At McDowell Exchange School, track is a sporting event you can do in the Spring. The events in track you can do are running (long distance, medium distance, short distance), shot put, hurdles, discus and pole vault. The event I’m writing about specifically is the running part of track which is just running. When you run for track you can run long distance or short distance.       

  There are 5 different distances you can run in track. The longest distance you can run is 1600 meters or 1 mile. The next shortest distance is 800 meters then, 400 meters then, 200 meters then, the shortest distance is 100 meters. 1600 meters and 800 meters are considered long distance. For medium distance it is 400 meters and short distance is 200 and 100 meters. You also run with 7th graders and 8th graders mixed together.                                                                            In track there is also something called relay races. How it works is there are 2 lines at each end of however many meters your running. Then the coach picks a few people out of the team to race with other teams. So someone will start out and run to one end them you hand like a stick to the next person then that person runs and you just keep going until you finish. The first team that finishes is the winner. There is a really race for each distance.                                      Track is one of the really fun sports the we have at Mcdowell Exchange School in the Spring. There are so many events you can do in track that make it more interesting. Track is also a sport you do outside which is another great thing about it since most sports are inside. If I could choose out of all the events in track I would choose running.

Ready Player One Book Review


By: Jude. S


On March 29, 2018 the movie Ready Player One will be in theaters. It is based on a book written by Ernest Cline. The book takes place in Columbus, Ohio following a boy named Wade Watts who lives in the stacks (stacked up RV’s in a wood construction). He spends all his time in the OASIS which is a on

line VR world with endless possibilities: school, gaming, talking to friends, you name it. The creator of this world, James Halliday, has just passed away. He left a video recording that made the world go crazy. It said that he has hidden easter egg within the OASIS and whoever finds them owns the game and inherits his fortune. Wade Watts is an admirer of James and has read, watched, and played everything played in James’s almanac which is mostly from the 80’s. Wade’s quest is to find the easter eggs through mind puzzling riddles and challenges  before anybody else. The book is filled with action, secrecy, and the intensity for the hunt of the eggs.  When I read this book I could not put it down. Anybody who loves video games or love the 80’s should read it. When I read this book I think of the possibilities and the future yet to come.

Try Out McDowell Students!

Basketball season is nearing its end, along with baseball and softball season coming up here at McDowell. Many new girls and boys have showed interest to play either baseball or softball this year, some of the same girls and boys have come back to play this year, too. For those kids at McDowell who are looking for a schedule for tryouts and conditioning for this years softball and/or baseball, schedules have yet to be released. They however, should be released shortly,  so check back in soon!


STOP! You’ve Been Caught Being A Brave

The caught being a brave board is supposed to be a way to reward those who are caught being good and also to encourage people to be better so they can get their name on the board too.  Not to brag but our school is pretty good, just this time we took down the names and we had 66 people caught being a brave.  Now that may not sound like a lot but our school is small.  Now you may be thinking that it’s not gonna work on most people because what’s “in it” for you.  Well every month we take all the names down and put them in this big drawing and you win a really awesome prize.  The prize that the winners got this time is a gigantic party size bag full of Hershey chocolates.  So I don’t know about you but that’s definitely good enough for me.  If you’d like take this survey and tell us if you have anything like this at your school. 

Create your own user feedback survey

New Grade Scale

The Grade Scale

By: Owen E

In this past year there has been a change in the grade scale, and people have mixed feelings on it.  Depending on their personal grades, their opinion may differ.

The new grade scale is a normal ten percent difference, the old one used to be a 7 percent difference. The ten percent grade scale makes it to where you can have a grade within a ten percent range for a specific grade (A is 90%-100%, B is 80%-89%, C is 70%-79%, D is 60%-69%, and an F would be a 0%-59%). The old grade scale was a 7 point scale (A was 93%-100%, B was 85%-92%, C was 76%-84%, D was 75%-70% and an was 0%-69%).

Some people like Bradyn Allen love the new grade scale. He says, “It has saved his grades like three times now to make the honor roll”. I agree with Bradyn. I personally love the new grade scale because it makes it a lot easier to make the honor roll.

While there are some people who do not like the scale, I personally know some people in my family who say, “It does not prepare us as much for college”.  Which even if you do support the new scale you probably agree, the old scale was much more challenging which could help prepare the students. However, it could also be a lot more stressful.

I feel the new grade scale is beneficial because it not only will give a better name to our school by giving us better grades, it will also boost the students confidence and work ethic by making them feel more self gratitude and appreciation.  Even though a three percent difference in a grade scale does not seem like much it changes the game by a landslide.  A ten point quiz is very common and with the old grade scale if you got a 9/10 that would be a B grade and now it would be an A, which helps a lot.

In conclusion there are a lot of mixed feelings in the grade scale but the majority of students enjoy the new one.  I hope other students find more self confidence in their grades with the new grade scale.

McDowell’s New Major Math Modification

McDowell Exchange School is always focusing on preparing students for the upcoming AIR Assessments (American Institute for Research).  Recently, the teachers at McDowell have decided to better prepare students for the Math AIR Assessment through an online program called ALEKS.  The McDowell Staff have also constructed a board in one of the hallways to showcase students’ progress.  Before going into too much detail, here is a description about the ALEKS Assessment Program.

Firstly, the ALEKS Assessment Program is a website that helps students with their Math skills.  The website was founded by McGraw Hill, the same company that produced a few of the Math books at McDowell.  The program helps develop Math skills in young minds all the way to seniors in high school and higher education; grade levels ranging from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.  The goal of the ALEKS Assessment Program is to determine what a student already knows in their Math level, and what they need to learn.  Students learn new Math skills through a process of learning topics.  Once the student spends enough time and learns a certain number of topics, they take a Knowledge Check and master the topic.  The goal is to fill the entire Pie Chart by mastering every topic.  The Math Teachers have also decided to make ALEKS count for a grade.  There will be more detail about ALEKS counting as a grade next.

The Math Teachers have also set a goal for the number of topics the students have to complete in a certain amount of time.  Some of the Math Teachers decided to set a number of topics to be completed every quarter semester, while others set a goal to be completed every week.  Either way, all of the Math Teachers made ALEKS count as a quiz grade.  So, ALEKS can either make or break a student’s grade.  A few of the Math Teachers also count extra topics completed as extra credit.  This can also boost a student’s grade if their grade is suffering.  Along with topics completed, the teachers set up a board to represent each student’s progress in the ALEKS Assessment Program.  More detail is to come about the ALEKS Board soon.         

In McDowell Exchange School, there is a board in one of the hallways that compares student’s progress in the ALEKS Assessment Program.  This board is divided into six sections: 7th and 8th Grade, and whether the student is in advanced.  Every section of the board is broken into different parts, based how many topics a student has completed, whether it is 100, 200, 300 and so on.  The ALEKS Board is a recent addition, as it was added last Wednesday, January 31st.  The more topics completed, the higher up the student’s card with their name advances on the board.  Enough talking about the ALEKS Board, time to conclude about the ALEKS Assessment Program at McDowell.

Overall, the ALEKS Assessment Program is a way to better prepare the students for the Math AIR Assessment at McDowell Exchange School.  The program is another way for the Math Teachers to help students perform better in Math class as well.  The ALEKS  Assessment Program has also lead to the development of a board that compares students’ progress on the website.  The total effect that the ALEKS Assessment Program will have on McDowell Exchange School should be positive, resulting in students having better scores on the AIR Assessment.          



The Pen Was Powerful Last Saturday.

                                 Logan Elm Writing Competition

By: Nathan

     This past Saturday, our school hosted our first ever writing competition.  Members of McDowell’s Power of the Pen group could attend, as well as students from Salt Creek, where fifth and sixth grade students go, and students from the high school.  The competition lasted from about nine in the morning to one-thirty in the afternoon.

     The way that the competition worked is students were given a writing prompt, and were given 40 minutes to create a story out of it.  Overall, there were two different prompts, and each grade was given the same prompt.  The first prompt was called “The Wish”, and we had to center our story around some sort of, well, wish.  

     The second prompt was centered around bugs.  We had to tell as story from a bug’s perspective, and had to tell how bugs felt about humans.  What I thought was cool was that instead of calling us by our names, we were referred to as an author’s last name, and a number after it.  For example, I was given the name “Lowry 2”, which is named after the author Lois Lowry.  Once we were finished with those two prompts, we had lunch, and were given an hour of free time before the awards ceremony.

     There were fifteen awards handed out altogether.  Each of the three schools had a runner up, and a first place winner for each of the two rounds.  At the end, awards were handed out for the most striking stories from each school.  These awards were given to the people whose stories stood out the most to the judges.  I happened to win this award for my grade.

     Overall, this competition was very fun and well thought out.  It challenged the writers, and really made us think about how we could make our stories the best they could be.  There will be two more competitions this year, but they will be against other schools.  For a competition that is brand new to our school, it went very smoothly and I hope that it will continue for years to come.

Wrestling Mid State League Tournament!

The MSL tournament was ours. This previous tournament at Fairfield Union was a huge let down for the entire team. Most of the team was off to a great start. By the end of the second round, we were 1 point away from 2, and 7 points away from first. That was only one pin and a win of any sort and we were in first. But, as some of the Braves approached the finals, we encountered a little bit of trouble.  While all the other teams were against easy opponents getting easy pins, we were against some of the hardest kids at the tournament. We ended up not evening placing out of 8 local teams.

Here is how the team did:

-80 (Logan L.) Injured/ No matches

-116 (Jake S.) Lost in the finals to Bloom Carroll by points/ Pinned everyone else. Good Job Jake!

-122 (Trey H.) Won all of his matches and got first, getting a first period pin in the finals against Hamilton Township. Way to go Trey!

-128 (Timothy M.) (Cover image) Pinned his way to the finals, then got pinned even though there was some controversy about it. Congratulations on 2nd Tim!

-134(S) (Bradyn A.) Lost both of his matches and was eliminated

-134(E) (Jake W.) Injured/ No matches

-142(Andrew W.) Won one and lost one, although his loss was also controversial

-150(S) (Ethan S.) Ethan won 2 and lost in the finals. Congratulations on 2nd!

-150(E) (R.J. W.) Lost both of his matches and was eliminated

-160(Andrew U.) Won all of his matches and lost in the finals to Bloom Carroll and got 2nd place. Nice work Andrew!

-172(Hayden B.) Absent

-205 (Nick S.) Won 3 matches and lost one, and also suffered a fractured hand. Congratulations anyway Nick!

I recommend everyone who isn’t wrestling this year or has never wrestled should come to open mats this November. Wrestling is a very fun all around sport, but practice isn’t easy. -Bradyn

A Whole New World?

In technology at McDowell, we are going through different stations of fun things to do with technology in Mr. Barne’s class. Each week you will go to a new station. One of the stations is virtual reality, also known as VR. We are lucky to have smartphones and virtual reality headsets here at McDowell for students to use. Anyways, if you didn’t know what virtual reality is, virtual reality is a 3D image/environment that can give you a realistic experience, but what do we use VR for here at McDowell?

The main reason we use VR is to “travel” to different places and use it to educate students. We use an app called “Google Expeditions” for our VR. In the Expeditions app, there are hundreds of different subjects/places you can “travel” to. With each expedition, there are descriptions about what is going on and it gives facts about what you’re seeing. In science class, we have used VR multiple times to help students learn. The first time we used virtual reality was to travel to different biomes, since in science we were working on biome projects. Then we used it to dive into the ocean, and we learned about how global warming causes coral bleaching. Finally, we also have used VR to travel up into the stratosphere. It helped students better understand what goes on in our atmosphere. You can also travel to many other famous landmarks or ancient places. It is a good way to learn visually and many students enjoy using virtual reality here at McDowell! What do you think about using virtual reality to learn?

New Year Resolutions?

        A lot of people make new year resolution.  At McDowell all of the students made some.  We cut out and colored a piece of paper with 2018 written in bold on it.  In the number 2 it said, “Two things I will accomplish in 2018:”.  There was a wide variation in answers but some are “getting good grades”, “being able to do a back flip full twist”, and “Being a straight ‘A’ student”.  Inside the  0 said, ”If you could zero in on one thing to improve on this year, what would it be?  Why?” One person said, “…doing a handstand because I always fall” while other said, “ I hope to improve my trumpet playing so I will have more fun” or even “.  The number 1 was a hard one for some people, it said ”Write about one thing you want to learn this year.” I said “Spanish because Then it will be easier for high school.”  others said, “Ice skating”, “More about technology”, “How to draw” and many more. Finally we had to fill in the 8.  The question was “ What are eight things that you look forward to this year.”  Some people said “summer vacation”, “Spring sports” and a lot of other things.  The point of this was to to make goals for yourself that you WILL complete.  Everybody had different goals for themselves, as you can see.  No ones 2018 paper was the same.  This project also let us express our inner creativity.  I you had to make a New Year resolution what would it be?  Leave a comment to let us know.