Volume 7

Football and Flag Football have Banner Weekends 

On Friday, our Football team took a dramatic win under the lights at West to advance to the State Championship game against Service, which will be played at Anchorage Football Stadium on Friday, October 25th at 7:00 PM. Everyone is encouraged to wear black and gold, connect with the South community, and support our team.

On Saturday, our Flag Football Team won the State Championship, defeating West in a closely fought game that resulted in a 21-12 victory for our Lady Wolverines. 

Congratulations goes to both teams for sustaining focus amidst hardship, and seeing each game through to the very end. 

Additional Extracurricular Results and Upcoming Region Competitions

Our Air Force ROTC program was in competition at East High School over the weekend, where Trinity Heine took first place overall out of 60 shooters, and Jeffrey Wu took fourth, less than one point out of third place. We also had two four-person teams, one of which placed second and the other seventh out of 13 teams competing. 

Gymnastics was in action against Service, Eagle River, and Chugiak on Thursday. Regions will be held at Dimond on 10/26. 

Swim and Dive competed against East, Chugiak and Bartlett, where both the men’s and women’s teams won the event. The final point totals for the night were:

  1. South  803
  2. Chugiak 678
  3. Bartlett 225
  4. East  213

Swim Regions will be held 10/31 at Bartlett’s pool. 

Riflery was also at Bartlett on Friday, and the Volleyball team took a 3-2 victory over the Golden Bears at Bartlett. 

Drama, Debate and Forensics were also in competition at South on Friday and Saturday. 

*Please note: I’m happy to share a player of the match/event and overall results for each week’s events. I have specific results from those I attend or when coaches or a designated parent email me. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences October 23rd  

Conferences will take place on Wednesday, October 23rd. All parents and students are encouraged to attend to get an update on first quarter progress. Please see the linked bulletin above for details on the half day schedule and the two time blocks in which conferences will be held. 

Building Community and School Spirit Through Volleyball on October 24th

Following conferences on Wednesday, on Thursday, October 24th students will have a regular school day with an Assembly Schedule.  See the bell schedule in the linked bulletin. 

In an effort to celebrate a strong finish to first quarter, and to continue to build school and community spirit, we will host the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears’ Volleyball Team at South for a 1:10 pm game. Students and staff will be released to the gym at 1:02 pm on Thursday afternoon to attend the game. Thursday will also be a class color day. Students are asked to wear their class color, sit with their class, and show their school spirit. Students who ride busses and need to attend after school practices will be released from the game at 2 pm. All others are encouraged to attend and stay through the end of the match. Attendance at this event will determine if similar events will be held in the future.

Flu Clinic Information

On Tuesday, November 5th from 12:00-4:30pm, the Anchorage Health Department will be here to administer flu shots in the South High nurse’s office to members of the South Anchorage High School community. This flu shot clinic is open to South students, staff and any family or community members who would like to receive a flu vaccine. Students and family members under the age of 18 will need a permission form completed and signed by a parent or guardian in order to receive a flu shot. This is not a required immunization, merely a courtesy opportunity to get your annual flu vaccine at your neighborhood school. The permission form is linked here and available in the nurse’s office. Contact Whited_Susan@asdk12.org or 742-6289 with questions.

Character and Resilience

Beyond providing students with a top-notch academic program, one of our aims at South High School is to build character. 

In part, the character traits students and staff identified (understanding, kindness, maturity and respect) and the Working Agreements that were written based upon them, are our primary attempt to define character at South. Below are three good reads on building character and resilience:

  1. Many believe that character cannot be taught, and that it must be built through adversity and experience. For more on adversity and character building see General  Mattis’ book Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead where he returns to this idea repeatedly when he observes that, “Attitudes are caught, not taught” (81).  
  2. Another good source is David Brooks’ book, The Road to Character. Brooks contrasts our drive for material success with the need to develop a sound moral foundation, and provides the life stories of individuals from whom we might learn to develop stronger character. He observes that, 
  • We live in a culture that teaches us to advertise ourselves and to master the skills required for success, but that gives little encouragement to humility, sympathy, and honest self-confrontation, which are necessary for building character (xiii).

III.  A related book, and a clear explanation of how we can turn obstacles into resilience and strength is Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way: The Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage. He uses Ulysses S. Grant as an exemplar of resilience amidst the adversity of the Civil War. The lesson we might learn from Grant is that, 

  • If we’re to overcome our obstacles, this is the message to broadcast. We will not be stopped by failure, we will not be rushed or distracted by external noise. We will chisel and peg away at the obstacle until it is gone. Resistance is futile (77).

All of this is just to remind ourselves that a sound character is the foundation of meaningful success, and if all of us commit to modeling true character, we have the potential to all rise together while overcoming obstacles along the way.

Make It Stick Learning Strategies 

In Volume 6, I mentioned the book, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

In the book, the authors draw on social-cognitive learning research in order to provide examples of ideal learning environments, as well as to identify strategies that students can use to maximize their learning based on the way the brain works. 

This week I would like to follow up with a resource I put together for a Professional Learning Community last year. This one page document contains eight strategies or routines both teachers and students could use to increase the chances of encoding information in a way that makes it easier to recall and use.