Dear Parents & Guardians

Portrait of Andrea TuckerOn Wednesday, September 9, 2020, a new and exciting school year will begin, and I am once again honored to serve as the principal of University Middle School. It is understood that you may have concerns about how to make this school year successful for your child, in the midst of a pandemic. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with information that will assist as you prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.

First, please make yourself very familiar with the Irvington Public School’s website (www.irvington.k2.nj.us).  It provides a wealth of information at your fingertips.  The 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan is available on the site. University Middle School has a dedicated webpage on the site for school specific information.  Please visit our school’s webpage to review our school calendar and keep abreast of events that are taking place at University Middle School. Also, our UMS Student/Parent Handbook is available for review; this document will acquaint you with rules and procedures that, when adhered to, will contribute to your child’s academic and behavioral success. As we build a community one student at a time, communication is key

The staff at University Middle School is committed to the success of all scholars. At our school, highly qualified and dedicated staff members work collaboratively to ensure that all scholars are provided with a quality educational experience, which fosters the personal, intellectual, social-emotional growth and development of each child, which in turn, will motivate student achievement; our primary focus

University Middle School has an approximate enrollment of 800 scholars. Our school offers everyone many valuable opportunities to participate in academic and extra-curricular activities that will assist our students in becoming more knowledgeable, skillful and confident learners in our society.  We encourage and look forward to helping students maximize their potential during their time here at University Middle School.

Our school has a 9-period schedule that includes Math, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education for all students. University Middle School also offers French and Spanish, an intellectually gifted program, magnet music and visual arts programs and technology classes. All of our scholars are trained to use Chromebook laptops as a learning tool, and all classrooms have a Smart Board, which teachers apply in daily instruction by designing interactive lessons.

Our school community will maintain our vision of encouraging our students to strive for academic excellence and prepare for a successful future. This vision is intertwined with building our scholars from within as we nurture their spirit and self-actualization. We will infuse social-emotional learning strategies within our daily schedule to support the needs of our students.  Social and emotional learning (SEL) enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges.  It recognizes the importance of fostering positive, healthy school climates and helping students learn from their mistakes. We also continue to nurture the hearts of our students with the assistance of a well-rounded support staff that offers academic, as well as, socio-emotional counseling. The staff consists of guidance counselors, a social worker, and a dean. This team also works diligently with all stakeholders to serve as a community-based center providing resources to parents, as well as, opportunities for them to share in the educational process of their children. This relationship fosters open communication with parents, and help families establish home environments to support children as students, all while providing a welcoming atmosphere.

We will continue to praise and celebrate academic excellence and positive behavior by acknowledging those scholars who work hard. The National Junior Honor Society, Honor Roll, Student of the Month, and Perfect Attendance are a few of the honors that are bestowed upon our scholars.  Our scholars have also placed in district sponsored contests such as the Martin Luther King, Jr Essay, Multicultural Essay, PRIDE Essay and the Spelling Bee. We also uplift our scholars with celebrations such as monthly assemblies, pep rallies and other exciting events.

University Middle School offers a supportive environment for scholars’ academic and emotional growth. Positive behavior and character education are proven to help students acquire the knowledge, skills and positive attitudes necessary for student achievement and success in life. Our PBSIS program will continue to be the underlying force of guiding student behavior. It will instill the idea that the acquisition of positive character values promotes healthy student development.

Overall, educating our scholars is a TEAM effort. As we continue our academic journey, we want to thank all of our students, parents, staff and community members for their hard work and dedication. We welcome our students and families to our school community.  At year’s end, we hope that we will all enjoy the rewards that will come as a result of our collective efforts to make UMS a school of academic excellence.

Best wishes for a terrific year, and welcome to the Home of the EAGLES!

Andrea Tucker

Principal

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” – Marian Wright Edelman