From The Principal

PrincipalLietz

Dear Chieftain Families,

June certainly gave us its best over the weekend as we welcomed a very unofficial start to summer! It was hot, it was fun, and it is tempting to think we’re done, but we’re not yet!  We need to finish the last two weeks of high school for our sophomores and juniors and makes the last couple weeks of 16-17 lead to a great 17-18.  That being said, we have this full week of classes left, and we move into exam week.  The exam schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, June 13: 1st and 2nd Hour Exams (release at 10:28)
Wednesday, June 14: 3rd and 4th Hour Exams (release at 10:28)
Thursday, June 15: 5th and 6th Hour Exams (release at 10:28)

Summer is a great time for students to get caught up and to get ahead!  There’s certainly no value lost in students reading and studying over the summer.  This is a time to relax from our regimented schedule during the year without losing that quest for learning that’s so difficult to rekindle in the fall. Reading every day is a great motivator.  Three weeks ago, I shared the data on using Khan Academy to improve SAT Scores.  Just 6 hours of studying makes dramatic improvement.  That August test is right around the corner, but there’s still plenty of time to put the effort in to see marked improvement. 

For our juniors specifically, and our sophomore parents can really do a lot by getting ahead on this, this is also a time to get ready for the college application process.  Juniors should be scavenging Naviance, using the College Match system, and figuring out where they’re planning on applying in the fall and what that entails.  It’s never too soon to start writing those personal statements and taking a crack at the Common App questions which were just announced.  You can read those at http://www.commonapp.org/whats-appening/application-updates/common-application-announces-2017-2018-essay-prompts. It is my goal to continue to increase the number of early application and early action applicants.  Those students have an increasing chance of getting those coveted spots in competitive institutions in the state and around the nation. 

Utilizing the College Match and Scholarship Match functions, students have unparalleled access to information on entrance criteria, testing requirements, application process, and information on majors and the colleges themselves, and, they can use the Scholarship match to align them with opportunities custom fit to them as individuals.  There are video lessons on everything from FASFA to taking the SAT or ACT again.  Students will be using this tool with counselors and our Career Development Facilitator in the fall to apply for colleges and to complete their Individual Development Plans (IDPs) but it’s a tool that you should start using with your student now!  You just need to go to: http://connection.naviance.com/uticahs.

As parents and students work through this process, you should help your student/s think about the long-term plan.  I’ve spent a lot of time discussing college, because over 80% of our students start there.  However, the summer is a great time to think about how to maximize resources and experiences to be successful.  Students and families may look for ROTC experiences and/or military services as a means to not only help a child build character and experience, but also defer costs for college. A variety of national service organizations exist that can defer costs.  And, for students with a very concrete plan, Macomb Community College can significantly defer costs.  These are all exceptional options, as are trade-schools and apprenticeship experiences, but the key is having a plan.

Finally, this summer, Utica High School will be under construction!  If you drove in this morning through the north entrance, you may have noticed a dumpster.  Work started this weekend! The plan is an extensive one that includes renovation of the three remaining main bathrooms (North upstairs and downstairs main hallway, and Auditorium bathrooms) as well as renovation of an existing unisex bathroom on the south end and a new bathroom on the north end, near the north aux and auditorium.  This process of bringing the bathrooms into the 21st century was planned in our ’07-’08 bond that saw the major renovations of Utica High, but this last mile was delayed.  As a result of very savvy fiscal management by UCS it will result in additional work at Utica High including the renovation of original casework from the 1950’s in a number of classrooms as well as work in our upstairs classrooms to give drop ceilings, new lighting and flooring, all of which date back into the 1970’s.  New LED lighting will be made available in other parts of the building as well.  This upkeep, along with some mechanical upkeep, will take us through the summer.  The main office will remain open, but the remainder of the school building will be closed.  So, please pardon our dust, but we’re confident you’re going to love the results in September. 

Our Back-to-School Registration dates have been set from 8am – 11am on the following days:

Seniors – Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Juniors – Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Sophomores – Thursday, August 24, 2017

Students will be able to purchase parking passes (juniors and seniors only), homecoming tickets, athletic passes and more on those dates.  Registration will be in the North Auxiliary Gym.  If construction creates any challenges, we will notify you!  Until then, continue to encourage your students to finish strong and make the most of these last two weeks! 

Tom Lietz
Principal


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Utica High School Vision Statement: 
Empowering students to reach their full potential as members of a global community. 

Utica High School Mission Statement:  
The mission of Utica High School is to develop successful learners with the support of our community of educators, students, and parents. Our diverse student body will have an equitable, rigorous, and comprehensive education in a safe and supportive environment that promotes self-discipline, motivation, and excellence in learning. We aim to cultivate individual learners with active and creative minds, and a sense of understanding and compassion for others.