From The Principal

Lietz Picture

Dear Utica High families, 

It never fails that the October newsletter brings with it an opening about fall finally arriving.  Despite the near 80-degree day we’re set to have today, by the weekend, I think we’ll appreciate warmer jackets and the comforts of fall!  We had a busy week and homecoming was a success despite our shared disappointment for the football team on Friday.  Anyone who was there saw they played hard and really did an incredible job!  Hats off to all our athletes.  From soccer and tennis to girl’s swim and volleyball and all the rest, our athletes have played hard!  I share as much as I can through announcements and social media and love pictures and information.  If you’re a parent and are not seeing enough of your student’s extra-curricular being mentioned, please send me information, and I’m happy to share it!    

I have sent quite a bit of communication about the PSAT/NMSQT and its importance to our juniors!  If your junior has signed up, it’s important that they begin practicing for that test – two weeks from Saturday – and Khan Academy provides an amazing tool to do so!  Your student can log into their account and literally see their personalized strengths and weaknesses, and it will tailor the practice to their needs.  This exam is not only the qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship for juniors but is the best first practice opportunity for the SAT that will determine college entrance for most of our students!  We still have a few tests left if there are juniors still interested in taking the exam.

Fall has really become college-admissions season!  Our visits form regional colleges and universities are already wrapping up, and we are focusing our efforts to position students well for their post-secondary admission process, be that college, university, trade-school or our military and other options.  We have I continue to challenge parents and students to stretch outside of these bounds.  There are a number of students already applied to college.  Currently that number sits at 20%, almost 7% higher than we were this year last time, which is great, and I believe we can do better! With the opportunities for Early Admission/Early Decision before our students, it is important to keep the end of October in front of us.  Early admission is a time in which selective schools and some rolling admission (e.g. Michigan State Honors colleges) begin accepting to fill their target number of students.  The pool of potential students increases exponentially between Nov. 1 and Jan. 1 making this season prime time to apply if you know where you want to go!  I encourage families to capitalize on this by also thinking about applying to schools you may have felt out of your reach.  

Our Naviance tools allow you and your student/s to explore colleges, see whether it’s the right fit personally and academically via their scatterplots and other tools. Most parents and students rule out highly selective schools because of cost, and I would challenge you on that assumption as well! Did you know that for many parents, Harvard and Princeton might be the same or less money than Wayne State?  A family with a gross income of under $120,000 with no other students in college can expect to pay roughly $17,000/year for room, board and tuition at these two Ivy League schools based on their tuition calculators.  The moral of the story is, aim high and take a look at what your options truly encompass!  

Finally, we have a busy two weeks ahead of us.  We have conferences on Thursday, October 10th from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm and from 4 – 8 pm.   

Have a wonderful start to October!


Tom Lietz

Orange Utica U


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.


For the spring of 2018, eleventh graders will take the Michigan Merit Examination (MME).  The MME consists of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) as the state administered college assessment and the ACT WorkKeys for College and Career readiness.  Additionally, the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) assesses for science and social studies.  The tenth grade students will be given the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) 10 assessment for College and Career Readiness.

To ensure all tenth and eleventh grade students have every opportunity to be successful on their particular assessment(s), the following testing schedule will be implemented for Tuesday, April 10, 2018 and Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018: 11th GRADE TESTING
7:20 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Standard Testing Time)

11th grade students will report their home school at 7:10 a.m. and will be dismissed after testing.
10th and 12th grade students will report to school at 12:30 p.m.
Afternoon classes, 12:35 p.m. – 2:14 p.m., will be held for 10th and 12th grade students.
All MST/CSI classes are cancelled.
All shared-time programs are cancelled.
Lunch WILL NOT be served to students on this day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018: 10th and 11th GRADE TESTING
7:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Standard Testing Time)
Regular school day for 10th and 11th grade students.
12th grade students will report to school at 12:00 p.m.
Afternoon classes, 12:15 p.m. – 2:14 p.m., will be held for all 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.
All MST/CSI classes are cancelled.
All shared-time programs are cancelled.
Lunch will not be served to 12th grade students on this day. 

This schedule is an additional measure to provide our students every opportunity for success.  Additionally, it ensures that every student’s time in school is time well spent.  For more information regarding these assessments, refer to the following links:

SAT and PSAT 10:

ACT WorkKeys:

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.