E-Learning at University High School
After several days of preparation by our faculty and staff, University High School transitioned to e-learning starting on Tuesday, March 17. We will conduct e-learning through Thursday, April 2, and then we will hold midterm student-parent-mentor conferences via Zoom on Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3.
After a week off for spring break from April 6-10, e-learning will continue through April 30. While we still hope to resume classes on campus in May, we are evaluating this on a continual basis.
Schedules for E-Learning
University’s e-learning environment will be synchronous, where students will be learning live, in real time, through instruction and discussion. While e-learning, classes will meet in hour-long sessions every other day, with students having some additional work to do outside of class. Faculty will have online office hours every other day, and mentoring time will be reserved each afternoon.
We will begin with a modified A schedule on Tuesday, March 17. Wednesday, March 18 will be an R1 schedule, and Thursday, March 19 will be an R2 schedule. We will alternate R1 and R2 schedules from there.
E-Learning Frequently Asked Questions
Because the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve daily, the information below may change on a regular basis. Please watch for emails with important information, and check back on this page frequently for updates.
What are some tips for effective e-learning?
Here are some tips University High School students can use to establish good e-learning habits:
Have a dedicated work space for e-learning. We recommend a space that is quiet, well lit (preferably with some natural light), has access to power for your laptop, has a stable internet connection (close as much stuff that uses the internet as possible), has room for your computer and a book/notebook, has supplies, and is away from distractions like TV, video games, family, pets, etc.
Just as you would attending in-person classes at University, we recommend that you keep a routine, wake up at the same time each day, and get ready for school like you normally do. Keep up on personal hygiene, and make sure you’re clothed and ready for video conferencing.
Make the most of your break times. Grab food, stretch, etc. to stay engaged throughout your day. Schedule time to take a walk each day, or make time to do something physical or creative. Come up with an end-of-day routine — that could be a good time for a walk or physical activity!
This is a unique situation. Pay attention to any anxiety you might be feeling, and speak out if you need help. Make a list of who you can talk to if you need help (parent, mentor, friends, etc.), and don’t hesitate to reach out to these support people if you’re feeling isolated. Also, make it a point to still communicate regularly with people important to you, even if it’s digitally. It’s important to practice physical distancing but to stay connected to friends and family.
During this time of e-learning, it’s important to remember that you are still a student at University High School, and the core values still apply.
Know your schedule, and be on time to class, ready to learn and participate. Keep your laptop charged. Be courteous to your teachers and classmates (do not take screenshots of students or teachers without permission). Check your email frequently for messages and assignments from teachers.
Mentoring will still happen during this period. Contact your mentor to schedule.
Advocate for yourself. Take advantage of your teachers’ office hours. If you are having tech issues, contact Mike Syrek (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are having academic issues, reach out to your teacher or mentor. If you are having social issues, reach out to your mentor or Mr. Thurman.
Most importantly, be patient and understanding of one another. This is a new situation for everyone, and we need to be here for one another as much as we can.
When will we resume classes on campus?
Currently, the plan is for classes to be conducted via e-learning through Thursday, April 30. Friday, May 1 is currently scheduled to be a Faculty Work Day, and we hope to resume in-person classes on campus on Monday, May 4. We are continuing to evaluate this on an ongoing basis.
Is campus closed?
The U Center and the White House will be closed after Monday, March 16, and Fairbanks Hall will be closed after Friday, March 20. All athletic practices and events, club meetings, and building rentals are cancelled through at least Thursday, April 30. Outdoor facilities, like the tennis courts, are not restricted, but we still encourage the use of social distancing protocols.
Can I pick something up from school?
The City of Carmel announced a state of emergency on Wednesday, March 18 and placed restrictions on all non-essential travel. Because of this, we are limiting visitors traveling to and from campus. Campus will be closed to visitors after 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20. Students should contact Dave Vesper (email@example.com) if they have an urgent need to visit campus after that time.
Can I work out in the gym or weight room?
The U Center will be closed after Monday, March 16. After that date, neither the gym nor the weight room will be available to students or families.
Can I be outside on campus?
The tennis courts and other outdoor spaces on campus are open, so individuals may use those at their discretion. We encourage the use of social distancing protocols at all times. Unfortunately, no athletic practices of any kind are permitted on or off campus at this time.
What are office hours in e-learning?
Faculty will be available via Zoom during regularly scheduled office hours to answer questions.
Students and parents will receive a list via email with Zoom links for all faculty members, and we will post this list in My BackPack as well.
What should I do if I have to miss a class?
As always, if a student cannot attend a class for any reason, the student’s parent or guardian must inform Kathy Davis by email. The student should also check in with the teachers of any missed classes in advance, if possible.
Will my teachers track attendance in my Zoom classes?
Yes! Teachers will take attendance in every class while we are using e-learning. As always, tardies and absences will ultimately be noted in My BackPack.
How will midterm conferences work?
Midterm conferences will be as previously scheduled, on the evening of Thursday, April 2 and during the day on Friday, April 3. Rather than meeting in person, however, conferences will be conducted via Zoom meetings. Mentors will reach out to families to schedule conferences.
Is spring break cancelled?
We will still observe spring break as scheduled, starting the evening of Friday, April 3. There will be no classes from Monday, April 6 – Friday, April 10. Classes are scheduled to resume via e-learning on Monday, April 13.
Will I still take my AP Exams?
On Friday, March 20 the College Board announced updates for schools impacted by coronavirus, including changes to AP exams. Traditional exam administrations will not take place and will instead be replaced by at-home testing with two dates for each subject. According to a chart on the College Board’s AP website, tests in most subjects will focus on a reduced number of units.
College Board is hosting a webinar for both students and teachers on Wednesday, Mar. 25. The full exam schedule and additional information will be available by Friday, Apr. 3.
Contact Maddy MacAllister (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions specific to University High School and AP Exams.
Will we reschedule cancelled school events?
All school events, including Grandparents Day, are cancelled through at least Thursday, April 30. If an event can be rescheduled, we will do so after in-person classes resume on campus. Please watch the Blazer Blast and our website for details.
Will the spring musical, "Godspell," still happen?
Our spring musical, Godspell, is postponed, but we hope to be able to schedule a concert performance of the music from the show sometime in May.
Will the 2020 commencement ceremony still happen?
University High School’s commencement ceremony celebrating the graduation of the Class of 2020 is still planned for Saturday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at the Palladium at the Carmel Center for the Performing Arts. Currently, guests are welcome to attend, but we are also planning to live stream the ceremony for any guests that are unable to attend.
Will spring sports still happen?
University High School and the IHSAA are currently planning that spring sports seasons will occur. At this time, we plan for practices to begin on Friday, May 1 and athletic events will begin on Saturday, May 9. Most other Indiana schools are working off this same schedule, and we will post updates as they are available.
Can I get a refund on my spring sports player pack?
If the IHSAA spring sports season happens to be cancelled, we will coordinate with BSN (our player pack provider) to see about refund options for our players.
Can I get a refund on my Schoolhouse Fare order?
Families should log in to Schoolhouse Fare as soon as possible and cancel any orders they can. For orders that cannot be cancelled, Schoolhouse Fare will issue a full credit to the account. For those who request a refund, Schoolhouse Fare will issue that with a 15% processing fee. Please see their website for more details.
Which school offices will be open if I have a question?
In general, a staff member will be monitoring the main telephone number (317-733-4475) during business hours.
All school offices — including admission, advancement, communications, business, athletics, college counseling, and learning support — will be open on a remote basis. Faculty and staff will be responding to emails and returning telephone calls as usual while they work remotely.
How will college counseling work during the e-learning period?
Sophomore and junior meetings will be scheduled by Zoom. College Counselors Lade Akande and Maddy MacAllister will reach out to students to schedule those meetings.
Many colleges and universities are not allowing prospective students on campus at this time. Students should coordinate with Maddy and Lade on how to best communicate with their prospective colleges during this time.
All students are encouraged to contact Lade or Maddy with any college counseling questions or concerns.
How will learning support work during the e-learning period?
Brett Krieble and Ellyn Walerstein contacted LSS students on Monday, March 16 to outline the LSS schedules during the e-learning period. Students who typically report directly to Ms. Walerstein will continue to meet with her daily via Zoom. Additional individual meetings will be scheduled as needed.
Students in LSS are encouraged to access support during office hours.
For all students, Learning Support Services will continue to provide resources such as tutors, peer tutors, and mental health providers. Students should contact Ms. Krieble (email@example.com) or Ms. Walerstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) by email with any questions or concerns.
What if I need help with Zoom, my internet connection, or other technology issues?
With any technology questions, please contact Technology Director Mike Syrek at email@example.com.
Will I still get the Blazer Blast on Fridays?
Yes! Look for weekly updates in the Blazer Blast every Friday. If you have news to share in the Blast, please email Nila Nealy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
General COVID-19 Precautions
We have been following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-P), Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana Department of Education, and Hamilton County Health Department guidelines for response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our school is an interconnected and interdependent community, and the choices each of us makes and the risks we assume can have unintended yet potentially serious implications for others. Thank you for the important role you play in keeping our community healthy.
General Health Actions
Currently, families and the school should continue to respond with general prevention measures. This includes:
- Get a flu shot annually.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
- If you are coughing or sneezing, consider wearing a mask. Note that a mask is otherwise not needed!
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
We are still planning for our 2020 commencement ceremony to take place as planned, as well as planning for travel during the 2021 January Term. We will make adjustments if conditions change.
Bias & Health
Bias is always something we should watch, but especially in a stressful situation, bias can influence us toward poor decision making. Bias can surface in myriad ways — from assuming someone of Asian descent is more likely to be infected, or that eating practices in one region are responsible for a given disease. Neither is true with COVID-19. Infectious diseases and pandemics have always been part of human history. The modern, connected, and information-robust world can make disease and awareness of disease more common. Our response to this, or any potential crisis, is to act in conjunction with medical best practices and continue to honor the mission of the school and its core values. Students who hear of cases of bias should report them, and the school will take action as needed.
Please contact Dave Vesper with any questions.