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    
 

 

MUMS SCHEDULE
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.

Lunch:  
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.

 


MUMS WELLNESS PROGRAM


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 SPORTS AND CLUBS

 

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.

 

MUMS SPORTS

 

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.
 

MUMS CLUBS
 

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

 

Art
Composting 

Creative Writing
Gaming
Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

GeoBee
Mathcounts
Memory Book

Social Justice
Student Ambassadors
Theatre 

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.