Weekly News and Notes, 9/27

Some Updates from UHS this week:

Pep Rally and Spirit Week


We had a successful Spirit Week this week hosted and sponsored by our School Council. It was great to see so many of our Spartans decked out with the different themes of the week, and obviously the week culminated with our pep rally this week. As is typically the case, there was a lot of energy in the room, and we thank the student organizers, Ms. Bernard, and the rest of the Student Council for their effort this week.

Some of your students may have come home talking about a physical conflict that required intervention at the conclusion of the rally. As is sometimes the case with high school students, two students felt as though the best way to resolve their differences was a physical confrontation. While the number of these incidents at UHS are infrequent at best, - we have had barely four or five total fights over the past three years - the reality is that the sight of two students engaged in an altercation in such a public venue was unfortunate and preventable. That said, we are grateful for the quick actions of several teachers who sprung to immediate action to end the altercation in under a minute, and we simultaneously dismissed the gymnasium to prevent anyone else from getting involved.

As always, we have counselors, administrators, and other support staff available to help confront what is typical teenage challenges, including peer-to-peer conflict, bullying, or socially challenging behaviors. This week, our administration and counseling staff successfully mediated several of these situations and worked to support other students who were navigating some difficulties in their lives. In many cases, these come to us from parents or friends of the students involved, but in all cases, we are grateful for opportunities to be proactive. To that end, please keep an eye on students’ phone and social media use, and feel free to reach out whenever you think there could be something that could impact your children’s experience at school.


October 16 PSAT Day


The PSAT for 2019 will be administered to all members of the sophomore and junior class. Given the changes that the College Board made to the SAT, we wanted to position our students in the best place possible, not only for their post-secondary planning, but also for planning ahead to the SAT. In years past, the PSAT was administered to the sophomores and only to a certain number of juniors based on a first-come, first-serve basis. We changed that to allow all students in the junior and sophomore classes to have access to the examination and its opportunities.


Where our sophomores and juniors will be tied up with that administration for the better part of the start of the day,  our guidance counselors will be facilitating the first workshop of the year with the 8th and 9th graders, as they will begin the introduction to the guidance curriculum before attending classes in the latter half of the day. We also have a workshop being facilitated through the District Attorney’s office.


For our seniors, we are encouraging them to use the day for college and career visits. Most seniors will take a day to visit a college campus, and others have reported a need to spend some time working on college applications and exploring career options. Thus, while our sophomores and juniors are taking the PSAT and the freshmen working with counselors on learning styles, seniors may visit colleges, spend a day in a job shadow, or interview with a prospective college admissions representative. Seniors who do not come to UHS on October 19 and visit a college on that day will be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities on that day. Using this opportunity as a “College/Career Visit Day” will help them plan with counselors into November and be less disruptive, since the rest of the building is going to be busy with other endeavors.


Week That Was


Here’s our weekly Week That Was Video.