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Return to School Draft
Dear UCS Parents/Guardians, 

With September 1 quickly approaching, we continue to plan for the return of our students and staff. While this time of year continues to represent new beginnings and endless possibilities, we also recognize that there are unique challenges that face us as we approach the start of the new school year. 

Based on the current MI Safe Start Plan for COVID-19, Utica Community Schools is preparing for face-to-face instruction with the ability to transition to remote learning with the student’s same classroom teacher(s) or the option of enrolling exclusively in the UCS Virtual Academy, also taught by highly-qualified UCS teachers. The start of school plans are now available via the UCS website.  The website now includes information on our current reopening plans, details on how we would transition to alternate learning models depending on the status of COVID-19, and a frequently asked questions page. 

The reopening plans were presented to the Utica Community Schools Board of Education at its meeting last evening. The Board will make its final determination on August 10 and our plan will be submitted to the Macomb Intermediate School District. 

UCS teams have used Governor Whitmer’s MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap for guidance as they have worked to create multiple approaches based on the status of COVID-19. As you review the plans, please keep in mind that there are three important factors that have guided their development:
Health and Safety – Our district plan follows best practices in health and safety using personal protective equipment – including the wearing of face masks for everyone’s safety - frequent hand washing and use of sanitizer, and additional cleaning protocols. We will also continue to provide a full range of services that support the social and mental health of every child. 
Our Commitment to Educational Excellence and Equitable Access – Regardless of the instructional method or platform, committed UCS teachers, administrators and support staff will provide a quality education that focuses on the needs of each student. We remain committed to ensuring every student has access to the services and rigorous coursework that will lead to their success. 
Effective Implementation – Our plan must successfully create support and a structure that will position our teachers and students for success with considerations given to time, effort, and costs. The plan reflects approaches to delivering instruction and health and safety measures in Phases 1-3, Phase 4, Phase 5 and Phase 6 as identified in the MI Safe Start Plan. 

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We will continue to communicate with you through e-mails, social media and our websites as plans are changed and updated based upon the governor’s Executive Orders or the decision of the Board of Education. In addition, building principals will also be sharing specific information regarding your child’s school.

Thank you for the trust that you have placed in our team and your continued support.  While it is a challenging time, it is also an exciting time.  Regardless of the learning platform, we remain committed to meeting these challenges through a vibrant educational environment where every student can grow and succeed. 


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