Universal Middle School

Universal Middle School

The Universal Middle School Program (UMS) is designed to meet the needs of high ability and/or gifted students who have not found a good match in the traditional middle school setting. The program provides a unique environment designed to meet the needs of advanced students who may experience greater success and motivation participating in a smaller, more individualized setting for part of their instruction.  Students moving to Sunset MS who are interested in UMS are enrolled in our most advanced classes.  The UMS Facilitator will check in with these students and their parents to see if adjustments are needed to meet the educational needs of the student.

How is UMS different than traditional middle school?

Universal Middle School students take most of their classes with peers.  Each student in the program has different interests and needs so the time spent in the UMS classroom is very individualized.  Most work is based on the Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) in place for the student.  All identified gifted students have an ALP and participation in UMS becomes part of the plan.

What can I expect?

Students can expect to be challenged, as well as to learn to work more independently to achieve learning goals. Each child has a unique schedule and goals for their time in the UMS room.

What are the requirements?

Students in the Universal Middle School Program will be responsible for mastering the same curriculum standards and IB objectives as other middle school students. These students will have the ability to move beyond grade level standards when they have shown mastery. Students will have the ability to move at a faster pace and go more in depth in areas of strength. All online classes and independent studies will be facilitated by a licensed teacher. Students will be responsible for keeping logs of their progress and meeting weekly with the UMS Facilitator to monitor their progress.

Parents of UMS students must provide transportation for their child to and from school. Students participating in the Universal Middle School Program must attend Sunset Middle School.  Open enrollment is granted to all students deemed a good fit for this programming.

How do I get more information?

Families interested in learning more about this alternative for their child should contact Jenn Macios, UMS Facilitator, at Sunset Middle School.

Information about your student and his/her learning needs and goals will be asked.  If it is determined that this might be a good fit for your child, a visit to see the program is recommended. 

Students may be requested to get recommendations from a current teacher.  In some cases, additional assessment may be needed to ensure he/she has the advanced skills (80th percentile or higher) necessary to be successful in the program.  If it is determined by teacher, parent(s), and student that UMS would benefit the student and his/her advanced needs, he/she is enrolled at Sunset Middle School where the program resides.