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Admin

June 10, 2020

Dear UCS School Community, 

This week the 2019-2020 school year officially comes to a close. As the year ends, let me begin with the question on everyone’s mind: Will students be back in school next fall?

At this point, Utica Community Schools plans to be open with exemplary teaching and learning on September 1 for the 2020-21 school year. Decisions regarding delivery of education will be based upon our priority of providing a safe and healthy environment for all our students and staff. In addition, we will carefully make decisions based upon the guidelines received from the State of Michigan and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We value our partnership with the families of our district. As decisions are considered regarding education in the fall, be it on the athletic field, in the classroom, or in the music room, we welcome your feedback. Next week, we will send a COVID-19 survey. We invite you to participate in the survey so we may better understand your experience with UCS’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic and to guide the district’s future planning. Please look for frequent communication in the next several months as fall plans are finalized.

We greeted this school year with a commitment to excellence, and feelings of hope, energy and optimism. While our year was not what we expected, as I have said before, it was during crisis that the UCS culture of leadership and service was most powerfully demonstrated. Teachers and building leaders made important connections with students through the district’s Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Response Plan. One of our music teachers compiled a virtual concert. A physical education teacher did remote Zoom exercises with students. UCS teachers created student blog sites that developed writing skills. School counselors engaged in mental health calls to students. Our students and staff came together to support the needs of families by distributing over 500,000 meals.

As I reflect on these transformative efforts, we end the year proud that we lived out our commitments and continued to make a significant difference in the lives of our students and the families of our community.

This past weekend, across the district, we celebrated as over 2,200 students received a Utica Community Schools diploma. We know from the lives of our alumni who are making a difference around the world, this graduating class will also provide exciting leadership and service to our communities both locally and globally. Please congratulate them as they go forward in the next step of their life journey.

Finally, a special word of thanks to our staff, parents, business partners and the many community members who went the extra mile to volunteer and donate time and resources to our district. Education is a team effort, together our community is fielding a team of educators that is second to none. Together we will continue this commitment to excellence in the fall of 2020.

Sincerely,

Christine M. Johns, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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.
  • 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.