Dr. Christine Johns

Home » Teaching and Learning » Opening doors to opportunity

Opening doors to opportunity

Fall is all about new beginnings at UCS. Last month teachers, staff and administrators opened our doors and welcomed students back from break.

Back to school is also no exception to the inspiring acts of kindness that come from all corners of our fabulous community. Backpacks loaded with school supplies from the Kiwanis organization, local church groups, and countless residents, flooded our buildings. This caring community truly wants to make sure all our students have a great start to the school year.

For some back-to-school is exciting, for others a bit daunting, but regardless it is overflowing with new possibilities. Friends becoming reacquainted, teachers greeting classrooms filled with fresh smiling faces, and parents working to keep even busier schedules on track. School is officially in session for everyone in the UCS family.

No matter if it is the first week or the last, academics always takes center stage. At UCS, we are committed to providing our students a rigorous, high-quality education that reflects our district’s core values. Paramount among those core values are:
-Parents are important partners in the learning process
-Excellence is expected and celebrated
-Achievement takes hard work, persistence and effort

At our recent open houses, you may have heard us discussing the district’s core values. For me, seeing that crucial education partnership in action, parents supporting their children and their school community, is truly what makes UCS so special.

Achievement does take hard work, and with the recent release of elementary student testing data from the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP), secondary student testing data from the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), UCS students continue to outpace their county, state and national peers on standardized tests. Parents, please reach out to your child’s principal or teacher for an in depth discussion on what this data means for your student. While we celebrate these results, our work as educators means we must keep moving the bar forward, providing the excellence and rigor our students deserve.

At UCS, we continue to provide individual professional learning opportunities to assist our educators in implementing instructional strategies that accelerate student learning. This year, literacy consultants at each elementary school are working in concert with their colleagues to provide direct support to our earliest learners. In addition, this year marks the second year implementation of a new mathematics series. Our focus is to create a strong foundation in that allows students to be on track for advanced mathematics including taking Algebra I by eighth grade – an important standard that serves as a gateway to their future.

During the last few months, there has been a flurry of construction activity at school buildings throughout the district as extensive bond issue improvements are ongoing. We certainly thank you for your support, which is enhancing our children’s learning environments, creating safe and functional places for teaching and learning every day. You can view the progress anytime at www.uticak12.org/2018bond/updates.

We work hard at UCS to open doors to a myriad of opportunities for each one of our nearly 27,000 students. As everyone settles into their routines, one thing is clear; our community has once again come together for student success.

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