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    Recent Updates 


    Questions and Answers
    April, 2024 Community Update

    The Future Begins Today for UCS

     

    The 2023 bond issue approved by voters represents the largest and most transformational set of facility improvement projects in the history of the school district.

    The reconstruction of DeKeyser Elementary is a first step toward reimagining how our school facilities will inspire remarkable achievement for our students. The video above include artist renderings of the reconstructed DeKeyser Elementary.

    Below is a video that provides an overview of the improvements at DeKeyser and the standard for future improvements at UCS elementary schools.

    How will the future design of elementary school's support safety and student achievement?

    Safety remains the priority of all facility improvement plans. Today’s designs and those of the future are focused on providing a safe and positive learning environment, including secure entry, upgrades to impact resistant glass and multiple sets of locked interior doors to restrict access to classroom areas. The improvements go hand in hand with continued training and emergency protocols.

    The designs also give our staff access to technology to support learning and multiple work areas for large and small group instruction. Common “learning communities” will be created as flexible areas that staff can use to further student learning. Students will benefit from the space through collaborative activities, hands-on learning, and large group instruction. Areas will be available where teachers, paraprofessionals or volunteers can work with individuals or small groups.

    Why is DeKeyser scheduled for reconstruction and how will it impact the school?

    An immediate need for this bond issue was to address “open concept” schools - existing elementary schools that do not have a complete set of interior walls or doors for classroom areas. 

    DeKeyser Elementary has the greatest needs of all school facilities related to classroom walls and doors. In essence, the work at DeKeyser will require a complete reconstruction of the facility. While the work is being completed, DeKeyser Elementary will be relocated to Rose Kidd Elementary, a former elementary in Sterling Heights that was closed in 2010. Improvements are now being made to refurbish Rose Kidd Elementary to house DeKeyser students and staff until their current building is completed in the Fall of 2025.

    How does the reconstruction of DeKeyser align with the district’s long-range vision for facility improvements?

    The current bond issue sets into motion a long-range strategic vision for our school facilities. This vision will feature safe learning environments that utilize best design practices while giving our staff flexible space and tools to empower our students.

    Eventually – through the current and future bond issues – UCS will implement new designs for all schools.

     

    What criteria are being used to identify future schools that need reconstruction/replacement?

    Improvements are being considered based on: safety, building age and student enrollment trends and projections.

    How will the improvements impact neighborhood schools and attendance areas?

    The elementary facility improvements provide an opportunity to evaluate the patterns of attendance boundaries. While enrollment patterns have significantly changed over the years, our attendance patterns have stayed relatively the same. The result is:

    • There are several neighborhoods where students do not attend the same school as those that geographically surround them causing students to be separated from their friends who may live a street over.
    • There are some areas of our district where families are passing through one or two other attendance areas before they reach their child’s school.
    • There are elementary schools that feed into multiple junior high schools. A long-term goal is to establish school feeder patterns where students remain with their classmates throughout their K-12 education.

    This process will begin this spring and continue through the fall. Regular updates will be shared with the UCS community.

    What is the Enrollment Distribution Advisory Committee?

    A groups of citizens representing each school – The Enrollment Distribution Advisory Community – provides input into the district’s overall attendance areas.

    Where can I get additional information?

    The district will continue to provide updates through its multiple information channels, including social media, school and district newsletters, and communications from the Superintendent to the community. You may also contact us at uticacommunityschools@uticak12.org.

     


    For questions, please contact us directly: questions@uticak12.org.

     

    This informational website was paid for by Utica Community Schools.