Unami United

May 18, 2015

Principal's Message

Dear Unami Parents & Guardians,

It took a while, but May has finally brought warmer days and some beautiful weather! I, for one, welcome this change from the bitter cold of the past winter (although I truly am a fan of all seasons). The warm weather and sunny days bring both excitement and challenges...

The excitement comes with the many celebratory events that occur as we look towards closing out the school year. They include:

  • Art Show/Spring Concert - Monday, May 11 @ 7 p.m.
  • Art Show/Spring Concert - Wednesday, May 13 @ 7 p.m.
  • Art Show/Spring Concert - Thursday, May 14 @ 7 p.m.
  • Competition Music Groups to Dorney Park - Friday, May 15
  • Relay for Life - Saturday, May 16 @ Tohickon
  • 9th Grade Mental Health Education & Awareness Day - Wednesday, May 20
  • Team Journey Physics Trip to the Trenton Thunder - Wednesday, May 20
  • 9th Grade Assessment End of Year Pixar Activity and Reflection - Thursday, May 21
  • French Fashion Show - Thursday, May 21 @ 4:30
  • PEN Trip to Civil War Museum - Tuesday, May 26
  • Book Fair (library) - May 26-29
  • Academic Achievement Night - Wednesday, May 27
  • Freshman Dance - Friday, May 29
  • Student Council Officer Elections - Tuesday, June 9
  • 7th Grade Zoo Trip - Tuesday, June 9
  • Freshman Day - Friday, June 12 (June 15 rain date)
  • 7th Grade Awards - afternoon of Tuesday, June 16
  • Team Journey Team-Building Trip to Peace Valley Park - Wednesday, June 17
  • 8th Grade Awards - afternoon of Wednesday, June 17
  • 9th Grade Awards - morning of Thursday, June 18.

And don't forget...

  • Algebra 1 Keystone Exam - May 13-14
  • World Language Exam - June 3-4
  • Math Final - Monday, June 15.

WOW... now that's a lot! May/June will certainly be busy, but they will also be full of great fun and great learning!

The challenges are simple to identify, yet take grit and perseverance to overcome. Simply keeping focus is the challenge. Amidst the distractions of warm weather, beautiful days, and the anticipation of summer break, we will continue to work with our students to keep them focused on their academic and other goals. If past experience is an indicator, our students... with a little guidance... will do just fine and end the year on a very strong note.

Thank you for your role in guiding your son(s)/daughter(s) through the excitement and challenges of the last month+ of the school year.

Happy Spring... finally!

John C. Murtha

Assistant Principal

Unami Middle School

A HUGE THANK YOU to our parent volunteers who helped make our recent Teacher Appreciation week truly wonderful! Your volunteerism is wonderful. Our teachers appreciate you for showing your appreciation of them!
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Wow or Ewww? - 7th Grade Science Students Dissect Squids!

How many tickles does it take to make a squid laugh? Ten-tickles! Kids in Mrs. Cohick’s and Mrs. Caldwell’s classes could tell you that a squid actually has 8 arms and only 2 tentacles, but it's still a cute joke. As students explored the squid, as an example of a cephalopod, they learned about the main body features, what sex their squid was-and ultimately got to write their name using the squid’s ink and the squid’s pen (remains of a shell located inside the mantle). A great dissection and learning experience for all students.

It's Spring - 9th Graders Engage in Outdoor Learning!

All 9th Grade students competed in a Botany Scavenger Hunt in their Science classes within the past week. Students collected different parts of plants around Unami’s Outdoor Classroom to review and apply the information that they have been learning in their Botany Unit. Students tallied up their total points (harder to find plant parts were worth more points) and a winner for each class was determined.

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It's So Hard To Say Goodbye...

Wednesday, May 6 was a bittersweet day for Unami, the 7th grade, and the Unami math department. It was Mrs. Hickman's last day at Unami and in CB as she left us to pursue new passions and dreams in retirement. Mrs. Hickman's approach to her students was not only rooted in preparing them with the math skills they need for problem-solving in a variety of settings, but in showing students that she truly cared for them each and every day. She also made learning fun too. It is no surprise that students in the 9th grade lunchroom gave her a rousing ovation as she stopped by the cafeteria on the 6th for one last goodbye to her former students.

Mrs. Hickman - The Unami Community of students and staff are going to miss you tremendously. Your impact on your students and colleagues leaves a legacy of joy in learning. Best of luck as you embark upon the next chapter of your life and with all the adventures it will bring!

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Mental Health Education & Awareness Day Being Held for 9th Grade Students on May 20

Unami 9th graders will get to participate in the first of its kind Mental Health Education & Awareness Day on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015. Using a grant provided through the Foundations Community Partnership, the program is designed to “Empower Youth through Education” and help start conversation among students and parents to decrease the stigma that often accompanies MH issues. It is thought that if we “pull back the curtain” and expose and address MH issues, we help kids know they’re not alone. Additionally, by educating kids, we empower them to help themselves.

Students will get to choose from among 20 different workshop offerings and will attend 4 workshops and two large-group assemblies during the day. CB professional staff, local and Philadelphia-based community organizations and mental health professionals will provide information on topics pertinent to the adolescent population.

Workshop topics include: Food & Mood, Erasing the Stigma, Building Confidence & Self-Esteem, Exploring the Realm of Eating Disorders, Technology Tools & Apps to Keep you in the Zone, Dealing with Test Anxiety, My Friends & Family are Stressing Me Out, When Girlfriends Turn Mean, Understanding & Supporting LGBTQ Youth, All Brains are Wired Differently, Stress Management& Relaxation Strategies, Brain Fitness 101: What is Executive Functioning, Living with ADHD, Understanding Self-Harm, Depression & Bipolar Disorder and Marijuana & Alcohol: Questions & Answers.

For more information on the workshops, click on the link "Workshop Titles & Descriptions"


Link 2 Unity - Unami and Tamanend LINK!

Our 3rd and final Link 2 Unity event for the 2014-2015 school year was held on Saturday, May 2. This time, instead of holding isolated Unami and Tamanend events, the CB South First Link student leaders met and held leadership workshops with students from both schools at Tamanend. Any students who had not previously been "linked" were invited to sign up for the retreat, which resulted in a full house (no worries, though... we were able to schedule some understanding students who couldn't fit our numbers for our first retreat in the fall).

Check out the photos and videos below to get a view of some of the morning's events, including:

  • Group team-building challenges
  • Leaders versus middle school student "plate" challenge
  • Scenario problem-solving session

Thanks to Mr. Melvin and his student leaders (with a special shout out to 12th grader and Unami alum Julia Corr) for their work with our students!

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L2U 1
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A New Class of NJHS Members are Inducted

On the evening of Thursday, April 23, the new class of 8th and 9th grade National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) members were inducted. The inductees all completed a comprehensive application, which asked them to chronicle leadership, scholarship, service, and character, including an essay and solicitation of adult sponsors. On the 23rd, newly invited members heard from the 9th grade leaders of NJHS, who each spoke about the meaning of the 4 aforementioned tenets. The keynote speaker of the evening was former Unami student and NJHS member and current 12th grade CB South student (who is headed to Washington University in St. Louis), Kerri Li. During the ceremony, the inductees took an oath to uphold the tenets of NJHS and were presented onstage. The evening concluded with pictures, refreshments, and celebration. Congratulations new NJHS members!
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8th Grade Service Learning

These photos depict Unami 8th graders making dog braids that will be donated to SPCAs in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Using donated T-shirts, students cut them into strips. Then, students intertwine several strips to create an inexpensive yet suitable treat for animals. Students worked collaboratively, and they have made more than 500 braids so far this year. Unami's 8th graders have been involved in this service project for more than 5 years. This project is a 'cause for the paws.'

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7th Grade Students Monkeying Around!

After a grueling two weeks of PSSA testing, seventh grade students on teams Granite and Gneiss swung into the movie theater to celebrate Earth Day (and, of course, the end of testing). Disneynature presented Monkey Kingdom, a journey to the jungles of South Asia to meet Maya the Monkey. In addition to viewing a heartwarming story of family, love, and sacrifice, students were also rewarded by knowing that a portion of their ticket sales benefited Conservation International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing funds to places on our planet which need help and care to preserve their natural state. Let’s face it; there’s no reason not to go bananas over this trip.

Team Journey (8th Grade) Happenings...

Theatre in the Classroom

Students in Mrs. Keller's eighth grade English classes read and acted out scenes from Twelve Angry Men as part of their "Justice" Unit.

Physics Field Trip

Team Journey will be headed to a Trenton Thunder baseball game on Wednesday, May 20th to see physics in action! The students will be collecting real time data and applying it to the physics concepts and formulas covered in science class. This is a wonderful way to make physics come alive.

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Some Exciting Events Coming up for 9th Graders!

The Freshman Dance will be held on May 29th here at Unami. The Class of 2018 has chosen to have a semi-formal beach-themed affair. The festivities will be held both indoors and outdoors, as the students celebrate their final days of middle school.

Freshman Day (June 12th) will be an exciting and entertaining day for the freshman class. The students will begin their day in the auditorium watching their classmates perform in the Freshman Talent Show. They will then don their swimsuits and head over to High Point to enjoy some swimming and a little fun in the sun.

The Freshman Farewell Award Ceremony (Superlatives) will be held during advisory on the morning of June 9th. The students will enjoy a hot breakfast sandwich, some fruit and juice, as the teachers honor the students with light-hearted awards and recap some of the many fond memories of their freshman year.

Unami Welcomes Some New Peeps!

In Mrs. Caldwell’s 7th grade science class, 13 baby chicks hatched during the week of April 27th. The eggs were incubated over 21 days and while they developed, students were keeping track of what was happening inside of the eggs. On Day 10 of development, Mrs. Caldwell candled the eggs and the students were able to see the embryos moving around inside the egg just like an ultrasound is used for a human baby! On Day 21, the eggs hatched and now the baby chicks are quickly growing and exploring their world. Students are enjoying holding the baby chicks and giving them names like Pete, Silver Wings, Rodrigo, Jeremy, Midnight and Cinnamon. The students even named one chick, Mrs. Chickman, after their favorite math teacher, Mrs. Hickman.

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Leaving School Due to Illness During the School Day

If a student becomes ill during the school day, the decision to excuse the student for the day is at the discretion of the school nurse. As a trained medical professional, this is one of the school nurse's responsibilities. Students should not be calling or texting parents/guardians to pick them up. If a student becomes ill, they must see the school nurse prior to being excused for the day. If this procedure is not followed, the student risks the possibility of an unlawful absence.

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Boomerang Youth Recognition Award-May Asset #37: Personal Power

Young Person has a healthy sense of Personal Power. She/he believes they can effect change and make a difference in their school and/or community.

The Boomerang Youth Recognition Award is a monthly program which recognizes and honors youth in our community for exemplifying and living by one of 9 chosen Developmental Assets (one asset for each month from Sept.-May). The ballot box is located in the main office at Unami Middle School or you can go to the nomination link here. Students can be nominated for the award by any member of the community, including students nominating each other. Each school submits one student who best represents the chosen quality.

PSSA and Algebra & Keystone Dates

Keystone Algebra 1 - May 13 & 14


Student Council continues to collect used shoes that still have some life left in them as part of the Shoebox Shoe Recycling Program. Collection boxes are available outside the main office year round. Shoes do not need to be in shoeboxes, and we can’t accept slippers, flip flops, winter boots, rollerblades or other specialty shoes. Not only are you helping the environment, Unami benefits from this program. Student Council donates the funds we receive to “green” projects around the school. We are currently donating to the Unami Plough and Trowel community gardening club as they continue to expand their project.


Empower U for teen girls, grades 9 - 12 in Bucks County - Tuesdasy & Thursdays 7:30 - 9:00PM at the Central Bucks Family YMCA. Empower4 U is an 8 week program that enhances confidence through physical activity, healthy relationships and positive self-image. It is offered FREE through a partnership between Central Bucks Family YMCA and United Way's Bucks County Women's Initiative. Participants will engage in Fitness Center workouts, group-supported workouts and educational workshops related to health. Upcoming Sessions:

Spring Session: Tuesday, April 7th to Thursday, May 28th.

Participants receive a 2-month complimentary Y Teen Membership in addition to the full program. For more information, connect with Brooke Volpe, bvolpe@cbfymca.org, ext. 3010.

CB Cares--Backpack Newsflash

The partnership between CBCEF and the Central Bucks School District is long-standing. Since its inception, CBCEF has been involved in promoting the 40 Developmental Assets in our local schools through programs and trainings, with the goal of fostering positive behaviors and values in our community’s youth. At the present time, there are many active school programs which represent the mission of CBCEF - serving as a community catalyst by engaging, empowering, and linking people, organizations and businesses in the community. Click on the link below for the current and past Backpack Newsflashes.


Parent Council

As a Unami parent or guardian, you are invited to attend and participate in our monthly parent council meetings. This is an opportunity for you to be an informed and participative member of our learning community. We make it a practice to highlight our many students' accomplishments and update you on coming attractions. Please consider joining us!

Click on the link below to view minutes of our April meeting.


NOTE - Our last 2014-2015 meeting date occurred on May 1 (this was the April meeting but was held on May 1 due to PSSAs). We thank our outgoing 9th grader parents for their attendance and look forward to seeing our regular attendees and some new face next fall!


  • Click here for up-to-date calendar information about the 2014-15 school year.

  • There is a Parent Portal app for your smartphone. Click here for more information.

  • Click here to read previous Backpack Newsflash editions from CB Cares Educational Foundation.
  • Click here to learn about CBSD efforts against bullying and for resources helpful to parents on this important subject and more.
  • To receive text alerts from CBSD, click here.
  • School Weather Related News

    Click here to keep updated on all CB weather related information, including delays and closings.

    Fundraise for Unami While You Shop-- A Fantastic Way to Support Your School!

    If you use the following vendors, please think about supporting UMS while you shop:

    • If you shop at Target and have a Target Red Card, you can register your card for Target's Take Charge of Education program so that Unami receives a percentage of your spending. Thank you to all Target shoppers!
    • Giant Food Store has an A+ School Rewards program through their clip-less coupon card. Note, each year you need to reselect Unami so that your shopping benefits UMS.
    • Use this link to connect to Amazon to shop and Unami library can earn as much as 15% of what you purchase!
    • Clip and send in Box Tops to the attention of NJHS; or, shop at the Box Top Market Place where you will find vendors such as Best Buy, KMart, Justice and more.
    • If you like to shop online, check out the eScrip Online Mall. When you sign up for an account, selecting Unami earns money for our school.

    2014 District Calendar

    Click here for one-page calendar.


    Central Bucks School District is always looking for ways to enhance communication. Adding a Facebook page is another way we hope to share “good news” and information with our community. Click here to visit our page.

    Follow @ CBSDInfo on Twitter

    Follow Central Bucks School District @CBSDInfo for up-to-the-minute notifications of school delays, closures and emergencies