About Us » Letter From Mr. Dastrup

Letter From Mr. Dastrup

Uinta Meadows Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back Eagle Nation! I sincerely hope every one of you have made the most out of your summer break. We all needed some time away. I know I recharged my battery and am excited for the year ahead! We want to work with you, the parents of our Eagles. 

Please keep in mind everything in this letter pertaining to COVID-19 is information for right now, but is subject to change. We will work with our Governor, the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Department of Health, Public Health, and our UCSD#1 Board of Trustees consistently to ensure the safety of your children. That has been and always will be of the utmost importance.

So let’s get to it. Here’s the information everyone needs heading into the 2021-22 school year. Masks are NOT required. Vaccines are NOT required. The CDC recommends universal masking by staff and students in K-12 settings regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels. The Wyoming Department of Health is still not planning any statewide orders/mandates for K-12 schools. It is your choice as to whether or not you want to send your child to school with a mask or to get them vaccinated. If they are sick, please keep them home. If you are unsure of their symptoms you can contact the school. If they show symptoms at school we will have them visit our nurse, Jill Stout. We will continue our thorough sanitation protocols, physical distancing, quarantining, and close contact tracing protocols. 

Students WILL eat lunch in the cafeteria again. We will space them out as much as possible. Teachers will do their best to space kids out in their classrooms as well. There will still be close contact tracing and quarantining. What this means is that when a student tests positive for COVID-19 anyone who was within six feet of that student for an extended period of time will be required to quarantine for 14 days. The only way that person would not be required to quarantine would be if the individual who tested positive had a mask on and the child(dren) within six feet were wearing their masks. Individuals who are vaccinated are not required to quarantine unless they test positive. We will work through all of these situations as they arise. We want to work with you, not against you. 

Knowledge is power. Understanding that your child will have to be quarantined if they are not vaccinated and within six feet of someone who tests positive allows you to make an educated decision. You have a choice regarding masks and vaccinations. You do not have a choice regarding close contact tracing and quarantining. Make the decision that is best for you and your family. We will support and respect your decision. 

Everything I have stated above applies to staff as well. Some staff have chosen to be vaccinated while others have not. Some will wear masks and others will not. Let us all be respectful and kind. Uinta County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees has approved our Opening Plan. I encourage you all to read it for further information regarding how school will look as we continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a link to the plan.

UCSD#1 Opening Plan - 2021-22

Our Open House is scheduled for August 19 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Please bring your school supplies. We invite and encourage every parent/guardian and student to attend. This is an opportunity for you to start your year on the right track by meeting your child’s teacher and getting important information for your child’s success. You will receive your student handbook at that time. 

Monday, August 23rd will be the first day of school for all students. Mondays, including the first day of the school year, are still on a one hour delayed start. School will begin at 10:05am on Mondays. School begins at 9:05am Tuesday thru Friday. We understand that many UME parents go to work before the school day begins. Early Birds will again be open at 8:00am. UME will group students by grade level and have rotations led by paras/aides. Early Birds could include, but is not limited to, rotations including interventions, enrichments, free time, computers, gym, homework, etc. This is not like After-School Enrichment where you have to sign-up in order to attend. We will accept any student who shows up between 8:00-9:30 am. At 9:30am all students will go to recess or to the cafeteria for breakfast.

As we all know, learning does not just take place during the school year. It is critical that each and every UME student continues growing during the summer. This goal was promoted once again this summer with our Soaring into Summer Reading challenge. I also hope that your children have been reading, doing math, and keeping track of it on their summer reading logs. UME is the six-time defending Wyoming state champions for the most minutes read over the summer. Let’s keep the streak going for a seventh consecutive year. We have some great parties planned for those who worked hard over the summer. We want every student on the top reading shelf. Summer reading is an important bridge to your child’s success. Remember, it is never too late to start reading and keeping track of those minutes!! For each goal your child reaches they will earn incentives and spots on the UME bookshelf.  

The rewards are as follows: 600 minutes - pizza party with Mrs. Symes and Mr. Dastrup and a spot on the base shelf; 1,000 minutes - pizza party and UME reading T-shirt along with a spot on the center shelf; 1,500 minutes - all of the above plus a gigantic celebration and a spot on the very top of the book shelf.  Students who are new to UME can turn in a note from parents or a calendar from their previous school to qualify for the celebrations. 

We welcome our new and some returning PTA Board Members:  President-Natalie Dover, Vice President-Allison Rasmussen, Secretary- Hailey Botts, Membership-Jayme Sargent, and Treasurer-Jenna Gauger. I truly believe that parent and community partnerships are an essential piece to the success of our school. UME has one of the largest PTAs in the state of Wyoming. Our PTA is a tremendous support and contributes significantly to our school. I strongly encourage you to join our PTA and attend the monthly meetings. The UME Community Council is a parent and staff governing council that discusses important educational topics on a monthly basis. PTA and CC Meetings will be combined and held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm.

We encourage parents to sign-up for our Smith’s Earn and Learn Program.  You must register your Rewards Card annually and can do so online: www.smithsfoodanddrug.com/inspire. This program costs nothing and can earn our school hundreds of dollars each year.  Please ask friends and family members to sign-up as well.  You can be registered for Uinta Meadows Elementary at any Smith’s in the nation! Last year we received over $800 from this program. 

Don’t forget to “like” our UME Facebook page (Uinta Meadows Elementary School - Home).  We will continue to share updates and information regularly on this page.  We will also continue communicating with families through our PowerSchool system with a program called SwiftReach K12. This program uses the email address and phone numbers you provide UME that are entered into PowerSchool. SwiftReach K12 allows us to send a message via phone, text and/or email to the contact information you have provided.  Please keep your contact information updated. Our teachers, staff, parents, and families of UME are essential stakeholders in promoting the value of education for our students. Through this collaborative relationship, I am confident that this school year will be outstanding!

Here are links to the UME website and handbook with more information about Uinta Meadows Elementary School. 

Uinta Meadows Elementary

Student Handbook – Students – Uinta Meadows Elementary

We have some new faces at UME this year! We welcome these new staff members and know that they will make great contributions to the success of UME and its students. 

  • Third Grade Teacher -  Dulce Alvarez
  • Fifth Grade Teacher - Katie Morrison 
  • Counselor - Tiffany Hogue
  • Media Center Aide (Cybrary) - Kayle DeGraw
  • Paraprofessionals/Aides - Jayda Ellis, Katherine Fuentes, Tiffany Kaeding, Makaylee Kohler, Laurie Liechty, Mikilie Sims, Miranda Webster 
  • Custodial Staff - Karrie Jones
  • Food Service - Stacey Saavedra

I’m looking forward to seeing each and every one of you shortly! WIN Today! Go Eagles!!!

Jerrod Dastrup, Principal