Dr. Christine Johns

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Utica Community Schools is nationally recognized for academic excellence, serving approximately 29,000 students in the cities of Sterling Heights and Utica and in Macomb, Shelby, Ray and Washington townships. It is Michigan’s second largest school district.

Some recent points of points include:

•UCS students annually outperform their statewide and county peers on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) and Michigan Merit Exam/American College Test (MME/ACT).
•UCS graduates of 2012 were accepted to more than 186 colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning.
•More than 250 members of the 2012 graduating class were named UCS Advanced Placement Scholars for having attained a GPA of 3.76 or higher in four or more AP courses.
•UCS offers 27 Advanced Placement courses in its secondary schools and has earned national College Board recognition for increasing AP enrollment – a 60 percent growth since 2007.
•UCS students pass more AP exams than students in any other Michigan district. This success enables many students to graduate from high school with several college credits already completed – gaining both a head start on their degrees and tuition savings for their families.
•UCS is a nationally recognized leader in innovative use of educational technology.
•UCS students have the advantage of a newly upgraded wireless network that provides them high-speed, high-density internet access to myriad new ways to learn, do research and gain deeper knowledge across all content areas.
•UCS is credited by Money magazine as a main factor in naming Shelby Township and Macomb Township (in 2012) and Sterling Heights (in 2010) to its list of Best Small Cities in America.
•UCS high schools Eisenhower and Henry Ford II were the only Macomb County schools named to Newsweek magazine’s 2012 roster of America’s Best High Schools. It’s the third inclusion for Eisenhower and the second for Ford II in this annual national rating of schools proven most effective in producing college-ready graduates.
•UCS provides a unique all-day kindergarten program for every young learner at all 25 of its elementary schools. In addition to teacher-led instruction, ‘All-Day K the Utica Way’ gives each child full access to iPad technology and appropriate learning software to support his or her personalized learning plan.
•UCS established Velocity Jr. in 2012 – a unique educational partnership with Sterling Heights and the city’s Velocity Collaboration Center for business and manufacturing development. Velocity Jr. is designed to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for UCS elementary students through professional mentoring, hands-on learning and real-world application of knowledge.
•UCS installed 300 additional interactive whiteboards in district-wide classrooms this summer, along with new computer notebooks in our elementary schools and new notebooks and desktop computers at all junior and senior high schools. These digital tools enable UCS teachers to better engage our students in all content areas.
•Utica High School is undergoing a major bond issue construction project that, when finished, will have virtually transformed our oldest high school. As voters were promised in 2009 – the goal of parity among our schools has been reached at Utica High, where students now enjoy an Electronic Collaboration Classroom, three new science labs and several new classrooms, security entryways and other improvements. A new media center at UHS is scheduled to open next fall.
•UCS was able to take advantage of federal grant assistance for the Utica High project, which will save district taxpayers more than $10 million in bond costs over 15 years.
•Utica Academy for International Studies (UAIS), our district’s International Baccalaureate program, and Utica Center for Science and Industry (USCI) each produced their first graduating class in June 2012. All 97 UAIS graduates went off to college this fall. And aside from one UCSI student who chose to immediately become an entrepreneur, all the graduates from that program gained college acceptance, as well.
•Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology (UCMST) – our district’s highly competitive program of advanced study for ninth through twelfth graders – achieved a student composite ACT score of 31 this year.
•UCS is marking the fourth year of its unique Mandarin Chinese language immersion program at Oakbrook
Elementary, where kindergarten through third grade students spend half the day being taught reading, mathematics and other subjects in the world’s most widely spoken language.
•UCS offers the AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) at three of our secondary schools – a national college readiness program targeted for students with the ability and desire to go to college but need additional support to reach their potential. Many will be the first in their family to attain higher education.
•UCS continues to implement new programs aimed at closing any achievement gaps between its highest and lowest performing students.
•UCS teachers are working to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the new national initiative to raise the level of teaching and learning in America’s schools to prepare all children for college and career success in the global economy. We are excited to embrace the CCSS ‘thinking curriculum’ that will lead students to gain deeper knowledge and apply it to solve real-world problems.

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