Volume 15

This Week at South Vol. 15

Good Afternoon South Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Please find the Weekly Bulletin for December 16th through 21st (Also Attached)

Part I: The News

Thank You to PTSO and All Volunteers!:

Thanks goes to PTSO as well as the volunteer force, and those who donated food, for making the All School Breakfast a success last Friday morning. The food, along with music provided by Mr. Somaduroff and his students, brought the holiday spirit alive at South. Undoubtedly, students were well nourished as they finished off their week and anticipated finals. 

Finals Week Reminders:

This week we will be running normal Monday schedule, and on Tuesday all six class periods will meet on a Friday bell schedule. Wednesday and Thursday are final exam days with their own schedule, including Periods 1, 2, and 3 on Wednesday, and Periods 4, 5, and 6 on Thursday. Each period will last one hour and 50 minutes. See the attached bulletin for specific final exam periods. 

*Please help us maintain a focused academic environment and minimize distractions by not blue passing your student during final exams. 

Wrestling Regions were held at South this past Friday and Saturday. Our boys team won their eighth consecutive Region Title, and our girls finished second. Twenty-eight wrestlers qualified for State next weekend. 

Individual Weight Class Champions Include:

  • Aedyn Concepcion, also voted Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament
  • Simon Keffalos 
  • Niko Mayo 
  • Theo Cha 
  • Riley Harris 
  • Brandon Deyarmon 
  • Jack Moore 
  • Maddison Ellis 
  • Jayleen Sekona 

The Girls Hockey outdoor games were rescheduled for January 10th, and Friday’s games were moved indoors. South-Bartlett fell to the Dimond-West team at Ben Boeke. Zella Aspengren scored South’s goal, and assists were made by Elizabeth Ramsey and Avyana Robbins.

Both Girls and Boys Basketball will begin their season this week. See the district basketball schedule for details. 

The South Faculty and Staff went Curling for our holiday party. Thanks to teachers Tim Purrenhage and Lee Butterfield and Counselor Sara Miller for helping arrange it. Here’s the curling crew after our match concluded, and our Math Department’s very own Ms. Neff and Mr. Boogaerdt after sweeping. 

Part II: Big Ideas & Their Application

Make it Stick Strategies, Keystone Habits & A New Approach to Cell Phone Use at South

In past volumes of this newsletter I addressed learning strategies that maximize the amount of information students retain, including quiet reflection and recall, as well as habits that underlie long term success, including organizing the day and sticking to a morning routine. Most of these routines require strong focus, concentration, active involvement in the learning process, and clear interaction with fellow students and teachers. 

In an attempt to increase focus, become more efficient in our work, and give everyone the opportunity to communicate more clearly, Foundations Team members and staff have created a new approach to cell phones in the classroom. The new approach seeks to provide clear direction and expectations to students. More specifically, it creates a system common to all classrooms that will focus on the purposeful use of cell phones in relationship to each classroom’s educational goal.

This system will be shared with students when they return from semester break, and teachers and their students will establish routines, which fit within the following guidelines during the first week of classes:

There are two main levels in this approach to cell phone use in the classroom: 

  • The first is color-coded red, and indicates no cell phone or earbud use in the classroom. 

This approach will likely be used during tests and quizzes, when teachers are providing direct instruction or when students are participating in whole group or small group discussions. The intent is to maximize active listening, participation, and focus.

  • The second is color-coded green, and indicates cell phone/earbud use for curricular purposes only, which will be defined by the teacher. 

This approach might be used when completing a review game using phones, researching a curricular topic, composing notes, or taking pictures or videos for a project. The intent is to use the phone as a resource to attain an educational goal.

To guide this approach to cell phones in classrooms, each classroom and learning space at South will have the following poster, as well as a common storage system. 

Thanks for a Great First Semester:

Finally, I want to think the South faculty and staff, parents, community members, and everyone else who has made this semester possible. We're off to a strong start, and I hope we can continue to build community, focus on the positive, and allow each student to fulfill his or her highest potential when we resume second semester on January 6th.

Have a good week, and a great semester break South!