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Return To School

Dear Parents/Guardians,


Throughout UCS, the steady increase in Back-to-School activities are signaling that we are just around the corner from the start of the new school year. There is renewed energy on the school grounds as the bands are marching and the teams are starting their seasons. The big yellow buses are back as our dedicated bus drivers practice their routes. Back-to-School events are planned and classrooms are being finished as our teachers and staff members engage final preparations for the year ahead.


I realized this year how much I missed these Back-to-School traditions. With the new year, synergy occurs as teams play in front of hometown fans, friends and teachers reacquaint after the summer vacation and band students make music together. As Stevenson junior Chloe Zaharof says about practicing with her marching band, “this feels normal. We all love being at band. We all enjoy each other’s company; it is nice to get together as a family again.”


This makes us determined – now more than ever – to maintain in-person learning in a safe and positive school environment. We can all remember the loss experienced when the schools were ordered closed in March 2020. Today, as the COVID-DELTA numbers grow and the health community prepares for a surge, we have the ability to keep our schools open.  

There are strong and divided views around the pandemic. To be successful this year, we must find innovative solutions to our divisions by working together. As adults, we need to model the values, attitudes and behaviors that create a strong community: Listening to each other, seeking to understand and respect differing viewpoints, being willing to engage in shared problem solving for the community’s greater good, and finding common ground.  


You can help Utica Community Schools create a positive future. Please engage in daily screening and keep children home if they do not feel well or if they run a fever. This is a critical family responsibility that impacts others. Let’s not wait for mandates to reduce the pandemic’s impact. Over 26,000 students are watching and depending on us. This takes all of us working together.

Back to School  

The UCS team is in constant communication with local health officials and community leaders. We closely monitor mitigation and transmission levels. We will take action if COVID-19 continues to spread and impact our school environment.


Utica Community Schools joins all major health agencies in strongly recommending that individuals wear face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For now, this is a personal choice for families as we closely monitor the impact of variants on our community. Many of you have been vaccinated and this helps reduce the spread. If you are not vaccinated, please consider available vaccines


Regardless of what we choose, we must demonstrate respect and civility in our community. Students mirror the actions of adults. In an uncertain world, one thing must be certain; when students and adults come to a UCS school or UCS activity, they will be respected and safe.


Your best source of information on the latest school protocols can be found at our district website and the chart that is included in our Essential Parent Guide. Already, we are evaluating large community gatherings in our district, such as open houses, to determine how these events should be delivered by our schools. This afternoon, families will be receiving information on new bus routes. Through a federal Center for Disease Control order, Macomb County is requiring that face coverings are used in all public transportation, which includes our buses. Students and adults are required to wear a face covering while riding a UCS school bus. This is the same national transportation order that you may have experienced if you flew on an airplane since the pandemic.  


This year, the terms “rebound” and “accelerate” will often be heard. Rebound means we are continuing to come back from March 2020. Accelerate means we are gaining momentum and pushing beyond where we were in the days before the pandemic.


We are accelerating learning so that every student can realize their potential. We are creating an environment where students rebound and engage together once again. Working together as a community, we have the resources and capability to define and create a vibrant future, but it will take all of us.


Thanks for your support and assistance as we start a great new year!  



Robert S. Monroe
Superintendent of Schools