From The Principal

Lietz Picture

Happy Winter Break Chieftain Families!

Though we are still a couple weeks from the start of the next decade, the 20’s are almost upon us!  I’ll begin by wishing everyone a very happy holiday!  It’s a busy weekend with Hanukkah starting on Sunday night, Christmas on Wednesday, Kwanza on Thursday and of course New Years the following Tuesday.  We have a lot to celebrate!  I hope you are all able to spend time with loved ones and find enjoyment.  As we enter what is a joyful holiday season, I ask that we all remember the holidays are not always a time of celebration and some of our Chieftain community struggle through this time of year. Be an open door and open mind to those who may need it over the holiday season.  

As we wrap up 2019 and excitedly enter 2020, we have a great deal to be proud of at Utica High!  As we leave December on a high note with athletic victories, thousands of dollars raised for charities, families adopted for the holiday and incredible performances from our band, choir and thespian troupes, we are truly grateful for our talented students and supportive families.  Last month our award-winning journalists traveled to a national conference in Washington DC and just this past weekend, our Thespians showed their prowess as they earned 15 superior and excellent ratings and brought home over $1.1 million dollars in scholarships from the state festival! 

We look ahead to a semester that’s coming quickly to an end.  Exams will be on January 15th – 17th and during those days, shared time classes will run on an alternative schedule and UCSI and UCMST students will not travel to their programs on those days.  The half-day exam schedule follows the following week with:

Wednesday Jan. 15th:  1st and 2nd Hour Exams
Thursday Jan. 16th: 3rd and 4th Hour Exams
Friday Jan 17th: 5th and 6th Hour Exams

Students must pass two of three segments to receive a passing Semester 1 grade.  Specifically, the Student Handbook says, “beginning in 9th grade, any combination of two failing marks within the semester will result in a failing grade regardless of the mathematical average.”  You must pass with a high enough percentage to earn an overall passing grade based on 40%/40%/20% weighting of the two quarters and the exams respectively.  As such, it’s incredibly important that students make the most out of these last few weeks and take advantage of our Chieftain Writing Center and Tutoring during lunch hours!

As we come back on Monday, January 6, the race to those exams will play out quickly, just over two weeks from our return to exam day! In addition, Superintendent Scholarship applications are due Monday, January 6, the day we come back to school.  The week after exams is shortened by Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on Monday, January 20.  Utica will continue its tradition of our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.  This year’s team of student leadership follows the lead of its predecessors and has grown more ambitious with their projects!  We hope to have a larger turn out than ever!  Students wishing to sign up for the Day of Service can at the following link:

On the week we return from break, we will be providing UCS HelpDesk support to students and parents who are struggling with the updates that PowerSchool has made to its App and login process.  Our UCS HelpDesk will be onsite at Utica High School’s main office from 10:15am – 3:30pm on Wednesday January 8.  Our tech team will be able to answer questions and help you successfully access the app. 

As we start 2020, we begin to sprint toward our culminating events.  We have Midwinter and Spring Breaks to look forward to in the coming months. The Tuesday after Spring Break begins our testing week and starts with the Junior SAT and is followed by the Workkeys (11th grade) and PSAT10 (10th) on Wednesday.  A schedule with that adjustment will be released in March.  From there, it’s a short ride to the year’s end and Commencement at Oakland University’s O’rena on Saturday, June 6th.  As we end Semester 1 and barrel toward Semester 2, it’s important to hang onto our hats.  It moves fast!

I wish you and your family a very happy holidays and wish you the best for 2020! See you next year!


Tom Lietz

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.