University School Weekly Update

April 3-10, 2022

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

U-School Foundation Updates

Dear University School Families,

Thank you for your support of our school, our foundation, and our Spring Gala. Our school foundation met today and made a tough decision regarding the live event planned for this Saturday, April 9th. Due to several conflicting events and resulting low ticket sales, the foundation has voted to cancel the in-person event and move all items to the online auction to increase event participation efforts and overall fundraising for our school. We will also be moving the online auction dates to begin on Wednesday, April 13th through 8PM on Friday, April 15th to allow time to move everything over to the website.

Though we are sad that we will not see your amazingly awesome 80s attire in person, we appreciate your support of the foundation's efforts and hope to see you bidding online! Again- you can register to bid and check out some of the great auction items here. Please know that the foundation and the school appreciates your support and will use all funds raised for supporting the needs of our teachers, classrooms, and students.

Thank you again and please be on the lookout for the new auction dates soon!

Dionne Ganger & Melanie Richards
University School Foundation Fundraising Co-Chairs

Student Spotlights

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Elementary School Honoree – Ezra Bright

Ezra is a creative, intelligent, kind, and funny kid who is full of imagination. Ezra thinks outside of the box when problem solving in a way that contributes great insight to our classroom community. This creative thinking enhances the learning of everyone. Ezra has a positive energy that is inspiring to those around him.

Getting to know Ezra Bright:

  • What is the most valuable thing your parents have taught you? “Rules – like be respectful in public.”
  • What do you like to do as a hobby? “I like to play video games like Animal Crossing, Zelda, or Mario.”
  • What is something that you’ve seen or experienced lately that made you laugh? “My friend Maddox…he is just really funny in general!”

"Ezra has an uplifting personality that is a pleasure to be around,” said Dr. Kelli Barnett, Ezra’s third-grade teacher. “He has a great deal of empathy and values the feelings of others. He brings joy to his classroom community.”

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Middle School Honoree – Eri Pate

Eri is helpful, engaging during discussions, and displays a positive and friendly spirit. He is always offering to help, and he is willing to learn and try new techniques. It’s evident that Eri's classmates genuinely enjoy being around him.

Getting to know Eri Pate:

  • What is the most valuable thing your parents have taught you? “My mom always said to be a respectful young man and be nice, even when my parents aren’t there to watch.”
  • What do you like to do as a hobby? “I like to play soccer. I play the striker position and I am playing for high school this year.”
  • What is something that you’ve seen or experienced lately that made you laugh? “Mrs. Cromie said, ‘I would never want to sit beside Eri because he talks too much’ in the middle of class!”

“Eri is thoughtful, engaging during discussions, and displays a positive and friendly spirit,” commented Ms. Kristin Colson, Eri’s art teacher.

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High School Honoree – Joseph Armstrong

Joseph has shown tremendous growth over the past couple of years, really maturing over his junior and senior years. During the pandemic, Joseph was one of those students hit very hard by the lack of routine and socialization that comes along with regular in-person schooling. However, Joseph did learn to adapt and he manages his US schoolwork along with a near full-time job, ETSU dual enrollment courses, and his commitment to school athletic teams (basketball and baseball). Joseph has developed superior organizational and time management skills, and in addition to his other commitments is also currently serving as a student leader for FCA weekly.

Getting to know Joseph Armstrong:

  • What is the most valuable thing your parents have taught you? “My mom taught me to always treat everyone with respect and kindness, no matter the circumstance.”
  • What do you like to do as a hobby? “My hobbies are hunting, fishing, and playing sports.”
  • What is something that you’ve seen or experienced lately that made you laugh? “Catching bullpens for the baseball team, even though I’m a lefty…you don’t see too many left-handed catchers!”

"Joseph has become an exemplary student over the course of the pandemic, and he manages a busy life juggling school, work, and sports. I am really proud of the young man he has become!” said Dr. Aleeta Shaw, the U-School school counselor.

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Congratulations to AJ Murphy for being selected as the "most promising underclassman" by the Johnson City Press! The March 22nd article can be found by clicking on this link. Way to go AJ - we are proud of you!

State Testing Information - Grades 3-8 & HS EOC Courses

The Washington County School System and University School will be administering the state-mandated TCAP Achievement Assessment beginning with grades 3-8 on Monday, April 18, 2022 and ending Friday, April 29, 2022. State testing is required for all subjects in grades 3-8. TCAP Assessments for students in grades 3-8 include: Math, English/Language Arts (ELA), Science, and Social Studies.

High School End of Course (EOC) state assessments will begin Monday, April 18, 2022 and will end on Friday, May 6, 2022. State testing is required for English I and II, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Biology, and US History.

Information on specific test dates for individual subjects and subparts may be found on the University School Testing webpage


Federal and State Law states that every student be administered the same State Board approved standardized tests required of public school students in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 and T.C.A. § 49-1-602 pertaining to district and school accountability.

The TCAP assessment is a fully aligned assessment that captures the depth and breadth of what students are learning--and have been learning--in the classroom every day. The information from this year’s assessment will provide educators, parents, and students with a perspective on how students are progressing academically compared to their peers across Tennessee, and better information about a student’s strengths, needs, and areas for growth.

Parent request days will not be approved during state testing. Please do not schedule appointments on testing days and encourage your child to do well on the tests and help them at home by doing the following:

  • Discuss the tests with your child. Talking about the tests will help ease your child’s worries and show him/her that you are interested.
  • Make sure your child goes to bed early and gets plenty of rest. Students’ minds and bodies need to be ready for a full day of trying their best.
  • Make sure your child eats a good breakfast. It is difficult for students to think and do their best if their stomach is empty.
  • Arrive at school on time. Being late may cause your child to feel rushed and nervous. Arriving on time will help your child feel relaxed and ready to do his/her best.
  • Send your child to school with words of encouragement. Hearing, “You can do it!” or “I have confidence in you!” from you means a lot to your child.

Where can I go for more resources?

Information describing the TCAP Achievement Assessment can be located on the TN Department of Education website ( Follow the top link “For Students & Families” to the link for Assessments. Click TN Ready and select the specific content area or Parent Resources.

Save the Date: Jr/Sr Prom on April 30th

This year's prom will be located at the Jonesborough International Storytelling Center on Saturday, April 30th from 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM. Additional information will be sent out to all University School Juniors and Seniors.

Girl's Soccer Off-Season Weightlifting

Weightlifting for girls soccer will be on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning April 11th in the U-School weight room located in Brooks Gym from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will be supervised by Coach Bettina Chirica.

Please review the following information if you plan on attending:

  • We advise you to please wear the right clothing and shoes
  • Please also clean up all trash after each lifting session and sanitize equipment
  • All returning and newly interested athletes who have turned in a physical, SCA, and concussion paperwork may participate
  • Please email; if you have any further questions

Yearbook Orders

After some delay, it is now time to start ordering the 2021/2022 yearbooks. The good news is that there will not be a price increase for the yearbooks; however, this yearbook price does not include personalization.

There are two ways you can order your child’s yearbook.

You may order online at www:// (links to an external site). Once on the website, click on “Shop Online”. There are drop down menus for state, city, and then a choice of two yearbooks (University School Elementary/Middle or University High School). Once selecting the yearbook you wish to purchase, you may click order. You will then be prompted to create an account for the publisher, and once the account is created, you will be able to complete your order.

The price for ordering online is $50.40 for high school yearbook and $29.40 for elementary/middle school yearbook. The online cost includes a nominal ordering fee.

We are offering a chance to have your child’s yearbook personalized. This is an additional $5.20 per book. This will be added to the cost of the book.

The second way you can order is to complete the attached yearbook order form and return the completed form with a check made out to University School to either your child’s teacher or to me. Please make sure the form is completed.

The price for ordering through the school (and not online) is $40 for high school yearbook and $28 for elementary/middle school yearbook. If you want to personalize the yearbook, the cost to order through the school is $45.20 for high school yearbook and $33.20 for elementary/middle school yearbook.)

The deadline to order is April 15, 2022.

In addition, we are looking for any pictures of vacations, pets, outings, ballgames, or activities that your child has participated in this school year.

If you would not mind sharing your pictures, please send them to school with your child, or email them to me at Please make sure each person in the picture is identified.

We need the pictures as soon as possible as our deadline is quickly approaching. I will scan the pictures and return as soon as possible.

Thank you for your help,

Evelyn Hammonds

Yearbook Adviser

Community Events

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Save the Date - Pickin' in the School-Yard April 23rd

Come help us celebrate Appalachian music on APRIL 23, from 10AM-2PM! We are so thankful to finally be back this year! We will have food/art vendors and music from Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) of Upper East Tennessee, ETSU Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies, and students from University School. Bring a blanket or chair to this family friendly event. Spread the word and look forward to seeing you there!

If you are interested in being an art or food vendor, please contact

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Weekly Calendar of Events

View Events for Entire School Year | Printable Calendar: This Year or Next Year | Schedule Change Policy

April 4 Math Help Club, Library, 3:15-4:30 p.m.

April 4 Entrepreneur's Club, Room 214, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
April 4 HS Baseball JV, V, Unaka, @TVA, 4:30 p.m.
April 4 MS Baseball, @Unaka, 4:30 p.m.
April 4 HS Girls Softball, North Greene, @Indian Trail, 5:00p.m.

April 5 Photography Club, Room 301A, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
April 5 Key Club, Room 011, 3:05-3:30 p.m.
April 5 Tennis, West Greene, 4:30 p.m. @ ETSU
April 5 HS Baseball JV, V, @Unaka, 5:00 p.m.
April 5 HS Girls Softball, Unaka, @Indian Trail, 5:00p.m.

April 6 FCA Club, Room 219, 7:30-7:50 a.m.
April 6 Bible Study Club, Warf-Pickel Hall Room 127, 3:15-4:00 p.m.

April 7 Chick Chat Club, Room 010, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
April 7 College Ready Club, Library, 3:00 p.m.
April 7 Math Help Club, Library, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
April 7 JAM, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
April 7 Tennis, @Chuckey-Doak, 4:30 p.m.
April 7 HS Baseball V, JV, Sullivan East, @Thomas Stadium, 5:00p.m.
April 7 MS Baseball, @Providence, 4:30 p.m.
April 7 HS boys Soccer, @Tennessee High, 7:00p.m.
April 7 HS Girls Softball, @Cloudland, 5:00p.m.

April 8 HS Baseball V, JV, Unicoi, @TVA, 7:00 p.m.
April 8 MS Baseball, Providence, @ 4:30 p.m.
April 8 HS boys Soccer, Providence Academy Tournament, 11:00 & 4:00

April 9 University School Foundation Spring Gala, Carnegie, 6:00-10:00p.m.
April 9 Track, Frank Carver, @Bristol, 9:00 AM
April 9 HS boys Soccer, Providence Academy Tournament, TBD

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