August 15, 2019
Uinta Meadows Parents and Guardians,
I hope you have had a memorable summer with your family and friends. This will be my fifth year as the building principal at UME. 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 many reasons to celebrate, but I will list just a few of our recent accomplishments and changes that will positively impact your children. During the 2018-19 school year we successfully implemented a new K-5 ELA Program called CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts). We added new security features, including: controlled access into our buildings, Raptor Visitor Management System, and Safe-Defend Rapid Notification System. UME also received its Marzano High Reliability Schools Level 1 Certification. HRS Level 1 is a Safe, Supportive, and Collaborative Culture. We take pride in our school safety, climate, culture and collaboration. We recognize and value that no single person is ever smarter than the team.
We are also excited to announce that we are adding some much needed resources to our K/1 specials rotations. All students will still receive Science/Science Lab, Music/PE, and Media/Cybrary. K/1 have always had a fourth rotation. In the past it was Music and Movement and Literacy. Donna Hoffman and Heather Baldwin did an excellent job teaching these rotations. Their roles at UME have changed. We took a look at what the students in K/1 would benefit from the most. We decided to add a social/emotional curriculum (2nd STEP) and Art. You can find more information on 2nd Step through the following link https://www.secondstep.org/what-is-second-step. Art will be taught by a newly hired support staff member who has a BA in Art. This will be a work in progress but we are very pleased with these additions to the overall education at UME.
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 and the office during Open House.
The professional learning community process has taught us a great deal as we strive to realize Our Mission, which is to Ensure High Levels of Learning for All. We will get there as we focus on Our Vision, which reads Every Student, Every Day. Our staff worked diligently to define what we want UME to become and how we can get there. This is found in the document “The Pillars of UME,” that will be in your back to school packets. This document is not simply ink put to paper. We work according to it.
UME is 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? Teachers work collaboratively as they share best instructional practices, data and intervention/extension strategies to increase student learning.
Our Open House is scheduled for August 22nd 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 26th 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. This is the same exact schedule as the 2018-19 school year. 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 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 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.
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.
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 four time defending champions in Wyoming for the most minutes read over the summer. Let’s keep the streak going for a fifth 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 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 certified staff who have changed positions within UME:
Looking forward to a great year,
Jerrod Dastrup, Principal