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The 2021-22 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!

We will begin the 2021-22 school year fully in person, which means we will be unable to enforce social distancing this year. As a result, we will also begin the 2021-22 school year requiring masks of all people while indoors, regardless of vaccination status.  

This page contains all the information you’ll need to start the 2021-22 school year off right. Check back throughout the summer to see what we’ve added!


University-High-School-Fairbanks-HallImportant Back-to-School Dates

Please be sure to mark your calendars for these important events that will help us get the 2021-22 school year off to a great start!

  • New Student & Family Orientation — Sunday, Aug. 15 from 2:30 – 4 p.m. (new Trailblazer families)
  • Campus Grand Reopening Celebration — Sunday, Aug. 15 from 4 – 6 p.m. (all Trailblazer families!) Learn more.
  • First Day of School — Monday, Aug. 16 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Freshman Retreat — Tuesday, Aug. 17 – Wednesday, Aug. 18 at Jameson Camp
  • Sophomore Retreat — Tuesday, Aug. 24 – Wednesday, Aug. 25 at Jameson Camp
  • Back-to-School Night — Thursday, Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m. (parents only)
  • 2021-22 Calendar. The updated 2021-22 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 late July or 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 2021-22 School Year

Summer Reading

How we emerge from the pandemic-marked school years matters, and it is for this reason that we have chosen World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments for our 2021 summer reading. All students are expected to have this book read before the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 16.

View the summer reading page to learn more and to download the summer reading guide.

Viewing My Schedule

Course schedules for 2021-22 (fall and spring semesters) are now posted in My BackPack.

Students will have the opportunity to register for J-Term 2022 early in the fall semester.

Ordering Textbooks

A complete list of textbooks for the 2021-22 school year and their ISBN numbers is now available. Click here to access the 2021-22 textbook list.

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. We encourage families who shop on Amazon to use the Amazon Smile service and designate University High School as their charitable organization.

Mentor Assignments

Mentor assignments for 2021-22 are now viewable in My BackPack. Students and mentors will meet at the Campus Grand Reopening Celebration on Sunday, Aug. 15 or on the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 16.

Locker Assignments

Locker numbers for 2021-22 are now posted in My BackPack.

School Supplies

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 mask, a laptop (see “Ordering a Laptop” for more), and textbooks (view the 2021-22 textbook list online), 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:

Kathy Davis
University High School
2825 W. 116th St.
Carmel, IN 46032

Carmel-Clay Library Cards

All University students can use the Carmel-Clay Public Library, including their online collections. We encourage all students to get a library card. Students can fill out the library card application and bring it to Kathy Davis, secretary, on Monday, Aug. 16.

Accessing My BackPack

My BackPack is a secure hub of information for University High School students and families. My BackPack is where you will access grades, view your course schedule, sign permission slips, make payments, submit enrollment contracts, and more.

New parents will use their current My BackPack accounts (created to submit the 2021-22 enrollment contract and pay the enrollment fee) to view their student’s grades, make payments, and more. New students will receive access to their University High School email address and their My BackPack account after they register for courses. With questions about My BackPack, contact Mike Syrek, director of technology.

Freshman & Sophomore Class Retreats

The Freshman Retreat will be Tuesday, Aug. 17 – Wednesday, Aug. 18 at Jameson Camp.

Additionally, because the sophomore class was unable to have their traditional Freshman Retreat last fall, the Class of 2024 will have a Sophomore Retreat from Tuesday, Aug. 24 – Wednesday, Aug. 25 at Jameson Camp.

Find details about both retreats on the Freshman & Sophomore Retreats page.

Choosing a Laptop

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. All families are strongly encouraged to purchase the AppleCare protection plan. This too is discounted through the Apple education store.

Here are the options you may choose from:

These machines are fine for word processing, web surfing, and email. They are ridiculously light, and portable. They will be underpowered, though, for students who will be spending extended time using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or creating movies and video projects. They will work, albeit a bit slow, for a student just taking Introduction to Photography, but if photography is more than just an art credit for your student, you will want to consider a MacBook Pro. If choosing one of these models, consider choosing a model with at least 256GB of storage. The 128GB models are fine for many, but if a student uses a lot of video, music, and photos, it will fill up very quickly. The thing you are paying for with the MacBook is the form factor. It is so slim, lightweight, and portable, but it is also underpowered compared to the other options.

MacBook Air
Similar to the MacBook, these machines are fine for word processing, web surfing, and email. They too are very light, and portable. They will be underpowered for students who will be spending extended time using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or creating movies and video projects; however, they will work just fine for a student just taking Introduction to Photography. Like the MacBook, if photography is more than just an art credit for your student, you may want to consider a MacBook Pro. If choosing one of these models, I would consider choosing a model with at least 256GB of storage. The 128GB models are fine for many, but if the student uses a lot of video, music, and photos, it will fill up very quickly.

MacBook Pro (and MacBook Pro with TouchBar)
The MacBook Pro is thin and light, and the screen is brighter with a larger, more radiant color palette. The base MacBook Pro has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports. These ports are versatile, and with the proper adapters, they can be used for whatever function you need. It is a solid computer for the price, and it would last 4+ years.

The MacBook Pro with TouchBar is in a league of its own. It has the TouchBar and TouchID built in, the processor is faster, and there are four Thunderbolt 3 ports (as compared to two on the non-TouchBar MacBook Pro). You’ll still need adapters, but the rest of the system upgrades make dealing with adapters worthwhile. This machine, of course, has the highest price tag of the offerings as well.

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. Those machines typically have more processing power, 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, it is recommended to have at least 256GB of storage on the laptop. Some models begin with only 128GB of storage. This has proven to not be enough for many students, especially those who fall into this category.
  • No matter which laptop you choose, if it’s an option, consider upgrading the RAM to at least 16GB. Some models now go all the way to 32GB, 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 requirements continue 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 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. The technology department will contact new students to schedule these appointments. 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.

Ordering Lunch

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 2021-22 is now open. Download instructions on setting up your Schoolhouse Fare account. The password is UHS.

Bus Service

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.

Athletics Forms & Fall Sports

Mandatory practices for our 2021 fall sports begin Monday, Aug. 2 (except for girls golf, which begins on Friday, July 30). All student-athletes are required to have an IHSAA physical on file in the athletic office before they begin mandatory team practices. If you have not done so already, please print and complete the IHSAA physical form as well as the consent to treat form and HIPAA authorization form to allow University’s trainer to treat students in case of injury.

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:

Academic Planners

University High School recommends all students invest in a paper academic planner for the 2021-22 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 dvesper@universityhighschool.org.