University School Staff Update

August 21-27, 2022

Big picture
As we prepare for the upcoming week, we ask that you please review the following information:
Big picture

Announcements, Events & Updates

Updated Covid Protocols

Per CDC guidance the University School will continue the following guidelines: “People who have symptoms of respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, such as cough, fever, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea, should stay home. Testing is recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19 as soon as possible after symptoms begin.” “Those who test positive for COVID-19 may provide documentation of their positive test result (such as a photo, print out of lab results, or note from a provider that administered the test) to indicate their need for exclusion from in-person activities during their period of isolation for a minimum of five days." (We do not require documentation of testing from Faculty and Staff at this point.)

Please note some of the CDC changes for Isolation and Quarantine are (8/15/22 – Updated document to reflect CDC updates):

  • Cases without symptoms restart isolation if symptoms develop
  • Cases isolate a minimum of 5 days, end of isolation dependent on symptoms (not testing)
  • Cases recommended to mask for 10 days. May end earlier depending on symptoms and testing
  • Quarantine no longer recommended for close contacts regardless of vaccination status.
  • Close Contact guidance/precautions recommended for all regardless of vaccination status or past infection. If you are a close contact of a COVID positive person, it is recommended to mask for 10 days, monitor for COVID symptoms, and test for COVID on day 5 regardless of vaccination status. You should isolate only if you become symptomatic. Then you should COVID test and refer to the COVID guidance if you test positive. If negative, we recommend you contact your PCP for guidance.

Please reach out to Nurse Bev if you have questions.

ePlan Committee Meeting

The ePlan Committee will be meetings after school in Room 214 on Tuesday and Thursday of this week to continue working on our school plan for this year.

Safety Planning Committee

There will be a safety planning committee meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, September 7th.

BLT Meeting

The first BLT meeting will be on Tuesday, August 30th from 3:20-5:00 PM.

BLT Committee Structure

Prior to Covid, we established a two-year rotation structure that we would use for BLT. Unfortunately, once March 2020 hit, we did not implement it due to the massive amount of planning and adjustments that needed to occur in response to the pandemic. Now that we have returned to somewhat normal operating procedures, we would like to begin the following structure utilizing those who signed up for the committee this year:

University School Building Leadership Team - BLT


The BLT is the faculty advising team to the school leadership team. The BLT is also the central communication instrument for faculty input in school decision making.


The BLT is composed of rotating members representative of the three grade level bands (elementary K-5, middle 6-8, high school 9-12, special groups) as well as permanent members of the school leadership team. BLT members are full time tenured or tenure-track faculty of University School. To ensure continuity in membership, rotating members will serve for two years.

Current membership Rotation:

· Elementary (Year 1 - Howe)

· Elementary (Year 2 - Doran)

· Middle (Year 1 - Reis)

· Middle (Year 2 - Ledbetter)

· High School (Year 1 - Bailiff)

· High School (Year 1 or 2 – Robinson)

· High School Math (Year 2 - Sims)

· Special Groups (Year 1 - Dines)

· Special Groups (Year 2 - Mullins)

Permanent Members:

● Director (Partin)

● Assistant Director (Day)

● Coordinators (Athletics/Activities - J. Penley, Testing/Curriculum - Campbell, College/Career - Shaw, & PD - Barnett)

● Director of Finance as needed (Honeycutt)

Rotating Member Selection:

Rotating members will be selected by a nomination/voting process within the grade-level band.

Member Responsibilities:

Rotating members representatives are expected to maintain two-way communication between the BLT and grade level/team colleagues: minutes from the BLT meeting should be shared with the grade-level bands/teams, and grade-level band/team discussions, questions and concerns should be shared during BLT meetings on behalf of their grade level bands/teams.

College Fair - September 1st

Juniors and Seniors will attend College Fair September 1 from 9-11. Permission slips in CANVAS and Counseling Office. Cost is $5

Faculty Laptop Purchases

We are ready to begin our last phase of faculty laptop purchases for faculty who still have not yet received one. There are two options: a MacBook Pro and a Dell Latitude 7430. Any full-time faculty who are still waiting on a laptop, please complete the following Google Form to make your selection.

Laptop Specs:

MacBook Pro:

· Apple M2 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 10-Core GPU

· 8GB unified memory

· 512GB SSD storage

· 16-core Neural Engine

· 13-inch Retina display with True Tone

· Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports

· Magic Keyboard

· Touch Bar and Touch ID

· Force Touch trackpad

What's in the Box?

· 13-inch MacBook Pro

· USB-C Charge Cable (2 m)

· 67W USB-C Power Adapter

Technical Specifications

For technical specifications only, please visit the Apple Online Store (

Dell Latitude 7430 XCTO

12th Generation Intel Core i7-1255U (10 Core, 12 MB Cache, 12 Threads, up to 4.70 GHz)

Windows 11 Pro, English, French, Spanish

IntelIris XE Graphics for i7-1255U Non-vPro Processor with 16GB DDR4 Memory for Laptop

ME Disable Manageability

16GB 3200MHz DDR4, Non-ECC, Integrated

256GB PCIe NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive

Laptop 14.0" FHD (1920x1080)

Non-Touch, WVA, 250 nits, HD RGB Cam, WLAN, Carbon Fiber

HD Camera, Temporal Noise Reduction, Camera Shutter, Mic

Palmrest, No Security, Carbon Fiber, Thunderbolt4

Single Point keyboard English US with backlit

Wireless Intel AX211 WLAN Driver

Intel(R) Wi-Fi 6E AX211 2x2 802.11ax 160MHz + Bluetooth

Cell Battery Express Charge Capable

65W Type-C Adapter

E4 Power Cord 1M for US

Quick Start Guide, Laptop


Dell Applications for Windows 11

Mix Model Ship, 65W, Laptop

2022-23 United States Senate Youth Competition Opens

Applications are now being accepted from junior or senior high school students to be a participant in the United States Senate Youth Program. Two Tennessee delegates will participate in an annual March Washington Week which includes a variety of events that promote a unique understanding of the structure of our national government. The Hearst Foundation also offers selected state finalists a $10,000 undergraduate scholarship. Eligibility requirements an additional information, including the instructions for applying are available here.

Mathematics Textbook Adoption Update

On July 25, 2022, the Tennessee Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission convened to review advisory panelists' recommendations for approved mathematics textbooks. This meeting resulted in a recommended list of Commission-approved mathematics textbooks which will go before the State Board of Education on the first read in August. The initial list of approved mathematics materials will be shared with the State Board on August 11.

Publishers have until September 6th to appeal the Textbook Commission’s recommendation for materials that did not pass the Commission on the first read. We are still on track for having a finalized list of approved mathematics materials for districts following the October 2022 State Board of Education Meeting.

Districts will then have until April 15, 2023, to complete their local mathematics instructional materials adoption processes.

Professional Development Opportunities

Learning Together Day

The second annual “Learning Together Day: One Region, One Purpose, One Child” is scheduled for Friday, October 28, 2022. The goal for the day is to provide rich and meaningful professional experiences for educators and school/district leaders in Pre-K through high school. Designed through a collaborative process that leverages the expertise of the region’s educators, leaders, and community partners, the “Learning Together” event aims to engage diverse perspectives and facilitate connections that drive effective practices.

When completing the registration, choose your location based on the following table:

Grades/Content; Location

Literacy (K-5); Chuckey-Doak High School, Greene County

Literacy (K-5); Chuckey-Doak Middle School, Greene County

Literacy (6-12); Morristown East High School, Hamblen County

Benchmark/Standards; Elizabethton High School, Elizabethton

Grades 2-8 Math

Grades 3-8 Science

Grades 3-8 Social Studies

Algebra I and II



U.S. History

STEM/CTE; West Ridge High School, Sullivan County

Grades 6-12 Coding/Computer Science

Counselor Convening (All Schools); ETSU Martin Performing Arts Center, ETSU Millennium Center

Fine Arts/PE; Volunteer High School, Hawkins County

K-12 General Art

K-12 General Music

6-12 Instrumental Music


P.E. and Athletic Coaches

Administration; TN College of Applied Technology (TCAT), Elizabethton

Advanced Placement, World Languages, Higher-Level Math and Science (Calculus, Statistics, Chemistry, Physical Science); Daniel Boone High School, Washington County

Library/Media Specialists; Newport Grammar School, Newport

Special Education, K-12 Interventionists, Alternative Education Teachers, Credit Recovery & ESL, Testing Coordinators, Nurses; Dobyns-Bennett High School, Kingsport

All presenters must complete the registration form. Please complete ALL information in the registration link below. Registration will close at the end of day on Monday, October 17.

Registration Link:

Vector LMS Training

If you have completed the trainings and are still receiving reminders, please disregard them. You should be able to verify based on your completed trainings screen and we have an administrative transcript of all completions as well. For any staff who have not completed the training, please do so by no later than Sunday, October 16th. All support staff should be given time during the school day to complete the vector and suicide prevention training or receive prior approval by administration on an alternative plan to complete the training.

Suicide Prevention Training

In addition to the online training that everyone should have received from Vector LMS on Friday, all faculty and staff are required to complete a mandatory Suicide Prevention course annually. The step-by-step guide listed below is available to assist you in getting registered for the required course that you will need to complete. When completed, please print a copy of your certificate and submit a copy to Mrs. Rea.

Staff members are not expected to complete this outside of work hours, so please coordinate with administration on a time to complete it during your scheduled work time.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Click on link below:

Professional Development Series | The Jason Foundation, Inc.

Step 2: Click on Register and complete registration with school information

Big picture
Step 3: Login with your email and password that you selected or go to Step 4
Big picture
Step 4: Click on 2-Hour Course Tab
Big picture
Step 5: Select Module 5 and Register Begin
Big picture
Step 6: Start and Complete Course and Print Completion Certificate and turn in to Ms. Rea

Community Involvement & Opportunities

Big picture

Tennessee Titans Teacher Appreciation Event

Who: All teachers, staff, and faculty to enjoy with their colleagues, family, and friends

What: Teacher Appreciation Day at the Titans – Enjoy an exclusive saving on game tickets

When: Sunday, October 23rd vs. Indianapolis Colts at 12:00 Noon

How: All you need to do is share the below link and promo code TEACH to all your teachers and staff to enjoy the savings on tickets on their own time. There is no upfront cost or financial commitment from you or the school. Please frequently share this link via email or any other electronic communications your school regularly uses to remind your teachers of this benefit.

Promo Code: TEACH

University School Weekly Parent Update Link

You may access the weekly parent update by clicking on this link.