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Questions and Answers

Utica Community Schools
Continuation of Student Learning
During the State-Mandated School Closure 

April 15, 2020 Update

Why is the school issuing CR/NC as opposed to letter grades?
The awarding of Credit (CR)/No Credit (NC) results from several considerations related to the  transition from face to face instruction to online learning. These considerations include the changes in the way that teachers deliver new content, student access to the materials, and the amount of time spent on direct instruction. Also, specifically for the third quarter, the school building closure as a result of COVID-19 was taken with three weeks remaining in the quarter. Students were not afforded the opportunity to discuss with their teacher needed progress prior to the end of the quarter. 
Why is Advanced Placement not be weighted this semester?
The weighted grade option is not available in instances where the final evaluation is earning CR or NC. It should be noted that Advanced Placement students will continue to have the ability to earn College Credit.  The College Board, which administers Advanced Placement, has worked with colleges and universities to create an on-line examination process which may make a student eligible for credit in accordance with the policy of the post-secondary institution. Information is being shared directly with families who currently have students enrolled in Advanced Placement.

April 3, 2020 Update

My child needs to gather personal items left at school. How can that be arranged?

School buildings are currently closed.  Therefore, students are still not being permitted to enter school buildings. Once the restriction has been lifted, we will communicate that information to the community for students to set an appointment to visit school and gather their material.

How can I get a refund for services that I purchased that have been canceled?
Each district school/department will review the status of families who may be due a refund as a result of the school closure.  Refund requests will be complied and processed in the coming weeks.    

April 2, 2020 Update

How does the school closure impact online learning?
We urge families to continue taking part in UCS Online Learning by accessing their Schoology accounts. The online learning is a critical component for our students’ education. If your student does not have access to a device, please contact us at 586-797-1116.  We will be making devices available for students to borrow and will contact you with additional information. 
How will this closure impact my high school senior’s graduation status?
Seniors who were on track to graduate will receive their diploma. High School principals will determine and communicate with students that they have met the requirements. Students who may not have met the requirements will be contacted directly by high school counselors. 
Will my student be able to move to the next grade?
Students will move to their next grade level if they were on pace for advancement prior to the mandated closure. The Michigan third-grade reading law – which was scheduled to take effect this year – will not be enforced. 
How will the closure impact standardized testing, including the M-STEP and the SAT?
All standardized tests previously scheduled for the remainder of the school year, including the M-STEP and the SAT, will be canceled. Juniors scheduled to take the SAT this spring will be able to take the college entrance exam in October.  Students are urged to continue preparing and practicing for the SAT through courses available in their Naviance account using Kaplan or accessing the Khan Academy. Please visit for additional information.

April 1, 2020 Update

Will my junior be able to take the SAT exam?

The U.S. Department of Education has approved the request from the Michigan Department of Education to waive all state assessments scheduled for this spring.  This waiver includes the SAT, which is part of the high school Michigan Merit Exam.  Juniors are urged to continue preparing and practicing for the SAT through resources available in their Naviance account using Kaplan or accessing the Khan Academy. Please visit for additional information.

What resources are available to help me talk with my child about COVID-19 and the school closures?

UCS counselors have recommended the following site for parents to address COVID-19 with their children.  The site includes age-appropriate guidance for talking with children, important strategies parents can use at home, and tips to care of yourselves. Visit the site to sign up for daily updates and participate in Facebook Live chats.

We have accessed our Schoology account but are experiencing technical issues.

Schoology has been experiencing intermittent technical issues through the increased usage. Utica Community Schools and the Macomb Intermediate School District are working with the vendor to correct the issues.

What is the process to obtain a work permit during the school closures?
Utica Community Schools students should contact their school principal via email for assistance with obtaining a work permit. All other students should contact the Macomb Intermediate School District.


March 25, 2020 Update

Based on feedback received from students and parents, we have developed the following list of frequently asked questions. As information continues to rapidly evolve and additional plans are developed, this page will be updated to reflect those changes and/or additions. We appreciate your patience as all questions cannot be answered at this time. 

Parents with specific questions about their student are encouraged to contact their school principals or teachers.

How will the school closure impact testing?   

The U.S. Department of Education has waived the state assessment requirement for all school districts for the current school year.    The waiver must still be approved by the Michigan legislature. 

For Advanced Placement students, face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates. The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3.   

For UAIS students, the International Baccalaureate examinations will not be held this year. Graduates will be awarded a diploma that reflects their course of study. More information is expected at the end of this month.   

What if I do not have a PowerSchool Parent Portal login? 

Please contact your school principal who will assist you with logging in. 

How will the district continue to provide learning experiences to students? 

During the closure, online learning provides students with structure, a personal connection to their teachers and school and consistency.  The activities support our parents and students with content that provides enrichment and reinforcement. While at this time online learning is enrichment, if we are closed for an extended period, we may begin using the system for students to earn credit in courses.  

UCS Online Learning aims to give each student a sense of structure, a personal connection to their teachers and school, and learning consistency. Activities are being provided through Schoology and are intended to support our parents and students with content that provides student enrichment and reinforcement. 

Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) are being provided enrichment and review activities along with their general education peers. UCS Special Services staff are making direct contact with parents to address immediate needs regarding services, support, evaluations and holding IEP meetings. 

What if I need to borrow a computer? 

UCS is providing online learning for all students.  If your student does not have access to a device, please contact us at 586-797-1116.  At a later time, we will be making devices available for students to borrow and will contact you with additional information. 

What if I do not have internet access? 

For families needing assistance in receiving internet access, Comcast/Xfinity is offering free internet service for the next two months to families who qualify. For more information, please see this link: 

I read recently about the State of Michigan not counting online learning towards instructional hours. How does that impact UCS online learning?  

Michigan schools are in a mandated state closure due to COVID-19, and as such, the Department of Education issued a memorandum clarifying for districts that online instruction would not count toward the 180 days of instruction for pupil accounting purposes. Since the number of days of instruction are determined by state law, this issue must be addressed by the state legislature. We are working with the Michigan Department of Education and legislators to address this issue. 

While discussions are evolving, it is important that students continue their learning through online experiences, or the instructional packets provided. 

How will the state mandated closure impact school calendars into the future? 

Calendar determinations have not been made at this time. Educators, state lawmakers and the Michigan Department of Education are continuing discussions on the impact the closure will have on the school calendar.  We will continue to communicate updates and please visit our website:  

What is the best way to reach Utica Community Schools? 

Utica Community Schools is following the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” restrictions. The best way to communicate with a Utica Community Schools staff member is by e-mail. While essential functions of the district are continuing, school buildings and offices are closed. You can access staff e-mails at this link: 

Parents who have viewed the step-by-step video tutorials and still need assistance logging into Schoology accounts should submit a Tech Support request.  Requests are answered in the order that they are received. The form can be found on the Online Learning page, along with the video tutorials and resource materials.  Visit the page at

What is the status of the Food Distribution Program? 

The food distribution program is continuing. For more information, please see this link and follow social media for future updates. We will continue to welcome adult volunteers to assist with this service. For the health of all those involved in this service, only assigned volunteers and food service staff can be on site during the food distribution. Interested community members must sign up at this link.  

What about major events, such as assemblies, graduations, and proms?  

The district understands the importance of district events and celebrations to our students’ school experiences. We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions as more information becomes available.  

Is new student registration being conducted at this time? 

District and school offices are closed to the public.  No registrations are being accepted at this time. If you have specific questions regarding registration, please contact Dr. Robyne Thompson, Director of Pupil Services at [email protected]. Please visit this link for more information.  

March 25, 2020 
UCS COVID-19 Updates