School NewsDistrict News

Eementary DI team is ready to take on the world
Messmore team qualifies for state finals
2019-2020 Student Council Election
Student Candidates prepare for their speeches.
Future Educator grant helps UCS fill critical state need for next generation of teachers
State grant will allow UCS to expand Future Educator program
CTE students mean business
Students earn top honors in
One year later: More than 1.8 million meals served!
UCS Food Service staff became Essential Workers as the global pandemic took hold of the country

From the Principal  

Dear Messmore Families, 

We are excited to welcome back all students for a full day of in-person instruction beginning Monday, March 15, 2021. On remote Wednesday, March 10, students will log in for afternoon attendance and receive asynchronous work. Teachers will be preparing the classroom for full day instruction; students will not have live instruction this Wednesday afternoon.

Outlined below are building specifics regarding school routines and mitigation strategies as we return to full day.

Updated School Hours
Full Day 8:20 a.m.– 3:10 p.m.
Half day 8:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Begin morning drop off at 8:15 a.m.
Dismissal at 3:10 p.m.

School Aged Child Care is available before and after school. Use this link for further information and registration:

Arrival and Dismissal
We will continue to enter and exit the school utilizing the individual classroom doors. With the increased volume of vehicles, I am encouraging the use of the drop off lane if your child is independent and can quickly exit the car safely from the passenger side. It would be helpful if we utilize the entire drop off lane moving up to the edge of the building past the flagpole. Parents, please do not get out of your car or park in the drop off lane. Always use the crosswalks, drive slowly, and show grace and courtesy.

Self- Screening
Screen your child before leaving for school. If your child shows symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, do not send them to school.
• Any one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of sense of taste or smell
• Any two of the following symptoms: fever over 100.4, chills, rigors, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion and/or runny nose
See updated Self Screening Procedure in this newsletter for further specifics on new testing requirements. 

Food Services
Free breakfast and lunch will be available daily through ordering.
Students can order breakfast the day before. Breakfast will be served in the cafeteria from 8:05 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. Students enter the main doors (Door #1) for breakfast.
Students can order a free same day lunch, optional. Bags of lunches will no longer be sent home. There will be no milk or snack sales during lunch. Students will have 15-20 minutes to eat lunch and 15 – 20 minutes for recess. The lunch menu can be accessed at:

Students will wash their hands before entering the lunchroom. Student assigned seating will be staggered, socially distanced, limited to 6 students per table, and by cohort. Students with nut allergies are provided an alternative safe area for specialized cleaning and distance.

Lunch & Recess Schedule

Class                                           Start/End  

Witek                                           10:40-11:20
Vedder                                        10:40-11:20
Papadelis                                   10:40-11:20
Grady                                           12:10-12:50
Hannish                                      12:10-12:50
D. Papanderou                         12:10-12:50
Kindergarten (MS/JT)            11:10-11:50
Sonnenberg                               11:10-11:50
Braley                                           11:10-11:50
McKenna                                      12:40- 1:20
Masinick                                       12:40- 1:20
Kindergarten (AB/LP)             11:40-12:20
O’Brein                                         11:40-12:20
M. Papandreou                          11:40-12:20 

Students will have recess in a designated playground area, by class. Students must wash their hands after recess. They will be able to play on the structures, however, we will have a phased approach to using equipment (jump ropes, balls, etc.).

Universal Use of Masks
• Students and staff are required to wear masks.
• Guidelines for mask and snack breaks: Teacher directed, outside, social distanced, and under 10 minutes.
• Students may drink water during class.

Frequent Handwashing
• Students sanitize upon arrival.
• Students wash their hands before lunch and after recess.
• Students wash their hands between a 2 – 3-hour block of time.

Cleaning and Maintaining
• Limited use of community shared materials that will be disinfected using EPA cleaning products between use, “one and done.”
• Regular custodial touchpoints will continue to be cleaned every 4 hours.
• Staggered use and cleaning of lunchroom tables between use.

Social Distancing
• Always maintaining social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
• Signage and social distance markings posted throughout the school.
• Non-essential furniture removed from classrooms.
• Classroom spaces are maximized for student seating.

Contact Tracing
• Assigned seating in the classroom.
• Assigned seating in the lunchroom and other spaces that are like the classroom seating chart.
• Cohort Groups

We are taking a phased approach regarding the use of lockers, shared specialist spaces, passing in the hallways, and using playground equipment.

Our goal is to ensure that Messmore is a safe place for in-person learning. We want to return to normal by doing what is best for our students and educators, while operating under mitigation measures. We will get there, but sometimes you must go slow to go fast.

If you have any questions regarding our full day plan, please do not hesitate to call me at 586-797-5600.


Renee Fiema, Ed.D. 

Messmore Principal 

The mission of Messmore Elementary School is to provide a Montessori environment that fosters self-motivated, responsible, life-long learners.
Messmore is hosting a Kindergarten Open House on March 15 at 7:00 p.m. for 4-year-old Montessori preschoolers. Utica Community Schools offers all-day Kindergarten at all elementary schools. Registration forms are available at Please bring completed registration forms with you. The open house will give parents the opportunity to learn about our kindergarten, meet teachers and building staff and complete the registration process.

UCS Vision

All children have the right to a rigorous, high-quality education which meets their individual needs. UCS will respect, encourage and empower each and every student to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful, contributing members of a diverse community and global society.

UCS Mission

We are committed to exemplary teaching and learning in order for our students to be prepared for success in the 21st Century.
We will achieve this commitment by engaging the entire community to focus on each child's achievement, with the expectation that every student will pursue some type of post-high school educational endeavor.

Core Values

  • Every child can learn and achieve.
  • Parents and guardians are partners in the learning process.
  • Being “smart” can be achieved through persistence, hard work and effective effort.
  • Excellence is expected and celebrated.
  • Data is used to guide our decision-making.
  • All employees will exemplify ethical behavior; exhibit a strong work ethic; and continue to develop their leadership, performance and service skills.
  • Technology supports and enhances instruction, business operations, research and communications.
  • The Board of Education, district educators/staff, parents, community members and business leaders must collaborate and work as a team to enhance educational opportunities for student success.