Families - Teen Talk Parent Night is an information session provides parents and guardians with information about the scope and sequence of Teen Talk Middle School, rationale, key content, and the CA Healthy Youth Act. There is also an opportunity for Q&A. Please register with this link. Also, here is an information sheet that may address some of your more pressing questions.
7th Grade students will be receiving the Health Connected Teen Talk Middle School (TTMS) course during the weeks of 5/23 - 6/3
Would you like to be part of UMS's biggest party? Plans are underway for our annual Bid & Boogie Auction to be held in the fall of 2022. All proceeds support after school athletics and the PE department so every student benefits from the money raised. We need many volunteers to make this event a success. If you are interested in learning how you can help, please complete the attached form https://forms.gle/aNTYLjwfDP26vrvi9. Please contact Maureen Currie at email@example.com with questions.
Chef's Night Out to support Art Vistas!
Eat to support Art education for our children!
Mountain Mike's Pizza
Please RSVP since we need 20 signups for this Fundraiser to happen! https://www.groupraise.com/events/226090
You can participate in this fundraiser by Dine in, Take out, or Pick up. You can order by calling 4082127800 and mention that you are with Art Vistas before placing your order. Or visit Mountain Mike's Pizza's online order website. Just mention Art Vistas in the section for order notes or special instructions.
Mountain Mike's Pizza is available on Door dash, Grub hub, Uber eats. In the section for order notes or special instructions, include “I am with the GroupRaise Meal for Art Vistas”.
Congrats to our AMC Math-letes!
We are so proud to announce that both Olivia A. and Magnus W. were in the top 1% in the nation in the recent AMC 8 contest. Both finished in 1st place for UMS! Finishing in the top 5% in the nation were Christine N (2nd place for UMS) and a tied Jonathan C. and Erica L. (3rd place for UMS). Emily G also finished top 5% in the nation! Amazing!
Our 6th grade competitive math club students also performed well on the AMC 8. Finishing with at least 15 out of 25 points were: Amy L., Elliot S., and Jennifer N.
We are very, very proud of the 48 students at Union Middle who participated in the AMC 8!
And in case you're asking "What is the AMC 8?" The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development of problem-solving skills. The AMC 8 provides an opportunity for middle school students to develop positive attitudes towards analytical thinking and mathematics that can assist in future careers. Students apply classroom skills to unique problem-solving challenges in a low-stress and friendly environment.
The material covered on the AMC 8 includes topics from a typical middle school mathematics curriculum. Possible topics include but are not limited to: counting and probability, estimation, proportional reasoning, elementary geometry including the Pythagorean Theorem, spatial visualization, everyday applications, and reading and interpreting graphs and tables. In addition some of the later questions may involve linear or quadratic functions and equations, coordinate geometry, and other topics traditionally covered in a beginning algebra course. Mrs. Shaw coordinates our competitive math club with a placement test for entry taking place in late September each year.
Union School District invites you to join ParentSquare
Union School District is excited to launch ParentSquare for communication with our families and staff, primarily with email, text and app notifications. ParentSquare automatically generates an account for each parent or guardian, using their preferred email address and phone number originating in our student information system.
We encourage parents/guardians to access their accounts so they can download the mobile app and update their preferences on when and how they are notified (users can choose to receive messages in their preferred language and be notified as messages come, or all at once at 6pm daily.)
For this year, USD will use ParentSquare for District-level communications through the spring. Our schools will be launching school-level communications through ParentSquare starting this summer ahead of the 2022-23 school year.
Lost & Found Website!
San Jose Library Accounts!
Union School District and the San Jose Public Library have partnered to issue all of our USD students a digital library card that can be used to access books and more at San Jose Public Libraries, SJPL.org, and through the Sora app.
Your student's digital library card is a fourteen digit number, beginning with 211935 and ending in your student's USD student ID number, XXXX. Add however many zeros are needed to reach fourteen digits. For example, if my student's ID number is 675655, their digital library card number would be 21193500675655.
We've added two zeros so that the total number of digits in the number is fourteen. Your student's PIN is their four digit birthdate. For example, if their birthday is November 3rd, their PIN would be 1103.
If your student was given a library card number last year, the number is the same and they may continue to use it. If your student joined USD after September 1st, their digital library card will be available for use very soon.
For instructions on how to access SJPL resources via the Sora app on USD devices, please view these PDF slides. To sign in with Google, please use your student's USD Google ID and password.
Another way to support UMS Home & School Club!
Parents – The holidays are approaching! Did you know you can support UMS HSC with your Amazon holiday purchases? Follow these easy steps from your phone or tablet to select UMS HSC as your AmazonSmile Charity.
(1) Open the Amazon app, (2) go to Settings, (3) go to AmazonSmile and then select “Union Middle Home & School Parent Teacher” as your selected charity. Do this with all devices you use to order from Amazon as it’s specific to the device.
That’s it – now, UMS HSC will receive a % from AmazonSmile for all eligible purchases you make through the app on your registered devices. Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to continue to support UMS HSC. Happy Shopping!
8th Grades! Important News!
You might have questions; that's to be expected. CUHSD has shared with me that all inquiries can be referred to their website: www.cuhsd.org. Please note that I do not have any other information that what I've shared here, so please do contact CUHSD if you have any questions. I'm the messenger...
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMS Sports Website
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
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.
Teacher Team Websites
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.
Have you visited the UMS Store yet?
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.
If you need help with internet services or a hotspot, you can request that here: http://bit.ly/usdinternet
6th grade families: text @ums2024 to 81010
7th grade families: text @ums2023 to 81010
8th grade families: text @ums2022 to 81010
Have questions? Need answers? Can't fall asleep? The UMS FAQ is here to help!
7th grade families: text @ums2023 to 81010
8th grade families: text @ums2022 to 81010