USC High School

A Rebel Review and Preview of all the Action at USC

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Distance Learning Has Begun: A Big Concern is Attendance

Distance Learning has now become the norm for many districts across the state and across the country. At USC High School, teachers report that if students "attend" class regularly, they can be successful. Unfortunately, attending class regularly has gone down through the first two weeks.

The graph below represents the percentage of students attending class regularly during the first week of distance learning and then the second week. Clearly, a drop in regular attendance exists, and this is a major concern. Research tells us that when students develop a regular routine of learning by following a schedule, their learning continues to develop.

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To ensure that students are marked present:

  • They must complete the form questions they find in their Schoology course, AND
  • They must follow the REBEL school schedule and attend the Zoom meetings arranged by the teacher.

If something prevents a student from attending the first 10 minutes of class, they may be marked absent. Students may check into class later by completing the form questions they find in their Schoology course. To be sure that they are NOT marked absent, they should also contact the teachers to let them know they "attended" class late.

  • Teachers finalize attendance for the day by 3:00 PM each day.
  • Contact teachers if you have a question regarding attendance.
  • Contact the attendance line at 507-553-5819 to report an excused absence.

A new, simplified REBEL distance learning schedule will begin on Monday, December 7. With simplified start times, a longer lunch break, and slightly shortened classes, the hope is that student attendance will improve.

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November Brought the End of the Quarter and P/T Conferences

When the quarter ends, that tells us that it is time for conferences. On Tuesday, November 24, Parent/Teacher Conferences were held via Zoom. Almost 50 families attended conferences and almost half of them offered feedback regarding the use of Sign Up Genius to schedule their own conferences. While it was a new process, most believed that the process worked well.

Overwhelmingly, the teachers and parents both agreed that the 10-minute meeting format was good.

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Both teachers and parents reported that overall, conferences went very well. Parents were happy with the conferences they arranged, but teachers hope that even more parents will attend in the future.

Adversity Creates Character and Character Makes Us Human - by Mr. Routh

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As a practice, I like to come up with a theme for the school year for each senior class. The idea is to let an idea organically become a mantra for students as the school year progresses. Many times, the students glom onto that idea as a motivational tool to be present and active in English class.

“Cowboy Up” presented itself through a few different channels. The first was I wanted something to remind students to keep grinding through difficult circumstances as presented by the Covid-19 Pandemic. The second was I really enjoyed the tv series Yellowstone. The show creators created one of the greatest characters in television in Rip. What a fantastic representation of what all young men dream about when wishing they were a cowboy.

So what started as a theme to use Rip as the symbol for “Cowboy Up” changed when I came across this song by Ryan Reynolds. The idea stems from getting up off the dirt arena floor after being bucked off. The key is to dust the dirt and grime of disaster off then stubbornly get back on. Not getting back on is not an option because that type of life choice impacts the future negatively. You must choose to get back up, You must choose to continue to fight through adversity. Adversity creates character and character through adversity is what makes us human.

My Peeps, dust yourself off and “choose” to get back on again because living life as a human means challenges await us all.

Cowboy Up because the ride is worth it.

Mock Trial is Underway - by Ms. Bye

Mock Trial had a good Workshop on Tuesday, November 17 with John Kalis, a USC graduate who is a JAG Lawyer to the US Air Force. Mr. Kalis acts as the attorney coach for the USC Mock Trial team.

The Minnesota High School Mock Trial Program is an exciting law-related education program that introduces students to the American legal system and provides a challenging opportunity for personal growth and achievement. ....Students will exercise their critical thinking and teamwork skills, as well as the basic skills learned in the classroom. Source:

The USC team will practice virtually and hold their competitions on Zoom this year. Students receive a case file of information about the case that was written specifically for the Mock Trial competition. The case is similar to actual cases tried in court. This year our team will go to trial on a civil case. This year's case is exciting and relatable for students because it is about a wedding that could not be held, in the way the couple would like the wedding and celebration to be held, due to the pandemic.

The students have started to write questions and answers for the witness testimonies for the case. The team is comprised of 3 lawyers and 3 witnesses for the defense team and 3 lawyers and witnesses for the plaintiff team. We are looking forward to our season.

Mr. Sahr works with small groups of shop students.

Mr. Sahr works with small groups of shop students during distance learning.

I Get It - by Ms. Christianson

Last month, while in quarantine, Mrs. Stauber asked me how things were going. One thing I described for her was how much better I understood what parents were experiencing during this pandemic. Here I was at home trying to get my work done, with my 10 year old son also home in distance learning at the same time as me. It was crazy at times when we both were trying to zoom, me with my students and him with his teachers. Technical glitches interrupted our work at the worst times, some of them I could fix, and some of them I had to ask my older daughters for help. Fortunately, we were able to figure most things out, but sometimes we needed a little help from our tech department.

I am constantly thinking about, and amazed by, parents who work all day and are able to encourage their children to get school work completed. It is a difficult task, no doubt.

I know it can be frustrating and exhausting for students and parents, and yet rewarding when the school work is completed and submitted.

I am sure that we are all praying and wishing for the day when our children can return safely to school. Until then, we must push forward with tenacity at what needs to be done. Thank you to all of you, for helping our USC students be the best that they can be.

Stay safe and be well.