Uinta Meadows Parents and Guardians,
Uinta County School District #1 has taken steps to make our schools safer for students and staff. Superintendent Ryan Thomas recently mailed home a letter explaining these steps and procedures that administration and the Board of Trustees have taken. Safety is our top priority. All visitors will now be buzzed into the school and are required to go directly to the office. If you do not check in at the office you are trespassing and law enforcement will be notified immediately. Office staff will deliver lunches, backpacks, belongings, etc. to students. Visitors who are volunteering in a classroom will be required to sign in using our new Raptor System that runs a background check and then prints you a visitor badge that has your picture from your driver’s license, your name and states where you are going in our school and what time you checked in. You are required to check-out at the office prior to leaving. You are required to bring your ID every time you visit. Parents and guardians will no longer be able to wait in the front lobby before the school day ends to pick up your students. All teachers will walk students outside once the 3:40 bell has rang. You are welcome to wait for them outside of the school. We know this may seem inconvenient, but inconvenience will not take precedence over student and staff safety. Please check your emails, the UME Facebook page, or visit our website to read the following documents for detailed information. I am available to answer any questions you might have.
I hope you have had a memorable summer with your family and friends. I will be in my fourth year as the building principal. Words can’t express the gratitude I feel to be able to call Uinta Meadows “home.” I look forward to the opportunity to get to know each of you and your children better this upcoming year. My primary goal is to provide a school that is safe for all students. We want to provide a well-rounded education where students can grow and develop academically, physically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. I sincerely hope that you feel comfortable participating in your student’s education at UME. Let’s make their education a team effort. We need you.
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.
The following are staff who have changed positions within UME:
At Uinta Meadows Elementary School, we are dedicated to continuous improvement in all areas. The Wyoming Department of Education requires that all districts and schools experience an accreditation process to ensure each school is meeting the needs of children, parents and staff. For many years, the WDE contracted with AdvancEd to work with districts/schools through this process. Due to recent budget cuts in education, the WDE will no longer fund districts/schools toward accreditation.
Every school in Uinta County School District #1 is currently working with High Reliability Schools to seek certification and accreditation. The research, framework and support found within High Reliability Schools is phenomenal. We are excited to improve our efforts to increase student safety, communication, collaboration, instruction and implement a guaranteed and viable curriculum.
UME continues to make a concerted effort in regard to communication between school and home. Last spring, Powerschool was updated to allow parents to register their students and pay fees online. We encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with their Powerschool accounts. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to visit our amazing ladies in the office, Holly and Jessica. We have a UME Facebook page and an Instagram page. Please “Like/Follow” our pages to get the communication and updates that we will share on a regular basis. We will also be communicating with families through our Powerschool system utilizing a program called K12 Swift. K12 Swift allows us to send messages via phone, text and/or email to the contact information you have provided UME through Powerschool. This information is confidential and will not be shared with others. We strongly encourage you to update your contact information with your child’s teacher during Open House.
UME will continue to work as a Professional Learning Community. We don’t just “PLC” once a week, it’s much more than that. Everything we do inside these walls makes UME a true PLC. We don’t have a PLC meeting, we are a Professional Learning Community. We live by the “3 Big Ideas” of a PLC, which are: 1) Ensuring All Students Learn, 2) Collaborative Culture, and 3) Focus On Results. The PLC “4 Critical Questions” will be embedded in every decision we make, which are: 1) What do we want students to learn? 2) How will we know if they have learned? 3) What will we do if they have learned? and 4) What will we do if they have not learned? I continue to be more than impressed with the UME staff. Our team accomplished more than I could have hoped for in 2017-18. We are in a very good place and headed down the right path.
The Wyoming Department of Education is contracting with Solution Tree (the most highly respected professional development company for educators) to select 15 schools across the state to be part of an exclusive PLCs At Work cohort that will receive ongoing professional development and support from a PLC expert through Solution Tree. It was highly competitive with dozens and dozens of schools who went through the extensive application process. I am pleased to inform you that UME was selected in the Spring of 2018! We were selected because of the steps we have already taken and the work we have done. We are committed to being the best school for all students at UME. Solution Tree experts agree that UME is on the right track! That is something to celebrate!
UME has one of the largest PTAs in the state of Wyoming with almost 100 members last year alone. We were also recognized as a National PTA School of Excellence. 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 held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. PTA/CC meetings will be combined and begin at 5:30pm. I encourage all parents/guardians to participate if possible. There will be sign-ups and more detailed information in your back to school packets that you will receive during Open House.
Our Open House is scheduled for August 23rd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Please bring your school supplies. The PTA is going to be hosting a BBQ as a fundraiser in front of the school during Open House. THere will be pulled pork and hot dogs. Single plates are $5 and families are $20. Bring your appetites. We invite and encourage every parent/guardian and student to attend. This is an opportunity for you to start your year on the right foot by meeting your child’s teacher and getting important information for your child’s success. You will receive your back to school packet of information and handbook.
Monday, August 27th will be the first day of school for all students. Mondays, including the first day of the school year, are now on a one hour delayed start. School will begin at 10:05am. We understand that many UME parents go to work before the school day begins. Early Birds will still open at 8:00am. UME’s initial plan will be to 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 will not be 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 the Summer Math Challenge and Soaring into Summer Reading. I also hope that your children have been reading, doing math, and keeping track of it on their summer reading and math logs. UME is the back, to back, to back (3-peat) champions of Wyoming for the most minutes read over the summer. Let’s keep the streak going to four years in a row. 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: 700 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 spots on the base and center shelf; 1,600 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.
As UME pushes to have 80% of our students reading on benchmark, we call upon parents to help us reach this goal by reading with and ensuring that their children are reading 20 minutes each night in a “Just Right” book. This is the single greatest support you can offer to the success of UME and your children.
Looking forward to a great year,
Jerrod Dastrup, Principal