Monday, November 24, 2014

Social Studies 400 Assignment: Career Exploration

Select five career clusters based on your interests. For example, I would select "Social Studies,” “Law,” and "Teaching" as my career clusters.
Next, select three careers within each career cluster you wish to explore further. Complete the grid below:
What do they do?
Describe the work environment.
What is the median pay?
What education or training is required?
List two similar occupations.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Social Studies 400 Living Wage Assignment

Living Wage Calculator: Wisconsin
What is the living wage model?

What is a basic needs budget?

Define "minimum wage."

Define "living wage."

What is the minimum wage in Wisconsin?

What is a living wage for a single adult with no children in Wisconsin?

What is a living wage for a single adult with one child in Wisconsin?

What is a living wage for two adults, one child in Wisconsin?

What is the average monthly food expense for a single adult?

What is the average monthly food expense for a single adult, one child?

Since the living wage model looks at "basic needs," what do you think that means with regard to food?

What is the average monthly housing expense for a single adult?

What is the average monthly housing expense for a single adult, one child?

What is the average monthly transportation budget for a single adult?

What is the average monthly transportation budgeted for two adults, one child?

What is the average annual income for a single adult, (before taxes) you must earn to cover basic living expenses?

Look at the "other" column. For a single adult, what is the amount listed? Do you think "other" includes monthly smart phone bill? Cable? Explain your answer.

Do you think basic living needs included in the living wage model includes Netflix? Culvers? Designer clothes? XBox? Vacation?

Look at the typical hourly wages for the most popular occupations in Wisconsin. What occupation offered the highest wage?

What occupation offered the second highest wage?

What occupation offered the lowest wage?

How many occupations were highlighted in red?

Now choose the county you are most likely to live in after you graduate from high school.
Wisconsin Counties

What is the living wage for a single adult? Is it higher or lower than the state average?

Now select Economic Policy Institute Budget Calculator.
Select 2 adults, two children, rural. What are your monthly and annual expense totals?

Now select CNN Cost of Living Calculator. Measure how far your salary would go in another city.
Compare a 35,000 salary in Madison, Wisconsin to San Francisco, California; Chicago, Illinois; New York City, New York; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Do you think you could afford to live in any of these cities on $35,000 a year? $40,000 a year? $50,000 a year?

Now select Minimum Wage Calculator. Can you survive on minimum wage in Wisconsin?
Enter information (housing, utilities, transportation, etc.). Can you survive on minimum wage? If not, how much debt will you acquire annually?

Monday, November 10, 2014

November Newsletter

River Valley High School Alternative Education

November, 2014

Service Learning and Social Studies 400 students with Passages staff with donated items from the October drive.

Students Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence
Fae Dilley

October was domestic violence month. The statistics regarding domestic violence are alarming. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Each year an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence against their mothers or female caretakers by family members. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family: Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family,1996)

River Valley Service Learning and Social Studies 400 students worked together throughout the month of October to raise awareness of this issue and help those in need. Students created a Wall of Ribbons and bulletin board in the high school to raise awareness. In addition, students wrote domestic violence statistics and facts on the sidewalk outside the high school the first week of October.
Due to lack of funding from all levels of government, it is difficult for Wisconsin domestic violence shelters and programs to accommodate domestic violence victims requesting services.  Mid-October, Service Learning and  Social Studies 400 students organized and implemented a school supply, art supply, and book drive for Passages, a shelter in Richland Center for victims of domestic violence. River Valley High School students and staff donated over a hundred items in the week-long drive. "I am very proud of all the hard work Service Learning and Social Studies 400 students put into the awareness campaigns which included inviting guest speakers to speak to students about the issue. I am also proud of the students for organizing and implementing the drive for Passages, especially Fae Dilley because it was initially her idea and she's put the most time into these projects” Lea Hansen, RVHS Social Studies 400 teacher said.

Students also invited guest speakers to visit their classroom to speak about the topic of domestic violence. Officer Andy Kurek spoke to Social Studies 400 students early in the month and later in the month staff from Passages gave a presentation to the class. Officer Andy Kurek shared this piece of advice with the students, “Young people need to know, domestic violence is not normal behavior.  Everyone doesn't do it.  If you are a victim of domestic violence, leave the relationship.” Marlee J. Gromoshak, a student in first period Social Studies 400 said, “I learned that there actually is a bigger problem with domestic violence than I really thought.  I thought that it was a valuable learning experience to have the speakers come in.”

If you are a victim of domestic violence there is help available. Passages in Richland Center, a program for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault has a 24 hour hotline for those in need of help. The number is 1-800-HEAL (4325).

What’s Happening in Alt-Ed?

Social Studies 400 Students are embarking on their 30 Day Challenges this month. Ask your child what positive change they are making in their lives this month.

To learn more about the idea behind this project, visit:

What students are saying about the project:

“My 30 day challenge is a journal. Every day for 30 days I’m writing about a different topic. So far I am really enjoying my project. I designed a journal and decorated it. I also wrote in it everyday so far.” – Shalee Swartwood

Fabson Jepson and Tyler Noble are giving random people compliments every day for a month. Fabson thought it would be a good project because that person might be having a bad day and saying something nice might make their day better.

Emily Joyce said, “I'm going to learn how to play a new instrument in 30 days. The instrument being oboe. It's going well so far. I learned 4 notes!”

United States History 510 students are preparing to take and pass (with 90% accuracy) the United States Citizenship Test (the same test immigrants must pass to become U. S. Citizens).

If you would like to learn more about this test or what we are doing in class, visit:
English 509 & 510 have been reading Perks of Being a Wallflower. We’ve been working on a variety of projects relating to the book this past month.

World Studies 509 students are just finishing up a unit on North America. For their final assessment, students are working on their “Sell a State Projects.”
To learn more about this project, visit this website:

Fabson Jepson helps with the Passages Drive.

Officer Andy speaks to Social Studies 400 students

Monday, November 3, 2014

Social Studies 400: 30 Day Challenge Project

Brainstorm ideas.
Register on
Complete the challenge.
Turn in your completed purple sheet at the end of your 30 days.

Need help? Here are some ideas:
Raise Awareness and Do Something About Homelessness:
30 Day Reading Challenge:
30 Day Journal Challenge:
30 Day Challenge to Raise Awareness of an Issue:
Write a Novel in a Month:

When is the last time you did something new?

WPR Program: When was the last time you did something new?

ABC News: Margot Stern Strom Encourages Students to Explore History

Constitutional Principles: Separation of Powers

White House - Fun Fact Series EP28 | Mocomi Kids

Niagara Falls : Fun Fact Series EP08 | Mocomi Kids