Walter Flickinger Elementary School has been part of the Utica Community School district since opening its doors in 1964. Flickinger Elementary is the only one of 25 UCS Elementary schools to be located in Utica, Michigan and as such, we enjoy a school-community relationship that is uncommon in larger municipalities. Like an “only child” in the family, we feel a special closeness with our entire school community and feel valued by them.
Mr. Flickinger, a local businessman, had served on the UCS Board of Education for 21 years at the time of the building’s dedication. When he began his service on the board, the district was approximately two square miles of farm land, with two schools and a total student population of 439 students. Today, the Utica Community School District encompasses 66 square miles, including the northern two-thirds of Sterling Heights, all of the city of Utica and Shelby Township, and portions of Ray Township, Macomb Township and Washington Township providing educational excellence to more than 31,500 students in 36 schools.
Since its opening, Flickinger Elementary has had many changes in its structure and students. The building opened with 12 classrooms. We have grown to include a gymnasium, research/media center, and 14 additional classrooms, including a recently completed addition of a suite of rooms dedicated to science, art, and music instruction. Flickinger’s enrollment has continued to change. Our population of 503 students includes a diverse socio-economic community that is becoming more culturally varied. Our parents’ employment includes city services, blue- and white-collar manufacturing jobs, trades, the education field and service industries. Our families mirror state population trends, and we have more blended/merged and single parent families than ever before. Flickinger is a school that draws from two very different areas. One area includes the homes and apartments that surround the school with approximately 54% of our students walking to school. The homes in this area are older and smaller than the second area. The second area is 2.5 miles from the school and is located in Shelby Township – the homes are newer and larger.
While there have been many changes in our student body over the years, one constant is that Flickinger parents have always placed a high value on quality education. They express their support not only financially but as involved parents and volunteers at our school. The Flickinger staff is very appreciative of its close ties with our school communities. Our families entrust their children to our dedicated staff and support our educational beliefs and practices. In return we prepare our students to leave our school armed not only with high academic achievement, but with good character and compassion for the uniqueness of others.