Dolphin Dispatch

February 1

Hello Graebner Families,

Happy February! The students sure are happy to be here, as we are happy to see their smiling faces as well. Cold weather, snow and unpredictable weather continues, so just a reminder that students should dress for the weather with wear winter coats, hats, boots and gloves. The play pad will many times have snow and slush that students are walking in to get to the classroom doors. We keep the sidewalks and entry clear and salt the surfaces but many times the play pad is snowy. We continue to practice social distancing and mitigating the areas in the school that students are using for minimal spread of germs. They are all doing a great job! Please continue the safety protocol in the parking lot using only the main lot, sidewalks and cross walks. We look forward to our continuation of the Hybrid learning model. The students are in a consistent routine and have adjusted very well to in person learning here at Graebner. Thank you for all of your support as we continue to navigate safety protocols. I will continue to update you in a timely manner.

February Dates to Remember:

Feb. 3: Remote learning day

Feb. 9: Fourth and Fifth grade girls maturation program (see below)

Feb. 10: Remote learning day / PTO meeting via ZOOM at 6:30pm

Feb. 15-19: Mid Winter Break - No School in session

Feb. 24: GPTO Stuff a Mascot Virtual Event 7pm - see below -registration required

2021-2022 Kindergarten Communication

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MISD Fourth and Fifth Grade Daughters/Mothers Maturation Program

The Macomb Intermediate School District will be presenting a maturation program for fourth and fifth grade girls and their mothers/guardians, at which time they will answer growth and development questions. This virtual event will take place on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The attached (19A) flyer has registration details and should be made available as soon as possible to families of all fourth grade and fifth grade girls.

GPTO Stuff a Mascot Event

Just a reminder that the GPTO's Stuff A Mascot event is February 24, but registration must take place by this Thursday, February 4 so that supplies can be ordered and event organized.

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Return to Face and Face Hybrid Schedule K-6

We are looking forward to welcoming our kindergarten through six grade students on Tuesday, January 19th for in-person learning! We are excited to see our students and are committed to providing a safe and active learning environment. Our kindergarten through sixth grade students who are currently enrolled in the in-person/remote option are scheduled to return to classrooms on Tuesday, January 19. If your family chose the UCS Virtual Academy option, your student will continue their on-line instruction.

There will be a bagged breakfast and bagged lunch provided that they can bring home with them. Students will not be bringing in any food items for snack.

I hope you have had a chance to read the Stage One Essential Parent Handbook for In-Person Instruction guide that came out from the district last week. Please pay close attention to page 5 regarding self-screening your child before sending them each day.

Upon arrival (start and end times are listed below) if your child does not ride a bus, please either drop your child at front curb where teachers will be waiting or park and walk your child to their classroom outside door. If you choose to get out of your car, please always wear a mask and use social distancing. Please see the attached map as to where your child will be lining up outside the classroom or outside doors. There will be dots where they should stand if they are waiting for the doors to open. Please do not arrive before 8:10 or 12:30. There is not an adult on duty before those times.

If your child is late, please knock on classroom outside door so teacher can let them in. If you are unable to do this, come to front office. We are limiting the adults in the building and that includes the office. We are asking that you please do your best to limit any early releases or appointments.

We look forward to next week!

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Technical Support Contact Information for Students and Parents

Starting Tuesday, January 19, 2021 the UCS Helpdesk will offer two ways for parents and students to contact them directly for technical support:

Meal Information

  1. Remote Meal Distribution During Face-To-Face Learning

Attention all UCS families: Starting Wednesday, January 20, we will have remote meal pickup available for the days that your students are not in school for face-to-face learning and for our Virtual Academy students. Please share the attached (15A) remote and in-person meal schedule flyer with your parent community.

  1. Free School Meals Program Extended

As a reminder, the USDA has extended the waiver for all families to receive free breakfast and lunch for the rest of the school year. Meals are available while your students are in school for face-to-face learning at all levels. Please go to for a complete menu as well as nutritional and allergy information.

Opt-out Form for School Meals

Michigan Department of Education requires that parents have the opportunity to opt-out of school meals going home. Please see the link below for the electronic opt-out form for free school meals going home with elementary students on in-person school days. In your next newsletter, ask parents to complete the form using the link below if they choose to opt-out of meals going home.


Face coverings provide an essential shield to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 from spreading from child to child, adult to child, child to adult or adult to adult. Face coverings will be used by all individuals in schools at all times. This includes hallways, indoor common areas and classrooms.

The only exceptions will be taking a water break. When removing the face covering to eat, they should only be touched by the strings and students should be careful not to rub their eyes, nose or mouth. Below is a sign being displayed at schools that shows the proper way to wear face coverings.

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Student Return Arrival Directions

Please see the attached MAP to see where your class lines up for school.

We look forward to seeing grades 2-4 on Monday, November 2nd

School Start and End Times:




School officially begins at 8:20 or 12:30. Students may begin lining up outside their classroom door at 8:10 or 12:25.Parents please DO NOT leave your child unattended prior to our supervision times.

As a reminder, due to our security protocols, parents WILL NOT be allowed in the classroom.

Arrival Procedures

  • Students will wait on a social distancing spot outside of their classroom door while they wait for their teacher to welcome them into the classroom.
  • If you are driving your child to school and walking them to the classroom we are highly encouraging ONE ADULT ONLY per student (and no siblings)
  • Students must wear a mask
  • Masks are required for all adults and children over the age of 2 years old
  • The playground is not to be used while waiting for the teacher to open the classroom door

Dismissal Procedures

Car Riders:

  • Parents who are picking up students after school are encouraged to stay in their cars until dismissal. This will help us maintain social distancing and reduce overcrowding in the pick-up areas.

Winter Gear Needed

Don't forget that students will be walking around the school to line up at their outside classroom doors for class, and dismissal will be from classroom doors as well. On snowy or slushy days they may be standing on an un-shoveled area to remain social distanced from classmates, and wearing appropriate winter gear will help keep feet warm and dry. Even just getting through the parking lot can be wet and slushy during these winter months - remind your children to wear boots daily to avoid cold and wet feet! Please contact the office if you could use a helping hand in providing winter boots for your child/ren.

Drop off and Pick up/Parking Lot

Please use the main parking lot and cross walk at south end or the crossing guard on Saal road when dropping off or walking to and from school. The teacher lot has red cones in the entrance to remind parents not to turn into this lot. It is not a safe area to park, drop off or pick up students at any time. Thank you.

The red cones at the beginning of the bus line are where parents are to drop off students. If we are all patient and considerate of others, it goes very smoothly. If you park and walk your student up, please do so in the crosswalk at the south end of the building only. Please do not walk between busses.

If you are getting out of your car please wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Building Protocals

Our school staff members have been working collaboratively to establish the health measures that will be in place when our students return. These protocols include:

  • Distancing in hallways and classrooms
  • Regular, scheduled handwashing with soap and water
  • Limiting the sharing of personal items and supplies to small groups and disinfecting between use
  • Keeping student personal items limited and making sure they are individually labeled and placed in student cubbies, desks, containers or backpacks.
  • Your child may have seen evidence of these protocols through various signage in the building.

Our staff will be modeling proper protocols for our students, including line ups, movement in the halls and distancing. In addition, we have placed reminders throughout the schools about the importance of taking simple steps to support our health and safety measures.

The signs are in place to encourage students to wash their hands frequently, maintain appropriate distancing, help locate disinfecting stations and reminders on wearing face coverings. There is also signage on each UCS school entrance reminding everyone about COVID-19 protocols.


  • For the safety of our staff and students, parents/visitors will not be allowed in the building unless they have an approved appointment.
  • If you need to check your child out of school early, you will need to walk up to the main entrance, buzz the intercom and request your child be released.
  • Be prepared to show ID so we can verify you are authorized to pick up the student.
  • The student will check out with the office staff and then walk out the front entrance to the parent.
  • If your child needs to check in late, simply walk him/her to the front door, buzz the intercom, state the reason for being late, and the student will be allowed to enter the building.


We love having parents volunteer in our schools. Unfortunately, we need to limit the interactions among adults and students to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.

Visitors are not permitted at school at this time. If you do have a need to meet personally with school staff, please call ahead to make an appointment. Before you arrive, please make sure you have completed a self-screening process (see appendix for self-screening document), wear a face covering and use hand sanitizer as you enter the building. Be sure to have your photo ID available.

PTO News/Meetings

Check out the GPTO page this week for more exciting content on activities, volunteering and fundraising. New content will be added weekly, so please do not forget to click the link below, sign up to be notified of website changes and also follow us on facebook at

UCS is Hiring


In anticipation of the need for certain positions upon a return to in-person instruction, Utica Community Schools Human Resources Department continues to actively recruit for the following personnel:

Bus Drivers

Utica Community Schools bus drivers get our students to and from school safely every day and are among the first and last members of our team to interact with students each day. UCS bus driver starting wage is $17.50 per hour with increases for experience and includes a competitive benefit package. Interested qualified candidates should complete an application at our website: under the employment tab. The district will train persons who are interested in obtaining a CDL license for the purpose of UCS employment. Call 586-797-7113 for more information.


Utica Community Schools paraprofessionals (teacher assistants) support varied students populations ranging from children with special needs to limited English speakers. This rewarding work generally follows the school schedule and calendar. UCS paraprofessionals starting wage is approximately $13.00 per hour with increases for experience. Interested qualified candidates should complete an application at our website: under the employment tab. The district provides training as applicable. Call 586-797-1130 for more information.

Skilled Trades

Utica Community Schools employs an internal team of heat and vent technicians, plumbers, electricians, mechanics and other skilled trades to maintain our facilities and bus fleet. Some industrial or commercial experience is generally preferred. Interested qualified candidates should complete an application at our website: under the employment tab. Call 586-797-7130 for more information.

Opportunities for Employment Through Third Party:

Substitute Teachers

Substitute teachers provide a vital role in the education of students as they provide continuity during teacher absence and bring their own experiences into the classrooms. For this year, UCS is offering up to five guaranteed days per week at $125.00 per day for qualifying individuals. Interested candidates should sign up with, the districts third party service provider and once approved, notify the Human Resources Department, or any UCS principal, of availability. Retired former UCS teachers should call Human Resources directly at 586-797-1140. The district provides training as applicable.

Temporary School Support

Utica Community Schools is seeking persons to assist in a variety of ways within our schools upon the return of in-person instruction. These will be temporary assignments that range from assisting in the office to assisting teachers and other staff in and around the school. The positions are paid at $13.00 per hour with part time schedules available. Individuals should first have recommendation of principal prior to pursuing this employment through third party employer, at


PowerSchool is Now More Powerful!

PowerSchool has resources for UCS parents that are accessible through its Unified Classroom. PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom has replaced the traditional Parent Portal. It is the district's student information system used for scheduling, attendance, grades, and delivery of report cards.

Helpful instructional guides are listed below.

Unified Classroom account for a New Parent

Click here for detailed instructions
Use: Parent Access - NEW PARENT

Unified Classroom account for a parent who has an original Parent Portal Account
Click here for detailed instructions
Use: Parent Access - EXISTING PARENT

Unified Classroom account for a student

Click here for detailed instructions
Use: Student Access

Unified Classroom login URL:

Mobile App Parents and students will still be able to access student grades and attendance by using the mobile PowerSchool App.

If you are experiencing issues with the PowerSchool Mobile App, please see the appropriate Frequently Asked Questions document below:

For all users:
Click here for detailed instructions and FAQ

To login to PowerSchool:

Click here or paste link into browser:


Our Graebner teachers will be taking attendance first thing in the morning and right after lunch daily. If your child will be absent and missing live instruction, please call the absence into the office at 586-797-5099