Teaching & Learning
The Instruction Department welcomes you! We are proud to be associated with the Utica Community Schools, its programs and services.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
Joyce Arbaugh, Director of Secondary Programs
Catherine Einhaus, Director of Elementary Programs
Robin Dilday, Director of Athletics
Mary Johnston, Ed.D. Executive Director of Innovation, Federal and State Programs and Curriculum
Patricia McKinnon, Executive Director of Special Services
Denise Mennucci, Director of Community Education
Deane Spencer, Director of Assessment and Federal and State Programs
Our district mission is: "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."
We believe that a quality education is a collaborative effort, a responsibility shared by the home, school, students, and community. Our schools serve as the centers of this community endeavor and reach out to our residents to improve the quality of life and learning for all.
Our disrict goals as stated in our Reaching Higher document are:
- By 2014, all student in the Utica Community Schools will meet or exceed proficiency standards in English language arts (reading and writing), math, science, social studies, fine arts, and career and technical education, as identified by national, state and UCS standards.
- The school district will implement a world-class instructional program.
- Parent, business and community partnerships will be an integral part of student learning.
The Elementary Education and Secondary Education Departments collaborate with teachers and administrators to develop programs and select instructional materials that are aligned with district, state and national standards. Recent initiatives that enhance the curriculum include the following:
- Extensive cutting-edge technology and resources available to students and staff in all classrooms, including wide-area networking, interactive boards, and educational access to the internet;
- Recognized fine arts programs offered to all students K-12 including a model-site MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) lab and a senior high course, Multi Media Productions;
- A specially-designed 9-12 program (Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology) for the academically talented student who has an intense interest in mathematics, science, computer science, and curriculum-integrated technology;
- The Utica Academy for International Studies and a Mandarin language immersion program. The Utica Academy for International Studies offers district students unprecedented access to the skills necessary to earn an International Baccalaureate Diploma. The Mandarin initiative program provides a K-6 partial immersion program at Oakbrook Elementary School, feeding into a 7-12 secondary target language program housed at Heritage Junior High School, Stevenson High School and the Utica Academy for International Studies (International Baccalaureate).
- A specially-designed 9-12 program (AdvancePath Academy) for the alternative education student; and
- An expanded K-12 bilingual/ESL program.
Utica Community Schools actively seeks partnerships with businesses in the area to provide our students with learning experiences and practical application in a variety of careers. Through our Career and Technical Education Department and Center for Science and Industry, students are encouraged to gain "real life" experience by interning or job shadowing to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a professional situation.
Families have the opportunity to avail themselves of district programs and services from the time their children are of pre-school age. The Special Services Department strives to provide appropriate resources and interventions to enable all students with special needs to achieve success.
Another strong support system is provided by the Community Education Department which offers to every segment of the community comprehensive programming, including early childhood, high school completion and enrichment classes for learners of all ages.
Communicating effectively with all our residents is facilitated through district publications, UCS-TV and the district website. Focus for the Community, a publication of the Utica Community Schools, serves to inform the community of district accomplishments. School newsletters, along with elementary and secondary student and parent handbooks, keep parents apprised of school-related information, activities and events as well as district policies and procedures so they can be partners in their children's education.