Dolphin Dispatch

April 28

Virtual Academy Applications

Please include the following information in your next communication to parents. You may also use the attached logo (1A).

The Utica Community Schools Virtual Academy is now accepting applications for families seeking a virtual learning option featuring the district’s nationally recognized academic programs. “Our Virtual Academy offers the choice to combine the district’s educational excellence with a virtual environment,” Interim Superintendent Robert Monroe said. “We are proud to now offer the academy as part of the Utica Community Schools portfolio of options that meet our students’ unique needs and interests.”

The virtual academy gives families virtual access to K-12 programs offered through the Utica Community Schools, including core elementary and specials and secondary elective and required courses. Students can participate in extra-curricular activities, including marching band and athletics, through their home schools.

Applications and more information (including an updated question and answer sheet) are available at: The application period ends May 2.

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Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Well-Being Program

Please share the attached (2A) flyer with teachers and the community regarding our next Well-Being Live event. This session is for students to assist other students with their emotional well-being. Guiding documents for students to assist with their elementary and/or secondary peers will be available on the UCS Wellness page. UCS Wellness - Utica Community Schools (

Updates to Social Emotional District Initiatives

  • We All Matter: A Virtual YouTube Live Event for Parents and Students Tuesday, May 11, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • We All Matter: Social and Emotional Health and Wellness Guide for Students

PTO Spring Fundraiser!

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MISD Fourth and Fifth Grade Daughters/Mothers Maturation Program

The Macomb Intermediate School District will be presenting another maturation program for fourth grade 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 Monday, May 3, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. The attached (14A) flyer has registration details and should be made available as soon as possible to families of all fourth grade and fifth grade girls.

Important Safety Reminders

Now that it is getting nicer outside with weather permitting more students to walk to school. I also want to take this opportunity to remind us all of a few things that we can do to make this a safe place to drop off and pick up children.

Parents are to use ONLY the main lot to park and walk their children in using a crosswalk only OR drop off your child at the curb by pulling all the way up and next to curb so the traffic can keep going. Everyone must only use the drop off between the cones for student drop off.

Especially the front parking lot that is for teachers and staff (there is a sign-there are cones) may not be used to drop off or pick up students. Several complaints have come in from walking parents/students that cars going in and out during dismissal and arrival are very dangerous to everyone's safetly.

Leave the bus lane free of traffic for busses. Many busses come later after the first couple have come and gone already. If the bus has its blinker on, you must yield to the bus. They are all on their way to a late school that needs their students to get to school on time as well.

Pets (any pet) may not be brought onto school property. This is true everywhere in the district. This includes puppies, dogs on leashes, and even really really cute ones. The school district is liable for student safety at all times while on the property during school hours.

COVID-19: Updated Travel Guidance

As Utica Community Schools resumes school, work and other in-person activities following Spring Break, the school community including staff and students are reminded to familiarize themselves with all updated guidelines relative to return from travel. The most recent issuance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Presidential Executive Order Travel Guidance is dated April 2, 2021. Please reference the links below:

As a reminder, persons not fully vaccinated must adhere to the following upon return from international air travel and prior to resuming in-person school or work within the district:

  • Quarantine at home immediately upon return from international air travel. This should be for a minimum of seven (7) or ten (10) calendar days.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 upon return from international air travel. Two types of viral tests are acceptable: PCR and/or rapid (antigen). This is best conducted during the window of three to five days after return.
    • If test result is positive for COVID-19, follow all applicable isolation requirements.
    • If test result is negative for COVID-19, continue to self-monitor, and may return to school or work after the full seven days, provided no symptoms emerge.
  • If an individual does not get tested within the window indicted above, she/he is to self-monitor for ten days and may return to school or work after the full ten days, provided no symptoms emerge.

Persons who have been fully vaccinated and/or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months must still follow the above listed procedure but may resume in-person school or work immediately following confirmation of a negative result (test must be during the window of three to five days after return).

Even upon completing quarantine, individuals who have engaged in international air travel should continue to distance from medically fragile persons for fourteen days from return.

Students and/or staff who must quarantine upon return to in-person school or work time must notify the school (students) or the Human Resources Department (staff).

COVID-19: Close Contact Quarantine Update

The Macomb County Health Department has recently issued a notable modification to the quarantine window for persons identified as close contact to a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. This revised window is applied effective immediately for both staff and students:

  • Close contacts are required to quarantine at home for fourteen (14) days after the last contact with a positive person (previously 10 days).
  • Day zero (0) is the day of last contact and the quarantine period concludes at midnight on day fourteen (14).
  • Following the full fourteen days, individuals may resume in-person work or school provided no symptoms have emerged.

April Meal Distribution

Attention all UCS families, meal distribution for the upcoming week will be as follows:

Seven-day and three-day meal distribution will be available on Wednesday, April 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Eisenhower, Stevenson and Henry Ford II high schools.

Gleaners Food Bank will have a family meal pickup at Stevenson High School on Wednesday, April 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please see the attached flyers (9A, 9B, 9C) for more details.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

Please provide the following parent communication and FAQ attachments (16A, 16B, 16C, 16D) for the P-EBT program. Should you receive inquiries from parents who have not received benefits but believe they are eligible, please verify that the correct address is in PowerSchool and that the student qualifies for free or reduced meals or attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) building. For students that appear to be eligible, parents must complete the MDHHS reconsideration form (16E) and send to MDHHS. Schools must provide a proof document to parents as described on page two of the reconsideration form.

Please share with parent community:

P-EBT provides supplemental food assistance benefits to students who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the program is to make sure no child goes hungry by missing out on school meals.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) partnered during the 2019-2020 school year to provide these critical benefits to over 900,000 students. We are excited to be partnering again for the 2020-2021 school year to provide these benefits to students to help reduce food insecurity. Eligible students must:

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The Bridge to Kindergarten -Young Fives program opening in Utica Community Schools for 2021-22

Utica Community Schools is pleased to announce a new program for parents of kindergarten age students who may need additional time before beginning a traditional program.

The UCS Bridge to Kindergarten – Young Fives program provides young children a year of further development and maturity before entering a formal kindergarten program.

The program will be offered for the first time in the 2021-22 school year.

“The Bridge to Kindergarten -Young Fives program will give many of our youngest students the gift of time as they begin their transition to kindergarten,” Interim Superintendent Robert Monroe said.

The full-day program has been designed and will be taught by highly qualified UCS teachers. The curriculum will integrate early childhood and beginning kindergarten standards that develop strong literacy, math and social and emotional skills in students.

Students will have group and individual work with hands-on activities that are designed around their unique needs. Students will also receive weekly art, media center, music and physical education programs.

The Bridge to Kindergarten – Young Fives will be housed at select elementary schools throughout Michigan’s second largest school district.

For more information, please visit

Self Screening Protocols

We have recently updated the self-screening process for families which reflects the recent changes in health protocols. Each day before you send your child to school, we are asking you to complete the screening process for your child. This is for the protection of your child, their friends at school and our dedicated UCS team. Please screen your child daily before leaving or sending them to school. If your child shows symptoms of COVID-19, DO NOT SEND THEM TO SCHOOL. The revised protocols can be found at this link.

Parking Lot Reminders

  • Do drop off students between the red cones all the way in the front of the bus line
  • Do allow busses to pull out if they have their blinker on
  • Do park and walk your child(ren) across the lot using the coned walkway(s)
  • Do use the main lot only
  • Do turn right out of the parking lot only

Breakfast and Lunch at Graebner

Student breakfasts and lunches are still no charge for this school year, so all students can have a school breakfast and/or lunch that they can order in their classroom.

If bringing a sack lunch from home please remember it so that lunches do not need to be delivered to the office. In addition, we will not be able to accept fast food deliveries from parents to the office for the remainder of the school year in order to keep the mitigation of the virus limited.

Breakfasts will be delivered to the room and a time provided for them to eat breakfast. Those grade levels who have a later lunch may postpone their breakfast time to a little later in the morning. We encourage all students to eat the breakfast the school provides. If your student can't eat the breakfast provided and brings something, it must be peanut/tree nut free. They will have it at the same time provided for the school breakfast in the room.

We will have 5 lunch/recess times to keep the amount of students in the gym at a minimum. This rotation begins at 11:00 and ends at 1:30. Your child's teacher will include your grade level's times in their classroom newsletter.

Like in classrooms, students will have an assigned seat, and we will only put 6 students at each table maximum. Students will be able to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before lunch, after lunch and after recess. Assigned seating and limiting numbers in one area does not only decrease exposure, but also allows for contact tracing if we have a positive Covid case.

Students will have a lunchtime recess, and it may be indoor recess or outdoor recess on a rotating schedule so that classes stay separated from each other.


Arrival 8:10-8:20. Doors will not open before 8:10. Instruction begins at 8:20.

Dismissal is 3:10

We will still be using the outside doors to classrooms and assigned doors for come classes. This will not change. The main lot is the lot for parents to use when bringing students to school. The back lot and front teachers lot should not be used by parents for pick up or drop off at any time for the safety of everyone.

Thank you to everyone who uses sidewalks, crosswalks and lets our busses out when needed! There will be twice as many people in the parking lot and drop off area so please be patient and watch for those crossing the lot. Busses always have the right of way. If they are pulling out or already in line waiting to exit, please allow them to proceed ahead of you and please do not attempt to back out and join the line in front of a bus.

Thank you very much for your cooperation in keep all of our Graeber families safe!

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.

Henry Ford Macomb Hospital School and Community Wellness


Some student laptops are showing a message indicating that the Windows volume activation will expire. If the message is appearing, following the attached instructions (16A) will allow the person using the laptop to reset the activation. The steps must be completed before the date displayed in the error message.

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:

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 Protocols

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/Volunteers 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