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May 12, 2020

Dear UCS Parents/Guardians:

This has been an unusual school year to say the least.  Just as we were looking forward to the change of seasons, COVID-19 and a global pandemic dramatically changed our lives.  Safety concerns changed our educational approach and resulted in a transformed learning environment.

While face to face interaction has been suspended, I am impressed with the number of parents and community members who share examples of the positive relationships that continue between teachers, staff and students.  Social distancing may have stopped students from coming into the buildings, but it has not stopped them from learning.  

I want to thank our school community for their continued hard work and commitment to our students.  Over the past two months, the UCS culture of leadership and service has emerged stronger than ever.  New technology teams made up of teachers and staff members have worked with our parents to provide students fresh approaches and innovative educational methods.  Teams of food service staff, teachers and volunteers have provided food and assistance to our students.  Our combined efforts have continued to demonstrate that schools are a vital part of our community.  

During this time, we settled the contract with the Utica Education Association.  Last evening, the Utica Community Schools Board of Education approved a three-year contract with the Utica Education Association.  When resources are limited negotiations can be difficult; however, the process of engagement pushes everyone to find common ground.  Conflict and crisis often challenge us to find new approaches and a collaborative agreement.  

Our shared commitment to excellence continues to make a difference in the lives of our students.  Many people talk about the importance of doing things well, but at UCS we see the power of excellence daily in the significant contributions made by our colleagues, our students and our graduates. 

As we begin to turn our focus to the 2020-2021 school year, I again want to express my appreciation to each of you for your support of the mission of our district.  We will continue to update you as we make important decisions regarding next year.  

In the months ahead, please continue to take care of yourself, your families and each other.  Together, we will continue to make a positive difference as we rise to this new challenge.  

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.