School NewsDistrict News

Recommended School Supplies
Suggested list for 2017-2018
UCS student builds bridges
Senior Quinn Rylander clears path, rebuilds bridge connecting school to River Bends Park
UCS teams earn top honors at annual ThunderQuest
Five out of eight state-bound regional teams belong to UCS
Alternative learning center students take a giant step
Students attend Giant Step Teen Conference

Principal's Message

We share a common interest –the personal and academic success of all of our students. A quality education is a responsibility shared by the home, school and each individual student. We are dedicated to doing our part in order that all students feel successful, but we cannot do it alone. Students will need to take even more responsibility for their learning.

A child who achieves does so with the help of many people: from mother or father, to the classroom teacher, to grandparents, aunts or uncles, to that “special someone” who encourages and acts as a “coach” in the process. It is important to recognize the worth and merit of everyone involved in the process of educating a child. Indeed, students need to be taught to be
responsible learners, but having a support system is extremely important. By working together, students can often achieve results that would be difficult for them to attain alone.

 As parents, and/or guardians, there are so many ways you can support your child’s learning:

Make school important: 
Insist on good attendance and punctuality. Your child learns from you, so be an important role model for them. Be positive about education and show you enjoy learning too.
Make sure you check your child’s daily agenda book and weekly folder: These are important communication tools between home and school. Agenda books are a great organizational tool for students. Check the agenda book daily and utilize it to open up communication about what your child is learning in class.

Create a study routine:
Set a time and quiet place for your child to work every day. Have your child assist with developing a consistent routine for completing homework and man-aging extracurricular activities. Utilize a month-long calendar for long-term planning for longer projects or for breaking up study time for an upcoming test.

Encourage your child to read every day: Build time into your child’s routine to read inde-pendently or out loud 20-30 minutes per day. This practice will build fluency and automa-ticity with vocabulary and site words. Re-search shows that students who read have stronger vocabularies and ultimately find reading easier and more enjoyable as they grow up. Build in time to read to your child as well. When a story or novel is read to a child fluently, they can often comprehend text that is a couple of years beyond their independent reading level. This opportunity exposes them to new vocabulary, sentence structure and author’s craft that they would otherwise not be able to read on their own yet.

Encourage high but realistic expectations for student achievement:
Maintain a supportive home by showing interest in your child’s progress at school and staying in touch with teachers. Discuss the value of a good educa-tion and possible careers that your child may have an interest in pursuing.

Encourage persistence: Students need to believe that they can become smarter through their own efforts. They need to be taught how to set realistic goals and identify steps for achieving them. An important part of the process is helping them to think about how they can overcome difficulties that get in their way. Allow your child to make mis-takes and learn from these mistakes.

Promote healthy habits: Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, exercise, and eats balanced meals.The high expectations we hold for all students are based upon our conviction that all students can learn and succeed. A strong partnership between home and school will ultimately support student achievement! Thank you for your support! 

Our Mission

The Community at Richard J. Duncan Elementary School is devoted to academic excellence. Sound instructional strategies will provide our students with a foundation of skills that will prepare them for lifelong achievement in a global society.

We Believe...
* All students can learn and achieve.
* All students can teach and learn from each other.
* All parents are partners in their children’s education.
* We will value individuality and diversity.
* We will maintain high expectations for all children to be responsible and caring students.
* All children need a safe and secure learning environment- both physical and emotional.
* We will help students become lifelong learners so they can adapt to a changing world.

Parents can share their business expertise with sixth graders

The 24th annual Career Focus Luncheon for all Utica Community Schools sixth graders will take place Thursday, May 4th at the Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This special “grown-up” event brings the students together with business and community leaders for lunch and conversation about careers and the importance of education in the future workplace.
Calling all parents! Are you interested in spending a lunch hour with district sixth graders to share your business expertise? Con-sider attending the annual Career Focus Luncheon. For more than 20 years, this event has impacted thousand of young children. As a participant, you will share your professional expertise with a table of sixth graders from UCS. In turn, these students will present a digital resume and discuss their hopes and aspira-tions for their futures. If you are interested, please see the detailed flyers on pages 15 & 16 of this Duncan Dispatch.
The event is co-sponsored by Utica Community Schools, the UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence, Sterling Heights Region-al Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Advisor & Source News-papers. Area businesses and individuals are invited to serve as ta-ble sponsors to share their career and college experiences with today’s students – tomorrow’s leaders. Please contact the UCS Foundation at 586.797.6953 or visit to reserve your table or for more information.

Utica Community Schools is Michigan's second largest school district.

Student achievement in the district outpaces all county, state and national averages. The district's graduation rate is 12 points higher than the state average and students and staff are regularly honored for excellence.

For more information on Utica Community Schools, please visit this link