Weekly News and Notes, 9/20

Here are a few updates from UHS this week:


Spirit Week Next Week


We applaud the effort of our students and Student Council to once again sponsor and support our Spirit Week. We have shared some guidelines with students in an effort to ensure that the days remain fairly structured, safe, and smart - in that we don’t want any students to do something that could compromise their own good standing, or to cause discomfort in others. To that end, we provided students with some guidelines for the dress-up days:


- Please be cognizant of school rules regarding length of shorts/shirts/dresses, types of shirts, and other basic dress code expectations (see the student handbook if you have any questions).


- Hats are allowed, provided they fit in with the theme of the day.    


- Face painting is allowed, but it must be done PRIOR to coming to school, not in the school bathrooms/locker rooms.  A student’s entire face can not be covered with paint.  


- Covering the entire face with any type of prop, mask, or dark glasses is not allowed.  


- Glasses/sunglasses are not allowed as props.  


- Student attire must be appropriate to the theme of the day.


Too frequently, the idea of “Spirit Week” gives way to “we can do whatever we want.” While we support our students in these days, we want to remain focused on the academic purpose of classes, respect the needs of teachers and staff, and share in the responsibility of ensuring these days do not compromise our core values, particularly of respect, responsibility, and integrity. So, as students start to costume themselves, remind them of these guidelines, remind them that school is still school, and remind them that we do not want to find ourselves in a position where we have to respond to something inappropriate - we are excited to see our students’ creativity and originality!


Monday: Lazy Day

Tuesday: Jersey Day

Wednesday: Red, White & Blue Day

Thursday: Occupation Day

Friday: Spirit Day - represent UHS by wearing Black and Orange



Homecoming Dance


Our Homecoming Dance is next Saturday, September 28th at 7pm in the gym and is open to all UHS students grades 8-12.  This is a semi-formal dance.

Tickets will be on sale next week, 9/23-9/27, during all lunches.  Tickets are $10 each. Cash and checks are accepted.  If you write a check, make it out to UHS Student Council.  

If you plan to bring a guest, you need to fill out a form in the main office. Forms need to be returned to Mrs. Wise in the office by Tuesday, 9/24.   


Week That Was

Here's a look at our Week That Was Video.


A little about curriculum and instruction


With all the conversations about yearbooks, sporting events, fundraisers, and clubs, we sometimes lose sight of the academics and the experience of the classroom, which, for me, is always at the forefront of the work we do every day. While we respect the efforts of the students, advisors, coaches, etc., we are also looking for balance with academics, as that, along with the extracurricular pursuits, is critical in pushing our students to be ready for life after high school. The skills we want to see in students upon graduation come from the playing field, the extracurricular experience, the coaches, and the classroom all working together.



Over the past couple of weeks, our department leadership has been facilitating dialogue with teachers (and each other) about ways to bolster performance. Some of this conversation has focused on what we teach - the curriculum in certain classes - while others have reflected on the rigor of courses. We had more than 20 students earn college credit last year through the work they completed in engineering classes, and more than 30 students are enrolled in college-credit bearing courses offered concurrently at UHS this semester alone. We had several successes on AP tests last year, and we continue to make strides with reducing dropout rates, improving five-year persistence rates beyond high school (students who are successful in their first year of college), and supporting students who have chronic attendance issues, particularly when related to health and wellness.

This year, our school will be focusing on a number of initiatives, including the continued revision of courses to better align with state frameworks in social studies, fine arts, next generation science standards, and mathematics. We likewise are focusing our effort on post-secondary planning with respect to both career and college, particularly the deployment of nearly $175000 in technology across all schools that will support authenticity and real-world problem-solving across the curriculum.

As we do so, please know that there will be some challenges - students will be stretched, and you may hear from some students about how "hard" school is and how they "don't get it," and some students may even throw their arms up to quit. Please know that encouraging perseverance and stretching students' capacity means that struggles will happen, but that we will also support students when things get challenging!