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Welcome back to UMS Parent Letter 2021-22

July 25th, 2021

Dear Union Middle Families,

There comes a moment every summer when it shifts from feeling like the start of the upcoming school year is so far away to a growing anticipation that the first day of school is almost upon us… and with this letter, rest assured that we are all in the second category above: It’s time to get ready for the beginning of another amazing year at Union Middle! We are so very excited for the start of the school year as we are looking forward to welcoming back our new-to-UMS and returning students to our Union Middle campus.

Every year I share how much we educators look forward to the start of the school year. There’s just something special about the positive energy to every school year beginning. There are opportunities to meet new friends, the chance to explore new classrooms, and, for all of us, the fresh start that only a new school year can bring. I hope you had a wonderful, restful summer and are ready to begin the 2021-22 school year in just a few short weeks!

As always, it is an honor to be writing to you as the Union Middle School principal. I feel very blessed to work with our highly qualified and dedicated staff, our always entertaining, unique, and talented students, and all of our positively involved parents. As I visit other schools and attend, virtually or otherwise, various educational conferences, I am constantly reminded of how special Union Middle truly is. Together, we have built a highly collaborative learning community focused on continuous academic and social-emotional growth for each and every student. 

Within this packet, you will find forms packed with information regarding WEB Day, Schedule Pick-Up Day, how to purchase items for the new school year, and a variety of answers to all your pending questions. Just like last year, our orientation day will be to distribute your student’s schedule for the upcoming school year and to offer assistance to those families in need of tech help with the online UMS store. And of course, no UMS school year would be complete without the obligatory FAQ (link: bit.ly/UMSFAQ21-22) to answer all of your pending questions. I will be sending out this link digitally for all families as well. Most of your questions will be answered in the FAQ, such as Power School, Scheduling Changes, and everything else. Please do take a moment to review the FAQ prior to the start of the school year. Thank you!

After much user feedback, I am very happy to announce that we have migrated to a new UMS webstore. It is a bit of work in progress, but everything you need for the upcoming school year (including sport participation donations!) will be available via this NEW webstore. Please access our UMS webstore (NEW LINK: www.umsstore.org) to purchase any specific items you’d like for your student. We are asking that the purchasing of items take place online and prior to the actual registration event. At this web address, you can purchase PE clothes, planners, and locks. Additionally, you’ll be able to help contribute toward the UMS Home and School Club with your donations, all through the UMS Store. We will be passing out PE clothes, planners, locks, and everything else during the first few days of the school year in our homeroom and PE classes

We do have a few new and returning Union Middle School staff members this year. Please allow me to introduce them below:

  • Rama Nemani is re-joining UMS and our 6th & 7th grade mathematics teams. Mrs. Nemani has not only taught 6th grade advanced math at UMS previously but is also a former UMS parent as well. Mrs. Nemani has helped lead the implementation of our 6th grade mathematics curriculum and is very excited about the opportunity to teach 7th grade math. As a former HSC president, Mrs. Nemani is well versed in all things Union Middle and we are very excited to have her rejoin the UMS staff!

  •  Matthew Cunningham is joining our Math and Science team in 6th grade. Mr. Cunningham has taught 4th and 5th grade at Lietz Elementary for the past 15 years. Mr. Cunningham has a passion for math and science and is very excited to be able to focus on these subjects for the upcoming school year. We are very lucky to have Mr. Cunningham join our UMS team!

  • Vanessa Starr is returning to Union Middle School this year. Ms. Starr, sibling of Noddin’s kindergarten and former UMS teacher Alyssa Starr, served as a long term substitute teacher during 2019-20 at Union Middle School. Currently, Ms. Starr is working with our USD students in our district summer school program. With incredibly positive student and parent feedback, we are very blessed to have secured Ms. Starr’s return to UMS. Ms. Starr will be teaching 6th grade English-Language Arts (ELA) and social studies (SS) this year. Welcome back Ms. Starr!

  • Kami Kamperman is joining the UMS staff as a 6th grade English-Language Arts (ELA) and social studies (SS) teacher this year as well. Mrs. Kamperman is joining us from Fremont Unified School District, having taught both ELA and SS previously. Additionally, Mrs. Kamperman has led WEB and Leadership programs for her previous middle school. Our interviewing panel was WOW’ed by Mrs. Kamperman’s energy and passion for everything middle school. We are very excited to have Mrs. Kamperman join our 6th grade ELA & SS team at Union Middle! 

  • Mary Schepman will also be joining Union Middle School in 6th grade ELA & SS. Mrs. Schepman, a parent of 10th grade Leigh as well as an 8th grade UMS student, has served as a substitute teacher, Project Cornerstone Lead, and teacher’s aide, among various other USD-related roles. Mrs. Schepman is a strong believer in social emotional learning for our middle school students and is very much looking to help UMS continue to build a culture of collaboration and connection with all UMS community members. Welcome to UMS!

  • Lisa Moore is joining Mrs. Froemming and Mrs. Jorgens in 8th grade ELA this school year. Mrs. Moore is relocating to the Bay Area from Tennessee, where she has served as a classroom teacher, school administrator, and adjunct college professor. Mrs. Moore will also be teaching one cohort of 6th grade ELA/SS this year as well. We are very excited to have Mrs. Moore join the UMS team!

  • Aimee Bankston is a name that many long-time UMS families might remember. Mrs. Bankston served as a 6th grade mathematics / science educator at Union Middle up until a few years ago. Mrs. Bankston left the teaching profession to spend time raising her three children. Of course, this did not stop me from contacting Mrs. Bankston each summer, trying to convince her to return to UMS each fall. This year, it was Mrs. Bankston who reached out to indicate her interest in returning, to which I replied with a quick “yes”. During her time at Union Middle, Mrs. Bankston worked tirelessly to support all students and was considered a “student favorite” in our community. I’m overjoyed Mrs. Bankston is once again a member of the Union Middle School staff. Welcome back, Mrs. Bankston.  

Don’t forget about our new method of communication at Union Middle School! It is called Remind and it allows for parents to sign up for a text message to be sent for important upcoming events and reminders. I do not receive your cell phone number; you do not receive mine. It is confidential and you can easily opt-out if it is not to your liking. Remind will be the school’s main way of communicating important announcements and updates throughout the school year. Need help? Let me know.

If your student is in 6th grade this year, text @ums2024 to 81010.

If your student is in 7th grade this year, text @ums2023 to 81010.

If your student is in 8th grade this year, text @ums2022 to 81010.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to an amazing 2021-22 school year. Don’t forget to review the FAQ and, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

Todd Feinberg, Principal