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. 

Sincerely,

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

 

Trimesters


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