Got Recycling! Help Support our Students Travelling to Costa Rica
The SMHS students traveling to Costa Rica during Spring Break want your empty soda cans and bottles! To support the group, please save all of your empty recyclable cans and bottles from your Super Bowl party. E-mail the group with your address and then leave your recyclables in front of your house on the morning of Sunday, February 9th (a week after the big game!). The group will come by and pick up your cans and bottles and recycle them for the deposit. The group can be contacted at SMHSCostaRicaTrip@gmail.com. Thank you for supporting student travel!
A Hunt for the Answers!
The Jefferson State Scavenger Hunt is a great competition against other schools. This is an intense contest that last over three days. The goal of this contest is to spend those three days answering hard questions, but along with the answers, documentation must be provided by the team to say where those answers came from. According to Mrs. K, questions are not the only thing they have to find, the team also must perform some sort of weird tasks, or even bring in the strangest items. For example, the team last year had to bring in a termite farm! Once the three days of research are complete, the team packs their answers, and items, and heads to SOU for an adjudication.
The adjudication is where the team presents their answers to the judges. These answers will be compared to the answers of all the other schools. If all the schools have the same, correct answer, then points are given to all; but if even one school has a different answer, then the judging begins. One student from each school will be defending their answers, and the other attacking other school’s answers. The judges will then decide how many points should be awarded to each team based upon their claims.
These teams of students can get their answers in the strangest ways. Some of the questions are print-based questions, which mean that the answers must come from a print based source! (i.e. books, newspaper, documents.) Others are internet based, and may be acquired from any other source besides a print, and this means that they may call experts or even use the internet. Below is an example print based question from last year to see what this team endures. Mrs. K advises her team to, “Never give up no matter the hours a question takes!” This suggests that these questions may take longer than a mere moment to solve.
A Print-Based example question from last year: What number (3 points) should be correctly entered on Line 44 of the 1040 form in 2011 if one is a 23-year-old single student from Hawaii, and if her entry on line 43 of the 1040 was 94212?
Last year, South tied for 1st place with a great team pictured above. Best of luck to this year’s Scavenger Hunt team! - D.J. Kirkendall, Digital Journalism
Sochi Winter Olympics Controversy
The city of Sochi, Russia will be holding the XXII 2014 Winter Olympics, taking place from February 7th to February 23rd. This will be the first time that the Russian Federation will have hosted the games, an extremely exciting honor for the people of Russia. According to Wikipedia.com, the host city Sochi has a population of 400,000 people and is situated in Krasnodar, which is the third largest region in Russia. The USA is currently on their Road to Sochi, preparing their athletes for the events and making final decisions as to who is taking the trip to compete in Russia.
Much controversy has surrounded the upcoming games, including fear of weather conditions not being up to par, several country presidents refusing to attend the games, and the major issues with Russia’s anti-gay laws. Exactly a year from when the games were scheduled back in February, the weather was extremely disappointing and skeptical, therefore worrying visiting countries if they would actually be able to pull it off. Several country leaders, including President Obama, are boycotting the winter games due to disagreements with Russia’s anti-gay laws. It was just decided on December 17th that openly gay tennis icon Billie Jean King will represent the United States at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games in Sochi. Olympic historian David Wallechinsky commented on the implications of the law to the Washington Post, stating, “It’s disturbing, the athletes don’t know. And I don’t read Russian, so I don’t know the actual intent of the law.” an equal opinion amongst all gay rights supporters. This development is being interpreted as a White House rebuke to Russia’s anti-gay laws. The games are still scheduled to go on, but hopefully all the issues can get cleared up prior to the opening ceremony. . - Rachel Lightner, Digital Journalism
Classic Book Review: Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis caught my eye on the list of classic books we could read for A.P. Language and Composition. The Chronicles of Narnia was one of my favorite childhood series so I jumped at the chance to read one of his works again. This book was way more than I bargained for. Screwtape, a demon, writes letters to his nephew a beginning tempter, Wormwood. In his letters he instructs Wormwood on the finer points of leading a new Christian astray. Screwtape describes to his nephew one way to get the new Christian (the subject) away from Christianity without making it obvious to them: make an unimportant matter important, so important that they focus only on that, make it their whole being. Here's a quote from the Screwtape demon:
“Then let him, under the influence of the partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and graduallye him on to the stage at which religion becomes merely part of the “cause”, in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce [his] favor. Once you have made the World an end, a faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.” -Screwtape
Whether you are a Christian or not, you have demons, ones that wish to distract you from the end goal. Being able to push past distractions, peer pressure, petty annoyances, to accomplish your goal in life is important.
Another way Screwtape suggests Wormwood lead his subject astray is by putting him around bad influences. People that will only draw him away from the straight and narrow; this way of pulling the subject away involves using the ‘it’s not that bad’ mindset. Using this technic makes the ‘holier than thou’ thought process come quickly. If the subject thinks that what they are doing isn’t that bad, they will then start to compare it to others like him and how badly they messed up. Thinking ‘well they did that so I can do this’ will trap anyone and can easily send the subject down a slippery slope toward rock bottom. In the book the subject avoids this by meeting good influences and making an active decision to move away from bad influences.
An alternative idea Screwtape gives Wormwood is having the subject get along poorly with his elderly mother. Driving the two of them away from each other instead of towards each other for support is an easy and successful way to upset the subject therefore making the subject likely to make other bad decisions.
This book is not like any of the Chronicles of Narnia; it was deep with many complex ideas. It made you think more and the point was slightly more obvious than the Narnia series. Even if you aren’t a Christian this book has several ideas of how anyone can be tripped up on anything from distractions to bad influences. I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if you are in no way a religious person. - Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism
South Medford Cheerleaders are Grand Champions at the Southern Oregon Cheer Classic
On Saturday January 18th, the JV and Varsity cheerleaders competed at the Southern Oregon Cheer Classic. The JV team, which has not competed in the past 8 years, won second place. The Varsity competition team won first place in the 5A/6A All Girl Cheerleading division beating Grants Pass and Crater. Additionally, the girls achieved the highest score out of all of the high school competitors, which included Eagle Point’s Co-Ed team and Brooking Harbor’s 4A team - who usually take top honors.
Our South Medford Cheerleaders won the Grand Champions award, and brought home their first banner for the year. Next up, the Sheldon Invitational on Feb. 1st, and then it’s off to Memorial Coliseum in Portland for the 2014 State Cheerleading Competition. Congrats to our cheerleading squads, and good luck at state!
Seniors! Now is Your Last Chance to Earn Your Purple Tassel!
Tassels hanging off of your cap are an important part of recognition at graduation, but did you know that at South Medford High School, you can earn a purple tassel to go with your school tassel? Purple tassels are considered, “a recognition of excellence and a job well done,” said South Medford’s OAKS test administrator, Mr. Weston. When you graduate as a senior, everyone at graduation will be able to see the purple tassel hanging off of your cap, but only if you’ve earned one, and time to do so is running out. Every senior will be receiving a card in the mail to inform them where they are on their path to a purple tassel, and every senior still needing to pass the writing work sample will receive a reminder in the mail with more details. The deadline for the writing work samples is February 20, 2014 and the first session will be all day on January 21, 2014. Then time will be given to work on those, and other work samples during seventh and eighth period. A list of seniors who have passed all work samples and earned a purple tassel will be posted outside room A144 starting in the first few weeks of third quarter. Seniors, our time at South is drawing to a close faster than you think and these work samples, especially the Science Inquiry, will take time. Make an appointment with Mr. Weston in room A144 to earn your purple tassel is as soon as possible!
The requirements to receive a purple tassel at graduation are:
- Minimum OAKS Scores of: Reading – 236, Math – 236, Science – 240, Writing – 40.
- Passing Scores on All Work Samples: Reading (Informative), Reading (Informative or Literary), Writing (Expository or Persuasive), Writing (From Any Mode), Speaking (Informative or Persuasive), Math (From Different Modes), Math (Algebra, Geometry or Statistics), and Science (Inquiry).
For more information, please contact Mr.Weston in A144. - Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
Lack of Snow Frustrates Snowboarders and Skiers
A few weeks into the start of winter and the signs of a healthy snowboarding and ski season are still nowhere to be found. One of the biggest indicators for how our winter is kicking off is when Mt. Ashland opens its slopes to the public. It's a sign that winter is well along its way to a snowy season. Unfortunately, Mt. Ashland is still closed with an extremely bare minimum amount of snow. Last year, the mountain opened on December 14th, and now, being the first week of January, they barely have two inches. For skiers and snowboarders alike, anxiousness and frustration is a common feeling as we all await the day that the snow gods decide to be in our favor. Not only is the lack of snow disappointing local riders, but it has a major financial impact on both Mt. Ashland and businesses like The Rogue Ski Shop.
Mt. Ashland gains a lot of their financial profit off of the holiday season, and being closed during that time really hurts the association. Mt. Ashland’s normal opening window tends to be anywhere from December 1st through the holidays, but that obviously couldn’t happen this year. The Rogue Ski Shop is also experiencing a financial downfall, and as Bob Matthews, owner of the shop stated in an interview with the Mail Tribune, “When there’s no snow, there’s no dough.” Finally, we are beginning to receive some rain in the valley, which means snow on the mountains. Hopefully it will be able to stick and create a nice base layer to start getting riders up on the slopes and happy with the start of the season. - Rachel Lightner, Digital Journalism Photo courtesy of www.mailtribune.com, 2014.
Seniors - It is Time to Fill Out the FAFSA
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is a online form that can be prepared for current or future college students to determine if they are eligible for student aid from the government. You can find out more information by visiting their helpful web site at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ or you can visit our Panther Future Center to get assistance.
There are several different types of aid to receive, including the Pell Grant, Stafford loans, Perkins loans, and the Federal Work-Study program. Applications are accepted starting on January first, and it is best to submit as soon as possible, since aid is given on a first come first serve basis. Don’t assume you won’t receive any aid. Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Finaid.com, estimates that households earning up to $180,000 will still be likely qualify for some sort of financial aid.
Seniors, this is an important next step for college. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA application as soon as possible. - Grant Metternich, Digital Journalism
Senior Photo Deadlines for the Yearbook
Attention seniors! Senior portraits are being accepted now! Your last day to turn them in is on Friday, January 10. Also remember the guidelines for portraits - no hats, hoodies, or hands, and your clothing must be school appropriate. To ensure that your photo displays correctly in the yearbook, please be sure to take a high resolution photo. Seniors, you can email your photo to Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org or you can hand deliver it to room C214 (Mrs. Burton’s room) or C225 (Yearbook room).
Seniors, your parent dedications are also due on March 20. Parents can submit either one baby picture and a maximum of 35 words for a business sized space for $35, or 2 baby pictures and up to 50 words for a quarter of a space for $50.
In addition, throwback pictures are also due March 20. Recreate a picture from the past! Find an old picture of your South friends and you or your relatives. Don’t forget to wear the same colors, strike the same pose, and go to the same place. Hurry seniors! The yearbook is such a special record of your life at South, make sure that you’re well represented in your senior year! - Mackinsie Hall, Digital Journalism
WinterSpring Helps Students Who are Grieving
Are you grieving from the loss of someone close to you? If you are, WinterSpring is the program to join. According to South Medford Counselor Martin Mares, “WinterSpring is a grief counseling group for students who are having trouble coping with the loss of a loved one.” This group will meet once a week in a conference room in the front office. I have been through this program myself a few years ago, so I can vouch that these people know what they are doing and they can help. If you wish to be a part of this group, talk to Mr. Mares in the front office.
WinterSpring is run by trained volunteers who want to help students that need counseling, but can’t afford it. This nonprofit organization has been available to students since 1989. All of this is made possible from grants in order to keep this excellent organization running. In addition to grants, there are some people who generously make donations as well, because the volunteers are so great at the work and effort they pour into this group. The program revolves around helping those students in need. So if you really need the help, I highly recommend joining WinterSpring. - D.J. Kirkendall, Digital Journalism
Our Sparrow: Isaiah’s Story
Hey Panthers, please join us in welcoming our new Sparrow, Isaiah Harris! Isaiah is only seven years old, and has undergone more eye surgeries than most will ever have to endure in their lifetime. Young Isaiah has had 24 eye surgeries to date, because he was born with a rare eye disease called congenital glaucoma. Isaiah has no chamber in the back of the eye to relieve fluid, so pressure builds up and damages the fibers that make up the optic nerves. This pressure causes him eye pain, burning sensations, and headaches. Isaiah misses a lot of school because of the pain and kids his age can have difficulty understanding his unique condition. Isaiah’s eyes are very sensitive to the light and he’s slowly losing his vision.
Isaiah’s surgeries aren’t over yet and he’ll need another one soon. Because of his condition he and his family must travel to Portland on a regular basis (about every two weeks) for extensive eye exams. At this point, doctors are not sure how many surgeries are in his future but they are determined to keep doing everything possible to help save Isaiah’s vision.
Despite all Isaiah has gone through he’s a fun-loving, active boy who loves sports. Isaiah even took second place in his first wrestling match! He also enjoys riding his bike when it’s not too bright outside, reading, Xbox, and playing with his cat Benjer.
Students and staff at South Medford are rallying behind the effort to help Isaiah today! Please make a donation, and be sure to enter "Isaiah Harris" in the Sparrow designation box on the entry form, before you submit payment. Thanks for supporting our friend, Isaiah! Video by Cailin Tamplin, Digital Journalism
CHAMPS Guest Speaker Program Allows South Students to Explore Careers
In Mr. Drew’s room there have been guest speakers from our community presenting information about careers related to the CHAMPS small school. The presentations have been happening during the PAWS period and allow students to get a unique understanding of different careers, including salary, type of work, and pathways of study to get jobs. All of the guest speakers are from local businesses, and so far there have been five guest speakers, with five more scheduled to come. The speakers are giving these presentations to give back to their community, and the hope is that lots of students will attend. “It’s a great opportunity for students to learn about possible future careers and find exactly what they need to get there,” said CHAMPS teacher, Mr. Hamasu. Any South student is welcome to participate and students have been gaining a lot from these speakers, so come take advantage of these career learning opportunities.
The next guest speakers will be coming during the Friday morning Paws Period in room C103:
- November 22, 2013: Nathan Weaver, Dental Hygienist
- December 6, 2013: Ryan Hutchinson, Diagnostic Imaging
- December 13, 2013: Dan Hamlin, Clinical Research Institute, Allergy and Asthma Center
- January 31, 2014: Anne Hansen, Nursing
- February 28, 2014: Cory Maukonen, Nursing via Marine Corps.
Don’t see anything that interests you yet? There are still more guest speakers to be scheduled in. Check in with Ms. Marshall throughout the year for future presentations. Don't miss this chance to learn about the world of work. - Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
La Clinica Mobile Health Center Offers Students Free Medical and Dental Services
The La Clinica Mobile Health Center is a 40-foot clinic on wheels that provides medical, dental, and behavioral health care to patients who have difficulty reaching La Clinica's other health centers in the Rogue Valley. La Clinica’s Mobile Health Center will begin making weekly stops at South Medford in December, and parents and students will have an opportunity to tour the 40-foot clinic on wheels before service begins. La Clinica’s staff provides medical care on the mobile center, which looks like an RV but is outfitted with exam rooms and medical equipment and is staffed by a nurse, nurse practitioner, and aide.
An open house tour for students and their parents is set at South from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, November 22. Service at the school will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Monday starting December 2. The center will be open to all South students, although students 14 and younger must have parents’ permission to be seen. Discounts will be available for some students depending on family income. La Clinica has provided service to area schools since the mobile center opened in 2012.
Spirit Rally Video Inspires Students to Dream Big
SAT Sign-Ups Are Upon Us
Attention seniors of South Medford High School! An important step of college admissions is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) that is available to take seven times throughout the school year. The fee for the test is $50 unless the student qualifies for free or reduced lunch. “Colleges need SAT scores by admission deadlines,” explained Angel Garcia in the Panther Future Center. The scores from the SAT are not only important on the college admissions, but can also lead to scholarships, merit aid and course placement while connecting seniors to colleges and educational organizations.
South students don’t need to be seniors to take the SAT. In fact, it’s highly recommended that students take the SAT no later than spring of their junior year. This allows students to get a head start in knowing what is on the test, what to study for and discovering personal strengths and weaknesses before their busy senior year. Studying for the test can begin at any time, but the sooner a student begins studying, the better their chances are at excelling. SAT study workbooks and sign-ups are available in the Panther Future Center at South and study tips, sign-ups and other information are available at www.sat.org/practice. For further information on the SAT test, see Angel Garcia in the South Medford Panther Future Center or visit sat.collegeboard.org. - Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
|SAT TEST DATES
||Oct. 5 2013
||Nov. 2 2013
|Jan. 25 2014
|May 3 2014
||Jun. 7 2014
|REGULAR REGISTRATION DEADLINES
|Sep. 6 2013 |
|Oct. 3 2013 |
|Nov. 8 2013 |
|Dec. 27 2013 |Feb. 7 2014
||Apr. 4 2014
||May 9 2014
|LATE REGISTRATION DEADLINES
|Sep. 20 2013 |
|Oct. 18 2013 |
|Nov. 22 2013 |
|Jan. 10 2014 |Feb. 21 2014
||Apr. 18 2014
||May 23 2014
New Format for Student Report Card
|The new district report card has several new sources of information for parents and students. As you read the new report card, look under course and term for the letter grade. Note the next section labeled “Reporting Standards” to check your student’s progress on class assessments. Then check the "Career Related Learning Standards" portion for the skills and behaviors students need to master for their future. For your convenience, click this link to see a handy guide to the new report card.