Dolphin Dispatch

January 5

Dear Graebner Families,

Welcome Back and Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a relaxing break and holiday. We are busy here at Graebner working on building stamina, reading comprehension, basic math facts and the district curriculum. We make every day count!

In order to mitigate the spread of germs, the health department and UCS is highly recommending the use of masks. While this is still optional, we do strongly support the wearing of masks as we continue our additional mitigating strategies like the consistent cleaning of classrooms, bathrooms and the wiping of highly used door knobs. Students will be kept in their homeroom classroom and kept separate from other classrooms at recess. Our seating charts transfer to specials and lunch to the best of our ability. We all must work together! I thank you in advance for your support.

During January, Graebner will distribute reports cards electronically. The second marking period grades will be sent electronically to families at the end of the day on Friday, January 7, 2022. To receive the report cards, parents will need to have a secure PowerSchool account. Parents who do not have access to a PowerSchool account will need to register for one prior to Wednesday, January 5, 2022. The report cards will then be automatically e-mailed to the address that is used to register the PowerSchool account. If you already have a PowerSchool account, you do not need to take any further action. The report card automatically will be sent to you electronically. Please note that if you have students in junior high school and high school, the reports cards will be electronically sent by the end of the day, Friday, January 7, 2022.

Other notable calendar items in January are the after school offerings that students already signed up for before break will start and also we have a day off on January 17th for Martin Luther King Jr. observance. Our PTO meeting this month is the 19th at 6pm and a new online fundraiser for the 6th grade end of year celebration is offered below.

Let's have a productive, healthy and safe January together!

Warm regards,

Mrs. Wood

UCS Wellness Podcast

The UCS Wellness team is happy to announce the first episode of our podcast series. The team worked with community members to create a podcast regarding different physical, mental and social health areas for UCS staff, students and families. These podcasts are available on the UCS Wellness page: UCS Wellness - Utica Community Schools (

In the inaugural episode of the UCS Wellness Podcast, Henry Ford II High School counselor Catherine Livingston speaks with Nancy Buyle, School Safety/Student Assistance Consultant from the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD), touching on anxiety, depression and suicide. This episode will help parents know what to look for in their children and where to go if they have concerns regarding their children's mental health.

Macomb County offers free mental health support

6th Grade Online Fundraiser

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UCS Family Literacy Connection

UCS Family Literacy Connection is a bimonthly communication compiled by the Elementary Literacy Coaches/Consultants of the UCS Literacy Department. Each edition will highlight activities to support literacy development at home. This edition is for November/December. Please use the link below to access the newsletter and share with your community.

UCS Family Literacy Connection November/December 2021

Kindergarten Flyer

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Attention 4th and 5th grade girls and parent or guardian

What does it mean to be a Title I School?

Drop off and Pick up updates

I have seen many improvements in the parking lot. Thank you students and parents for leaving pets at home and walking bikes on school property. It is very helpful. When picking up a child and no spaces are available in the main lot, please circle until you get a space or wait until busses are gone and then drive up to the student drop off area and your child can enter the car from the curb. Do not do this at the crosswalk. The crosswalk is intended for those parents walking their children across the parking lot only. When you walk in front of the bus between the bus and cross walk or between the busses, both are very dangerous as the driver can not see you. Please use caution. Please follow the outlines rules and procedures so that everyone can feel safe. Thank you.

Masks on busses

All students who ride the bus to and/or from school are required to wear a mask. Many students are not wearing their masks. Please talk to your student at home and remind them that in order for them to continue riding the bus, they must keep the mask on and covering both mouth and nose. Once the bus driver has warned them several times, the driver will write a referral to me. If the referral comes home, it is the final warning and if another referral is written the student will not be able to ride the bus for a specified time.

Update from UCS Transportation

The UCS Transportation Department is committed to safety and efficiently transporting our UCS students. We realize that we carry precious cargo and that we make a positive difference in how our students start and end every day. We are excited to be back on the road!

While it is not unusual for it to take a few weeks for our routes to fall into place, this year has been particularly challenging. The nationwide shortage of bus drivers as well as local construction projects have created significant challenges for us. We are actively working to address both situations. We are in regular contact with the Macomb County Road Commission on project timelines and have identified alternate routes until construction is completed. These alternates, however, often add to pick up and drop off delays. In addition, we have been actively advertising our open positions and have held several job fairs to recruit candidates.

The Transportation Department has been contacting families when it is anticipated that delays will be greater than 10 minutes through automated phone calls, emails and text messaging. If you have not signed up for the UCS text system, text “Y” to 67587.

The good news is that we should be seeing some relief over the next few weeks. As road construction project season comes to an end, we will be able to return to our normal routes and you should see some improvement in many areas. In addition, we have more than 10 new drivers going through the training process and should be on the road shortly once the process is completed (training and certification takes several weeks). We are still in need of about 30 more drivers; if you are aware of individuals interested in becoming a bus driver, please have them contact 586-797-7113.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Changes to Quarantine Process

As Mr. Monroe’s September 30 letter indicated, there has been a series of adjustments in required quarantine guidelines. These adjustments from the Macomb County Health Department are for students who may have been identified as a close contact. The changes are the result of discussions between our district leadership and the health department and are based on concerns shared by our parents.

Our goal remains to keep our students in-person throughout the year. The new guidelines provide an avenue that families can take to return quarantined students to classrooms earlier if they meet certain conditions, such as a vaccination, a distance of more than three feet from the contact or testing daily over seven days through either a clinic or using an at-home kit. If you choose to purse the at-home or clinic tests, our school will provide you a form to record the results.

In the event your student is a close contact, we will notify you via phone call, email and a text message. (If you do not receive regular updates from our school, please call the office to verify we have accurate information for you).

For more information, you may visit our district’s website regarding the required quarantine process and our school’s layered mitigation strategies. If you have any questions regarding the process or the learning plan for your child if a quarantine is necessary, please speak to your teacher or call our office directly.

Henry Ford Macomb School & Community Wellness

Safety Protocols, Self Screening and Contact Tracing

We are following all of the cleaning and safety protocols used last year with regular cleanings of rooms, bathrooms, and all touch points. Students will be kept in “cohorts” with their own class during homeroom, specials, lunch and recess. We are doing everything possible to limit any exposure to other students while here at school. Social distancing will be enforced to the greatest extent possible. We will continue to contact trace if a student tests positive. In addition, it is an expectation that all students, parents and staff use the self-screening protocols and inform the school of any positive Covid cases. If your child is sick, you should keep them home. Teachers and students will use regular handwashing and sanitizing. Lastly, the district updated all ventilation systems and ductwork. If you want more information, please refer to the Essential Parent Guide pages 3-5


UCS takes food allergies very seriously. Parents must have the SNP Special Dietary Accommodations Form (10A) filled out and signed by a physician for students with a food allergy requiring a meal accommodation. This completed and signed form must be submitted to the Food and Nutrition Services department at and is required before meal accommodations can be made. The SNP Special Dietary Accommodations Form must be submitted every year.

Allergy menus are found online at under the Elementary Allergy Menu tab. If your child requires a substitution, please inform your child's school at least 48 hours in advance.

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Graebner Grade Level Supply Lists

Click on the grade level you are interested in Please label all supplies with student first and last name

Parking Lot/Drop off and Pick up

You will notice on the map provided above that the only place you can park and/or drop off and pick up is from the main visitor lot. Cars are not allowed past the crosswalk on the south side of the building.

The small lot in front of the SAMS wing is for teacher and staff parking only. This lot is never to be used for pick up and/or drop off of students.

Choices for dropping off students by car:

1. Park in the main lot, get out of the car and accompany your student K-6 across the lot and use the crosswalk in front of the bus lane or the crosswalk on the south side of building in front of the student drop off area

2. Drop our student in the designated area in front of the bus lane and cross walk between the red cones. Pull up as far as you can so more cars can fit next to the curb behind you. Have your child get out on the curb side. Parent must stay in car. This is not a parking area but a drop off.

Choices for walkers:

Please use the crossing guard for crossing Saul Road.

Use sidewalks and cross walks

No student is allowed in the parking lot without an adult K-6

Bikes must be walked on school property and locked up at the bike rack

No pets are allowed on school grounds.