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Welcome Back, TRAILBLAZERS!

The 2022-23 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 2022-23 school year off right. We will be adding information and links throughout June and July as they come available, so please check back throughout the summer to see what’s new!

New-Students-Cheering

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 2022-23 school year off to a great start!

  • New Student & Family Orientation — Sunday, Aug. 14 from 2:30 – 4 p.m. (new Trailblazer families)
  • Welcome Back Celebration — Sunday, Aug. 14 from 4 – 6 p.m. (all Trailblazer families!) Learn more.
  • First Day of School — Monday, Aug. 15 at 8:30 a.m. We will begin in Andrews Hall. 
  • Freshman Retreat — Tuesday, Aug. 16 – Wednesday, Aug. 17 at Jameson Camp. Learn more
  • Back-to-School Night — Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. (parents only)
  • 2022-23 Calendar. The updated 2022-23 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 2022-23 School Year

Summer Reading

University High School has selected The Anthropocene Reviewed by Indiana’s own John Green as our 2022 summer reading book. All students are expected to have this book read before the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 15.

Visit the summer reading page of our website for more details about this book, options for those who prefer podcast or audiobook listening, and questions to consider as you read.

Viewing My Schedule

Course schedules for 2022-23 are now available in My BackPack.

To access the schedule, click “Schedule” once you log into My BackPack. You can choose “Semester 1” for the fall or “Semester 2” for the spring. You can also view the January Term course under “January Term.”

Ordering Textbooks

Download the complete list of textbooks for the 2022-23 school year and their ISBN numbers here.

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. Another resource for finding textbooks at the best prices is isbnsearch.org.

Mentor Assignments

Mentor assignments for 2022-23 are now posted in My BackPack. Under the “Student” tab in My BackPack, the mentor’s name will be listed by “Advisor.”

New students will meet their mentors at the Welcome Back Celebration on Sunday, Aug. 14 or on the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 15.

Locker Assignments

Locker numbers for 2022-23 are now posted in My BackPack. On the “Student” tab of My BackPack, the locker number can be found in the “Locker” section.

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 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:

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 who have not already done so can fill out the library card application and bring it to Kathy Davis, secretary, on Monday, Aug. 15.

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 2022-23 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 Retreat

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 2022 Freshman Retreat will be Tuesday, Aug. 16 – Wednesday, Aug. 17 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. 15 to Ashley Crockett-Lohr at acrockettlohr@universityhighschool.org.

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:

MacBook Air (2022) and 13-inch MacBook Pro (2022)

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 Liquid Retina display vs. the MacBook Pro’s LED-backlit Retina display
    • 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.

MacBook Air (2020) and 13-inch MacBook Pro (2020)

The 2020 versions of the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro offer the Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU featuring 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. They both come standard with 8GB (up to 16GB) of memory and 256GB (up to 2TB) of storage, a 13.1” Retina display with 2560 by 1600 pixels, and both feature TouchID. The primary differences between the models are as follows:

    • The MacBook Air is slightly thinner and lighter (2.8 lbs vs. 3.0 lbs)
    • The MacBook Pro’s screen is slightly brighter (500 nits vs. 400 nits)
    • The MacBook Pro’s battery lasts a couple hours longer (17 hours vs. 15 hours)
    • The MacBook Pro’s speakers are a little better.
    • The MacBook Pro has a touch bar instead of standard function keys.

14-inch MacBook Pro (2021)
Less frequently chosen by students, the 2021 MacBook Pro is truly a “pro” machine. It can be purchased with either an M1 Pro or M1 Max SoC (System on a Chip). Both the M1 Pro chip and M1 Max chip have up to a 10-core CPU with 8 performance cores and 2 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 M1 Pro and 400GB/s for the M1 Max. These laptops come with 16GB (up to 32GB for M1 Pro and 64GB for M1 Max) of memory and 512GB (up to 8TB) of storage, a liquid Retina 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.

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 2021 Macbook Pro with a M1 Pro or M1 Max chip. Those machines 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, 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 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 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 2022-23 will open in early August. 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 (full for 2022-23) and one to the Fishers and Geist areas. Details are on our bus page.

Athletics Forms & Fall Sports

Mandatory practices for our 2022 fall sports begin Monday, Aug. 1 (except for girls golf, which begins on Friday, July 29).

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:

Academic Planners

University High School recommends all students invest in a paper academic planner for the 2022-23 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.