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From The Principal

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tlietzheads

September 10, 2021

Good afternoon Utica High Families,

We had another great week at Utica High.  Our sports team saw success in volleyball, swim and dive, tennis, golf and JV football!  We’re hopeful our varsity team does well this evening! It was a great week of learning at Utica High!  Classrooms are buzzing.  Students and staff are doing a fantastic job! 

As we get into the fall, senior students are beginning to start the college search and application process, if they haven’t already and our underclassmen and juniors are in search phase.  Our UHS Counseling Department and District Teaching and Learning departments have provided rich resources for families accessible via our College Info page in the drop-down on our UHS Counseling page.  The UCS College Central page has virtual college visit information, and will be updated with more college information as we get into the fall!

Quarantines continue to be required for any student that has not been a confirmed positive (PCR proof) within 90 days of contact or is not fully vaccinated.  Those two groups are not required to quarantine unless they are symptomatic per the guidance of the Macomb County Health Department.  The quarantine is 10 days from the day of contact. That day is not day 1, but day 0 in this number and they return on day 11 after a full 10 days of quarantine. Recent changes allow for a reduction in quarantine from 10 to 7 days.  The change reads, “The quarantine period may be reduced to 7 days if the contact receives a negative viral (PCR or antigen) test performed at least 5 days after exposure.”  That test must be done by a medical institution and cannot be a home test. 

We had a couple quarantine letters go home this week.  We continue to adjust to the changes from the Macomb County Department of Health and follow their guidance.  As is the case, we are doing our best to reduce interruptions during the day and not pull quarantined kids until after school.  It is important that you make sure phone numbers and emails are updated in your PowerSchool Forms so that we have the right contact information.

We continue to remind our students and families that the health department continues to strongly recommend masking as a preventative measure for stopping the spread of COVID.  The health department also strongly recommends that all persons able to be vaccinated do so.  We continue to require that all students and staff self-screen before leaving their homes. 

Parents, I didn’t do my job this fall, as I forgot to discuss policies about office drop-offs.  We do not take drop-offs at school.  We continue to try to minimize contact and mitigate spread of COVID and contacts. And, we are very short-staffed in our office.  As such, we will continue to limit visitors. We can provide lunch for all students, no one will go hungry.  Students have computers and should be able to access most work on the cloud, and, as a result shouldn’t need to things dropped off. Our offices staff is always happy to help our families, but our students need to be responsible and come to school prepared. 

A reminder Tickets for the Homecoming Dance are available on PaySchools". The dance is Saturday October 9th at 7:30pm.  Guest passes will be available beginning Sept 20th. And the last day for ticket sales is Oct 1.  Our Homecoming Dance will be outdoors at Utica High School.  We have arranged for tents, a dance floor, appropriate restrooms, but will be outside.  As we did with Prom last spring, we will keep the bar for this event incredibly high!  Our Student Council is wonderful and will make this an evening to remember! 

I want to remind parents and student to regularly check their Email for updates from UHS.  We regularly use parent and UCS Student Email for announcements, process changes, and to keep you up to date.  We also important messages to the website under my weekly updates.  Being uninformed could cost opportunities for your child or for you as a parent.  We don’t want that to happen!

Students interested in serving on the UHS Student Mental Health Committee can apply starting today.  Student can read this SMHC flyer and the application is a link on that document. The application deadline is next Friday. Interested students should follow the link and complete the application form. 

Parents today is the final date to enroll in the UCS device insurance program for the 2021-22 school. For more details about this optional program, please visit www.uticak12.org/device. I strongly recommend this process as its quite inexpensive and significantly cheaper than the alternative.

Parents we are still looking for part-time assistance in a variety of clerical and support positions in UCS and specifically here at UHS.  If you’re interested, please let me know and I’ll be happy to get your more information!  Come and join our team! 

Please read this update from our Food Services department about supply chain shortages and how we’re adjusting to those impacts on our student lunches.

As we head into a lovely weekend, we’re also reminded of heavy loss from the events 20 years ago tomorrow.  The attack on 9/11 cannot be forgotten by those of us who lived that experience.  Whether we were connected to it personally or just as a part of that American and global experience, it is indelible.  Today I shared a video memorial, Tribute in Light, from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in my morning announcements. We remember the near 3000 lost who were not just Americans, but nationals of 90 nations around the world.  As the video ends, we will never forget, but as it reminds us, the sun rises again and we as a nation and a world persevere.

Have a great weekend everyone.  I continue to be grateful to serve this incredible community. 

Tom Lietz
Principal