South Medford High School is proud to announce that we have been awarded the silver medal by U.S. News and World Report. Nationally, only 8.6% of schools are awarded this honor. This award is given based on the number of students completing college level work and state assessment scores. Out of the 287 high school in Oregon, we are ranked #22. Part of why our ranking is so amazing is because our percent of economically challenged students is greater than most of the higher ranking schools. This school has risen above those numbers to achieve the silver medal. Teachers have been stating since freshmen year that SMHS is an exceptional school— this just goes to show that they’re right!
To view Oregon Rankings follow this link
-Grant Metternich, Digital Journalism and - Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism
Follow link for information on the flu
If you didn’t have plans for Halloween, you do now. With a property spanning 2.5 acres,
Darkwing Manor and Morguetorium Museum is a 108-year-old Victorian house, and is essentially a home haunt on steroids. From humble beginnings 36 years ago, Darkwing is now a nationally known, multiple award winning charity haunted house hosting guest haunters from all over the country.
“Darkwing Manor is the only charity haunted house in America that incorporates a theatrical experience with authentic history.” says Tina Reuwsaat, museum curator and decorative arts historian. Married to Tina is Tim, a BLM retiree and expert in the arts of constructing sets, inventing special effects, and wrangling minions. This year, many of the haunts scenes have been expanded, redone, or renovated, and are all tied together with a rather elaborate back story. The scare factor has definitely been upped.
Entry fees are donated to CASA, a local children’s charity, with a goal of $10,000. Darkwing could still use a few volunteers for various tasks such as fortune telling, fire breathing, parking help, etc. There are also honorary tiers for sponsors with free tickets to the show and personalized tombstones. For more information, contact Tim and Tina at email@example.com .
$10 admission to benefit CASA.
4192 Colman Creek Rd, Medford Or.
Open Oct 30, 31 and Nov, 1, 2014,
6 PM- 9:30 PM.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER AGE 10
-Grant Metternich, Digital Journalism-
When Are You Too Old to Be Trick-or-Treating?
Halloween is approaching really quickly and you know what that means; lots of costumes, treats, and of course, tricks. It’s a holiday that’s beloved and enjoyed by many. On Halloween night, trick-or-treaters in whimsical costumes skip from one house to the next, in hopes of getting a bounty of candy. When trick-or-treating comes to mind, one tends to think of innocent children dressed in adorable costumes. However, what they fail to realize is that rebellious teenagers, adults, and even the elderly join in the activity. This brings up the real question; when exactly is too old for trick-or-treating?
Grace Lewis, a sophomore at South, believes that students can still experience the event. “It’s a great activity and break for students, so I think that Halloween is great for people who are still in school,” she says.
On the other hand, an English teacher at South, Mrs. Schaeffer, thinks the age when people stop trick-or-treating is actually sometime in high school. “I think the age normally happens between freshman and senior year, unless you have a younger sibling,” she states.
The question remains; when are you too old to trick-or-treat? That answer depends on the person you are. If you are around your friends and loved ones, and if everyone feels content, then sure! On the other end of the spectrum, if others feel uncomfortable when you or others trick-or-treat, maybe you should attend other spooky events, like haunted houses and Halloween parties. There’s still so much you can do! The whole point of Halloween is to have fun, and don’t let others hold you back!
–Alison Eagle Digital Journalism-
Unsure what to do this school-free Monday? Come see Derik Nelson perform live in the North Medford Auditorium! Derik Nelson is a singer and songwriter that has made appearances on “How I Met Your Mother” “Glee” and more. He is currently on tour across the West Coast raising money for arts and music programs. If you wish to see him in concert now is your chance! You can buy tickets online at deriknelson.com/tour, be sure to enter South Medford High School Band or Choir into who referred you or enter your choir or band friend’s name to donate directly to them. The concert will be at North’s Auditorium at 7pm on November 3rd.
-Kylie McDermott Digital Journalism-
Noble Coffee Comes to Student Store
When asking the everyday question of “how are you?” It seems as if every high school student responds the same: “tired”. There’s a zombie-like epidemic spreading around South Medford and the obvious cure would be more sleep, but you might as well tell a hipster to stop posting pictures of their lunch–it’s not going to happen. So we resort to our second (and most tasty) option: caffeine. As you may know by now, South’s Student Store is offering Noble coffee this year; because let’s get real, what meal doesn’t go well with a warm cup of coffee? It’s not your typical cup of Joe either, Noble Coffee Roasting has devoted over 7 years to making sure every cup reaches its max potential
Founder, Jared Rennie is not only a lover of coffee-but a graduate and former teacher of South Medford High School. When asked at what point his dream of opening Noble Coffee began, Jared responded, “Around the year 2000… As a teacher at South, I always told my students to follow their dreams. I finally realized that I should follow the advice that I had been giving.” His Ashland-based business began as many do: with a dream and a garage. For years he experimented with different roasts, techniques, and flavors to ensure his true love for the beverage shined through with every sip. When asked to sum up the two most important qualities in Noble coffee, Jared deems it, “excellence and care.” People soon began to notice and the business took off. Flash forward to present day, and our school is fortunate enough to be among the few that carry Jared’s product. The people running the student store are excited to sell it and hope to wake up South Medford so we can perform to our max potential! –Holly Kloefkorn, Digital Journalism-
Present Mirth hath Present Laughter
South Medford Theater’s 2014 fall production will be Present Laughter. This light comedy – written in 1939 by Noël Coward – follows fictional actor Garry Essendine as he battles personal relationships and his own self-importance in the weeks leading up to his departure to Africa for a job. The play will be directed by SMHS theater coach Ms. Wezelman.
The theater club is currently making a push to fundraise for their traveling endeavors in the winter and spring. “If we can raise $5,000, [Wezelman] will dye her hair pink,” says senior
Gillian Frederick, the club’s treasurer and the costume designer for Present Laughter. “The money will allow us to bring more thespians to the regional and state competitions, which could help South gain more recognition among Oregon troupes.” Students are encouraged to attend school theater productions throughout the year to support South Medford’s dedicated actors and actresses. –Drew Thompson Digital Journalism-
Changes in Proficiency Grading
By now all students must know of the changes in proficiency grading that have been enacted this school year. Homework is now being counted as a percentage of student’s grades- a drastic difference from last year’s policies. Before, the policies allowed homework to not affect scores, but instead had only summative assessments factor into the student’s grades. That is most certainly not the case this year. Teachers and administrators now have the power to decide what percentage of grades will be formative assessments and how much will be summative assessments. Most teachers have landed on 20% to 80%, or 30% to 70%.
So what led to these changes? The district held surveys to collect information on how parents felt about the old proficiency system. 45% of 650 parent surveyors rated the quality of the system as “poor”, and even 32.3% said it was “not good”. In a separate set of questions, 50% said that they felt less informed and 43% noticed that the system was not helping their children. If a student didn’t pass one test and they failed to make it up, they failed the class for that quarter. Unfortunately the same is still true for learning targets. If a student fails a learning target they are given as many chances as they need to prove that they have learned the content and can pass the assessment. This also means that if a student doesn’t do any homework, their grade will be pulled down by whatever percent that formative assessments counts for in that class. Additionally, teachers can penalize students for turning in work late. So it’s now imperative that all students and parents keep in mind that homework does matter. As Megan Curry, a student at South, said, “I think the changes in proficiency grading are better preparing students for the real world, because it teaches the students accountability.” - Grace Lewis - Digital Journalism -
A Game to Remember
On Tuesday, the volleyball lady panthers played Grants Pass in a fight to the death. They stayed strong throughout the whole game and never gave up. The first match out of five was a hard way to start for the girls, but in the next matches they brought their all. Coach Emily Marshall coached her team out of their hole and they won the third match 25-20. The girls were really pumped after that win and came back out winning the fourth match 25-22. With both teams tied with two wins, they went into a fifth game to 15 points. Our lady panthers started out with a lead of 4-0. The girls wanted it badly and were so close to victory.
In games like the Grants Pass game is where you really see how the team depends on each other and came together. Nicole Bell #8 was an important leader on the court as always and everyone could see that by how she kept the team together. Freshman Chanel Groom #15 killed it with her fierce spikes. Grants Pass didn’t even have a chance up against Jasmin Falls #12 when she came up to block and spike. “Last night was a tough loss, but we left it all on the court at the end of the game. We were all in it as a team and will practice harder to ensure our win for next time!” Alyssa Steller #3 said. Teamwork and their love for volleyball showed and everyone in the audience would agree that these girls work amazing together. -Kaitlin Brown Digital Journalism-
WRESTLING TEAM DEDICATED THROUGH SUMMER
In the sport of wrestling, nobody is born a champion. Only through season after season of dedication and mental and physical growth can someone achieve such a title. Over the summer, several of South Medford’s wrestlers stayed dedicated all the way through, working out and going to camps, putting themselves a step ahead of those who didn’t. You don’t grow as a person by choosing to “just get by,” or only doing the minimum, you grow by choosing to set your standards high and making it your goal to achieve them.
At first, there were only a few panthers who decided to dedicate themselves over the summer, but when time came to go to the Tech Fall camp in South Eugene, many of the returning South Medford wrestlers, and many incoming Panther wrestlers, stepped up and put themselves into a situation where they could grow. Through three wrestling sessions per day over the course of four days. Each wrestler pushed each other to make sure nobody was slacking or trying to get by with doing as little as possible. Each one grew both in mental strength and physical strength, and were able to keep their heads out of the dirt and have fun while doing so. The harder you work and the more you dedicate yourself to something, you will get better and it will become easier, but a champion is someone who repeats this process, pushing themselves more each and every time. -Braden Maloney, Digital Journalism-
Volleyball is not a laughing matter
Volleyball takes hardcore skill, dedication and the willingness to thrive alongside your team “to make sure every day we are competing for a common goal; to be the best we can be” according to first year varsity head coach, Emily Marshall. This year’s varsity volleyball team combines players who have been playing together since freshman year along with a new face to the Panther Volleyball program, Alyssa Vaughn, a freshman who is playing up. “I’m really impressed with the work every girl has put in and I’m confident their hard work will pay off” says Marshall who is excited about moving the South Medford High School Volleyball program forward.
Although the score sheet hasn’t looked so great in the past years, Marshall is determined to build a solid foundation for the future of South Medford Volleyball. With constant reminders of “Victory requires payment in advance” and “it’s the little things everyday” Marshall and her Lady Panthers are set on their path to hang their first conference banner in the gym.
-Maddy Myers Digital Journalism-
What is to be expected from the South Medford Cheerleaders this upcoming year
According to most, it would simply be to yell and jump around at sports events to get the crowd and athletes pumped up. But what most don’t know, is that this is only a fraction of what cheer is all about, and only a fraction of what the girls have planned. South Medford only has two cheer teams this year, a Varsity and Junior Varsity. Unlike previous years where there has been three teams: Freshman, JV, and Varsity. Head varsity coach Loni Strong tells the girls, “This is a building year”, after finding out there are no senior girls on the team, and also not having enough girls to make a third team.
Despite those challenges, this doesn’t bring down the girls spirit or attitudes in the least bit. Varsity team captains, Maddy Dalton, Mari Haughton (Juniors), and Sophomore Chloe Martin, all work super hard in teaching the girls cheers and dance material and encourage them to go above and beyond what is expected of them. No matter what level of talent, each cheerleader has a job of dedication to their team. All cheerleaders work very hard in memorizing material, stunting, conditioning, dancing, and being a role model to set a good example for others. As a team they paint run-through signs, put together half time show routines, and plan themes for sports events, including this Friday’s game as “A Day at Lake Oswego” theme corresponding with Lake Oswego, the team that the boys will be playing. SMHS cheerleaders are ready and overflowing with multiple fun ideas for their team and the crowd and can’t wait to show them off this upcoming year!-Maddy Dalton 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
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.
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.
New Format for Student Report Cards
|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.