Welcome Back, TRAILBLAZERS!
The 2023-24 school year will be here soon! Whether you are an incoming freshman ready to begin your high school journey or a senior ready to soak in your final year of high school, we are excited to welcome you to University this fall!
From details about summer reading to a link to order lunches from Schoolhouse Fare, this page contains all the information you’ll need to start the 2023-24 school year. We will be adding information throughout June and July as they come available, so please check back throughout the summer to see what’s new!
Important Back-to-School Dates
Please be sure to mark your calendars for these important events that will help us get the 2023-24 school year off to a great start!
- New Student & Family Orientation — Sunday, Aug. 13 from 2:30 – 4 p.m. (new Trailblazer families)
- Welcome Back Celebration — Sunday, Aug. 13 from 4 – 6 p.m. (all Trailblazer families!)
- First Day of School — Monday, Aug. 14 at 8:30 a.m. We will begin in Andrews Hall.
- Freshman Retreat — Tuesday, Aug. 15 – Wednesday, Aug. 16 at Jameson Camp. Learn more.
- Back-to-School Night — Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m. (parents only)
- 2023-24 Calendar. The updated 2023-24 academic calendar can be viewed online.
Also, all new students (and any returning student who has a new laptop) should schedule a computer setup appointment sometime in early August to bring in their computer. Our technicians will connect your computer to the school’s Wi-Fi, link you to printers, and ensure you have the programs you need. Click here to schedule.
Important Information for the 2023-24 School Year
Each year, the faculty chooses a summer reading text to use as a common starting point for the next school year. Summer reading provides us an opportunity to look at University’s core values through the lens of different characters and stories. Students should come to school prepared to discuss the reading during Seminar Days and in their English classes during the first weeks of school.
University High School has selected Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel as our 2023 summer reading book. Students should have this book read before the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 14.
Visit the summer reading page of our website for more details about this book, a summer reading guide, and questions to consider as you read.
Viewing My Schedule
Course schedules for 2023-24 are now viewable in your parent or student Veracross portal.
Families may purchase textbooks from any source they like, including the Awesome Trailblazer Parents! Facebook group, where parents will often sell texts to one another at a discounted price. Another resource for finding textbooks at the best prices is isbnsearch.org.
Mentor assignments for 2023-24 are now posted in your student or parent Veracross portal.
New students will meet their mentors at the Welcome Back Celebration on Sunday, Aug. 13 or on the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 14.
Locker numbers for 2023-24 will be posted in the student Veracross portal in early August.
While University High School doesn’t publish an official school supply list, there are some items that Trailblazers would find useful to have on hand.
In addition to a laptop (see “Ordering a Laptop” for more), and textbooks, an academic planner is also recommended. (See “Academic Planners” for more.) Additionally, students should consider having spiral notebooks, folders or binders, pencils, and pens available.
If a specific class requires any supplies in addition to their textbook (a specific calculator, for example), teachers will communicate that with students early on in the class.
Immunization Records & Final Grades
University High School requires that incoming students submit a copy of their final grades from their referring school. Also, per state law, we must have complete immunization records on file before school starts.
If you have not provided immunization records or final grades to the admission department, please mail them to:
University High School
2825 W. 116th St.
Carmel, IN 46032
Veracross is University High School’s student information system that is new for the 2023-24 school year. Each student and parent/guardian will have a unique Veracross portal account, and this is how you will access your course schedule, grades, and (for parents) bills.
Click here to log in to your Veracross portal account. With questions about Veracross, please contact Mike Syrek, Director of Technology.
The Freshman Retreat is a University High School tradition that involves a good mix of team-building activities and upperclassman-led discussions. At the end of the two-day, overnight retreat, freshmen will have made new friends, gotten to know people from other middle schools, and begun to build a cohesive class of Trailblazers.
The 2023 Freshman Retreat will be Tuesday, Aug. 15 – Wednesday, Aug. 16 at Jameson Camp in Indianapolis, IN.
Visit the Freshman Retreat page for more details and to download required forms for the retreat. Completed forms for every participant are due Monday, Aug. 14 to Stacey Summitt-Mann, Assistant Head of School, at email@example.com.
Choosing a Laptop
All University students should have an Apple laptop for the first day of school. This purchase can be made online through Apple’s education store. You may pick whichever model you feel best suits your needs, but the official opinion of our Director of Technology is that unless you do things that necessitate the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, the M2 MacBook Air is the best bang for your buck. It is a solid computer that should last many years.
In addition, we strongly encourage everyone to purchase the AppleCare protection plan. This too is discounted through the Apple education store.
Here are details on the laptop options you may choose from:
MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro
These computers are the typical choice for most students. Both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro offer the Apple M2 chip* with 8-core CPU featuring 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. They both come standard with 8GB (up to 24GB) of memory and 256GB (up to 2TB) of storage, screens with 500 nits brightness, Two Thunderbolt/USB 4.0 ports, and both feature TouchID. The primary differences between the models are as follows:
- The MacBook Air is slightly thinner and lighter (2.7 lbs vs. 3.0 lbs)
- The MacBook Air comes standard with an 8-core GPU (MacBook pro is 10-Core)
- The MacBook Air’s screen is a slightly larger 13.6” Liquid Retina display (2560×1664 pixels) vs. the MacBook Pro’s 13.3” LED-backlit Retina display (2560×1600 pixels)
- The MacBook Pro’s battery lasts a couple hours longer (20 hours vs. 18 hours)
- The MacBook Air has a 1080p FaceTime camera (MacBook Pro is 720p)
- The MacBook Pro has a touch bar instead of standard function keys.
(*The MacBook Air is also available with the M1 chip with a slightly smaller screen of 13.3”, a 720p FaceTime camera, 7-core GPU, and usb-c charging, compared to 13.6” screen, 1080p FaceTime camera, up to 10-core GPU, and MagSafe Charging on the M2 MacBook Air)
14-inch MacBook Pro
Less frequently chosen by students, the 14” MacBook Pro is truly a “pro” machine. It can be purchased with either an M2 Pro or M2 Max SoC (System on a Chip). Both the M2 Pro chip and M2 Max chip have up to a 12-core CPU (M2 Pro base is 10-core) with 6-8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores as well as a separate media engine for video and ProRes encoding and decoding and a ridiculously fast 200GB/s memory bandwidth for the M2 Pro and 400GB/s for the M2 Max. These laptops come with 16GB (up to 32GB for M2 Pro and 64GB for M2 Max) of memory and 512GB (up to 8TB) of storage, a Liquid Retina XDR display (3024 by 1964 pixels) with 1000 nits sustained brightness with ProMotion technology for adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz. They weigh more than the 13-inch MacBook Pro coming in at 3.5lbs. They boast a high-fidelity six-speaker sound system with support for spatial audio, and studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio. The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models also have MagSafe charging, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader.
There is also a 16-inch version of the 2021 MacBook Pro. By an overwhelming majority, however, students typically go with the 13-inch or 14-inch models. The 16-inch is a pretty big computer to carry around all day (14” by 9.77” and weighs 4.7 lbs).
In addition, here are some things to consider when choosing a laptop:
- If the student is interested in photography, making movies, or other digital design topics, you will want to consider a MacBook Pro with a M2 Pro or M2 Max chip. Those machines offer a couple more GPU cores, and the screen resolution is amazing.
- If the student downloads a lot of music or videos, does video editing, or takes a lot of photos, you may want to consider increasing storage to 512GB or more. All models have at least 256GB of storage on the laptop, but this has proven to not be enough for some students, especially those who fall into this category.
- No matter which laptop you choose, if it’s an option, consider upgrading the memory (RAM) to at least 16GB. Some models now go all the way to 32GB or even 64GB, but students likely will not be doing anything academic that would require that much. However, 16GB is well worth the upgrade. Over the course of four years, as software development continues to change, having more RAM helps the laptop continue to function at a high level for a longer period of time.
- If you think you will want to upgrade RAM or storage, do it now, at the time of purchase. As laptops have gotten thinner and lighter, one of the ways Apple has accomplished this is by eliminating the space used by hard drive brackets and RAM slots. The RAM is now soldered into the logic board directly, and in most models, the Solid State Drive is also soldered in. This makes it almost impossible to upgrade these options later.
All new students (or returning students who have purchased a new laptop) should schedule a time in August to bring in their laptop and have it set up to work on the UHS network. Click here to make an appointment. During these appointments, technology staff will install all the software students will need for classes as well as connect the laptop to the school’s Wi-Fi network and printers. If you have questions regarding the laptop program, please contact Mike Syrek, Director of Technology.
Schoolhouse Fare is the lunch provider for University High School. Schoolhouse Fare meals are sourced from local restaurants, and all orders are individually packaged for students to pick up during lunch.
Online ordering for 2023-24 is open now. Download a PDF on setting up your Schoolhouse Fare account.
University offers two shuttle services for students – one to midtown Indianapolis and one to the Fishers and Geist areas. Details are on our bus page.
Both routes are currently at capacity for the 2023-24 school year. To be added to the waiting pool for a bus route, contact Stacey Summitt-Mann, Assistant Head of School, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athletics Forms & Fall Sports
Mandatory practices for our 2023 fall sports begin Monday, July 31 (except for girls golf, which begins on Friday, July 28).
All student-athletes are required to have an IHSAA physical on file in the athletic office before they begin mandatory team practices. To submit these required athletic forms, please register at https://universityhs-in.finalforms.com and follow the prompts to fill out the required forms for your student.
Also, if your student is planning to play a fall sport but has not yet spoken with the coach, please contact the coach via email so your child will be included on the roster. Fall sport coaches are as follows:
- Girls Golf — Taylor Newell (email@example.com)
- Boys Tennis — Brandon Hogan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Boys & Girls Cross Country — Jamie MacDougall (email@example.com)
- Boys Soccer — Alex Baumgart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Girls Soccer — Jeff Denny (email@example.com)
- Volleyball — Jennifer Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
University High School recommends all students invest in a paper academic planner for the 2023-24 school year. Students who work with Learning Support Services will be required to have one.
Potential qualities to look for in a planner are as follows:
- It follows the school year rather than the calendar year.
- It has a customizable subject index (instead of pre-printed subjects) where your student can write their class subjects only once.
- It has an ample number of subject boxes so there’s room to write all classes.
- It has a grid system layout so students can see their week (and weekends) at a glance. Students should be able to visualize their week as a whole.
- It has days of the week listed horizontally across the planner to allow students to easily record entries and see assignments and due dates for the week.
- It includes space to enter extracurricular activities, mentoring, doctor appointments and weekend commitments. This enables students to create a plan for managing their workload.
- It has monthly calendar views for long-range planning as well as recording vacations and school holidays.
- It has a section to record weekly grades and goals, academic, and personal.
Here are a few options for academic planners, provided by our Learning Support Services department:
WhO to Contact With QUestions?
The business, admission, technology and athletic offices will be open and responding to emails most of the summer, but if you have questions about any other items, please contact Dave Vesper, Associate Head of School, at email@example.com.