Friday, June 11, 2021

Mandarino Minutes for 6-11-21

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Thanks for your support! -

The staff at Upton Middle School and I would like to thank you for your support through what was a very different and at times difficult/challenging school year.  However, I believe the students were very resilient, worked hard, and did a great job following all the new procedures and protocols that were thrown at them.  We appreciate your support as we navigated a very different school year!

Slam the door (In honor of Mr. Leonard) -

As you may already know Mr. Leonard slammed the door, welcomed his students, and began class where he taught bell to bell.  Today on our last day in our last class each teacher slammed their door before they began their last class of the school year.  Please enjoy!

Slam the door video clip

Virtual 8th grade Farewell -

  • 8th Grade Farewell Recording 

Summer Running/Cross Country -

As our school year is winding down I'm reminded that summer is the perfect time to start getting ready for the next cross country season.  The best teams and runners are those that put in miles during the summer months and get some good work in.  We have proven that to be the case the last few years with the miles we have logged during the summer.

Please read through this note for more information regarding next year's season.  

Also, consider logging your summer mileage.  You can do this with a simple runner's log print out, or go techy using a runner's app like Strava.  It's great to set goals and work towards them.  I would love for you to share with me the work you put in over the summer.

I will later share some dates and locations for some summer group runs.  It would be a great way to get together with some of your teammates and put in some work together.  More to come on that later.


Coach Maier

Congratulations from the UPTO -

Still want a yearbook? -

Extra Yearbooks are available in the Upton Office for $45.  Please make checks payable to: SJPS.

Box Factory summer program-

A summer program is being offered at the Box Factory specifically for tweens & teens to learn about the power of art journaling.

Virtual students computer collection:  

June 14th from 1-3 PM at St. Joseph High School.  See the virtual blog for more information:

Upton Summer Hours-

The office is open from 8am-3pm until Wednesday, June 23rd.  It will not reopen until mid-August.  If you need to reach Mr. Mandarino, please contact me by emailing at

If you need to reach someone regarding enrollment after June 23rd, please contact our Central Office at 269-926-3100.

Community Corkboard - 

Check out the community corkboard for summer camps, summer reading programs, and much much more, on our district website:

Work Permits for students-

Work permits are now located on our district website for students/parents/employers to print.  Print the form and complete the top section. The 2nd section is filled out by the employer.  Once both of those are completed, bring the form to the Upton office and we will fill in the bottom section.   Forms are located at:

Not returning to SJPS next year?-

If you are planning a move this summer, and not returning in the fall, please let the Upton office know right away, by either phone call (926-3400) or email to

Quote to end the year! -

Have a great summer,
Mr. Mandarino

Friday, June 4, 2021

Mandarino Minutes for 6-4-21

 Dear Parents/Guardians,

Schedule Next Week-

- Monday and Tuesday are regular days.

- Wednesday through Friday are half days for Upton and St. Joseph High School, Upton hours: 7:45am-11:00am.

  • Wednesday, June 9th -  Hours 1,2,3 (all one hour)

  • Thursday, June 10th -  Hours 4,5,6 (all one hour)

  • Friday, June 11th (last day) -  All hours for 30 minutes

Computer Turn-In Next Thursday -

Students will turn in their laptops and power cords next Thursday, June 10th. Whether 7th & 8th graders are purchasing them or not we need them all turned in on Thursday. They should bring it in their computer bag with the charger, and any personal items in the computer bag should be removed.


St. Joe Robotics is now having sign-ups for the 2021-2022 seasons. Whether or not you were able to attend the Robotics Expo last weekend, check out the EXPO website with all of the pertinent information and the link to sign up. Teams are available for students in K-12th grade.

Please turn in Library Books-

Please help us by asking your daughter/son to turn in their library books. We still have around 25% of our students with at least one book not turned in. Have them look around their rooms! 😃

Boys & Girls Club Opportunity -

In partnership with the Benton Harbor Boys and Girls Club, a fantastic summer opportunity is available for our students currently enrolled in grades 4-7. Beginning June 21st and running through August 10th, the BHBGC will be offering programming to 50 of our SJPS students. The program will run from 12-5 pm @ Upton Middle School. Students will participate in fun activities in the areas of STEM, literacy, character building, and athletics. The cost of this program is $25 for the entire summer and includes lunch and snacks! To learn more about the program, please see this flyer. If you would like to register your child, here is the link to the registration form.  We also have registration forms in the Upton Office.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Corey Neeley, SJPS Site Director @ (269) 363-4725. We are looking forward to this partnership- our partnership with the BHBGC at the high school level has made a big impact with our students. 

From the desk of the UPTO -

Parents and Upton Staff,


The school year is almost over.  It’s time to take a deep breath.


You did it.  We did it.  Together.


We all got through an unbelievable year, a year that required all of us to show tremendous resilience and grace.


And to our teachers, there’s no question this was a difficult year for so many reasons.  But instead of focusing on how hard it was - let’s focus on the good YOU did:


  • You rose up to the challenge and did it well

  • Your students learned (even though it seemed at times they didn’t care or weren’t really present online)

  • You supported one another through an extraordinary year of hardships and loss

  • You found new ways to do what you do best - TEACH

  • You taught your students that you can learn anywhere 


You should be proud of YOU.  We certainly are!


We hope you’ll take the summer to relax, unwind and care for yourselves.





Gone Any Days Next Week? -

If you plan to miss any days this week, please call the office at 269-926-3400 and leave a message on the attendance line.

8th going into 9th Grade Girls Swimming-

If your daughter is going into 9th grade and is interested in swimming, please send an email to Coach Janet Beemer at:

Upton Summer Football Opportunities -

What's for Lunch Next Week ? -

Monday - Turkey & provolone on croissant, baked chips, fruit/veggies

Tuesday - Cheese or pepperoni french bread pizza, fruit/veggies

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - No Lunch

Senior Parade Tonight -

Quote of the Week -

Have a great Friday and weekend,

Mr. Mandarino

Friday, May 28, 2021

Mandarino Minutes for 5-28-21

 Dear Parents/Guardians,

Calling all library books!  

Parents please help us out with reminding your son/daughter that the final due date for library books this year is next Tuesday, June 1.  

Please check your library record and bring in those books!

Guidance News -

Please take just a few minutes to look through this week's guidance blog post:

Guidance Link

Great concerts this week-

We were so impressed this week with the band, choir, and orchestra programs with their very impressive and entertaining concerts! The performing arts students have come so far this school year! What a great way to end a very different school year!

Running Club -

Mr. Maier will be have running club next Tuesday (1st) and Thursday (3rd) next week and the following Tuesday (8th) from 3:00-3:45 PM. Thursday, June 10th will also be running club at a time to be determined.

Last Late Start Wednesday! -

This Wednesday, 6/2, is our last late start.  School begins at 8:45am and buses run on an hour delay. Doors open at 8:15 and breakfast is available at that time.

What’s for lunch????

Monday - No school -Memorial Day

Tuesday - Chicken patty on a bun, sun chips, veggies/fruit

Wednesday - Nachos with beef and cheese, salsa, refried beans, fruit

Thursday - Hot dog on a bun, baked beans, crackers, fruit

Friday - Cheese bosco sticks with marinara, fruit slushie, veggies

SJ Virtual School News -

8th Grade Farewell-

Upton 8th graders will be honored at our annual 8th Grade Farewell on Friday, June 4th in a different way.   In years past this event was held in our Blue Gym for families to attend in the evening but this year, due to Covid and indoor gathering restrictions, this will be a student-only event during the school day.  Last year's 8th graders unfortunately did not get a chance to wrap things up at all, so we are glad we will have a different way to bring some closure at UMS.

Our 8th grade students will be outdoors for an extended picnic lunch and awards ceremony.  We will also have lawn games, photo opportunities and Dilly Bars, all being provided by our wonderful PTO.

Our 8th grade students have been resilient, flexible, and we know they will do great things at SJHS!

Community Corkboard - 

Is soccer something your son/daughter might be interested in?  Summer reading opportunity?  Camps, etc.?  Check out the community corkboard on our district website:

Community Corkboard Link

1/2 days coming up-
The last three days of school will all be half days.
(June 9th, 10th, and 11th)
Dismissal will be at 11:00 AM on all three days.

Memorial Day quote -

Enjoy your three day weekend with your family and happy Memorial Day!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend,
Mr. Mandarino

Mandarino Minutes for 6-11-21

Dear Parents/Guardians, Thanks for your support! - The staff at Upton Middle School and I would like to thank you for your support through w...