University School Weekly Update

May 17-21, 2021

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Greetings University School Families! As we prepare for the week ahead we ask that you review the following information and upcoming calendar of events:

University School Mask Update

As many changes are occurring with the safety protocols and guidelines across the nation, state and region, University School is also looking at future revisions and modifications to our plan for the 2021-2022 school year. While we realize the landscape and recommendations have been modified at this time for individuals vaccinated, the decision has been made to continue with the current safety protocols in place for University School, including maintaining our mask and distancing protocols for the remainder of this school year for our students and staff during the scheduled school day.
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Volunteers Needed - Please Register Below

Volunteers - we will need many parent and student volunteers for our upcoming event. You can sign up here:

Fun Run Student Registration

Please register your child for our Fun Run. We are encouraging students to raise money digitally from family and friends. We will have prizes for our kiddos who raise at least $100 and a big prize for our top fundraiser. We also have prizes for anyone who registers. Registration is Free. Classes with the highest registration rate will also receive a special treat. Video showing how to register:

Senior Academic Honors - Friday, May 21st

Academic Honor - Time Change

Plans are being made to recognize our graduating Seniors receiving academic honors on Friday, May 21st at 12:30 PM in the ETSU Millennium Ballroom. Invitations and registration for senior recipients and their guests will be sent through Senior Remind App and Counseling Canvas page.
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Free Reading Resources Now Available for All Tennessee Families of K-2 Children

Free Decodables to Use at Home to Build Strong Reading Skills

Nashville, TN—Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the free At-Home Decodable Book Series are now available to Tennessee families of kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade children to help our youngest learners become stronger readers. This launch is part of the family component of the state’s Reading 360 initiative to help boost strong reading skills amongst Tennessee students.

Designed for Tennessee children in grades K-2, in partnership with Tennessee teachers and state-adopted instructional materials from the State Board of Education approved list, each free pack has 7 decodable booklets which contain 20+ exciting stories full of sounds and words to help practice phonics and develop strong reading skills.

Tennessee families can order one booklet pack for each of their kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students using this order form.

“Reading and strong literacy skills open doors of opportunity for children throughout their education and well after they graduate. Tennessee has deeply invested in literacy to help strengthen and extend the learning that happens in classrooms every day,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “From teachers to school and district personnel, state officials to elected leaders, and most importantly, parents and families-- everyone can play a role in helping our youngest learners become strong readers. As a parent, I hope all Tennessee families will order the free At-Home Decodable Book series to support their children in learning and reading together.”

A decodable is a book or story carefully sequenced to include letter sounds and words familiar to readers that allow them to practice important phonics and decoding skills at their grade level.

As part of Reading 360, the At-Home Decodable Book Series was intentionally designed to practice important grade-level sounds and provide adult readers with guidance on how to focus on sounds when reading aloud with their child.

“Family support for early reading is crucial to student success and I am so excited that families will be able to get free decodables to read with their children at home,” said Kristy Brown, Director of Schools, Jackson County Schools. “This is a great resource that will support strong literacy skills for students in Jackson County and throughout the state.”

Teachers can also utilize these resources to help families extend learning that takes place in the classroom.

“Helping families have access to decodable booklets, which are filled with engaging stories full of sounds and words to practice, will enable them to support their children, who are hungry to read independently at home as they continue to build upon the foundational skills they have acquired in the classroom,” said Hannah Cunningham and Brandy Puckett, 1st Grade Teachers at Indian Springs Elementary School, Sullivan County Schools. “There is nothing better than seeing the delight and self-confidence students exhibit when they successfully transition to reading stories on their own. As we know, early literacy leads to future success!”

For family ordering: Families seeking to order booklet packs for their kindergarten, first or second grade students can do so at this link. Booklets will be delivered to the mailing address provided. In addition to the order form, a step-by-step ordering guide, FAQs and additional information can be found online at

For teachers: Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade teachers participating this summer in the

Reading360 Early Literacy Training program will receive At-Home Decodable Reading Series booklet packs for their K-2nd grade classrooms for free. If you are a teacher who will not complete the training, please contact to learn more about how to help your students access these free resources.

Tennessee families and teachers are encouraged to share fun and exciting reading moments using these and other reading resources on social media. Join in by using the hashtags #TNDecodables, #Reading360 or #ReadTogetherTN.

Reading 360 is a comprehensive statewide literacy initiative to provide optional grants and resources to help more Tennessee students develop strong phonics-based reading skills by supporting districts, teachers, and families. Components of the Reading 360 initiative including the At-Home Decodable Book series are funded with federal COVID-19 relief and stimulus funding. To access additional resources on Reading 360, click here.

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact

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All medications in the Nurse Clinic need to be picked up prior to or on the last day of school, May 28, 2021 by a parent/guardian. The medications must be disposed of after this date. Parents may stop by anytime during the school day to collect any medications or supplies for their child. ​
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Dear University School Seniors and families,

As we are getting close to the end of the year, we would like to highlight all of our 2020 graduates by doing a Senior Spotlight each day during the month of May. In order to do this, we need a little assistance from each of graduating students. Each day 2-3 of you will be recognized on our webpage and social media sites. Please send Mrs. Erwin (our Webmaster) the information below:

  • Name (first and last):
  • College or Career Path Plans:
  • Favorite University School Moment:
  • A photo of you (please make sure that if it was taken by a professional photographer that you have permission for us to post it online and via social media platforms)

Please send the photo and the information to Mrs. Erwin:

Athletic News & Student Athlete Spotlights

Emily Morgan of University School signs to play softball at Cumberland University

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Daxx Carr Signs With Tusculum University

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Freshmen Lily Mefford and Jordan Havert both competed in the district tournament for doubles. They placed fourth in the district, and made it all the way to the semi-finals in the draw. Lily and Jordan were both all conference players for the season as well! Go, Bucs, Go!
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Congratulations to our Men's Soccer Team on their District 1-A Title, the team will continue their play this week - Good luck Bucs!
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Congratulations to our Men's Baseball team on their District 1-A Runner-up achievement - the team will advance to regional substate competition this week - Go Bucs!
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Faculty & Staff Spotlights

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Quarter 4 Operational Calendar

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Weekly Calendar of Events & Activities

Monday, May 17 No School
May 17 HS Baseball, Regional Semi-Finals, @Greenback, 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 18
May 18 Morning Mile, Outside Track, 7:30-7:50 a.m.
May 18 HS Boys Soccer, Regional Tournament, vs. Gatlinburg-Pittman, Civitan, 6:30 p.m.
May 18 Cheer Tryout Clinics, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 19
May 19 HS Baseball, Regional Finals @ North Greene, 6:00 p.m.
May 19 Cheer Tryouts, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 20
May 20 Morning Mile, Outside Track, 7:30-7:50 a.m.
May 20 University School Blue and Gold FUN RUN, Information
May 20 HS Boys Soccer, Regional Tournament
May 20 HS Boys Basketball Tryouts, Lower Brooks Gym, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Friday, May 21 No School
May 21 HS Baseball, Sectionals
May 21 HS Boys Basketball Tryouts, Lower Brooks Gym, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 22
May 22 HS Boys Soccer, State Sectionals

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