Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It’s finally the end of the school year. For some of us, it means three months of vacation until fall comes again. For others, the seniors, this is the end of the end. No more homework. No more crowded hallways. No more high school.

The class of ‘16 has finally reached the end. The river is pouring into the ocean, the whole ride is over. It would be a shame if our seniors left us without leaving behind a bit of advice.

Over to the right here is Blake Prock. He’s one of our best students at Springwater. He’s graduating this year with one of the highest GPAs in his grade, a respectable 3.88 finish.

Anyone who is inspired to do well academically should look up to Blake. He balanced the rigourous CAL coursework while serving as Dr. Bradley’s intern for the school’s FEP. He's also a really great friend.

And according to Mr. Lurie, “He's incredibly intelligent. He doesn't say much, but when he does, he says a lot. He won the social studies award two years in a row.”

So what’s his secret? Well, it's nothing you haven't heard about before.

“Develop good habits,” Blake says. “Don't procrastinate.”

He says to not focus too much on the social aspect of high school because in the end, it may not be as important as we think it is right now.

“Don't feel like you just have to be academic to do well though,” he advises, “take some fun classes! Yearbook, world music, just add some fun to your schedule. It's easy to get stressed out.”

However, Blake does admit that the world of academia consumed his life up till the end. He says that 12th grade is quite busy as opposed to the laidback years of 9 and 10. “CAL is not easy,” he also digresses, “but it's worth it.”

Blake, there's really nothing I could write that will do you justice.

Gonna miss you guys a whole lot.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Outdoor on the Trail

Everyone who went to school in Oregon knows about outdoor school. Most of us went in 6th grade and a select few also went in 4th. Then, as high schoolers some students choose to return as high school counselors. This year, a number of Springwater students were counselors in both the fall and spring sessions. Sophomore Lucy Krout attended Camp Canby Grove during the 8th week of the spring session. She was a counselor for a cabin filled with 6th graders and when asked about her experience she responded “Outdoor School was an eye-opening experience. I never knew that I could be a teacher. I love the kids, they make all of the pain and suffering of Outdoor School so much brighter.” Yes, she did say pain and suffering. It’s not all fun and games you know. There’s cleaning and learning and teaching and watching. You have to constantly be in control of the children and make sure they weren’t hurt on your watch. That’s what Junior Danielle Whitlock was afraid of before attending Camp Arawanna during the 6th week of the spring session. “I was honestly terrified about multiple things when I was about to leave,” says Whitlock, “I was scared that I wouldn’t get along with other leaders, or that I would do something wrong, or (God forbid) I would lose a child in the woods who would then see something shiny, walk off a cliff and die.” Luckily, all of her charges made it out alive. It is hard work being a counselor but there are definitely rewarding parts too, aside from missing a week of school. On the flip side of Whitlock’s experience she says “Outdoor School was honestly one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. I met lifelong friends there, made friendships I already have closer, and developed some seriously awesome leadership skills. It’s  amazing how much just one week can change you.” One great thing about Outdoor School is that, not only do kids learn new things but you do too. You have to learn all the information you’re going to teach, you have to learn HOW to teach, you have to remember everyone's names, well maybe not that, they have wood cookies. Still, it’s an experience that’s well worth it. I’m assuming. I was a counselor, excuse me “Trail Guide”, at Camp Kuratli during the 8th week of the spring session but my experience was a little bit different than most. I was a counselor for 4th graders at Oregon Trail Overnight. It’s extremely similar to outdoor school only the kids are smaller, don’t stay as long, sleep in cabins with their parents instead of you and learn about the Oregon Trail. Ok, so maybe it’s a little different but it is just as fun for the kids. I would know, I went there when I was a kid. Actually, my 4th grade teacher came while I was there, I may or may not have planned it that way *Wink* *Wink*. It was really special to me because it was her last year there. She’s retiring in 2 years but next year she’s going to be a 5th grade teacher. See, that’s my point. Outdoor School brings people together. I also made great friends with my fellow Trail Guides. Because we were all female we all shared a cabin. I know their real names now but to me they will always be Huckleberry, Solstice, Rainier, Sage, Tiger Lilly, Hiccup, Birdie, Nutmeg and Saturn. I don’t think they’ll ever call me anything but Ladybug either. That’s the power of Outdoor School. I’ll definitely be back next year.
- Paige Stewart

Friday, June 10, 2016

Schools Should Start Later 

By-- Lia Way

Have you ever had to be up before your parents or even the sun? How about before the rooster next door?  Well most high school students in GBSD are up before 6am Monday - Friday. They slam on their alarms for that extra 5 minutes of snooze. They have to catch the bus sometimes at 6 or 6:30 and are expected to be fully awake and ready to learn at 7:35am in the morning. High school students have jobs, homework, and other events during the week, and only get about 4-7 hours of sleep a night. Teens need 8-10 hours of sleep every night to fully function. In an article written by National Sleep Foundation its states, “ Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep- one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8.5 hours on a school night.”  Kids need more sleep to do better in school, to get into better colleges, and just be more productive.
Schools in Oregon all start before 8:30 every morning. With more and more testing, homework, and projects being thrown at us we can’t keep up, which makes our grades go down. Written by National Sleep Foundation it states, “ Young people who do not get enough sleep a night after night carry significant risk for driving drowsy; emotional and behavioral problems such as irritability; depression, poor impulse control and violence; health complications; tobacco and alcohol use; impaired cognitive function and decision-making; and lower overall performance in everything from academics to athletics.” Kids turn to alternatives when sleep deprived, some better than others. Some schools are slowly realizing this as more studies come out on this topic. The realization that schools are crushing their kids and also their reputations with super early starting times.  With lower test scores it makes the price of living around that school lower because it isn’t as good as the school let’s say in the next town.
One fact found off the alantic.com website said, “ Researchers analyzed data from more than 9,000 students at eight high schools in Minnesota, Colorado, and Wyoming and fund that shifting the school day later in the morning resulted in a boost in attendance, test scores, and grades in math, english, science,and social studies. Schools also saw a decrease in tardiness, substance abuse, and symptoms of depression. Some even had a dramatic drop in teen car crashes.” Elementary schools start at later times than high schools yet the kids are up earlier due to going to bed earlier. Some local high schools in Vancouver Washington are starting later than 8am such as the Evergreen School District, Henrietta Lacks Health, and BioScience High School. Even though the dismissal time will be later in the end they will see many improvements among their student bodies.
With kids as young as 14 drinking coffee down the hall, kids falling asleep in class, and parents calling teachers saying do a better job teaching my kid a later start will fix these problems. Kids will be able to remember more, perform better, and be an all around better students. Even a hour later start will make test scores rise which will make the school districts look better and students achieve more in their high school career. If you want better test grades, healthier students, and better attendance then start schools later even by an hour. Get in contact with your principal or even your district board because they are the ones that can fix this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Letter to Incoming Seniors

Dear soon to be seniors,

Hello, my name is Madi. I am currently a senior at our school and I am reaching out to you to give advice before you dive right into the life before adulthood. It is about that time that you are beginning to think about senior year and everything you need to get done in order to be successful. If you’re on top of your game you probably have already began thinking about colleges and jobs and all the bits and pieces that define a student as successful.

For those of you not on top of your game, I am here to tell you from experience, do not wait! Start at the beginning of your senior year. What I mean by this is you will have things like FAFSA, graduation requirements, college visits, scholarship opportunities, placement tests, etc.. that will be happening all year long and if you wait till April or May to start on these things you will be putting so much unneeded stress on yourself. The end of your senior year is suppose to be fun, not a hectic mess.

For those of you who may be needing to take a few more classes or put in a little extra work to graduate like I did, I just want you to know it is not impossible. Here is a tip, if you are in the position where you need to take some Mt. Hood Community College recovery classes, do the online ones! Unless you absolutely need the teacher and peers in a class, the online classes will be much easier and much more flexible for those of you who have a busy schedule; and let's be honest, most seniors do. Just make sure you write out a schedule for yourself so you know which assignments need to be done on what days.

Being nervous is a given, no matter how ready you may be, it still gets a little scary and that's ok! You should enjoy your senior year so try not to let your nerves get the best of you. The secret to a good year is being responsible. This way, that grad requirement you procrastinated or that assignment you ignored doesn’t sneak up on you in the end. Keep your chin up, you may have stressful deadlines and scary college visits,  but you’ll also have your last prom, senior skip day, and senior pranks! That being said I wish you luck on your journey to the adult world.

Best Wishes,

Madi Laurent

Friday, June 3, 2016