A New Semester at UHS


Emily Sun

A new semester brings a fresh start to UHS.

Farah Hamza, Staff Writer

The new year at UHS, although not the start of a new school year, brings some changes for students. Because of the surge of the new Omicron variant, families are starting to consider switching to Irvine Virtual Academy (IVA), especially as many parents are contemplating whether to vaccinate and/or boost their children or not.

“To be fully vaccinated now, the state is saying that you have to have your booster,” Dr. Kevin Astor said.

It is expected that less students will be attending school in-person this semester.

I think that Omicron is still too new for a flood of IVA requests,” Assistant Principal Mr. Matthew Pate said. “We have had a few, but nothing out of the ordinary. We may have more and more as we near the end of the semester and Omicron continues to spread.”

Despite that, more students are transferring from other high schools to UHS, especially after it was rated as the top high school in Irvine as of 2021.

“We have more students that have enrolled in UHS from other high schools than ever before,” Mr. Pate said. “Having said that, we do not have a huge number.”

The IMPACT program includes sophomore, junior, and senior mentors for UHS’ incoming freshmen, and it has been essential this year, considering it is the first full in-person school year in almost two years. The program will possibly be meeting for follow-ups with freshmen, and may include some of the new students.

“For new students specifically, our main program is our IMPACT program that targets specifically our ninth graders,” Dr. Astor said. “This last year we added an invitation to some of our tenth graders.”

As for student-led programs, there will be a spring club registration being held this semester, open for new clubs specifically. Clubs that did not get a chance to get accepted last semester will also get the opportunity to rethink their ideas. Several student events will be taking place next semester as well.

“Personally, I am most excited for Unilympics, Clubapolooza, Fine Arts week, and Election convention,” ​ UHS’ Clubs Commissioner, senior Quinlan Tobin, said.

Unilympics is a week-long competition during which classes compete in events such as dodgeball and video games and Clubapolooza is a spring version of Club Kickoff where clubs get to showcase their themes and goals. UHS’ Fine Arts Week might include an art gallery in the library this year, where the most exceptional works of students in art classes will be celebrated. Election Convention, which will take place in late March, is when the Associated Student Body (ASB) for the following year will be decided.

As the new year beckons in a variety of changes for UHS, there is a lot for students to look forward to on campus.