University School Weekly Update

October 3-10

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Welcome back - we hope everyone was able to enjoy some much needed time away over these past few weeks! As we prepare for the week ahead and our transition back to school, we ask that you please review the information below:

Reward School Designation

We are excited to announce that University School has received Reward School Designation status for outstanding student success in achievement and growth during the 2020-2021 school year. Thank you to our students, staff and families for your ongoing commitment during a very challenging school year -- Congratulations and Go Bucs!

ACT & Benchmark Assessments

ACT Testing: Just a reminder, all of our seniors will be taking the ACT on Tuesday, October 5th. The test will take place at the Culp Center, seniors taking the exam will need to plan on reporting directly to the Culp Center on Tuesday morning by no later than 7:45 AM. Additional information will be sent from Dr. Shaw regarding specific details and items students will need to bring, such as, an approved calculator, pencils, snack and lunch or money for lunch.

Benchmark Testing: Students in grades 3-8 (ELA, Math, Science, & Social Studies) and those enrolled in our HS EOC courses (Biology 1, Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, English 9 & 10, and U.S. History) will be taking formative benchmark assessments in each of these classes this week. This assessment is for instructional decision-making for the classroom teachers and is not an assessment the students need to do anything to prepare for outside of the work they are doing in their classes. This is the first assessment of a three-part series that will be given this year.

Social Media Challenge Concerns

As many of you may have seen in recent media reports, schools across the country have been experiencing behaviors from students that are resulting in damage and theft due to monthly challenges on social media platforms such as TicTok. While these behaviors are rare for us to experience at University School, we have unfortunately not been exempt from a few of our students participating in these challenges online. We are aware that there is a new challenge every month that is gaining momentum across the country and within our region which are simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

University School has always maintained a high-level of expectations and have taken great pride in the successes and achievements of our students. We believe strongly this success is attributed to a strong commitment of excellence among our students, staff, and families and is simply something we are unwilling to compromise. Moreover, we know the challenges being encouraged on these social media platforms are resulting in serious consequences for students across the country, so we are asking our families and students to please review the student handbook and expectations with your children in order to avoid the serious consequences that may occur as a result of participating in these challenges. We do appreciate the commitment and assistance of our families to help us be proactive regarding this matter and your ongoing support to maintain a high-level of expectation for our school community!

Face Covering Policy

University School and ETSU is still following a mandated face covering policy, so we ask all students, staff and visitors to the school and campus wear an approved face covering when indoors. The opt-out option for K-12 students only applies to students in Alexander Hall. Any student attending classes on the main campus for dual enrollment or in Warf-Pickel, Brooks or the Mini-Dome must adhere to the ETSU Face Covering Policy when indoors.

Parents, faculty, staff, resident students, volunteers and visitors to the school must also follow the ETSU face covering policy when indoors at University School or any other facility on campus unless you are engaged in physical activity, eating, drinking or when completed or exiting an activity or dining area.

ETSU Mobile Safe App

The university’s new safety app, called ETSU App, is now available to download for Apple and Android devices. This new feature offers many new services, including information on:

  • Reporting a tip
  • Requesting a friend walk
  • Accessing emergency plans for such incidents as a tornado, natural disasters, active shooters, etc.
  • Learning about other safety resources

In addition, with the ETSU App, a person’s location will be made available when an emergency call is made. The ETSU App has become the primary notification platform. There are two important steps each student, faculty and staff member should take immediately in order to prevent any lapse in receiving this important information.

STEP 1 - Download the App

Download ETSU App, if you have not done so already. You can find it in the App store or Google Play.

STEP 2 - Text to Subscribe

Text ETSU to 237233 to receive emergency text alerts.

To get the emergency text messages you must send a text message to the number above to enroll. If you only have the ETSU App, you can receive push notifications when an emergency message is sent if you allow them in your phone settings. Email updates are sent to all student, faculty, and staff accounts and notifications are sent to all campus desktops.

Note: Standard message and data rates may apply. You may text the word STOP to cancel at any time. Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

Dress Code & Cell Phone Usage

We ask that all students please adhere to the dress code and cell phone expectations stated in the student handbook.

Cell phones should be safely stored and turned off/muted to avoid distraction with the exception of the following:

  • When high school students are transitioning from Alexander Hall to another building on the ETSU main campus (i.e., Warf-Pickel, Brooks, or Culp Center)
  • When being used with permission from a faculty or staff member for medical or special assigned projects.
  • Grades 9-12 may also utilize their devices during their scheduled lunch periods.

High School Lunch Expectations

Juniors, seniors and students who are dual-enrolled at ETSU are the ONLY students allowed to leave Alexander Hall for lunch with the exception of special occasions that are announced by the administration. Students in grades 9 & 10 must return to Alexander Hall during their scheduled lunch period and eat in any of the approved designated lunch areas at University School: cafeteria, playground/tables behind the school building, or on the front lawn.

Fall Festival - Friday October 15th

A little hocus pocus is in motion for our 2021 Fall Festival. Please plan on joining us for an evening of treats and a few friendly tricks! The ticket order form below may be sent back to your homeroom teachers. This form will be sent home with our K-8 students on Monday and will be available for our HS students in the library, office or from their English teachers.
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New Staff Members

We are pleased to welcome the following new faculty and staff members to our team:

  • Ms. Heidi Campbell, who will be joining us on October 11th as our new Testing and Curriculum Coordinator.
  • Ms. Nicole Havert, who will be temporarily serving as the interim ELA teacher for grades 7 & 8 until the full-time replacement teacher is hired and able to join our team. Once the new teacher is able to join us, Ms. Havert will transition into a technology and intervention support position.
  • Ms. Casey Lovelace, who will be serving as an instructional support assistant.

We are excited for the opportunity to expand our team with the addition of these three new staff members and look forward to working with them throughout this school year!

PSAT/NMSQT Scheduled October 13. Register Now!!

University School will offer the Pre-SAT on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. for registered students. University School students will need to submit a $20 payment to the Counseling Office by October 6th. Test registration will not be allowed after October 6th. At 8:00 a.m., students will need to meet at the flagpole in front of the school to walk to the testing location for testing.

Students who are potential National Merit Scholars must take PSAT/NMSQT in the junior year to qualify. The exam will also be open to sophomores who may want to prepare for PSAT/NMSQT in the junior year. Students can find the registration link in their CANVAS Counseling Announcements.

Student Activity & Athletic Information

University School Golf Team

The University High boys golf team qualified for the TSSAA Small School Region 1 tournament for the fifth year in a row with a second place showing in the Distract Tournament on September 22. Garrett Gentry led University High for a second straight year. His 4-over 76 placed him third in the individual standings. The Bucs also got an 80 from Hank Berning, an 84 from Jaxson Williams and a 93 from Trey Meredith. John Carter also competed in the tournament. The second place finish broke a four year run of District Tournament championships for the Bucs.

The UH girls team also had a strong showing, finishing runner-up as well. The Lady Bucs got a 98 from Chloe Ganger and a 110 from Quinn Scheller.

Both squads finish their season in the region tournament.

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Foundation & School Fundraiser Information

University School Sports Pass

To aid in the support of athletics at University School, the University School Foundation Athletics Committee (USFAC) will be selling Sports Passes this year to cover the cost of operating the USFAC programs. Passes include admission to all HOME Athletic Events for the entire 2021-22 school year. Passes do not include admission to away games or tournament play. Family passes are non transferable and must be presented at the gate for admission to the athletic event. Each family member (immediate household) will receive his or her own pass that must be presented for admission into home contests.

Click on the link provided to access the order form.

Contact Ginger Hare at for more information.

Senior Fundraiser - Discount Cards

Our 2021-2022 Senior Class, with assistance from our great University School Foundation, is participating in a fundraiser to raise money for the senior class activities this year. They are selling Discount Cards. Seniors should have the cards in hand before our Fall Break. The charge will be $15. Please purchase a card and support our wonderful seniors, while saving money for yourself too!
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Save the Date(s)

Please make note of the following dates and events:

  • Monday, October 4th - All classes resume
  • Tuesday, October 5th - ACT Testing for Seniors
  • Friday, October 15th - University School Fall Festival
  • Friday, October 22nd - No School - Teacher Professional Development Day

Inclement Weather and Emergency Closure Policy

As we prepare for the changing of the seasons, we ask that our families please review our inclement weather policy. Although we have a partnership with Washington County Schools, we do want to remind our families that we follow a different calendar and inclement weather and emergency closure policy, so please be sure to review the information below:

Inclement Weather & Emergency Closure Policy:

When there is inclement weather:

  • University will close if Johnson City Schools close for inclement weather.
  • University School will also close for inclement weather if ETSU closes.
  • University School will close if there is need due to an emergency at the school.

We will not make an announcement through the news media due to the fact that saying University School will be closed is confusing to ETSU students. Instead we ask that our students and parents/guardians be aware of the reasons for closure stated above and refer to the University School website and social media sites for updated announcements.

We are aware some students live in areas where the weather may be worse than it is in town. Therefore, if University School is open but road conditions between your home and the school are dangerous, we ask that you please do not put yourself at risk by attempting to drive to school. If this were to occur, please call the school office and inform us of your circumstances. On inclement weather days when Johnson City Schools are not regularly scheduled, announcements will be made through our normal email distribution, website, and social media outlets.

Click here for the Link to the University School Home Page

Click here for Link to Johnson City School System Home Page

Weekly Calendar of Events

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

October 4 First School Day after Fall Break
October 5 ACT Senior Retake
October 5 Morning Mile, UH Outdoor Track, 7:30 to 7:50 a.m.
October 5 Photography Club, Room 301A, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
October 5 HS Girls Soccer, @Chuckey-Doak, 6:30 p.m.
October 5 MS Girls Basketball, Open Gym, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
October 6 Last Day to Register for PSAT
October 6 Bible Study Club, Warf-Pickel Hall Room 127, 3:15-4:00 p.m.
October 6 Key Club, Room 011, 3:05-3:30 p.m.
October 6 MS Boys Basketball, Open Gym, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
October 7 Morning Mile, UH Outdoor Track, 7:30 to 7:50 a.m.
October 7 JAM - Junior Appalachian Musicians, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
October 7 Tri-Cities Financial Aid Night, D.P. Culp Student Center, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
October 7 *** Senior Night HS Girls Soccer, vs. Elizabethton HS,
@Summers-Taylor Stadium (ETSU), 6:00 p.m.
October 7 MS Girls Basketball, Open Gym, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
October 8 MS Boys Basketball, Open Gym, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
October 9 HS Cross Country, Trailblazer, Gray, TN

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