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2020-21 COVID-19 Response

A Return to Hybrid Learning in Spring 2021

University High School ended the fall semester in 100% e-learning. While this model made for a consistent and equitable end of the semester for our students, it also underscored for us the benefits of allowing some on-campus learning. As a result, University High School plans to resume hybrid learning when we begin the spring semester on Monday, Jan. 4.

As we begin the spring semester, we are prepared to accommodate those who need to quarantine due to travel or exposure to COVID-19, and we are hopeful that with the safety measures we have utilized throughout the school year — masks required, 6′ physical distancing, and a modified schedule — exposure and transmission on campus will continue to be minimal.

View the links below for additional details about hybrid learning and schedule changes for the spring semester. 


Read the announcement

Read the full text of the email from Head of School Alicia LaMagdeleine announcing this change. 


Our Guide to Hybrid Learning

Learn more about our hybrid learning model
and see which cohorts are on campus each day.


View The New R1/R2 Schedule

Student and faculty feedback has driven
small changes to the daily schedule.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Below please find answers to some frequently asked questions about University High School’s transition to e-learning to close out 2020-21 school year.

Spring SemesteR

What will happen when we return from Winter Break on Monday, Jan. 4?

We plan to resume hybrid learning when we return to campus on Monday, Jan. 4. Monday, Jan. 4 will be an R1 day. The three weeks that would have been spent in J-Term will now be spent in spring semester classes. 

Cohort A will be on campus for the first week of the spring semester (the week of Jan. 4), and Cohort B will return to campus for the second week (the week of Jan. 11). As they did in the fall, the two cohort groups will alternate on-campus learning and e-learning on a weekly basis as long as we remain in the hybrid model. 

Will the R1/R2 schedule change for the spring semester?

Due to student feedback, we have made some small changes to the daily R1/R2 schedule for the spring semester. We have decreased passing periods to ten minutes and added an additional five minutes to each class period. View the updated R1/R2 schedule on the Daily Schedule page of our website. 

How do I know if my cohort group has changed?

While most students will remain in their cohort group from the fall semester, students can check My BackPack to confirm their cohort group.

January Term

What will happen to January Term?

January Term, which is typically the first three weeks after Winter Break, will be moved to the last three weeks of the school year.

J-Term 2021 will be Monday, May 17 to Thursday, June 3. J-Term course offerings will remain unchanged.

Why did you choose to move J-Term to May?

January Term works best when classes can experience the learning together in person. It was important for us to consider the best possible opportunity for January Term to happen on campus and together. We anticipate that the COVID-19 numbers will continue to be high following Winter Break and that many students and faculty will need to quarantine in January due to exposure or illness, so we felt it would be best to move the three-week term this year. 

Of the options we considered, moving J-Term to May had the most potential benefits. May is furthest in the future, so the chances are best for an improved public health situation. The weather will likely be warmer in May than in any other time this spring, so classes will be able to utilize outdoor spaces for their activities. And we think J-Term will be an enjoyable way to end this otherwise unusual school year. 

Additionally, having J-Term be the culminating experience of the year avoids breaking up the semester in any significant way. With many of the other options we considered, it would have been difficult to maintain course continuity with a three-week break in the middle of the semester. It has the added benefit of giving our AP students more class time to prepare for their exams. 

Did you consider cancelling J-Term?

We considered many options for J-Term, but we have held firm to our belief that January Term is a signature experience for students at our school and there is immense value in courses designed to enable this style of deeper learning. Most students only get four January Terms at University, and we felt it would be a disservice to eliminate one-quarter of these opportunities.

Will moving J-Term alter the spring semester calendar?

Some minor modifications have been made to the spring semester schedule, but major dates for Spring Break, graduation, etc. are unchanged. 

View the updated 2020-21 spring semester calendar.