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From The Principal

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Dear Chieftain Families,

Well, February certainly tried its best to send us a message that winter is not over!  My fingers are crossed for some great weather going forward, but this is Michigan and we understand it is what it is!  Thank you for rolling with mother nature’s punches this last week! Aside from the hopeful change of the season, we have reached the midpoint of the 3rd marking period. With that, and thanks to our snow days, we will have our conferences this Tuesday, March 3, from 4 – 7 pm at Utica High.  We wanted to make sure our conferences aligned with this check-in so that adjustments could be made to ensure continued success or right the ship if its steering off course.  Conferences will be in our Main Gym, Cafeteria and Media Center.  If you cannot make conferences, please do not hesitate to reach out to your student’s teacher for questions about progress. 

We are a just more than a month away from spring break and will return from that to the Michigan Merit Exam (MME).  The MME is composed of the SAT, WorkKeys and MSTEP tests for all 11th grade students and the PSAT10 for Utica sophomores.  These are a graduation requirement of UCS.  Those will begin on Tuesday, April 14, the day after we return from Spring break.  Here is the schedule:

Tuesday, April 14, 2020: 11th GRADE TESTING

  • 11th grade students will report to school at 7:10 a.m. and will be dismissed after testing.
  • 12:30 p.m., LCCE special education program, 10th, and 12th grade students will report to school.
  • Afternoon classes, 12:35 p.m. – 2:14 p.m., will be held for LCCE, 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 15, 2020: 10th and 11th GRADE TESTING

  • Regular school day for 10th and 11th grade students.
  • 12:00 p.m., LCCE special education program and 12th grade students will report to school.
  • Afternoon classes, 12:15 p.m. – 2:14 p.m., will be held for all 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.

I will send a letter with more details later this month!

Over the past week, we have run four SAT prep sessions during all core classes for all juniors.  We feel incredibly good about this effort.  It wasn’t perfect, but it certainly offered as wide a net as we could cast to capture near all students.  Within their packet was information on additional offerings through our Community Education program.  But, as importantly, your student should take what they’ve learned and utilize Khan Academy to dig deeper into the areas that they’ve begun to finetune.  These practices are tied to their existing College Board accounts and scores, so it gives accurate earning.  There are 9 other practice tests they can take online or on paper on that site. It’s an incredible resource, and it’s free! 

Though AP Registration was completed in the fall, it remains open through Friday March 6 for two reasons.  First, for students who started second semester in new AP classes, there is an opportunity to register for the exams.  Secondly, for those students who registered and didn’t pay the full amount in the fall, you must pay the full amount by Friday or students will be unable to take the exams.  The link is on the website under “How Do I”.  Any questions can be directed to Mrs. Bronski in counseling. 

Another sign of the spring is that scheduling will begin this month for our class of 2021, 22 and 23.  Our counselors will meet with students in the coming weeks to hand out scheduling documents.  We will have our AP Scheduling Fair on Wed. Mar. 18 and our Elective Fair on Thurs. Mar. 19 during all lunches.  This provides an opportunity for students to speak with peers and teachers about course options, challenges and opportunities.  As scheduling continues, our incredible counselors and Ms. Olson will start meeting with students about AP, Dual Enrollment, elective and other options.  Our teachers will engage in one-on-one conversations with students about scheduling options as well.  Our scheduling options have changed this year as we’ve gone to a district-wide scheduling document.  So, please sit with your student and look at all the opportunities that are available.  As always, we will encourage a rigorous course-load focused on meeting your student’s educational development plan whether that’s to attend a four-year college or go to a trade program. 

As you sit with your students and think about their next year or two years at Utica High, it’s critical to discuss those long-term plans.  Their Career Pathways can help inform those conversations.  The pathways include: Arts and Communication, Business Management Marketing and Technology, Health Sciences, Engineering and Manufacturing and Industrial Technology, Human Services and Natural Resources and Agriscience.  Utica has offerings to help a student achieve success in each of these. Focusing on interest, as well as ability, and asking them to stretch and strive for greater than they may believe possible is critical to our process.  We have incredible AP offerings and have a one-of-a-kind Medical Health Science Program, award winning arts and CTE programs, a great and growing choir, a Jazz Band, and many other options including courses at Utica High and throughout the district.  Yes, the arts are not only a Career Pathway, but an incredibly valued and valuable pathway. The post-secondary conversation should not start senior or even junior year, but sophomore year, or sooner.  It’s never too late, but always better the earlier it happens!

The Naviance program that your student completed this EDP on is available to you and your students to examine those options.  The Naviance tools can help students look at possible career choices, and then from that inventory students can work back to the classes they would take to get there.  They can then use College Match to look for the college that fits based on cost, location, size, programs, majors, and other selections to start narrowing down choices.  College match will then allow you to compare schools, look at required entrance test scores, and GPAs, as well as a host of other information.  After comparing colleges, students can then use the Naviance scatterplot to see how they size up to the averages at that school.  Thought the average GPA may be a 3.5, it’s important to realize there are a lot of exceptions! 

These tools give you as parents, and your students, unprecedented access to the information that ought to be critical in helping you make decisions on classes, on test prep, and on the options that are available to you! And, once your student has been accepted, Scholarship Match will help find a way to subsidize payment of tuition.  Senior parents, this is where you and your students ought to be now!  Not only does it match you to scholarships based on everything from parent jobs and student demographics, but a host of other indicators as well, it also links you directly to the appropriate forms and application deadlines.  Each year millions of scholarship dollars go unclaimed and we’d like to make sure that’s not the case at UHS!

We look forward to a great March, and an exciting spring to follow!


Sincerely,

Tom Lietz
Principal

 

 

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: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/state-partnerships/michigan

ACT WorkKeys: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/workkeys-for-workforce-developers.html

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

Sincerely,