Utica Community Schools (UCS) and the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) are embarking on an exciting educational partnership that will bring the sciences to life for UCS students.
The partnership, now in its initial planning stages, will merge educational resources from the DZS with Michigan’s second-largest school district to create a unique collaborative effort.
“The partnership will allow our organizations to bring the resources of this regional gem into classrooms throughout Utica Community Schools,” Superintendent Dr. Christine M. Johns said. “We are committed to developing first-class instructional programs that can be replicated in districts throughout Southeastern Michigan.”
“Part of our mission is to provide extraordinary and unique educational opportunities to children in the Metro Detroit area. This partnership will bring outstanding learning resources to students in the Utica Community Schools and throughout the region,” said DZS Executive Director Ron Kagan.
UCS and DZS administrators and educators have met several times to develop the many educational services provided by the DZS. Discussions have continued with a focus on how to best share resources to create additional opportunities for students in the life sciences.
Initially, the partnership will provide long-distance learning opportunities that share information with UCS students at all grade levels.
For example, this spring DZS staff will support secondary UCS instruction in units on biology. Interactive software will allow DZS staff to help guide students through anatomy lessons on specific animals.
At the elementary level, visits to the Detroit Zoo will go far beyond a traditional field trip. District staff will work with the DZS’s educational team to create experiences that will directly meet course instructional goals. The content will not only involve sciences, but will also enhance understanding of geography as students learn more about animal habitats and regions.
“This type of regional cooperation is another example of how we continue to find ways to create programs that give our students the UCS advantage,” Dr. Johns said.