As a student currently enrolled in this middle school, I have to say that parents only get to see the surface of what goes on. If you get lucky, you'll have amazing teachers that you'll probably remember for the rest of your life. But your chances of getting those teachers are about 15%. The other 85% goes to all the other teachers that really don't want to be there (and openly say so) and don't teach in a way the students can benefit from. Aside the academics, the social environment is just a mess. You have your specific group of about three friends you hang out with, and heaven forbid you run into a so-called 'popular' student. Most of the students don't accept you for who you are, or who you strive to be. And the 'popular' students are always taking advantage of the kids who are really there to learn by copying off of them instead of doing their own work. And the amount of favoritism shown at this school is overwhelming. Especially when it comes to sports or other academic competitions. It's ridiculous. You have to kiss up to all the coaches just to get a spot on any sport, academic or dance team. UMS isn't the worst school in the world, but it definitely isn't the best.
My child attended UMS and had a good experience. Was somewhat disappointed though on the lack of work sent home. Some of the staff in the front office are a bit unproffessional and unfriendly. (it's amazing what a simple smile can do! They should try it.) Hope the new principal will also have high standards.