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UCS Update - September 11
Positive news from across UCS

From the Assistant Principal (September 14, 2020):

Dear Malow family,


This is my 20th year as an educator. Throughout these 2 decades, there have been years that started smoothly with very few hiccups. There have been beginnings that were fraught with fears and anxieties. There has been no year, however, that began quite like this year.  The possibility of beginning a school year in the midst of a global pandemic had never crossed any of our minds. Yet here we all are, putting one foot in front of the other, learning new skills, and existing in a vastly different world than the world we lived in 6 months ago.


Mr. Manzella and I – as well as all UCS administrators – worked throughout the summer to prepare ourselves for the different possibilities your children would be facing in September. While some of this work was typical, nose-to-the-grindstone preparation, much of it was thought work which involved trying to brainstorm solutions to hypothetical problems no one had ever considered.


The main consideration of all of our work was your children, and the predominant question we asked ourselves and each other for the past 6 months was the following: How can we make this situation as educationally beneficial, supportive, and enjoyable as possible for our students?  With Mr. Manzella’s leadership, the Malow team worked tirelessly before September 1 to establish the process of tech distribution and plan teacher preparation so that the first couple weeks of school went as smoothly as possible. Was it perfect? No – nothing ever is. There were minor setbacks and last-minute fixes that we had to put into place. We anticipated many problems and were able to adjust accordingly.


What we could not anticipate, however, was how incredibly resilient your children have been in the face of a circumstance that we never thought could happen in modern-day America.  We could not have foreseen the willingness of your children to show us the crinkle of a smile in the corner of their eyes when we could not see it in their mouths because they were covered with a mask. We couldn’t have predicted seeing our kids excitedly help each other and their teachers on Teams meetings when they encountered a tech problem.


We are so very proud of your children. They have shown us what can happen when one looks not at the difficulties a situation presents to us, but instead looks at the possibilities. They show us every day how good it feels to help another person – even if it’s someone they’ve only seen on a 3 inch by 3 inch window in Teams. We learn tech tips from them every day, and we are inspired by their inclination to keep going no matter how new and frustrating something is.


The most remarkable aspect of your children’s resilience is most obvious when we consider this situation from their perspective. On Friday, March 13, their world changed in a way that their parents’ world never had. They left school at the end of that day, and nothing has been the same. We adults fancy ourselves to be tough and able to handle anything. If we think back to our 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old selves, can you imagine how you would have handled this situation? For my part, I cannot. The grit that our children – our babies – have shown for the past 6 months is truly something to behold. It inspires us every day, and it keeps our teachers going.


Thank you for your continued support, your grace in the face of our stumbles, and your willingness to work with us through the unexpected challenges of this time.



Beth Grillo

Assistant Principal, Malow Junior High School

Our Mission

The Malow Junior High School community is committed to providing a positive environment, which encourages and inspires students to develop life-long learning skills that will allow them to live and work effectively and appreciate diversity as they strive for excellence in an ever-changing global society.

Malow Mustang Messenger

Please reference the "News and Announcements" tab under Mustang Life for access to the Malow Mustang Messenger and up-to-date information at Malow Junior High. 

UCS Vision

All children have the right to a rigorous, high-quality education which meets their individual needs. UCS will respect, encourage and empower each and every student to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful, contributing members of a diverse community and global society.

UCS Mission

We are committed to exemplary teaching and learning in order for our students to be prepared for success in the 21st Century.
We will achieve this commitment by engaging the entire community to focus on each child's achievement, with the expectation that every student will pursue some type of post-high school educational endeavor.

Core Values

  • Every child can learn and achieve.
  • Parents and guardians are partners in the learning process.
  • Being “smart” can be achieved through persistence, hard work and effective effort.
  • Excellence is expected and celebrated.
  • Data is used to guide our decision-making.
  • All employees will exemplify ethical behavior; exhibit a strong work ethic; and continue to develop their leadership, performance and service skills.
  • Technology supports and enhances instruction, business operations, research and communications.
  • The Board of Education, district educators/staff, parents, community members and business leaders must collaborate and work as a team to enhance educational opportunities for student success.