Last item for navigation
Phase 4 Reopening Plan

When Schools are in Phase 4 

of MI Safe Start Plan

During Phase 4, the number of new cases has fallen for a period of time, but overall case levels are high. 

During this phase 4, face to face instruction with health and safety procedures are in place for students. Gov. Whitmer’s Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap has been used a guide to assist in planning for the new year. 

The offerings in this phase are designed to provide a rapid transition to remote learning (as outlined in phase 3), as necessary. 

In addition to the classroom experiences offered by the district in Phase 4, a separate option of the UCS Virtual Academy is provided for parents who seek a full, on-line alternative. More information on the virtual academy is available at this link

School Operating Status
  • In-person instruction is permitted with required safety protocols.
  • Breakfast and lunch offered to all students.
  • Transportation resumes.
  • Inter-school competitions resume.
  • Large scale indoor spectator events are suspended.
  • Large scale outdoor stadium or spectator events limited to 100 people.
Safety Protocols
  • Require the wearing of face coverings, except during meals and unless face coverings cannot be medically tolerated
    • All staff and all students in grades pre-k and up when on a school bus
    • All staff and all students in grades pre-k and up when in indoor hallways and common areas
    • All staff when in classrooms
    • All students in grades 7 and up when in classrooms
    • All students in K-6 unless students remain with their classes throughout the school day and do not come into close contact with students in another class.
  • Prohibit indoor assemblies that bring together students from more than one classroom.
  • Incorporate the Roadmap’s required protocols governing hygiene, cleaning, athletics, screening, testing protocols, and busing and student transportation. 
  • Adequate supplies will be provided to support healthy hygiene behaviors (including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for safe use by staff and students, paper towels, tissues, and signs reinforcing proper handwashing techniques). 
  • Staff will teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or the safe use of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • In addition, staff will educate students on how to cough and sneeze into their elbows, or to cover with a tissue.  Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately using proper hand hygiene techniques.
  • Students and staff will be required to use hand sanitizer before entering the bus.  
  • Staff will limit the sharing of personal items and supplies to small groups and disinfect between use or provide adequate supplies to assign for individual student use.
  • Students’ personal items will be kept separate and may be stored in individually labeled cubbies, desks, containers, or lockers. 
Spacing, Movement, and Access

  • Where feasible, students will be kept at a safe distance while in large spaces.
  • Within the classroom students will be facing the same direction toward the front of the classroom and staff will maintain an adequate distance between themselves and students.  
  • All Utica Community School family members and/or other guests are not allowed in a school building except under extenuating circumstances as determined by the district and/or school officials. 
  • If family members and/or guests are permitted into the building, a facial covering must be worn, and hands must be washed/sanitized upon entering the building. 
  • Office staff will keep strict records, including date and time, of non-school employees or other visitors entering and exiting the building.
Screening Students and Staff
  • The District shall cooperate with Macomb County Health Department to implement screening protocols for students and staff and if a student or staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
    • MCHD initiate contact tracing, following regular public health practice.
    • Anyone who was within close contact of the case (less than six feet apart for 15+ minutes) will be asked to self-quarantine for up to 14 days after exposure.
  • All employees must comply with the daily self-screening protocol requirements provided in the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and Policy.
  • Students or staff who develop a fever or become ill with symptoms of COVID-19
    • Placed in an identified area with a facial covering
    • Must be picked up by a parent/guardian, family member, an emergency contact, or transported by ambulance if necessary.
    • Must remain home until they have tested negative or have completely recovered according to Macomb County Health Department guidelines.
  • Utica Community Schools will maintain confidentiality consistent with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.
Food & Nutrition Services

  • Face to Face Instruction
    • Breakfast:
      Elementary students will be served in the classroom
      Secondary students will be served in the cafeteria
    • Lunch:
      Elementary and secondary students will be served in the cafeteria
      The number of lunch periods will be increased for social distancing purposes
  • Remote Instruction:
    • Students will have access to breakfast and lunch at twelve distribution sites including 3 off campus locations
      • If the district moves to only remote learning for an individual school or group of schools, breakfast and lunch for those students will be distributed from an alternative site
    • Meals will be prepackaged and in compliance with USDA regulations
    • Students with documented food allergies will be accommodated accordingly

  • Cafeteria Process
    • Students will be required to wear masks until seated
    • Students will remain with their class while in the serving lines (lunch only)
    • Students will have seating arrangements in the cafeteria by class group (lunch only)
    • Signage and floor markings will assist students with proper entry and exit points as well as proper distancing while in line
    • Staff will wear face shields, masks, gloves, and barrier protection will be utilized where appropriate
    • Staff will be trained in the recognition of COVID-19 symptoms, cleaning, sanitization, infection control and isolation measures

  • Frequently touched surfaces must undergo cleaning after every class period with either an EPA-approved disinfectant or diluted bleach solution, including:
    • Light switches, doors, benches,
    • Bathrooms, must undergo cleaning at least every 4 hours with either an EPA-approved disinfectant or diluted bleach solution.
    • Libraries, Computer labs, Arts and other hands-on classrooms.
  • Student desks will be wiped down after every class period. 
  • Playground structures will continue to undergo normal routine cleaning
  • Safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing products securely away from children and with adequate ventilation when staff use products.
  • Utica Community Schools staff will wear the appropriate personal protective equipment when performing all cleaning activities. 

  •  All individuals shall use hand sanitizer before entering the bus.
    • Hand sanitizer supplied
  • Facial coverings must be worn while on the bus
  • The following items must be cleaned and disinfected before and after every transit route
    • Vehicles
    • Frequently touched surfaces
    • Equipment, being transported to schools
  • Weather permitting and when appropriate;
    • Windows will be kept open to increase air circulation.
    • Doors and windows will be opened when cleaning school vehicles and in between trips to allow the vehicle to thoroughly air out.
  • Children shall not be present when a vehicle is being cleaned.
Medically Vulnerable Students and Staff

  • Utica Community Schools staff will systematically review all current plans (e.g. Individual Health Plans, Individualized Education Plans, Individualized Family Service Plans or 504 Plans) for accommodating students and staff with special healthcare needs and update their care plans as needed to decrease their risk for exposure to COVID-19.
 Elementary Instruction
  •  Require the use of masks for all students and staff.
  • Typical instructional day
  • Lunches increase to four sessions to allow for greater social distancing while students have masks off.
  • Teachers will rotate between classrooms (eg. Specialists, Consultants, etc.) 
  • Classrooms will remove furniture to maximize social distancing opportunities to the extent possible. 
  • Student furniture will be oriented to face the front of the classroom.
  • Staggered afternoon recess with teachers will be implemented.
  • Busing can be achieved for all levels by altering start and end times.
    • Early Schools:   8:20 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.
    • Late Schools:   9:10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
 Secondary Instruction
  • Require the use of masks for all students and staff
  • Block schedule
  • Lunches increased to five sessions to allow for greater social distancing while students have masks off.
  • Student furniture will be orientated to face the front of the classroom.
  • Modifications to courses that compromise social distancing, such as share time classes.
  • Where possible team classes so students stay together as a group.
  • Busing can be achieved for all levels by altering start and end times.
  • High School and Specialty Programs 7:20 a.m. to 2:14 (Same)
  • Specialty Programs will have six stops strategically located so that they are not riding buses with homeschool students.
  • Junior Highs 8:20 a.m. to 3:11 p.m. (start and end 10 minutes later)
 Early Childhood and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)

  •  In-person instruction with the implementation of safety protocols
  • Upon arrival to the building, all students will be temperature checked and logged.
  • If any student registers a temperature of 100.4 or above, they will not be permitted to enter the building and will not be allowed to return to school for 72 hours. 
  • Any borderline temperatures would be flagged for a recheck later. 
  • Parents will sign students in and out and will not be allowed to enter the building with their students.
  • Classroom Procedures
    • Interest areas would be limited to groups of 4 with a color-coding system
    • Each child would have to have their own school supply box/plastic bags.
    • Manipulatives will be introduced on an alternate day schedule, so afternoon students are not working on the same manipulatives as morning students.
    • Tables and manipulatives will be sanitized in-between classes.
    • Sanitizers/soap per classroom
    • Nebulizers will not be permitted in the classrooms
    • All soft toys will be “one touch” and washed
    • Frequently touched objects and surfaces will be routinely cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Toys
    • Toys that cannot be cleaned and sanitized will not be used.
    • Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions or excretions should be set aside until they are cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected.
    • Machine washable cloth toys may only be used by one individual at a time. These toys must be laundered before being used by another child.
    • Toys may not be share with other groups of infants or toddlers, unless they are washed, sanitized, and disinfected.
    • Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures.
  • Washing, Feeding, or Holding a Child
    • Childcare providers should wear an oversized button-down, long sleeved shirt and wear long hair up off the collar in a ponytail or other updo to protect themselves and the child.
    • Childcare providers will wash their hands, neck, and anywhere touched by a child’s secretions.
    • Childcare providers will change the child’s clothes or their own, if secretions are on the child’s clothes, and wash their hands.
    • Contaminated clothes will be placed in a plastic bag or washed in a washing machine.
    • Infants, toddlers, and their providers should have multiple changes of clothes on hand in the childcare center or home-based childcare.
    • Childcare providers will wash their hands before and after handling infant bottles prepared at home or prepared in the facility.
 Adult Education and English as a Second Language (ESL)

  • Students will be offered in-person instruction with the implementation of safety protocols.
  • Class size will be reduced from thirty students down to twenty students to accommodate necessary social distancing guidelines within the classroom.
  • All teacher directed classrooms will be rearranged and set up in rows, and no collaborative group learning will be permitted. 
  • Laptops will be utilized in classrooms on a rotating basis and a Lab Assistant will visit each classroom and aid the teacher while the students work on laptops.
  •  All adult students will be temperature checked and information will be logged.
  • If any student logs a temperature 100.4 or above, they will not be permitted to enter the building. 
  • Students will be permitted to enter the building 15 minutes prior to the start of class and up to one hour after class begins.
  • Students will report directly to their classrooms.
  • Students will be required to use available hand sanitizer upon entry to their classroom.
  • Student break times will be shortened to 5 minutes.
  • Seating will be removed from the vending room.
  • Students will not be permitted to conjugate in the Media Center or hallways.