School NewsDistrict News

What's Happening in the D - December 2018
Almost the New Year!
PE classes add new equipment
PE classes enjoy a new ping pong table
Book Tasting
Mrs. Distelrath's 6th graders doing some "Book Tasting"
UCS Update - December 7
Latest updates from UCS
Students celebrate “Hours and Weeks” of coding in Utica Community Schools
UCS integrates coding and programming throughout K-12 curriculum
Unique event allows students hands-on opportunities to explore careers
Nearlu 400 UCS students take part in interactive career event

From The Principal

Hello DeKeyser families,

This year, part of our School Improvement Plan is focused on strategies to build relationships in learning. This is quite a broad topic that covers many areas. I thought I'd take this time to share information about the Circles that teachers do in their classrooms.

Circles are a researched based strategy that provides an opportunity for learning for all students. By their very structure, they convey certain ideas and values by design. Since learning is a social endeavor, use of circles not only promotes student understanding, they also build relationships with others.

Equality - Literally everyone in the circle has equal seating. One student is not at the forefront more than any other student, which provides fairness for all.

Safety and Trust - When in a circle, you can see everyone, so nothing is hidden. Classroom discussion seating arrangements other than circles do not allow for this. The circle has a natural freedom and security vibe.

Responsibility - Everyone has an opportunity to play a role in the outcome of the circle. Thinking is valued and promoted, so all students can be accountable for the direction of learning and content discussion.

Facilitation - When in a circle, it reminds the teacher to facilitate rather than be the center of the discussion, or lecture. Here at DeKeyser, we try to be more student focused rather than teacher focused, and circles assist in this reminder.

Ownership - Collectively, the participants feel the circle is theirs. Overall, students are very motivated and are engaged in circles, which assists in the ownership of the circle and the learning.

Connections - These are built as everyone listens to everyone else's responses. Furthermore, in Cultures of Thinking, Making Connections is a thinking move which is part of the Understanding Map. addition to teachers doing them with their classes, we do circles at staff meetings for our learning!

I encourage you to ask your student about the circles they do in their classroom!

With gratitude,

Mary Beth Merlo

Our Mission:
The DeKeyser community provides a safe, learning environment while encouraging academic and personal success through high expectations.

Our Theme:
DeKeyser Elementary School's theme is "Adventures never end!"

  • Blue Ribbon School
  • All day kindergarten
  • Dedicated classrooms for art and music
  • District standardized test scores above county and state averages
  • More than 92 percent of our parents would recommend the district to others
  • School wide off site science experience at camps (K-6)
  • High level of student involvement in school including student led assemblies, student run school store
  • DeKeyser teacher named America's Top Ten Preschool Teacher by Nick Jr. Magazine
  • Collaborative team teaching at all grade levels
  • Active community involvement in extra curricular and academic areas
  • Discovery Science Tech Book Grant
  • Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant

  • 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