On Tuesday, January 20th, the North Marion Teaching and Learning Team will host a K-12 Community Forum discussion regarding bullying, titled, “Partnering Together to Combat Bullying”. We hope you will join us.
Bullying: Addressing an Age Old Problem
Bullying and Harassment are as old as the human race. The use of power to inflict pain, suffering or humiliation on another person, or group of people, has always plagued our existence. In its extreme social form it manifests as slavery, genocide, occupation, bigotry and war. On a personal level those extremes become physical abuse, sexual assault, extortion, character assassination and torture.
For most of us the ravages of bullying and harassment- though still painful - have been on a smaller scale. Teasing about a physical imperfection, intimidation and physical abuse by a bully, unwanted attention from a person in a position of power, slanderous gossip, or social stigmitation about race, religion, social status or sexual preference all represent the kind of bullying we see every day.
When bullying and harassment arise in our schools it is simply a reflection of the behavior we see in the larger society. Turn on the TV and nearly every reality show delights in some form of public humiliation where people are judged as inadequate. Being “voted off the island” has become a part of our lexicon and unfortunately a part of our cultural norms. Watch the news and our politics are about destroying the character and reputation of your opponent. The advent of social media has exacerbated the problem with anonymous hurtful comments or pictures filling cyberspace.
Schools face a daunting task curbing this disturbing behavior. To reduce bullying and harassment at school we start at the youngest grades and teach manners and social values like honesty and respect. Specific curriculum has been developed for all age levels around coping with, and eliminating, bullying behaviors at school.
Student conduct codes and board policies have been developed to respond to the problem and student groups take an active role in reducing this unwanted behavior in our school buildings. Teachers and administrators engage in trainings and are vigilant in their response to bullying activities and a hotline exists for students to report all types of harassment or school safety issues. Additionally, school counselors provide individual and group support for students who feel victimized by bullying.
While all of the school efforts can help reduce bullying and harassment, the real solution must be a change in the way we as human beings treat each other. Honoring the dignity and rights of others and standing up to bullying behavior in whatever form it takes are the steps we must all take if we are to eliminate this hurtful behavior. Click here to link to bullying resources for parents. http://cyberbullying.us/resources/parents/
North Marion Boys Soccer Oregon 4A State Champions!
School District Meets State Division 22 Standards
Each year school districts across the state are asked to provide assurance that they are meeting all of the applicable state standards governing schools. These standards, known as division 22 standards, cover all of the essential requirements from hiring practices to safety procedures to curriculum issues and everything in between. Division 22 includes over 50 different standards that schools must meet each year.
This notice is to provide assurance that the North Marion School District has met the standards for the 2014-15 school year. For more information you may go to the Oregon Dept. of Education webpage regarding the standards. Click link to view standards and assurances form. 2014-15 Division 22 Assurances Form
Will an Armed Security Officer Help Create Safer Schools?
On Monday October 27th at 6:00 pm in the Middle School Commons, the North Marion School Board will have a work session open to the public to discuss the arming of its security staff. The question has come before the Board several times and administrative staff has been working on developing a plan that would facilitate the move to arm our security staff should the Board wish to take this step. With the shooting at Reynolds High School this past June, a sense of urgency has developed around answering this question.
We know the most important piece of the safety puzzle for schools is the establishment of positive relationships between students and adults in the school. Creating an environment where kids feel cared for and respected and where they feel comfortable sharing important information with adults is paramount to keeping everyone safe.
Currently, our Director of Security is unarmed and has, along with the other adults on our campus, done a fantastic job building relationships with kids. This has helped establish the kind of trust that makes it very easy for students to share information about potential problem areas at school like bullying and threats to school safety. As a result, we have continued to experience a very safe and secure campus without the fights, vandalism, gang issues and threats that plague many other schools.
But we are concerned about one area that we have little control over – an armed intruder intent on doing harm to our students. Being a rural school, we don’t have police available on a moment’s notice to respond to an emergency. This lag in response time puts us at risk and we have no way to “defeat” an armed intruder. The School Board is currently looking to rectify that situation by arming our security staff. After a year of intensive training and certification for our security officer, the Board is prepared to vote on this issue, but before they do they want the public’s input.
We encourage you to attend the meeting and share your opinions on this subject, or just to come and hear what others have to say. If you can’t make the meeting please feel free to email your thoughts to School Board Chair Julie Miller at email@example.com .
College Savings Plan at NMHS makes College Affordable
It almost sounds too good to be true – you save one dollar and the “Matched College Savings Plan” will match it with five dollars! But for North Marion students who qualify, that is exactly what happens.
The Matched College Savings Plan (MCSP) allows participants to save for college now and have their savings matched at $5 to every $1 they save. The maximum amount of savings MCSP will match is $1600. At a 5 to 1 rate, that makes the total match amount they contribute $8000. This means your initial $1,600 of investment turns into a grand total of $9,600 for college tuition – Wow!
To qualify, participants must meet income eligibility. Please refer to the High School Counseling web page for more detailed information or call Colleen Young, IDA Specialist, at 503-678-7125. If you qualify there will be an informational meeting in mid-October (date announced soon) and we would love to see you there!
North Marion High School is fortunate to have a partnership with CASA of Oregon and the Matched College Savings Plan. This partnership has existed since 2013 and currently there are 27 participants in the program. North Marion can take pride in the level of participation and the desire of our students and their families to take advantage of a cost savings program that can make college more affordable.
ACT Results Show NMHS Students Better Prepared than Peers
Annual ACT scores have just arrived and North Marion High School students have far exceeded the State average in every subject area! The ACT is one of America’s most important college entrance exams and measures student readiness to succeed at college level work. In 2014, North Marion had more students taking the ACT than ever before and their performance was eye-catching.
NMHS average for the ACT was 19 percentage points higher than the state average in College English Composition, 17 points higher in in College Algebra, 22 points higher in College Social Studies and 3 percent higher in College Biology.
Combine these scores with our superlative graduation rate that stands 19 percentage points above the State average and with NMHS’s level 4 State Report Card ranking and you have a convincing argument that few schools prepare students for college and careers better than North Marion.
We are proud of our record of achievement and the opportunities we afford our students. Our students know, and we believe it to be so true, that you can get to anywhere from here. Congratulations to our students and staff on their fine accomplishments.
North Marion School District offers a unique lush rural setting that surrounds our Pre-K through 12th grade campus. Four schools house the total district population of nearly 2,000 students. This creates a unique single-campus setting that allows for meaningful collaboration and unification of curriculum. We are known for our strong technology programs/devices for our students and staff, strong services to special needs students, a first-rate music program and outstanding athletic and extra-curricular programs. Each school's building, athletic and activity fields are in close proximity to one another.