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
Ahh, Thanksgiving…the time of year to gather with friends and family and buy a new wardrobe two times the size of your old one. I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind at the mention of the joyous holiday is simply: mashed potatoes. However, as you all know, the meaning behind the holiday goes much deeper than a plate piled high of gravy-drenched goodness. But how much do you actually know about the origins of the holiday and how it has evolved through time?
America had a bumpy start when it was first founded. The dream surrounding our country was not so gracefully accomplished and we are still ashamed of the way our ancestors went about conquering it. Yet, somehow we managed for a few days to set aside our pride and see people for who they really are: human beings. The traditions we celebrate in modern times look a whole lot different from that first Thanksgiving. Rather than a feast, it was more of a coming together of pilgrims and Native Americans to share resources and knowledge. It wasn’t until 1863 that good ol’ Abe declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, and from there, we America-fied it. On average, more than 45 million turkeys are sold and eaten at Thanksgiving and around half of American families spend the day gathering around the television watching football. Also, just in case the turkey alone didn’t already make you miserably full, the turducken has been a popular replacement. That’s right, a chicken inside of a duck, inside of a turkey, filled with stuffing, and possibly weaved with bacon strips. Well played, America…well played. Despite some of these outlandish practices (get ready for the cheesy part of the story) don’t forget the real meaning behind the holiday. Take a moment to look around you and reflect on how far we’ve come from our humble beginnings and never take for granted the friends, food, and family that will come together this November 27th. - Holly Kloefkorn, Digital Journalism-
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Black Friday ads have already started. The idea of giving thanks one day and then the very next trampling over each other in a mad dash to get more stuff seems ironic; but taking advantage of the first of the holiday deals the day after Thanksgiving has been around since the celebration was established as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln. The term “Black Friday” wasn’t coined until the late 60’s when Philadelphia police referred to this day as “Black Friday” due to the crazy traffic the police, bus drivers and taxi drivers had to attempt to safely navigate. Big companies took up this name, but attempted to change its meaning to something more pleasant; that companies finally moved from the red or negative spending to the black or profit, which is simply a corporate lie and should not be believed. Not sure if the Black Friday deals are worth risking your life for? Just wait for Cyber Monday! Tons of great deals are available online, which means you don’t even need to leave your house to save money.
-Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism-
Winter Choir Concert 2014
South Medford’s choir department has begun learning their new music for the upcoming Winter Choir and Orchestra Concert. The concert will focus mainly on Christmas and winter music. There will be different kinds of music ranging from Spanish music, Christian music, music in other languages and many more. With the concert coming up on December 10th 2014, there is very little time to prepare and be ready for it.
The Choir and Orchestra departments are excited for this special concert, and hope that many friends and family of the performers come to this event. The choir concert is free with a $3 suggested donation. The concert will begin at 6pm, and end at approximately 8pm, but may go a little longer or shorter. We hope to see you all there! -Courtney Naylor, Digital Journalism-
High School Soccer Injuries
As the first quarter concludes and we begin the second quarter, we are left with many sports injuries. The football players have suffered a lot of injuries on their team including collarbone breaks, separated shoulders and ankle breaks. As of now there are more than five football players with injuries which will affect the upcoming sports too. Cross country has about 15 injured runners and the girls on the volleyball team had to go through a couple of their girls having serious injuries with their ankles. The girls soccer team suffered with three injured players including Desiree Lakin who tore her ACL. There are lots of different measures you can take to help prevent the risk of these sports injuries. The nutrition aspect is one of the most important to know about it.
As any high school student athlete can attest, injuries are inevitable and soccer is no exception. Soccer players, both male and female, face many injuries in their high school years. ACL tears, ankle sprains, concussions, and hamstring injuries are the most common. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (more commonly known as the ACL), is a ligament in the knee that prevents the tibia from moving forward on the knee. ACL tears are regularly categorized as one of the most severe soccer injuries. Signs of an ACL tear include swelling and intense pain in the knee, causing decreased range of motion and difficulty to straighten the knee. Once the knee has been assessed by a professional, surgery is sometimes required and other times it is not, but that is a case by case decision. It takes approximately 6-9 months to recover from an ACL tear. This includes restrictions on activities and, sadly, no time on the field.
Soccer players also face concussions. Concussions range from many different degrees and may, in the worst cases, result in memory loss or difficulty with concentration. Concussions can have lasting effects on the individual for any amount of time, and thus it is sometimes hard to know when it is safe for athlete to return to playing. Ankle sprains, another common injury amongst soccer players, most often occur when the foot rolls under the ankle and sometimes happen more after one has already sprained their ankle. Finally, hamstring injuries. Hamstrings (the group of muscles at the back of the thigh) can be torn or strained after a previous hamstring injury or due to having weak hamstrings. However, hamstring tears or strains most often occur in contact with other players when sprinting or accelerating.
-Megan Curry, Digital Journalism-
One thing everyone knows and you have probably heard of a million times would be drink water. Drinking water helps flush the toxins out of your body and keep you cool while exercising. Most of your body is water, so you need to make sure you replace that water when getting exercise so you don’t become dehydrated. If you know you will be working out, plan to drink water 2-3 hours before you start exercising and also remember to hydrate during and after.
If you play sports you should already know you need a balanced diet of all the food groups and you need to take in the right amount of calories. Carbohydrates or the most important and main source of energy for power during exercise. Before a game you want to make sure you carb load and have a meal full of carbs to last you for the duration of the game. So the couple nights before the game, eat lots of carbs for dinner so they will be stored up for when you will need to use them. To keep your performance at its highest peak, you can also eat carbohydrates during exercising and stock up after for the next time.
Protein is similar to carbs in that you need them before and after physical exercise. Proteins are the muscle builders and repairers in your body. A good source of proteins would be meat such as steak, chicken and turkey. Do not confuse these good proteins with bad proteins like cheeseburgers, fried chicken and bacon.
Fats are the last important food group for sports nutrition; they provide little energy that is useful during a workout. Unlike carbohydrates and proteins, you should make sure you eat fats way in advance of a workout. If you follow all of these eating habits and get plenty of sleep, your risk of injury should decrease greatly and you can stay at maximum performance level.
-Kaitlin Brown Digital Journalism-
Choosing a College
High school is a time to grow up. It is a time to learn how to be an adult, and a time to find out who you are. So it is fitting that in these precious four years, you should start figuring out where you might like to go, and what you might like to do. Choosing the right college is one of the most important decisions you will make in high school (no pressure). I understand fully how difficult and nerve wracking this can be. There are so many factors! You can decide for yourself which criteria are more important than others. Remember, this is about you, and your future. Enjoy it! So here is an outline of some of the things you should consider before you make a choice.
Consider whether you want to be close to home, as far away as possible, or somewhere in between. Make sure that the college you choose is in a place that you won’t mind living. Think about the state. Think about the demographic. Choosing a college in an area that you hate will not do you any favors.
Pay attention to the reputation of the college. You can bet that if you go to a school that has a reputation for being a party school, you won’t exactly be in a good environment to study. Chooses a school that is known for having a great program for what you wish to study.
Think about the opportunities you might have at your prospective schools. Is there a good chance of getting an internship? Will there be other job opportunities in the area?
The average tuition of a 4 year college has increased by 1120% in the last 30 years. Consider ahead of time whether you will need scholarships to pay for tuition. Avoid student loans! Surveys show that the average four year college graduate in 2014 will have $33,000 in student loan debt. Consider alternative financing. Programs like FAFSA, as well as Pell Grants are a much more logical option for most students.
Look into the programs your prospective schools have for your field of study. For example, if your decided field of study is sociology, the best school for you would be one that has an accredited sociology department. -Violet Ward-Abernathy, Digital Journalism-
Are the School Censors Taking it Too Far?
As many people know, the school district blocks websites that they find to be vulgar or inappropriate. Other sites are now being blocked just because they are not considered school related. On top of this, the classifications for the sites are often misrepresented. Some sites that are purely informative or gaming are being blocked as well as shopping or even dating!
On the opposite end, sites such as Facebook and Pinterest, at the time of this righting, have been unblocked allowing students full, unrestricted access. Students also have the ability to proceed to many blocked pages anyway if they believe they were blocked for no reason. This privilege has been widely abused by students to access sites that have been blocked in previous years. While I fully believe in freedom of speech, there are some sites that should not be allowed to be accessed at schools. -Ryland Dungan - Digital Journalism-
Attendance is important
When students don’t attend school, it’s hurting their education and their progress towards graduation. When asked how attendance affects students, Mrs. Beth Anderson, One of the administrators at South, Says “It directly correlates to education and their grades are not as high as those who come to school every day.” A school can have an average daily attendance of 90% and still have 40% of its students chronically absent, missing 10% of school a year for any reason, because on different days, different students make up that 90%. Students who miss too much school, get assigned a Truancy Officer and what they do is they investigate why a student is missing too much school, excused or not. How does attendance affect seniors who are graduating? Mrs. Anderson says “In order to graduate, the student must attend school, and learn and show they are meeting the learning targets but a student will not graduate if they do not attend school, they are not earning enough credits for graduation.”
In a high school, where chronic absenteeism is higher, 250 or more students are missing a month or more of school. What if there attendance is excused? Does it matter? Mrs. Anderson says “We still follow up on those students because they are not earning any credits. The only reason we wouldn’t follow up on them was if they had a really good reason, like a family emergency or a doctor’s note.” They also follow up on the students who come to school only because they have to or are forced to come; the teachers or administrators try to make a connection with that student and try to give them a good reason why it is important to come to school. When asked why students miss too much school and if they care at all about their education, Mrs. Anderson responded with “I believe that they do care but life situations cause them not to attend. Maybe they don’t quite understand the value of having a high school diploma. They should try to prioritize their education.” It is very important for students to come to school, even if you think high school is a waste of time it isn’t; high school is preparing you for college and college is going to prepare you to face the world on your own.
-Angeles Guzman, Digital Journalism-
Falling Behind in a Class? Here are Some Tips to Get Your Grades Up.
From time to time, every student falls behind in a class. It’s important to know this, and to remember that it’s not the end of the world. With some hard work and dedication, you can get your grades up quickly and easily. So here are some helpful tips to get you back on track.
1. Focus on work rather than friends. We all know the temptation that comes along with an invite to a party or movie night. However, until you get your grades on track you should resolve yourself to decline any invites. It’s a small price to pay for the grades you want and deserve.
2. Make a list of everything you have to do. Being organized goes a long way in clearing your head and preparing to work. Additionally, a clear work space can help you to. Organize your work area and then get working!
3. Stay in touch with/work with your teachers; they are there to help you learn and succeed. A good relationship with teachers will manifest understanding. Teachers will be more willing to help you if you are respectful, and it is clear that you are ready to work. Inform teachers of other commitments you have, being friendly and responsible will do wonders for you
4. Stay calm. When you feel yourself getting worked up, take a deep breath and remind yourself that being over stressed will not help you. Remember that taking breaks is perfectly acceptable. For every hour of work take a fifteen minute break.
5. Take care of yourself. Above all, taking care of yourself will do the most good. When some students get overstressed, it is easy to forget to do this. Eating, sleeping, and relaxing often take a back seat in stressful situations. It is perfectly okay to take some time to relax before you get to work. Try to get at least 8 hours sleep, and remember to eat! Your body needs fuel, don’t try to make yourself run on empty.
To sum it all up; Focus, get Organized, Work with teachers, Stay calm, and Take care of yourself. If you follow these tips you will be back on the road to success in no time at all. -Violet Ward-Abernathy 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-
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 -
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.