• June 11, 2021

    Posted by Erika Garner on 6/9/2021

    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!

    June 11, 2021


    From The Principals
    Andrew Conforti and Michael Dudek

    Dear ACSD Community,


    Move up day and transition visits to MUMS were a huge success this spring. In the month of May guidance counselors and students visited all elementary schools while we had a number of individuals and small groups visit with Guidance Counselors, and Special Educators on a few different Wednesdays. Nothing was quite as exciting as finally having our 5th and 6th grade students visit on June 2 for move up day. Students had a chance to visit with lots of staff and teachers and we had a beautiful day. Move up day culminated with enjoying some ice pops out on the Girls Lacrosse Field as we announced our newest team names, and talked about meeting back in that same spot on August 24th for orientation. These are the new MUMS team names:


    8th Grade Team, Delta 
    7th Grade Team, Acadia
    6th Grade Team, Madagascar


    We hope that these communications have helped you envision what MUMS will look like as we prepare for next year.  The addition of the 6th grade at MUMS has given us the opportunity to revisit the way we do things. We are excited about the outcomes of the planning done this year and what this means for our students!  We can’t wait to see what the ‘21-’22 school year will bring and would like to highlight some of the benefits this transition to a grade 6 - 8 learning community creates for students in ACSD:


    • Greater equity in level of instruction and programs including science, world language, music (band and chorus), life skills, social-emotional learning and supports

    • An additional year in the Middle Years Program (MYP) where students will have access to subject-specific experts

    • Greater levels of independence a year earlier

    • Connection with a more diverse and larger group of peers

    • Increased time (3 years) in our school community to build relationships with families and students 

    • Access to additional extracurricular activities including clubs and sports

    • Additional time to develop identity with the school and for the faculty to get to know and work with students 


    The guiding principles of inclusion and excellence across ACSD are interwoven in the fabric of our long term plan for MUMS.  


    We look forward to seeing all of you next year!  Have a great summer!

    Andrew Conforti, MUMS Interim Principal 
    Michael Dudek, MUMS Incoming Principal


    From Erika Garner

    ACSD Community Coordinator


    Dear ACSD Community,


    This is the last bi-weekly MUMS communication!  I enjoyed having this opportunity to work with MUMS on these communications and learn about all of the changes being made to welcome the 6th grade into the MUMS community.  I have been really impressed with the significant amount of thoughtful planning that went into preparing for this fall.  There were so many details, big and small, being made.  When we started to work together on these communications, we did our best to communicate things that were already decided, which meant we sometimes couldn’t share some of the bigger details because decisions on some of the smaller details still needed to be made.  There were also times that things changed after we shared information with you, such as having an Odd Day/Even Day schedule which is now going to be called an “A" Day/”B” Day schedule.  We appreciate you hanging in there with us as we work through all of these details. 


    As a parent who has had three children grow up in ACSD schools, I would have welcomed the opportunity to have my children experience this sixth grade program at MUMS.  Andrew Conforti, Laura Kiefer, the guidance team, and the educators at MUMS have done an incredible job getting ready for this fall and it is going to be amazing!


    Erika Garner



    Mathematics at MUMS





    The study of mathematics at MUMS is inquiry-based and student-centered.  As students explore different math topics, they discover that there is more than one way to solve a mathematical problem.  Our students are given opportunities to share strategies and learn from each other.  Throughout 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, the mathematics units focus on the Common Core State Standards of the Number System, Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Expressions and Equations, Geometry and Statistics, and Probability.


    Math Exploratory


    Math Exploratory is an elective course that will focus on extending what is done in math class through fun and engaging activities.  This course is designed for students who are curious about math, and would like additional time to explore math concepts.  This class will take place during half of a WIN block throughout the year.


    Advanced Math


    Advanced Math is a challenging 2-year course that will focus on strengthening Algebra problem-solving abilities.  In this class, students will engage in both guided and open-ended mathematical explorations that help make connections. Solid conceptual foundations will be developed in the following areas: scientific notation, integer exponents, laws of exponents, direct and inverse variation, comparing slope of perpendicular and parallel lines, midpoint/distance formulas, functions, solving systems of equations, and quadratic equations.  This class will take place during half of a WIN block throughout the year.


    Math Oasis


    The definition of Oasis is as follows: something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast. The intent of Math Oasis at MUMS is to provide mathematical relief to students. We want students to feel comfortable going into their core math classes and confident that they can, and will, master the material. How will this take place? We plan to accomplish this goal by pre teaching, reteaching, and progress monitoring. Meaning that the core math skills and concepts will be previewed prior to students studying them in their core math class. Additionally, after students interact with the material in core math, the skills and concepts will be reviewed and reinforced in Math Oasis. Periodically, we will access students' basic skills to track their progress in that area.


    MUMS Staff Members
    2021 - 2022


    Jan Broderson
    Math Teacher
    My name is Jan Broderson. I live in Middlebury, VT with my husband, 2 children, 2 cats and 1 dog.  I love paddle boarding, kayaking, reading mystery novels, and eating chocolate. I have been teaching math since 1995 and have been at MUMS since 2001. I have been on the Quicksilver team, off-team and on the Mosaic Team.  I am excited to welcome the new 7th graders on Team Acadia!  I love meeting new 7th grade students who bring good energy and excitement to the building.  I am also excited to work on a team of teachers who all love teaching and supporting students.  While I understand that many of you are nervous about being in a new building, using lockers, and meeting new friends, I know that your teachers and peers will also support you to have a wonderful school year.
    Alison McNamara
    Math Teacher

    Over the past 19 years, I have been a teacher of mathematics, with the last 12 of those years teaching 7th and 8th grade math at MUMS.  I LOVE teaching at MUMS, and I think middle school students are awesome!  Middle schoolers are so much fun and bring so much energy to teaching and learning.  I am looking forward to being able to do more hands-on activites next year.  I would like to wish a warm welcome to the incoming 6th and 7th graders, and I am exctied to get to know the 8th grade students.
    Paul Cherrier
    Math Specialist
    I began teaching in 1992, in Baltimore City, MD. I have been teaching math at MUMS since 1997. I am excited for my new role as math interventionist at MUMS next year. Welcome new sixth & seventh grade students!  It was great meeting you all on June 2nd! Looking forward to seeing you all again and getting to know you better. I would also like to welcome the 8th grade students to our new school. I enjoyed getting to know some of you in the hallways this year and I am excited for the opportunity to see some of you in the classroom next year. Have a safe and relaxing summer--see you in August!
    Joseph Crodelle
    Math Specialist
    I started teaching Advanced Math and Math Intervention at MUMS in 2020 after 6 years of teaching in Albany and New York City.  I am extremely excited to meet all of the incoming students and have everyone take part in school wide activities and events! Let's have a great school year!
    Tracy Allen

    I have been at MUMS for a little over a year but have been a custodian for over 5 years now in the district. I`m excited to see all the new face`s coming to MUMS. I welcome you all back and hope you have a wonderful and exciting year. 

    Terri Metcalf

    I have been a night Custodian here at MUMS for the past 7 years. I am excited for the new students to experience new educational opportunities as we all transition into untreaded waters. I welcome all new and returning students to have a fun filled awesome 2021-2022 educational experience! Go Tigers!


    Annamae Gero

    I have been at MUMS for 10 years not as a teacher but as a custodian. I am hoping the next school year will start off as normal as it can and hoping the pandemic will be just about over. 


    Jennifer Billings
    Math Teacher

    I first started working at MUMS in the fall of 2003 as a paraprofessional, supporting students. After acquiring my VT teaching license in June 2006, I accepted my first teaching position at St. Mary's School in Middlebury. I was later hired to develop a math intervention program (FAME) at MUMS in the fall of 2008. Throughout my 13 years as a math teacher at MUMS, I have earned a master's degree at UVM through the Vermont Mathematics Initiative (VMI) and achieved National Board Certification for teaching middle school mathematics. Being a life learner, it is my hope to gain a PhD in mathematics education through VMI in the future. 

    Aside from teaching in the math classroom, I have been the MUMS Memory Book advisor for 16 years and the Mathcounts coach for the past 6 years. Through these extracurricular activities, I have fun working with students and building relationships. In addition, I have spent many summers working in the MUMS summer program as program coordinator, teacher, and support staff. 

    I am excited to be teaching 6th grade this fall and welcoming the ACSD 6th grade students to MUMS. I believe an extra year of middle school will enable students to be better prepared for MUHS as 9th graders.  

    I want our returning and new incoming students to know that MUMS is a great school, where the staff loves to have fun with students! This past year has been the hardest year of school ever because of COVID. So, I want you all to do these 3 things: look at the hard work you accomplished ~pat yourself on the back ~ say "Darn I'm Good!" 


    Have a great summer vacation!

    Comments (-1)
  • May 28, 2021

    Posted by Erika Garner on 5/28/2021
    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!

    Dear ACSD Community,

    As we reviewed community input on our shift toward a sixth-eighth grade model, we saw a common concern related to whether 6th graders are socially, emotionally, and academically ready for the transition to a 6-8 middle school configuration.  The MUMS team understands these concerns. We have built internal supports and safeguards to ensure all students and families receive the support they need.     

    The Association for Middle Level Education endorses the latest research and best practices around serving adolescents. This research has informed our strategic plan for 6-8 grade configuration at MUMS. Highlights from this research include:

    1. Include the development of support services like a strong Advisory program and a comprehensive guidance counseling program 
    2. Develop bell schedules that allow for flexibility, team teaching, integration of classes 
    3. Implement a strong transition program that supports students and families as they prepare for the transition to middle school 
    4. Provide professional development for teachers to develop best instructional practices that support team teaching and integrated instruction 

    As you review the bi-weekly MUMS transition communications, you will notice systems and structures that have been established to specifically meet the recommendations above. Some of these include our teacher advisory (TA) period, transdisciplinary approach to teaching, teaming model of MUMS teachers and staff, Skillz 4 Life course, Soar (literacy intervention), Homework Club, and the new WIN block.  This communication highlights additional supports provided at MUMS in the classroom, by our guidance team, and by our team of special educators. Our last communication on June 11th will also include information about FAME, our math intervention program.  We will continue to develop support programs and learning opportunities to meet the needs of ALL learners.

    Michael Dudek, MUMS Incoming Principal
    Andrew Conforti, MUMS Interim Principal



    MUMS Booklet

    Copies of the new MUMS Booklet will distributed to incoming and returning MUMS students when they are printed.  This booklet is full of details about MUMS and can be viewed online by following this link.


    Supports for Students

    There are many supports in place to support students through the transition into middle school and during their time at MUMS.

    The support process begins well before students arrive:  


    • School counselors attend transition meetings with the sending teachers from all of our elementary schools to learn about each student.  
    • Copies of Educational Support Plans (504, IEP, EST) are sent to MUMS and planning for services has begun.
    • School counselors along with several MUMS students visit elementary schools to meet with incoming students to give an overview of life at MUMS and answer questions.
    • There are multiple opportunities for families to attend Town Meetings to learn more about MUMS and ask questions, several of which have already occurred.
    • Students attend move up day in June to meet their team of teachers and tour the school.
    • New student orientation is held the day before the first day of school. Students will have an opportunity to meet their TA teacher and TA classmates, tour the school and meet their classroom teachers.



    Guidance Office


    The MUMS Guidance Office has three school counselors and an administrative assistant who are available to help students and parents throughout the school year.  School counselors will loop with their students so that students will have the same school counselor for all three years they attend MUMS.  During the 2021-2022 school year Ilana Brett will work with 6th grade students, Darcey Wijsenbeek will work with 7th grade students, and Lauren Daley will work with 8th grade students.  Some of the guidance specific activities that happen during the school year include: 


    • Individual check ins with each student multiple times during the school year

    • Help students make decisions about elective classes

    • Schedule individual meeting with students when needed 

    • Attend weekly meetings with students’ team of teachers to discuss students and ensure all students have the supports they need

    • Host lunch groups - these are small groups of students who are more comfortable eating in the guidance office.

    • Facilitate guidance groups - these are small groups of students who have similar interests or would like similar supports.  The guidance team sends out a survey to students and families to gauge interest.  Based on the information received a variety of guidance groups are formed for each grade level. These groups are a great way for students to get to know each other.  There is always room for a student to either join an existing group or for a new group to be formed during the school year.


    When a student would like to see a school counselor, they can stop by the guidance to set something up.  Parents are also welcome to connect with the guidance office at any time during the school year.  The guidance office can be reached by calling 382-1295.


    System of Learning Supports
    for MUMS Students 


    MUMS has a robust support system in place to meet the needs of all students.  We utilize a Multi-tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) for students that encompasses multiple levels of teaming and instruction to support students’ learning.  Students come to MUMS with a variety of intelligences, strengths, and challenges in academic and social development.  Our goal is to support students proactively and utilize screening tools to monitor students’ progress in learning and to identify those that may be at risk for learning challenges in social emotional, literacy, and math skill development with caregivers.

    If scores on screening tools, classroom learning activities, and/or progress reporting are low, faculty will review research based interventions to implement in the classroom for all students.  Student progress would then be monitored to determine if the interventions were successful supports for learning or if additional small group interventions are needed for individual students targeting specific skill areas.  This collaborative work in supporting students is completed in grade level meetings.

    When additional small group interventions are needed, a team of support staff meet weekly to develop an Educational Support Plan with caregivers that reflects a response to learning data.  Literacy, Math, and Social-Emotional Interventionists then facilitate small group instruction and monitor progress on targeted skills.  If a student continues to demonstrate learning challenges after 3-4 interventions have been implemented, the team may recommend a referral for special education.  


     Student Services

    Cassie Santos and JT Henley will be the MUMS Case Managers for students on 504 and IEP support plans during the 2021-2022 school year.  Educational Support Plans are referred to and supported by the Assistant Principal, Guidance Team, ESL Coach, Interventionist and include special educators and teachers as needed. We have received copies of educational support plans for incoming 6th and 7th grade students and have begun planning for the coming school year.  This includes building services into students' schedules with MUMS special educators and interventionists (math, literacy, and social-emotional learning (SEL)) and reaching out to schools and families for more information, as needed.  

    Parents/guardians who have students on a 504 plan or IEP will be contacted at the beginning of the school year.  Parents who have specific questions or concerns they would like to address before the end of the school year, can reach out to Cassie Santo by sending an email to csanto@acsdvt.org or by calling 382-1600.

    MUMS Special Educators, Interventionists, and Case Managers meet regularly with each grade level team of teachers throughout the year to discuss progress and adjust services as needed to ensure all students are receiving the supports they need.



    Big Brothers Big Sisters 

    New Mentorship Program Available to MUMS Students

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    ACSD has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont (BBBSVT) to launch a mentorship program for MUMS students at the beginning of the ‘21-22 school year.  This is a 1-to-1 mentoring program through which an adult volunteer is matched with a student .    


    We are very excited about this program and the opportunity to support students during their transition into MUMS and throughout the middle school years.   Mentors are another positive adult role model to help your child on the path to success.  There are immediate and long-term benefits resulting from mentorship programs such as healthier relationships and lifestyle choices, increased attendance in school, better behavior at home and at school, and a decreased likelihood of substance abuse.  Visit the BBBS website to see an inspirational video on what it means to children who participate in this program. 


    More information about this program can be found under News and Announcements on the homepage of the MUMS website.  Thank you to the ACSD Community Partnership Council for forming this partnership and helping to launch this great program.


    Guidance Meet and Greet

    Thank you to everyone who attended the Meet and Greet with the MUMS Guidance Team on May 25th.  If you weren't able to make it, a video recording is available by following this link.


    MUMS Staff Members

    2021 - 2022

    Andrew Conforti
    Assistant Principal
    I have been working at ACSD for three years. I spent my first two years as the Secondary Special Education Coordinator which afforded me lots of quality time working at MUMS prior to being named Assistant Principal. I started my career in New Jersey as a paraeducator prior to earning my Masters in Teaching Special Education and Masters in Ed. Leadership. Over the course of my career I enjoyed teaching in two alternative schools grades 6-12 and two public High Schools. I have a deep love and appreciation for extracurricular activities and athletics. I have coached Football, Basketball, Lacrosse, and Track and Field at the high school level. When I was in grade school I enjoyed participating band, choir, musicals, and various clubs and I am proud there is a high level of participation and interest for sports and clubs at MUMS. I am excited for our students and community to return to school full time, for a full year, that will be full of amazing new experiences for our students, staff, and families. This will be a banner year for MUMS as our 6th 7th and 8th graders will have the privilege of building upon all of the great traditions at MUMS while establishing new and innovative ways to lead us forward. I can't wait for the 2021-2022 school year! Have a great summer, everyone!
    Ilana Brett
    School Counselor

    I have worked at Middlebury Union Middle School since 1999, first as the Student Assistance Counselor and for the past 15 years as a Guidance Counselor.  Having received my Masters of Social Work from Simmons College in 1988, I am licensed as a clinical social worker and certified as a school counselor.  I have worked with adolescents in settings from residential care to outdoor education programs prior to working in the public school system.

    I live in Lincoln with my husband, soon to be two dogs and a cat.  My sons are both out of college and living the dream in Wyoming.  I love to spend my free time hiking or skiing in any mountains I can get to.  I enjoy sharing my love of the outdoors with others and have run small outdoor groups with students during past school years.

    I am extremely excited to welcome our new 6th and 7th graders to MUMS next year and all the energy they will bring.  I also look forward to our current 7th graders to experience a non pandemic middle school year.  I am really looking forward to working with 6th grade as their counselor for the year.  


    Lauren Daley
    School CounselorL

    Hi everyone!  Welcome to MUMS! 

    We are very excited to be welcoming both 6th and 7th graders next year- and our returning 8th graders too!  I am one of the three school counselors in the Guidance Office at MUMS.  Next year I will be working with our 8th grade team!  I have been a school counselor in ACSD for the past 12 years - 11 years at MUHS and 1 year at MUMS.  Something that I am most excited about for next year is to have our building FULL of students and energy!  
    Darcey Wijsenbeek
    School Counselor
    I have spent the last 17 years working and playing in the woods at Camp Sangamon in Pittsford where I am currently the Assistant Director. After deciding to live in Vermont full time 6 years ago, I started working in local schools and found a match in supporting the social and emotional growth of students. I decided to head to UVM to do some more learning myself and here I am! I’m very much looking forward to joining the incoming 6th and 7th graders in becoming part of the MUMS community. Middle school is an exciting time of change and challenge and I look forward to helping you all find success in your journey!


    Liam Battjes-Greenwood

    Social and Emotional Leader

    I'm entering my third year teaching at MUMS as the Social and Emotional Leader.  I'm really looking forward to the coming year's Skillz for Life classes because these three classes connect to bits of my own life.

    The Sixth Graders will be going through a class called Rock, Water, Light and Air.  I worked with a program called Rock and Water when I was teaching in Australia.  This program helped middle school kids focus on when to stand strong and when to be flexible in their thinking and acting.  Rock, Water, Light and Air adds some wisdom from Circle of Courage, a program based on Indigenous Wisdom.  I have enjoyed learning from the Abenaki, Haudenosaunee (Mohawk),the  Kaurna of South Australia, and the Dune (Navajo) First Nations.

    7th Graders will be focusing on Circle Up, Don't Spiral Down and learning to lead restorative and courageous conversations.  This also draws upon indigenous wisdom and connects to my work as Special Educator and Pastor who was involved in Restorative Justice Practices.  One summer, I was able to study on the Island of Crete in Greece and an institute for face to face peaceful conversation.

    8th Graders will be focusing on Living with My Brain, and developing an understanding of brain functions and how this affects their management of emotions, ways of thinking and storing memories.  As a Special Educator in South Australia, I worked with students from traumatic pasts -- war zones, refugee camps and survivors of domestic violence -- who were also going through adolescence and working with a diagnosed disability.  I enjoyed helping students understand how their brains worked and sharing some coping skills.

    One way my brain works best is by learning from my students and colleagues.  I look forward to some exciting years working with the diverse personalities of MUMS.



    Elissa Starheim
    School Nurse

    Hi everyone! I will be the school nurse at MUMS and cannot wait to meet you. I will be new to the middle school this fall just like you and am moving to Vermont from Virginia, where I have been a nurse for about three years. My favorite thing about being a nurse is being able to meet people like you! Outside of work, I love hiking and being outside, so I am so excited to move to Vermont to explore everything your beautiful state has to offer. I hope you have a great summer and I look forward to meeting you soon!


    Frequently Asked Questions

    My child is on an educational support plan (504, EST, IEP) and I have questions about their services, who do I contact?
    Families can contact the special educator or the interventionist working with their student directly.  Information on who will be working with students on educational support plans will be provided at the beginning of the school year.  If you are unsure of who to contact, families are welcome to contact Cassie Santo at csanto@acsdvt.org or 382-1600.  Families can also request a team meeting at any time.

    How do we know what bus our student should ride after school?
    All students will ride the same bus as they did in the morning, except for Shoreham and Cornwall students who will take a bus to MUHS where they will transfer onto their bus home.  All busses have a sign in the window to indicate which town they serve. At the start of the school year, an announcement will be made to notify Shoreham and Cornwall students to get onto one of the other buses in line to catch their regular bus at MUHS. (Shoreham students will ride the Weybridge bus to MUHS and Cornwall students will ride the Bridport bus to MUHS).  MUMS staff will be available to help students during dismissal.

    How is students’ academic progress communicated to families?
    In addition to progress reports and parent conferences, parents can learn about their students’ current units of inquiry and track academic progress using our Learning Management System, which is called ManageBac. Families will receive login information within the first week of school.   An information session for families will be offered in the fall.


    Past MUMS transition communications can be found on our website at https://www.acsdvt.org/transition.

    User friendly url to the MUMS website: www.acsdvt.org/mums.
    Comments (-1)
  • May 14, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 5/14/2021
    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!
    Dear ACSD Community,

    As we continue to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year with the addition of the sixth grade, we are increasingly excited about the many benefits this change will bring not only to our incoming sixth grade students, but also to seventh and eighth graders!  The addition of the sixth grade has provided a great opportunity for us to realign our curriculum, make adjustments to our schedule, and strengthen our support system for students.  We greatly appreciate everyone who has invested an incredible amount of time to prepare for this change.  

    We are in the process of creating a booklet for incoming families that highlights information we have been sharing in these bi-weekly communications and provides an overview of what MUMS will look like next year for all three grade levels.  

    On May 25th at 6:00 pm, the MUMS guidance team will be hosting a Meet and Greet for incoming 6th and 7th graders and their families.  This will be an overview of the transition process, a chance to learn about social and emotional supports at MUMS, and a question and answer opportunity.  Please mark your calendars.  A virtual meeting invitation will be sent closer to the date. 

    Andrew Conforti, MUMS Interim Principal 
    Michael Dudek, MUMS Incoming Principal



    Visual Art, Design, and General Music

    All students at MUMS will take Visual Art, Design, and General Music.  These classes are one trimester long each.

    Visual Art


    I am so excited to welcome all students and families to MUMS! It is a great place to imagine, explore, and create! The art classroom is filled with an abundance of materials for you to use in your unique creations. Each student in the school will create a number of major projects during their 12 week course. 6th and 7th graders will be guided to build skills in a variety of mediums and techniques, while 8th graders will take the lead of their own learning. As artists that have built their foundational skills, 8th graders will develop their own unique ideas, research and plan their own projects, and create while navigating their way through problems and decisions that come up. Over the three years at MUMS, all of these creations will culminate in a portfolio of work and an understanding of how to create and innovate - skills that ALL students will need in their future endeavors.




    Design class is getting a make-over, change in venue, and a new (yet getting old:) face!  Sort of new, anyways.  Mr. Barnes will be moving back into the role of Design teacher.  The class will be a mix of Product and Digital Design with Interdisciplinary Units in collaboration with Ms. Maggio in Visual Art for the 6th & 7th graders.  The class will challenge 8th graders to come up with their own culminating project, preferably with a service feel to it.  All grades will be challenged to create digital designs and build actual products.  At times the medium of the final product will be the individual's choice, others will depend upon the project.  This will be a very hands on class where students of all backgrounds and abilities are given the opportunity to create, innovate, and succeed.


    General Music


    General music is one of the rotating courses that students will attend for the length of a trimester. In contrast to Band or Choir, General Music is less focused on ensemble skills and traditional music literacy. Instead, students focus on using a range of music technology to learn about broad concepts of composing and arranging, use of music in media, and music of other cultures. In addition, students  develop some personal instrumental skills through the study of guitar, and examine the role of music within their lives.


    Media Literacy

    Media Literacy is a trimester long class that students at each grade level will have the opportunity to take during the WIN block. This course will reinforce and expand on media literacy and digital citizenship skills learned in elementary school. We will focus on how to use digital resources appropriately and effectively, internet safety and privacy, research skills, and how the district Academic Honesty and Acceptable Use policies shape our use of digital and print resources.


    After School Clubs

    Wondering what students do in after school clubs at MUMS? Visit our website at https://www.acsdvt.org/activities to see a description of clubs currently being held after school and some of the past clubs held at MUMS. The clubs offered each year are flexible depending upon the interests of the students and the availability of leaders.


    Homework Club

    A relaxing and focused hour in the library right after school for students to stay up to date with their work, ask questions, and complete class assignments.  Teachers stop in with some treats, an encouraging word, and a grateful smile that allows the students to feel equipped, empowered, and supported. Students are encouraged to get the most out of their work here at school so they can go home with less homework and enjoy time with family and friends! 

    Any student can attend Homework Club; they can sign up in advance or drop in.  Teachers refer students to the Homework Club and coordinate attendance with parents, as needed.  Homework Club is offered four days per week for an hour after school on Mondays through Thursdays during the school year.

    MUMS Staff Members

    2021 - 2022

    Sara Nadeau
    Individuals & Societies Teacher

    I have been working at MUMS (or what used to be Middlebury Union Jr. High School) since 1994. I first worked as a paraprofessional, left for one year to teach in another school district and then came back to MUMS as a social studies (I & S) teacher in 2000. I am so excited for the year ahead to meet new students and hopefully have our classrooms and hallways filled again! I can't wait to meet you all and have a fun year year with our new team and new learning!
    Lisa Maggio
    Visual Art Teacher

    After teaching in an IB and Museum Magnet middle school in Miami, FL for a time, I have absolutely loved teaching art at MUMS for the past ten years.  Students learn to think critically, collaborate, be creative, and communicate through their hands-on art making.  Student work is always on display around the school, helping to make MUMS a fun and inspirational place to learn.  I am thrilled to welcome 6th graders and 7th graders for the first time and welcome back our fabulous 8th graders for the 2021-2022 school year!
    Brian Lisko
    Individuals & Societies Teacher
    Welcome to 8th grade Individuals and Societies (social studies). With a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cultural Studies from Goddard College and a Master's Degree in Education and Curriculum Development from the University of Vermont, I have worked in the field of education for eighteen years in Nevada and Vermont with Highly Qualified endorsements in social studies and TESL.

    I enjoy learning about other cultures and have traveled throughout most of the United States and visited seventeen countries abroad, mainly in Europe and Asia. I have studied in both Beijing, China and Florence, Italy, and I briefly worked for the Prince’s Trust through YMCA International, a youth outreach organization, in Scotland. When I am not at school I am watching movies, traveling, BBQing, and spending time with my thirteen and nine year old sons, Reese and Keegan, my four year old daughter, Evelyn, and my wife, Melissa.

    I am very excited about all of the changes here at MUMS and to start a new teaching and learning team next year. Change is fun!
    JT Henley
    Special Education Teacher

    Greetings! I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is JT Henley and I am a Special Education teacher at MUMS. The 2021-22 school year will be my second year at MUMS. Prior to that I worked at the ADL middle school in Essex VT. I have also spent time as a Behavioral Interventionist and a Paraprofessional in both the public and private school setting.

    I live in Monkton with my wife (Sylvie), Son (Alex), 3 cats and many chickens. I was originally drawn to Vermont when I came up to attend school at Castleton State College. Yes, it was still CSC at that time. I graduated from CSC with a degree in Biology. Most recently I graduated from UVM with a Masters in Special Education.

    I am very excited about the changes that are happening here at MUMS in the upcoming year. The staff has been working very hard to come up with a plan that we hope will be able to take the students even further in their educational goals. A quote that stands out to me is one from Malcolm X “Education is a passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”


    Darcy Raymond
    Individuals & Societies Teacher

    Some of you may know me as Ms. Annino but after getting married last August to my husband Nate I will now be known as Mrs. Raymond. Next year will be my 6th year at MUMS as an I&S Teacher. As a 6th grade teacher next year I am looking forward to welcoming you into MUMS and exploring new content with you. I strive to engage students with hands on and project based learning that can be adapted for each student's interests. I am excited to bring back student engagement in the planning process with my Student Planning Committee, a group of students who help me develop lessons and units throughout the year.

    Not only am I an I&S teacher at MUMS but I also lead the Social Justice Club which is an area that I feel very passionate about. While academics are important I also believe that we need to be well rounded citizens and that's why I am also the MUMS softball coach. One of my favorite parts of being a middle school teacher is getting to see students succeed in many different areas of day to day life! I am so excited to meet you all!! 

    Randy Barnes
    Design Teacher

    I started working at MUMS in the 2005-2006 school year.  I spent 3 years as the Kaleidoscope Science Teacher, then moved to Paragon for 7 years.  After that I shifted to the Design/STEM position for 2 years, and then back into science with Phoenix for the past 3 years.  Before that I taught in Burlington, Vermont, Melrose, MA, Boston, MA, Honolulu, HI, and Krasnoyarsk, Russia.  I have a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  I studied and was a research scientist for a year at the Siberia Branch of the Russian Institute of Biophysics, and I obtained an MEd from the University of Massachusetts - Boston.

    I am more than excited to be moving back into the Design position.  My hope is that all students, regardless of skills and background, will see success through design challenges that will include digital and product-based outcomes.  We'll also be doing Interdisciplinary Units with Visual Arts in the 6th & 7th grade, while taking on an independent, student-derived challenge in 8th grade.

    I challenge students to bring their creativeness, problem solving skills, and inquisitiveness to Room 100 next year.


    Lynne Suddaby
    Special Education Teacher

    Hello, I am Lynne Suddaby. I am so excited about being at MUMS. I started my career as a paraprofessional in a Burlington  Early Essential Education classroom when I was nineteen years old in the year 1981. I was enrolled in Burlington College, where I earned a BA in Elementary Education. I then went on to Trinity College for my special education endorsement. As I worked on my education, I continued to work in the Burlington School District. After I received my endorsement, I started teaching as a special educator at MVU in Swanton, VT. I have served in different VT and NH schools since then. My focus is helping my students understand their own self worth both academically and personally. I believe that all students can have a measure of success which can bring them to a fulfilling future. 
    Katie Ford
    Library Media Specialist

    I have been working at MUMS since 2007, first as a paraprofessional, then long-term substitute, part-time math teacher, and now as the Library Media Specialist. While I loved teaching math, in 2018 I spent part of my days as the library assistant, and absolutely feel in love with the library! I went back to school in order to get certified as a school librarian and love getting to spend my days in the library. I have been an avid reader my entire life, and getting to connect middle school students with books that they are excited about reading is SO much fun!

    One thing that I am excited about for next year is the opportunity to support all students in a new Media Literacy class. I can't wait to meet all of the new students, learn about their favorite books, and share some of mine!


    Nathaniel Thompson
    Special Education Teacher

    This fall I will embark on my first year serving as a Special Educator at MUMS. My teaching journey began when I moved from New York City to Vermont six years ago in pursuit of a career teaching middle school science. Through this work, I developed an interest in the field of Special Education that I have had the opportunity to explore while working in the Colchester and Champlain Valley school districts, and completing UVM’s Masters program in Special Education. I am excited to join the MUMS team and am eagerly looking forward to meeting the students in the fall. I am passionate about providing students with the support they need to develop into happy, healthy members of our community, and I look forward to working towards this common goal with the MUMS team.
    Jim Robinette
    Special Education Teacher

    I have made my career as an educator across several distinct, yet intersecting paths. I started out as a guidance counselor, then a classroom teacher. I have been a 1: 1 and a team special education paraprofessional, and achieved my first post-graduate position as a school administrator. I served as an elementary school principal, a K -12 assistant principal, a high school assistant principal, a 7-12 principal, and as a middle school principal in two different schools. After my first 25 years in education, I decided to re-invent myself and make the focus of my work with students. I have worked at MUMS for the past 9 years as a special educator. I am very excited to fulfill the opportunity to work with students across all grade levels next year, especially so in welcoming our new 6th and 7th grade students.


    Cassandra Santo
    Special Educator

    Next year will be my 10th year working in special education and my 4th year as a special educator at MUMS. I moved to Vermont from Colorado in 2018 and this has become our new home. We love living in Vermont and exploring all the beauty surrounding us. MUMS is a special place, and I am excited to share our school with incoming 6th and 7th graders. Our 8th graders are leaders and have excelled during a very challenging year. I am looking forward to a building full of students and celebrating all that we have overcome! 


    Upcoming Dates


    May 25th at 6:00 pm

    Meet and Greet with the Guidance Counselors for incoming 6th and 7th graders and their families.  This will be an overview of the transition process, a chance to learn about social and emotional supports at MUMS, and a question and answer opportunity.   A virtual meeting invitation will be sent closer to the date. 

    June 2nd 

    Move up day for incoming 6th and 7th graders students.  This will be held during the school day and is for students only.

    Early to mid August

    Student schedule and TA teacher assignment mailed to families

    August 24th 
    New student orientation for incoming 6th and 7th graders (half day)


    Frequently Asked Questions


    What are homework expectations?

    Homework is a part of a student's experience at MUMS and varies from subject to subject. Students can expect homework on a daily to weekly basis. MUMS offers various supports and time throughout a student's school day as well as Homework Club after school to support students with their homework. Teachers are considerate to not overload students by giving too much homework. 


    Will 6th graders have recess?

    In middle school we do not have a set block of time in the schedule that is only for recess, however there are multiple opportunities during the school day for students to take a brain break and be active outside of the classroom. Some of these opportunities include time during the lunch period, specific physical education learning opportunities, select extended teacher advisory (TA) and various times where teachers have class or take breaks outdoors.

    Which classes are full year and which classes are one trimester? 

    Full year classes: 
    Math, Science, Language & Literature, Individuals and Society, Wellness (P.E. and Health), Language Acquisition 

    Trimester long classes:  
    Art, General Music, Design, Skillz 4 Life, and Media Literacy

    Note:  Skillz 4 Life and Media Literacy classes will be held during the “What I Need” (WIN) block.  More information about the schedule and WIN block can be found in the April 9th communication which is posted on our website at www.acsdvt.org/transition.


    MUMS Questionnaire

    The MUMS Questionnaire is still open.  Please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire to help us better understand your questions and what information would be helpful to include in upcoming transition communications.


    User friendly url to the MUMS website: www.acsdvt.org/mums 

    and directly to these MUMS transition communications: https://www.acsdvt.org/transition

    Comments (-1)
  • April 30, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 4/30/2021

    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!


    April 30, 2021  

    Dear ACSD Community,

    As we prepare for the 2021 - 2022 school year the two of us have been meeting regularly to ensure a smooth transition of leadership and to continue to thoughtfully plan for the addition of the 6th grade to MUMS.  During April break we were able to meet in person and with the help from a few MUMS students and Kurt Broderson from Middlebury Community TV, we filmed a short video of the school to give families an opportunity to see our facility virtually.  Please follow this link to take a peek into the hallways of MUMS.

    During the next few months, we are eager to collaborate more and find ways to have Michael in the building to meet students and staff in person.  In addition, we are excited to host our incoming 6th and 7th graders to MUMS on June 2nd.  See you all soon!


    Andrew Conforti, MUMS Interim Principal 
    Michael Dudek, MUMS Incoming Principal




    Move Up Day

    Move up day for incoming 6th and 7th graders is June 2nd. 

    More details to come.


    Language and Literature


    The study of Language and Literature at MUMS is grounded in a conceptual and inquiry-based approach to learning.  Thus, as students read and analyze short stories, poetry, drama, novels, a variety of nonfiction texts, and film clips, they continually explore overarching questions related to meaningful and relevant topics. Within each unit of study, students have elements of choice and opportunities to direct their learning.  Between 6th and 8th grade, students will incrementally gain essential skills as writers, speakers, and thinkers, strengthening their ability to communicate with the greater community.


    Literacy Intervention - SOAR


    Next year at MUMS Literacy Intervention will have two full time teachers, one licensed in English/Language Arts and a Special Educator. The Literacy interventionists will work with students who require targeted literacy instruction through scheduled classes, literacy assessment and progress monitoring, targeted intervention and consultation with families, teachers and teams.


    Language Acquisition


    Language Acquisition (French & Spanish) is an integral part of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) at MUMS. The study of additional languages in the MYP provides students with the "opportunity to develop insights into the features, processes and craft of language and the concept of culture, and to realize that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world." 

    6th grade language acquisition classes will explore both languages to inform students’ choice of which language to  study for the duration of their MYP years.  7th and 8th grade language acquisition classes focus on communication skills, reflection and exploration of our own and other cultures, multi-literacy skills and attitudes, and international-mindedness. In the MYP, there are multiple phases of language; students in 7th grade will begin in Phase 1 of their chosen language, and will continue studies in this language through 10th grade (or beyond, if they so choose). Students must stay in their chosen language until they have reached a level of proficiency. Proficiency is defined by the successful completion of a Phase 4 world language course.

    Student Ambassadors


    The Student Ambassadors came out of a merge between our Student Council and the Pride Panel at MUMS three years ago. Students are nominated by other students noting how they demonstrate IB Learner Profile traits. Teachers from each team choose 4 students to represent their team. It is a one year commitment and facilitated by MUMS teachers Jan Fraga and Sara Nadeau. 

    Student Ambassadors are the voice for their team. They are also ambassadors representing the student body. They meet regularly to bring up concerns and plan school-wide activities.  Over the last few years our student ambassadors have coordinated fund raisers, planned assemblies, brought concerns to our administration, addressed the school board, and have helped on numerous projects.  They just completed a successful fundraiser selling MUMS sportsware to promote school pride and help fund student activities at MUMS. They are currently helping to plan a schoolwide MUMS Survivor adventure for the end of the school year. 


    New Website for Incoming Students
    For Students by Students
    The 8th grade students in Jan Fraga’s Design class have been working on a website for our rising 6th and 7th graders to help students and their families learn about MUMS.  They created chatbots to share information on topics that they were worried about before they came to MUMS. They have posted answers to questions they received from students and started to post infographics about specific locations around MUMS.  We hope information posted on this website will help answer some of your questions. There will be more bots and infographics added by students as the quarter progresses.  Check out their website by following this link.


    MUMS Staff Members

    2021 - 2022

    Denise Bérubé-Mayone
    Language Acquisition

    Bonjour! I’ve been teaching French in Vermont for several decades, after teaching at private schools in my native Maine and in Massachusetts. Language Acquisition is such a critical component of not only the IB curriculum, but also of any solid and rewarding 21st century education. Sharing my knowledge of French and of French-Canadian language and culture as well as my love of travel are my true passions, and there is simply nothing else I’d rather do! To hear my students speak (and sing!) in French is incredibly rewarding to me. Our special school is about to embark on a new adventure! I’m sure that our new 6th and 7th graders will nicely complement our awesome 8th graders, making wonderful contributions to our already vibrant culture. Bienvenue!
    Eileen Sears
    Language and Literature Teacher

    I have been a Language and Literature teacher at MUMS for 16 years, and I live in Cornwall with my two children, Erin and Lachlan, and my husband, Bjarki, who teaches at the high school. I love the MUMS community! It's welcoming, supportive, and full of awesome learning opportunities. What's neat about these opportunities is that they don't just exist within the walls of our classroom. They extend out far beyond it, into our own lives, our experiences, interests, mindsets, and backgrounds. What makes our school excellent, in my opinion, are the many chances we have to share these different parts of ourselves with each other. This helps us all grow. Hence, my advice to you: Don't be afraid to use your voice here. We want to hear who you are and what you have to say.


    Connie Mosquera
    Language Acquisition Teacher

    ¡Hola a tod@s! Bonjour à tous! Hello everyone! I am thrilled to be part of the MUMS community after two years of being a PYP Spanish Teacher at Mary Hogan, Weybridge, and Ripton Elementary Schools. I am looking forward to continuing my journey with the incoming 6th grade students and meeting all of the new and old members of the MUMS Community. I started my teaching career as a third grade ESL Teacher in several bilingual schools in Cali, Colombia, where I come from. After that, I moved to the UK as part of a program sponsored by the Colombian Government and the British Council to give opportunities to Colombian teachers to experience new learning and teaching techniques and methods used in public schools in the UK. I have been fortunate to travel, live and work in rural and urban areas in Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Southeast Asia. In the years working as a Spanish teacher, I have taken great advantage of this position to show my students how rich and diverse the Spanish-speaking community is, around the world and in the United States. Next year, I will be in a position where I will not only continue doing this, but I will also be introducing students to the richness and diversity of the French-speaking communities around the world. I am truly excited to be part of the new 6th grade adventure!

    Dana Cray
    Literacy Intervention Teacher

    For the past twenty-three years, I’ve had the privilege of being a teacher of literacy (in one form or another), with the last fifteen of those years at MUMS. If you walk into my classroom while I am teaching, you can tell that I absolutely LOVE middle school students and think they are the BOMB! I truly believe that middle school students make everything in life simply awesome!  Students who have had me over the years will tell stories of me teaching while standing on tables and sharing my love of learning! You should believe those stories because they are not lies! Even though I have high expectations for my students, we manage to have fun in my room each day. For the last four years, I’ve enjoyed being the Mosaic Language and Literature teacher; I've loved every minute of making memories with and providing instruction for Mosaic students. Even though these years have been terrific, I have decided to return to teaching Literacy Intervention for the 21-22 school year. I am super excited about this teaching position because I get to share my love of reading, writing, and thinking with my students in a way that places emphasis on process, strategy, and growth over time. What’s better than literacy and middle schoolers? NOTHING! I’m looking forward to meeting you all!


    Martha Santa Maria
    Language and Literature Teacher

    I am a native Vermonter and a National Board Certified Teacher of English who loves working with adolescents. Since Fall 2000, I have been a classroom teacher and a designer of several recognized inquiry-based summer programs, like "Shark Tank Start-Up" and " Wild SCIde" with expert colleagues at MUMS.  Learning alongside my students brings me joy and challenges my professional practices.  I look forward to more hands-on learning experiences in 2021-2022 and welcome all the new students to the middle school.



    Laura Hall
    Language Acquisition Teacher

    My name is Laura Hall. I am one of the Spanish teachers at MUMS. I finished the graduate program MATESOL in 2011 at Saint Michael's College. This is my sixth year teaching at MUMS, and I love working with the great staff and colleagues at school. I am very excited about welcoming the sixth and seventh graders into the school program. This will be a great experience for all of us. I can't wait to see the returning students that will start eighth grade for a fun and successful year together.  

    Barbara Collette
    Literacy Intervention Teacher

    I began teaching as Special Educator in Salisbury Community School in 2010 and moved to the Middle School in 2013. Four years ago I shifted to the Literacy Intervention role. I feel so fortunate to work on literacy skills with middle school students, there's never a dull moment and it is so much fun to see our students learn and grow as readers and thinkers. I am so looking forward to seeing our new and returning students next fall!
    Sandy Celauro
    Language and Literature Teacher

    I have taught middle school English Language Arts for 15 years, and I have been a Language & Literature teacher at MUMS since 2018. While I am passionate about reading, writing, and sharing ideas in an effective way, I am equally excited about middle school students. As grade 6 joins this wonderful learning community, we all embark on this new adventure together. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can students participate in more than one after school activity at MUMS? 
    Yes, many students participate in multiple activities after school.  If there is a conflict between two activities, students can work it out by talking with the club leader or coach.

    Will both breakfast and lunch be available?
    There will be several choices for students to choose from daily for both lunch and breakfast.  Breakfast is available in the cafeteria before teacher advisory each morning and lunch will be served in the cafeteria during three separate lunch blocks (one per grade) in the middle of the day.  To learn more about lunch at MUMS, check out the Lunchroom Chatbots made by 8th grade students in Design class.

    When will students receive their schedule? 
    Schedules will be mailed to students in early-mid August.

    When will students learn which teacher they will have for their Teacher Advisory?   
    Students will learn who they will have for their teacher advisor when they receive their schedule in early-mid August.

    How does drop off and pick up work? 
    Families enter the drop off and pick up line by driving along the route marked in red.  Students can be dropped off and picked up along the sidewalk.



    MUMS Questionnaire

    The MUMS Questionnaire is still open.  Please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire to help us better understand your questions and what information would be helpful to include in upcoming transition communications.

    Virtual Tour

    Take a virtual tour of MUMS by following this link.


    Comments (-1)
  • April 9, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 4/9/2021

    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!



    Dear ACSD Community,

    Many of you have asked about student visits to MUMS. ACSD 5th and 6th graders will visit MUMS during a move up day in June. During move up day students will tour the school, learn more about their teachers, and their day to day schedule. We are still coordinating with Elementary Principals and will share specifics about this soon. All incoming sixth and seventh graders will also attend a half day new student orientation on August 24th, so please mark your calendars.  During the orientation students will have the opportunity to meet students in their Teacher Advisory, do some fun activities, practice moving between classrooms by attending an abbreviated schedule, try out their locker, and say hello to friends.

    The example schedule shared during the town hall meeting last week is included in this communication with further details to address questions that arose during and after the meeting. We hope this information provides further clarity on the MUMS schedule next year and how it works.  If you have further questions, please feel free to add them to our questionnaire.  Your feedback has been very helpful in developing our transition communications.  

    If you weren’t able to join us at the town hall meeting, this MUMS Town Hall Meeting recording is posted on our website along with the presentation slides Welcoming 6th Grade to MUMS.pdf.  We are thrilled with the turnout and your continued interest in learning about MUMS and supporting all of our students!

    Best Regards,

    Andrew Conforti            
    MUMS Interim Principal    


    2021-2022 School Year

    These MUMS Example Schedules will give you an idea of what the school day will look like for MUMS students next year.


    A Few Notes About the Schedule


    "A"/"B" Days:  MUMS classes will run on an "A" Day/"B" Day schedule, meaning students will attend each of their classes every other day. (If the schedule on Friday was an "A" day, the schedule the following Monday will be an "B" day.)

    Schedule on Wednesdays:  The length of class time on Wednesday each week is slightly shorter than on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday to allow for extra time in the morning for an extended Teacher Advisory.

    MUMS will have three grade level lunch blocks daily - each grade will attend a lunch block that is separate from the other two grades.  Students can use a portion of their lunch to go outside and be active, attend the library, attend restorative lunches, and possibly join lunch groups through guidance and/or SEL groups.

    Flex Time:  All students will have two “Flex Time” blocks in the middle of the day.  Flex Blocks will be supervised by the students grade level teachers and students will have a variety of opportunities that include but are not limited to band and/or choir, outdoor time with peers/class, math/literacy intervention, special education services, grade level team activities, and/or study hall time.  

    What I Need (WIN): WIN consists of 2 learning sections/opportunities for students to access grade level instruction by trimester that includes Skillz4Life and Media Literacy.  The additional section during a WIN block will be fulfilled with personalized learning that provides flexibility based upon what students need at the time. The WIN block is divided into two shorter blocks so students will have the opportunity to participate in more than one option during a WIN block time.  Some of the additional options include music lessons, student interest groups, exploratory classes, Guidance Counselor time, intervention services in Math and Literacy, Advanced Math, direct instruction from Special Educators, academic support, or study hall. 


    Class Size:  Class sizes will be approximately 20 students per class based on a grade level size of 120 students.



    Welcome to the MUMS Wellness Program! During a student's 3 year journey here, they will progress through a combined health and pe curriculum that promotes health and physical literacy. Our students will experience class in a variety of learning environments, including our extensive outdoor grounds, our state of the art gymnasium and a teaching classroom conducive to safe and standardized learning.

    Our philosophy here in the Wellness program is to develop students that make healthy and safe choices while enjoying a wide variety of physical activity. Some examples of these fun activities include Nutrition, First Aid, Geocaching, Skateboarding, Pickleball and Lifetime Recreational Activities. We foster an environment that is social and collaborative. We are incredibly excited to welcome our incoming students to the Wellness Program and looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year!




    Middle Years Program (MYP)


    MUMS is a special place, and it often feels like just as students arrive here, we blink and it's already time to transition them to the high school. It's exciting to add another year to our MYP because it will give students three solid years at MUMS, where they will have access to subject-specific experts. MUMS teachers have been planning all year to readjust and align a middle school curriculum that includes 6th graders, and we are already seeing how the effects of this move stand to strengthen our entire 6-12 curriculum sequence for students.

    Like in the PYP, MYP courses revolve around units of inquiry that prioritize hands-on learning, real-world experiences and explicit skill instruction. The main difference is that while PYP units are transdisciplinary (encompassing all subjects in one unit), MYP units are subject-specific. Instead of having one unit of inquiry at a time (like in the PYP), students will engage in 4-8 units of inquiry per year for each class they take at MUMS. The MYP offers the following courses: arts (visual arts and general music), design,  individuals & societies,  language acquisition, language & literature, math, science, and wellness.   

    There are three aspects of the MYP we would like to highlight: collaboration, skill development and "Service as Action." 

    Approaches to Learning (ATL): The Approaches to Learning are specific skills that are written into our units and explicitly and implicitly taught in classrooms. These skills fall into 5 big categories: Communication Skills (exchanging ideas through written and spoken opportunities); Social Skills (interacting and collaborating with others); Self-Management Skills (organization, reflection and managing one's state of mind); Research Skills (information and media literacy); and Thinking Skills (creative, critical and transfer thinking). 

    Collaboration: At MUMS, teachers are collaborating in academic departments to create a thoughtful 6-8  program for each subject. They are also working with colleagues of other subjects to design interdisciplinary units. Interdisciplinary study is an important aspect of the MYP, as it invites learners to consider how their learning can be transferred from class to class (and beyond).  

    Service as Action: In the MYP, service is seen as another opportunity for students to apply their learning outside the walls of the classroom. This might be something as simple as sharing new ideas at the dinner table; however, it could also mean taking action through broader  opportunities. Some examples of Service as Action from our current MYP units include sampling watersheds and sharing the data with local river watchers; organizing  public awareness campaigns on important topics, and writing letters to elected officials. 






    MUMS strives to provide athletic and activity programs which excite and challenge students.  The programs function as an integral part of the MUMS learning environment.  The athletics and activities offered at MUMS promote dedication to excellence, hard work, self-discipline, teamwork, self-control, citizenship, physical, mental and emotional growth.

    The values and attitudes learned in the athletic and activity programs enhance what the students learn in the classroom and help contribute to the complete education of the individual.  

    We are excited to be able to offer both athletics and activities to our sixth grade students.  Our goal is to have every student at MUMS participate in at least one sport or after school club during the school year.




    All MUMS students will be able to participate in organized sports, some will be offered at MUMS and some 6th grade opportunities will be offered in partnership with Middlebury Parks and Recreation.  It is very important to us that our students have a positive experience when they participate in sports.  For many, this will be their first time trying out these activities.  MUMS has been collaborating with the high school, Midd Parks and Rec, and other Vermont Athletic Directors to help determine which programs it would be developmentally appropriate to combine sixth grade athletes with the 7th and 8th grade athletes while at the same time providing a positive experience for participants.  Several factors were considered in determining which sports will be offered at MUMS and which sports will be offered in partnership with club programs.  Some of the considerations include:


    • Would it be safe or developmentally appropriate for a 6th grader to participate in the athletic activity with an 8th grader?

    • Do we anticipate having enough student interest to support a separate 6th grade team and if so, are there other schools with 6th grade teams within Vermont that are not too far away for our students to play?

    • If we combined the 6-8th grade would we create a situation where all players would have little to no play time due numbers?

    • Will we have gym/field space available, access to coaches, and adequate numbers to field a team? 

    • Is there a club program that is accessible to our students after school that would offer a better experience?


    Fall sports sign ups occur during the first week of school and practices start shortly after.

    Fall Sports for 6th Graders 
    Field Hockey (Combined 6 - 8) 
    Soccer (6th grade team)
    X-Country  (Combined 6 - 8)

    Winter Sports for 6th Graders  
    Basketball (Middlebury Parks and Rec.)
    Gymnastics  (Combined 6 - 8)  
    Wrestling  (Combined 6 - 8)

    Spring Sports for 6th Graders
    Baseball (Club*) 
    Lacrosse (Club*)
    Softball (Club*) 
    Track & Field  (Combined 6 - 8)

    *We anticipate these sports will be in partnership with club programs located in Middlebury that our students can walk to after school. Details and decisions are still being worked out and this is subject to change.


    All MUMS students are encouraged to participate in a variety of clubs offered after school.  Clubs typically meet once or twice per week after school and many run throughout the school year. Students can participate in more than one club.  The clubs offered each year are flexible depending upon the interests of the students and the availability of leaders.  Students are sent an email with information about the club and directions on how to sign up electronically. Students will have an opportunity to learn more at the beginning of the school year and information will also be shared with students during daily announcements when new clubs are offered.

    Past Clubs Offered at MUMS



    Creative Writing
    Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

    Memory Book

    Social Justice
    Student Ambassadors

    Tiger TV
    Unified Bocce

    Unified Basketball
    Xtreme Winter Running



    MUMS Staff Members


    Kristen Carra 
    Wellness Teacher
    I have been a PE teacher in the district for 5 years, and teaching at MUMS for one year. I'm excited to teach Health and welcome new and former students to the middle school. I look forward to seeing everyone in person next year and introducing new activities and units!
    Isabel Gogarty
    Wellness Teacher

    I am finishing up my first year at MUMS as well as my first year as an educator. I am one of three Wellness teachers here at MUMS and I am so excited for the 2021-2022 school year. This coming school year, I will be the 7th grade Wellness teacher. Current 6th graders, I am excited to meet you! On top of teaching Wellness at MUMS, I am apart of our SEL (Social and Emotional Learning Team). 


    Justin Martelle
    Wellness Teacher
    I am excited to welcome back our returning students as well as the 2 new grades! I am entering my 9th year at MUMS as a Wellness teacher. The first 8 years at MUMS I taught just Physical Education, but I am excited to announce that with our new Wellness approach I will be teaching both Health and Physical Education to all 8th graders. I am looking forward to seeing the school full of all the new faces!
    Sara Stevens
    Administrative Assistant

    Welcome!!! I have been working at MUMS as the Administrative Assistant in the Guidance Office for 2 years. The best part of my days are when students stop by just simply to tell me about their day and ask about mine! I look forward to next school year when our hallways will be filled again with students hustling to class while conversing and laughing with friends. I hope you stop by Guidance from time to time and say hello!!


    Shelley Harrison
    Administrative Assistant

    I started my MUMS adventure in 2001. I am currently the Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Principal/Athletic Director and absolutely enjoy what I do. My main focus is activities and athletics. I believe these extracurricular activities add some very valuable lessons beyond the classroom. I am optimistic that all of us will return as one large group in August! I am eager to have our current 7th graders return for their 8th grade year and I know they will be as enthusiastic as I am to welcome the 6th and 7th grade students to MUMS! Each new school year offers us so much opportunity and excitement. I will be ready to see the daily smiles, friendships and learning as I hear the sound of chitter chatter, pencil strokes and bouncing basketballs beyond the office walls. Enjoy the sunshine of summer and I will see you all in the fall!


    Courtney Krahn
    MYP Coordinator

    I taught English/language arts at public and private schools in Vermont and Wisconsin for 8 years, before joining the MUMS team in 2012. For the past five years, I have worked with the ACSD Teaching & Learning Team at both MUMS and MUHS as a curriculum coordinator. One part of my job that I especially love is seeing our students start at MUMS, grow, and transition to the high school. In their 10th grade year, students design an independent inquiry on a topic of their own choosing called the Personal Project, which I also coordinate and oversee. I am SO EXCITED about the units of inquiry that our teachers have been designing for students this year, and it will be an honor to watch our 6th, 7th and 8th graders come to MUMS and help bring those units to life. MUMS is a special place! 

    Kandy Kinne
    Administrative Assistant
    I am the Administrative Assistant to the Principal at MUMS.  I have worked here for 30+ years and have enjoyed every single year I have been here.  I've been through different transition processes throughout my time here starting with moving from what was Middlebury Junior High School, located at the High School, to Middlebury Union Middle School on 48 Deerfield Lane.  I am excited to have the 6th graders in our community join our team and be a part of the MUMS Family.  
    Pam Stearns
    Administrative Assistant

    This is my 5th year at MUMS working as the Administrative Assistant to Finance.  As well as working with the finances, I'm also involved with many aspects of the everyday operations within our main office.  I've seen lots of changes happen within our school and our district over the past few years, and am excited with this new change in welcoming our incoming 6th grade students to MUMS!  I'm looking forward to a wonderful year and meeting you all.


    Frequently Asked Questions 


    How are the students’ 6th grade team determined? 
    Each grade at MUMS next year will be one team, so all sixth grade students will be on the same team.  Similarly, all 7th grade students will be on one team and all 8th grade students will be on one team.

    Are there opportunities for students to be with their friends? 
    There are multiple opportunities for students to see their friends during the school day.  Sixth grader students will be changing classrooms as shown in the schedule in this communication.  The make up of students in each class will be different from class to class, so they will see different sixth graders throughout the day.  All sixth grade students will attend lunch at the same time in addition to attending flex block classes together. 

    Do sports start before the school year? 
    Fall sports practices at MUMS start shorly after the first day of school.

    What is the cell phone policy at MUMS?  
    MUMS expects all cell phones to be turned off and kept in school lockers during the school day.  They are permitted to be used after dismissal.

    My current 5th grader did not play an instrument in elementary school and is interested in band for 6th grade, will this be a problem? 
    All MUMS students who would like to play an instrument can participate in the band.  Every year we have students who have not played an instrument before attending MUMS learn a new instrument.  We will be offering music lessons during the WIN block next year. 

    MUMS Questionnaire

    The MUMS Questionnaire is still open.  Please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire to help us better understand your questions and what information would be helpful to include in upcoming transition communications.
    Past MUMS transition communications can be found on our website at https://www.acsdvt.org/Page/6434.
    Comments (-1)
  • March 26, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 3/26/2021 8:00:00 AM


    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!


    Dear ACSD Community,

    Happy Spring!  We appreciate the feedback we received in our MUMS Transition questionnaire.  Many of the answers to questions we received have been addressed in this newsletter and we will continue to address your questions and concerns in future communications.  It is not too late to send us your questions, the questionnaire is still open and we would like to hear from you.  

    We look forward to meeting with parents of incoming MUMS students during the Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, March 30 from 5 - 6 pm via this zoom link.  This is an opportunity for all families to learn more about MUMS classes, schedule, sports, after-school activities and more!  We will also have the opportunity to address your questions.

    Best Regards,

    Andrew Conforti            
    MUMS Interim Principal    


    2021-2022 School Year


    Language and Literature
    6th - Eileen Sears
    7th - Sandy Celauro
    8th - Martha Santa Maria

    6th - Jennifer Billings
    7th - Jan Broderson
    8th - Alison McNamara

    Individuals and Societies
    6th - Darcy Annino
    7th - Sara Nadeau
    8th - Brian Lisko

    6th - Amie McCarthy
    7th - Katie McDougall
    8th - Janelle Perry-Askew

    Wellness (PE and Health)
    6th - Kristen Carra
    7th - Isabel Gogarty
    8th - Justin Martelle

    Special Education
    Cassie Santo
    6th - JT Henley
    7th - Jim Robinette
    8th - TBH*

    Language Acquisition (World Language)
    6th - Constanza Mosquera
    7th - Laura Hall
    8th - Denise Berube-Mayone

    6th - Illana Brett  
    7th - Darcey Wijsenbeek
    8th - Lauren Daley
    Lisa Maggio

    Rob DeBruyn

    Randy Barnes

    Media Specialist
    Katie Ford

    Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Coach
    Liam Battjes

    Literacy Interventionists
    Barbie Collette
    Dana Cray

    Math Specialists
    Paul Cherrier

    Alex Nicosia
    Whitney Barber
    Wendy Brouillard
    Stacy James
    Helyn Anderson
    Gretchen Cole
    Phoebe de Noronha

    *TBH - To Be Hired



    A few highlights on MUMS Classes Next Year

    We will have one team of teachers for each grade. 

    MUMS students will have the same team of teachers for 6th and 7th grade, the teachers will loop with their classes.

    6th grade students will take both Spanish and French.  At the end of 6th grade, students will commit to one language and will continue studies in this language through 10th grade (or beyond, if they so choose).

    All MUMS students will rotate through Art, General Music, and Design classes taking one class per trimester each year.

    We are in the process of hiring staff to fill a few more MUMS staff positions for next year.  We will update this document with up to date staffing information as it becomes available.

    We will be sharing more details about MUMS classes in future communications!




    With inquiry at the core, the Science Department aims to guide you to independently and collaboratively investigate real world issues through research, observation and investigation. In science class, you will ask questions, solve problems, construct explanations, design and perform investigations, and evaluate evidence to make data-driven conclusions. 

    During your time at MUMS, you will engage in many investigations that help you better understand the amazing world around you. Some of these explorations include designing solutions for reducing impacts from human activities on the environment, analyzing data on bee traits to increase honey and fruit production, and evaluating your dream car based on safety, performance, and environmental impact. 



    MUMS Staff Members


    Amie McCarthy
    6th Grade Science

    I have been a Science teacher at MUMS for almost 6 years now. 

    Next year I am really excited to incorporate living models of different biomes into the Ecology unit. We will use these models and complete many hands-on activities and investigations to explore ecological concepts, learn how humans have impacted the environment, and how humans can help to reduce these negative impacts on the environment at both a local and global scale.

    I am very much looking forward to meeting all of the incoming 6th and 7th grade MUMS students as well as welcoming back the 8th grade students! The Science teachers at MUMS have so many exciting hands-on learning activities planned for each grade level!   


    Katie McDougall
    7th Grade Science


    I have been a Science teacher at MUMS for 7 years now. I coach the girls basketball teams (& sometimes a girls soccer team) and help lead our MUMS compost club.

    Next year I am really excited to reframe our matter units to include applying chemistry to real world applications in materials science. Our 7th graders will also be exploring heredity and the impacts genetics has on the declining bee populations and therefore honey and fruit production.

    In the fall, I am excited to welcome back our 8th grade students, and meet all of our new 6th and 7th graders, as our MUMS community continues to grow!


    Janelle Perry-Askew
    8th Grade Science

    This is my 25th year of teaching 7th and 8th grade science at MUMS!  I am fortunate that I get to share my passion for science with middle school students.  I am looking forward to building new relationships with kids this new school year and sharing my nerdy science jokes with them.  I am excited to help students continue building a foundation of science knowledge and inquiry skills that look at how and why things work they way they do in the world around them so that they can apply this knowledge to their every day lives and make good decisions.  

    To our returning students, you rock!  You did such a great job with PRIDE (positive attitude, respect, integrity, dynamic behavior, and empathy) in this most challenging of times.  It's you who makes MUMS such a wonderful community of learning.  I will be teaching you physical science and I will make sure the "force is with you!"  To our new incoming students, a BIG WELCOME!  You are going to have fun making new friends and learning new things.   


    Gretchen Cole

    Next year will be my 4th year at MUMS. I have been a Paraeducator for 14 years, including 10 years at Mount Abe in Bristol. I am excited to welcome 6th Graders to our MUMS community. I look forward to a safe and lively year!

    Stacy James

    I have been a paraeducator at MUMS for 8 years now and before coming here I did childcare in my home for 19 years. I am excited about the sixth graders joining us next year and having new team names! Looking forward to seeing our returning students as well as meeting new ones too!


    Whitney Barber

    I have been at MUMS since 2006 as a paraeducator. I am so excited to be welcoming the 6th graders to our school, as well as hopefully returning to a regular school schedule. Let’s make it the best year ever!

    Phoebe de Noronha

    I have been working at MUMS for three years. My first year was as a student teacher getting my license to teach Art and Theater. My second and third year have been working as the assistant to the SEL leader in Zone 109. One of the things I'm most excited for in the 21-22 school year is the opportunity to grow as a community and focus on our social and emotional wellbeing.


    Alexander Nicosia

    This will be my fourth year being a Paraeducator at MUMS in the Addison Central School District.  I was a substitute teacher in ACSD for two years prior and have been teaching Theater and Acting in Vermont for a total of 6 years now. I am looking forward to new adventures after this pandemic is over when life can get back to normal. 

    I am extremely excited to meet and get to know the new students arriving at MUMS. New MUMS students, just remember during your time here at the Middle School: "Little by little one walks far." - Peruvian Proverb

    Wendy Brouillard

    I have been working in the ACSD district for over 30 years, I have played many roles during this time. I began working here as a one on one paraeducator, worked in a diverse classroom, and I was also a classroom paraeducator. My current role is a classroom paraeducator on the Paragon Team.

    I am excited to be welcoming the new sixth graders to MUMS as I feel its going to be a challenge for some, but it will be exciting to be a part of the new change to the MUMS community. Welcome sixth graders!



    MUMS Town Meeting

    March 30th
    5:00 - 6:00 pm

    Learn more about MUMS next year

    Rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade families are welcome to join

    Principal Michael Dudek will also be joining us to introduce himself and say hello


    Please join us by following this Zoom link.



    MUMS Grade Level Team Names


    MUMS Student Ambassadors have been surveying MUMS students and ACSD 5th and 6th graders to help name our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teams as we will be retiring our current team names at the end of this school year (Mosaic, Ohana, Paragon, and Phoenix).   So far, places around the world, constellations, and trees are the top three choices for themes.  Once students have decided on the theme the team name development will be going to teachers to consider team names. This has been a lot of fun!


    Frequently Asked Questions


    What time is drop off and pick up?

    Students arrive between 8:00 and 8:15 am.  Dismissal is at 3:15 pm.

    What are the teaching certification implications of moving the 6th grade to MUMS?

    6th graders at MUMS will have a team of teachers with a different teacher for each subject area.  All 6th grade teachers at MUMS will be licenced in appropriate grade level/subject areas. 

    Will our family be able to take an in-person tour of MUMS? 

    We are hopeful that as the COVID guidance changes, we will be able to have families visit our building.  We will keep you posted.

    Will MUMS return to full time classes in the fall?

    We certainly hope so!  Ultimately, we have to follow state guidelines, but from what we know, things look promising for us to be able to return to fully in-person classes this coming fall or before!


    MUMS Questionnaire

    The MUMS Questionnaire is still open.  If you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire to help us better understand your questions and what information would be helpful to include in upcoming transition communications.
    Comments (-1)
  • March 12, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 3/12/2021

    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!

    MUMS Word Art
    Dear ACSD Community,

    This week MUMS is excited to welcome our newest addition and next Principal, Michael Dudek! Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to MUMS, and we look forward to everyone meeting him soon. 

    We are in the process of scheduling Town Meetings for parents of incoming 6th and 7th graders.  The first of these meetings is Tuesday, March 30 from 5 - 6 pm via this zoom link. Similarly, I will be visiting ACSD elementary schools to meet with students in 5th and 6th grade to talk about MUMS programs for next year and answer questions. I will be attending Mary Hogan's MESA meeting March 18 at 7:30. There will be multiple opportunities for both parents and students to attend these meetings, and I look forward to getting to know all of you as we prepare for the 21-22 school year.

    This week we are sharing the MUMS floor plan to help the community see how we have intentionally grouped grade level teachers and classrooms to maximize an intimate team atmosphere. Having our 6th and 7th graders on the second floor helps support students' developmental needs and minimizes unstructured interactions between our oldest and youngest students.

    We hope you can take a few minutes to fill out our questionnaire to help us better understand your questions and what information would be helpful to include in upcoming transition communications.

    Best Regards,

    Andrew Conforti            
    MUMS Interim Principal    
    Michael Dudek

    Welcome Michael Dudek

    2021-2022 MUMS Principal

    It gives me great pleasure to be joining the Middlebury Union Middle School community as your Principal.  During the interview process and having the opportunity to meet so many of you already, it is apparent that this learning community fully supports one another.  The students at MUMS are eager to return to school to learn and grow, staff members are ready to welcome children back into their classrooms, and families and community members are ready to support all of us in providing the best possible learning experiences that will now host grades 6-8.  

    I do realize that this grade configuration is new to everyone, but I am excited about this opportunity for all of us.  With change, comes opportunity.  With opportunity, comes new experiences and personal growth.  As we begin to prepare for a new and exciting school year, it is my goal that together we will celebrate one another and build upon all that MUMS has to offer.  I am also excited to work with all of you to reflect on and identify additional opportunities to enhance students’ experiences to ensure positive and valuable outcomes.

    To date, the MUMS team has been thoughtfully planning for our transition to a 6-8th grade learning community. I look forward to working with them to establish and continue to build a culture that supports all learners.  I am particularly excited to delve into specific systems and structures that have been put into place including teacher advisories, a new trimester schedule, a “What I Need/WIN” block, and a “Skills 4 Life” course emphasizing social and emotional learning.  

    Additionally, the members of the Addison Central community have worked tirelessly to become an authorized IB World School District.  We will engage in deep reflection and collaboration as we continue to grow our unique and forward-thinking school and district.  Equally important, I am eager to meet all of our students, staff, parents and community members.  We may first be introduced through a virtual ZOOM call, but that will soon transition to in-person meetings!     

    Go Tigers!

    Music Notes

    At the heart of the MUMS community is the MUMS Music Department. Our music students have the opportunity to develop music literacy, learn rehearsal techniques, and create beautiful music. Music ensembles at MUMS foster a sense of teamwork, community, and dedication. Over 50% of the MUMS community is involved in a music ensemble. Students are able to participate in concert choir, concert band, and jazz band. Choir and band will be divided by grade level, and depending on the size of the ensembles, they will meet daily or every other day. We hope that all students consider being part of our ensembles and look forward to the 2021-2022 school year! 

    MUMS Music Teachers

    Elizabeth LeBeau

    Elizabeth LeBeau

    Welcome to MUMS! The music department is thrilled to have you involved and a part of our musical ensembles. We look forward to creating, performing, and getting to know you!   There are so many things to look forward to in the 2021-2022 school year: full-time school, creating music together, in-person events, new students, and staff joining the MUMS community. 
    At the young age of twenty-one, my teaching career began at Fair Haven Grade School and Benson Elementary. My roles included beginning band, elementary general music, chorus, and enrichment coordinator. After a few years, I decided to explore outside of Vermont and moved to Sommers Point, NJ. I worked in an elementary school with 2000 students. 
    In the summer of 2001, a friend notified me that Middlebury had a choral position open, and I applied. As a native of Addison County, I knew that I wanted to raise my family in the beautiful state of Vermont and decided it was time to move home. After twenty years, I have never regretted that decision. Throughout the journey, I have been eternally grateful for my many mentors, colleagues, students, and the ACSD community.



    Rob Debruyn

    Rob DeBruyn


    To the incoming 6th and 7th graders: Welcome to MUMS! I can't wait to make music with all of you, and I'm so excited to meet new people!  To the returning 8th graders: Welcome back! With so many new students in the building, I'm looking forward to watching all of you step into the role of student leaders. It's your job to help the newcomers feel comfortable, and to show them what it means to be part of the MUMS community!

    After a brief stint teaching band and choir in Fall River, Massachusetts, I came to work at MUMS and have been the band director ever since! I have been conducting the concert band and jazz band for the past 8 years, and have been teaching general music classes for the past 4. 

    I am so excited to welcome 6th grade to MUMS! I can't wait to work with all three grades, and I'm looking forward to meeting twice as many students as usual next year!  


    Music image
    Audio Recordings of Past MUMS Performances


    MUMS Choir Concert 

    MUMS Band Concert


    MUMS Floor Plan

    Click on floor plan to view larger image.


    MUMS Town Meeting

    March 30th
    5:00 - 6:00 pm

    For parents of incoming 5th and 6th graders
    Please join us by following this Zoom link.



    Please take a few minutes to fill out this questionnaire to help us better understand your questions and what information would be helpful to include in upcoming transition communications.

    MUMS Student


    Past MUMS transition communications can be found on our website at https://www.acsdvt.org/Page/6434.

    MUMS Pawprint


    Comments (-1)
  • February 26, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 2/26/2021
    Welcoming the 6th Grade to MUMS
    Our Transition to a 6 - 8th Grade Learning Community!
    MUMS Word Art

    Dear ACSD Community,

    MUMS could not be more excited to welcome our 6th through 8th grade students to the 2021-2022 school year. We have been thoughtfully planning this long anticipated transition and can not wait to embark on new beginnings for an exciting school year.  At MUMS we believe in being a team, and we support each other accordingly. Our teams range from being a part of the entire school community as a MUMS Tiger, to being part of a grade level team, to being part of an intimate Teacher Advisory (TA). 

    Transitioning to anything new comes with all kinds of thoughts, feelings, and questions. We are confident we have the people and systems in place to support all of these things and most importantly we will support all of our students.  

    As we embark on this journey together we welcome you to always reach out as we are here to support all members, and believe our ACSD community is an integral part in supporting us and supporting all students. We hope you find the information below to be informative and will be sharing more details regularly to keep you abreast about the coming year regarding the specifics on academics, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), music, art, design, community partnership, sports, extra curricular activities, and getting to know our staff. 

    We look forward to offering the best possible educational experience that our community has come to expect and we are excited to move us forward as an IB world school. 


    Andrew Conforti
    MUMS Interim Principal


    Teacher Advisory (TA)

    Teacher Advisories have been the foundation of membership at MUMS for many years and will be extended to include students in 6th grade next year.   Each TA is made up of a faculty member and 5 - 10 students within the same grade level.  The purpose behind this small group is to ensure that all MUMS students, staff and families have a trusted cohort and to provide support and build community.  The TA faculty member will act as our students’ and families “point person” for questions, concerns, or celebrations that may arise over the course of the year. Students will have a 30 minute extended TA weekly so staff and students may come together and build meaningful relationships and to support each other to create a fun and engaging experience. 
    MUMS Lockers



    The MUMS school year will be broken up into three trimesters (approximately 13 weeks each) during the 2021-2022 school year.  The change to trimesters will give us more flexibility with our class schedule to ensure students may experience art, music, and design classes during the school year.  


    Block Schedule and Classes

    MUMS classes will run on an "A" Day/"B" Day schedule, meaning students will attend each of their classes every other day (2 - 3 times per week).  Each student will take the following classes:
    • Math
    • Science
    • Language & Literature
    • Individuals and Society
    • Wellness (P.E. and Health)
    • Language Acquisition 
    • Art, General Music, and Design class (one trimester each)
    In addition to taking the classes listed above, students will have a “What I Need” (WIN) block every other day.  WIN is a personalized learning section that provides flexibility on how students use this block of time based upon what they need at the time.  This is in addition to our IB curriculum so that no student misses out or has to choose one thing over another as we value inclusion for all. We are very excited to be able to offer this flexibility to our students. Some of the options students will have during this block of time include: 
    • Skills 4 Life Class (see article below with more details about these new classes)
    • Music lessons
    • Media Literacy
    • Student interest groups 
    • Exploratory classes
    • Guidance Counselor time
    • Intervention services in Math and Literacy
    • Advanced Math
    • Direct instruction from Special Educators
    • Academic support or Study Halls

    New Skills 4 Life Classes

    At MUMS our Social and Emotional Learning team is developing 3 classes that will focus on different Skills 4 Life. 

    For 6th graders, who are entering a new level of development, we are inviting them to “Rock, Water, Light and Air.”  This class combines the IB Learner Profile with the Circle of Courage, a program based on the wisdom of First Nations.  “Rock” represents the places we stand strong, skills we are learning and how we can stay grounded.  “Water” invites us to be flexible in our thinking and caring toward others.  “Light” inspires us to reflect the colors of our personality and be reflective on how we are doing.  “Air” is the invitation to take a breath and manage our emotions.  These are all basics, because we are all made up of Rock, Water, Light and Air.

    For 7th graders, we are encouraging them to take a step in leadership development through “Circle Up, Don’t Spiral Down.”  This class is built upon restorative practices and circles of courage.  We will touch on communication skills and then empower students to participate in and lead important conversations.  These conversations may address big social issues (anti-racism or climate change) or important interpersonal issues (micro-aggressions or cyber bullying).   The ability to have a constructive conversation to deal with issues facing our community is the basis of Vermont town hall meetings and the foundation of a healthy democracy.

    Finally, for 8th graders we are exploring “Living with my Brain.”  This class focuses on neurology and psychology, giving students practical vocabulary and strategies for doing their best thinking.  “Why do certain experiences trigger an emotional reaction in me?  Why do I have trouble remembering something I just read 5 minutes ago?  What helps me focus my attention?  What do you mean I have some emotional memories in my hippocampus?  There aren’t any hippos on the school campus!”  This class will give our 8th graders an understanding of how their brain works and prepare them for the challenges of high school and beyond.


    MUMS Teacher
    Comments (-1)
  • February 5, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 2/5/2021

    MUMS 6-8 Planning & Timeline


    The purpose of this timeline is to map a way forward through MUMS 6-8 Planning and to communicate clearly and consistently with all stakeholders   While this plan envisions welcoming all 5th and 6th grade students and current 7th grade students back to full time schooling in August of 2021, the work outlined here will be equally critical to being responsive and prepared as we transition from the pandemic.  


    Our MUMS focus is on extending a kind and caring welcome to all students and families, social emotional well being, academic needs, and data-driven decision making.  These priorities are essential to realizing our goal of IB for all.  We will emphasize inclusive instructional practices and ensure that we continue to build robust systems in place to support success for all students. To communicate and implement action steps that align with our values, we would like to invite you to be a part of this process.  


    The timeline below maps out our direction and with what we currently see as critical planning.  We look forward to meeting you in upcoming welcoming meetings to answer any questions and collect your input as we take steps forward.


    We want to share a sneak peak of the work of our students in Design class who have been making bots for our rising 6th and 7th graders. We look forward to sharing these information bots with our Elementary peers once they all are finalized. 


    Here is a sneak peak of Ethan's Chatbot courtesy of MUMS Design Teacher and Student Ambassador Advisor, Jan Fraga.

    MUMS 6-8 Planning & Timeline

    Planning Timeline

    Comments (-1)
  • January 22, 2021

    Posted by Andrew Conforti on 1/22/2021


    Welcoming 6th grade to MUMS!


    We are excited as we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year at MUMS.  This is the first of many updates to come regarding our transition to a 6-8 learning community. We look forward to sharing information with you about MUMS’ school, staff, and services as we embark on this journey and welcome you to join us in this exciting transition! 




    Getting Grounded: This Fall MUMS staff spent some time reflecting in depth on 4 questions.  1.)  What do I do?  2.)  How do I do it?  3.)  Why do I do it?  4.)  Why do I do it here at MUMS? We took the words they used to describe our values, purpose, and passion for teaching and learning and created some word art to support the grounding of our work.  As you read these words above, you will begin to understand the genuine and authentic nature of who MUMS teachers are and the gifts they bring to your children when learning. We are honored to be a part of this team and we are excited to welcome you all to join us soon!


    Laying the Foundation:  In planning MUMS 2021-2022 remodel, we started our work at the foundation. Faculty and leaders have been streamlining and enhancing current systems of support for students and staff. We continue to review our strengths, challenges, and implications for the finalization of any targeted focus.  

    Laying our foundation has included work around:

    • Staffing for the 2021-2022 School Year 
      • Next year MUMS will consist of three grade level teams, each staffed for Math, Science, Language & Literature, Individuals & Societies, Language Acquisition, Physical Education/Health, and Guidance. We will also have our mixed team spanning across grade levels including Design, Art, Intervention, Music, and our Librarian. The assignments of these teams will be finalized following the hiring process.  
      • Hiring for Principal, Design, Literacy Interventionist, Language Acquisition (World Language) and Guidance (In Process).
    • Student/Staff 21-22 Schedule/Model 
      • January 11, 2021 the Addison Central School Board approved the MUMS new model which will be voted on for budgetary approval by our community in March.
      • Teachers and administrative colleagues are reviewing the model to support this iterative process of finalizing details.
    • Building 6th grade curriculum in the Middle Years Program (MYP)
      • Staff and administrators are collaborating on curriculum scope and sequence for 6th grade in the MYP.
      • Curriculum planning for the MYP includes collaboration with elementary staff and MUHS staff as this impacts our k-12 pace, sequence, and purpose.
      • Team collaboration in weekly data team meetings to support IB unit lesson planning.
    • Community outreach and engagement
      • The Community Partnership at MUMS held its first meeting in January, and plans to meet monthly to build meaningful connections with families and to promote community partnership to support all stakeholders. Please let us know if you are interested in joining this effort.
      • Middlebury Parks and Recreation - Meeting with leaders to discuss how we might partner with them to maximize opportunities for students participating in sports at MUMS along with possibilities to supplement and balance opportunities with recreation.
      • Mary Johnson Children's Center - Meeting with leaders to discuss how we might partner in supporting summer programming opportunities for students transitioning to MUMS.
      • Addison Central Teens - Collaborating with leaders on supports and opportunities for our students.
    • Student Ambassadors 
      • Planning celebratory activities for memorializing current teams, and welcoming new students starting this spring.
      • Colorful corridor competition to recognize and celebrate our four current teams.
      • Students in Design class are working on bots to share with 5th and 6th grade students this spring to introduce them to MUMS and share information in fun and creative ways.
      • Taking the lead on a plan that will include our current 5th and 6th graders in naming our new grade level teams.





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