Week of February 8, 2021
Attendance Line: (586) 797-6799 (May access 24/7)
If you need anything, PLEASE EMAIL the office staff at email@example.com ; someone will respond promptly.
Reach the Office @ (586) 797-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mrs. Candice Merivirta, Principal
- Mrs. Rita Savage, Administrative Assistant
- Mrs. Cathy Baumgartner, Office Clerk
FEBRUARY ~ Black History Month
FEB 11 - 100th Day of School
FEB 14-20 National Random Acts of Kindness Week
FEB 15-19 - No classes. Winter Break
FEB 22 - School Resumes
FEB 24 - WEDNESDAY: Online learning only. No in-person instruction.
MAR 3 - WEDNESDAY: Online learning only. No in-person instruction.
Our kindergarten – sixth grade students will continue to follow the ½ day AM and PM hybrid schedule . Through the week of March 1st, we will be embedding a remote instructional day every Wednesday for all kindergarten – sixth grade students. These days allow for more personalized instruction for our students. The schedule is critical to supporting our students and our school’s academic mission during this continued transition. We recognize that developmentally our students need consistency with learning routines, socialization, connecting with their teacher and classmates on a regular basis.
MESSAGE FROM MRS. MERIVIRTA
I hope this finds you well!
Thank you to all parents who participated in our Winter Conferences; your participation in your child's education is of great importance! Working together, we will help ensure the success of our entire school community!
Please be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming mid-winter break. There will be no school next week (February 15-19). Please encourage your child to read for enjoyment, write for pleasure and use math to help in the kitchen! Take time to play games, relax and enjoy your time together.
With the cold weather that this time of year brings please be sure that your child is dressed appropriately ~ boots, winter coat, mittens, hats and scarves. If you are in need of a winter coat for your child please call the office and we will help!
As always, thank you for all you do to help support your child and the Wiley school community. We truly appreciate your support; we could not do it without you!
Your Voice Matters
The letter also contains a link for a brief survey. Parents are asked to complete the survey, indicating your views on plans for moving forward.
Please take time to complete the survey and share your input so that the decisions can be made that reflect the needs of our families; the survey closes on February 21, 2021.
Black History Month
As we continue to celebrate the many achievements of notable African Americans it is important to also reflect on the adversity and struggles that they have faced and too often still do.
Through literature, we can help our students to understand the inequities as well as ways that we can work to ensure equality and fairness for all.
As mentioned last week, the Black History Month 2021 theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the spread of Black families across the United States. Several good stories to share with your child include:
- Little People, Big Dreams: Rosa Parks by Lisbeth Carter
- My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King by Martin Luther King III
- The Watson's Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
Below is a short video by Kid President reflecting on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Enjoy with your family!
Welcome Class of 2034! Online Open House
Thursday, March 18th, 7pm
This is an online event.
2021-22 kindergarten registration now open in Utica Community Schools
Calling parents of the Class of 2034!
Registration materials are now available for families of students who will be entering the Utica Community Schools kindergarten program this fall.
In addition, families will be invited to multiple virtual or face-to-face activities to welcome them to the UCS family, including a March 18 virtual kindergarten open house.
“Kindergarten is an exciting time for children and parents, and we are pleased to begin welcoming our newest members of the Utica Community Schools family,” interim superintendent Robert Monroe said. “We are proud of our nationally-recognized, developmentally appropriate kindergarten program offered in a nurturing, supportive and safe learning environment.”
UCS provides students comprehensive instruction in core academic areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. Students also receive instruction from specialized teachers for media center/technology, art, music and physical education.
In addition, UCS offers a personalized blended learning program at the early elementary level that allows teachers to use technology – iPads, laptops and SMART boards – to support an environment based on each student’s learning style and pace. The program has been honored at national and state levels for its innovation and impact on learning. All kindergarten students receive a personal device that is preloaded with apps tailored to their instructional needs and used by UCS teachers.
Children are eligible for kindergarten if they turn five years old on or before September 1, 2021. However, children who turn five between September 1 and December 1, 2021 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten if their parents submit a waiver form.
Parents can begin the registration process by visiting http://www.uticak12.org/kindergarten.
The on-line process will allow families to sign up for kindergarten and upload necessary documents. Documents include:
- Child's birth certificate
- Michigan driver's license, Michigan ID or appropriate employment picture ID
- Lease agreement, closing papers or property tax bill
- Immunization records detailing the day, month and year your child was vaccinated against measles, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B and other serious illnesses.
Once registered, parents will receive an outreach from their child’s schools with information and activities that will help their child transition during this exciting time.
One important activity for 2021-22 kindergarten families is a virtual kindergarten open house, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 18.
At the virtual open house, parents will have the opportunity to learn about the district's curriculum and interact with school staff.
PARKING LOT SAFETY
Also, it is necessary for parents to get out of cars and pick up their child; students are not permitted to cross the parking lot without an adult.
Especially of importance, the expectation is that when school buses are pulling out ALL CARS MUST WAIT until all buses have departed; please do not cut into the bus line.
Thank you for following the expectations; this will ensure safety for all!
Help is Just a Click Away!
The Virtual Library Card gives students access to digital resources from the local library. The Virtual Library Card - Tutor.com provides online tutoring and homework help for students.
MID-WINTER BREAK TRAVEL
As Utica Community Schools approaches mid-winter break, the school community including staff and students are reminded to familiarize themselves with all applicable guidelines for travel as issued in the recent Presidential Executive Order and Center for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Guidance (see links at the bottom of this note).
Notably, the Presidential Order establishes that the CDC recommendations for international air travel be required at this time. For Utica Community Schools this means both students and staff must adhere to the following upon international air travel return 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 (see below)
§ Get tested for COVID-19 upon return from international air travel. This is best conducted during the window of three to five days after return
o If test result is positive for COVID-19, follow all applicable quarantine requirements
o 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
- 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 should apprise the school in advance of any international air travel so that any quarantining absence is appropriately recorded. Similarly, staff must apprise Brooke Insana with the Human Resources Department (and principal/supervisor) in advance of any international air travel so that any quarantining absence is appropriately recorded and can be planned for. Please be advised that Utica Community Schools is not obligated to provide expanded remote learning for students nor offer remote work for staff quarantined following voluntary international travel.
This communication is intended for all district personnel, as further messaging on this topic will be provided to building principals shortly to share with their communities.
CDC Guidelines: After You Travel Internationally | CDC
DRESSING FOR THE WEATHER
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.
Staff, students and visitors are required to self screen daily. Please be sure to review the following screener every day before sending your child to school or visiting:
Please note, if your child is sent home due to exhibiting symptoms, they will be released from the ISM room (in the SAM Suite) as this is where our Health Room is located.
ENTERING THE BUILDING
Now that construction is complete, please note that all visitors to the building will enter through the secure entrance marked MAIN ENTRANCE. Parents will continue to be required to be buzzed in and show identification when entering the building. The sheet for signing in and out of the building will be in the vestibule area.
Once again, thank you for your support of the last bond vote; those funds have made these projects possible!
Kindergarten enters through the front double doors. All other grade levels enter and exit through their grade level doors around the back of the school. 1st and 2nd through Door 5, 3rd and 4th (and Mrs. Klida's 5th) through Door 6, 5th and 6th through Doors 7 and 8. If you have a Kindergarten student, please pick them up first and then walk to the back to get your other child(ren).
All students enter the building at 9:05 AM for the morning session and 1:20 PM for the afternoon session. There will be adult supervision at each of the doors until 9:15 AM and 1:25 PM to let students in. IF you arrive later than that, please have your child come to the main office to enter (as we do not want students behind the building without supervision).
While attending school online, attendance is required. For Virtual Academy students, attendance will be taken at 8:20 AM and 12:10 PM. For students following the district plan (remote or face to face), attendance will be taken daily at 9:10 AM and at 1:30 PM.
Students that do not log on will be marked absent for the day; if they sign in within the first 20 minutes after attendance has been taken (9:30 AM for remote learners and 8:40 AM for VA students/1:40 PM for remote learners and 12:50 for VA learners) students will be marked tardy.
It is important for consistency and for fostering student responsibility that students remain online throughout the day. In addition, the morning meeting and end of day meeting (3:00 PM Virtual Academy and 3:50 PM remote learners) are very important as teachers will be focusing on meeting social and emotional needs of students.
If your child is going to be absent for the day, please call the 24 hour Attendance Line at (586) 797- 6799. In addition, you may choose to send an email to your child's teacher.
If your child does not attend regularly, the staff and I will be reaching out to find out how we can assist. If absences persist, it may constitute truancy and the matter will be addressed with the truancy officer.
Thank you for your help in this important matter! If we can be assistance, please let us know.
UTICA CARES: SUPPORT AND WELLNESS
The Utica Teaching and Learning Staff is happy to announce a POSITIVE weekly message to encourage all members of our school community to spread a little kindness!
Each week you will receive a MONDAY MOMENTS which includes a quote, a thought, and a challenge.
Please support the initiative and find ways to intentionally brighten someone else's life during these challenging times.
This month's theme is Get Optimistic; please read the note below, find your empowering song, and stand tall! One of my empowering songs is HAPPY by Pharrell ~ sing along!
District Employment Opportunities
In anticipation of the need for various positions upon return to in-person instruction, Utica Community Schools Human Resource Department is actively recruiting for various personnel positions. Please click on the letter below to learn about the various positions and how to apply if interested.