I have three boys in Utica Community Schools. Stefan is ten years of age and in the fifth grade, Demetrius is in the third grade and Christian is in kindergarten. They are all very different from each other and have had three unique experiences.
We first became aware of Utica Community Schools by attending a special education parent night. We were not part of the district then, but a friend in the school district invited me to the program. Our experiences in our former district were not bad, but they were very different from Utica Community Schools.
Stefan is on the autism spectrum. We were told when he was quite young that he would not be able to write and probably would not have friends. These are things that no parent ever wants to hear. I attended the parent night, and everything about it was so great that I went home and told my husband we’re moving.
The staff members at the meeting were so positive and more than willing to talk to me. I was not even a Utica parent at that time, but the staff members were there to talk to me about Stefan, my experiences, and what my son was going through at the time.
We moved to the community and now all three of my sons are experiencing great success in Utica Community Schools. If you ask any of my boys what they like most about school, they will not say the typical things you may hear from students - like recess. They love their teachers. I do not think it’s a coincidence that each year they have teachers who seem to be put here specifically for them.
I think Utica Community Schools teachers are willing to do everything and anything to meet the needs of whatever child walks through their doors. Utica Community Schools staff members believe that every child learns differently and every child can learn. I think every staff member feels that way - whether it is the office staff or the teachers or the paraprofessionals or the speech pathologist who have worked with Stefan. That shines through in everyone.
My hopes and dreams for my children are simple. I want my children to be responsible, respectful and happy. I know that they are all of those things when they walk through the doors every day at their schools.
Utica Community Schools Board of Education