Back-to-School 2019

Welcome, Newest Trailblazers!

Whether you are a transfer student or a member of our freshman class (Class of 2023!), we are thrilled you’ll be joining us at University High School in 2019-20!

Please be sure to mark your calendar for these important back-to-school dates.

  • New Student Registration — Thursday, May 16 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  • New Student & Parent Orientation — Sunday, August 11 from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • All-School Ice Cream Social — Sunday, August 11 from 4-6 p.m.
  • First Day of School — Monday, August 12 (Note: Parents are invited to attend the Opening Day Assembly, which begins at 8:15 a.m. in Andrews Hall.)
  • Freshman Retreat — Tuesday, August 13 to Wednesday, August 14 at Jameson Camp.
  • 2019-20 Calendar. The entire 2019-20 academic calendar can be viewed online.

Other Important Information for New Students

Placement Tests

In advance of New Student Registration on Thursday, May 16, students should please complete the applicable placement tests.

World Language Placement Tests
Students who have taken previous coursework in Spanish or French and who plan to continue studying that language at University High School should complete a world language placement test. Please complete the test by May 14 so the results are ready for the May 16 New Student Registration event.

Math Placement Test
Most new students will not require a math placement exam. We take the coursework from your current school and use that for placement. However, some private and non-U.S. schools have unique curricula. In those cases, or if you have questions, please contact assistant head of school Dave Vesper at dvesper@universityhighschool.org for a personal meeting to determine your best placement.

Available Courses

View the 2019-20 Course Guide to learn more about the classes that will be offered next year. Course registration will be completed at New Student Registration night on Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Summer Reading

The 2019 summer reading selection will be announced in June. 

My BackPack

My BackPack is the official web portal for University High School families. Your My BackPack account is how you will access grades, view course schedules, sign permission slips, make payments, submit enrollment contracts, and more. 2019-20 course schedules will be posted in late June.

New parents will use their current My BackPack accounts (created to submit the 2019-20 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 Taylor Newell.

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
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 toward the end of summer to bring in their laptop and have it set up to work on the UHS network. The technology department 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. A sign-up schedule will be emailed home toward the end of June. If you have questions regarding the laptop program, please contact Mike Syrek, director of technology.

Mentoring

Mentor assignments will be posted in My BackPack in late June. Students and mentors will meet at the All-School Ice Cream Social on August 11 or on the first day of school on August 12.

Immunization Records & Final Grades

University 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 drop them off or mail them to:

Admission Department
University High School
2825 W. 116th St.
Carmel, IN 46032

Academic Planners

All freshmen and students in Learning Support Services are provided academic planners during the first week of school. The remaining supply will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis by Ellyn Walerstein, director of learning support services.

Textbooks

The textbook list for the fall semester will be available in early July.

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.

Library Card

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 Dave Vesper, assistant head of school, on August 12.

Lunch Program

Schoolhouse Fare is the lunch provider for University High School. Online ordering for 2019-20 will open in July. Download instructions on setting up your Schoolhouse Fare account.

Athletics

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 athletic training consent form to allow University’s trainer to treat athletes 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: